Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on what he attributes the seven turnovers from Sunday's game against the Steelers to)

Well, you can blame it on ball security, but all of the turnovers were different.  Except for the interceptions, on the fumbles the ball was knocked loose.  Marc's (Mariani) was punched out, they were slapped out in the pocket and we had one where it looked like a knee knocked the ball out of CJ's hands (Chris Johnson).  We have to do a much better job of protecting the football—at all costs. 

(on what went into his decision to switch quarterbacks and if getting Vince Young more experience played into the decision)

Experience had nothing to do with that decision, from this standpoint.  It's like if I decide to fake a punt or go for it on fourth down.  I'm going to make a decision and go, and I made the decision.  Now there is no carryover, he's (Young) our starter this week and beyond.  He doesn't need to look over his shoulder and for all intents and purposes it doesn't happen again.  It happened yesterday, we needed to throw it to catch up and win.  Kerry (Collins) has had a lot more experience with this defense.  In time, Vince will be able to do those things.  It was kind of a one-time thing; it's an issue we've put behind us.

(on if he'd do it again in the future)

First, I'm not one to deal with hypotheticals.  Secondly, I don't see that happening again.  If it does, I'll make the appropriate decision at that time.  But Vince is our starter, I said that yesterday, he's our starter.  I said yesterday he's starting next week, and that doesn't mean he is starting just this week, he's our starting quarterback.  We've moved on.

(on if he's talked to Vince Young about the decision)

You think I'm going to talk to you about my conversation with my quarterback?  I mean we've moved on now.  The whole-entire team had a tough day yesterday with the exception of the defense.  Even as coaches we probably had too much in the game plan, we probably asked too much of our offense against this defense.  If I had to do things over again, I'd do it just the way I did it.  It was the best decision for us at the time based on the information that I had and have and unfortunately I can't share it all with you, but I made that decision.  There were some good things in this game.  For our defense to go on the field seven times after a sudden change and not give up a touchdown and to keep going back time, after time, after time and play the way they played.  The numbers reflect that.  I thought special teams, with the exception of the first two plays, played at a high level.

(on his statement that he wasn't worried about Vince Young's feelings when he made the decision to pull Young and play Kerry Collins)

You asked if I was worried about his feelings, and I said his feelings weren't a consideration yesterday when I did it.  Winning the game was a consideration.

(on how he would expect Vince Young to react to being taken out of the game)

He shouldn't like it.  No one you take out of the game should.  Do you expect them to like it?  No, they shouldn't like it.  I would expect any player who was replaced for any reason not to be happy with it, but what you do is you come back to work, you work harder, you learn from it and you improve.  That's the game, that's the position (quarterback).  You saw what happened around the league yesterday. 

(on if using more bootlegs in the passing game would have helped Young be more successful)

At times I think, but they're pretty good on the edge.  Those two linebackers are good on the edge.  Often times, you don't want them moving around, you want them starting from a stationary position.

(on what he meant when he said they asked too much of the offense in game planning for the Steelers)

I think in retrospect and talking with the offensive staff, I think we had a little too much going into the game plan.  You know what that is, that is also a reflection of how far he (Vince Young) has come at the position.  It was a bad day offensively.

(on how they are going to go about fixing the turnovers)

CJ (Chris Johnson) hasn't had a lot of problems with the ball, and it's just kind of one of those things that happened as far as he was concerned.  Marc (Mariani) understands it, Marc was actually covering the ball, he was bringing a second hand to the ball when it got chopped out.  We address it on the practice field, and we'll continue to address it.

(on if he was surprised that Vince Young struggled against the Steelers defense)

Again, you look around the league there were some tough times yesterday by some really good quarterbacks.  The position is hard to play.  I am not disappointed in him or his development or his path or anything like that.  It's just a decision I made to try and win the ballgame.

(on Vince Young starting to have a pattern of fumbling)

No, they're just swatting it out.  He's gotten it knocked out in different situations, and we have to be—the entire team, anyone who is handling the ball has to be much more aware of security.  We're going to face teams that do that week after week after week.

(on what they needed to do differently to prevent the kickoff return for a touchdown)

The recipient of the reverse, it was a well designed reverse and scheme based on what we had seen, the return man actually went to our right and then wheeled back around.  They knew he was there, they expected to see him come to the left, when they saw him go to the right they assumed it was not a reverse; he was just a lead blocker.  Never the less, there are lanes, there are responsibilities, there is contain, (Ryan) Mouton was unblocked.  He should have been tackled on the 15 yard line, so it was well designed and schemed well and executed well.

(on the importance of this week's game against the New York Giants)

I really haven't gotten started on them, but obviously the things that come to mind with the Giants and Coach Coughlin's teams are they're very physical, they're disciplined teams.  Their offense is explosive, they're balanced and their defense is a talented defense—we have the challenge of facing one of our own, if you will, one of my favorites of all time in Keith (Bulluck).  That's going to be a huge challenge because he does know; he knows our defense, he knows our offense and so that in itself will be a challenge.

(on Jacob Ford just missing a block on the punter that would have sprung Marc Mariani for a touchdown on a punt return)

He was hustling down.  He had a different responsibility and when he saw Marc break he turned left and just didn't get him.  He had to reverse some field and the punter he just didn't have a chance to make that block.

(on if he has any news on Jacob Ford's MRI results)

No.

(on if he is worried that Ford will miss a significant amount of time with the injury)

I haven't ruled him out for practice on Wednesday.

(on if he thought there was a hold on Chris Johnson's 85-yard touchdown run)

It was a hold.  It's one that if you're going to call it, then call it every single time.  It just happens, it wasn't the only hold in the ballgame, it just happened to be one that was called on us at the wrong time.

(on if the offensive line was out of sync against the Steelers)

You know, we had a couple of issues but it's one of those deals that when you lose a game like this, you can look across and you can see everybody may have had one or two mistakes throughout the course of the game.  But each mistake was a big mistake.  Overall, for three quarters I thought the offensive line was effective.  They were efficient, we got guys covered up, we got people blocked, we just didn't get the cutbacks we needed.  Protection was okay; we gave up some pressure and gave up some hits late.  Some of that was not necessarily the offensive line's fault.

(on if there should have been a penalty called when the Steelers slammed Vince Young down)

Yes, there should have.

(on why they didn't make that call)

You're going to have to ask the referee.  I was wondering the same thing.  You say if that happened to (Tom) Brady or that happened to so and so or so and so there would have been seven flags on the field, yes probably.  Why wasn't there one yesterday? I don't know…maybe it was the heat.

(on if there should have been a defensive pass interference call on the pass intended for Nate Washington)

If I was on either side of that play, I would have been happy with defensive pass interference being called.

(on if he noticed Chris Johnson being disheartened after his 85-yard touchdown run was called back)

No, we got away from the run.  In the fourth quarter we had to throw it to try and catch up.  He still worked hard, and you can understand that—I mean an 85-yard touchdown run called back.  CJ is the only one who has to deal with that, or he is one of just a few perhaps because there aren't very many backs who can go 85 yards for a touchdown.  He is doing that thing consistently now, so you can see how frustrating that can be for him.

(on if Troy Polamalu's leaping tackle over the offensive line at the goal line is a legal play)

As long as you're not in the neutral zone or over the neutral zone when the ball is snapped it is okay.  Yeah you can jump over, you can go over—there are rules against leaping and leveraging in try situations and field goals but not on scrimmage plays.

(on if Polamalu was in the neutral zone on that play)

There is no way he was not in the neutral zone.

(on if there was a sense of urgency in the locker room at halftime)

I thought the staff did a great job of adjusting.  I thought the team felt like we had a chance to win the ball game.  We got the adjustments done.  Guys came out and they were ready to play, I was not concerned whatsoever about them.  We thought coming out that the heat was going to work to our advantage in the second half and we just continued to turn the football over.

(on how important the upcoming game against the Giants is)

It is (important), and we talked about it this morning.  You have to put it in perspective, and when guys leave the building they have to know exactly what happened and why it happened and make sure that everything is corrected and then leave it and move on to the next one.  You can't have a lingering effect when you come back to work on Wednesday.  I would expect to have the same attendance as we had last week on their day off; we had seven-eighths of our team here on their day off doing something, so I would expect the same thing tomorrow, we're going to put it behind us now and we're going to move on.  The biggest thing we have to deal with right now, injury-wise, is (defensive line) Coach (Jim) Washburn.  He is probably going to be coaching on crutches for the next month, maybe up to six weeks.

(on defensive line coach Jim Washburn's injury)

Let me put it this way, I will have an injury report for you on Wednesday.  He's getting treatment so…it's rough.  He's got a very sore leg to say the least.

(on their recovered onside kick)

We've done some good things on teams over the years from a scheme standpoint.  Taking advantage of the rule changes and such, it's hard to recover.  We just felt like we would have an opportunity with this, Rob (Bironas) has been working really well with a number of different kicks and it is not his only kick.  We felt like it would give us a chance and it did—it was very well executed.

(on the choreography that went into the onside kick and if it was important in the success of the play)

Yes it is.  They called timeout, perhaps a little bit too soon, but they called timeout after they saw how we were aligned just to make their adjustments.

(on if how the Titans and the Giants will be going into their game this Sunday after getting beat up on Sunday)

Beaten up?  Physically we have no issues, no ailments or anything.  We have to rehydrate, but half of this team played as good as they're capable of playing.  I'm not blaming the loss on the offense or special teams, because certainly the defense could have done [more].  I mean you scoop or recover the second fumble that is on the ground and it's a different ballgame.  This team will put it behind them I'm sure, as will the Giants.  The Giants understand that (Indianapolis) is not an easy place to play—where they played last night, that's not an easy place to play whatsoever.  That was a team that was embarrassed in week one and came back and the Giants are not familiar with the Colts and that was obvious, so I'm sure they'll put it behind them.  We're not in that must-win thing, but we're in a situation where we have to play better in order to win.

(on if he prefers that his team falls on a loose ball or if he prefers them trying to scoop and score)

Well the first one that is what happened, and the second one that probably would not have happened because Dave (Ball) is in the middle of nowhere and he falls on the ball and everyone says, 'Well, why didn't you pick it up?'  Then the second one happens and they try to pick it up and no one can get possession of the ball.  It was just kind of a turn of events.  Another example is it's very difficult to get someone unblocked on a punt rush, yet we get Cookie (Jared Cook) unblocked and instead of going in there doing this (extending his arms with his hands together) he does this (extending his arms with his hands apart) and gets just a portion of the ball instead of the entire ball.  He found himself surprised that he was unblocked, so those are things that happened in this game that are all contributing factors.  If that punt is blocked, we've got two guys to scoop it and score it.  Unfortunately, there were well over a dozen of those type of situations in this game where the outcome could have been difficult.

(on Kenny Britt's false start penalty and if it was becoming an issue with Britt)

All of the false starts are a concern of mine.

(on if Chris Johnson took as much physical abuse against the Steelers as he has in a long time)

No, he is going to get tackled.  I would say no, from this standpoint, he didn't have his normal amount of carries. 

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