Titans-Patriots Postgame Quotes

190817-vrabel

HEAD COACH MIKE VRABEL

(on if he really wants quarterback Marcus Mariota flipping into the end zone)

Nope. I said great job and, you know, that's what he's going to have to do, he's going to have to make great decisions out there. We can't take the aggressiveness away from him, we'll just have to be smart. He knows where the goal line is, and he knows what he has to do, so we have to be able to do those types of things, but again, just be smart.

(on if he likes how the team was able to shake off the first two drives)

Absolutely. I think that was good to see, that's how it goes sometimes. Things aren't going your way, you've got to regroup, figure out which plays you don't like and where the mistakes are and be able to go out and convert third downs and make some plays and start getting some momentum.

(on how he liked the work from tight end Delanie Walker)

It's always good to see him. He put a couple days in this week and wanted to play. He was very adamant about playing and getting out here tonight, so that's always good to be able to see some conversions and then the touchdown.

(on if the vertical attack tonight was by design)

We always have to be able to stretch the field and make plays down the field. The most important thing is hitting them, is being able to complete them and convert them. If they're sitting on us, then we have to be able to work the ball down field. 

(on defensive lineman DaQuan Jones and defensive end Matt Dickerson)

They've taken the coaching, they've put a lot of work themselves in the weight room. They were recognized by the strength staff as guys that did a really great job. They started to take the technique and see it, translate that onto the field. All of that time they put in, everything that Terrell (Williams) is teaching them and Matt Pees. I try to work a little bit with that group, but they've taken those techniques and they've transferred them into the game and I think they've started to see some success and hopefully they can continue that.

(on if he saw enough from wide receiver A.J. Brown to evaluate him)

I don't think he caught a ball. We'll keep working him in there and get the opportunity, but that was good just to see him continue that return to play and get him in the game and get him through the process of warming up and figuring out where his locker is in the stadium and all of those things we haven't done. 

(on if running back Jeremy McNichols has done a good job of convincing him to keep an extra running back)

I don't think we're quite there yet. We just try to evaluate every player and see where they can fit and help us and take a look at them on special teams. It's important that you have running backs and tight ends that can contribute in some form or fashion on special teams, so we'll take a look and see what he did with the special teams when we watch the tape.

(on if practicing with the Patriots for two days helped the Patriots figure out their plays)

When you practice with a team for two days maybe they recognize that we let them go in a rush or whatever it may be. There were some plays we hit and some that we didn't. I think that maybe you have a chance to see what they look like in practice. Pretty much the stuff we ran in practice was the stuff we ran in the game. 

(on Isaiah Mack coming along and what he saw from him tonight)

Yeah, he got a sack and a nice tackle on the quarterback. We'll evaluate the tape and see how he played the run game and make sure that pretty much all phases of his game are continuing to develop and improve.

(on Amani Bledsoe starting immediately and what he did to warrant that)

Again, we try to move guys around and evaluate them. Amani's (Bledsoe) a guy that can play defensive line, can play… a few snaps at outside linebacker. Based on the game situation, he was available and he played a little bit of outside and a little bit in, too.

(on how beneficial the last week was practicing against New England)

Oh, it's great. To have a team come in here that's a proven winner, a proven organization, how they operate, how they do things. For us to be able to compete against them for two days and then play a game against them is always going to be beneficial.

(on the opportunity to make his first past interference challenge and the process behind it)

No, it was pretty quick. I mean, I don't know what review they had. We didn't have one last week and probably could have had one today. We've got to start challenging them, whether I agree with them or you agree with them, it's based on how one guy in New York sees it. We'll just keep figuring it out and we'll keep watching the tape and try to educate everybody, me included, and the players on what that process is.

(on the completions to Corey Davis during the touchdown drive and seeing more from him)

Sure. Completion, completed passes down the field, absolutely.

(on the sack on Marcus Mariota and the team being rusty)

We expected it and they threw blocks. We expected that. It's something we need to take care of. We'll just figure out what it was, talk to him and watch the tape. We expect that'd be taken care of.

(on Marcus Mariota pushing the ball down the field, getting the pass interference and if he wants more of that)

Yeah, we have to know when the pocket's there and trust it and be able to step up and deliver the football. But then there's going to be times where it's not and Marcus (Mariota) has to be the athletic quarterback that he is and trust that when he gets out of there, that he can still make a play down the field and he doesn't have to be for a play scramble. Those play extensions are hard to cover down the field.

(on A.J. Brown turning his route up field as a positive since he hasn't played with Marcus Mariota much)

Yeah, to be able to convert and understand where everybody needs to be on the, you know, the quarterback scramble when he's moving to you and what we want you to do and when he's moving away from you, how you get in your vision, all those types of things that we try to teach the receivers.

(on Taywan Taylor stepping forward)

I mean, he keeps competing and keeps showing up. I think we all just need to be a little more consistent and that goes for me and Tay (Taywan Taylor) and I would say everybody on the team or on the coaching staff. It's just finding more ways to be consistent.

QUARTERBACK MARCUS MARIOTA

(on the message from the coaching staff after the two-point conversion)

Nothing really to be honest with you. I was getting more grief probably from my teammates. Obviously, I was just trying to make a play, being instinctive. I didn't really think much about it. 

(on what his teammates said about the two-point conversion)

They told me not to do it again. But yeah, I mean, again, it's just in the moment. I just kind of played instinctively and just tried to go get the two points. 

(on how he felt about the game tonight)

It wasn't real good to start off. I thought we put together a nice drive at the end, but we've got to come out better.

(on how it was to have tight end Delanie Walker back on the field)

It's nice seeing 82 out there. Again, it's a privilege to play with somebody like that. We've been together now for five years, and that guy continues to make plays game in and game out. He's just fun to play with, and he makes my job easy.

(on his completion to wide receiver Corey Davis with the pocket breaking down)

I just continually go through my progressions. I believe in our guys. I trust these guys to get open, and for me, if I can buy a little time to help the guys create that extra separation, that will be huge for us.

(on the importance of chunk plays)

Any time you get the opportunity to go and make some of these plays, they're huge. They're huge momentum boosts. They're huge change of fields, and for instance, like you said, it gives us an opportunity to score. You can't just dink and dunk and, you know, two yards and a cloud of dust every time. If you can get some of these big plays, it will help you score more points.

(on the play of wide receiver A.J. Brown)

A young guy that can come in and help us out. I told him on the sideline, I've got to throw a better ball and give him a chance to go make a play. Day in and day out, just watching him work, the time and effort he's put in to know what to do to come out here and to play fast, I think he's going to help us out, and we've just to continue to help him build. 

(on A.J. Brown's route when he was under pressure)

Yeah, absolutely. Go score a touchdown, I love that mentality. I'm sure he made a bunch of those plays in college, and I've just got to give him a chance.

(on what he likes about what the team has done in the preseason and what the next step is)

I don't put any credit on some of what we've done. I just think it's a process, we're looking to get better as an entire offense. If we can improve just here and there, we're going to be able to give our team a chance to score points, and hopefully score points.

(on who had a better goal line flip between him and running back Jeremy McNichols)

Jeremy's for sure. He almost landed it, which would have been sweet too.

(on if getting hit for the first time in a while gave him confidence)

Well, I think it just kind of knocked some of the cobwebs out. Some of us haven't gotten hit in a few months, really, six, seven months, so it was nice. It was nice to kind of get back into that feel of the game. I just kind of play the game, I don't think much about it.

(on what the team got out of the two days of work with the Patriots)

I think it was really beneficial for us. The opportunity, again, to work against an organization, you're talking about the Super Bowl champs, so anytime you get that opportunity and to see where you stack up, and continue to just build off what you're doing, I think it's huge, and I think it's nice to get a change of pace in camp. You're so used to playing each other, and to have another team come in was a nice opportunity.

(on if he had a chance to talk to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady)

Just a little bit. It was more chit chat than anything else.

(on if he should have made a different play on the two-point conversion)

No. I wouldn't have changed anything I would have done there.

WIDE RECEIVER COREY DAVIS

(on the state of the offense)

It felt good, it felt real good to be out there with the guys running plays, catching a few balls. We moved the ball down the field, but unfortunately we got the loss.

(on quarterback Marcus Mariota's dive into the endzone)

It scared me a little bit. All I saw were legs in the air. He made it happen, got us the two-point conversion.

(on what the team will take away joint practices against the Patriots)

We'll take a lot away, to go out there and be able to practice with them and then come out here and play with them. Obviously, they're a great team, no matter who's out there. They have a great coach, and it's good to come out here and compete with a team that good. We've got things to clean up and a lot to learn.

QUARTERBACK RYAN TANNEHILL

(on getting acclimated to the offense)

I'm getting more comfortable by the day. The more time I'm in it, the better I feel, obviously. I'm getting a good grasp on it, I'm getting the nuances. Now it's just about executing those details to a level we expect. 

(on Marcus Mariota's flip into the end zone)

I asked him what the heck he was doing. It's a preseason game, let's not break our neck going into the endzone. He's a competitor. He goes out and competes. He said, 'Its two points,' so that kind of shows you the sort of competitor he is. I have a ton of respect for Marcus, but I'd like to see him not break his neck in preseason game two.

(on a quarterback competition with Marcus Mariota)

I don't think that's an option at this point. I'm just going out and competing against the defense that's out there each and every play, and execute the calls best I can. The relationship grows each and every day. We spend a lot of time together, whether it's at practice, or in the meeting room. I really enjoy working with Marcus. Obviously, the role is different, last week going out and not starting the game. I hadn't done that since preseason of my rookie year.

(on national media's discussion of Marcus Mariota and himself)

I didn't know it was a story. I don't really listen to the media, sorry guys.

CORNERBACK LOGAN RYAN

(on picking off Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer on a crossing route)

I saw it a bunch this week. I didn't get the opportunity since they didn't throw it. I told someone yesterday if they run it on me, I'm going to pick it off. 

(on the test of facing the Patriots this week)

It's a great test. We have a lot of confidence in our room. We went against the best challenge in No. 12 over there, and he tested us. We had some good days and some good plays, and he had some good plays. Everything was tough and contested, which is how you want it going against the best. I think it made us better.

(what the team has left to work on before the regular season)

Keep improving, day in and day out. We're a game-plan team, so we have Pittsburgh next, and I'm assuming we'll play the starters a little more next week to prepare for those guys. They have a great quarterback as well. You just have to take it one week at a time and one day at a time.

RUNNING BACK JEREMY McNICHOLS

(on what he thought on his scoring play)

I was just trying to get in the end zone any way possible. I thought jumping was the best way.

(on the scoring play typifying his play in camp and the preseason)

I mean doing whatever I need to do in order to help the team win. I mean going over the top on that play wasn't the safest but I think that was the best way to get in (the end zone).

(on if team was developing consistency)

I think so, we've got to keep going. Go back on Monday and practice with my teammates and watch the film. Obviously, I probably can get better on a lot of plays, but I mean that's just the game of football, just keep getting better.

(on being ready when his number is called)

You try to be ready whatever happens, got to be ready no matter what.

(on playing in Nissan Stadium for first time)

It was fun, actually. Just to be around the fans for the first time, it was fun.

(on describing touchdown play)

I didn't think I can run him over, so I thought I could jump over him. I mean like I said, that is not always the best thing a running back can do, but I got in there.

TIGHT END DELANIE WALKER

(on scoring reception from Marcus Mariota)

It made my job easy. Marcus always puts it in the right place. It made it easy for me to make the catch.

(on if this year's preseason is different)

Of course, missing a whole season, it just felt good getting out there to compete and hit some other guys live and have them tackle me. I didn't get tackled but it felt good just to be out there and get that old feeling back.

(on if he had anything going through his mind in pregame)

I think that is all of us, you know. We are a little nervous until that first play starts. We started off with a running play and that went away pretty fast. I never doubted it, the coaches gave me enough time to recover and when I did practice, I went a 100 percent and it felt good. I knew coming into the game I was going to be a little juiced up and it went well.

(on hearing crowd after first reception)

I heard them, that's why I just kind of stood there. I heard them and the reaction was great. I love hearing that from the fans. I am glad they support me and have my back. That goes a long way.

(on where this ranked as far as preseason games)

It's big, like I said earlier just missing a whole year, just being able to play again especially off the injury. Everyone doubted me, I am not saying y'all, but a lot of people, analysts that said I wouldn't be able to come back, I wouldn't be strong, so it felt good. It showed them they were wrong.

LINEBACKER DAREN BATES

(on progress of Titans' defense through two preseason games)

Personally, and as a team, I feel we are going to get better. This is preseason, only the second week, so we have time left in training camp to keep getting better individually and as a team. So, I think that's what we need to keep striving for at this point, each day and each week to get better and better. We have to keep on growing. Like I've said, we are not going to stop growing anytime soon, so we keep getting better for the first week.

(on if it's difficult to play at maximum speed during a preseason game )

Me personally, I am one hundred miles per hour every time. I feel anytime you are between the lines, and it's a game, or even practice, you have to go 110% percent, and give it all the effort you can, because it is a game. It's football. You have to love it. You are out there because you love it, you want to do it, and so you want to play to your best and help your team win. Whether it is preseason or regular season, you always want to win.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER SHARIF FINCH

(on playing the Patriots after having practiced with them this week)

It was different. I mean, it was definitely different going against different guys. Just a little different. Obviously, we've been going against ourselves all camp, so I like getting another team in there, and getting another look from a different team, and seeing how they do things differently than we do them. Just growing pains and having to adjust to the things that they are showing us, that we probably haven't seen from our offense. It definitely was good.

(on playing the Steelers next week and preparing for the regular season)

Every game is important in getting this experience and this opportunity to get our thing going, to get our offense and our defense going, executing against other teams. It's going to be important to carry this momentum of preseason games forward going into the regular season

(on being in his second year with the same staff and same defensive schemes)

I would say the game has slowed down for me a lot. Just having the opportunity to be in the same system for the second year, there is no amaze happening. It's more so, like, the little nuances of the defense, and things like technique. So, I get to focus more on that more so than trying to learn the playbook like a rookie. So yes, the game has slowed down a lot for me in year two, and I feel like I have improved.

SAFETY KEVIN BYARD

(on how the defense has improved from last week to this week)

I think I feel real good after two hard days of some good practice, good competitive practice with the defending Super Bowl champions. It was good for our first team defense, as we only played two drives tonight. But, we were able to go out there with a strong outing. It was great, and like I said, we didn't see too much action, but the action where we did play I feel we made a strong showing.

(on playing in preseason games)

You really can't get caught up in preseason, and that you are not going to play that much. I just think that you have to take advantage of every opportunity, because it's a blessing to be able to wake up in the morning and play the sport you love. You have to take it serious, no matter how many reps you get, whether it's ten or a hundred reps. A lot of people do not get the opportunity to play this game, so I just try to take everything for what it is. Like I said, if I'm out there, I'm going to try to go my hardest.

(on assessing the defense overall as a unit)

I feel we have a lot of depth out there. That's one thing, I'm super excited is to watch the younger guys when they are out there competing, playing very hard, and I'm very excited for the older guys as well from where we were last year, being the second year of the Dean Pees' defense. I think we know a lot and we are a lot further ahead, so that's definitely a good sign to me. We are able to run a lot of packages and different things, so I'm excited about this next preseason game where we play a lot longer

PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

(opening statement)

It was good to see our guys compete out there today. I thought we really gave a solid 60-minute effort in all three phases of the game. Obviously, the Titans are a good team, and they're tough, physical team. It was a good challenge for us – a good matchup for us. It was a great week. We can learn from the week, learn from the game, just try to keep getting better here and grind it out until next week.

(on the joint practices in Tennessee leading up to tonight's game)

Like I said, we had a lot of good work, a lot of guys that practiced a lot – didn't play tonight. Guys that didn't practice as much, and played a lot tonight, so I think we had a really good evaluation of everybody. I thought that we competed well. We showed good toughness and resiliency. That's a good football team. 

(on the rookie class)

They've worked hard, they've tried hard, they've got a long way to go. They're working at it and I respect that. They've improved and that's a good thing.

(on running back Damien Harris' running style)

He's been a tough player throughout his career, in college. That was our first look at it, a real live run, and I thought he ran hard.

(on if expected to get a roster exemption for wide receiver Josh Gordon after being reinstated)

I am not going to comment at all on that.

(on the Patriots' performance tonight)

I thought we competed well tonight in all three phases of the game. Obviously, we made a lot of mistakes. It wasn't perfect. We competed, we kept working, and that was good.

(on quarterback Jarrett Stidham's downfield passes)

I think (Jarrett) Stidham has a good arm. I think he throws the ball accurately. I think he has shown that all the way through from Baylor, to Auburn, to his pro day, and his spring workouts, so I do really think that has been the issue.

(on running back Brandon Bolden)

He's a great teammate, has a lot of leadership, and can play all four downs and play well on all four downs. It's hard to find guys like that, especially with his kind of experience and leadership and versatility. It great to have him.

(on defensive lineman Chase Winovich's performance)

Chase (Winovich) knows how to play. He plays hard, very good in pursuit. You see it in the kicking, you see it on defense. He's a good motor.   

PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER DONTRELLE INMAN

(on what he thought the team was able to accomplish tonight)

I'll have to take a look at the film. It was a good win, a good team win in all three phases. We just have to take a look at the film and figure out how we can get better.

(on his impression of quarterback Jarrett Stidham and how he performed)

He performed well. He's a young kid and has a lot to learn, but he's picking up things well in this league.

(on the week as a whole and joint practices with the Titans)

Every joint practice is rough. You're talking about going against the same guys for two days straight, and then playing them in the game. It was good that we were able to come out tonight and get the win.

(on getting back to Foxborough after being on the road the first two weeks of preseason)

I'm so ready to get back to my own bed. Can't wait.

PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DEATRICH WISE JR.

(on how productive he thought this week was with the Titans)

It's another opportunity for us to get better, while going against another team and seeing some different looks. Our goal is to just get better every day.

(on how he thought the defense played)

Once we watch film we can evaluate more, but I feel like we took a step today in the right direction.

(on the importance of each rep during joint practices)

It's a lot of help, because we are seeing different looks and different opponents instead of going against our own teammates every day. We are learning as we go.

(on having a quick turnaround for the next game and if the experience will help on short weeks come the regular season)

It will definitely get us ready for the season, and especially those Thursday games. It helps us get ready for those quick turnarounds, and what we need to do to get our bodies right and get back on the field to perform well.

PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK JARRETT STIDHAM

(on bouncing back following the safety on his first drive)

You know, I thought we did a good job bouncing back. I mean, obviously, we don't want to put ourselves in that situation, getting a safety right there. But, I thought our guys did a really good job of bouncing back and trying to really come out in the second half and play some good football.

(on if he has been feeling more comfortable on the field)

Yeah, absolutely. Again, just the more I'm around these guys in the meeting room with Josh (McDaniels), and Mick (Lombardi), and Tom (Brady), and Brian (Hoyer), just learning as much as I can. You know, we have a bunch of really good players on this team, so that makes my job a lot easier. Just getting the ball to those guys, and those guys up front did a great job, so I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and just continue to grow.

(on when he knows he should run the football)

I don't know. I'm just trying to make whatever play I can to help the drive and help the team win. That's really all I care about, is just helping the team in whatever way I can.

(on the intensity level practicing with the Titans this week)

It was just like last week, a great week of practice for us. High intensity, so I thought we got a lot out of it. I know I learned a lot, but yeah, it was a lot of fun this week.

(on where he has improved the most over the last two weeks)

I think the biggest thing for me is just, you know, getting in practice and getting in reps, and that sort of thing, and going through the plays. But, in a game, in a live situation, it is a little bit different. You know, again, just trying to learn as much as I can from week to week, and progress as much as I can.

(on a couple of passes that were nearly intercepted)

Yeah, I mean I got pretty lucky there a couple times. You know, I trust my guys to go and make those plays, and sure enough they did. Don't need to put the ball in too much danger so I've got to work on that, but overall I thought we did a good job.

(on the play of Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers)

He's a heck of a player. He's been fun to get to know and to play with, and, you know, we're rookies together so it's been fun to grow together.

(on Patriots defensive lineman Chase Winovich)

He's a great dude and has a motor like no other. He's a heck of a player.

PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN CHASE WINOVICH

(on building on his success during training camp)

Yeah, I'm just taking it one step at a time. Honestly, today was a day like any other. Ever since high school, my grandma's been promising me that if I played hard and didn't get hurt she would give me five dollars and a chocolate bar. So, today was just another day where I went out there and said, 'You know what, I got to play hard. I need that five dollars and I need that candy.' I joke, but at the end of the day I know that I have a lot of support and a lot of people that believe in me, and I feel like I represent the whole Pittsburgh area in a sense, and there's a lot of pride that comes with it. But, last week, it all goes back to my teammates and the hard work that we put in.

(on adjusting to new techniques on the NFL level)

I think that's a loaded question in a sense, because pointing at specific things naturally is going to exclude stuff. Fortunately, I love you guys and we don't have all night, so I can't say every reason why it's going well, but same thing as before. I deflect any success that I have, goes back to my teammates, either helping me make the calls and adjustments, or in practice going against each other, and my coaches just day in and day out staying on top of me so that my technique is perfect. Because, hopefully, if I continue playing well and playing smart football, then I'll have more opportunities ahead and that's the goal.

(on his habit of tirelessly pursuing every play)

It's weird. I really don't know why I'm built like that. It might be a gift and a curse sometimes when it's extremely hot and they're trying to run the ball away, and I see the guy. In my head, there's a little part of me that's like, 'You know what, you're probably not going to make this play, maybe you should save it for the next one when it comes to you.' But, you'll see me just sprinting and trying and trying to hit somebody or hit something.

(on making an impact on special teams)

I've always gotten my start on special teams. I got it my freshman year of high school, I got it my sophomore year of college, you know, I assume here will be no different. I'll probably get the majority of my early reps on special teams, and they're crucial. Every rep I get, every time you're out there is an opportunity to learn and to get better and improve. So, we're going to go back and look at the tape from the bottom, make the corrections and get better.

(on the feedback he was getting from the sideline after third down stops)

It's usually never too positive. It's more, 'What I can do better,' which is the way it's got to be. It's just what great coaches do. We go over the plays. There's so much critiques and specifics that I don't know if I can really get into details. You have to ask Coach (Bill) Belichick for that.

PATRIOTS RUNNING BACK DAMIEN HARRIS

(on how it felt to get live game action)

It felt good to be out there competing with the team. It was a lot of fun. Obviously, we were able to get a win and play together as a team, so it was a lot of fun.

(on getting stronger running the football as the game goes on)

I think our objective as a team is just to get better during the course of a game. That's what we try to do.

(on being involved in the passing game)

It was just part of the game plan. That's what happened.

(on if he was anxious to get game action after not getting many touches last week)

Not necessarily, I just looked at it as my first opportunity to play with this team. That's what I was excited about. Last week was in the past, and it wasn't anything that I was necessarily focused on this week. Just being able to go out there this week and play with these guys, it was my first opportunity to play with this team and it was really exciting.

(on his 20-yard run in the first half that set up the Patriots first touchdown)

There was just a hole. The offensive line did a great job, the receivers did a great job blocking. It was a well-blocked play, and there was just a big hole and all I had to do was run through it. I didn't really have to do much. A lot of credit to those guys, they are the ones that made that play happen. That's kind of how it went.

(on the running back group as a whole and the competitiveness in the group)

We are really close, all of those guys have done everything they can to help me and Nick (Brossette) transition. It is a lot different than college. I wouldn't say that there is a lot of competitiveness, I would say that we all just try to be our best because we all push each other. That is just how we see it. There is not really any competition and no selfishness, it's just a brotherhood and I'm thankful to be a part of it.

(on learning from the veteran running backs on how to be effective in the passing game)

I have learned a lot, not just from those guys, but from the coaches, players, vets. I just try to learn as much as I can. Everyday when I walk in the building I try to be a sponge, and I try to get as much information as possible to help me to become the best player that I can be for this team.

PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK BRIAN HOYER

(on the team bouncing back after the early interception)

I threw it a little bit behind Braxton (Berrios). Logan (Ryan) did a good job undercutting it. The next drive we came out and got a good rhythm going, and completed some passes and stayed on track. I think that keeps you in a rhythm, and we went down and punched it in and finished with a good two-point conversion.

(on wide receiver Jakobi Meyers)

He has just done a great job. Even going back to OTAs I remember him making some big plays, and you are kind of looking like, 'All right, this kid is making some plays.' He has just continued to build on that and build on that. He has worked really hard. It is paying off for him.

(on the play of the offensive line)

They are doing a great job. We had a long week (against the Titans), they are blocking them all week during practice, and they are definitely a physical front. We kind of knew coming in that this was going to be a physical front, and (the offensive line) stepped up to the challenge.

(on running back Damien Harris)

He's done a good job. Obviously, he is still learning. At any position in this offense it takes a lot of hard work, it takes a lot of studying, it takes a lot of putting the time in. I think all of those guys – you could name all of those rookies – have done a good job of putting the time in and really asking good questions. He has great guys to learn from ahead of him and all of those guys. They are all coming along, and they are all putting in the work. It's all about getting better and grinding through it and getting better one day at a time.

PATRIOTS DB JOEJUAN WILLIAMS

(on being put on an island in coverage at times)

I just try to get better play by play. At the end of the day there's a learning curve for me. I'm a rookie. At the end of the day I just want to compete. If they put me on an island, I'm happy to be on an island. I'm just trying to work to be a great player.

(on being back in Nashville)

I loved it. Spent some quality time with my family and wife and everything was pretty good. I'm just glad to see my family. They were out here supporting me. It was very nice to come back. It was very cool to be here at the Titans facility – something that I grew up and looked up to. I supported the Titans since I was a kid. At the end of the day it was surreal to be back here and be in this locker room and be on this field and just play against them. It was pretty dope.

(on how many people were here supporting him)

A lot. I heard family from left and the right. I would go on one side of the field and I would hear 'Joejuan.' Then I'd go on the other side of the field and I'd hear 'Joejuan.' You just try to box it out, but at the end of the day I'm glad that they came and supported me. It was definitely dope. Growing up here – elementary, middle, high school, college – and coming back here and playing it was just surreal. I was definitely thankful for the support.

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