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Titans-Rams Postgame Quotes

Posted Aug 20, 2011

Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak
(On Game)
“We said we wanted to start with a challenge in the beginning and we got one. A big play by them to get the lead and get the points. I think we did a nice job after that, defense did a great job. They settled down and adjusted after the blown coverage on the first play and pretty much shut them down the rest of the half; pretty much the rest of the game until the end. I thought the first group did a heck of a job (defensively). Offensively, if you go by the stats we rushed for 200 yards, we were good on third downs, but again it comes down to finishing drives in the red zone. Field goals come back to a haunt you when you kick a lot of field goals. Especially in the preseason you need to put all of the points on the board when you have the opportunity. In the second half when the younger guys went in, it seemed like the offensive side of the ball we were killing ourselves every time with a penalty. Everyone took a turn and got us in a long down situation, so we didn’t put any points on the board in the second half. The Rams found a drive at the end to win it.”

“There were a lot of good things to go off of, but again we have to get more points on the board. The first group defense did a heck of a job, other than that one or two plays which is pretty much all they gave up all night. We have to go back and look at the film and see all of the good things we did. (RB) Jamie Harper came in and ran the ball very well, as all three backs did. That was very encouraging to see on a night that we didn’t anticipate to run the ball that well with the younger players. Those guys ran hard and did great job, and obviously the guys up front did well.”

(RB Jamie Harper)
“We felt good about him. Since we have been running second team the whole time since the day he walked in here, he has gotten a lot of reps and it shows. He improved from last week with his carries and he hit the hole hard, he hit the inside zone and the outside zone. He ran very well and that was encouraging to see. We asked him to step up earlier in the day and he did exactly that.”

(On the first play)
“It was just a blown coverage. It is one of those things the guys were excited when the game started and jumped on a fake and left someone wide open. You want certain things to happen in training camp, as a coach you want to put yourself in tough situations. You want to see how the guys respond when they do make mistakes.”

CB Cortland Finnegan
(On Ram’s Fast start Offense)
“Things happen, fast start for them. We knew what to expect, we just didn’t get it done. Undiscipline football by myself. But at the same time once I felt we weathered the storm, we played really good football..”

(On giving up the big play to start the game)
“No, it’s not the worst feeling in the world things happen. They get paid to, you try to correct your mistakes and move on. I think the hardest think is moving on from it and that’s one of the things our defense did well, and our defense played well from then on. ”

(On the ups and downs of the defense)
“In the scheme of things they get paid to. At the same time as a defense it is some things we did well and some things we will see on the film that we need to get better at.”

LB Will Witherspoon
(On defensive coordinator’s expectations and play of defense)
“He and the rest of the coaches do a great job of putting us in position and playing together. In doing what we need to do in the way we need to do it. We are all going to be alright and that’s all he is asking for. That’s the great thing about him is he has just asked to do what we each are responsible for. No one is looking to carry the extra load, no one is looking to do anything beyond that he’s not saying that I need “you” to be the guy making plays. I want everyone to make plays, but I want it to be sound and within the defense. Even after the first play he said hey its in the trash can and lets go back out next series and start over.”

(On head coach setting the tone for the team’s play)
“I think it’s the mantra of any of us in this locker room, we have to go back and say I have to go do my job for you, you have to your job for him, and down the line each man is doing a job for one of the eleven. ”

(On the linebacking core)
“Definitely a lot of communication a lot of conversation on the field making sure things are happening, make sure we are doing the right things, putting everybody on the same page is what it comes down to.and if you can do that and operate like that, the sky is the limit.”

RB Herb Donaldson
(On getting to play with the 1s)
“I was coming in to spell Jamie he did a real good job and we have a great offensive line. I just went out there and did my job. All of us had a pretty good night.”

(On having a great career at Western Illinois and coming out un-drafted)
“Yeah all of that is great and is something to look back at. Once you get to this level then it’s all, ‘what have you done for me lately?’ I was just telling somebody the other day, maybe when I’m 35 years old I’m going to look back and be like, ‘Man, I was the man back then.’ But right now I’m just trying to make the 53 (man roster) and that’s a drastic difference form being the ‘man’ in college and rushing for 200 or 300 yards a week.”

(On how much of an adjustment it is after having much success in college and now adjusting in the NFL)
“I can accept that because these are the greatest football players in the world. Just being part of that brotherhood is quite the accomplishment. I’m just trying to make the best of my opportunity and make every rep count.”

(On how camp is going so far)
“I’m just trying to get better every day. Like I said, I’m just trying to make every rep count and try to get a little better and put it on film. That’s what it’s about. I would love to be a part of the Tennessee Titans, but you do go out and put it on tape and that’s for 32 teams.”

**

ST LOUIS RAMS

Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
(Opening Statement)
“(LT) Rodger Saffold came out. His back bothered him a little bit. But (Head Athletic Trainer) Reggie (Scott) doesn’t think it’s a major issue. You saw (G) Randall Hunt, that was an ankle. He’ll nurse that for a little bit but hopefully he’s OK. (TE) Fendi Onobun, I think he dislocated his finger but wrapped it up and went back in there. So unless things change and we get some surprises tomorrow its not too, too bad. Keep our fingers crossed. I thought (QB) Thaddeus Lewis did a good job there at the end getting the team a field goal and the way he operated. That whole group in the second half offensively found a way to score some points. I thought the defense in the second half found a way to keep them off the board. It wasn’t pretty all the time but they didn’t score. And then (K) Josh (Brown) of course hitting the field goal at the end was impressive. I do think we have a long way to go based on that first half. Not real happy with how we ran the ball, not real happy with how we stopped the run, or lack of run defense. But lessons learned and we’ll move on from here. If we bounce back on Monday and come back and get to work that will be a good thing.”

(On if he is concerned with the offensive line)
“Yes. (QB) Sam (Bradford) certainly didn’t have a lot of time tonight. We’ll have to look at it, see where the issues were, whether its scheme or players. That’s all part of the evaluation process right now. But you have to have depth everywhere and certainly want to have it on the offensive line.”

(On what he saw on the run defense)
“I didn’t see very much. I didn’t think the tackling was very good either. We had a couple instances there we couldn’t get off the field on third down and I just thought it was a matter of making a good tackle. Concerning, but we’re not going to get alarmed here and panick. I just think the guys need to get together and say, ‘Hey, you have to get better at that.’ They ran the ball real well. I thought the run plays that hurt us the most were the cutback runs. That’s the…we have to get that ironed out.”

(On if that is gap integrity)
“Well without looking at it I can’t tell. When you are over there on the sideline it’s one guy on one play, it’s the linebacker here, it’s the line… until I piece it all together with watching film…I’m not that good on one take. But the problem was it wasn’t just one play. There were a number of them. I’ll give Tennessee a little bit of credit, too. They’ve always run the ball real well. I know their premiere back is not in there, but they do a good job running the football.”

(On the opening play)
“Well, (Offensive Coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) and the coaches start, when they get a certain look when they gave it that formation and they did, and they got somebody to bite on something, and it was open and it ended up being a big play. This point thing was after that. When you do that to a team you have to keep the pedal to the metal and keep the pressure on and try to do it again, but I think we relaxed a little bit.”

(On if the struggles were a good thing because it gives the team things to work on)
“I may think that way in a couple days. We’re always trying to excel and play top-notch football. But I think, if I know this football team like I think I do, I think they feel like I do about the performance in the first half. I don’t think anybody is going to be blinded by the fact that we won a football game and feel real good about it. I don’t think they’ll do that. Just come back and get it straightened out.”

(On if he is happy with holding the Titans to field goals in the first half)
“Yes, there is a silver lining there that’s a good point. What was it a touchdown and three field goals? Got them to 16. But a lot of those instances we just feel like they shouldn’t have been down there to get them. But they did.”

(On if he planned to take out Saffold)
“No, he did tweak it a little bit. Reggie doesn’t think its anything more than just sore from the original injury. And Randall Hunt you saw had the ankle and Fendi (Onobun) had the finger and other than that we were, (DE) Chris Long said something about his toe and turf toe but we think he’s going to be OK there, but you never know. The thing I always wait for is the next day when somebody gets something that they didn’t feel at night. But staying healthy throughout this preseason is obviously really important. I don’t know how you control it, a lot of prayers I guess.”

(On WR Greg Salas dropping his first pass and then making a couple plays)
“That’s good to see. A guy doesn’t stick his head in the sand after he drops his first pass in, really, his first NFL game. He did come back and make a couple plays. We did a good job trying to get the ball to him to get him going a little bit. I did see some good things out of Greg.”

(On WR Donnie Avery)
“I mentioned it, I was on the radio before I came in here and I’m really proud of Donnie and happy for him. I’d see him in the training room all last year-that’s not easy to do. And it was in a preseason game he got hurt. So he was the entire season, all 16 games. His teammates are celebrating when they win, I’m sure he feels just as bad when we didn’t. And then he has a little setback in training camp, but he bounces back and played the way he did tonight. It was good. Encouraged.”

(On WR Mardy Gilyard)
“He took a blow a number of times there on the kickoff returns. He is a fearless guy. He’s been doing that. One punt return was pretty good, pretty nifty. Mardy continues to be impressive and I think that elevates all the receivers and that’s what we want.”

RB Steven Jackson
(On how it felt being on the field)
“It felt good. I was able to get out there with the first team, get a little game time action against a very tough defense in Tennessee. They’re known for their tenaciousness and being a little edgy, so it was a good first test.”

(On not getting as much yardage as he wanted with the carries he was given)
“I’m not looking for yardage in the preseason. What I’m looking for are run reads and how my chemistry is with the offensive line, 100 yards or 1 yard regardless. The job of the preseason is to get back in the flow of the game.”

(On the touchdown pass to start the game)
“That was awesome. We caught them exactly what we thought. They had an eight-man box, guys cheating, expecting the run, and it put the receivers one-on-one. If we’re able to do that week in and week out, we’ll definitely be able to get those favorable Cover 2s and then allow the running game to come along.”

(On if he felt that he got done what he wanted to get done with his first action of the preseason)
“The job of the preseason is to get a feel for the game. That’s what I did. 100 yards in the preseason means nothing.”

(On having a short time to install a new offense and how it’s coming along)
“The offense, like you said, we’ve only had a few short weeks to learn it. I think you saw today that we had a couple of drives that sputtered out. They showed a great deal of pressure, so it allows for us to go on Monday and Tuesday and look at the film, break it down, see what we did well, see what we didn’t do well. It’s a great learning film that we’re going to have this week. I’m glad to have that type of pressure, that type of tenaciousness, in a defense in Tennessee that they showed us. It will give us something to work on for the next two or three weeks to get prepared for the opener.”

QB Sam Bradford
(On what he thought about today’s performance)
“We did some good things, we did some bad things. Obviously, we have a lot of room to improve, but it was good to come out and start the way we did. I knew that was going to be the play call at the start of the game. Me and Gibby (WR Brandon Gibson) talked about it in the locker room. I looked at him and said, ‘Hey, let’s score first play.’ He said, ‘Throw it up there.’ I did, we scored. Any time you can come out with a big play like that, it’s nice. But after that we’ve just got to be more consistent in every aspect of the game. We’ve got to be able to run the ball more consistently. I’ve got to be more consistent in our passing game. There are a lot of things we need to improve on before we play Week One.”

(On the pressure Tennessee was able to apply in the passing game)
“I think it just goes back to that we have a lot to improve. Nothing we saw out there today was anything new. We had seen all those blitzes in practice. We could have picked those up. It was just a matter of making the right steps in communication to make sure we are picked up in those blitzes. But it’s good to see those in live action. Sometimes you see those blitzes in practice and they’re a little slower. It was nice to see them. We know what we need to work on. Obviously , we’ve got to be better in that area of the game.”

(On what he thought when he saw receiver Brandon Gibson wide open on the opening play)
“First, it’s, ‘We’ve got this.’ Then, it’s, ‘Don’t screw this up.’ I just put it out there. Gibby did a great job, he ran a great route, went up and got the ball. Big play, first drive.”

(On what he saw from receiver Donnie Avery today)
“Donnie looked great today. I thought he looked fast. I think I commented on it this week when I talked to you guys on Thursday. I thought he looked fast, he looked quick. He looked back to what everyone told me he was all about, and to see him blow by a guy today for a touchdown, it’s obviously great when you see your receivers doing things like that.”

(On the benefits of having explosive plays that he can go to)
“It’s nice, especially because we practice those things so often, and rarely do we get the big play. To come out here and get the big play and execute and get the touchdown like that is nice, but at the end of the day, it’s just one play. We can’t relax after we come out and score on the first play of the game. We’ve got to continue to push the gas and continue to put points on the board.”

WR Donnie Avery
(On competing against the other wide receivers to make the team)
“I don’t look at it like that. I just look at it like, do my job, play my role, and go out there and be consistent.”

(On his touchdown catch)
“It was a hitch. It was press (coverage), so it was an easy conversion. I saw the safety in the box, so my eyes lit up. I saw his eyes (light) up, and we connected.”

(On recovering from his knee injury)
“Like I told you earlier, I’ve been having mental reps, so it’s just about staying out there and being consistent. It (his knee) feels great.”

WR Brandon Gibson
(On his touchdown catch on the first play of the game)
“I ran a post, and the safety bit. He (Quarterback Sam Bradford) put it up there and touchdown.”

(On if he was surprised he was wide open on his touchdown catch)
“No, that’s how that play is supposed to work.”

(On competing against the other receivers in camp)
“We’re not looking at it like that. We’re all just coming out here, having fun, and playing football. You’ve got to fight for reps, but at the end of the day, we’re all rooting for each other.”

(On what the Titans did to slow down the Rams offense)
“They brought a lot of pressure, and we’ve just got to do a better job of handling pressure. Each guy, we’ve all got to do our job, so that was about it.”

(On learning the new offense)
I think we’re handling the situation with our new offense at a good pace, but we know there’s a lot more work to be done.”

(On handling learning a new offense in a shortened offseason)
“Absolutely, there’s nothing you can do about it. All you can do is continue to learn and get everything right.”

QB A.J. Feeley
(On the performance of receiver Donnie Avery)
“I was proud of him. To come back from a serious injury like that last year, and in his first action this year he gets a touchdown, a couple catches. You could tell he was eager. He wanted it. It’s a battle out there and he definitely left his mark out there.”

(On the benefits of having multiple weapons offensively)
“Yeah, definitely with this offense. A guy that can run with speed. Obviously, the injury definitely hasn’t slowed him down. The more weapons you can have, especially vertical threats, guys running down the field, it’s nice.”

(On if Avery looks the way he did before the injury)
“He looks like the same guy when I came here last year. You wouldn’t know he came off a serious knee injury. It’s a tribute to him in the offseason what he’s done, in the lockout, rehabbing and getting himself ready.”

QB Thaddeus Lewis

(On his touchdown catch on the first play of the game)
“It felt great. To be a quarterback in those situations, it’s kind of do-or-die. You’ve got an opportunity to lead your team to a victory, so you’ve got to go out there and get it done.”

(On if he was surprised he was wide open on his touchdown catch)
“You have to. A lot of the vets told me don’t worry about the reps you get, but make the reps you get count. It was an opportunity to make this situation count, and I had the guys around me to help me through it. Coach called great plays and me and the guys executed them. .”

K Josh Brown
(On the final game-winning drive)
“I kind of wanted to stall out for a 53-yarder, but the guys did a great job offensively. We were having trouble getting started, and then (Quarterback) Thaddeus (Lewis) did a great job of reading the defense and putting a good drive together.”

(On staying ready during the game)
“Absolutely. I think the biggest thing for me was to be there all day long and not to get a whole lot of action, a whole lot of time on the field, and then mentally staying ready with the last seconds on the line. That’s the practice I was doing tonight, just to stay focused stay in the game, kick a few balls here and there to stay loose, and keep my mind on it.”

(On if he thought the team would score a lot of points)
“No, not from that moment I didn’t. From the first get-go you felt like it was going to be like it was last week. That we were going to score a tremendous amount of points and really be running on people. But, you know, that’s football for you. Sometimes things don’t go your way, you have to make adjustments, and you just keep fighting.”

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