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Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference




(on him appearing to be in a good mood)

No, just another Monday.  Actually, it's back to a normal week—last week was a tough week for us with a short week and all of that.  It's nice to get back to a normal week.

(on an update regarding Kenny Britt and the incident that he was involved in early Friday morning)

Not at this point, no—no change from yesterday.

(on what he thought about Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims' helmet-to-helmet hit on Chris Johnson after seeing it on film)

It's no different than when I saw it in person; I don't think it's a foul.

(on what he thinks about the NFL saying it was not an illegal play)

Right, it's not a foul.  I explained yesterday after the ballgame, but I'll explain again.  The helmet-to-helmet protection applies to a defenseless player and the quarterback.  It does not apply to a ball carrier until a time in which the ball carrier's progress has been stopped—or once he's on the ground.  So if the ball carrier's progress is stopped, and he's moving backwards or is wrapped up, then he gets helmet-to-helmet protection.  That was something that we added last year, and it makes sense, he's defenseless.  So in this case, CJ was still moving forward, he was still going down and it was just one of those things that happens.

(on why he had Vince Young as the backup quarterback on Sunday)

Vince could have played, but would not have played to 100 percent.  He did not have the mobility that we would have liked to start.  At this point, it made more sense to go with Vince as the two rather than Rusty (Smith) as the two because of Vince's understanding of what we're doing.  We felt like he could not only play in shotgun, but also drop.  He took drops in warm-ups, but he was limited, his mobility wouldn't have been able to run around and do those kinds of things.

(on if he's optimistic about Vince Young being able to start against the Chargers)

I am optimistic about this week, but he'll be day-to-day again.

(on if he tries to have an experienced veteran as the backup quarterback like Neil O'Donnell or Kerry Collins)

Yeah, we've been fortunate that both of them were available at the time in which we were playing a young quarterback.  I think it's hard to have a backup that's a young quarterback that you're developing.  I think you're better suited to have one with experience, that has played, that can come off the bench and just do what (Kerry Collins) did last week.  Again, I'll reference the third-and-12 completion, he made the play and then he could step in and play.

(on if the incident or the big game was a bigger wake up to Kenny Britt)

Again, I think they're two separate issues.  I think both of them will be helpful in the long run.  Sometimes when you face adversity in the face, you learn from it and you won't allow it to happen again.  I hope that's going to be the case.

(on what he's talked to Kenny Britt about thus far)

We've had numerous conversations; we had another one today, that's all I will say.

(on if Kenny Britt will no longer be punished)

No, I didn't say that.  I said yesterday I was still trying to gather some more facts.

(on if there was any point that Kenny Britt was almost inactive for the Eagles game)

He was pretty close to not playing, yeah.

(on when and how he made the decision to play Kenny Britt)

What I did was I talked to Kenny and I sent him home, as you're all aware.  So he didn't practice Friday, and at that point I was leaning towards sitting him.  But after several conversations with him and some other information that I was able to obtain, I felt better about playing him because of the nature of the timeframe.  The fact that there was not a lot of time, I didn't want to hurt the football team simply because I did not have the information.  Sitting Kenny down and taking disciplinary action from a club standpoint is still a realistic possibility.

(on what it says about Kenny Britt to respond and play the way that he did)

He paid attention, obviously.  He prepared Wednesday in the walkthrough and Thursday on the practice field as the starter.  He prepared himself to play Saturday at the walkthrough and Saturday night in the meetings and he prepared himself to play—obviously things worked out nicely for him.

(on if he thinks defenses will start to pay more attention to him now)

It really remains to be seen, I don't know.  He's been making a lot of big plays for us and he'll continue to do so.  In the long run it should help to open the run game a little bit.  Clearly they were not going to allow us to run the football yesterday.

(on if he's concerned about the NFL potentially suspending Kenny Britt)

The league is looking into the matter, that's all I can say.

(on if he's hoping to resolve the issue sooner rather than later)

Yes, as soon as possible.

(on if the reports are true about Kerry Collins having a torn tendon in a finger on his throwing hand)

He tore a tendon; he tore the flexor tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand in the game, and finished the game against Jacksonville and practiced all week with it and obviously it didn't affect him.  It's not going to require surgery, but it is going to require treatment.

(on if he's surprised that the Titans' offense is the league's second ranked scoring offense)

I'm not surprised at the production, I'm almost a little disappointed in the production—I'd like to have more production.  I think we can play better in all three areas, but the points yesterday in the fourth quarter were just what we needed to win that ballgame.  We got off to a slow start, particularly because of what they were doing and what we did to ourselves.  Finally, you could just kind of feel the offense coming around against a very, very talented defensive unit.

(on the Titans' rookie class' production)

We felt when we drafter AV (Alterraun Verner) that he had starting potential.  We didn't think that it would happen this fast.  Certainly knew that Damian (Williams) could contribute in the return game and as a receiver based on what we had seen.  We felt strongly that Marc (Mariani) could handle the return thing for us also.  Clearly disappointed for Derrick (Morgan) and the injury, but he was really coming along.  The rest of the guys are doing well, they're improving.  The guys who aren't contributing Rennie (Curran) for example, Robert (Johnson) and Myron (Rolle) they are getting better and improving and Rusty (Smith) is improving—it's a solid class.

(on if he is happy with the Titans' 5-2 start)

What I'm looking at is just improvement.  Improvement and production in the key areas, third-down efficiency on both sides of the ball, getting turnovers but protecting the football—those kinds of things.  I believe we're improving in a lot of those areas; we're doing good things defensively in the red zone which you absolutely have to do to win ballgames.  So we need to continue with that and we can even get better, but what my focus is helping this team to improve and of course preparing for the next game.

(on why the Titans' defense has been so successful in the red zone)

I think it starts upfront with the pass rush.  The ball is going to come out quick; teams aren't going to hold the football down there.  When you attack defensively in the red zone, because the field has shrunken it takes more time, so because of our pass rush we're forcing people to get rid of the ball quicker and that obviously lends itself to having production in the passing game.  The run game itself, you just have to have people going to the football.

(on if he thought Michael Griffin didn't hit the receiver going across the middle because of the increased punishments for hitting defenseless receivers)

Let me say this, had this play with Griff taken place last week or the week before, I think Griff would have done the same thing.  He saw that the ball was not catchable and he understood last week that he could be penalized for that.  This just happens to be coincidence here, but it is a positive thing and even though I think it is coincidence, it's a good example.  Even AV's (Alterraun Verner) hit on the tight end (Brent Celek), he's not one who's going to launch.  He never has tackled that way, nor is he really one that's going to go low because he respects the game.  The tight end got up, probably had the wind knocked out of him but came back on the field and so it was a good situation.

(on the production of rookie cornerback Alterraun Verner)

Again, I would not have expected this production.  He makes plays.  Now he made plays in college, so you know he's making plays, but making the plays he's making at this level—he's off to a real good start and he makes them a lot of different ways.  I'm really disappointed he didn't hang on to that ball.  It was a great break (on the ball).  Again, what makes him unique is he has a very, very short memory and you have to have that out there.

(on if having their bye week after the San Diego game factors into the decision to play Vince Young against the Chargers)

That is certainly part of the consideration.  There are a lot of factors you have to consider, but it certainly is.  Vince is most effective when he has his legs underneath him, not just as a runner, but as a passer—to be able to throw with accuracy it's all about your feet.  That was a concern of ours going into the ballgame and it will be a concern on a daily basis.

(on why he thinks the San Diego Chargers are struggling)

I think they're 30th in the league in takeaways and giveaways, that sums it up right there.  When you turn the football over and you're not getting your share—now they're very talented, I watched yesterday's game and they are a very, very talented football team.  Their defense is playing very well, it's kind of like here we go again, now we get to play another good defense and offense.

(on why he thinks the Titans have struggled recently on the West Coast)

We won out there last year twice; we beat the 49ers and the Seahawks.  Now we've had some difficulty against the Chargers, but they've had some good teams out there.  It has nothing to do with the travel.

(on if they did anything differently last year when playing on the West Coast to have more success)

I told them to play harder.

(on how the team was able to weather the storm last night against Philadelphia)

We went into halftime down by six, so a touchdown puts you up by one.  That was kind of the thought process, let's make the adjustments and the staff did a good job offensively with the protections and giving Kerry (Collins) options based on everything we were getting.  We put it into motion, and Chuck's (Cecil) plan and the defensive staff's plan against that offense was good.  We didn't do too much because you can't against them because you risk giving up the big plays and we just gave up the one big play.  They knew we just had to get it going offensively and we had a chance to win it.  The defense also contributed because we had to get the ball back.

(on if Kenny Britt's success makes him optimistic that Jared Cook can have a similar learning curve)

Yeah, it does.  Cookie had had a good week last week just because Bo (Scaife) didn't practice.  It's like trying to get three good running backs on the field; you've got them on your roster like we have three good tight ends.  It's hard to keep them out there.  Obviously Craig (Stevens) is the blocker and then the other two are more receiving-type tight ends and it's just hard to get them out there.

(on if he's concerned about the amount of snaps the defense is playing because of time of possession struggles)

I'm concerned.  We've played too many snaps thus far.  We'll keep a close eye on them this week.

(on what has enabled Michael Griffin to have interceptions in four consecutive games)

These are good plays; he has great eye-hand coordination.  It wasn't as if he was dropping those balls last year, he's putting himself in the right position.  If it weren't for William (Hayes) he wouldn't have had the first one because William got great pressure on (Kevin) Kolb and that ball was underthrown.  He had several other opportunities and he's critical of that, but he's playing hard, he's preparing, he's healthy, he feels good and he's in the right place at the right time.

(on Chris Hope missing a chance at an interception on the double-reverse pass)

Yeah, you need to go high point that ball and catch that ball.  That's fundamental football.

(on the second play the Chris Hope appeared to get beat on)

Yeah, but that was a coverage issue.  I don't think he put himself in a bad position. 

(on how much of a factor the wind played in the Eagles game)

The wind, with the exception of (David) Akers' kickoffs, the wind was a factor.  We moved Marc (Mariani) to the five or the eight-yard line and (Akers) driving it in the end zone.  We took one return opportunity away from Marc, I did, by putting him there but not thinking Akers would hit it.  It was a factor, clear factor.  It was pushing the ball around, for Rob (Bironas) to kick the way he did; it was pushing the ball around.  The wind was swirling and then we opted to take it in the fourth quarter because we felt like we might need a little extra distance on the kick in case we needed it.

(on if he was impressed with Marc Mariani's ability to handle the kicks despite the wind)

He can handle punts, he makes good decisions.  He was running all over looking like a center fielder yesterday.  The field position was important.

(on what Mr. Adams told the team after the game) **

He was just really excited.  He was very excited for everybody, he felt like they played well.

(on if he knows what will happen with David Thornton in regards to the PUP list)

We'll have some discussions regarding that this week.

(on how much of a factor Kerry Collins' injured finger played in some of his missed throws)

It's difficult to do what he did.  Especially considering he had to have it drained, he couldn't take a snap on Wednesday, and to come back and he was just not going to miss any time.  That's just the way he's always been, but you can imagine it's difficult to handle that ball.

(on how much of an impact the police investigation into the Kenny Britt incident will have in his decision to potentially discipline Britt)

I'd say I have to take into consideration what their position is, whether there is legal action.  There is always the potential for the league to impose disciplinary action, but I think we have a responsibility as an organization too, in the event that these things happen.

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