TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK(On how satisfying this win was after three straight losses)
(On the mindset and mental toughness of the team)
“I think that is what I am most proud of with the team is how they have handled the mental part. When you lose in this league it is hard, especially three weeks in a row. It is tough, but I think the guys handled it well, we hung together well and we still have a lot of confidence in ourselves. We know that we played against some really good football teams that beat us and we are just more disappointed because we had chances to win at least two of those three games. That is what we hung our hat on and we believed that we were a good football team, and that we are a much better team than what we were last year at this time. We knew that this would be a tough place to do it with a lot of things going on with these teams and with the familiarity. It was a good game. It looked like it was going to be a 10-7 game and then all of a sudden the scoring started and we started making plays and they made plays. They played well too. But we made enough plays at the end with the defense getting that sack and the fumble and
(On what is was like playing against Coach Jeff Fisher)
“It wasn’t really much a part of the game for me. Occasionally when I saw Coach on the screen because I was looking up to see the replay, I did realize that, oh yeah, Coach Fish is on the other side. I didn’t really give it much thought, we were locked into the game I am sure like he was. It was about winning a football game for your team. We needed it in a bad way. It was a very emotional week for this organization with the passing of Mr. Adams, and so I think we have been through a lot as an organization. I think this was exactly what we needed on a lot of levels. Not just for the team, but for the family, for the team and for our fans and franchise. So we won one and hopefully many more after this, but this has been a rough two weeks for a lot of people. I think it was also important for the players to play better and find a way to win because of all of the things that have gone on.”
(On speaking with Coach Jeff Fisher before the game)
“We spoke after. Before the game I very rarely talk to anyone on the other team. We will catch up during the offseason.”
(On it being a relief to get this game vs. Coach Fisher over)
“It never really was a thought for me. Like I said in the beginning of the week, I think if Coach Fisher had come to Nashville, I think it would have been a lot different and a different situation. I think he said the same thing, this is all about these two teams both in survival mode both trying to get a win here at the midpoint and get back into the hunt. We both needed, but again, that is something that we can talk about in the offseason and discuss bragging rights on who beat who with all of the different connections. But this is all about us versus them, this was the players’ game. The coaches are not a big factor.”
(On the play of RB Chris Johnson)
“It is big for us. When you are not running the ball it is a drag and a drain on your team. There is no way around that, no matter who it is. You still want to be winning; you want to be a physical team. CJ is a special runner, and we think we have a good offensive line, but we just weren’t having results. To watch it finally come together, I didn’t think it was going to take this long, but I am glad it happened. He had a game like we thought he could have, I thought he ran very well. He looked like he was hitting everything pretty hard. I thought we blocked better, right from the first snap. I think the confidence started right from the beginning. We didn’t get the ball a lot early because they were controlling the ball too. They ran the ball well on us today. We knew their game plan would be what it was: run,run and convert on third and three and keep us off the field. Again this is a team that held Seattle 50 or 30 yards rushing on Monday and we came in here and rushed for all most 200 yards, so that is a great credit to our group. I think the line up front has been taking a lot of hits so we needed a week like this because it has been draining on this team.”
(What changed after halftime in pass protection)
“Some of the stuff they got wasn’t really someone getting beat; it was a matter of coverage. I think there was once when someone truly got beat with pressure. We weren’t truly concerned. We were doing some good things. That is a good front, but it wasn’t something that we didn’t think we could protect. It was more of the fact that the guys that were covering Jake and he tried to escape out of the pocket on two of the sacks and ran into the back of CJ and fell down. It was more about coverage than it was sacks. Again the guys rallied and decided that they didn’t want their quarterback getting hit. We have to run the football, which we did, and the play action opened up. Jake hit a couple of really quick play-action passes to (WR)
(On the play of QB
“I thought it was about managing the game a little bit. Especially the second half, I thought was more managed. During the first half we seemed like we were a little out of sorts after the first drive, it seemed like our offense just couldn’t get on track. I will give them credit on defense, I guess, because they were keeping the ball so much we never got back into the flow until the third quarter. I think Coach (Dowell) Loggains did a great job of settling him down at halftime. Then we went back to what we thought was a good way to get him going and give him a chance to make some of the throws that he did. I just don’t think we played good in the second and third quarter as an offense. The protection broke down a little bit here and there, a little pressure. We ran the ball in certain spots where we could have avoided some long-down situations. We had a couple of runs for no gains, but the good thing is we came out of it. We needed a win like this.
(On the play of Rams RB Zac Stacy)
“He is a good football player. We liked him in the draft. We talked to him and had him over from Vanderbilt and thought he was going to be a special back. We thought that he ran down hill, he stayed square and he ran well last week and he ran well today. We had guys around him and he broke tackles and that is going to happen. We want to stop the run better. We have to shut it down and get off the field as a defense. When we had to, we did, and we have to hang our hats on that.”
TITANS QB JAKE LOCKER
(On what the success of the running game means to the team)
(On his touchdown run)
“In the defense that they were playing I thought that we would have an opportunity to throw the guy over the ball and then the guy right outside of him and they covered them both real well. I knew we wouldn’t have a chance on the outside receivers with the routes that they had, so it was really one to two then take off and it kind of opened up and presented itself. It was just one of those things that you just kind of felt it. I was pushing up and felt it and had an opportunity to score a touchdown.”
(On the team’s mentality at halftime and adjustments)
“I thought we came out and started awesome and then we had some drives fall out on us and they (the Rams) put some long drives together and kept us off of the field for a lot of the first half. Then we had the turnover late in their area and for our defense to come back out and stop them three-and-out and then force a missed field goal was huge. We didn’t score points or any of that but I think we went in with momentum. After you have a play like that it’s a big thing for you as a team. So then we came out in the second half and were able to move the ball a lot better offensively and put some points on the board.”
(On winning this game and moving to 4-4 instead of 3-5)
“I think it was huge. I think you guys (the media) all understand that sitting at 3-4 the difference between 3-5 and 4-4 is a huge difference. We talked about it earlier this week, how it can shake out in our division for us, and it just keeps us a game closer with Indy.”
TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON
(On the success of the running game)
(On if he thinks the offense can continue to run the ball successfully)
“Yes, of course. It’s a whole offensive effort. If we can stay in games and execute the game plan that the coaches give us and just work on the little things we can get big runs, because when we went back and looked at the first seven games the main problem with the running game was just little mental mistakes. We saw a lot of plays that could have been big plays for us in the first seven games. The thing we did was just have everybody worry about the little things and it turned out that it worked.”
(On what a successful rushing performance like today does for the whole team)
“It does a lot. It shows, especially those young guys like (C
(On if this team is better running against a 4-3 defense versus a 3-4 defense and how much of a difference that made)
“I don’t think it made a real big difference. When the running game wasn’t working it wasn’t really what the other team was doing, it was us hurting ourselves. This week we did a couple different things. On Thursday, instead of meeting with the coaches I went to Coach ‘Munch’ and asked him if it was OK if the running backs and the offensive lineman met after practice. That was something we were doing earlier in my career when Kevin Mawae was here, so we switched it up and did that so the offensive line knows what I’m thinking on certain plays and I know what they are thinking on certain plays. It was a situation that corrected the small, minor things.”
TITANS DT JURRELL CASEY
(On the Titans’ victory)
“I’m happy we got this win, but we have a lot to do, there’s a lot to clean up. We couldn’t stop the run today and they just ran it down our throat. We have to improve and I’m happy we got the win.”(On forcing a fumble late in the game)
“I came through with a double swipe, and the ball came free. I knew we needed a big play for the team and I had to come up with it and I got the job done so we could take the lead.”
(On the play to get free and cause the fumble)
“It was a straight one-on-one rush. I beat my man straight, clean off the edge and with a double arm swipe and basically got around freely. The quarterback tried to run up the middle, and I got a hand on the ball and it came out.”
(On how the caused fumble changed the game)
“It set us up very well. We were in need of something all game. They were running the ball down on us and they finally sat back there and tried to throw the ball and we got the pressure to them.”
(On trying to stop Zac Stacy throughout the game)
“It was a long day. He was coming downhill and not fair dodging it (the question), he was making it happen for them. We’ve got to do a better job of stopping the run. That’s one thing we’ve been harping on for the last three years, and it seems like we can’t get it clicking.”
TITANS WR/KR DAMIAN WILLIAMS
(On taking over the return duties today)
“It felt good. I think on one of the kickoffs I could have made a better decision and kept it in. For the most part the guys blocked really well, and we had a couple of opportunities and we almost broke a couple.”
(On his attempt to make a fair catch in the fourth quarter and getting hit)
“I don’t know. From what I could tell I got hit. So, if you call for a fair catch and get hit – I don’t know what happened. I guess we have to take a look at the film and see. I really couldn’t tell you what happened.”
(On the Tennessee offense starting slow and finishing fast)
“I think that’s something we haven’t done all year, run the ball. And I think our offensive line did a great job of blocking. (Chris Johnson) got it going and made some good plays. This week was the best week of practice C.J. has had in terms of meshing with the line and that type of stuff and he came out here today and it paid off.”
(On the win after the bye week)
“It’s huge. We always say one at a time. Obviously we have our sights set on the playoffs and being in the postseason, so hopefully this propels us from week to week. We know how it feels, and I hope we stay with it and keep it rolling.”
TITANS DT MIKE MARTIN
(On the struggles the Titans faced)
“It wasn’t as much what they (Rams) were doing I would say, but we weren’t finishing plays and we were missing a lot of tackles. And that’s what it really came down to. It wasn’t as much about what they were doing, but we were not playing the way we should have been playing.”
(On the Titans conversations at halftime)
“It was about how we needed to finish the game. We had two more quarters, and the defense was going to start the next half, so we talked about coming out and starting fast.”
“It was huge, it was a game-changing play and a play that we needed. Those guys (Jurrell Casey – forced fumble and Derrick Moragn – fumble recovery), they got after it and we were able to score afterward with C.J. (Chris Johnson) and it set us up for the win.”
(On being 4-4 and feeling good)
“We have eight more to go. That’s our mindset. We have to take this one game at a time and keep getting better. We have a lot more work to do as a team to get better and we have to keep that mindset.”
RAMS HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
“Congratulations to (Titans Head Coach) Mike (Munchak) and his team. I thought they played well. We had some opportunities early and didn’t take advantage of them – the fumble and missed field goal. Then they got their running game going and we kind of kept ours going, but the turnover at the end pretty much was the difference in the ball game and that started with the tripping penalty. Anyway, I was proud of ‘Kel’ (QB Kellen Clemens). As I anticipated, we expected Kel to get better in week two, in his second start. As far as we’re concerned, we’re running the football, (RB) Zac’s (Stacy) running the football. Because of that he gave us a chance to stay in the game. We’ve got to try to avoid throwing the ball at the end zone on the last play of the game to win or tie like we have in the last couple of weeks. That means you’ve got to play better within the first three quarters.”
(On how much the margin of error has to decrease with QB Kellen Clemens starting in place of Sam Bradford)
“We turned it over twice. We turned it over twice to a good running football team like that that’s playing good defense. It’s hard to win. Now granted, we got them, but we didn’t take advantage of them, and of course the interception we’re three-and-out and missed the field goal. I’m going to look at this tape and find some things and some good things, and correct things and move on. That’s really all you can do.”
(On if he got an explanation from the officials on the second to last play of the game)
(On if he is relieved that this week is over)
“You know what, honestly, this is another week for me, OK. I’ve got Indy this week. This was another opponent. We worked and we worked. We came back on a short week against a good opponent and didn’t get it done. So, we have a normal week this week and we’re getting ready for the Colts.”
(On the Rams’ run defense)
“Well, we lost the edges. ‘C.J.’ (Titans RB Chris Johnson), obviously, when he gets on the edge, he goes. We edged it up all week and we emphasized it and so I haven’t looked at it, but I’m sure we had a number of guys who made mistakes.”
(On Clemens’ performance)
“Well, as I said, I anticipated improvement out of Kellen. I mean, you do in the second week. He settled down a little bit. Obviously, he was a little excited last week, but he settled down this week and he felt good. He was ready to play, made some good throws.”
(On RB Zac Stacy’s 32-yard rush)
“That was a great run. That’s what he’s about. ‘A.P.’ (WR Austin Pettis) threw a nice block there at the end and ‘Cookie’ (TE Jared Cook) got involved with some push and got some extra yards. That was an outstanding run, gave us a chance and sparked that drive for us.”
(On if this was an important game for the Rams players that previously played with Tennessee)
“Well, yes, they were excited about the opportunity. They’re pros, though. They don’t do anything differently week to week. But yeah, they were excited. I think this one probably, at the end of the day, it’s probably going to last a little longer, hurt a little more to them because it was important to them.”
(On what he emphasizes to the team after a loss like today)
“Well, we’re going to go back through it as we always do. We’ll look and see what happened. You just have to correct the mistakes. Now, I didn’t see the trip, but how did he put himself into position to extend the leg? I don’t know. When you go that specific, those are the kind of things we’re going to look at.”
(On RB Benny Cunningham’s fumble)
“It just squirted out. He’s not a fumbler, either. I still don’t think he did it on purpose.”
(On what he said to Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak after the game)
“I just congratulated him. He’s really excited and he has every right to be excited on the win. So, I just congratulated him.”
RAMS QB KELLEN CLEMENS
(On if it was disappointing not to score on the final possession)
"It was very disappointing. Have got to make the plays when they're there to make and unfortunately we didn't do that. "
(On if he thought that 21 points would be enough to win going into the game)
"Every week our goal is to score as many points as we can. Our defense is definitely playing good football, they have the last several weeks. Our job is to score more points than the opponent does. Unfortunately, we didn't do that."
(On if he thought WR Austin Pettis was interfered with on the next to last offensive play of the game)
"I don't know. I didn't have a great look at it. I liked our matchup with Austin on, I think it was (CB Jason) McCourty over there, trying to make something happen. But, we'll take a look and see. I couldn't tell you though right now."
(On what happened when he fumbled)
"They brought a five-man pressure, brought a guy from the back side that we had accounted for. Got a little bit of penetration, so I tried to step up and it was probably a big d-tackle who came through and just knocked the ball out. Unfortunately, put our defense in a very difficult situation. It's a mistake that can't be made, and unfortunately I made it."
(On his touchdown pass to TE Jared Cook)
"They were in a two-deep coverage on third-and-9 from the 9 (yard line) or 7 from the 9. It was a great call by 'Schotty' (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer), had a lot of options for me and based on the coverage there was a window there for Jared. We kind of talked about it a little bit before that play. When the ball came out, the linebacker was still in front of him. So, it was a great play by him of locating the football and making the catch."
(On if a second week of practice with the first-team offense helped in the chemistry on the field)
"It helped. It helped out a lot and hopefully every week we'll continue to get more and more chemistry and continue to be more efficient in the passing game. I think that all starts up front and our offensive line, this week especially without (RG) Harvey Dahl, did a great job again running the football, providing protection for me. (G) Shelley Smith stepped in, did a great job. (RT Rodger) Saffold came in on some plays and contributed, as well. So, first of all, it starts up with those guys. Back to back weeks they've done a very good job."
(On if RB Zac Stacy is continuing to learn)
"From the moment that Zac Stacy took over that No. 1 spot he's been a great weapon for us. He's a good back. He's also very good out of the backfield as we saw tonight. I think he probably had three or four catches. He's a great weapon for us. We're lucky to have him. He's stepped up in a big way."
(On how they come back from another difficult loss)
"Coach (Jeff) Fisher said it after the game. There's only one thing to do and that's go back to work. We'll take the 24-hour rule. We'll look at the tape tomorrow. We'll make the corrections that we need to make, addressing the issues that are there. Hopefully, from an injury standpoint, we came out pretty good I hope, and we'll get back to work. That's the only thing we can do is keep working. The good news is this is a locker room full of guys that have been through adversity, also aren't going to turn on one another either. We're a unified front going forward and we'll get ready for the Colts. It's going to be a good challenge."
(On if he thought there would be a flag thrown when he got hit while sliding)
"I don't know. Either way the ball shouldn't have come out on that one. I actually visited with (S Bernard) Pollard a little bit after. He said he was sorry for kind of hitting me. If I don't get hurt I'm not worried about it. Officials are going to do their job. We need to do ours better."
RARMS RB ZAC STACY
(On his play over the last couple games)
"I try not to talk ‘my individual success’ because it all starts up front. The offensive line is doing a great job week-in and week-out. I'm just wanting to stay consistent and stay productive week-in and week-out."
(On if he enjoys being used in the passing game)
"Yes. That's one thing you have to be. You have to be versatile, coming out of the backfield, catching routes, whatever, just making plays."
(On if he thought the offense was balanced against the Titans)
"We were. Any time you're able to establish the run it obviously opens up the passing game. For the most part, it's just coming out here and your execution. We've just got to do a better job executing and we will. A lot of guys put in a lot of time and invest a lot of time and doing all the little things right week-in and week-out throughout our preparation, throughout the week. We're just going to keep it rolling."
(On what it was like to go through the whole game without an injury)
"I'm a competitor. I always want to get out there as much as I can. I want to be on the field the whole game. So, the thing with injuries is they're going to come. That comes with the game. I was able to get out and be able to finish it today."
(On how he felt after the game)
"It felt great, but we came away with a loss. So, it doesn't feel as great as it would as a win, but we're just going to keep working."
(On if he feels like he's getting into a rhythm over the last couple weeks)
"It just comes down to taking advantage of opportunities. Week-in and week-out we stress being detailed. We stress preparation in the offensive room and also in the running back room. Just going out there and taking advantage of the opportunity I get."
(On if he prides himself on gaining yards after contact)
"Absolutely. That's one thing you've got to have. You've got to have that pride and mentality to be able to get yards after contact in this league because you've got defenders in this league that are great athletes. So, it's just something we pride in the running back unit, getting (yards after contact) and just making plays."
(On if the key to breaking tackles is keeping his legs moving)
"Yeah. It's just a pride and mentality you've got to have about yourself."
(On if he is aware of his play providing a spark to the offense)
"Just making plays, that's what it all comes down to. Week-in and week-out we stress making plays all across the offense. There's no secret sauce to what I'm doing, just making plays."
RAMS DE CHRIS LONG
(On if it was a tougher loss because they gave up a lead)
“The more they stack up, the more they hurt. Our defense had a chance to win the game and we were out of our gaps and had way too much on the ground. The basic thing is, we’ll see when we look at it on Monday, but they’re correctable things but you can’t be saying these things are correctable Week 9. Should have gotten those things corrected eight weeks ago. We’ve got to come to work on Monday. The 24-hour rule is a good thing to have this week – this one does hurt, it sucks. So, we’ll get the job done this next week.”
(On if it is tougher because of their strong defensive performance last week)
“Yeah, you set a benchmark and then you don’t meet it as a group – frustrating things. Guys were ready to play, guys were mentally in it and jacked up for the game. I’m not sure what happened. It blows my mind; I have no idea.”
(On if it is disappointing having the chances to win the game)
“When you’ve got the lead, our mentality has to be that that should be the ballgame. Today, we fell far short. The offense did a great job trying to keep us in it even at the last second, but we can’t be one team one week and another team another week. It’s very, very disappointing.”
(On how they move past disappointing losses)
“It probably starts with execution but to answer your question, if I knew the answer, we’d have gotten on it six weeks ago, seven weeks ago, eight weeks ago. So, we’re still trying to figure it out.”
RAMS MLB JAMES LAURINAITIS
(On the play of the defense)
“On a couple of those drives it was stuff we inflicted upon ourselves. It’s guys knowing where they’re supposed to be and not being there. When you do that against a guy who can take it to the house on a simple play, you’ve got problems. When people run the ball against you like that, it really comes down to team defense. It’s not one person, one position group. It’s everybody contributing to the missed gaps and stuff like that.”
(On if the team being young is an excuse for mistakes)
“In our meeting rooms we haven’t had the ‘We’re young’ excuse, at least not in the linebacker room, that’s for sure. These guys have played plenty of football in their lives to know football and where to fit. It’s everybody, not just the young players. Everybody is contributing, like I said. That’s the frustrating part. You can go over it, you watch tape, you figure out certain things. Then it hits you in the game. We’ve just got to get back to work. I know it sounds cliché but we really just have to get back to work. Just work harder than we did the week before, watch more film and correct it. Not let the little things go in practice, and I don’t think we have let the little things go in practice, but we have to really nip every little mistake in the bud because the truth of the matter is I believe to my soul that this football team is better than our record is, better than what we’ve shown. That’s all well and good, but until we start winning football games, which we’re paid to do, that’s going to continue to be frustrating. We’re better than what we’ve shown and that’s the most frustrating thing. If we play to our potential and we get beat, then whatever, they get paid too. But right now we’re not playing up to our potential. We’ve just got to recommit. The positive thing is that we have a bunch of guys in this room that truly care about each other and love each other. There’s not going to be any kind of BS that happens on a football team where people start pointing at each other and stuff like that. We won’t have that. We’ve got to fix these problems because … for a couple weeks there, Carolina, Seattle, I thought as a front seven we really showed something but today this happened. When you’re inconsistent you don’t win many games, and right now we’re inconsistent.”
RAMS CB CORTLAND FINNEGAN
(On if he felt the Rams had a good defensive game plan)
“Absolutely. I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win, but in the same breath we let them make some plays at the end. They had a good game plan. They ran the ball well today … effectively. We got the quarterback to do some things we wanted him to do. If we (could) eliminate the passing game we felt like we’d get a win, but we didn’t. Credit them for getting the ‘W.’ ”
(On defending the run)
“That guy (is) extremely fast. Not being gap sound and not making the tackles on the tail-end when we needed to. You’ve got to credit CJ (Titans RB Chris Johnson). He’s an electrifying runner, he’s got speed, and he did a good job today.”
(On recovering from the loss)
“You go back to little things. That’s the thing about winning, you’ve just got to do a little more. I think when (Rams QB) Sam (Bradford) got hurt, we needed everyone to just step up a little more. Even before that. We’ve got to work even harder. They were on a three-game skid, and now we are. We’ve just got to continue to work.”
(On if this game meant more because it was his former team)
“I think so. That’s the obvious answer. If you can get any closer to a Super Bowl without it being a Super Bowl, that’s what it was for me. It was staying up late and watching extra film and doing everything I could to prepare myself. In fact I normally do, but just doing a little more because this team is who they were. We’ll continue to push forward.”
RAMS S RODNEY McLEOD
(On creating turnovers)
“Before the game, (defensive coordinator Tim) Walton told us what our record was when the defense created a turnover. At that point, we had already had one, another one definitely helps your chances of us winning, but we came up short today.”
(On how disappointing this loss was)
“It hurts, but we know what we have here and we just have to regroup and practice and fix those things that happened today. Practice a little harder, do things a little differently in order to get a win next weekend.”
(On if hopes are high following Monday night’s defensive performance against Seattle)
“Yeah, we put a good thing on the film, so the key thing is consistency and that’s what we have to do.”
RAMS DT KENDALL LANGFORD
(On defending the pass in third-and-long situations)
“Actually, they ran it on third-and-10 so it kind of … I guess their mentality was to come in and run the ball on us and they did an exceptional job against us running it. It goes back to us manning our gap, improper fits, and things like that. Heads up to them. They got a ‘W.’ It’s another that I feel like we dropped that we could have won, that we should have won. Back to the drawing board to get better.”
(On being frustrated with the play of the defense)
“Very frustrating. Our defense, we know we’re capable of matching up against the best backs in the league. Unfortunately our line didn’t get the job done. It’s disheartening. It’s just very frustrating.”