HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN (On today's game overall) "I'm very proud of our team. They beat a very good football team today. Any way we can win, we'll take it. Even though it got a little dramatic there today, we're very pleased with the victory. I think our team showed a lot today; we have several key guys out. For Tennessee to go out there and score with their backup quarterback and overcome the third-and-long situations that they were in is a credit to them. [Quarterback] Jeff Garcia was superb in the last minute of the game, and a credit to [kicker] Matt Bryant for a clutch kick."
(On TE Alex Smith's injury) "We're giving him x-rays and until we get the results, we won't know. It is an ankle [injury]. We won't know the extent of it until we know the results."
(On this team's resilience after so many injuries have been sustained this season) "Sometimes it's been hard to swallow, the last couple days, [with the injuries to running backs] Cadillac Williams, Michael Pittman,
Luke Pettigout, [cornerback] Brian Kelly, and some other guys. [Middle linebacker] Barrett Ruud and [wide receiver] Ike Hilliard – two guys who weren't feeling too good today – stepped up and made plays. We have some pro football players in this locker room giving it everything they have. You see it and our fans see it. We've got some young guys that are learning some valuable lessons from some great veteran football players. That's exciting [but] we've got a long way to go. That was a huge win for us today."
(On QB Jeff Garcia) "We knew it was going to be very difficult to run the football. Forget about our injuries and whatnot. We knew it was going to be a very hard day at the office to run the football. Obviously we tried to put Jeff in some situations where he could make some plays for us, and he did. He did. [Left offensive tackle] Donald Penn held his own, he had
Vanden Bosch. He is a great player. But Jeff Garcia never gets rattled. All he needs is one more shot and if you give him one more shot, he's capable of going in and that's what he did today. It's a credit to Jeff and what he's brought to our football team. I can't even tell you how valuable he is." (On WR Ike Hilliard's smart thinking to go out of bounds on the final play before the team attempted its game-winning field goal) "Well, it goes back to training camp. We answered all those questions of 'What is Ike Hilliard going to do?' He's a heck of a football player. He understands the game. He's a complete football player from the neck up. People tend to forget sometimes that he was a first-round draft choice. He's got a lot of talent and he's been very productive for a long time. I know Jeff feels very comfortable with him and Ike Hilliard is a specialist in those kind of situations. That's one of the reasons why we throw to him."
(On getting past Tennessee's defense) "There are a lot of teams that come into a game with the understanding of 'we're going to have to throw the ball and protect to win this football game.' Let's be realistic. The Tennessee Titans are a football team that has more blitzes in their package. I don't care what anybody tells me –
Kyle] Vanden Bosch and Albert Haynesworth are two of the best in football at stopping the run. They're tremendous. I don't know if I've ever seen a defensive end make more tackles than Vanden Bosch. But yeah, I have seen teams take an alternate route, and we did that today."
QB JEFF GARCIA (On the key ingredients needed to win today's game) "You've got to check time, not give up, and find a way to persevere. On a third-and-10 situation, it's not an easy situation against a good football team like Tennessee has. But [it was about] finding a way to create time in the pocket and [wide receiver] Ike Hilliard doing a great job in getting to an open spot and giving him a chance to make a play, and then everybody being on the same page when we followed that play up with the next set of plays, and just doing a great job protection-wise up front, giving me time to see the field and move around, and receivers just working with me – staying alive, staying available, knowing that I'll buy time, I'll create time for them to continue to work, and Joey making a great clutch catch, Ike making another catch and getting out of bounds, and giving ourselves the chance to put [kicker] Matt Bryant in position to kick a winner."
(On running the two-minute drill) "In a game like today where things didn't come easy, you have to scratch and claw your way for every yard that you were able to gain – you just never know what you're going to get in those type of situations. We felt like we would obviously see zone coverages, pretty much like they were playing all game long against us. I really try to put the pressure on the defense in that type of situation. We were tied up so the main thing for me was not to force a throw or make a poor decision [so I could] give them a chance to create a turnover. The first two incompletions didn't take any time off the clock, so that was a critical third down because we would have punted and given them time to work with the clock. I really just try to stay within myself, to understand what we have going on as an offense, to understand what they're going to be doing defensively, and to allow guys to work and give them an opportunity to make plays. And that's what happened."
(On the final third down play to Ike Hilliard) "He was really the third receiver on the progression in that sort of situation. I was working the two receiver side with Joey [Galloway] and Michael Clayton, and with just my vision and what I was seeing, I didn't feel like it was real positive over there. And Ike was working basically over the ball between 10 and 15 yards so I knew I had him as a potential outlet if I was able to create a little space, buy a little time, and allow him to work around the linebackers and that's basically what happened."
(On field awareness and if it's something than can actually be taught) "Well when I was young my dad put me out in the pasture to avoid the steers…[laughs]. I played this game a long time. I don't really know how that sensory comes into place, but I think that just through experience, and knowledge, and understanding, and awareness, it's really a feel that I feel fortunate to have. I can't say there's a way you can necessarily prepare for it. I think there are probably times when I'm a little bit too quick and that's something I continue to work on. But more so than anything else, it's just a feel. It's something that I've developed over the years of playing the game. There's a natural clock ticking in my head at all times, and just understanding what we're trying to do and what our route concepts are and protection schemes and then just trying to make plays."
(On playing the Titans' defense) "They're a tough defense. We knew that coming in that they were going to be styled against the run game – they proved that obviously. They have a really solid front-four, good active linebackers, they play zone schemes, they mix up their coverages quite a bit, they really keep you off guard, [and] they bring blitzes at certain times that create difficult situations for us offensively. I knew it was going to be one of those games where it was going to be a hard-hitting game. I knew there were going to be times where I was going to take some shots. I feel like the offensive line, for the most part, did the best job that they could possibly do against a very good front-four. [They] kept [the Titans defense] away from me long enough [for me] to be able to get the ball out of my hands. I know there were times when I threw the ball to receivers that took some good shots, and I take a lot of pride in the sense of not running my guys into big hits, but that's just the way they play defensively. They do a great job of reacting to the football, of staying in their zones, of understanding what offenses are trying to do, and that's something they do week in and week out. It wasn't a surprise to us today. So it was just one of those games where we had to continue to fight and find a way. I don't like putting our defense in the position that they were in so much today – it's two weeks back-to-back where offensively we just really didn't do a good job of sustaining drives and moving the football, but that's something that we're going to have to work on. Against good defenses like this, we have to find ways to create a running game. We need to find ways to have a critical balance in order for our offense to be that much more effective."
DB DERRICK BROOKS (On if the defense changed its plans once Titans' quarterback Vince Young left the game and Kerry Collins came in) "No, they run the same plays. Kerry has always been in the league with me so I've always respected his arm. At the same time, our defensive line got a little bit more confidence because they know he will stay in [the pocket] a lot longer than Vince Young. But they still ran the same plays. Kerry, with his experience, was able to hit some open passes, but they still ran their same offense."
(On the playmaking ability of QB Jeff Garcia, particularly on the final drive) "That's a winner, and that's what a winner does. They find a way to win. It doesn't matter at the end of the day what you did and didn't do – you find a way to win and get the 'W' and that's all that matters."
(On what he said to the offense as they took the field on that final drive) "I said 'hey guys, go make a play. We have the best field-goal kicker in the league. Give him a chance.' And that's what our offense did."
(On the resilience of this team) "You can't worry about the name on the back of the jersey. At the end of the day, they wear Buccaneer colors. We were taught that lesson last week in Indianapolis – it doesn't matter who's in. As long as they're wearing the same colors, they've got to step up and perform. We continue to see that every week from our team."
(On if he sensed any deja vu from last week with the defense today not being able to get off the field and the offense unable to make plays) "We knew they had a great defensive football team and our job was to outperform their defense, period. So it didn't matter to us with our offense – we knew if we gave them enough shots, they'd break [through] and that's what they did."
(On making some stops on third down, and then allowing yardage on others) "I keep addressing it. We can't complain about it, we just have to keep working on it and getting it better."
KICKER MATT BRYANT (On his game-winning field goal) "My job is to go out there and make a kick at any given time. I just wanted to come out there and do my job."
(On QB Jeff Garcia) "He's a veteran. He's been in these spots before and he was able to get us down into field goal range and get a win. It was a great job overall by everybody. It took everybody to beat a team like that, and we got the job done. I was go out there and just like practice – I just go out there, [get] a good snap, a good hold, a good kick, good protection down the line. Obviously it took the offense to get us down in that position to make the kick. [As a kicker] you're expected to make that and you just have to go out there and do it."
CB RONDE BARBER (On today's win from the defense's perspective) We were on the field really longer than we ever wanted to be today, but yeah, we found a way to sneak out a victory. We got that one big play from the offense that really helped us. [Wide receiver] Ike [Hilliard] continues to dominate late in games and [kicker] Matt [Bryant] is as clutch as they come. So it was a well-faught victory against a really good football team."
(On what WR Ike Hilliard brings to this football team) "Ike's been doing it a long time. Me and Ike came in the same year. He's a professional. That's why he's able to make as many plays he makes. You tip your hat to a guy that's stuck around this long and he's really found it in himself in his eleventh year."
(On if he thinks people realize what Hilliard does for the team) "We appreciate him, and that's all that matters. Ike is a heck of a teammate, man. You know you can count on him. He'll win games for you, especially in the fourth quarter."
(On being denied the interception record twice today) "I'm telling you … (laughs). I don't know if [record holder] Donnie [Abraham] is praying to the gods or something. No, I'm just kidding. I know Donnie wants me to get it eventually and I've got a few more weeks. It's pretty rare that I get the ball in my hands three times and not come down with any of it, but it will come. Life's a bitch, man. Keep it moving (laughs)." DE GAINES ADAMS (On his first NFL sack) "It's a great feeling. It doesn't matter how you get a sack. As long as you come up with the sack. Unfortunately the guys got an inside push and [quarterback Vince Young] came under my side. I was confused a little bit about the running back, but I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time."
(On the defense having to be on the field for such a long time this last few weeks) "That never crosses our minds. We're a team and there is nothing that's going to change that. Offense, defense – none of that. When we go out on the field, we're one. We're a unit. To us, the [offense] is doing a great job. They got us a win today. Obviously they're doing a good job and they just need to keep doing what they're doing."
DT JOVAN HAYE
(On the Titans' tying drive) "They just made plays. They made some real good plays." (On the winning drive) "Our offense ran the two-minute to perfection. We know we had a minute plus, so we just had to get the ball down and put it in position for [kicker] Matt Bryant to win the game and they did a great job."
(On the confidence of the team right now) "It's real high. Real high – 4-2 sounds a lot better than 3-3. But we know how good we are, we know how good we can be, we know we still have a lot of things to work on, but we'll enjoy the win today."
(On being able to control QB Vince Young) "It was very crucial. We know what type of player Vince Young is, if he gets loose. We think for the most part we did a good job of containing him. That's what we wanted to do all week. We didn't want him to beat us with his legs."
CB PHILLIP BUCHANON (On his interception) "It definitely feels good to get a pick for the team, to help the team. When I look back, it was a flashing play. I was on the run a little bit and I saw [Titans quarterback] Vince [Young] drop back, and I saw him throw it. I tried to make an adjustment on the ball, and when I turned back over, I saw it and I caught the ball."
(On if he felt that he was in bounds when he caught the ball) "Personally, I felt like I had it. That's why I didn't alter the way I caught the ball. I felt like it was in, but I guess the [camera] angles were showing that it was kind of close."
(On the defensive effort) "We just talk about hitting, covering and playing hard. We were actually kind of sluggish a little bit to start the game off. Hopefully we could start fast, a little better and make some progress for next week. We have to think about Detroit."
WR IKE HILLIARD (On his catch and run on the final drive of the game) "It's a credit to [quarterback] Jeff [Garcia]. He had the opportunity to find me because the offensive line gave him enough time. I was just trying to make a play. I got a couple of great blocks. I don't remember who it was, it was just a flash of color. I just wanted to preserve the time out that we did have in case we needed it, and I was fortunate enough to get out of bounds."
(On being 3-0 at home) "You want to protect home field first and foremost. I think we just have to continue to work and build. We lost a tough game last week, and we wanted to come out knowing that it was not going to be pretty and complete the way we wanted, but just get a solid win at home and continue to try and get better, and that's what we did."
(On QB Jeff Garcia) "I've been watching Jeff for years. He's an ageless wonder. He's been playing a ton of football all his life. I'm not amazed at all. It's what we expect."
(On the two-minute drill at the end of the game) "I don't think it was our first real two minute drill. I think it's one of those areas we've been pretty efficient in all – whether it's at the end of the half or the end of the game because you're trying to get yourself in a position to win. Like I said, it's something we've been pretty good at. We have a good quarterback that can control the situation. I'm just fortunate enough to make the plays when we needed to make them."
WR JOEY GALLOWAY (On the victory) "It feels pretty good to get a win, at home, versus a tough team. We knew it was going to be tough. We knew they were a pretty talented team, and they gave us every bit of everything we wanted today."
(On WR Ike Hilliard's play on the final drive of the game) "I was running downfield, so by the time I turned around, Ike had the ball. He has a knack for making those kind of plays. That's his specialty, and today he came up big for us."
(On the final drive of the game) "We felt pretty good coming onto the field. That's our first time this season that we had to have a two-minute drive at the end of the game to go down and win one. It's good that things worked out, that guys did their job. We always expect Jeff to lead the offense and he did that today, and we got close enough for a field goal."
(On what Jeff Garcia brought to the team) "He's been a great leader. I think you can tell that about Jeff. The minute you meet him, the minute you have a chance to get in the huddle with Jeff, you can tell he's a great leader. He does that every single day in practice and definitely on gameday."
(On his touchdown reception) "I'm the first read of the route. It's a play down the middle of the field. The safeties are what we're hunting there. If we can beat the safeties and we throw [the ball] pretty well, he [Jeff] made a nice throw and we got in the endzone."
(On the confidence level of the team) "We feel good that we won today. We will go and correct our mistakes tomorrow and get ready for Detroit." RB EARNEST GRAHAM (On a surprise pitch from Garcia) "That could have changed the game but luckily I held onto it. We had a late snap there, and I took off and he still pitched it. My eyes got big. Luckily, I was able to make the catch."
(On the fake of CB Nick Harper in the first quarter) "I've been doing that for a while. I don't know if people know I have that in me. I was happy about that play."
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