HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN**
How did T Duane Brown look out there?
"He looked good. He's progressing well. He looked good."
Are you hopeful that T Duane Brown will play next week?
"Possibly this week. Never know."
After watching the film against the Patriots, what are some things you can pinpoint on offense that went wrong?
"I'll be honest with you, we're really moving on to Tennessee. We put New England in the rearview mirror. Everybody's got to do a better job, so I'm not going to really talk about New England. If you have Tennessee questions, I'll talk about Tennessee."
Did DE J.J. Watt have a day off?
What do you look for from an offensive tackle when he comes back for the first time, specifically T Duane Brown?
"Probably his ability to move, change direction, anchor, be able to bend and get in a good football position and be powerful because he's a very powerful guy. And then just football conditioning, his conditioning level."
How hard is it to improve tackling in season with the rules surrounding hitting in practice?
"We can wear pads once a week for the first 11 weeks, so we can work tackling. We work on tackling every day."
Where is your offensive line now relative to where you would like them to be and where they need to be?
"We just have to be more consistent. We need to, coaches and players alike, just do a better job and that's what we're doing. We're working hard to put a good game plan together for Tennessee. Tennessee is a very good football team. It'll be a very physical game. They run the ball on their offense. They do a good job of defending the run with their defense. Dick LeBeau's defense. He does a good job with that. We're working hard to have a good game plan."
Titans QB Marcus Mariota has played better on the road than at home. Can you talk about him and also some of the problems when you face a quarterback for the first time?
"He's excellent. He's a really good thrower. Everybody knows he can run, but he's smart, he gets them into the right play. When he escapes out of the pocket or when he runs some of the quarterback run plays that they have, it's very dangerous. We have to play very disciplined defense. Everybody's got to do their job. He's a dangerous player and obviously one of the keys to the game is our ability to basically try to defend him."
What have you seen from their two running backs and the challenge they pose?
"Very big, big guys. Physical guys. (DeMarco) Murray looks like just back to his old self. He's a downhill running back. Tough to tackle. They're using him in the passing game. He's been very good in the passing game. (Derrick) Henry, the rookie out of Alabama. He's downhill, tough to tackle. Both big guys. Going to be a big challenge for us."
You mentioned Titans Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau's defense. What do you expect from his defense going into the game on Sunday?
"It's to expect the unexpected. You just don't know from week to week what you're going to get because he's a game plan oriented coach. He puts a lot of pressure on the line of scrimmage. He does a great job with different fronts, different personnel grouping, so it's going to be a big challenge for our offense."
What has your relationship been with T Duane Brown as he has gone through his rehab?
"I think that Duane and I have a good, honest relationship. I have a ton of respect for him, talk to him every single day. You don't want to be overbearing. You don't just want to go up to him every single day and talk about 'hey, how's your leg doing?' You talk about other things. He's in all the meetings. He's one of our leaders. He's been a great mentor during the time that he's been out to our younger players. I think he's really helped Xavier Su'a-Filo. But as far as him rehabbing, it's hard. It's a grind and you just encourage him to keep after it and he's a pro. That's what he does. He sticks with it and I think he's getting better and better."
G JEFF ALLEN
What was the reception like when T Duane Brown suited up for practice today? He said a lot of guys didn't know he was going to.
"Everyone's really excited. The offensive line, we're over in a little corner and everyone just started clapping. It was an awesome reception for him and it was good to see him out there."
Where do you guys feel like you are as an offensive line with the potential of getting T Duane Brown back to man the left side?
"Obviously it makes us better. He's a heck of a player. He has proven that over his years in the league. It can't do anything but make us better."
How good was it to get back out to practice today?
"It was good. It was a long weekend, so being able to get back out there and kind of knock the rust off and move on to the next week, it was a good feeling."
What sort of defense are you guys going up against?
"A very good one. Their front seven is really good, so as an offensive line, once again, like it is every week, it's going to be a huge test for us. We're going to have to bring our A game."
Can you explain what type of leader T Duane Brown is?
"He's a fierce leader. Since I've been here, he's been leading by his speech, motivating us, getting us going. But over the years, seeing him play, he does it by his play, too. I'm excited to see that firsthand for the first time."
Had you noticed T Duane Brown's play during your time in Kansas City?
"Yeah, definitely. As offensive lineman, we look at each other when we're looking at other teams' defenses. They catch your eye. Duane is one of those guys you look at and kind of try to learn from."
T DUANE BROWN
How did it feel to get back out there and get some reps today?
"It felt amazing. I think, you know, just being sidelined for so long, you take little things like putting on your helmet, take things like that for granted. Today was a great milestone for me being able to get out there, practice with my guys and get back into the groove of things. It felt amazing."
How did you feel physically?
"It felt awesome. Better than I thought I would, actually. Just being able to move around, get used to the cadence and little things like that, just the movements of the offensive line, technique and everything. It felt pretty good."
When did you decide you were going to work today?
"We decided a few days ago. Not too long ago. We decided today would be a good aiming point."
Was there a certain thing you wanted to see or feel that let you know you could go?
"For one, it's just a time thing. When you have that kind of surgery, that kind of injury, there's a certain amount of time you want to take before you start pushing it. I just wanted to make sure that I could generate the same amount of power in that leg as I can in my other one, make sure that swelling wasn't an issue, all those things and other factors. Once I was able to do that, I thought today would be a good day."
Head Coach Bill O'Brien did not rule you out playing this Sunday. How do you view that possibility?
"It's great. It's great. Like I said, I went out there today and felt good. It's a possibility. I'm just taking it one day at a time, though."
What do you have to be able to do, in your mind, before you can come back?
"Hold down the edge, man. At my position, it's not one of those that you want to be kind of half of yourself, you know what I mean? You have to be able to block the best of the best every week. I think I have some pretty good guys on this team to gauge myself against to make sure I'm able to do it on Sunday."
Is the real test how you feel tomorrow when you wake up after doing all this?
"Yeah, and I think for now I can kind of tell I'll be fine. You can usually tell after you finish doing everything how you're going to feel the next day. I think I'll be fine. Tomorrow, we'll see. Each day just trying to do a little bit more and take it from there."
How happy are you that you're back?
"I'm like a kid again, man. Honestly, being away from this game for so long, it really wears at you. When you do it for so long – just being around my teammates and being out there working with them, it means the world to me. It's amazing. I never take a day for granted."
How much is taking the proper amount of time beneficial to your long term health?
"Yeah, that's another thing you want to be wary of, is not coming back and just being week-to-week but make sure you're good to go for years to come. I feel like I've been able to do that. Like I said, just taking it a day at a time from now. I've reached this point where I'm able to put the pads on and do a little bit of stuff, and just take it one day at a time and do a little bit more from now."
What was the banter like with your teammates?
"It was great. Just getting suited up, a lot of guys didn't know I was going today. Just caught a lot of people by surprise and the reception I got, it's always heartwarming."
How is the cadence with QB Brock Osweiler out there and is it something you really have to get used to?
"I mean, I haven't played football in so long so I can't really compare it to much from the last time I played. It's just something you have to get in a groove for, just get a feel for because you don't want to be too early, you don't want to be too late, you want to be right on with your line mates. It's something that takes repetition, and a lot of these guys have a lot of reps at it. I'm just trying to catch up."
Are you on schedule or ahead of schedule?
"I don't think we really had a target date in mind coming into this thing. I think just being able to go has been the main thing, being able to play this year and be efficient. Right now, I think I'm good."
CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH
What's it like when you face a quarterback you've never gone up against before like Titans QB Marcus Mariota?
"It's a challenge. I think anytime you have a dual threat guy like him, who is able to go out there and create plays with his legs and make plays with his arm. That's going to always put a challenge on you as a defense."
Can you talk about putting the loss to New England behind you and moving on quickly to Tennessee?
"I think playing on a Thursday night helped. You had a long weekend to go out and watch some football on Sunday and look around the league and see exactly what else is going on around the league. Being able to flush it out your system. Coming in and having an extra day to work on Monday and watching the film as a team. Just going out there and trying to identify some things that we did wrong as a team and correct those mistakes."
How difficult is it to move on from the loss on Thursday to New England?
"I think it just depends on the individual. But I know overall as a team, the message that we have – we don't even really talk about it as much or bring it up in the meetings because we've had our time to reflect on that game."
What does it mean to you see T Duane Brown back at practice today?
"It's a good feeling. We let him break the team down today. He's definitely one of the leaders on this team. It's been a long road to recovery and I'm just happy to have him back."
T Duane Brown said you guys gave him quite the reception out there.
"Absolutely. Actually, I didn't pay attention enough in practice because I didn't see him out there until the last bit of practice. When I saw him out there, I had to call him out and make sure he broke the team down because I'm just happy and excited to have him back."
Will you say anything to Titans WR Andre Johnson during this game?
"He never talks so that's not really – he never says anything. I think the last time I played him in Indy, he probably said maybe two words to me. He asked how my kids were doing. It was nothing about football. Obviously, he's a great talent and a friend of all of ours here, most of the guys here on this team. But you have to play the game for what it is, personal life is your personal life but it's all business on the field."
What's it like facing Titans WR Andre Johnson when he is so close with many Texans players?
"I really don't think about it as much because now I'm kind of used to it. Initially when he was in Indy, it was a little weird for me. But after a while, it's just kind of the way the league operates. You can't think about it any other way then he's a Tennessee Titan and I'm a Houston Texan."
OLB WHITNEY MERCILUS
Does being back at practice today help turn the page from New England to Tennessee?
"Yeah, it feels good. We have to. It's the NFL. That's how this game goes. You lose, you have to turn the page and fix the things that we didn't do well and focus on the next opponent."
Is it tough to work on tackling in season with the practice rules?
"We've already played three games, so by now we should be good at tackling. But that's something that we definitely need to improve on, judging from last game, so we'll do that."
What are your thoughts on the Titans rushing attack?
"It's good. Two big backs, kind of like what we faced last week. We'll be focusing on that. We have to stop the run. That's the biggest thing. You let guys rush for 30 attempts or more and get 100 yards on you, you're going to probably lose the game."
What sort of challenges does Titans QB Marcus Mariota present?
"Dual threat quarterback. A guy who can hurt you with his feet. He can do a lot of quarterback runs and things like that. You have to let him sit in the pocket and beat us that way."
Although the Texans never faced Titans QB Marcus Mariota, do you watch his film from last year?
"Last year he wasn't on the field against us, so there's not much to go on from last year. But looking at him now for the couple games that he's been in, we're going to start getting a feel for everything. We'll start game planning, come in Wednesday and focus on that."
How good is it to see T Duane Brown back at practice?
"Good, really good. I'm definitely happy for him because he's been out for a while. Understanding what he's been going through and the whole rehab process and things like that, it's awesome."
Is it nice getting back a vocal leader in T Duane Brown?
"Of course. He's a guy who is definitely a leader on that offensive line. That's something that we need."