What were the keys to the team's victory this week?
The defense was the key to the victory. We had a couple mishaps on offense, but the defense stepped up in a big way to allow us to maintain the lead throughout the game.
Can you summarize what it was like playing against the Steelers last week?
We haven't got the full picture on this Steelers team. The weather was a huge factor in this game, and I feel like both of us came out in a much more conservative play style than normal. I felt the key was minimizing our mistakes and maintaining a lead. When you put the Steelers team under pressure they can be prone to mistakes.
Can you talk about the development of Cedric Tillman so far?
Cedric Tillman continues to make strides on our practice squad and at any moment he is ready to step up and have a role on the team.
Can you talk about what it's like to prepare to go against a player like Derrick Henry?
It's hard to prepare for Derrick Henry, because there are simply very few people like Derrick Henry. We need to focus on shutting him down early and often and I do feel we have the personnel to do that.
How has Akiem Hicks's experience in the league helped the team so far?
Akiem Hick's was a great free agent find for us. He gives us a veteran presence that is extremely valuable to the young guys on the squad. He also makes an immediate impact on the field as he adds another weapon on that front line.
What is the status of Joel Bitonio and when is he set to return?
Joel Bitonio is progressing week by week, but he is still a few weeks out at this time.
What makes Derrick Henry so good?
He has a rare combination of size, speed, and power. He is an explosive runner, but he also has the speed to leave guys in the dust. Its like trying to tackle a speeding train.
How quickly can you tell if a young player is a football player if he thinks about it because it seems like at the Combine they’re all saying the right thing and it’s the job. How quickly does it take?
It is really dependent on the player. Everyone is different. Guys like Andrew Luck come into the league NFL ready and make an impact. Some have the talent but need some guidance to get to the next level. The amount of guidance really varies so widely that you can put a number on it.
How much of a problem is Jeffery Simmons on the defensive line?
He really makes it difficult to get to the second level. We ran away from him as much as possible, and in addition to that he is a hell of a pass rusher. Considering injuries I feel we did a pretty solid job of shutting him down.
How do you see the competition level in the AFC North currently?
It really early so everyone is still getting a feel for how the competition will hake out by the end of the year, but this division is loaded with talent, and is really up in the air on any given Sunday.
Some would say your roster is one of the better teams in the league. Would you agree with that? Do you see any weaknesses in your team as you self-scout?
I would agree that we are one of the most well-rounded teams in the league right now. We have a bit of a task ahead of ourselves as we sort out the cap mess the previous coaching staff created, but we feel confident in making it work and maintaining this roster.
What are your thoughts about the Titans just in general as a team?
They have a great coach who is really going to do everything possible to make them successful. They certainly have holes that need to be filled, but I believe Dlloyd is the coach to make that happen for them. They just need to be patient and trust the process.