Coach Fisher's Friday press conference


HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, FRIDAY, NOV. 28, 2008

(On the schedule following three games in 11 days)

Yeah, we came in mid-morning today and got a workout in and broke down and looked at the tape. Now they're off and they will be returning on Tuesday for a workout and then we'll resume a normal week on Wednesday.

(On if the team is the healthiest it's been at this time in the year compared to other years)

Yeah, we don't have any injury concerns other than the normal bumps and bruises and we expect them to pretty much clear up over the weekend.

(On if this week will act as a bye week with the extra time off)

Well, that's the object of the bye week, to rest and recover. So that's the message and they understand it and they've received it and they welcome it. This has been quite an intense couple of weeks so we'll be able to get our legs back and modify our lifting/training programs and get ready for the stretch.

(On if players will stick around the facility during the extra time off)

I gave them the schedule well in advance. I wanted them to know what was ahead. What happens is the wondering ends up being a distraction and so we addressed it early weeks ago in case they wanted to travel and that was done. It was stressed to them, take care of it and enjoy it when the time comes. It's difficult for players when they don't really know what's going on and whether they're going to get a day or two. So I think they appreciate that and I can't tell you how many are going to leave or how many are going to stay. I would assume we'll have quite a few guys stay in town.

(On how the extra time off affects the preparation for the Browns)

The staff's not going to go jump ahead of Cleveland. We'll just get an earlier start and then we won't have to be as rushed as we were last week.

(On the possibility of clinching a playoff spot next week)

Well, I mean our whole approach is no different. It's just win the next game. That's what it is. It's all about Cleveland. If those things worked out than basically we just reached one of our goals and that's everybody's goal. If that's the case then you push on and you prepare for the next week hoping to prepare for another one.

(On if he'll root forIndianapolisto lose this week to clinch the AFC South for the Titans)

No, not necessarily. Obviously, those things are out of our control. If I was rooting for Indy then I wouldn't be rooting for Cleveland. If I was rooting for Cleveland then I wouldn't be rooting for Indy.

(On if he's worried about players getting too confident after blowing outDetroit)

No, they understand today that the Lions are struggling, that they're lean, they've got injury issues. We expected to win this ball game but we kept it in, I think, a proper perspective last week. It was good for us to win the game. I think more importantly, what was more gratifying to me was that they did what we asked them to do and they won how we sold that we had to win. And that was with physical play, stopping the run and run the football. From that standpoint, we accomplished something that we set out to accomplish. Regardless of the ability-level of your opponent, it's difficult to do that and we did that and that's a positive.

(On if they fixed the problems in the running game)

No, it's a week-to-week issue. It's a commitment. We've made the commitment years ago and made it throughout the season but it's, every opponent is different. It worked out well for us. We had some opportunities for some additional big plays that we didn't take advantage of on the table, which obviously was made clear to them as well.

(On which group spurred on the running game against the Lions)

It was everybody. It was tight ends, receivers, backs and offensive linemen.

(On if Kevin Vickerson has been a nice surprise filling in on the defensive line)

Well, it's important that we continue to rotate our defensive linemen so Kevin is falling in the rotation and has been productive for us. He's playing hard and I don't know how long that's going to last. Obviously, we certainly expect to get Jason [Jones] back. He's just another example of guys stepping up when we needed them.

(On if Dave Ball's playing time this year has helped him become more productive)

I think he clearly benefitted from the work when Kyle [Vanden Bosch] was out. That work on Sunday in addition to the work during the week is what's paying off for him now.

(On what Dave Ball does well)

Well, he's an effort guy. He's a smart guy. He understands formations, he understands his responsibility and he really understands pass rushing. He's not limited by any means. He understands it and he takes advantage of it.

(On if Nick Harper is the only concern injury-wise)

I really don't have concerns of anybody right now. I don't think Nick [Harper] is going to have any issues next week.

(On his thoughts on Lane Kiffin being named the next coach at theUniversityofTennessee)

Well, I've not heard that but I'll talk specifically on what I know about Lane. I mean I know Lane was an excellent college coach. He was involved in recruiting out there at USC. It's probably a good job to have, not necessarily a difficult job out there. Of course, I got to know Lane in his short time here in the league and I thought Lane was very, very prepared. I thought at the time he did a great job communicating. He went into a very, very difficult situation there at Oakland. I thought he handled it professionally. He certainly had that team moving in the right direction in the opinion of his peers, and that would include me, and didn't get a chance to finish it. I think he can be a great college coach.

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