Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference

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HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER**

(on if he has talked to Vince Young since yesterday after the game)

No.

(on if Vince Young has had an MRI on his injured thumb)

Yes he did.

(on if Vince Young's season is over)

Our doctors, our medical staff, are recommending surgery to fix the flexor tendon.  That would indicate that his season would be over, so in the next day or so we'll be putting him on injured reserve and he'll be finished for the year.

(on if Vince Young has had a second opinion)

I don't know.  He may want to get a second opinion, he may want to get two dozen opinions, but our doctors said for his position it needs to be fixed.  We're going to go ahead and do that based on the recommendation.

(on if having Vince Young on Injured Reserve will make the rest of the season go smoother)

No.  My focus is no longer on Vince Young; my focus is moving forward with this team.  As I mentioned last night, Rusty Smith will start, we will bring Chris Sims in in the morning.  He, in all likelihood will be a two until Kerry (Collins) gets better.  Obviously we have to get back to winning football games, so that is going to be the focus this week.

(on if he is on separate pages than Titans owner Bud Adams in regards to Vince Young)

No, he is aware that Vince has had the injury and we're going to put him on injured reserve.

(on if Vince Young's injury had not been season ending, would Titans owner Bud Adams have wanted him to be the starting quarterback despite his objections)

Well you're dealing in hypotheticals, but I will say this, had there not been an injury, but still his actions after the game, he wouldn't be the starter.  But we have an injury that is going to require surgery so we're going to move on.

(on he can repair  the relationship between him and Vince Young)

My focus is on this football team.  He's not going to play any more games for us this year because of the injury.  We can deal with all of that when the season is over.

(on if Vince Young will play for Jeff Fisher again)

I said we'll deal with that when the season is over.

(on if there could be a potential division within the locker room)

No, I don't think so.  The locker room knows what happened.  The locker room was very much aware—now on the field guys are playing they don't get the facts.  So I shared with them the facts as to what happened yesterday.  Vince (Young) never came to me, to Dinger (offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger), to Dowell (Loggains, quarterbacks coach) and said he wanted to come back in the game.  Clearly our best opportunity to win the football game was with Vince on the field.  No disrespect to Rusty (Smith), but Rusty didn't take starter reps, he wasn't prepared, he hasn't had a snap in the National Football League.  If I had thought that Vince could go out and give us the best chance to win then he would have gone back on the field, but that wasn't the case in my opinion.  He tried to throw, he sailed the ball and I was not going to put him on the field knowing ahead of time that he had an injury that would prohibit him from throwing accurately.  Again, it was all about giving ourselves the best chance to win, and that was the decision that was made.

(on what the standard procedure is for a player who is injured in a game)

You don't have to get into the protocol.  I am managing the game; I discuss with the doctors and go on.  One can assume, I mean common sense, you have a torn tendon in your thumb, you can't hold the football, it's taped up, you have to throw accurate passes to win the game—it's not going to happen.

(on if it's strange that Vince Young didn't tell him that he wanted to go back in the game, but was telling other people that he wanted to go back in the game) 

He may have told other people, but he did not tell the head coach, the offensive coordinator or the quarterbacks coach, so as far as I'm concerned he didn't tell anybody.

(on if he would have put Vince Young back in the game if he had told him he wanted to go back in the game)

No, the decision was based on the thumb and the injury, not on whether he wanted to or didn't want to or said he did or what.  It's just very, very cut and dry.

(on if he wishes Vince Young had come to him during the game and discussed his desire to come back into the game)

He threw the football; he tried to throw the football.  I'm sure most of you saw that, he sailed a ball and it went into the net.

(on if the next few days are particularly important after a player has challenged the coach's authority)

You know, that issue is over with; I discussed it with the team.  We're coming back ready to work on Wednesday.

(on if they considered releasing Vince Young)

No, he has an injury and we put him on injured reserve.

(on Jeff Fisher and Vince Young both being under contract through 2011 and Titans owner Bud Adams saying that he expects them to work it out)

My concern, again, is this week.  And I don't ever go into my contract situation, but I do have another year left on my contract.  My hope is that I finish my career here.  I did not speak with Mr. Adams regarding those issues; we talked with him regarding Vince's thumb and the injury.

(on if there was frustration building between him and Vince Young)

No frustration whatsoever.  All I've done here since Vince walked in the door is try and help him to be the best player he could be.  I've stood behind him and defended him from the get go, so there is no frustration.

(on Vince Young)

Look, if you want to talk about yesterday's game I'll be happy to, I think I've covered the quarterback issue enough.

(on if Vince Young has done everything he can do to be the best quarterback he can be)

I'm done with the quarterback situation.

(on if they will add another quarterback to the roster)

I said that we will be bring Chris Simms in in the morning.  We'll probably bring some other arms in and evaluate them just for practice squad sake.

(on if Chris Simms is the backup quarterback)

Yeah, it makes sense.  I mean he knows our system, he was here throughout the offseason and he knows what we're doing and he knows the players so it makes sense to get him in there until Kerry (Collins) comes back.

(on when they expect Kerry Collins to return from his injury)

It's hard to say, it may be a week, it may be two.

(on Randy Moss' role in the offense)

He had some opportunities yesterday, he was open.  He had an opportunity for one touchdown pass, and had an opportunity to convert a couple key drives but the ball wasn't delivered to him.

(on him saying that they would make  changes to the Titans)

I said I'll look into the possibility of changes, and I'm doing so.  This football team needs to learn to win some football games, and I'm not going to go into details.  There may be minor changes, there may be a position or two, I don't know.  We still have a lot of work to do.

(on what the Titans' biggest problems are in his mind)

The problem spot is that we've lost three games.  Our defense was on the field for 94 plays yesterday and we gave up 16 points in regulation.  We have to find a way to win that football game.  We had many opportunities in this game to take control of this game and win it, and we did not.  That's what you do, you look at what you're doing and you keep working to get better.

(on Jason Jones' injury)

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

(on how difficult it is for the offense to have a third different starting quarterback in three weeks)

It's been a little unsettling, yeah.  We've had changes in three of the last four games with Vince (Young) and Kerry (Collins).  Now we've got another one.  I'm excited for Rusty (Smith) because Rusty knows what to do.  Rusty understands the offense.  There is going to be some growing pains with him a little bit, but Rusty was in here at seven o'clock this morning.  I think Rusty will be successful.

(on if he's happy with the defensive game plan and defensive play calling)

I'm fine with what we're doing; we're just not making the plays.  I think our players understand what we're doing, Chuck (Cecil) does a great job selling the plan, we had a lot of opportunities to make plays and we didn't make them.

(on how they go about fixing their penalty problem)

There is no excuse for penalties that take place before the snap or after the whistle.  No excuse for Jason's (Babin) penalty, you just can't allow those things to happen.  The roughing the quarterback penalty on Spoon (Will Witherspoon), he's a veteran player, he's got to slide his head sideways, but it happened.  The pre-snap, post-snap there is no excuse for them.  We had the holding call on Eugene (Amano) that really gave us some field position problems down there on that second drive, that shouldn't have been called—it wasn't a hold.  You can debate some of the other ones, but we have to get them corrected.

(on if he agreed with the offensive pass interference call against Randy Moss)

You'll see that go uncalled.  The ball was thrown well outside and there was separation, and the official, because there was separation and contact just assumed that Randy separated to go to the ball.  It was a good adjustment.

(on if the post-snap penalties are selfish)

It's a lack of poise.  We have a second-and-22, that ball was clearly incomplete, clearly incomplete.  Yet it's not ruled incomplete.  If it's ruled incomplete we have a third-and-22, and we probably have a pretty good chance of getting off the field, as the stats suggest.  It's ruled complete, there's a push and shove and Jason (Babin) loses his poise and there is no excuse for that.

(on who initiated the conversation between him and Titans owner Bud Adams)

We took the position to inform him as to what took place yesterday afternoon and this morning.

(on the frustration after Sunday's loss to the Redskins)

In every locker room after losses there is frustration abound.  It's part of the emotions and you have to deal with them.  Our job as coaches and players are coming to terms with the difficult times.  You have emotions, you have all things going and you have to settle down and put things in perspective.  This is one of those situations where that didn't happen.

(on his frustration when they had to use their last timeout of the half so early in the second half)

You guys have been around here long enough to know that I'm going to save timeouts and I'm going to challenge intelligently.  I just got in a situation where we had to use a timeout.  Vince (Young) came off the field with his thumb injury.

(on if he would have rather they had taken the delay of game penalty rather than using their last timeout)

Not when you take into consideration the field position.  We had a personnel grouping issue and we had to try and protect field position.  There is no worse feeling than knowing you're still in regulation without timeouts because of things that can come up…and we had one come up.  We had a pass ruled complete that was incomplete and it was ruled complete.  Mike (Shanahan) was hurrying his offense up and then they slowed down when he realized I didn't have any timeouts.  That's why you don't burn timeouts.

(on if Vince Young should have saved the timeout and stayed down on the field after the injury)

It's hard; he played another snap after that, so it's hard.  We weren't aware of it, he walked over and said, 'I think something's wrong with my thumb.'

(on how offensive tackle Mike Otto did at tight end)

He did a good job; he probably played 10-12 snaps and did a good job at the point of attack.  Something we may have to continue with until Craig (Stevens) comes back.  I think Craig has a chance to play this weekend.

(on the chemistry between Randy Moss and Vince Young)

There were just some reads and progressions that were incorrect and that's what happened.

(on when he expects to talk to Vince Young)

I think there will be a conversation at some point.  I'm not going to put a timetable on it.  He's on injured reserve and we're moving on.

(on if he has told Vince Young that he will be placed on injured reserve)

I had the discussion with his agent.

(on how Vince Young's agent reacted to the news that they were placing Young on IR)

He understood.

(on if it's more beneficial for Vince Young to have surgery right away or to wait)

I think you do it as quickly as you can so you can start the rehab process.

(on if Vince Young is still subject to disciplinary action from the team despite being on IR)

That's between me and the player.

(on still  being in the playoff race despite everything that has happened recently)

There is an inherit difference between teams that are in the race and not in the race.  We're in the race, so I would expect these guys to be excited when they come back to work on Wednesday and bust their rear ends and get ready to help us win the game.

(on how Rusty Smith's decision making was in Sunday's game against Washington)

He sailed the deep ball a little bit, it was the right decision, the coverage took him there—the one that was intercepted.  He had the last snap, the one that was incomplete to Nate (Washington), he had Cookie (Jared Cook).  The progressions should have taken him to Cookie, Cookie was wide open, Cookie probably would have gotten down to the 20-yard line and for all intents and purposes the game would have been over.  That's how the game went. I could go to all the positions, if we finish a block here then CJ (Chris Johnson) goes 80 yards for a touchdown or if we do this and this happens and the same thing on defense.  That's kind of how the game went.

(on if they're going to activate David Thornton off the PUP list)

We're going to discuss that, we're still discussing DT's spot.

(on Rusty Smith's reaction to being the starter)

When Kerry (Collins) had the issue last week, Rusty became the two.  As the two, he got very, very excited because he knew he was a play away from playing, and he prepared himself to do that.

(on if having a receiving corps filled of veterans like the Titans have is beneficial to a rookie quarterback)

Rusty (Smith) is going to put the ball where the progression takes him.  That's why he's here.  He's not going to do it perfect, he's not going to do it all the time, but he's going to put the ball where he's supposed to put it.  I think they'll benefit from him.  We have a veteran group of guys on this offense that will rally around him.

(on the biggest challenge for a rookie quarterback)

Pressure.  Just pass rush pressure, defensive line, defensive pressure.  It's easy to spread the ball around on the practice field, it's pressure.

(on the difference between Kerry Collins' torn finger tendon and Vince Young's torn finger tendon)

Kerry's is the middle finger, with Vince you're talking about the thumb.

(on what they saw in Rusty Smith that made them decide to draft him)

In their system down there (Florida Atlantic), it's a pro-style system and Rusty made, continuously, all the throws.  From the bootleg throws, to the screen passes, to the play-action passes to the drop backs, so he's done that before.  That's why we had such a high level of interest in him.  He won a lot of games and made a lot of big throws.

(on if Vince Young will rehab at the team facility)

I think eventually yeah, but initially there is no rehab involved.

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