NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 24: Karl Klug #97 of the Tennessee Titans sacks quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during play at LP Field on December 24, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans won 23-17. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Click through the jump to see what some of the players had to say about today's win (Courtesy Titans Online).
QB MATT HASSELBECK
(on the playcalling to start the game)
I saw it for the first time last night or really yesterday morning. We saw what the plan was to start the game. We have 190 or 195 plays in the game plan but you never really know what you are going to focus on. Chris (Palmer) presented in the morning and we met with Munch (Mike Munchak) and he kind of told us how we would like to play the game in the meetings with the quarterbacks and we were pretty excited about it. I think it was great. It was a lot off fun, and Jared Cook played well, our receivers played well. The stress of playing a game the way we played it today really goes to the offensive line and having to protect and stuff like that. It wasn’t perfect, we could have been a lot better, we got a little sloppy and had some misfortune but it was exciting. I’m happy for Jared, I’m happy for our receivers and I’m really happy for our team.
(on the energy amongst the players today)
I think it helped for sure but even in pregame it was a little different. I don’t know who was in charge of the pregame music, I think it was the coaches but there was some good music being played and I think guys were feeling it. It wasn’t just that, I think it was Will Witherspoon spoke to the team last night, Nate (Washington) spoke to the offense today and it was just some of that stuff and sense of urgency and the opportunity that we had and more guys just listening and talking and cheering each other on really and that’s just the bottom line. I feel the guys on offense were into that game when the defense was out there cheering them on and getting the sacks. Every time (Karl) Klug gets a sack everyone goes nuts. He has been just a huge plus for us. To see guys step up and play well is encouraging and we were talking in the huddle. We just had that energy back a little better than we has last week.
(on the state of the offense)
Well we have made great strides with Kenny (Britt) out. It was unfortunate because he was supposed to be a big part of our offense this year. Guys have stepped up and the best years that they have ever had and whether it’s Damian (Williams) or Hawk or even (Jared) Cook those guys have really stepped up. Now Nate (
(on the Jaguars defensive game plan)
We really didn’t expect them to disguise as much as they did. They did a nice job disguising with their injury situation. I didn’t think that’s what they were going to be about but they did and they got us a couple of times. On the touchdown they were showing a single-high man coverage, clear as day. It was one of the better disguisings that I have ever seen and they tried to roll of out it. Sometimes when you disguise that’s the challenge because their safeties were running wide. They got wide and 51, the linebacker, is a really good player but you can’t run with Cookie (Jared Cook) like that. It was a close play, it was a play of inches on that but Jared came down with the play and it was a huge score. I think it was a one-play drive, which we will take those.
(on still being alive in the playoff chase)
Well we talked about that last week. We talked about after the
RUNNING BACK CHRIS JOHNSON
(on the offense opening up the passing game and limiting his number of carries)
It is whatever the offensive coordinator calls. I play for them so I just run whatever.
(on still being alive in the playoff race with one week remaining)
Of course it feels good. That is everybody’s goal to go to the playoffs and hopefully make it to the Super Bowl. So, to still be alive and still have another game that we need to go and win, it feels good.
(on getting out of bounds on his 13-yard carry on the final drive to keep the clock running)
It is something that we practice every week – situations and stuff like that. We practice those types of things every week. It is just about being smart on game day.
(on the difficulty of making himself stay in bounds on that particular play)
When you know what goal is at stake and when you know you are trying to make it to the playoffs and things like that, it’s not a hard decision.
(on the play call on his 13-yard carry on the final drive)
It was just really the power play. They usually don’t let me run that play. They usually let (Javon) Ringer or Jamie (Harper) run that play. But it was kind of like the same play that I busted on the New York Giants. They all came down and left the outside open.
(on the hit in the second half that briefly knocked him out of the game)
I think he got me on my chest a little bit. I wasn’t looking. It was kind of like a crack back hit. It was blind side really. I didn’t see him. I just lost my wind.
(on if he felt the hit was a clean play)
It definitely wasn’t a clean play. I wasn’t looking, so it wasn’t a clean play.
(on if the ankle injury limited him at all)
It really didn’t limit me at all. It was just a situation where I never really got a chance to get in my groove or anything like that. Kind of had a lot of the passing game today, so kind of was going with what worked.
(on when he knew he would be able to play today)
I actually didn’t know until today once I got here and got a little treatment. I went out before the game and ran a little bit.
TIGHT END JARED COOK
(on having big day today after last week’s fumble)
It was awesome. I just wanted to kind of prove to the players what I could really be. Coach (Chris) Palmer kind of gave me the opportunity to do that today. He kind of mixed it up, came out gunning, so it worked in our benefit.
(on expecting a lot of balls today)
I kind of expected the ball to be moved around a lot. I didn’t expect to have so much, but we still moved the ball around a lot, everybody kind of got involved. We got Nate (
(on the difference in his play within the last two weeks)
Yeah, I went through a little drought with the Bills game, Saints game, I think, where I had no catches, but you just got to keep rolling with the punches. There are going to be roller coasters in seasons, you just got to roll with it. Sometimes the offense expects to do great things, but sometimes we don’t. You’ve just got to keep riding the roller coaster.
(on feeling healthy)
Yeah, I feel good. I mean, I have no problems. I have no complaints.
(on the Jaguars’ secondary down three to four starters and how much that factored into the game plan)
We talked about it a lot. Their whole defense lost a lot of guys and put them on the IR (injured reserve), so we felt like we could take advantage of that. I think that’s why he kind of mixed it up a little bit this week and it just worked in our benefit.
(on whether the passing game carried the team with Chris Johnson’s injury)
Not necessarily, because we kind of looked at the first 15 script and saw there was a little change up from the normal and we kind of got excited. So, kudos to Coach Palmer for kind of doing that and catching the defense off guard.
(on whether there was more passing in the first 15 plays)
Yes, obviously, a lot more, just the whole game.
(on being open most of the day)
Yeah, for the most part, but I think everybody was kind of open. I think once you get everybody involved in the passing game you open up so many options and I see a lot of great teams do that. So, I think a lot of guys were open, like Damian (Williams) in the corner of the end zone, that should’ve been a touchdown. Damian up the sidelines, that should’ve been a catch for a touchdown. We just had a lot of opportunities open up for us today.
(on how important it is to get out to an early lead)
It’s very important. We’ve kind of struggled with that all year. It’s been kind of tough for us to get first half points all year, but to come out and put a stamp on the offense and put a stamp on the game is big. I mean, you have to do that in the first half to stick around the game.