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Transcript - Practice (Oct. 18, 2018)

Thursday, October 18, 2018 | George Finnie Stadium | Baldwin Wallace University | Berea, Ohio


On Thursday's practice:

"It was good. The sun was out. It wasn't too cold. It was good. Our players were focused and they did a nice job. It's not easy, ever, when you do this kind of thing. These guys have handled it well."

On C Mike Pouncey:

"There was a lot said about him before he came to us. I didn't really know what to expect. I knew he was a good football player. A lot of times when you talk about the offensive line, the chemistry of that group is so important. When he came in here, everything seemed good, but you just never know until you get into the battle. I'll just tell you this. He has been fantastic. He has been a tremendous leader. He has been unselfish. He's worked with the guys. It's really been a good addition. He's a big part of that. [T] Russell [Okung] has done a nice job. He has done that since he's been here. The chemistry with those guys has really been good. I think that's been a big, important piece."

On Pouncey's athleticism:

"I don't know if rare is the right word to say. What he does, he does very well what we ask him to do. There was a couple of plays in the game last week against Cleveland where he got downfield and made a big block that helped the success of the run. He does a tremendous job with that. He does a really good job — when he first came here, he said he wanted to be involved with the identification of how we call things and communication with the quarterback. He has done a really good job with that. We've been tremendously pleased with how Mike has handled himself on the field and in his leadership off of it."

On any extra motivation playing Tennessee:

"For me, personally? You know, it's a couple of years removed. They've made changes. It'll be good to see some of the players. I think, when you go through what we went through, even though it was a short time, you form bonds with guys. It will be good from that perspective, but now, not really [any extra motivation]. If you've been in this league a while, those kinds of things happen. I respect the way those guys play. I respect the job that they're doing. I have a lot of friends that are still there. I don't think it's going to be a big deal."


Opening statement:

"It's another challenge again this week. I think when we watch them on film, what's impressive about them is their running game. They're averaging about 100 yards-per-game, but they put up close to 150 on Jacksonville. The different styles of runs that they have and the different styles their running backs have, I think that jumps out. They're good at the skill position. The quarterback is always a threat and can make the throws. He can make yardage on his feet, too. We just have to prepare, really, for all aspects of the game."

On Tennessee's offense:

"There are very good coaches on that staff. Sometimes during the season, you have some setbacks where you didn't play as well as you would hope then you kind of figure things out and come back. They're an impressive team. When you take a look at some of the explosive plays that they have, the skill set. It's just a matter of playing together and putting it all together. As you know, every team has the capability of doing that every week."

On Titans QB Marcus Mariota:

"It's very important [to keep him in the pocket] because he'll extend plays, but he'll extend it and run. He gets first downs on third down because of it. Any time there's a threat of the option in the game, the quarterback can have big plays. If you go back and look at some of the plays last year, some of the explosive plays with him running the ball, he can turn a five-yard gain into a 50-yard gain in a hurry. We have to be really aware of him. It's not just the running backs as a threat in the run game, it's also him."

On his influence on the team's preparation for London:

"Well, we're doing some things that I've never experienced, too, just as far as setting up ahead of schedule and getting the players aware of the sleep schedule. This started a couple of weeks ago as far as getting an extra hour of sleep and things like that. There's that part of it. Just the travel over there, maybe trying to stay on the East Coast and going from the East Coast over there where you gain some time rather than flying from Los Angeles. Our training staff and [Head Strength & Conditioning Coach] John Lott and the administration, they've put a lot of research into this. It's been going well. Our stay here has been great. It's been really productive for us."

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