HEAD COACH TONY SPARANO
On the game: "A hard fought game. We learned a little something today. We learned a little something about ourselves today. We've been in this end of the pool for a long time now and I just kept saying that eventually it's going to happen. Today, they just refused to give up the rope. My hat is off to the people in that locker room. Greatest feeling in the world is to see them smile. The helluva of a bunch of guys. They don't stop playing. They play hard. We don't always do it right, but they play hard. If you play with that kind of effort, good things will happen. I'm proud of them. Credit to the team across; they're a good football team. They're going to be there at the end. Today was our day. The kids played well."
Q: You said you learned something about this team; what did you learn?
Coach Sparano: "Learned that they fight. And they learned that if you get somebody into that end of the pool, and if you keep pulling the rope hard enough, good things will happen. And good things happened. Today the offense took the football down the field at the end of the game and did it the good, old-fashioned Raider way. They ran it. They ran it. They were efficient. And we made a big play. The quarterback made a heck of a play. James [Jones] made a heck of a play. Went back out there on defense and those kids were relentless. It was a heck of a thing to watch. And if you didn't learn anything from it, I apologize for you."
Q: Coach, can you express the emotional toll this has taken on you?
Coach Sparano: "It's been unbelievable. It's been a heck of a deal. But it's not a toll on me; it doesn't have anything to do with it. It's a toll on those kids in that room seeing them every single week show up into that team meeting or into that locker room and not smile. You walk in there right, it's a total different feeling. You can never forget that feeling. It's been a long time since we had that feeling, but we're going to take our time right now here with a couple days off and get a chance to enjoy it a little bit. It's the nice thing about playing on a Thursday, get a chance to sit back a little bit, take a deep breath and enjoy it a little bit. We're going to do that and we're going to get back to work and we're going to try to win another one."
Q: What was the decision to go to Marcel [Reece] late in the game?
Coach Sparano: "Honestly, I felt like we can run the ball downhill a little bit. I had said to Skip [RB coach Kelly Skipper] at one point, we lost Latavius there and I felt like Marcel…I try to get him the ball last week that way and it just didn't fall out in that way. I just felt like we need to get this guy back there. He's a big back. Anytime I've ever used him that way or seen him used that way, he can push the pile a little bit. I felt like we were moving him pretty good a little bit there. He did a heck of a job. He really did. I don't think the guy took a handoff this week in practice and he's just always ready – a real Oakland Raider."
Q: What can you say about this win for Derek Carr?
Coach Sparano: "It's a heck of a win for this football team, but certainly for Derek. A young quarterback against a good team like that here on the big stage, going out there and being able to put that big drive together at the end and win a football game like that and do it with your offense being out there and obviously we've struggled a little bit the last couple of weeks, but today we did some really good things out there. Some really good things had happened. That team hadn't given up a rushing touchdown all year and there were two of them put on them really quick. A couple of good runs and some good blocking and some good things done. I thought Derek handled himself really well in that environment, especially towards the end. He had a great look in his eye at the end of the game, as they all did. It's good for a young quarterback like that to get the first one."
Q: As a line coach, to go against a team that hadn't given up a rushing touchdown, to have the two end guys plus Dontari Poe and rush for 180 and control the ball on the last drive and have the line control the game…
Coach Sparano: "I just kept talking to them on the sideline about putting it on their back. We need to put it on your back. We need to put it on your back if we're going to win this game. We're going to win this game running the football. They were awesome that way. I just know that today our jerseys were going the right way. It was good to see. It was my kind of football and it was good to see. I thought Greg [Olson] called a heck of a game and really did a good job. I thought they both did – Greg, JT [Jason Tarver] – I thought those guys did a heck of a job. Those coaches deserve a lot of credit in there too for hanging in there with me. I'm not always the easiest guy to deal with, but they did a heck of a job."
Q: Did Latavius earn more snaps?
Coach Sparano: "Did he earn more snaps? Yeah, that was kind of obvious. We put him in there early and we got him going early. When you run the ball the way he ran the ball today, he earns more snaps, no doubt about it. I think we just have to see how he comes out of this thing here and what happens here with him in the next couple of days. Luckily, we have a few days here right now."
Q: Is there a reason he didn't have more of a chance before?
Coach Sparano: "I just think we've seen him get better and better in practice and doing some good things. I think we felt like we needed to get a big back in there a little bit too and run the ball as a change up. Listen, I thought Darren [McFadden], I thought those guys ran the ball hard today, all of them. At the end of the whole thing, Latavius is a big back that can break some tackles and we wanted to see what he can do. Little by little when you put him there, he kind of jumped out at you. The plan today was clearly to get him going. We wanted to get him going early in the game and we did. Unfortunately, we lost him."
Q: Talk about Charles Woodson and Sio Moore's play tonight.
Coach Sparano: "I thought they played really well. They flew around and Sio has been doing a nice job the last several weeks really flying around. They played with a lot of energy today. Charles played with a ton of energy and did a good job. We put him back there to return some punts tonight too. This guy just does whatever you need him to do. 'Coach, I'll do it.' I called him up into the office this week and talked to him a little bit about maybe having to use him that way. He said, 'Coach, I'll do whatever you want to do.' I said, 'alright, I just want you to fair catch the ball.' He looked at me and laughed. That wasn't a possibility at that point."
Q: After those two early touchdowns, I saw your offensive line on the bench and they had a different look in their eyes. Did you feel the energy?
Coach Sparano: "Listen, anytime you have success, success kind of breeds success. I feel like those guys had a good feeling early in the game. We were running the ball and making efficient runs – good, solid, efficient runs and then a big one comes out of there. It 's just a matter of time, we felt like, before the big one came out of there. Not today necessarily. I've been saying all along, 'We're a guy away. We're a guy here. We're a guy there.' And on that particular play, we weren't a guy. We blocked them all. We made a nice play and the kid made a nice run and he finished the run, which was good to see. When you get somebody to the second level like that clean you want to see them finish it and the guy finished the run."
Q: When the Chiefs came back in the game, what's the feeling like – another game gone or you could feel you could finally get it?
Coach Sparano: "Honestly, I saw a different look in them today. And we had talked about it in the meeting room yesterday, this morning, we talked about it. We just talked about, 'Look, this is a good football team we're playing and it may come into that again where we get into this end of the pool. We get deep into the game. We can't let go of the rope. We have to find a way to win and you're getting close fellas. You're getting close to finding this way to win. There's no magic to that, you have to do it together. The guys in that room have stuck together from day one. I think everyone of you has seen that. They're together. I appreciate their effort in there and I appreciate what they did and them sticking with me."
Q: Did you pull aside Sio [Moore] and Khalil [Mack] about their celebration at the end?
Coach Sparano: "I didn't pull them aside. I'm going to let them enjoy this right now, but eventually we've got to talk about it [laughing]. We'll have a little conversation about that, but at that point, I had to do something to stop the clock. They were on the ball and that's something that it's two young players that have to learn. I love their energy and their passion, but it's just something we have to learn from."
QB DEREK CARR
Q: Was there ever a doubt on the last drive?
Carr:"Same confidence we always have. Obviously this league is really tough. Every yard you fight for is really hard, obviously, but to go 17 plays, 80 yards, I think we had about nine minutes on the clock, that's, man, that just says about the fight in this team. I'm just so happy for my teammates. Right before I went out, I just prayed, I said, 'Lord, your will is going to be done. I'm going to go out there and give everything I've got.' I'm glad that it worked out in our favor today."
Q: You guys have put two minute drives together before, but to get it in this situation, what does that do for the team overall and what does it do for you?
Carr:"It goes back to quote unquote the games right at hand. Does it really matter? Every one of those two-minute drives matters, and it showed today because, 'Oh, we're scoring late,' no. Any yard, like I said, to gain in this league, especially against that defense, my goodness. They've got dudes all over the place. To be able to do it, I'm just so happy for my teammates. To see them smile, to see them, we're running the ball good and him come back to the huddle fired up, feeling good about themselves. That's the kind of stuff that fires me up. That was awesome."
Q: How does the win feel?
Carr:"Amazing. Hopefully there's many more to come because I like this feeling better than the other one. That's for sure. I'm glad that this time finally came. I'll be able to enjoy it, but just like this league, doesn't care, you've got to go on to the next one. I'm going to enjoy the heck out of this one, I can promise you that. But, I'll also be getting ready for the next one."
Q: You were one of the last guys to take your jersey off and you were going around slapping everyone's hands. Did you want to just soak it in a little bit?
Carr:"Absolutely. I know how hard it is to win in this league. I know how much effort, how much fight, how much toughness, mentally, physically, spiritually. This game has taken a toll on us this year. I know how hard it is. So, I wanted to let everybody know and just let them get excited too, and just tell them, 'Hey, this is what we can do. Encourage them, be a great encouragement to those guys. That made my day, just seeing all those guys celebrating. That was awesome."
Q: Can you talk about the spark that Latavius Murray gave?
Carr:"Oh my goodness. I think he broke a record didn't he? My goodness, the guy did a great job for us today. I'm trying to think of a lot of good things to say about him, but there's too many. It's sad that he had to end the night so early. I'll be praying for him, for healing over him, but he ran hard. Like I said, he's been third string, got a couple carries last week, did some good things. Came out today, obviously did some really good things and gave us a spark and it was really good. The coolest thing about the whole thing was when he was doing that, all those other running backs were chest bumping, loving on him. That's the sign of a good team. That's a sign of a really good team. I've seen things on film where a guy will score and someone on the field that didn't get the ball will get upset. So, we're moving this thing in the right direction. We've just got to continue to work."
Q: Do you get the sense that you guys were able to beat down their defensive line?
Carr:"I will never say that. I can't say that, they're too good, and we've got to play them again. I've got to play them a lot more. I thought that our offensive line just did a great job of executing. They fought really hard. It meant a lot to us, but against a defense like that that's so stout, that's so good, they were on a hot streak. For our guys to be able to do that, I was just so happy for them. I was just so happy to see our guys be able to run like that."
Q: Before that final drive, the momentum had shifted obviously. Talk about the energy level?
Carr:"I just kept encouraging people, like I have every game. I said, 'Hey men, we're going to win this thing. There's no doubt in my mind, we're going to go win it.' I've said that a lot of times now. I like what Michael Jordan said, he missed a lot of game winners before they hit a good one. That quote is good for our team right now. We were always encouraging each other every time. We thought we were going to win it every time, but today, we were blessed that we were able to win."
Q: Can you talk about the perseverance of this group to stay together?
Carr:"Man, patient endurance. That's hard. It's hard to continue to go to work and work your tail off when you're 0-and-whatever, but we kept fighting. We believed in what Coach Sparano was preaching to us. Our teammates believed in each other and praise God, man, we finally got a win."
Q: Did the rain have any effect on you?
Carr:"Yeah, you never want to use an excuse, but because we won, obviously some things are a little bit difficult. Obviously the ball gets a little slippery, all those kind of things, footwork and footing ad all that, but it's never an excuse, win or lose, but to say it had an effect, I can't say that it did, but obviously you do some different things."
T/G KHALIF BARNES
Q: Between you and T Donald Penn, the left side of the line really opened it up for RB Latavius Murray on those two touchdowns. What was going on there?
Barnes:"To tell you the truth, I don't know. When we watch the film I can break it down more and see exactly what happened, but I think all five of us, including [T Matt] McCants when he came in as a tight end, all six of us* *... [FB] Marcel [Reece], him, [RB] Darren [McFadden] when he had to run and get tough yards, I think it was everybody. I don't think it was just me and Donald, but we're just happy right now.
Q: Your confidence had to be high as you were able to get a push.
Barnes:"Our confidence is always high. Always high. It's never dropped, never dipped. We caught some bad breaks this year, obviously, but we always play to the end of the whistle every game. That's one thing that I can say about this team: we fight no matter what the score is, no matter who the team is. All four quarters we're in there fighting. I'm just proud of the guys and we were able to be resilient and just be relentless. When you do that, good stuff happens in life."
LB SIO MOORE
Q: With all this team has gone through, what does it mean to finally get a win?
Moore:"I don't even know how to explain the feeling, man. It's a good feeling and it's a good feeling to see through the culmination of weeks all the work that we've been putting in, all the frustration that we've had through the weeks when one thing goes wrong at the end. We decided when we came in here at halftime that we weren't going to let them get out the deep end of the pool and we were going to finish it off. I'm just happy to see that on both sides of the ball, we finished it."
*Q: How did the crowd's energy influence your performance? *
Moore:"That's what this place can be able to do. This place can get rocking. These players can play, man. We've just got to continue to build and continue to work. I wouldn't want to be a part of no other team."
Q: After the Chiefs took the lead, did you think you were going to pull it out?
Moore:"Did I think we could pull it out? I know we can pull it out. I don't think anything. I don't step on anything thinking. If I step on there thinking, I'm going to walk off. They got theirs and we were like, 'Look, we've got to tighten it up. We've got to buckle down and we've got to make sure that any situation that has happened, it stops tonight.'"
Q: After you got the sack on Alex Smith at the end of the game, you celebrated a little bit and the coaches had to call timeout. Were you just caught in the moment?
Moore:"I was so caught up in the moment, man. That was an error I've got to make sure I clean up, because in another situation – in all seriousness – that can make it the difference and I've got to understand that. I do apologize for putting the guys in that situation because that could come up in another situation later. Can't let the emotions get the best of me, man. I'm just glad we were able to finish and capitalize, and most importantly, like I told my defensive coordinator [Jason Tarver] and my linebackers coach [Bob Sanders], I appreciate them trusting me to make the play in the fourth quarter for them."
LB KHALIL MACK
Q: Was this the best game of your career?
Mack:"We won. We won the game, so it was a good feeling. That's all I care about."
Q: How did it feel watching Sio Moore make that big play at the end?
Mack:"It was surreal, man. We knew we wanted to get there and it just so happened that we did. The rest is a win."
Q: How can you do that?
Mack:"Go out and work hard and keep getting better. We've got a great group of veterans and we've got a great young group. We're going to continue to push."
Q: Did you guys do something different today than you have in the past?
Mack:"You can say we did something differently, but we come out here every week and give it our all. That's all you can ask from a player. It just so happens we end up with this win."
Q: How did you feed off the energy of the crowd tonight?
Mack:"The energy of the crowd is amazing. It's always amazing. This is the best place to play, in the Black Hole. We have some of the best fans in the world. The energy they brought tonight helped us a lot."
Q: Other than the one play that Jamaal Charles scored on, you guys pretty much controlled them tonight. Can you talk about the game plan for stopping them tonight?
Mack:"He's a great player. From week to week, you see what he does and it just so happens that we tried to keep him off the edges. We knew they were a screen team and we tried to prepare and get ready for them. It worked. We could've done a lot better."
DE JUSTIN TUCK
Q: What are your thoughts on the game-winning drive by your offense?
Tuck:"For a rookie quarterback in that situation to lead an offense that hadn't had much success in the second half and it seemed like everything was going downhill, for them to right that ship and get in that huddle and go 17 plays for a winning drive, that's impressive. That lets you know a little bit of the moxie of No. 4 [QB Derek Carr]. I tip my hat to the offense for battling through it. That's a tough defense – everyone knows the characters they have on that side of the ball. To go out and have a show like that to end it for us was huge, obviously.
Q: The Chiefs had scored on three straight possessions to take the lead, what was the feeling on defense for that last drive of theirs?
Tuck:"This game is a rollercoaster game. Sometimes, especially with a guy like Andy Reid and the mastermind that he is, they're going to figure out some things they hadn't done that's going to work against us, and they did that late in the third and early in the fourth. But when you're put in a situation like that, when your offense has brought you back and given you an opportunity, you love to be in that position as a defensive player. I've had an opportunity to be there a few times, and it's like nothing else. It's all we concern ourselves with. We had one drive to stop them, and the intensity all game from the crowd, we fed off of that and were able to finish it for us."
Q: After that fourth down you took your helmet off and looked to the crowd. Tell us about that moment.
Tuck:"I've played in a lot of big games and a lot of emotional games, but that was something special. That was something I'll never forget. That's because this team has stuck together, we're a band of brothers. No matter what our record says, this is one of the closest teams I've played with and it's a family. I know how big that monkey was on a lot of guys' backs. This team hadn't won a game in 16 games, and it gets old. It's hard to come in here everyWednesday and put that behind you and get back to work, but we did that and we beat a good football team tonight. We've been close all year in a lot of situations, but today we finished it. It was a special moment."
DL ANTONIO SMITH
Q: What are your thoughts on your rookie quarterback Derek Carr?
Smith:"If you don't let the hard times build you up and build your character up, whenever hard times do come and you're successful, you're going to fall and crumble quick. I think that he's going through a building process right now and this is one positive stone that lets you know the harder you work, the more you keep believing; the more your persevere. The good is coming. That kid has a heart bigger than I can even explain. He always got a smile on no matter what happened. If he has a bad game or a good game, he always is determined to prove to us that he can get it done and he got it done today."
Q: I know this is a team game, but it's been 24 long games for you between victories. Does this feel good for you?
Smith:"Yeah, man. It felt like I just took a bath in the fountain of youth. I found the key to life now, man. It's just flowing through my veins right now."
Q: Was it nice to win it in the way that you did, with the defense played extremely well the entire game and then the comeback in dramatic fashion?
Smith:"I think the way this game was won was a perfect way to win it, because it taught us lessons within the game and it taught us how to fight back out of adversity when that's been a thorn in our side. Whenever anything bad happens or the tide gets turned, we haven't been able to turn it back around. We caught adversity here in the third and early in the fourth quarter, offense turned it right back on and got a score and then we were able to finish the game, and that's something we haven't done as of yet. It's a beautiful thing to be able to put a full, complete football game in."
CB DJ HAYDEN
Q: You had some ups and downs and you made some big plays tonight. How does it feel?
Hayden:"It feels good. It always feels good to win. I'm glad we came out there. We executed it, we did our job and we played good tonight, and we got the 'dub'."
Q: Watching Woodson, the only guy in the NFL to have 50 career interceptions and 20 career sacks, can you see how he's flying around at 38-years-old?
Hayden:"Man, Wood is amazing. Wood out there – when he got drafted I was probably still in elementary school, you know what I'm saying? For him to be out there playing at a high level where he's playing at, man, it's amazing. It's a blessing and I'm glad for him. Wood's going to be in the Hall of Fame, first ballot, and I can't – he the man. Just know that, he the man."
Q: When the Chiefs were scoring there in the third and fourth quarters, what was going through your guys' minds?
Hayden:"They got a little bit. In our mind as a defense, we've just got to keep playing football. You've got to go out there and you've got to keep executing our job. They got a little bit, OK. So what? On to the next play. It happens, you know what I'm saying? But we've just got to keep fighting."
Q: Did you guys feed off the crowd tonight?
Hayden:"Oh yeah, man. Our fans are amazing, man. Our fans are full of energy. They always out there turned up and I love our fans."
S CHARLES WOODSON
Q: Can you describe what it was like to win with these guys?
Woodson:"Man, it was a huge load off our shoulders. To come into this game 0-10, not having won a game, that's pressure. The pressure starts to mount to get that first win. We came out fired up, came out ready to play. We got up on them early and they fought back, and for us to end the game and finally find a way to come up with a win, our offense driving down there and getting a score, that was unbelievable. That's exactly the kind of thing you need for your team when you're struggling the way we've been struggling."
Q: You're the first player in NFL history with 50 INTs and 20 sacks, how does that feel?
Woodson:"I will say yeah, it's because I've been playing a long time, but I think what it also says is that I've been a productive player. I've been able to do a lot of things. I've been put in position to make plays for the teams that I've been on and they've put me in a lot of different positions and a lot of different scenarios where I could come up with plays, and I've come up with a lot of them. This team is no different. The coaching staff, even though I'm 38 years old, they've trusted me to go out there and do those things. I'm just happy to be a part of it. This win was huge for this team and for this organization. It was huge for us."
Q: Was it a storybook setting playing the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football?
Woodson:"Yeah, after this game people were either going to laugh at us or they were going to respect us. I think that's the way guys approached this game – this was our only primetime game of the season, this Thursday night game. People know what our record was coming in, so everybody was going to get a chance to look at us tonight, and everybody was going to be able to form an opinion about us after the game. What we did today is went out there and fought for a full 60 minutes and came up with a big win. You wish you could've done it earlier, got that first win earlier and your record been a lot different, but it doesn't matter. We got the first one, it feels good and now we'll move on from here."
Q: Ronnie Lott always says that winning is the greatest deodorant, are you buying that?
Woodson:"No doubt about it. I do buy it. We needed it, man. I don't think there's any other way to put it. We needed this win. It just lets you know that you can do it, even though we haven't done it to this point. We got it done tonight. Now in this locker room, there's no excuse not to get the next one, so we have to continue to not rest on this game because we still have a lot of things we have to fix. We were up on that team, we had them down and we let them back in the game, so there's a lot of corrections from our team's standpoint. But, boy, this feels good."
Q: Your thoughts on LB Sio Moore and LB Khalil Mack doing their dance after that sack?
Woodson:"I don't need any more of that. I couldn't believe it. I told them that was the first time I had ever seen somebody celebrate for a whole 40-second clock. That was ridiculous, and they know it. I told Sio he's lucky we got the win because we really probably would've had to fight, and I would've seen exactly what kind of fighter he was. I'm glad we got that win."
Q: How special was this win, given what your team has been through?
Woodson:"I put it like this, losing hurts, losing is like the worst thing in the world, but the feeling you get from losing doesn't compare to the feeling you get from winning. I'm happy as hell. I don't know how better to say it."