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Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference




(on the injury status of Vince Young and Kerry Collins)

Vince was fine, he didn't have any issues.  I think we can assume that the ankle issue is behind him.  We expect him to practice this week.  We did an MRI on Kerry Collins' and Kerry has a calf injury and will probably miss several weeks.  I don't know how many, but he certainly won't play this week or be available to play the next two.

(on if they will sign another quarterback)

Not necessarily.

(on if Rusty Smith will be the backup quarterback)

Yes, Rusty becomes our two.

(on Rusty Smith's development)

He has a pretty good feel for the system and he's got, obviously, two pretty good quarterbacks ahead of him to look up to.  He's watching a lot of tape and preparing himself.  If he has to go, then I'm sure he'll do well.

(on if Vince Young did all of his rehab over the bye week)


(on what is involved with Vince Young's rehab process)

We placed him in a boot over the weekend, and there was really nothing to do over the bye week other than just rest.  When you come back you gain strength and work the soreness out, and that's what we did.**

(on if Vince Young needed to stay in Nashville to do more rehab on his ankle during the bye week)

No, I excused him from it.  If we felt that the rehab was going to help him or if staying behind over the weekend, then we would have asked him to stay.  It wasn't an issue, it was rest, we placed him in a boot.

(on if the team can make it mandatory to do rehab at the team facility)

Not necessarily, depends on the issue.  If we feel a player is going to benefit from treatment here, then we'll keep him here, yes.

(on why they started Kerry Collins over Vince Young)

It was clear to us at practice on Wednesday and Thursday that he didn't have the mobility.  So much of his accuracy is heavily dependent on his feet, and he didn't have the mobility in practice.  He was limping as he was trying to carry out fakes and that type of thing.  That was the reason for the decision.  I figured that giving him another week to heal up would be beneficial to him.  Certainly didn't want to put him in the ballgame and have him reinjure the ankle, because he could miss more time—three or four weeks if he had a problem.

(on if Vince Young could have overruled the decision to rest and play or if the team has the final say)

We discuss it.  The decision is made in the best interest of the player, and the player's health and safety.  We discuss it, he understood exactly what we were trying to accomplish.  We wanted to get him to a point where he could play in this game.  As a result of the decisions we made based on what we saw Thursday and Friday it made more sense to go with Kerry.

(on if Kerry Collins' injury is an unusual one)

Yeah, that's the nature of those calf injuries.  When you are dealing with big guys there is usually force involved and guys pushing on each other, but with those calf injuries, sometimes they just go.

(on why Kerry Collins had accuracy issues during the Miami game)

A couple he had people in his face.  They got pressure and penetration and had people in his face and couldn't follow through.  One he just missed, I think keep in mind he has a torn tendon in his finger and we're all too soon to forget about those things, but he's trying to make the best throws he can.

(on Kerry Collins' injured finger)

It may have been an issue on a couple of throws yesterday.

(on Randy Moss being tired at the end of the game)

We're rotating guys.  Let me make something clear, Randy wasn't tired because he's out of shape; Randy was tired because he was running go routes and deep routes down the field.  It's not uncommon for us, I did it earlier in the game on the first play of the game.  Nate (Washington) went deep, went deep and he has to come all the way back to the huddle so I made a sub.  That's just what was going on, he was running a lot of deep routes.

(on if they missed Randy Moss a few times when he was open)

I think there were a couple situations, where we could have gotten the ball to him.  That's always the case, as you look at a game there are going to be different options.  Unless you've stood under center and dropped back in the pocket and tried to look down the field, until you've done that, be careful about criticizing quarterbacks because it's not an easy thing to do.  As a matter of fact, over the years when I've had a receiver who complains about not getting the football I put him at quarterback the next week and let him try and see down the field.

(on how it worked when he had a wide receiver practice at quarterback)

The point was made very clear.

(on if Randy Moss complained about a lack of catches)

No, none whatsoever.  He was excited to play and I think he was a factor in the ballgame.  He was really in tune to what they were doing, and he blocked.  This might have been his best blocking day ever, but he was into it, he worked hard.

(on if they want to get Randy Moss the ball more in upcoming games)

There were some completions made down the field where other guys caught the ball when he was open. Granted he's been here just a week, we've got a lot of stuff that we'll sift through and sort through and try and create that opportunity for him.

(on if football is more difficult than other sports to see production out of a midseason acquisition)

Yeah, it is.  You're talking about an entire system.  Not to compare it to other sports, but basketball is a little different I'm sure, as is baseball.  We've got playbooks that are inches thick that you have to become familiar with.

(on the impact Randy Moss had on the Miami defense)

I think they clearly were aware of where he was.  We got safety rotation several times, and when you get safety rotation and you have an open formation then you have creases and we were able to take advantage of those things.

(on what he thought about Randy Moss saying he had a bad game)

I am sure he is quite critical of himself.

(on opposing tight ends having success against the Titans)

We had a lot of mistakes.  We had a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball, both offensively and defensively.  Mistakes that will be practiced on the practice field, that's been addressed and it will be corrected.  It was communication issues and things that should not have happened.  Both of those plays to the tight end should not have happened.

(on if it's usually a linebacker or safety that is covering the tight end)

When you have two high safeties it's usually a linebacker.

(on why the Titans third-down defense has struggled recently)

The last three weeks, I think we've had 18 third-and-one, two or threes, 11 of those have been third-and-ones.  They're hard to stop, that's the bottom line.  We've had twice as many third-and-one, two and threes in the last three weeks than we had in the first six weeks where third down efficiency was under 30 percent.  You can work all you want on third-and-one, but third-and-one is a hard down.

(on if he is satisfied with where the Titans are after nine games)

No, I am disappointed in the loss yesterday, for a lot of reasons.  I think we could have won that ballgame.  Again, congratulations to the Dolphins, they're well coached and a very talented team, but we didn't give ourselves opportunities, but we've learned from our mistakes.  The point of emphasis this morning was not to correct the mistakes, but to find out why they are happening.  We'll address them and move on.  It's always a concern when you come off the bye week, the tempo, the timing—our penalty numbers were down, but we just didn't make plays.

(on if they need to get Rusty Smith some reps with the first team offense in practice)

Yeah, he'll probably get some reps.

(on if this week has special meaning for him going against Mike Shanahan)

It's always a challenge.  He's one of the better coaches in the league, and he does a great job with his offense attacking defenses.  Now he has (Redskins offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) there working with him who is familiar with our defense because he was with Houston, so it's going to be a challenge.

(on why there is such a difference from week-to-week in the NFL)

That's exactly it, that's the case in the National Football League.  I think more so over the last three or four weeks, you look at teams and congratulations to the Cowboys, they rallied and beat a real good team yesterday.  Look at the Patriots for example, what they did over a two week period.  Their effort last night was extraordinary.  It is a week-to-week deal in the National Football League.  You have to make plays, avoid situations, avoid turnovers in ballgames and just execute.

(on if he will use Dallas and New England as examples for his team to turn it around next week)

We just have to win a ballgame, that's our deal right now.  After two consecutive losses on the road and a bye week in the middle, we have to get back to playing Titan football which are the things we've mentioned.  We need to improve on third down on defense and run the football and score points.

(on playing Albert Haynesworth)

We obviously know he's a great player.  We're going to have to be aware of where he is, we're going to have to do some things in passing situations.

(on how quickly Randy Moss picked up the game plan)

He picked up the entire game plan.  Mike (Heimerdinger) didn't have any issues, initially early in the week we felt like we might just have a package.  That in itself is going to be a challenge for Mike—going to the Randy package, but by the end of the week Mike called the game.  He didn't need to do that, which I think is extraordinary and it speaks volumes for what Randy was able to learn.  With another week under his belt we should get better, but it was a difficult game from a play-calling standpoint for Mike with the quarterback change and everything, but I thought for the most part we did a good job.  It was a unique game, especially when you're talking about play calling.  On the other side you're prepared for (Chad) Pennington and Pennington is down after the first series.  (Chad) Henne comes back in and then he's out and then you've got wildcat and then you have a mobile quarterback and so it was quite a challenge for the staff.

(on why they chose to play Justin Gage over Damian Williams)

Well Gage has been a starter here for a number of years.  Damian is up and coming, he's learning and making plays, but we felt like Justin can play the slot and he does a good job with it.  He gets open and can uncover and do those things, we're just fortunate that we have options.

(on if the Titans practice in preparation for a potential ending like the Hail Mary at the end of the Houston and Jacksonville game) **

We don't practice them every week, they're discussed in the meeting rooms, we rehearse them in training camp and we discuss them on a weekly basis.  When you play for 59 minutes and 58 seconds, it's hard to lose that way—it's very, very difficult.  It's one of those things; they don't happen very often, I can recall Mike Ditka won his first game with the Saints on a Hail Mary at the end of the game.  They don't happen very often, but there are specific responsibilities on both sides of the ball to give yourself a chance to make that catch.

(on if the Houston defender used proper technique when batting down the ball)

Bat it down, bat it forward.  Over the years those guys who go up and try and make that catch, typically that ball bounces around.  Bat the ball down straight down is what most people are coached to do and wall off and screen off the receivers.

(on if he could have sent Randy Moss back out on the field for the fourth-and-20 play late in the fourth quarter)

I could send someone back on the field, but it's hard to send someone back on the field who is trying to catch their breath.  We didn't anticipate fourth-and-20, and most good defenses are going to take away those shots to the defense.  They were three deep and only rushed three and they're not going to let you do that.

(on if Randy Moss is feeling fine after getting hit hard against Miami)

It was wind, yeah he's okay.  I spoke with him this morning.  I allowed him to stay back in Miami, we talked about it previously in the week, to wrap some things up.  He has a home there.  I spoke with him this morning; he already got his workout in and is feeling pretty good.

(on Kerry Collins' injury)

Calf strain.

(on Vince Young's injury)

I'll have an injury report for you on Wednesday.

(on if Vince Young got treatment on his injury today)

We had a lot of players get treatment today—coaches got treatment today.

(on David Thornton's progress after coming off the PUP)

Fortunately we have another week, so we'll get a few good days out of David.

(on Kenny Britt's injury status)

I think that goes on the injury report on Friday.

(on if he would commit to Kenny Britt being out for Sunday's game against Washington like he did last week with the Miami game)

Today's Monday?  He's probably not going to play, but I'll let you know later in the week.

(on if he saw Alge Crumpler in the New England-Pittsburgh game)

I did not.

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