Titans HC Mike Vrabel (9.8.19)

Head Coach Mike Vrabel:

On making adjustments after Cleveland’s opening drive:

“I think we settled down. There were some things, but give them credit [because Cleveland] did a nice job coming out. We settled down. Our offense was able to come back and put points on the board, which I thought was critical in that situation. We gave up a long drive and then the offense comes back and is able to answer. I thought the complementary football was evident all day with being able to turn turnovers into touchdowns. They scored and we came back and answered with a big play. [I am] proud of our football team.”


On keeping composure throughout the game:

“We talked all week. At the beginning of the week, the keys were to play with greater effort and greater finish. Play with better detail, technique, and fundamentals. Win the penalty battle, and win the turnover battle. You can see how that turned out.”


On the screen looking like it was drawn up:

“I would say [it was] pretty close. There are a lot of different defenses they could be in. We have to be able to be ready for it. They pressured us and (Titans QB) Marcus (Mariota) did a great job on the play, and it was well executed.”


On T/G Dennis Kelly dunking under the pass and G Rodger Saffold blocking, and the adjustments made:

“I think those are the details that we talk about. Marcus is just trying to get that ball off. There are guys coming and rushing, and he has to drift and give ground. I thought that was a very aware play by (T/G) Dennis (Kelly). We know the rules. You can block, but within one yard of the line of scrimmage. I thought (G) Rodger (Saffold), when the backer hugged, did a great job of blocking him.”


On OC Arthur Smith’s play calling:

“I think the guys really believed in the game that he was calling, and the plays that we had designed and tried to run and execute. For the most part, [we] executed them well. I thought he called a great game.”


On feeding off Cleveland’s frustration with penalties:

“We have to keep our composure. We know that you can’t kick players. You can’t throw punches. We practice that every day. They’ll let you push and shove, but that was certainly something in a game with a lot of emotion – which there is every week in the National Football League – that you’re able to play physical and through the whistle, but also keep your composure.”


On K Brett Kern’s punt that ultimately led to a safety:

“A 70-yarder that turned into two points. We are very appreciative of (K) Brett (Kern)’s effort and the special team’s effort. What (K) Cairo (Santos) was able to do on a short week. I tried to tell you I had a lot of confidence in what he was going to do from when I watched him practice.”


On getting three explosive plays today when there were not many last year:

“How many did we have last year? We’re not worried about last year. We are worried about moving on to Indianapolis.”


On OLB Cameron Wake’s performance:

“Sure. [He] went over 100 sacks [for his career]. (OLB) Cam (Cameron Wake) is a better person and teammate than he is a player, and we think he’s a really good player. That’s a big reason why he’s here.”


On getting TE Delanie Walker back and having him score two touchdowns:

“Those were well designed, well called, and well timed calls. DJ (WR Darius Jennings) did a great job of helping Delanie get that second one. He’s very reliable. I was happy to have him be a team captain for today and be a coach’s choice. There was a lot of work and effort he put in throughout the offseason to get himself back. It is great to have him back.”


On seeing opportunities for WR A.J. Brown:

“I think (WR) A.J. (Brown) is really starting to understand what we’re doing. The quarterbacks have begun to trust him. On his long pass, (WR) Cory (Davis) comes back and very legally blocks his man. That’s what we’ve seen on tape – guys getting blindsided by blocks. Cory was able to come back and legally block him, which sprung him. Those things don’t get noticed, but the first guy I went to was Cory and told him that we saw everything that he did legally, and he helped his teammate gain a bunch of extra yards.”


On the offensive line, when two guys were missing from the starting lineup:

“We knew the strength of their defense was up front. They have really good players. I think that [the offensive line] battled, and they competed, and they finished.”


On who gets the game ball after today’s game:

“I think there are a lot of people involved that get game balls. In the locker room, I was able to give one to our owner, Amy Adams Strunk. She provides us with everything that we need to run a football team. She allows (General Manager) Jon (Robinson) and I to do our job. [There is] a brand new cafeteria that our players enjoy every day. This was a big win for her. (OC) Arthur Smith got one for the effort that he’s put into this team in the years that he’s been here. Also, his performance I thought was good today. And then (OLB) Cameron Wake. There will be a lot of other guys that, after watching the tape, we will recognize.”


On QB Marcus Mariota:

“I think he was composed. He got us into all the right plays. They were pressuring, and some of those things weren’t easy. It wasn’t perfect. He will tell you he missed some throws, but he competed. I think the scramble was critical. I think the quarterback being able to run the football in that situation and get us a first down was critical.”


On looking forward to the home opener:

“Absolutely. I think we are 16-4 in our last 20 home games and that’s something that we’re proud of. We have to come back. We got to get moving on; we have a tough division opponent. We have to put this one to bed pretty quick.”


On why OLB Cameron Wake gets a game ball:

“I think he had three sacks. He went over 100 for his career.”


On coming out of today’s game healthy:

“We will let you know tomorrow.”


On this game being an example of going from good to great in one game:

“Today it was. This is a long season. We don’t circle anybody on our schedule. We don’t red-letter anybody on the schedule. They’re all tough. We put everything that we could into this one, and we’ll move on and put everything that we have into Indy, and go from there.”