Coach Fisher's Monday press conference

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HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, MONDAY, NOV. 24, 2008**

(On the rule regarding Justin Gage's catch and getting in both the toe and heel)

Yeah, it's the action. I got word from upstairs that his toes were down first and then his heel came down out of bounds. It's kind of unusual circumstances because most of the time when you're going out of bounds the heel is trailing. He was facing the field and the toes came down and the heels came down out of bounds and I got word that the toes were down so obviously it was worth the discussion. It is clear. I hadn't seen that, I was aware of the rule but I didn't know how they ruled it. I challenged it and obviously they explained to me that it's a continuing action. The toe's down, the heel's down and if the heel's out of bounds then that's it.

(On if it's normal to be allowed to pick up the challenge flag)

Yes.

(On if it was a critical moment in the game to challenge a call after the Chris Johnson fumble)

It was critical, yeah. At the time they were hustling and I couldn't get confirmation. The jumbotron feed that I saw, I thought there might be a chance and at that time it was critical field position. That's what it's for, that's what replay is for. I've had a lot of challenges over the years where I knew they were slam-dunk challenges. This one I wasn't quite sure but it was obviously worth the risk.

(On the pass interference calls on Chris Carr)

Yeah, I mean I commented on that last night. I guess it's just a matter of opinion. Jeff Lamberth is one of the better back judges at it and there was contact. They refer to it as the chicken fight, the hand-fighting thing and oftentimes that stuff is allowed to slide but apparently yesterday it wasn't.

(On what stood out after watching tape of the game)

We got beat. Not to be sarcastic but we didn't play well. We got beat by a good football team. We didn't play well offensively or defensively and we broke even special teams wise.

(On the ideal counter to a quick-passing offense)

Well, I'm not going to go into the specifics of our game plan because of the possibility, hopefully the possibility, that we play them again. But we need to play better. What happens on one side of the ball obviously is going to have an effect on the other side of the ball. Running backs run the wrong courses and turnovers, our inability to take advantage of a couple turnovers early and stay on the field. That obviously contributed. Our feeling was this going into this ball game. The Jets were scoring about 19 points a game going into our game in the first half and about 10 in the second. Our hope was to hold the scoring down going into halftime and that's in fact what we did. The feeling was we could get things going in the second half and make plays and find a way to win a game against a team that was obviously clearly fresher than we were because of their weekend off. Then we came out in the first series and turned the ball over to them and then it was downhill from there. It simply slipped away from us and we've moved on. We just finished meetings, we installed a game plan for Detroit, we just finished a walkthrough, we're somewhat of a healthy team and a team that has put this behind them just like we put wins behind us. We're moving forward and doing our best to get focused in a very short period of time for the next opponent.

(On if they're still trying to figure out the right way to use Chris Johnson)

No, not necessarily. I mean Chris is playing well as a young player, as a first-year player. He's not tiring out, he's not wearing down. We have to reestablish, however, the running portion of our offense and obviously get some things corrected in the defense against the run, which isn't particularly going to be that easy against this group because even though statistically they may not be ranked there, they're very well equipped to stop the run and to run the football. Our inability to run the football obviously led to a number of things in the ball game. Of course, the fact that we gave up points and had to play catch up led us to abandon it.

(On Kyle Vanden Bosch's snap count and his overall performance)

I can't tell you how many he played but I can tell you he held up fine.

(On turning a regular week into a short week)

Basically, this is a Thursday for us but we're installing Wednesday's installation. Tomorrow we will combine Thursday and half of Friday and Wednesday we will combine the Friday and Saturday installation, if you can follow that. We made it very clear to the players, they understand what's coming and we're going to meet tonight, have dinner together, we're going to sleep in the morning and rest and recover and come in and put a full day of work in tomorrow.

(On if the bigger short-week challenge is the schedule or overcoming bumps and bruises so fast)

I think overcoming the physical issues become, at this point, more of a mental game. We're preparing them for that and they've done a good job taking care of themselves. The football things are probably most critical and will require an ultimate level of focus because you're not doing things at full speed. So backups have to watch a walkthrough and it's different but both teams are dealing with the same thing. As of two weeks ago you see Thursday night games and that's the issue, that's the challenge. It's a short week and you have to find a way to prepare.

(On if he's considered moving Brandon Jones to the starting lineup)

He's rotating and playing in third down situations and he's getting plenty of work. He's been productive in making plays but so have the others and it just so happens that over the last few weeks the opportunities for us have been more inside than outside.

(On LenDale White's postgame comments)

Here's the chain of events. I'm a little disappointed that he expressed himself, which they're entitled to do, at the frustration and the loss and those things, before he came to me. He came to me after he visited with you people and we got things settled and we moved on. There's just this element of frustration when you're losing and not playing. We had 49 offensive snaps yesterday and we're scrambling around trying to make plays and it was just one of those things that happened. But we cleared the air, everything's fine and we moved on from it.

(On what LenDale White said to him)

We have cleared the air, we have an understanding and it's not the first time we've had a player frustrated over something. Not only frustrated over what happened in the ball game, because we all were, but also slightly regretful for speaking his opinion in the timing and the manner in which he did. Having an opportunity to think about it, he regrets what he did and obviously he puts the team first and was frustrated. We've moved on.

(On why LenDale White has not been used more)

Well, it's the different things we're seeing defensively. The thought that we might be able to attack the defense a little differently on the perimeter than in the inside running game. But it's clear now at this point in the season that one of the things we need to do is get back to that, it's time now to get back to the running game. If you look back at what we've done on Thursday during short weeks, you'll see. It's no secret, I mean that's what Detroit's going to try to do also, but you have to establish the run.

(On if he asked running backs coach Earnest Byner to throw passes to the running backs after a series of drops)

I'm not going to go into specifics as to what I asked and what I didn't ask. Those are scheme things, those are competitive issues.

(On if there was an altercation between Earnest Byner and LenDale White on the sideline)

Again, there was stuff that took place on the sideline, yeah. It's over, everything's fine.

(On if LenDale White will be disciplined)

I'm not going to comment any further on it. I'll say it's behind us and we're moving on.

(On if LenDale White will play Thursday)

 I would say there's probably a pretty good chance, yeah.

(On Lavelle Hawkins in the return game)

It was clear it was his first attempt. But I'd like to say now with experience, he'll get better. He handled the ball well but the kickoff returns teams are designed and they have reads and different things. I think with another week under his belt I think he'll get better at it.

(On if he wanted Lavelle Hawkins to use more of the field during returns)

It's difficult when you first start doing it to catch the ball, run fast and read your keys. It's a difficult thing, especially when your keys change and people switch and block early or take it late and get out of their lanes. But I think with experience he'll get better at it.

(On keeping Lavelle Hawkins as the lone kickoff returner)

I'm not going to go into that.

(On if other teams will try similar tactics the Jets used going forward)

I think clearly they're very talented up front on the offensive line, they have skill players and two talented running backs and a quarterback who can put them in position. We didn't play particularly well in a lot of different situations. We had guys cut on the backside of runs and missed tackles and we just didn't play well. Sometimes you go through a game and you have a couple players who look back and say they could have played a little better and we had about 40 of them that could say that. It was one of those days. We got beat and we have to correct it and we're moving on.

(On Jevon Kearse's forced fumble)

I think he was prepared and focused. I think he recognized the formation and anticipated the play. In a shovel pass, you don't block the end. There was nobody on him. If you don't block the end, something's up and he responded well.

(On getting Tyrone Poole acclimated in the short week)

I thought things went well Saturday, Saturday night and early into Sunday as far as getting Ty ready to go. He's got a tremendous amount of experience and it's just a matter of us relating our terminology to the dozens of other systems he's played in. We'll have him ready. Obviously, he went out on the field for a play and we were prepared. Jim [Schwartz] had quite a lengthy list, if you will, of things that we thought he could go in and execute.

(On Chris Hope missing the tackle on Leon Washington on the long touchdown run)

No, it was just an angle. Chris' angle wasn't as good as it could have been but that ball shouldn't have bounced out where it bounced out, it was a mistake. The breakdown took place up front.

(On if Nick Harper will return this week)

 You know I haven't ruled anybody out for this week. Robbie has the projected participation report.

(On having to put out a projected participation report)

No, I think it's a little subjective but both teams are asked to do it so that's a good thing.

(On what stands out about the Lions and if there's extra pressure because they're winless)

No, this is more about us than them. As I said, they can run it, they're very well equipped to run it. Their receiver is averaging about 20 yards a catch and I think with more time in the offense that [Daunte] Culpepper will become more and more productive. They've played some close games, they've scored a lot of points and it's not going to be easy especially on a short week.

(On not having Chris Johnson and LenDale White on the field at the same time)

We've done that on occasion. If you look around the league, on a rare occasion will a team put two tailbacks on the field at the same time.

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