Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on his shirt)

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This would be the Grizzlies from the University of Montana.

(on why kick the extra point with no time remaining in the game)

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Well, in regulation you do and in overtime you don't. Overtime, games over when the first points are put on the board. In regulation, it's been tradition. It's just been what we've done in the National Football League. You just have to settle them all down and get your team back out there and kick it.

(on if that was Vince Young's best game)

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He's played some real solid games for us. Overall, it's the first time since before I got here that we've had a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver. You have to credit the entire offense. Vince played very well. He was clearly very, very poised throughout the game. The 99-yard drive was one of his best.

(on if this is the type of coming-of-age game that every quarterback needs to go through the maturation process)

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Since he's taken over, I think four of his five games he's had a passer rating of over 90. So, I think he's played well in each one of his games. He just continues to improve and do something unique each week. Whether it's execute the option and those types of things, to the way he handled the two-minute drive. Even the drive before, it was a great effort getting out of the hole again where Kenny (Britt) got stripped.

(on if there was any option offense during the game)

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There was not option yesterday.

(on why they didn't run the option)

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Those are competitive reasons.

(on the competitive reasons)

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To be specific as to why we didn't call option would be revealing competitive reasons.

(on the option offense not being in the game plan)

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All I can say is you are not incorrect in saying that we did not run the option. We did not run the option, without going into details. Stay tuned.

(on if he was skeptical of the Cardinals' quarterback situation and Matt Leinart getting the start)

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No, we heard what you heard is that he practiced all three days. He was designated as full participation. We didn't have the luxury of getting the breakdown of practice reps, those are competitive things. I can't say whether Kurt took all the reps and Matt came in without a preparation week or not. I don't know. It appears, based on the way Matt played, that he had ample time to prepare because I thought he played well.

(on overcoming mental mistakes in the game and how it affects the Colts game)

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Well, we do the same things each week. You prepare, you correct, you correct on the sideline. This is a game where you absolutely have to be in the right spot and then you still have potential to give up a play. It's the Colts, we know what to expect. We have to have a great preparation week. We have to tweak the game plan ever so slightly as we do each time we play them.

(on having to overcome the mental mistakes)

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I think the thing that is impressive about this team right now as we speak, is that they do overcome things. They don't panic, they have a short-term memory, they understand this is the NFL and there is going to be negative plays, you come back. Kenny Britt's a great example. That's the approach you have to take in the Colts game. Same thing, you have to play smart, physical, aggressive football and you have to execute.

(on Chris Johnson not touching the ball on the game-winning drive)

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His presence had a lot to do with the success of the drive. The fact he was out there. Obviously, we were able to complete passes and get the ball out of bounds and stop the clock. I think a lot of that had to do with the deployment of their defense and the fact that he was on the field.

(on the production of the young guys on the final drive)

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We've been saying the young guys are coming on. People have been able to see what Kenny's been doing for the most part on Sunday's. I've been asked numerous times about Lavelle (Hawkins) and he's doing his job. He knows what to do. We have no problem with him. He's going to make plays. Same thing with Jared (Cook). We drafted Jared to make plays and he showed burst and skills. So, it was good that the younger guys made the plays.

(on if he is surprised at how well Vince Young has played)

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Not surprised, no. I'm pleased. I'm proud of the production and the results.

(on if Vince Young has shown that he is the long-term quarterback)

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We drafted him to be the long-term answer.

(on if an extra point can be blocked and returned for two points)

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We don't have the two-point rule in the NFL, that's just college. It's ruled dead when it's blocked and recovered by the defense.

(on if Kenny Britt is potentially the new kickoff returner)

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Yeah, I think we'll give him a shot at it.

(on how Kenny Britt did on kick returns)

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He was explosive and covered a lot of ground real quickly. He's been working at it the last few weeks. He was excited about the opportunity.

(on Kevin Kaesviharn not catching the last punt that was stopped at the one-yard line)

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We have the 10-yard and the eight-yard rule and you trust the decisions. They've done a nice job of downing the ball inside the 20-yard line. They got a bounce, needless to say, on the one. But you like to see your ball handled somewhere on the eight to 10, even on the seven-yard line. Again, I have to trust that their decisions are right. We have to try to help them make the right decisions, but you can't second-guess them. It's an unusual job.

(on if it is frustrating not being able to keep return man, Alvin Pearman, on the 45-man roster)

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It is, it seems like the last couple of weeks the roster has been a challenge for us with the various injuries. As I said yesterday, we had to go down to seven defensive linemen. We're just trying to put the best group on the field for all three phases. We needed the extra coverage help and so we took advantage of the coverage help, based on the difficulties we had last week in lieu of the returner.

(on if the fastest defensive linemen are active)

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We play with three ends at times. We rush with three ends. It's not the first time we've done that. We put our pass rushers on the field in passing situations. That's what we do, we move them around and try to create mismatches.

(on something special happening)

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I think it's a combination of things. We're getting the things that we didn't get the first six weeks. We're getting bounces. We're getting deflections. We're making plays. We're making our own breaks to a certain extent, but there are some other things that happened. When those things happen, it certainly makes it easier. Confidence builds and they trust each other. There's no panic. We put together a pretty good drive, it was a long drive but it didn't take very long from a time standpoint, on C.J.'s (Chris Johnson) long run. We get up and all of the sudden on the next play we're back to where we were. This team didn't panic. They get it corrected and get the ball back and go make some plays. I think when you have a healthy football team and they're playing with confidence, all those things are taking place, you have a chance to win some games. I think one of the things the last couple of weeks that has kind of gone unnoticed is the play of the defense. You talk about holding Andre Johnson, (Anquan) Boldin and (Larry) Fitzgerald to less than 12 catches or something like that. That says a lot for your defense. Again, it's a team effort because you're running the football, but the secondary has settled down, the linebackers are fitting and we're making our plays.

(on how to assess the Colts)

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The only difference is they've won six more games since we played them last time. They still had a consecutive regular season win streak going and they pushed it further. They're playing well. They're finding ways to win games. It's either score a lot of points and win at the end or outscoring significantly their opponent. So, they are a very, very good football team.

(on the last drive in the first half)

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I discussed it yesterday. It's unfair of me to put that responsibility on the quarterback. With eight seconds left to go before the half, I should have just taken the points. You've got to throw it away right now and when he got pressure, it's just one of those things. I should have kick the field goal.

(on if Vince Young needs to have better awareness in the last drive of the half)

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He didn't anticipate the pressure. The pressure showed up and I'm sure he tried to spin out and still make a throw and throw it away. He couldn't, he got spun around. I think we can do a better job of putting him in position to make that play.

(on Vince Young's reaction to the final play in the first half)

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Well, I think the second half speaks for itself.

(on why Kenny Britt returned kicks)

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Griff's (Michael Griffin) been doing it. He enjoyed doing it last week. He got whacked pretty good, but he was still willing to do it. It wasn't because he got hurt. We discussed it and we fully intended on letting Kenny and Griff alternate, hoping that they didn't get many opportunities.

(on if they told Chris Johnson he needs to up the ante in December)

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No, we just told him to keep doing what he's doing. It's very impressive, his start and the way he's been playing. Every week's a challenge. The Colts defense has such tremendous speed, it becomes a completely different challenge for us.

(on Chris Johnson's performance in November)

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If you talk about 160 yards a game over five weeks and 800 yards rushing basically in a month, that's pretty impressive. That's the past.

(on if there are two more resilient quarterbacks in the NFL than Peyton Manning and Vince Young)

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Peyton's been doing what he's doing week after week after week, year after year. He's been doing that. I think their situations are completely different. You just don't really compare them. Now, if you're talking about consecutive regular season victories, I think that's impressive. Even Vince's numbers are good. But this is not an easy week for our defense or for anybody's defense when you get ready to prepare for them.

(on if a winning streak ever becomes a burden)

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It's a good burden. Realistically, we got off to a great start (last year) but I don't think anybody thought that we were going to threaten the Miami Dolphins record. I think people have every right to feel that the Colts have an opportunity to do so. We're comparing two different teams. It wasn't a distraction to us. We just got tired. We got tired and that was the reason, I think, for the letdown against the Jets. But we bounced back and won three more. There's no sign of fatigue with the Colts. We're going to have to play our best game to have a chance to win it.

(on telling Vince Young to throw it away in the last few seconds in the first half if nothing was open)

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That was the option, that's what we did. As I said last night, that's difficult to ask any quarterback to do in that situation. We had a timeout left, we had eight seconds left. There's an opportunity. What happens is, if there's eight seconds left to go in the half and I have a timeout left and we kicked the field goal, what will you be asking me now? Why didn't you take a shot at the end zone? We tried to take a shot at the end zone. We said if it's not there, throw it away. What I'm saying is he didn't anticipate the pressure. He tried to spin out, tried to make a play and time got away from him. What I'm saying is, in retrospect, it's probably unfair of me to ask him to do that. I should have taken the points, then taken the heat from you guys.

(on Kevin Kaesviharn striping the ball and it being overturned)

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There's no bright line and I think there needs to be a bright line between a catch, possession, two feet down and some act associated with playing football and then going to the ground to complete the catch. That's basically why it resulted the way it did. I felt like there was catch possession, he had taken two steps and now the balls stripped out and ruled on the field a fumble. In their opinion, they felt like he was going to the ground and when you go to the ground you have to complete the catch. So, you can kind of see where the gray area is there. I think it's something we need to discuss potentially. Or maybe I need to get clearer in my mind. The difficulty I had was not personally with Terry (McAulay), it was probably at us, at the league because of where we've come with this. He's doing his job based on his understanding. There's just some gray area there. Again, that's replay. Unfortunately, the replay for us has been very, very gray for us this year.

(on Jevon Kearse)

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He was good. He was active. He got some pressure. He played the run well and tackled well. That's a stout offensive line. They did a nice job, a really good job of scheming our defense.

(on Chris Johnson possibly breaking Eric Dickerson's record)

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As coaches, we're fans. We follow the history of the game. There's always going to be an itch. That's weeks away. We're trying to win football games. We may have to throw it 45 times this week to try to win this game. I don't know. I'm not going to try to get C. J. the record in lieu of giving up an opportunity to win a game against the Colts. Those things are considerations.

(on being one game back in the Wild Card race)

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I'm excited about the win yesterday. It's a challenge this week

(on if the matter with LenDale White has been settled)

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Yes.

(on if it is tough to get players excited)

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No. We're playing the Colts this week at Indianapolis. They're off to a pretty good start. If that doesn't get their attention, nothing will.

(on Justin Gage)

** Our hope is to get him back on the field maybe run some routes and do some scout team stuff this week against the defense. In closing, I'll have a complete injury report for you on Wednesday.

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