Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference

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HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER**

(on the challenged play)

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Well, what I explained yesterday is that we had some confusion in the personnel grouping and the play call. I was going to call timeout. Based on the fact that the play was close to scoring I just challenged it and just used the challenge flag instead of just calling timeout knowing full well that I probably was going to lose the challenge. Ordinarily you don't do that, but it was the fourth quarter, I still had a challenge left and it's highly unlikely that we would be put in a position to have to challenge twice, but it just made sense. I challenged the ruling on the field. I stated that I thought it was a touchdown.

(on whether the ball being respotted after the challenge should have meant Tennessee won the challenge)

That only relates to a first down. If you challenge the ruling on the field and say that the ruling on the field has created a fourth-and-one, but we think that we actually got a first down and I challenge the ruling on the field, and in essence it is a first down, then I would win the challenge. When you move a spotted ball you don't necessarily win a challenge unless it would result in a first down.

(on the current winning streak and if they prepare one game at a time)

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That's clearly what it's been. It's been the case that we've just stayed focused on the next opponent the last three weeks. It's worked for us and that's clearly what we have to do this week. Players will talk and they have high hopes and expectations, but the bottom line is this: when we get together as a team, when they return back here, it's all about the next game.

(on Vince Young building the trust of his coaches and teammates)

He's had three very, very solid ballgames. His numbers would reflect that. It's the first time we've had a quarterback rating three consecutive games over 90 since 2002 (actually 2003) which I think was Steve's (McNair) MVP year. He's put three solid games together. We're running the football, we're getting turnovers and as you see we're adding more things and he's handling them well. He's excited about playing.

(on Vince Young's block for Chris Johnson and what message that sends to teammates)

Well, that's not the first time you've seen a quarterback throw a block. They do when plays break down and ball carriers bounce around and change direction, often times you see quarterbacks do that. Vince is a good athlete. He's a football player. I was asked yesterday if I was concerned about it, no. That's how he likes to play.

(on if Vince Young is becoming more efficient)

I think he's been in the system now. That's the key. He's well into his second year in the system so he's becoming more and more comfortable with the system. He can specialize the extra work. He's getting all the reps on the practice field as the starter would. In this offense, it's paying off for him.

(on if the coaches have more trust in Vince Young)

Well, the end of the first half was a little unique in that we got a third down stop with just under two minutes. I could have used a timeout, but the field position was such that I was fearful that we would get pinned and we did on the punt. I didn't want to give them an opportunity with their timeouts to have a two-minute drive. I used as much time as we could. We were pinned, we got out and we tried to take some shots. We've done that with him in the past. We're completely comfortable with his decision-making.

(on Kenny Britt fighting for the reception)

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Kenny went up and made the catch and they tussled for it. That's what he's here for is to go up and make the tough catch. He's a big, strong, physical receiver.

(on why Vince Young is so effective at running the ball)

I think it's part of what we're expecting him to do is use his legs. He's very talented. He'll go through part of his progression, the entire progression and if it's not there just make something happen. We're back to calling things that will allow him to use his legs as well.

(on Sen'Derrick Marks)

He was very solid inside. I thought he played both run and pass well. It was good to see him. He's added a great deal of strength since arriving here after the draft and it's beginning to pay off for him.

(on Sen'Derrick Marks' improvements)

When you come in as a defensive lineman, there's a lot that you have to learn early especially in his case because he was injured for so much of his final year there at Auburn. He's learned run technique, pass rush technique and understands what we're doing and getting in the right place.

(on the player personnel in the secondary)

We're going to change weekly based on our opponent. We did some different things in the game plan and that was the design. It's been a while since we had six DB's on the field, but we had that package and felt like it was good to dust off.

(on the advantage to the six defensive backs package)

Those are game plan specific decisions that I'm not going to go into.

(on Vince Young's confidence)

He's been very consistent the last three weeks. He obviously in the first game back did very well. He's not changed and he's making the decisions and changing the plays on the line of scrimmage and doing what we expect the quarterback to do. The position's hard enough to play and he's playing it well right now. We just have to keep it going.

(on what area the team has improved on the most)

We healed up specifically in the secondary. We healed back up on the offensive line yesterday. We're getting turnovers. We're not turning the ball over. We're running the football and we're basically breaking even on special teams. When you run the football and keep your offense on the field and you get in the red zone and score—which in the last three weeks we're nine-for-nine, which is huge for us—when you do those things, you have a chance to win games.

(on if there is any worry about asking too much from Chris Johnson)

No, I think he's getting stronger. I think he's better now than he was to start the season. Now whether that was the normal wear and tear of training camp, I don't know. He's running the ball as good as he ever has. He's not showing any signs of wear down. He's staying healthy. Even though it appears he's taking a big hit, his cleats are out of the ground and he's just bouncing right back up and he's protecting the football.

(on where to credit Chris Johnson's success)

I think he's worked himself into it. And the other thing I've got to point out is it's not just C.J. Our offensive line and tight ends and fullback in particular are doing a really good job, and in addition to the receivers creating opportunities for him. We're second in the league in sacks allowed and I think a lot of the attention and a lot of the accolades have to go to the offensive line and the fullback. Ahmard's (Hall) playing very well, every time C.J.'s running down field, Ahmard's got somebody on the ground or made a key block.

(on David Stewart)

He was fine.

(on if Vince Young has opened up more for Chris Johnson)

It's a week to week thing and we were correct in our prediction last week from the standpoint of what we expected the Bills to do, and we felt like in order to get him the touches he needed, we were going to have to throw it to him. That doesn't really have to do with who's the quarterback, it just has to do with how the game plan unfolded.

(on if he was surprised the Bills didn't accept the penalty that set up Rob Bironas' 51-yard field goal)

Me personally, in a close game like that, even though there was a little bit of wind in his face, I would have taken the penalty and taken a chance on third-and-long. I can appreciate what Coach Jauron was going through. He tipped one of our field goals. We had an errant snap on the long one right before half and they were getting pressure. Maybe he felt like it was out of his range. As I said, for us that was a huge play in the game. That was a turning point in the game, that kick.

(on Bill Belichick going for it on fourth down in their own territory)

I know you guys probably have dinner waiting for you at home, we could talk about this for hours. I can argue both sides. But again, I'm not the one making the decision. I can make a case for punting the ball away. I can make a case for going for it. I also would make a case that I would be the last one to second guess Bill because he's done such a good job.

(on Texans WR Andre Johnson and his success against the Titans last game)

You're not going to shut him down. You just have to try to minimize the number of touches and minimize the big plays he's going to catch the ball on you. I think a lot of it had to do in several of the matchups and our pass pressure. We were getting pass pressure and there wasn't much time to throw. You've got to try to create the matchups that take some things away. One of the things that the Texans have done this year in particular, is they've done a great job of creating ways to get him the football. They're moving him around. They've got a real good running game, tight ends. If you minimize his touches, they're going to hurt you with everyone else. Three or four years ago, he was the guy you had to stop. Now with the tight ends and (Kevin) Walter, they're all capable of making plays.

(on Mr. Adam's enthusiasm)

I saw that he publicly apologized and that's about all I have to say.

(on if Mr. Adams' emotions got the best of him)

I know, having spoken with him over the last couple weeks that he was really excited about this game. The significance of this game and the anniversary and the fact that Mr. Wilson was coming in and they're close. There's been some tremendous matchups over the years between the two clubs. The playoff loss up there, the Music City Miracle here and so on. There's a great deal of history here. I know this was a game he'd been looking forward to.

(on Nick Harper)

Nick was cleared last week for contact. He was cleared to play last week, yes, by the medical staff. Being cleared by the medical staff and going back in the lineup and playing with a plate in your arm is two different things. We'll just have to wait and see how he does this week.

(on if there were any injuries in the game)

Nothing to speak of.

(on Justin Gage)

He's going better, he's settling down. He's more comfortable than he was last week, which is encouraging. I'll have a complete injury report for you on Thursday.

(on if he's waiting to see more from Nick Harper before playing him)

It's healing is what it is. I can't take Nick out on the practice field and have him tackle live. You go in the game and you're going to tackle live. You have to just take your time. It's a hard thing, and Vinnie (Fuller) went through it, and Blaine's (Bishop) gone through it, and Ahmard's (Hall) gone through it. It takes time. You've got a plate, you've got screws, you've got a fracture. It just takes time. Even though medically the doctor says you're not going to subject yourself to more damage or injury, that type of injury just takes time. I can't put a time table on whether he's going to be back this week, I don't know.

(on if it helps to heal up players having a game on Monday and Thanksgiving the following week)

We've got a lot going on, the short week and then the opponent that's coming to town on the short week with the holiday it does. We'll discuss it this week. You have to do everything you can to get ready for the next game and when that's over, then you adjust and deal with whatever deficiencies that you have in time for preparation or holidays or potential distractions. There's no reason for this team to be distracted between now and Monday night.

(on Justin Gage's injury and if it is different for offensive players to come back from this injury compared to defensive players)

Not necessarily. I'd say it's probably, if it was involving the quarterback position where there's not going to be a lot of contact and a lot of movement, I'd say they'd have a chance to come back sooner than any other position. It's painful. You've got muscle groups and tendons that attach. Things just have to settle down. There are spasms associated with this type of injury, this severe.

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