HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER**
(On handling the bye week)
We're going to take the same approach. I think there's a number of things that you want to accomplish. You want to heal up as a football team overall. Secondly, you look hard at what you're doing, what's been good for you, areas that you need to improve upon and you address those. Then you take advantage of the rest and I think we need to do that. At the same time you want to stress improvement. We've got younger players that we have to continue to get involved that we're going to be counting on, I'm sure, down the line. This will be a good week, a good opportunity for them.
(On various injuries that occurred in the game)
We're currently evaluating them. We'll have some players that will practice this week and we'll have players that will not, either because they're injured and can't or because we're going to rest them. I'll have an injury report for you guys next week before we get started.
(On Tony Brown's status)
He's got an ankle.
(On if he's had X-rays)
We've done all the tests that need to be done at this point.
(On the 5-15 penalty)
Anytime when you have multiple infractions on the field [where] one's a five and one's a 15, the 15 trumps the five basically and they enforce the 15-yard penalty.
(On LenDale White's reduced number of carries)
It was not by design, it was just the way the game went. We were using Chris [Johnson], he was effective. We didn't anticipate having as much difficulty running the football and we just tried to mix things up. It's not a case where Chris has outplayed LenDale, it's just one of those deals where we didn't get a lot of snaps. We had some three-and-outs and they had some long drives and it just happened. He will be equally involved in our plan when we come back.
(On if he thinks Chris Johnson has outplayed LenDale White)
Well, they're different backs, we have the one-two punch. We were just without the one punch yesterday because we went with Chris.
(On the hands-to-the-face penalty on Terrell Suggs)
We've been penalized numerous times on plays exactly like that.
(On if there's a chance the bye week could halt the team's momentum)
No, we have a lot of room for improvement and a lot of things that we have to accomplish. Let me just go into yesterday's game, for example. Defensively, we played pretty well. We had two missed tackles for seven yards and didn't have any missed assignments. With the exception of the penalties we played solid defense. Now, offensively it was almost as if everybody took turns making a mistake killing the play or killing the drive. With that being said, I mean last week we weren't happy with the defense in some areas. So it's just about improvement and they understand that. We have to continue to improve. We're not where we need to be and by no means in December yet.
(On if he encourages players to get away during the bye week)
Yeah, those guys that aren't going to require treatment, we encourage them to get away and rest and make good decisions and stay off their feet and take advantage of it.
(On if there's an advantage to getting away during the bye week)
Yeah, I mean I think it's good. They get away and they want to go watch their alma matter play or something like that, we're fine with that. That's typically what most NFL teams do during bye weeks.
(On being the hunted team now instead of the hunter)
No, we're trying to win the next game period. In the National Football League you get everybody at their best. You don't walk on the field and, because you've had success, have an opponent change their approach. Every week's a challenge. You've seen that throughout the league in the first five weeks.
(On differences between Stephen Tulloch and Ryan Fowler at middle linebacker)
Ryan played a number of plays because of sub-packages and the four-backer package and goal-line package and Ryan played well. I thought Stephen did a nice job. Stephen was not on the field an awful lot because of their selection. We had some third-down and three wide receiver packages but both of them are playing well for us.
(On the Keith Bulluck-Cortland Finnegan skirmish)
Keith kind of summed it up best when he said, "Hey, we're teammates, we're brothers, and every once in a while you have an argument on the back lawn" kind of thing. I'm sure it was exactly this. Cortland was penalized and Keith said basically something along the lines of, "Enough's enough" and Cortland said, "I didn't do anything, I shouldn't have been penalized." And in reality he should not have been penalized for that play. Then they start going, they're frustrated but we calmed it down and they're fine. They were fine last night and we don't anticipate any problems.
(On Tony Brown repeatedly jumping offsides)
He's trying to anticipate the snap and get a jump. That's the one thing we have to get under control, we have way too many defensive offside penalties or neutral-zone infractions. But the other side of that is, a few years ago there was a team that I think had one or two [defensive offside penalties] over the course of the year and they had maybe 12 sacks all year so there's a tradeoff there for your get off and your take off. But there's also situations where you know it's coming, where you have to be aware of it but not let it happen.
(On how much of the defensive offsides is due to quarterback's cadence)
It's all cadence. It's all cadence. If there wasn't cadence, you'd go on the ball. But it's all cadence. It's hard-counts and those kinds of things. It's not guessing, it's just cadence.
(On if Chris Hope was baited into his personal foul penalty)
You know, I don't know that he was baited. I think that one should have gone both ways. But it happens, you learn from it. It was a very physical game and they challenged us. Their approach, I'm sure, was to distract us a little bit and it worked. We have to learn from it and move on.
(On the performances of Dave Ball and Jacob Ford)
I think David and Jacob and Jason [Jones] did a great job. Even Jevon [Kearse] when we were down to the final four [linemen]. It was a "runfest" as they referred to it in the defensive room and we had four defensive linemen left. I was, in my mind, trying to figure out which one of our offensive linemen I could line up in the three technique had we lost another one. But I thought they handled it well. I think Dave was involved in four tackles and Jacob had three. We went down to the backups and they played in the critical time.
(On which offensive lineman it would have been able to play on the defensive line if it got to that point)
That's a secret.
(On if they will re-sign Chris Simms)
We re-signed Chris today, he's back under contract. Craig [Hentrich] had some lower back discomfort early in the week, was fine and kicked for us Friday and Saturday. But we just felt like we needed the security blanket knowing that if Craig had a problem before the game yesterday morning that Josh [Miller] could come in and do it for us. We had an issue in Miami years ago where Craig couldn't go and we had to go with Aaron Elling. We anticipated this being a field position-type game where you're going to need to get the ball off so it worked out good. Chris totally understood the move and we assured him that we'd get him back under contract and we did that today and we released Josh.
(On Josh Miller's short stay with the team this weekend)
Josh had a great deal. He had five free meals and he got an autographed cap and t-shirt and went home back to the golf course.
(On if they worried Chris Simms would sign elsewhere)
No, he was not subject to claiming on the waivers.
(On if Josh Miller is on call if the situation arises)
Well, he's staying in shape. He actually punted really well yesterday before the game.
(On allowing no sacks in the past three games)
Well, it's the line, it's the tight ends, it's the backs, it's understanding how important protection is and then of course it's Kerry [Collins] getting rid of the football. There are times when he bailed and there are times when he knew he could step up in the pocket. It's been three very good weeks from a sack standpoint.
(On Brandon Jones' performance)
We had to remind him just to stay patient because we hoped the plays would come. When Mike [Heimerdinger] started shifting the plays and getting away from the run, things kind of unfolded for us and Brandon did a nice job. [He made] several nice catches and had a couple other opportunities. We started off fast last week and he had a couple catches and then things slowed down. This week, things picked up at the end but he's staying in the plan and doing the right things and getting open.
(On the distribution of the ball between Alge Crumpler and Bo Scaife)
They're rotating and as it's kind of unfolding here, Bo happens to be on the field on third down rather than Alge. If Alge's there, Alge makes the same plays. We look at the position, the production at the position and we're getting a lot of production there.
(On the solid starts to Nashville's football teams)
Well, certainly our start is not related to their start. We can group them now. I think people are very excited about both of the starts. I'm very excited for Vandy, they've done a good job, they've been patient, they've done a great job building their club and they're very well coached.
(On Chris Carr's performance)
It's a combination. It's Chris doing what we ask him to do and getting the opportunities. It's all about executing. We had one of our better days in the return game executing and getting blocks. We were perfect on both kickoff returns and that just doesn't happen. It's the cast around him, it's the front line, it's the wedge, it's Ahmard [Hall], it's everybody using the technique that they've been told. We felt like it would come, we worked hard on it through the preseason and in camp and now it's starting to take hold. It's one of those deals where when you start off as a return team, you're getting eight yards or nine yards on a punt return or you're getting across the 20 on a kickoff return, it takes a big return to get the confidence. Now they've got the confidence and they expect that anytime Chris touches it that he could make a big play for us.
(On having three quarterbacks on the roster as opposed to two)
We've had two for obvious reasons. We're keeping Chris [Simms] around because he's important to us not only for the immediate future but for the future. It does create a situation as it relates to the rest of the roster but we're doing fine thus far. The depth and the potential production at the depth position allows us to keep a third quarterback.
(On Kerry Collins shaking off an early bad start)
The first one was a big play. They're not rushing, they can't rush and the defensive linemen are doing jumping jacks on the line of scrimmage and knocks the ball up in the air and they pick it off. The second one is one that you want to have back. He had someone in his face, stepped up and tried to make the play but he settled down. Those things don't bother him, he knows that there's opportunities ahead. He trusts his teammates, he trusts the defense, he knows that there will be opportunities and 10 points in the fourth quarter is pretty impressive against their defense.