HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, OCT. 13, 2008**
(On the week off)
I thought we got a lot accomplished last week. We're expecting the players to come back, a lot of them have been here and a lot of them came back today. We expect everyone will be here tomorrow for lunch and then for meetings and an early start on the Chiefs.
(On injuries to the defensive line)
I'm very encouraged right now. Very encouraged.
(On how different the defense would be without Kyle Vanden Bosch and Tony Brown)
Well, we've shown over the past few weeks that we've got a good solid rotation. We've got depth. Jacob [Ford] and David [Ball] played a lot and hung in there, so we've got depth. Kevin [Vickerson] unfortunately because of numbers, we have not been able to keep him active and Kevin's played games for us and played well for us.
(On how he decides how many defensive linemen to keep active for a game)
We've only had eight one game this year, every other week we've had seven, so it's not the first time. Eight is a luxury. Seven is a normal number for us and there's been times where we've had six. Seven, without question, is the normal number and we just had a unique situation.
(On if Kyle Vanden Bosch and Tony Brown stayed around the facility this week)
We had a number of players who stayed around over the weekend and that would include those two. Typically, players who could not practice last week or ones that we did not feel could potentially be playing or required rehab basically stay around. In Kyle's case, he could have been 100 percent healthy and he would have been around all weekend. That's Kyle.
(On if Kyle Vanden Bosch or Tony Brown will practice this week)
We'll be on the practice field with a normal schedule Wednesday. I haven't ruled anybody out from practice. If they don't practice Wednesday, that doesn't mean they aren't going to play Sunday.
(On if Justin Gage is fully back from his knee injury)
He's one of the number of players that we're hoping to get on the practice field this week.
(On Jevon Kearse and the number of snaps he is getting)
You know, his numbers are a little higher than we thought but he's still playing well and he's strong, he's not having any issues. We rested him intentionally this past week just because he's deserving of the rest. I expect him to be out on the practice field this week. I don't think we need to look at the numbers unless we see some sign where he's fatiguing. But I don't anticipate this particularly because of the great offseason work that he had here.
(On if the number of snaps Jevon Kearse is getting are expected)
Well, when he was here he played a high number of snaps. When he was healthy in Philadelphia he played a high number of snaps. I think the speculation was that we'd bring him in as a situational pass rusher and that we'd do what we did last year with Travis [LaBoy] and Antwan [Odom]. That's not necessarily the case. He's playing hard and if he gets tired, he comes over and stands by us and rests and goes back on the field. He's in the same rotation as the other three starters.
(On judging Jevon Kearse's talents)
There's gap-depth responsibilities, there's contain responsibilities. He'll flatten out on a bootleg and force the quarterback to throw it out of bounds and guess what? We don't see a bootleg for the rest of the day. And you don't see that. We see that. So there's a lot of those hidden things that he's doing for us right now well beyond the sack numbers and the hurries and the hits that are contributing to the success of our defense.
(On why the offensive line is having success)
Well, I think those numbers are obvious. It's the sack numbers, it's the running game, it's the protection, it's the number of times the quarterback has been hit and it's the fact that we're 5-0.
(On the Chiefs' rebuilding efforts)
Well, obviously they've had to make some difficult roster moves. One of those was Jared Allen. They've had a lot of draft choices and they've drafted well. They're playing a lot of young players. They've got some key players in some key positions like Tony Gonzalez and [Dwayne] Bowe and the running back is a very, very good player. They have good defensive players. They've had trouble winning ball games but all you have to do is put the Denver game on and it will get your attention. This is a team that's improving.
(On the level of unknown withKansas City)
Well, we played them last year but their roster has turned over significantly since last year's matchup. I think the level of unknown comes just from the week off. That would be the staff's concern because there's no way to predict what they've done over the bye week and what they're going to do from a game plan standpoint.
(On ifKansas Cityis better on offense this year)
I thought last year [Brodie Croyle] played well leading up to our game and he played well in our game. He made some plays in some difficult weather conditions on an icy, frozen field but I thought he knew where to go with the football and he knows when to get the ball to [Tony] Gonzalez and when not to. I think he's certainly a capable quarterback. We had a very good grade on him coming out so I think he gives them a boost, certainly with a week and a half, or the extra days of preparation. I think he's got a chance to be productive.
(On the rumors of Tony Gonzalez being traded)
Until we hear something, obviously the trade deadline is tomorrow and we don't start our game plan until Wednesday.
(On how familiar they are with Brodie Croyle)
We played against him last year. He played against us and started last year so we have a good feel and plenty of tape to evaluate him on.
(On if the upsets around the league this week help the Titans keep their focus)
We're not going to have any difficulty getting focused for this ball game. They left with that being the intention when they came back so I'm not concerned about that whatsoever. There are things however that do raise your concern a little bit after the byes and those are the normal things, the timing. Typically, after the bye week the penalties seem to creep up a little, the turnovers, the timing's off a little bit so those will be things that warrant concern during the week. But I'm not concerned about them taking anybody lightly or taking things for granted or coming in with a lack of focus. They're highly motivated right now. That's the one thing that's got us to this point is that they've carried a very high respect level each week for their opponent. That's what gotten us to this point and we're not going to waver off of it.
I didn't pay much attention yesterday other than the highlights but you anticipate that happening. The teams are too talented. It's still so early and everyone's curious and everyone's making predictions. You're going to see basically the same teams that you saw last year, they're not going to go in 16-0 and 14-2, they're going to go in 12-4 and 10-6. But the same teams are good. Those teams are doing the best they can to pull themselves out of some difficult injury situations and they showed that. Jacksonville has played very well two weeks in a row and look at Houston's great ending yesterday and the same with Indy. We saw firsthand what Baltimore's defense is all about and look what Indy was able to do to them.