Safety Xavier McKinney
On wearing a Tennessee hat …
A: Man, I was really confident in my squad. I still am but things happen, and it is what it is.
Q: Are you getting like a rash up there or something?
A: Yeah, my head did start itching when I put it in. I think I may take it off.
Q: What do you just have to wear it during the media session and then you can take it off?
A: Yeah, yeah. As soon as this is over, I got to throw this in the trash.
Q: And we're not allowed to take pictures of you, obviously?
A: Yeah, no. But we are already on camera, so it is what it is.
Q: Didn't you go to Alabama?
A: Yeah. It's rough, man. It's rough. We going to bounce back though, we'll be alright.
Q: What do you think of (Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback) Trevor Lawrence?
A: I got to play him in college, I played him once. Obviously, I think he's a really good quarterback. He has a really good arm and makes smart decisions – he's grown a lot since I played him. He was young when I first played him, but he was really good. He's gotten a lot better, and it shows. They got a good team; they got a lot of good athletes around him. A lot of guys that can make plays in space and are playmakers. As I said, it's going to be one of those things where it's going to be challenging for us as a defense. We just got to go out there and execute it.
Q: Is he more mobile than people think?
A: Yeah, he can run for sure. I remember watching – I think they played Ohio State, it was in a playoff game one year – and he had a super long run. That's when I realized like, okay he can really run. As I said, every quarterback now pretty much has the ability to be able to use their legs, nobody is really slow, and nobody is really a true pocket passer. That's what makes it obviously challenging for a defense nowadays.
Q: They also have a good pair of running backs (running back Travis Etienne and running back James Robinson). A one-two punch. How are they unique in terms of the challenge they pose?
A: Both guys run really hard. Obviously, I got to play (Jacksonville running back Travis) Etienne as well, so I've seen him quite a few times. Like I said, they're both able to just make plays. They're playmakers, if you get those guys out in space you can line them up as a receiver and just get the ball to them and when they get downhill, they're explosive, they're able to make moves and make guys miss. That's a good, dynamic group that they have in the running back room for sure. We definitely got to be prepared to be able to stop that run.
Q: Is it more challenging when you face running backs that have a one-two punch versus a single guy?
A: For sure, yeah. I think a lot of times both of them – they're not the same. They do things differently. That challenge kind of presents itself when you got to know who's in the game and who can do what and you got to adjust accordingly. That's definitely a challenge.
Q: (Safety Julian) Love got his first one (interception of the season) last week, are you itching to get your first one this week?
A: Yeah man, we trying to get one every week. It'll come; I'm not stressing over it. Just got to keep doing my job and helping the team out and helping the team be able to execute and go out there and create wins.
I read the bet was with a trainer