HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER**
(on if roster cuts have been occurring)
The process has started. I'll confirm that some players have been notified, but we'll have a complete list for you tomorrow. I'm not going to go into who was released today. We've got competitive issues, we've got a process ongoing, and we've got a lot of things that we have to discuss. It has started and it's not easy. We'll turn the list in when the list is required to be turned in tomorrow and that's 5 p.m. our time.
(on how many players are left to be cut to get to the required roster number)
Again, I'll have a list for you tomorrow. Today is 'Monday' of a game-week, tomorrow is 'Tuesday' and we're game planning but the process is ongoing. It's not easy, as I said, we'll be letting players go that we think can play in the league. We'll be letting players go that have experience. Everybody kind of gave their heart and soul to this football team over the last few months.
(on the challenge of finding a kick returner)
We have returners and I'm not concerned about that. We've got guys on the roster that can do it, but I'm not concerned about it.
(on how much the roster cuts will affect the game week)
You cut your roster down to 53, in our opinion, gives us the best chance to win. That doesn't mean that we will be done. The likelihood of claiming a player on Sunday or Monday is probably not as great because we're in a preparation week. As far as the potential for it to happen, it's there. If it does happen, that player could most likely be part of the inactive list on Thursday night. As the coaches are game planning, we're game planning, we'll monitor what's going on around the league. If there's someone out there that we think can help we'll go ahead and make the move.
(on how much the short week affect roster cuts)
We anticipated the challenges associated with this week, so therefore the staff has started ahead of time in the game planning, if you will. Until you really get past the last preseason game you really can't get into that mood. The staff has started, they're very familiar with where we are from a roster standpoint and we have to go beyond 53 now. We have to start planning for the 45 that are going to be active at kickoff.
(on Mark Jones)
Again, I'm not going to confirm or deny anything. I'm not going to go into the individual specifics right now. We'll have a list for you tomorrow.
(on how the player cut process works)
As a staff we discuss it. It is an ongoing process. You have a rough number as far as players at each position. For example, the average number of receivers is five and the average number of defensive linemen is probably 8.5. You look at your roster and is the sixth receiver better than the ninth defensive lineman? Is that the best thing for the Titans? That discussion takes place. The decisions are difficult from the standpoint of informing players, it is not an easy thing. These guys have given everything they had to what we're doing towards our cause. The decisions are necessarily difficult to make. We can all come to terms and agree on the 53-man roster. Of course there are coaches that become sentimental because they have been around a player for a while, but they all understand it is a collective decision.
(on how Jason Jones and David Stewart performed against the Packers)
Jason did fine and Dave Stewart did fine. It was good to see them back out there. They played a little extra and didn't have any issues.
(on how much performing in the final preseason game had to do with making the final roster)
I think when we talk about making the team, there are different levels of making the team. There is a 53-man roster, there is a practice squad and there are guys that we saw enough out of that may not be on the practice squad but would have some future considerations. From that respect, last night had a lot to do with it.
(on if the workload is spread out among coaches for cuts and game-planning)
I talk to each player. The coaches are game-planning and when a player is notified part of the exit procedure is to go by and talk to the position coaches. It makes sense because they spend enough time together. I don't know how teams do it differently but that is part of the process. We have a step-by-step exit procedure that we apply.
(on if game planning for the Steelers is similar to last season)
They are much like us in that they are returning just about all of their starters. Their younger players have improved. They have the running back back this year. They did some good things. They barely give up any points. The most they have given up in the preseason starts to backups was 17 points in a game. They are well coached and I'm sure they feel they are equipped to have a shot to repeat. It is going to be a big challenge for us. When we finished today, the focus had to go to Pittsburgh. We had to leave the roster and leave last night's event and move forward to Pittsburgh and that's where I hope our players' mindset is.
(on how much preparation has been focused on the Steelers during the entire offseason)
Yes. That makes sense. As a staff you always look toward your opener in the offseason and you do additional work against uncommon opponents, the next opponent, different teams that have gone through coaching changes and things like that.
(on if Vince Young built up his confidence in the preseason)
I don't think he lacked confidence when he came to camp. I think he showed a great deal of confidence through the OTAs. I think the last two weeks were good for Vince, especially coming off the turnovers last week to bounce back right this week knowing he was going to get a chance to play quite a bit. He played well. He ran around and did the things we like to see him do. He was poised and made good decisions and it was a great throw on the fade.
(on how much the team needs someone to step up in the return game)
I am not concerned about our return game.
(on how much a player's injury can impact roster decisions)
If you're a guy who is in a competitive race for a roster spot, and you're not able to play or you're not able to practice, that's going to not help your chances. So it does have some bearing in some situations.
(on if players are surprised when they are released)
Well, players are realistic. They get it. They understand. This is a very competitive industry. Everybody knows they've got to produce or perform, or then you're going to bring a younger player in that's productive, that has potential. There's no guarantees in this league. They understand that. As far as what goes on behind closed doors, as far as our communication with the player, I'm not going to go into that, but players understand.
(on whether or not players know going into the last preseason game they might have to perform well)
I don't think it's a case where (for) a player, everything's going to come down to that last play of the last game, or production in the game. But players understand they've got to produce, and they also understand there's many, many other circumstances that have to do with (it). In the (case of a) particular player that's right on the edge, that 54th or 55th player, he understands that a lot of what happens is out of his control as well.
(on the challenge of turning the focus to the Thursday night opener at Pittsburgh)
It's about getting their house in order now. It's time to go to work. It's time to make a commitment – not that they haven't – but a commitment to a different type of work. It's a commitment to preparing yourself to play the best you possibly can. It's a little unusual that that falls over the weekend, Labor Day weekend, the Sunday-Monday, and we're traveling Wednesday.
(on the health of the team)
I think we're in pretty good shape, in a lot of ways similar to where we were last year.
(on what they can use from the preseason to evaluate the Steelers)
You can use the preseason to evaluate some of the changes on their roster, those that were not on the roster last year. But Pittsburgh's Pittsburgh, as far as they're playing.