Coming off a win last week, I was surprised to not hear coach Carroll reiterate how fired up the guys are to play again this weekend. He kept his usual confidence as he fielded questions mostly about injuries and familiar players on the Titans roster. It did stand out that he declined the only offensive question while speaking at great length about Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. He also spoke at length about another former Trojan on the Titans roster when addressing his plans to slow down Adoree’ Jackson on special teams. He ended the presser by addressing the mentality of his defense, which coach felt great about. Knowing that our defense understands and accepts their responsibility to lead the team is great, but an answer to the offensive line question sure would have been reassuring.
How is Jimmy [Graham] doing for you?
“He did really well today. He made it through the whole practice, and did everything in full/ He’ll be alright.”
Who steps into Neiko Thorpe’s role? [couldn’t understand question]
“He’s been such a big factor that we moved some guys around to get that done. It’s more than one guy.”
What happened with D.J. Alexander?
“He just felt his hamstring. It got real sore. So, we have to take care of him and see how it goes. So, we got him on the injury list.”
What kind of impact will that have on special teams?
“Those are two high end guys for us and it makes a difference. Other guys are going to have to step in for them. That’s exactly what it calls for.
Speaking of special teams, what has [question inaudible]
“They look explosive now. They look good at what they’re doing. And Adoree [Jackson], he’s a terrific football player. He’s figured out how to get in the endzone a lot, so we really have to be careful with how we cover, and staying in our lanes and putting the ball where we want to put it and minimizing his effect. But he’s a really big-time threat back there.
How’s Richard Sherman looking?
“Fine. He’s fine. He came out of the game fine, and surprised us all. He had two really good days, and we gave him a break today. But he’s ready to go.
Have you seen Eddie Lacy bounce back after being inactive for 48 hours?
“He’s fine. He had a great week. He’s competing for his playing time.”
Jurell Casey’s a guy you know a little bit. What have you seen out of him? Have you watched any tape on him, or have any stories?
“Well, I’ve watched him over the years just because he’s one of our guys. I can remember so clearly watching him play in high school, and coming out as a guard and a linebacker back in the day. He’s always exceeded expectations and been a fantastic player. Always has been. To be a pro-bowl guy, that’s a tremendous accomplishment. He continues to be a real problem. He’s such a savvy football player. He’s beyond most guys. He has great instincts, and great sense for where the ball is going as well as everything else. His quickness and leverage and everything else he uses, but he’s having a great career. He’s really a terrific player.”
[Paul] Richardson still healing well?
“Yes. He’s fine. He practiced all week. He took care of it, and he was able to practice all week.
Coach are you looking forward to going to a new stadium, or is this just another game?
“I like it. I like the fact that I’ve never been there. I enjoy that. It’s a first-time experience. [Laughs], I don’t get many of those.”
Anything in particular in Nashville you’re looking forward to?
“No. Nothing in particular. Just see the place. Be there. I know there’s a good college game going on in town.”
You guys usually check out the stadium the day before. Is that what you do always for new places?
“Yes. We do. Whenever we can. There are occasions when you don’t get to because of whatever’s going on there, but yes we always have done that.”
[Marcus] Mariota’s red zone numbers are pretty amazing. Do you see something particular that has allowed that?
“He’s got a great conscience. He doesn’t make mistakes down there, and that’s hard to do. As a young guy, too. To have a start to his career like this is really something. I think it’s an indication of what you can expect for the future. I think he’s going to be a great player for a long time. Those types of challenges that he’s already mastered really tell you that. So, pretty impressive.”
How is [inaudible] with their experience having played these guys with their former teams, how does that help this week?
“Our coaches talked to them some about the stadium and all that stuff just to get familiar as much as we can. So, it helps to have some background. Our coaches have been there before and know of it, so we have been able to utilize that too.”
How has Luke [Joeckel] done with the knee thing, managing that and getting through that?
“We are doing that. We are managing it. So, we take that into consideration throughout the week to make sure that he is strong. The communication has been really good, but it’s something we have been continuing to do as he returns. He’s doing well, all the plays he’s had a chance to play so far, he’s done a great job. But, it does take some consideration.
Is there any finale to what moves you’re going to make on the offensive line? [question inaudible]
“Not for you guys today [laughs]. No”
He’s not on the roster, but what do you like about Tyvis Powell?
“We always liked him. He’s a real big fast kid and he has a great spirit about him. We didn’t like losing him when we lost him, and we weren’t able to get him back back then. He’s athletic, he’s versatile. He’s playing corner for us now. He’s played safety in the past, we need him there outside. But we know he has all that in his future. He’s the type of guy we would like to be able to grow with, and see if we can develop him into a good player.”
What made you think corner? He was safety for you guys primarily last year, right?
“Yeah, but he did both. And that’s the need we have in practice. Also, he’s such a tremendous athlete. I always like exhausting the corner thought before we leave him back inside, a guy who can do that. So, we want to see if we can figure that out.”
How are DeShawn Shead and Dion Jordan progressing along?
“I’m glad you asked me about that. DeShawn has done an incredible job coming back. You guys know him. His mentality is extraordinary. His drive to continue to press and push and to max out, the process is there. He’s working. You check him. He’s running real fast right now. He’s doing everything he can do. It’s just a matter of time before he will be back and rolling, but he’s done a great job. With Dion, I watched him work out today. I was hearing that things have been picking up, and he looked really good today. So, we’ll see how that goes. It was very encouraging to see Dion look as quick as he does. He’s 275 pounds. He needs to get in shape again because he hasn’t been able to work as hard at his conditioning but, just physically being able to do the movements and things, I was fired up for him. I was really excited for him too, because it has been such a long haul getting back.
With DeShawn [Shead], is on schedule for week 6 being the first week he could be back?
“That’s possible. Yeah.”
I heard some defensive players talking about there being some expectations on them. Do you like them having that mentality?
“Well, they’ve had that mentality for… 5 years or 6 years. I don’t know how many, but it’s been a long time. That’s just the way they’ve been thinking all along. They’re just telling you that that’s what it feels like to be a part of this team. So, yeah, I really like it. And I think it’s a great mentality. They’re really responsible about it, and hold themselves accountable, as hopefully everybody is on this team. But, I guess it came out, or somebody said something this week, but that’s normal thinking for these guys.”