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Transcript - Postgame at Tennessee Titans


Sunday, October 20, 2019

*Compiled by Tennessee Titans Communications*


(on if he has ever seen an ending like tonight's before)

Maybe last year in London, but that's with the penalty and everything else. It's a great example of just playing the next play. Being ready to go, and there are a million decisions, they're challenging it. Do you want the ten second run off? If they were going to keep running it, I felt like we could keep stopping them. You're right. You have to be ready for these situations and the players were. They were ready. We got the calls in there. Give them a lot of credit. Give Philip (Rivers) and their offensive players a lot of credit. They were operating fast and put some pressure on us there. We weren't able to salt it out on offense, but the defensive players, the offensive players especially, they went out there and won it. Wood (Wesley Woodyard) made a huge play at the end, knocked the ball out. So everything we preach, whatever happened in the previous play or if you gave up a touchdown, there's nothing you can possibly do about that. The only thing that matters is the next play. That's everything we preach, and now it's great to get to be able to show it to them as an example. They're excited and they should be.

(on what went into his decision to go for it on fourth down)

I thought we could pick up two inches, but somehow, someway, we ended up losing yardage on that. If you can imagine that, whether we got it or not, I don't think we lost yardage.

(on if he thinks the spot in that instance would have been worth challenging)

They're tough. Again, when we're watching the replay, the only thing that matters is the ball and the knee. Those piles are tough. In our conversations with the people that review them, they've got to be able to see a lot to move the spot. The more bodies that are in there, the harder it is for them to move the spot.

(on why he didn't punt it that situation)

Why not punt? Did you watch the Indiana, Chargers game? The guy on the other side of that ball, that's why.

(on when he realized that the ball was out in the final Charger's play)

I think probably when Jurrell (Casey) was standing there with it. Again, it's critical. You have to have a couple different things happen there for you in replay. There's 22 bodies standing around, and you have to have clear and obvious visual evidence that the ball was indeed out. Then the other huge factor is that there has to be a clear recovery. By the grace of God, we had both of those in that play for it to be able to be overturned.

(on the two Chargers touchdowns that were taken off of the board)

It looked like we had stopped them, especially on the short run. I felt like we had a little surge there. But again, the players played great offensively, finished the first half with a huge drive, really brought some momentum and confidence into the halftime. It took us a little bit to get on track there in the second half. We ran the football, we threw it, we were efficient, got the ball tipped up in the air, and it was intercepted unfortunately.

(on quarterback Ryan Tannehill's performance)

I thought it was efficient. I think there are some operational things we are going to have to continue to clean up. Again, we scored enough points to win a game today.

(on if Tanehill provided the spark he was looking for)

I think everybody probably played better. I think they did, all positions. Give a lot of credit to Dennis Kelly, Jamil Douglas stepping in there and playing. That's where a majority of our yards were made, those two linemen in the game. Receivers went and attacked the football. It was great to see Tajaé (Sharpe) catch one there in the back on the end zone. He's practiced well. He helps us out in a bunch of different positions, so great to see that happen.

(on how Tannehill's decisiveness with the ball helped)

I think we blocked better, but we will watch the tape and see how getting the ball out. I think that even at the beginning of the game when you see the guy kind of trailing Jonnu (Smith) and him putting it on his back shoulder and saying just go make you a play, and Nu (Jonnu Smith) did, which was great to see get us off on a good start.

(on the NFL debut of rookie defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons today)

I felt him. I think there was some push. I think there was, I mean, it looked like a big dude that was going forward, was excited about playing football. It's a long journey for him. He's a great kid. He's a better person than he is a football player and we think he's going to be a great football player. This is the kind of guy you want to be around. I'm glad he's on our team.

(on yards after catch going well for the team today)

It was a huge key. It was a huge key to the game. Run first downs, and break, and make people miss tackles. Huge key.

(on quarterback Ryan Tannehill targeting and using receivers in key spots today)

I think just trying to execute the offense, and throw to the guy that's open. I mean, I don't think there was anything to it. I think that he made a great check to A.J. (Brown) there at the end on a huge third down, similar to what we had last week but got the OPI on it.

(on how much he hopes today's win provides a springboard for the team moving forward)

I think you do. I think you always hope that's the plan, that you can come back and get some rest, get some guys healthy. These are tough games. There's battles out there, and guys are banging around and playing hard, and doing what we're asking them to do as far as effort and finish. So, we've got to get turned around and do it again next week.

(on the players having resiliency)

That's everything we talk about. Again, you didn't execute a play, you made a mistake, you got beat, somebody blocked you, threw an interception, you fumbled. But, you can't do anything about that. You can't sit there and worry about that. You have to go and play the next play. It's the greatest example that you can probably think of, certainly since I've been here, I would imagine, of a guy just coming back and making another play to help his team just win the football game.

(on what he recalls Simmons did well on his two tackles for loss, in the run game, and on his sack)

You guys have got a lot better seat than I do. Again, it looked like he was trying to move the line of scrimmage. He was trying to create a new line of scrimmage. I mean, really that's about the only way a D-lineman's going to be able to do it. They don't really miss you or not block you most of the time. They're going to have to create a new line of scrimmage, and get off the block and shed tackles. I mean, we'll look at the film. It just looked like he was excited and I'm glad that he's able to start his career.

(on when he knew tight end Delanie Walker wouldn't be able to play and the performance of tight end Jonnu Smith filling in)

Injures are a part of this game, a huge part of any sport, and so trying to manage those and see where guys are and how they can contribute probably early on. Again, we'll reevaluate Delanie (Walker) and try to give him a chance to play and help us. That didn't work out quite as well as we'd hoped, but we've got three other guys that were able to step in there. We saw Firk (Anthony Firkser) come up with a catch or two, and Jonnu, and then (MyCole Pruitt) was trying to get in there and block his tail off.

(on if the fourth down play before the snap was an attempt to bait the Chargers)

Yeah, and get them to relax and little bit. Again we just didn't get the push, didn't get the spot. I don't know how we lost yardage. I asked him if we lost yardage and he didn't know what I was asking. I said, 'Well, we needed that much to start, and after the play was over we needed that much. If you think we lost yardage on that play, just answer 'Yes,' and he said he didn't know. A lot of people in there who were short.

(on punter Brett Kern coming through on the executed fake punt)

We just practice these things. We have a lot of confidence in those players. They do it through practice, helped us get three points, helped us get off on a good start. He does everything for us, man. He's a great punter, obviously. He holds. He's worked with a few kickers already this season. We have a lot of confidence in KB (Kevin Byard) and his athleticism to catch the football and go get us the first down in that situation.


(on how it felt to get the offense in a flow)

It felt good. Obviously, did some good things, you know. We moved the ball, put some points on the board. Had some drives that were close that we weren't able to finish and keep them going. Guys played extremely hard from the beginning of the game. I had time in the pocket, had the run game going good, Derrick (Henry) was running. So, I'm really proud of how the guys played.

(on why he called an audible on his completion to wide receiver A.J. Brown in the fourth quarter)

I just saw man coverage, and what we had on wasn't so great against man, so just made a check there and guys did a good job executing it. A.J. (Brown) got the ball in his hands and got the first down.

(on what he saw on his completion to wide receiver Corey Davis in the fourth quarter)

I knew they were playing man, playing weak robber there. They've been passing off those underneath routes all day. I knew it was going to be a tight window with outside leverage on Corey (Davis), so I just tried to hold the player as much as I could, and then came back and ripped it to him. He did a good job making the tough catch in tight quarters there, and then being able to keep his feet and get up the field for a big play. It was huge.

(on what he was thinking on the Chargers fumble that ultimately won them the game)

It was huge. It was a roller coaster there, you're trying to figure out how much time (was left). They scored twice, and then wiped them off twice, so you're kind of going through the emotions and figuring out what the plan is going to be, how much time we're going to have going back out there with how many timeouts, what we're going to do in a tough situation. The defense just kept playing. The second time that you see the ball come out and you end up getting it back, you see him reach it, and the ball kind of came out. I was kind of thinking, 'Oh, that was close,' and then sure enough the next play, defense comes up huge and makes a big play.

(on what changed from last week to this week for him)

Well, the offensive line did a great job. They did a great job last week as well, giving me plenty of time. But, tonight they just really dominated from the beginning of the game. I had a ton of confidence every time I dropped back that I was going to have time to make a throw, and it really never changed the whole game. They did a great job.

(on offensive linemen going down in the game)

Yeah, they were kind of the last men standing there, lost a couple of guys. Jamil (Douglas) and Dennis (Kelly) really stepped in and came up huge for us. We had a lot of confidence in them, they've played a lot of football already this year. But, they really came in and came up big for us.

(on if it feels like a fresh start to his career after winning)

I don't know, I'm not trying to step back at this point. I'm just trying to go win football games. We got off on the right foot here getting a win at home. Finally getting a win at home is huge, and we'll have another opportunity here at home next week. So, we'll have to build off of this, and be able to come back and play well next week.

(on how pleased he was with his decisiveness)

Yeah, coaches did good job of preparing me. I felt really confident coming in. Every play we kind of had a plan for it and what we were trying to accomplish when Art (Arthur Smith) made the call, and then guys did a good job executing. You see receivers getting open, the O-line blocking, and when that's happening, playing quarterback is a lot of fun, man. You get to sit back, and deliver the football, and let your guys make plays. So, I had a ton of fun today.

(on what quarterback Marcus Mariota's support was like during the game)

Marcus (Mariota) has been huge throughout this whole process. He was great all week just communicating throughout meetings, on the practice field. It's a tough situation, like I said. I feel for him, I empathize with him, but he's been a true professional throughout this whole process and was totally supportive on the sidelines today, talking through things with me and supporting me when I came off the field after touchdowns. So, I can't say enough about Marcus and how he's handling this as a professional. Guys still look to him on this team. He's been here a long time, he's a captain for us, so he's still a big factor on this team.

(on how much his early completion to tight end Jonnu Smith gave him a spark)

Yeah, it's a play we put in early in the week. Really didn't know if we were going to get the ball down the field on that. We kind of talked through the looks that we were going to get and where I expected to throw the ball. We were able to make it happen just like we talked about, so definitely a good thing for us to get going early.

(on his touchdown pass to wide receiver Tajaé Sharpe)

Yeah, he started in a double A look, more of a two-safety look. Then the safety came running down to the back in the flat right on the snap, so I knew at that point there was no one in the back of the end zone and we should have Tajaé (Sharpe) coming around the back. He did a great job of going up and getting it, and then getting his feet down.

(on if he went backwards on his quarterback sneak that was ruled a turnover on downs)

I don't think I went backwards. They did a good job. It was a tough look up front, but coaches were confident in that call. I kind of got initially stopped. I thought I turned, gave a little surge, and gained a little ground there, but that's not the way the refs saw it. I definitely have to give hats off to the defense, and just sticking with it and making a play at the end.

(on how much this game is a spark for the offense going forward)

Yeah, I think there's definitely some stuff we can build off of today. The run game got going a little bit, we spread the ball around, guys were making plays, getting the ball in their hands, watching them catch and run. When that starts happening, you start building momentum. We really need to look at what we did well today and build off of it for next week.

(on how much spreading the ball around affects the opposing defense and helps the Titans offense)

The more you can spread it around, I think the more success you're going to have. They can't lock in on one guy, try to take one guy away. We had guys all over the field making plays, and when you do that, you're a dangerous offense – whether it's in the run game, you've got your different guys back there, or in pass game where you're spreading it around, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs. They have to defend the whole field, defend everybody. So, the more we can do that, the more we'll be in good shape.

(on the key to unlocking what the offense is capable of)

We've been establishing good patterns since the spring of practicing – practice habits, standards of what we expect. Things haven't gone the way we wanted them to. We just haven't executed well in some games, so just kind of took a step back, stuck to who we are as an offense and wanted to come out and execute. I think we did that today.

(on the importance of quarterbacks being decisive)

Decisiveness is huge. If you can anticipate a little more, you know where you want to go, you've just got to see it clearly and make a quick decision. That's playing quarterback.

(on if his fourth quarter completion to tight end Anthony Firkser was meant for Firkser)

Yeah, I think you're talking about the naked, and then we had Jonnu (Smith) come around on the under, and then Firk (Anthony Firkser) running a little route to turn around there. Yeah, they were a little closer than expected them to be. I saw Jonnu open, and then flipped it out there to Firk, and he made a great play. The catch and run was huge.

(on if he intended for his fourth quarter completion to Anthony Firkser to go to Jonnu Smith)

Yeah, I looked at Jonnu (Smith), and flipped it out to Firk (Anthony Firkser)

(on why Anthony Firkser was in a place to make the completion in the fourth quarter)

Firk (Anthony Firkser) got held up because of the press coverage, so he was a little tighter than we expected. But yeah, guys just making plays.

(on the importance of the touchdown scored right before the end of the first half)

It was huge. We didn't touch the ball much in the first half, the Chargers did a good job of staying on the field. I think we had three possessions throughout that first half, so to be able to come away with seven points at the end of the half, get some momentum and be able to build on that going into the second half was huge for us.


(on getting yards after catch)

That starts up front, all I've got to say is everyone was doing their job … Hill (Ryan Tannehill) got into a rhythm and we just started making play after play.

(on how it made him feel being involved in key third-down plays)

That's the money down. I was told if you get third downs you can play in this league a long time. I was just trying to convert every time my number got called, just trying to make a play and I did.

(on what Ryan Tannehill was like in the huddle)

(laughing) Sometimes we've got to tell Tannehill to slow down with the plays … He just said the plays really, really fast, and we're like, 'Huh?' But he led us, he was being a generator in the huddle, and he had a lot of confidence, and we survived.

(on if it felt like there was a rhythm every series)

Other than like the first half, it was rhythm. Like I said, it contributed to everyone doing their job, doing what they were supposed to do and making something happen, making plays.

(on what the win does for the team's confidence)

I mean, it gives us confidence. That's a really good team over there. We found a way to get a win. Moving on to the next game, I feel like we can do anything regardless of what happed in the past. That stuff is over with, you have got to take one game at a time, focus on one game.


(on having big plays on third down)

I am real proud of that guy (Ryan Tannehill). He came out here, he operated great. He led the boys, he did a good job. It was a collective effort. I'm real proud of these guys.

(on if it felt different today)

It was a different aura about the guys. We felt confident. We felt like we were going to win. You kind of felt that energy around the locker room. It's never just one guy. I keep saying that. It was a collective effort. It was the offense as a whole unit, so we did a good job.

(on yards after reception on several plays)

It was great. Just trying to get it and do whatever I can.

(on what a win like today can do to jumpstart the team)

Turn the whole season around, I believe so. We've got the momentum. Offense, we've got the talent. We have just got to put it all together and stay consistent.

(on Ryan Tannehill stepping into the lineup)

He did a great job. He was poised. I felt like that gave the guys a lot of confidence having him come in there, especially after not playing all year. He did a great job, (had) a great operation delivering the ball on time. So I am proud of him.


(on how good it felt to come out with a win and the offense's contributions)

It was good, overall things can always be better, and so you've got to better along the offensive line every single week. Obviously, we cut the sacks down this week, but every week is a new challenge. So, we will enjoy this for a little bit and then time to move on and get ready for Tampa, so who has a bunch of guys that can rush the passer.

(on if it was different today with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback)

No, honestly as a group, we take it personally. It's not like we say, let's just play (expletive) today and we will be better next week. It's a hard game, we've got to get better. Everyone is coming along and doing well. Obviously, Dennis (Kelly) and Jamil (Douglas) are heroes of the game. They stay there all week and when their number was called, they were there for the boys.


(on today's win)

It was big. It got us back into the groove and in the middle of things. Now come back next week and get ready for another big week. Tampa is going to be ready to play. We have to be consistent moving forward. I think we can build off a performance like this. I think on the defensive side, we let them put up too many points and not what we were looking forward to. We wanted to keep them off the scoreboard. We didn't get that done today, but our offense showed up, and they showed out today. That's all we can ask for.

(on defense getting a lift seeing offense move the ball)

Man, it was a blessing. It makes the game that much easier for you. Your offense comes out and puts points on the board and we were kind of disappointed we let them put points on the board. We knew what kind of game this was going to be. We didn't want them to come out being hot. We (expletive) down our legs, we kind of did that today, let them score too many points. But is came down to that last play and we got it done.

(on Jeffrey Simmons' performance in his first game)

He did a hell of a job. That dude came out and played a hell of a game—one sack, four tackles. You can't ask for better that that.


(on his feeling when the last touchdown was overturned on the Chargers final drive)

I don't know how it happened, but I'm glad it did happen. As a defense, I know we could have played a better game. But at the same time, we answered at the end. That was the main thing. It's not about how you start, but how you finish. Each individual felt like however we do it, we had to stop them from scoring.

(on the importance of getting a win at home for the fans)

They deserved it. What better way to get them a win, in that manner, how it happened. Hope we don't have to be in anymore situations like that, but at the end of the day, a win is a win and we'll take it. I promise you, it was 80 percent crowd. Philip Rivers does all these changes, and it seems it was really, really rattling him to do stuff they don't normally do. That's just how it happened.

(on the performance of the offense today)

There are going to be some games where we are down and they are up, and games where they are down, and we are up. It's about a team collectively coming together and just getting a win. It's not about who is playing bad and who played good at a certain time, because it is a long season. There are going to be some more games like that. So, as a whole, we just have to keep playing and make sure at the end of the game that we come out with that W, and it was a win that we had to have. At the end of the day, I'm just glad that the defense stuck with each other. We didn't split off. We stayed together and made sure that they didn't get in the end zone. I feel like we got our confidence back. I feel like it was us, doing all the things we had said we were going to do, and changing some things. At the same time too, the offense being able to come into this game and playing a great game like they did, and for them, really carrying the game. Last couple of weeks everyone talked about the defense, but today the offense improved and came in and did what they needed to do.


(on making his NFL debut)

It felt wonderful, being out there with my teammates and having the opportunity to help my team win. To help this team win is big. It's all football, as I had said earlier this week, I'm not going out there timid. Playing hard – it's my first year and I have an injury, but I play football. That's what I do, and I just went out there and played my game. I was trusting the process and trusting their plans for me, and it has gone from there.

(on the hectic moments of the final drive)

We will defend every inch of grass. This defense is physical, and the D-line, we came off the ball, linebackers filled. Everybody did their jobs, so we as a defense say, 'We will defend every inch of grass.' We got this win, but we need to keep building off of this win. Like I have said, it doesn't stop here.

(on getting his first NFL sack in the third quarter)

All credit to DaQuan (Jones). We had a game on, I came around him and he did a great pick. So, I mean, thank you. Thank you DaQuan. As I said, it felt great. I'm a team guy.


(opening statement)

I'm going to tell you I have never been in a ball game like that before. When you go from feeling like the guys fought their ass off, which they did, to win the ball game and lose it the way we lost it. The defense did a hell of a job holding them in fourth-and-inches. At the end we needed one yard to win this game, and we didn't get it. You don't get one yard then you don't deserve to win the damn game. That's just the way it is. We needed one yard to win this game, and we let it slip out of our hands. I am at a loss for words right now. Just the emotions in the locker room. This is the type of game, like I told our players, that one yard can bring us together or it can tear us apart. With the character we have in that locker room I do believe this group will rally. We will fight and we will be back. Today I thought they did some really good things. The defense stepped up and stopped their rush. I thought the passing game, Hunter Henry, Keenan (Allen), I thought they made some plays, especially at the end of the game when we needed it the most. Austin Ekeler did a hell of a job, but it came down to one yard and we didn't get it so we didn't deserve to win.

(on going back-to-back with running back Melvin Gordon on the final drive)

On the play where we flinched, he scores there. So, you change the play up a little bit. You go from the gun to the dot. At the end of the day, you need half of a yard with your big back and your offensive line. You expect to get six inches and we didn't. If he doesn't fumble the football, he scores there.

(on running back Austin Ekeler getting into the end zone for the touchdown)

I thought he was in, but they reviewed it and said he was short. But, still, I did not have a doubt we couldn't get the ball into the end zone. I thought we were in position to win the ball game, if not this play the next play.

(on the Titans' run game)

First of all, my two young tackles (Jerry) Tillery and Cortez (Broughton), I thought they did a hell of a job stepping up in the absence of (Brandon) Meband and (Justin) Jones. They strained. The linebacker came downhill. The corners even came in and helped on the edges. (Derrick) Henry is a big back but they did a good job against him.

(on what is happening offensively)

Offensively, we have got to find out what we can do in the run game. We have to run the ball better, that's pretty obvious. We can throw the ball against anybody with our tight ends, our wide receivers, our quarterback. We have got to figure out how to run the ball better. We have got to get some chemistry with the offensive line and just have to do a better job.

(on keeping the team together after a tough loss)

I think I know the character of this team. We have been through a lot together, and I know all of these men work every single day, so I expect them to bounce back. But, it's tough. This was a tough one. I have been in the league for a long time and I have never been in a game like this. The emotions of this game, going from winning the game to losing the game in a manner of seconds, especially when you prepared, did a heck of a job preparing to play on the road to get a win, and you come up short like that, I mean, it hurts. Every man in that locker room is hurting right now.

(on losing guard Forrest Lamp during the game due to injury)

Next man up. We have always had a next man up mentality. So if Forrest (Lamp) is down, next man up.


(on his emotions following the final drive of the game)

Yeah, it was just crazy. The drive before the last drive really was huge offensively, obviously. We got it in the end zone and back to one score with plenty of time left. And then the defense comes up with a huge stop. We get it at midfield; missed (Austin) Ekeler, then we got it to third down - big third down to Mike (Williams), then hit Ekeler down to the 15 or whatever, which was huge. And then, we all thought we scored to win it, with about, what was that 37 seconds or something like that. And again, I'm not here to question the calls. They obviously saw enough to overturn it. I just didn't. The views I was getting; I knew they were piecing together two shots. You know, the sideline camera couldn't see the football. The end zone camera, it looked like he might have been short, but I don't know how you tell for sure that there's not just that much of that football touching the white line. You know, so, but obviously, they saw enough to overturn that one, and did. Then we had the false start. Then we had the back shoulder to Mike that was so close. You get the pass interference and then we were just short down there again, even though they ruled it a touchdown - just short. And then we went with pretty much a dive play right there, which unfortunately they knocked it out. I think if it doesn't get knocked out, I think Mel (Melvin Gordon) falls in there and we win the game with 15 seconds left, or so, but we didn't. So, it's tough. It reminds me a lot of the Redskins loss in 2013. Very similar. Danny (Woodhead) thought he hit the pylon. It gets overturned and we go four down from the half yard line and didn't get in. It's tough. To not turn it over today until the last play and really play pretty well offensively. We didn't play perfect, by any means, but we played pretty good. We had a little stretch there in the third quarter that wasn't great, but that's a good defense. You know, it's tough. Between the injuries and not finishing games, it's been a tough start to the season.

(on bouncing back from today's loss and moving forward)

It's just tough. I feel like a broken record, I've said this so many times, but I think it happens when you've been somewhere 16 years, right? You're in situations, different ones. You've been through different years. And I know I've said this before - we'll find out about our guys now. We thought last week was a tough test, coming off a Sunday Night Football loss where we didn't play very good. Now losing like this you'll really find out. It's easy to be a good teammate and say all the right things when things go good. But when you lose one like this at 2-5 and things look rough, we'll find out about us, you know? We can wallow around and go 3-13 or 4-12, or we can rebound and get back in the thing. Because the thing's going to be 8-8, 9-7, 10-6. There's going to be more teams in a cluster than maybe ever, it looks like to me, just around the league. That's just kind of what it looks like.

(on making sure the loss does not tear the team apart and rallying for the second half of the season)

I don't think it'll tear us apart. I mean, there's a difference between tearing us apart and still just not ever getting it figured out. I don't think it'll tear us apart, and whether we get it figured out or not, I don't think it's not something you can convince. It's not something we can just talk ourselves into. We just got to keep working and keep believing that it'll happen. And, I think we'll do that. I think we've got the guys that'll do that. It's certainly going to be tough.

(on the Chargers struggles with turnovers near the goal line)

Yeah, it's crazy. The fourth down before the half against Denver. The third-and-goal against Denver on the two where I threw the interception. The fumble in Detroit. The fumble here, right? Did I leave one out? Pretty big consequences with those, and we didn't overcome them. Game-deciding consequences, really, when you look at those. The two in Denver is 14 points. The one in Detroit, we're only down three, right? And then today. So, those are three wins if we handled our business down there.

(on feeling good about giving Melvin Gordon two shots from inside the one-yard line at the end of the game)

Yeah, I think so. And again, I think if the ball didn't get knocked out he probably falls in the end zone on that last one. I know he was just short on the one before that, but he ended up in the end zone and the one guy came running in and wasn't sure where the ball was; you know, the whole thing. Obviously, it was knocked out clean. There's no question about that.

(on if he thought Austin Ekeler scored a touchdown late in the game)

I did. And again, this isn't me complaining about the refs. They obviously saw something that could overturn it. What I saw, I just knew they were piecing those two shots together, and I did think the one end zone shot that he probably might be a little short, but how do you know for sure? That's what I thought; I thought it was one of those. How do you know for certain that that much of that football wasn't touching the front part of that white line. Because that's all that has to happen. And, so I just thought with it being called a touchdown on the field it would be hard to overturn. But, you know, shoot, we had our chances after that still to make it right.

(on if he was confident the Chargers were going to win on the final drive)

Yeah; especially after the slant to (Austin) Ekeler to my left that got us down to about the 15. Because at that point, by no means do we relax - let's go win the game - but you feel pretty confident you got three, right? You're going to overtime at worst, don't turn it over, but let's go win it. And, shoot, we had a great call; which we were hoping they were playing man, and we got Ekeler on a little angle route and, shoot, we think he scores. And then the motion (penalty) and it goes back and forth, back and forth; get the PI call. You know, if Mel (Melvin Gordon) didn't get in and we hang onto the ball there, we were going to get lined up quickly and probably throw a fade to Keenan (Allen) or Mike (Williams) there, you know? And then we'd probably have enough time to run a fourth down play if we needed it. We didn't want to spike it and waste it there. We just would have gotten on the ball and thrown Keenan probably a fade in that spot.


(on frustrations following the loss)

We put a lot into it, and it sucks when you fight that hard and get down to the goal line and you're one yard away from the win. That's the ideal scenario you want. That's the ideal guy who you want the ball handed to. We're just going to have to keep fighting.

(on if it's hard to believe the what happened during the final minutes of the game)

Yeah, cause we won it twice, really. On the field, we won it twice. We scored twice with 20 seconds left in the game, and they called touchdown on the field. I looked at the sideline a few times like, 'That's the game.' To have that happen toward the end is one of the craziest games I've ever been in.


(on stepping up when the defense suffered several injuries)

We have that next guy up mentality. Out of everybody on the D-line, whoever had to have it today, they stepped up, and they played big minutes and made good plays. I'm proud of the D-line.

(on the final plays of today's game)

What's going through my mind is, 'No doubt.' I had 100 percent confidence in this O-line and in this team, these running backs, to make those plays. We just came up short today. We'll get it figured out and move onto next week.

(on defensive end Joey Bosa's performance)

This is by far Joey (Bosa)'s best game all year. Joey has great games every game, but Joey came to play today. We really needed that, especially with how depleted we are on the D-line. You know Joey, him being the leader he is, the D-line stepped up today, and we're very proud of them.

(on Joey Bosa's leadership today)

Joey's a quiet guy, everybody knows that he's always quiet. But when he speaks, everybody listens. Everything Joey says you've got to listen and take serious. It helps me tremendously. I'm feeding off his energy, I'm feeding off his play. I'm trying to compete with him. You know, like, Joey has two sacks, I'm going to try to get a sack. It just makes all of us better.


(on if he felt the ball come out on the fumble at the goal line in the fourth quarter)

I was desperate trying to get (the touchdown) and they knocked it out and got a good hit on it.

(on if he liked his chances to score getting the ball at the goal line)

I'm going to bet on myself every time. Just couldn't get it done this time.

(on putting this loss behind them)

Just go back to work. This one is going to sit with me for a little while – probably until I get back out there on the field and redeem myself.

(on the running game in general for the offense)

It could have been better. I think on my half could have broken some plays and extended some runs. Just getting a little wider and details. Overall could have played better.

(on all of the reviews in the final minute of the game)

It was crazy. You feel like you won, and then slow motion shows your knee down before you passed [the goal line]. I thought I got in, but obviously it showed that I was short and we thought that [Austin Ekeler] got in, but he was short. It's just unfortunate.


(on his first career interception)

Obviously, it was a great feeling. It was an exciting time. Something you dream about as a kid. I'm having a hard time enjoying it right now, as you could imagine. But it was cool.

(on what he saw on the play that led to his interception)

They had run the play earlier in the game and me and the cornerback (Casey Hayward Jr.) talked about it. For whatever reason, when they did that same motion again I kind of anticipated it and felt like had the ball not been tipped I still would have picked it to be honest. But it got tipped and it made it an easy interception.

(on the conversation with CB Casey Hayward Jr. on recognizing that play that led to the interception)

Casey (Hayward) is very, very smart. When they ran it the first time they completed it and he [Hayward Jr.] told me, 'They're going to come back to it.' He was absolutely right.

(on the feeling when he saw the ball was tipped in the air)

Actually Casey (Hayward Jr.) was telling me that he was right behind me and I didn't know if it was him or an offensive player, so I was like, 'I have to get it. Whoever is around me, I have to get the ball.'


(on if he felt like he got in the end zone on the play that was overturned late in the fourth quarter)

I felt I did. I looked at the replay and was like 'It's probably going to stand.' But that wasn't the case. You can't dwell on it and I'm not going to be over-emotional about a call they made. What they call is what is going to go, so you have to move on to the next play. We had that first down and had a little bit of time and still some chances to get in.

(on how tough this loss is after having chances to score on the final drive)

Every loss is tough, especially in the situation we are in now where we feel like we are just beating ourselves and we just come up short in a game like this where it was a little more complete, where it was just the offense playing alright and the defense was playing alright. We are trying to get that complete game where we're all playing well together. It seems like we always get in these situations where it's always close at the end. They are a good team. Shout out to them for playing well.

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