WEEK 10: TITANS CONFERENCE CALL
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt
On his impressions of the Ravens' offense:"They've got a lot of weapons. They do a good job up front. Obviously, Steve Smith [Sr.] has done a great job – he's a heck of a receiver – and the quarterback [Joe Flacco] is a good player. He can hurt you. So, we certainly have a lot of respect for what they've done offensively."
On if he mentions to his team that the Ravens can have some games where they don't play as dynamic:"I think when you look at them you say, 'This team can be explosive.' And we've got to do a good job of preparing and playing our defense the right way, or they'll make you pay."
On what some of the benefits are to having the bye week heading into this week's game in a difficult environment:"Yeah, [it's a] tough place to play. They're a well-disciplined, physical football team. So, we recognize it's a tough place to play. The benefit of the bye week is we get a chance to look at what we're doing and try to work on areas where we need to get better. When you're playing a team that you haven't seen in a while, it always helps to get a little bit of work on them in the week before, but the bye week, because now you have to give [the players] four days off, there isn't a lot of advance work that you'll do on an opponent. So, I think it gives us, as coaches, a little more comfort in seeing what they do just because you have a little more time to study it."
On how they've used the bye week to help prepare rookie QB Zach Mettenberger for this game:"I think getting a lot of reps during the bye week is something that helps him not just prepare for a good defense that the Ravens have, but just learning the position. I think getting a sense of timing with his receivers, making the calls at the line, the checks, all of those things that the first six or seven weeks before you get in there, you don't get a lot of opportunities, because you're not getting those reps. You're only doing scout team reps. So, the bye week really helps you get more on the same page, and then actually playing in a game where you actually have to get in and out of the huddle and get to the line and make the calls, all of that is important for helping prepare him going into a tough situation."
On his impressions of T Michael Oher's play this season:"Michael has worked hard. He was a guy that we were glad to get in here with our team. We haven't played as a football team as well as we want to, so we're all working to get better. I like Michael. He's a guy that I've had a lot of respect for over the years. But as far as that goes, we as a group are trying to play better, because we haven't played anywhere well enough for us to be obviously better than what our record is."
On preparing for this game after the Ravens made some significant roster moves yesterday:"I'm sure they're going to have somebody that lines up over our guys when we play. So, you prepare for what you potentially think they're going to do – you always do that. You understand that things may change on game day and you have to adjust; that's what this league is all about. That's something that we're just working hard to try to prepare and hopefully play better than we've been playing on Sunday."
T Michael Oher
On his thoughts about coming back to Baltimore to play against his former team:"It's going to be a fun experience, I think. I played a lot of games there. It'll be fun to see what the crowd is like being a visitor."
On what he's anticipating the crowd's reaction to be:"I really don't have a clue. I'm really not worried about it. Just playing and seeing what a visiting team had to go through, [Baltimore has] such great fans – loud crowd. I played a lot of games there, won a lot of games. It shouldn't be anything too bad."
On if it was clear that he would not be returning to the Ravens in the offseason:"Everything happened so fast in free agency. There really wasn't enough time to … I kind of thought I might be back for a second, but as soon as free agency kicked off, everything happened so fast where I got everything done right away and came down to Tennessee."
On if Baltimore offered him a contract in the offseason:"Like I said, everything happened so fast [with] Tennessee. [I] came down to visit; I really didn't want to leave. I felt at home being from Tennessee, right down the road from Memphis. I really didn't have an opportunity. It happened so quickly."
On if he's noticed the play of T Rick Wagner this year:"We're playing the AFC North, so you have to play all of the teams, so I get a chance to watch him. That whole [offensive] line is playing well. They get after it – physical. Rick is doing a great job [and has] definitely grown a lot from last year. He's doing an excellent job. He is playing great."
On how prepared he is to face Baltimore's pass rush:"I don't think you can ever see enough [film] playing against '55' [Terrell Suggs] and '58' [Elvis Dumervil]. They're two great pass rushers. They get up, especially being on the road, but they're at home and it's going to be an advantage to them. Those guys are playing great ball as well. The whole defense is. They get after it and they're physical. They're just getting after it."
On what his transition to the Titans has been like:"It's been a great transition. Everything happened smoothly, and it's getting better as the year goes on. I think I'm playing all right. Unfortunately, we haven't won many games, but I think we're getting there."
On whether he stills talks to former Ravens teammates: "Yes, no question. I talk to a lot of guys on defense and offense. We've always had respect for one another, always been a family. [I] still talk to those guys all the time."
On whether he will talk to former Ravens teammates this week: "I doubt it. It's respect for me and the other guys. It'll be a, 'What's up?' or something like that, but nothing major as far as trash talking."
On what he has told QB Zach Mettenberger to expect from the Ravens' defense: "I really hadn't talked to him about it. Like I said, the defense … That's a great defense. They've been a great defense. That's their history, and you have to be aware of that. I'm pretty sure I would tell him to be prepared. Those guys bring a lot of different looks and they get after it."
On what stands out from the five years he spent in Baltimore: "The thing that stands out the most is dealing with a great organization in Baltimore, a great fan base. The team was always a family and things like that. It's a great culture around there. They love their football."