Coach Fisher's Conference Call With Jacksonville Media





(how is your team health-wise?)

"We'll have a better idea. We'll have an injury report once practice is over but I think we're healing up. I think we'll be ok."

(is desperate for a win overstating it?)

"What you do is you take it one day at a time during the week. You practice, you meet, you stay positive and stay focused and do everything you possibly can to get ready to play your best football, period. You take a one-game approach to it. We're not talking about playoff implications, we're not talking about division, we're talking about this weekend. That's what's most important to us right now."

(what went wrong so far this year?)

"We've lost the first three games by just a few points in each game and there were a few plays in each game that could have been different for us where we could very well be 3-0, but we're not. I still feel like we're a good football team that needs to learn to protect the football. If we protect the football then we've got a chance to win ballgames."

(are turnovers the common thread through the three games?)

"Yes it is."

(other than working on that in practice, what else can you do to change that or avoid that?)

"Close ball games against good opponents, you have to protect the football, you have to get it back, and it's been an emphasis. It was an issue for us. To me it was why our season ended last year, so it's been an emphasis but not an over- emphasis and it's an explanation as to why we lost the game. It's something that we need to do better in addition to tackle better and play better special teams and score more touchdowns and be more efficient on offense on third down."

(are you surprised by the way things have gone?)

"As it relates to our team?"


"Oh, yeah. No one wants to start off 0-3 but you have to be realistic, you have to look at it, you have to sort through it, get past each week and just do the best you can to get ready to win the next ball game. You can't dwell on it. If you walk around like a 0-3 team you're going to be 0-4, and that's almost assured."

(how do you keep your team confident?)

"It's not about the record right now. This is about getting ready to play the next game. Everyone can dwell on the record all they want, we're not. We're improving as a football team and trying to win the next game. I think that's how you change changes around. I've been 1-4 and gone to the championship game before. You don't want to start off the way we did, but we can't change it. All we can do is look ahead and look to the next week."

(how do you keep guys from pressing? That's kind of a natural tendency, isn't it?)

"I guess that could be the natural tendency, but you tell them don't press. This game should be fun. So you go on the practice field, you have fun. You go out there with energy. Install your game plan and you do the best you can and things turnaround."

(you've had some fun playing in Jacksonville. Does give your team a little confidence?)

"The past has really nothing to do with what's taking place this weekend, and that relates to our record, it relates to our record last year; it has nothing to do with it. What's important is how we prepare, how we play. You carry a respect level in each and every week for the team that you're playing. We've always respected the Jaguars. Jack's (Del Rio) done a real good job changing his roster and that was a huge win for them, and they're a team that's just going to continue to get better and better."

(how different are the Jaguars team to you?)

"Offensively, you're starting two rookie tackles that are tremendously talented and are only going to get better week after week. You have one of the top backs in the league and you have a quarterback that's very, very difficult to get down and makes good decisions and he's an accurate passer. They're always well-coached on special teams and they have a different defensive scheme now. They're different. They're smart in the secondary and talented and make plays. They're very stout up front. The scheme is different and it's much more difficult to prepare for."

(why is it more difficult to prepare? Don't a lot of teams use a 3-4?)

"I'm comparing them to teams from the past, I'm not comparing them to other teams in the league. Basically you knew where they were going to be and you knew they were stout, you knew what their philosophy was and it was a mindset. You've got to bring your hard hat and take a physical approach to trying to attack their defense, and now they're in different places. They're doing more. They're more sophisticated from an offensive standpoint."

(can you give a breakdown on your two guys in the backfield, Chris Johnson and LenDale White?)

"They're both talented backs. CJ obviously has great speed. As you've seen thus far he can make the big play. LenDale can make the big play. He's not necessarily a go the distance guy but I think his touchdown run against the Jets, especially with the kind of ability that he has. They're both physical. They'll both block. Unfortunately for us there are just not enough balls to go around. I'd like to get out of a game where each of them has 20-25 carries but that's just not possible."

(how do you divvy up the carries?)

"It's a game-plan thing."

(Mike Thomas had success with the run around play last Sunday. What is your impression of him after reviewing the film?)

"Are you talking about the reverses in general?"

(yes and his play overall?)

"He's a good player. He's got great speed. He's a good runner. The concept of the reverse as you add it to the run game is very effective. You fake the reverse, someone has to be responsible for it and that creates cutback lanes for the little man and you're too concerned about the cutback lanes, hand the ball off, you throw off the lead blockers. It's very creative. It's a very innovative concept."

(do you think the Jaguars lose anything by not having the one-two punch at running back with Fred Taylor?)

"Fred's always been a favorite of mine and it was always been a challenge because it seems like every time we play them he would bust out someplace and break off a big run. It doesn't appear from a production standpoint, a statistical standpoint that they miss him. Time will tell down the stretch if the little man wears down a little bit but right now he's playing really well. He's probably our biggest concern defensively going into this game."

(so the reverse plays do add something to prepare for?)

"Yes, they do. As I said it's an innovative concept that's unique and they've done a nice job with it."

(why do you think your team has had a lot of success in Jacksonville?)

"I don't even know what our record is down there."

(you're 9-5 down here)

"Obviously we have five loses down there that I would have hoped would not have happened, but every year is different and teams are dealing with different issues. There were a few years there where we were dealing with injuries and a young football team and trying to battle back. There were a few years there where Jack really, really had it going, he had a healthy team and they were playing well. But again this is a new year; the numbers have no impact on what happens this weekend."

(talk about your longevity in Nashville and whether you ever dreamed it would last this long.)

"I attribute it our ownership. Mr. Adams is a great owner and this is a great place to live and work and coach. We've got probably 20-25,000 people on the season ticket waiting list. We've sold out every game since 1999, since we opened the stadium. It's a great fan base and Mr. Adams understands this game and there are going to be some tough times because of injury or salary cap, but its high expectations. We've had stability for the most part on the staff. I've had very few changes on the staff. Those changes that I have had have been positive changes for assistants, namely Gregg Williams or Jim Schwartz, but for the most part we've remained consistent."

(talk about what Nashville's fan base has been like)

"We set the bar real high the first year for them, and I think they come back every year hoping that we'll get back and do better than we did in '99. But they're also educated. We try to explain as we did in '04 and '05 and even in '06 that we didn't anticipate it, but there were reasons for it. It's like anything, if they understand and they see improvement then you've got a chance to keep them and thus far we've been very fortunate."

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