TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on production from running back
He’s run hard when he has gotten the chance. He gave us a little spark there after the turnover to go down and get that touchdown. He had some good runs there, got it on the goal line when we needed it to. So, again he is a good zone runner. It is something that he has done well. On the fourth-and-one, we went for it. He bounced outside nice where the lane was which was good to see. He made a big run for us there which obviously allowed (us) to finish the drive with a touchdown.
Jamie does a good job, protection you know everything like that. He’s a good, solid all-around back and (I am) happy with where he’s at.
(on not coming up with points, despite no three-and-outs in first half)
We, unfortunately, every time we got the short field (we) wanted to get more than a field goal. We got the one first down after the defense had created the turnover on the first series. The offense gets the ball in great position. That has to be seven points, it was three. We got one first down there and then we got kind of bogged down and had to settle for a field goal. On another drive, we are driving again and making some first downs and get a pass interference call on the offense, on Kendall (Wright) which kind of killed that drive. And then we have another drive where it looks like we are finally putting one together, making plays and then Jake (Locker) gets the ball knocked out. So you hope, if anything, he learns a lesson about tucking that thing away, that how good these guys are in this league at hitting that ball out. So, it makes it just disappointing. You wish we could have finished some of those drives, but a lot of good things were happening before the end, but we just got to put it all together.
(on defensive line’s performance in preseason)
They played well. I was proud of the guys tonight. I was proud of them this preseason. We finished this phase 3-1 and we played hard. I think when guys got a chance to play from the first preseason game until the last, we had a lot of young guys out there, the young D-linemen, you know played well.
(on having tough roster decisions to make)
They are always hard. There are a handful of spots that we are still looking. Sometimes it will depend on the health of guys, injuries. We will look at that first thing in the morning. This is all going to happen pretty fast because the cut down is tomorrow evening. So you don’t have a lot of time. So, first it is assessing the health of your team where we are at going into the opener, then kind of decide where that might affect the roster. So, it is a hard day. I told those guys to enjoy this moment. A lot of those young guys played on the field today, played their hearts out, played hard. Camp is grueling, we have been together since April and you get close to a lot of guys. It is a tough time. The business side is a very hard, emotional time.
(on tonight’s accomplishments)
Well I just think again, we mentioned the start on the defensive side, just that they would continue what we’ve been doing, continue getting pressure, even though a lot of guys didn’t play, continue making plays. They got turnovers and we had four turnovers in the couple of weeks, we’ve had quite a few turnovers, interceptions, fumbles, which means we’re making plays. I think we want to see the defense continue and they’ve done that. They’ve continued to make plays, they’ve continued to put the offense in position with a short field and we scored only 10 points, but the defense put us in position for both of those scores and we should’ve had more. We saw exactly what we saw on defense. If they gave us some yards in between, we toughed up and got off the field, so that was kind of large. Offense, like I mentioned, we were hoping to avoid three-and-outs, which we did, but we still didn’t get the points on the board we would’ve liked. A couple of those drives, we need to finish. The first one and the last one when Jake (Locker) fumbled, those are things that we just can’t have. If anything, you hope we learned from some of the mistakes that we made throughout the game. It’s a great effort, which is what you want to see in preseason no matter who you are playing or who’s playing. I thought you saw that, I thought the energy was good all season, all training camp and it showed in the preseason games how important it was for these guys to win even though it’s preseason. Now we’re back to 0-0 as of tomorrow morning, but like I said, when you put on the equipment, you go and play, and you want to win. I think our guys played like they wanted to win.
(on being ready for week one)
I think we have work ahead of us. We have 10 days, which is a good thing, I guess. We’ll get a couple extra practices in because we need it. We have to lock into a game plan and we haven’t had a chance to do that yet. Hopefully that will allow us to play more consistent. We can narrow it down to we’re just going to do these certain things as we go forward, lock into things we do well and stick to that. You’re never satisfied as a coach. You know you always got to know where you’re going, things to improve upon, as everyone in the league does. You never know how teams are going to start and that’s the hard part. Last year was the same boat; we thought we were going to play really well in that first game, but we didn’t…last year in the Jacksonville game. I think it’s just a matter of, if we know there’s a lot of good things that have been going on, things we have to improve upon and we’ll work on it the next 10 days.
I think him knowing and everyone knowing his situation, we feel he’s healthy now, he’s ready to get after it. The league made a decision on what they wanted to do, he understands that and now we know the consequence. So, he’ll miss this week and we’ll have him back the rest of the season. So, we’re excited about that, I know he is, as far as once he gets this behind him he will be. He’s worked hard and he’ll do what the league has asked him to do obviously and then we’ll have him back in the fold for the second game.
(on how Britt’s return affects the roster decision)
Yeah it does. I think it…this is what we were all waiting for to find out exactly, and the league let us know a day before the cut date so we can plan ahead. So yeah, I think it helps all those things.
TITANS QB JAKE LOCKER
(on his experience as the starting quarterback the last two games)
It has been an awesome opportunity to be able to work with the first group. I think we have done some good things every week, but need to put some things together.
(on avoiding three-and-outs)
Last week that is something we didn’t do good, we had a few three-and-outs, but we scored points. Tonight we were able to avoid the three-and-outs, but we weren’t able to put the ball in the end zone. So we have to find a way to put those together.
(on the missed opportunity to put the ball in the end zone)
We shot ourselves in the foot. We had a few opportunities to score points, but we just didn’t.
(on feeling ready to start the regular season)
I’m excited, it’s a great football team. We have a good week of work ahead. We are going to have to continue to improve this next week, but it’s a good opportunity for us.
(on missing Kenny Britt for one game)
He is such a special player, anytime you can have him on the field it’s a benefit to our football team, for sure.
TITANS RB JAMIE HARPER
(on what he felt the team is looking at with him)
All I need is the opportunity. Playing running back, the running back is always pretty-much the playmaker. They are always wanting the ball in their hands. Once they get the ball in their hands, they try to showcase their skill set is. With me just being able with my size, and my speed, and being elusive, I just get out there and try to show everything.
(on making it through the final cut tomorrow)
You can’t really say comfortable, but you never know what’s going to happen so we’re just going to say our prayers up, and hope for the best.
TITANS DE KEYUNTA DAWSON
(on Titans defensive effort)
Yeah, we played together, played hard. Had a lot of big plays and got stuff done. We got interceptions, fumble recoveries, sacks, everything, so it was a great game for the defense. We tried to end the preseason on a good note. For a lot of guys, it might be their last opportunity to show what they have, and you try to put on a good show for your NFL resume, so we just went out there and tried to do our best.
(on making an impression by getting two sacks)
I really don’t know what’s in store for me in the future, so I just tried to go out there and I didn’t try to put any extra pressure on myself. I just said I’m gonna play my game and try to do my best. You know the Saints do a lot of things like chipping and stuff, so it’s kind of hard. You kind of have to be inventive and try to do different things, to try and get in there at the quarterback. But towards the end of the game we started getting the rhythm of the game, and it started opening up for us and we started having fun.
TITANS LB TIM SHAW
(on the Titans defense having fun tonight)
We had fun. When you are making plays on defense, when you’re hitting people, when you’re flying around, it’s fun.
(on how Titans defense finished out the preseason)
I think we finished out great. I think some guys went out there and really put some good effort on tape and put some good plays on tape. And that’s what it’s about for guys getting the opportunity to make some plays. Defense as a whole, I think we’ve had a great preseason. We really have a lot of things to work on still, which some people might question, but there’s always that reason to get better. So that’s what we’re going to strive to do moving forward.
TITANS CB ALTERRAUN VERNER
(on Titans’ defensive effort tonight against the Saints)
We’re going to work hard and try to make plays out there. And that’s what we did today. We got some interceptions out there from Tommie (Campbell) and
(on looking ahead to the first Titans’ regular season game)
We’re all looking forward to that. We all know who we’ve got in the Patriots: AFC Champions, went to the Super Bowl last season. So it’s going to be a good barometer of where we’re at. So we can talk about this and that, and say, ‘Oh, we played good in the preseason.’ But now we have to come out and perform against Tom Brady and company. So we’re looking forward to it, and now we can build on what we’ve done in the preseason and hopefully translate it (to) the week one game.
SAINTS ASSISTANT HEAD COACH JOE VITT
Our thoughts and our prayers are with our neighbors back home. We have a 9:00 wake-up call tomorrow. We hope to be boarding on the plane by 10. We will take our team back to New Orleans. We are going to check the power out in our complex. We may have to set up in a hotel and do treatment in the meantime. We have given our players off Saturday and Sunday and we will convene Sunday night for a meeting.
The game—the guys played hard. I think it was a great lesson for our younger guys. You cannot turn the ball over in this league and expect to win. We loss a hard fought game, 10 – 6, but we lost the turnover takeaway battle. We allowed their offense to flip the field and get some scores. We were able to rest some of our key veterans in this game. We worked them out before this game. We had a good practice in Cincinnati one day and expect to go into the Redskins game about as healthy as we have been all year long.
(on playing the Titans’ one’s and two’s all game)
I think as we review the tape we are going to like the way a lot of people played. They played with a sense of purpose, they played with better technique. If you take a look defensively, except for the first quarter of the Jacksonville game we have gotten better all year long. I addition, Barrett Rudd has really helped us. I think he stepped in there and made some good plays tonight. Only because we were nicked up a little bit at linebacker, we had to play (Scott) Shanle, we had to play Will Herring a little bit more than maybe we would have liked. They got out fine. I thought our defensive line played well. Some younger guys stepped up and we will have to make some decisions in the secondary. We have got this weekend to do it and we will make those decisions.
(on how hard it’s going to be to step away after this game)
I just told the guys this has been my honor and my pleasure and it really has been. The greats of this game like Paul Brown stepped away and the game went on. Don Shula stepped away and the game went on—George Halas. The only person that is dreading this more than anybody is my wife.
(on a couple of younger players getting injured)
As far as we know right now, (Travaris) Cadet got the wind knocked out of him. We’re evaluating our guys. It’d be kind of tough to speak on those guys. We’ll give an update when we can.
(on the depth at the running back and receiver positions)
Listen, we’ll evaluate our roster. I don’t think you could ever have enough running backs in this league. You know, you kind of like to stockpile a little bit and that’s been our philosophy around here. We’ve got good wide receivers but we’ve got some guys vying for a job. As you take a look at the fourth, fifth, and potentially sixth wide receiver, what’s going to be their contribution on special teams and what they can bring to the table. All that goes into the evaluation process.
(on trading for better players)
As people reduce their rosters, we’ll look at other people’s rosters and we’ll do whatever we have to do to upgrade our roster like we’ve always done.
(on the state of the union of the team looking back at the preseason)
I think we’ve got the people evaluated and hopefully we’ll evaluate them properly, what we needed to see. Our young people got a lot of play time. I think our defense, I’ve said this before in the first quarter of the Jacksonville game has gotten better every single week. I think everybody saw last week, the first half of that first team offense what our offense can be. I think our coverage units really improved tonight and listen, we really like our kicking game. And again, we’ve got a chance to go into the Redskins game as healthy as we’ve ever been going into an opener; as healthy as we’ve been all year long. This football team, we make a field goal at the end of the New England game, we make a drive right here, we have a couple calls go against us in Jacksonville, these guys will run the table. So I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the way they went through the OTAs. I’m proud of the way they’ve gone through training camp. I’m proud of the way they’ve stuck together. Hey listen, we got this placed again this week. Not one man was late for a meeting. Everybody came together here and got the work done that had to get done. We were able to practice in Cincinnati and get some Redskin work in. I’m proud of them. I really am proud of them.
SAINTS QB DREW BREES
(on if he is happy the preseason is over and that the team can focus on the regular season)
It’s good—it feels good. Obviously, we’ve had five preseason games; we played in the Hall of Fame game, so we’ve had one extra. We reported to camp early. I guess in spite of everything that’s been going on it was probably nice that we were able to come to camp early and hunker down and just focus on football. For a lot of us we just want to get back on the field as quickly as possible. I’ve really watched the team come together over the last six weeks—through some pretty interesting circumstances, especially as of late and having to be displaced due to Hurricane Isaac. Obviously, the fact that it’s still on going, and not sure when a lot of us are going to be able to get back there and settle into our homes and routines. Obviously, there are a lot of people down there that are in some pretty tough situations, so our heart goes out to all those people and we’re thinking a lot about them right now.
(on assistant head coach Joe Vitt getting emotional talking about having to leave the team after this weekend)
It’s tough on so many levels. He’s a football coach, and more so than that he’s a teacher, he’s a mentor and this is what he loves doing. He has such a strong impact on all of us, so it’s hard on all of us. You try to tell yourself it’s only six weeks, but for him it’s going to feel like an eternity. I can only imagine what it’s going to feel like to (Saints head coach) Sean Peyton as well. We’re definitely going to miss him, but I also feel like the lessons that he has taught us, certainly since I’ve been with him over the past six years, you just look at this six week window of time during training camp that we’re going to carry with us. We’re a better team than we were six weeks ago due in large because of him and his leadership, and we’re going to be a better team in six weeks when he comes back because of everything he has instilled in us, and through the leadership of (offensive line coach/running game coordinator) Aaron Kromer and our entire coaching staff and the character of this team. We can’t wait to have him back, and we have to make sure we do right by him during that time.
SAINTS QB SEAN CANFIELD
(on getting the start at quarterback and playing the entire game)
I felt good. It is always great going into a game and knowing that you are going to play the whole time and not having to sit out a few quarters and go into a situation. I felt good in the first half. It is those turnovers in the second half that ultimately was the difference in the game.
(on if he expects to be on the active roster this season)
You never know how it goes. It is out of your control. I just came in to this game thankful for getting the start. It is a big opportunity for me and I just tried to make the most of it. Obviously, we didn’t win, but did some good things and like I said, it was those turnovers. You can’t expect to win if you do that.
(on the performance of the young tight ends)
[Michael] Higgins is a guy that came in last year and he was activated for a while. He gained a lot of weight – good weight. He played in that playoff game last year for us and did some good stuff in the running game blocking. Derek Schouman is a guy who came and worked out and has only showed positive things. He played well tonight and I found him a few times.
(on running back Travaris Cadet)
He can run the ball. I think he is more powerful than you might give him credit for. Obviously, with what he does on third down and in the passing game, he is a playmaker and he can hurt the defense.
SAINTS LB SCOTT SHANLE
(on the preseason as a whole and the mindset heading into week one)
I think you have to give a lot of credit to Coach [Sean] Payton and the foundation that he laid here. The guys that have been here since the beginning of Coach Payton, we all understand the expectations. We all understand what each day is like and the intensity it takes during the week. As far as that goes I think it was good. The foundation was laid and veteran leaders have taken the role that Coach Payton left. Coach [Joe] Vitt has done a great job throughout the preseason. Obviously, now that will change, but I just think with the team’s character we will continue to roll with whoever is standing on that sideline.
(on having veteran leaders that can step up and lead)
I think when you are going through something like this, it gives you an advantage over most teams that would have to go through something like this. Obviously, we have Drew [Brees] on offense and other faces that have been here since 2006. It really helps. We understand what the expectations are and winning a Super Bowl, we understand what it takes to do that. It is going to take more responsibility on our part to show everyone else what it takes to do that.