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Titans-Vikings Postgame Quotes

Posted Aug 28, 2014

HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT

(on if team accomplished getting through game without injuries)

Yes, we did. We got a chance to look at some of the guys that are fighting for jobs, so it was a longer evaluation of them. That’s what is important.

(on if he thought he knew what he had in limited playing time of regulars)

Yeah, I think that if they did go at all they only would have gone one series and I just wanted to make sure that I got a good evaluation. We had targeted a number of guys that we really needed to see at different positions that are fighting for jobs. So, I just felt like that was the best way to go.

(on how he felt Zach Mettenberger performed)

It was tough conditions early, you know. We let some guys get through that hit him, but I think he still made some good throws. There is no question that he has improved over the course of the preseason, just in managing the huddle, managing the line of scrimmage. We are able to do a lot of different things with him. I wish we would have a little more success on that that two-minute drive because he has done well with those. He hit Taylor (Thompson) for a nice play. Then we were moving the ball and then had the turnover, but I have been please with his development.

(on meeting with General Manager Ruston Webster quickly on roster decisions

Yeah, we will meet tonight, we will meet in the morning. You know there are some we will be able to move on, maybe some we hold back depending on situations. Some of it will be, we got the evaluate this to be fair.

(on the kicking game)

Yeah, you know we had planned on the rotation but we had a bad snap on that first kick and it was a bobbled one. I didn’t think that was fair, so if it was (Maikon) Bonani’s turn to kick, I wanted it to be fair with the idea maybe we would get another chance to kick with (Travis) Coons. I actually tried to throw a long one there on that last play hoping maybe we could get it down in there and try a field goal to give him an opportunity. But, we just didn’t do enough offensively to do that.

(on Daimion Stafford’s play)

I think Daimion has been one of those guys who’s played well through camp and in some of the preseason games, so we wanted to try and get him a lot of snaps to prepare him for the season.

(on if Karl Klug was making a statement with his play)

Yeah, he did. I would say he has done a nice job the whole preseason. That’s the effort you look for from a guy like that.

(on Tommie Campbell’s penalty as a player who has been in the league)

You know that’s part of the game. He’s an emotional player and I think we got the message across if you are going to be competing, if you are going to play, you can’t have one of those of penalties. What was it, first-and-22 and we are going to give them a first down. We just can’t do that.

(on if he has seen enough in the preseason where he believes his team is ready for start of season)

Well, you know, it’s tough because we had two halves essentially wash out because of weather here so we lost a part of our evaluation. You know, you guys have been out there. We have had an awful lot of snaps, a lot of competitive snaps. We feel like that we made a lot of progress. I think it is going to be an interesting next step against Kansas City, live game action, but with a chance to game plan them. I feel good about our football team.

QB ZACH METTENBERGER

(on starting tonight’s game)

It was a great opportunity to get out there and get some reps. It’s unfortunate how the game kind of played out. I would’ve liked to string some more drives together, get some points on the board. Overall, we did some good things offensively. Just weren’t able to be consistent and keep the drive going.

(on his progress during his first training camp)

Did good things. Did some bad things. It’s just a learning process, growing process in this league. I’m definitely going to continue to work hard and learn everything I can, put myself in a position to make the most of this opportunity here in Tennessee.

(on if he thinks he can play in the NFL)

If you can play, you can play. I think this preseason showed that. Obviously, I didn’t get a ton of reps against first-string defenses. But when I did, I did some good things. Overall, I think I did it okay this camp. There’s still a lot of things that I’ve got to continue to work on.

RB BISHOP SANKEY

(on tonight’s game)

I think it was a good ending. Obviously, we wanted to execute more consistently and finish some of those drives that we started. Can’t complain with how it ended, just looking forward to going on to the regular season.

(on his overall evaluation of training camp)

I think there’s some good things I did, some bad things. I’ve just got to look at the tape and try to improve.

(on his improvement during the summer)

I think I’ve grown as a player. I really just matured as a football player. Coach Croom has been on us each and every day, trying to hone in on the details and what it takes to be a good back at this level. I think I’ve improved steadily.

(on correcting his fumbles from earlier in the preseason)

I got that squared away at practice, mostly with my tracks and everything. I feel good about it.

SS  DAIMION STAFFORD

(on his overall assessment of the preseason)

It’s looking good.  We have to keep working, and we’ll just see what happens and how it goes in the regular season.  I feel it’s had its ups and downs.  I’ve still got things I need to work on to keep getting better, and that’s what I’m going to do every day.  I don’t look at it as a preseason or a regular season.  When I’m out there, I’ve got to play.  I’m not a starter, and that’s the main goal, so every game is a regular season game to me.

WR  JUSTIN HUNTER

(on making several catches tonight)

Yeah, they are throwing it my way, and my first thought is I’ve got to make that play for them.  So whenever the ball is in my vicinity, I’ve got to go get it.  The coach is depending on me, and the offense is depending on me, no matter what it is, a preseason or a regular season game, they are counting on me, so I have to go out there and do my job.  My coach (wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson) said he wanted me to play and get a little more work, so I said yes and stepped up to the challenge.

(on if this could be a special year for him)

I always want to think like that.  I have a good coach, and a good coaching staff, and a good offense.  The ball is going to be moved around, and the plays are going to be out there so I’ve got to make them.  It’s going to be a long season, so I’ve got to have a positive mindset.  It’s going to help.

DT  JURRELL CASEY

(on not holding out of camp and preseason waiting on his contract to be signed)

I think a lot of guys on my defense respect me for that.  A lot of players and a lot of coaches respect me for the way I handled myself.  At the end of the day, I’ve always told everyone, that’s not my style.  I like to play football and that’s what I’ve come to do.  The money will come if you work hard. 

(on tonight’s final preseason game)

It wasn’t necessarily what we were looking for.  We kind of started slow on defense.  We couldn’t get things going offensively, even though I thought overall, we did pretty well this preseason. 

(on goals as the regular season gets underway next week)

Me personally, my biggest thing is going out there starting fast.  I want to make sure I get off to a good start, with two or three sacks right out of the get-go… If I can get that done, I’m setting myself up for a great season.

VIKING’S HEAD COACH MIKE ZIMMER

(on the performance of the Vikings)

We finished up the preseason tonight and I was proud of how our team has come together through these OTAs and mini camp the way that they’ve worked to become a good football team.  We’re excited about getting a new season going here.  I’m especially proud of Christian Ponder because I know there’s been a lot of fans and a lot of people that have really been negative towards him and the guy’s been nothing but be a first class guy, works hard every single day and went on to perform well tonight.

(on going undefeated in the preseason)

I feel more than the record in the preseason, I feel good about the way we’ve performed. We’ve taken care of the football, we’ve not made a lot of mistakes, we haven’t been a big penalty team. We seem to be doing the right things. It’s always nice to win, especially when you start a new program. To me it’s how are we playing, what kind of football are we playing, and hopefully that will pay us off.

(on Teddy Bridgewater’s performance)

I thought Teddy played well. He was very efficient, he got out of one sack, missed the one throw late on third down, but other than that he was like Teddy always is, he does everything right and he’s getting better each week.

(on the tough weather conditions early in the game)

It was real important because we had an opportunity to practice in the rain one day and we didn’t go inside, we stayed outside to practice, and tonight it was coming down there pretty good. We’re going to have to play in a lot of bad weather conditions probably this year before it’s all said and done, and it’s important for us to not only get in more of those situations, but understand that we have to be a tough minded football team and take care of the football like we did and continue to make plays regardless of the weather.

(on whether Joe Banyard’s performance tonight was enough to get him on the team)

Joe has played good this whole preseason, and he’s another guy that is a good kid, that works real hard and he is showing up a lot in this preseason. Him and Dominique [Williams] also have both done nice jobs. We’ll sit down tomorrow and talk about all of those things, but tonight I’m just proud of how this football team has accepted myself, the other coaches, the way we’ve changed the normal way, the way we’ve changed the meals, the way we’ve changed so many things, I’m just proud of the way these guys worked.

(on the battle at strong safety)

Yeah, that’s a good question, too. Unfortunately, some of the weather gave them a little bit of a hard time, but same deal, we’ll make that decision. We’ve got to again go back and evaluate all of this stuff tomorrow and get a real good look at it and kind of go from there. I know (Kurt) Coleman did some good things when he was in there. (Andrew) Sendejo did some good things when he was in there and (Robert) Blanton did some good things. We just have to figure out what’s the best fit for this football team, not only on defense, but on special teams.

(on Jasper Brinkley starting at middle linebacker)

Well, maybe, I don’t know yet. Jasper’s done a very nice job and I think Audie (Cole) played well tonight. We moved him back inside and played him at Mike (linebacker) in the second part of the ball game and he played well. So, again, I would probably say that Jasper’s got the lead, but I haven’t made any firm decision yet.

(on defense on the road)

We tried to bend but not break tonight. I don’t think we played particularly well in the running game. I thought there were too many open receivers and I think we missed too many tackles. That’s really not the style…even though we held them out of the end zone, that’s really not the style that I really want to see.

(on injuries)

The only other injury was (Justin) Trattoue - he had a shoulder. You’ve got the other ones. I don’t know how serious any of them are yet.

(on roster cuts)

Well, each situation is different, but it’s really hard here in this situation because every one of these guys had done everything we’ve asked them to do. Coming in as a new organization, part of the way we’ve done things have been such a change, so I have a fondness in my heart for all of these guys. They’ve listened to me complain and yell at them and every other thing and so…I think they’ve gotten better each week and this one is probably particularly hard. 

QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER

(on his drives)

I think they were pretty good. It’s always good to get points whenever you are out there. I felt like we did a great job of just communicating across the board.  The group of young guys finally got a chance to go out there and start a game and get that feeling of knowing what it feels like to start an NFL game. I think those first two drives were pretty good.

(on getting his first start)

It was a good feeling. It is another goal that I can cross off my list. At the same time, it was a preseason start. It was just a great feeling getting on the field, walking out of the locker room knowing that your number is called right away. It was a great feeling.

(on each game being a new step for him as a professional)

That is the way I like to look at it. Each day, each opportunity is a new step. Like I said, it was a dream come true to finally start an NFL game. At the same time I know that I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but today was just another step toward the ultimate goals.

(on the weather)

It was pretty nerve-racking because you can’t do some things in the passing game, but that is why we have an offensive line and the running backs that we have here. When we can’t throw the ball as much as we would like to, guys are going to step up and when their number is called just make big plays.

DE COREY WOOTTON

(on going undefeated in the preseason )

I think the biggest thing in preseason is you want to win games.  Everyone says preseason doesn’t matter but the biggest thing you have to do is go out there, try to get better each week and review your game plan.  I thought we did a pretty job in the preseason and we have to carry that into the regular season and take it one week at a time.

(on it meaning more for a new coach to go undefeated in the preseason)

I think the biggest thing is every coach wants to win all the games in the preseason just to set a standard on how it is going to be and a winning attitude with a winning team.

(on how you are adjusting to a new team)

I thought I did some good things but there is room for a lot of improvement.  

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