Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt had a press conference today, and here are some of the highlights.
All quotes are from ESPN beat writer Paul Kuharsky (although I had to fill in some of the grammar where he was limited by 140 characters):
On the interception and fumble from Marcus Mariota:
"Bishop saw one thing and sat down, would like for Marcus to have better feel. The fumble not his fault, a Falcon defender's hand hit the ball when Marcus fumbled as he looked to third read."
I agree with this, Mariota should have just eaten the play or run the ball on the screen. That being said, I think Sankey is the one who saw the wrong thing on that play. He should have continued running to get behind his screen man (Taylor Lewan) instead of stopping where that guy could penetrate.
On Mariota's big bounce back after the rough start:
"It was third-and-12, you have to hold the ball so he dropped seven steps. Marcus was patient, got the target line set and made nice throw."
This is an understatement. For a rookie to be under that kind of pressure and to complete such a pretty pass is a rare thing. If you don't have faith in a quarterback you don't let him throw the ball in that situation, you call a draw even in preseason. Instead of being afraid of hurting his confidence even more with an incompletion (something he didn't have all game) he had the guts to call this. Great move.
On rookie backups Jeremiah Poutasi, David Cobb and Dorial Green-Beckham:
"Poutasi was pushed back a couple times because of sets, but he did some good things."
"Cobb will get work with the first team offense in preseason, he deserves it. He had to get in shape first."
"Ken Whisenhunt allows for possibility of bell cow, but says that the Tennessee Titans can't play a guy all of a 15-play drive"
"DGB has a long way to go as far as being ready to be an NFL WR, but you can't deny his talent."
I think Poutasi did a good job controlling his man in the running game, and it is what cleared out the right side of the line on some big runs by Antonio Andrews and David Cobb. Speaking of which, Cobb looked good and I expect Sankey to be on the edge of being pushed to the third running back, maybe lower.
Finally, that was a great adjustment and catch by the rookie. Is he rusty? Sure. However, I think he looked better than Justin Hunter last night and you could argue that he could/should push for starting time soon.
On who stood out:
"The TEs did a nice job and made plays in the passing game and blocked. However they were guilty of a few missed IDs. The RB, OLBs and young D-line also good."
Obviously notably absent from that was his quarterback group, but I think that was understood. Mariota and Zach Mettenberger both had very nice nights.
On Brian Schwenke:
"Schwenke did OK. Tripped over Warmack's foot on the sack. Quick, athletic center can get out of position a bit."
No way you can agree with this. Schwenke and Levitre are two sides of the same coin. Sure if the Tennessee Titans were running a run-heavy zone scheme they might be very good, but when they have to sit in the trenches and deal with physical tackles they get killed. I don't know why the Titans haven't made Evan Mathis a nice big deal at this point and just moved Levitre to center. Or better yet, move Fernando Velsco or Andy Gallik to starting center and cut/trade Andy Levitre.