Coach Fisher's Saturday press conference

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, AUG. 23, 2008

(On his review of the game tape)

One of the things that I think was unique about the first half was that we moved the ball. We had the ball five minutes longer than our opponents did and these are ones [first-stringers] playing against each other. We didn't really start with good field position and I think that's the difference with driving the football. Our average drive start in the first half was the 16 [yard-line] and overall it was the 18 yard-line while theirs was the 35. When driving a long field, the longer the field the harder it is to score. We did some good things up front, I thought there were some positive things to pull from, particularly in the first half. The concern is that we didn't get the ball in the endzone, as I mentioned to you. That's something we work on and something we're going to improve. It's hard to quantify the number of things that we're not using. And there are some things that we're not using for obvious reasons.

(On what stood out that contributed to the lack of points)

It was just finishing the drives. When you start with the ball on the 16 yard-line and make three first downs you got things going. But then all of the sudden you don't covert a third-down so you have to kick a long field goal or punt the ball away.

(On if he's concerned about the work on the practice field not translating to the games)

Well it's not translating in the ball games as far as scoring is concerned. But there's production. Vince [Young] is making better decisions, he's got much more confidence as far as where to go with the football. It's preseason. Things happen. As far as our staff is concerned, there's no reason to be alarmed. We're going to keep working, keep improving and the touchdowns will come.

(On if he believes the team can succeed with the wide receivers on the roster)

Yes. We can and we will.

(On what those receivers have to do)

Some of the younger guys were involved in some inconsistent play last week. We had a couple drops by our starters and that happens. You have drops during the regular season, you don't like it to happen but it happens. It's magnified when you're not scoring points.

(On if he counted the amount of times Titans players were provoked after the whistle)

As I said after the game, this is an issue that will be taken up between the league and the Falcons. I'm sure I'll hear from the league in regards to things that happened on the field as it relates to our players. But as far as what the Falcons were doing, that is between the league and the Falcons.

(On if he sends tape to the league regarding issues he has)

The league will look at the tape just like they do with every game every week.

(On where Vince Young can improve)

Well we can all get better. I think there certainly will be room for improvement as far as he's concerned. I thought on the first couple drives he made some real good throws on the run and did some good things. Under pressure, all-out blitz, he put the ball down the middle of the field and that's going to get some people's attention. We just mistimed the throw. But that was a good place to go and Justin [Gage] was a little bit surprised the ball was where it was, but it was a good decision by [Young], he took a shot.

(On what happened with the punt coverage on the Falcons' two long returns)

On one return we had a block in the back that wasn't called right at the point of attack. And then we had one of our coverage guys lose containment on the return that came back up the sideline.

(On the team's lack of intensity)

I don't believe I ever mentioned intensity. I never said that but that may have come from a player. I never made a comment about the lack of intensity. But since a player spoke about it, I observed warm-ups and there are times when this team will be very vocal and loud during pregame warm-up and play well. Then there are times when it's very, very focused and quiet and we play well. I just didn't have a good sense yesterday. So I just brought it to their attention yesterday. That's all I said.

(On if he'll do anything in practice to fire up the players)

No, it's nothing. It's a challenge to play your third game on the road after camp breaks. I talked about the distractions as far as players being focused. It's also the natural challenge to the players knowing that they're only playing a half and not a whole game. There's different things involved. My point to them was the same thing I tell them every week. When you go out and play, it doesn't matter if it's a preseason game, a regular season opener or a playoff game, you take the same approach. I just felt that there were a few guys that weren't as focused as they should have been. And there have been times where I've felt that and not said that and been wrong. We played well. But there's a learning process, it's all part of the teaching process as far as preseason is concerned.

(On if it's Vince Young's responsibility to be the emotional leader of the team)

Vince is an emotional person. I guess from a very young age, he plays this game with a great deal of emotion and that was probably a response after the ball game. This is an emotional team. I'm not concerned about their enthusiasm, their emotion or things like that. It may be more of a matter of focus on behalf of a few players. Again, I may have been wrong, but this team knows how to get ready for ball games and if there's an area where I think they're lacking I'm going to bring it up.

(On if players can still earn/lose roster spots with one preseason game remaining)

There's probably a few of them. We as a staff, I don't think could get to 53 right now.

(On if it's OK for the offensive learning curve to extend into the regular season)

You stress improvement throughout the season. We are not going to be in postseason shape at the beginning of the season .You get better as the year goes on, that's part of our game, that's a must. You take advantage of the opportunity through the offseason and in training camp to get ready for the opener. I don't think you necessarily play the best football in the opener, you build and you get better. Players get more familiar with one another and they learn to not make mistakes. We have time. This is the preseason. Again, there's no panic here. No one's concerned, the players are not concerned. They have confidence in their self and their abilities and each other and we're going to take advantage of the little time we have left to get better and get ready for the opener.

*(On injuries) *

One player that we had that may be questionable this week is Jorge Cordova and he's got a hamstring strain, as I mentioned after the ball game. Everyone else came through okay. We actually are probably better off today than we were going into the ball game because those who didn't play have improved.

(On if Albert Haynesworth is back to full strength)

He's much better. We just had to back him down to rest him. His knee was sore and he felt much better today and I would expect him to play this week. There are no issues.

(On if he still intends to play the starters into the third quarter this week)

We typically go at least a good series, sometimes we'll go two series.

(On what he needs to see offensively this week)

Well we need to drive the football, put some drives together, convert third downs and continue to protect the football like we've done. We need to continue to do a good job running it and protect the passer and make some plays downfield.

(On Roydell Williams' availability this week)

I'm hopeful that he'll be able to get out on the practice field and play in the game. We'll have to see.

(On Vince Young's interception)

Basically what happened was, scheme-wise, they did something that we hadn't practiced or prepared against. It was an honest mistake. It was a well-conceived defensive scheme. It's a numbers thing where you blitz a [line]backer, and typically when you blitz a backer you have the free safety and people in man-to-man coverage. They peel away an end and it frees up a guy to kind of roam and Vince [Young] lost track of him. I didn't talk to Vince about it. Oftentimes that player is obscured in his vision. His read under the normal circumstances was right. This would be one of those things that when we game plan against it, it would be all right.

(On Chris Johnson's performance)

I thought he did a nice job in the backfield. He bounced out, made plays, accelerated, protected the football and took some hits. I thought he had a pretty decent ballgame.

(On the status of LenDale White)

He's fine. He's working out today and plans to play Thursday night.

(On if he has concerns that players will be pressing to get into the endzone against Green Bay)

No, that's the last thing you do is go out and pressure yourself. You just play and have fun. Lambeau is a great place to play, it's fun. It's a great place to finish up your preseason. We've played up there before and had some success. Regardless of who they're playing, I have no idea what Coach McCarthy is going to do with his guys, but we're going to go up there and just play.

(On playing Green Bay without Brett Favre)

Usually when we go up for the preseason we just see him for about a series anyway. We're used to not seeing him up there in the preseason. I think everyone's moved on as far as that situation is concerned.

(On if he can afford to keep an injured Roydell Williams on the roster) I think a lot will have to do with how he plays this week. He's had his share of issues and injuries. If, in our opinion, he can put this behind him and stay healthy and be productive, because he certainly knows what to do, he's done it before, than things will be okay. A lot is riding on this week. I expect him to practice this week and play this weekend.
 
(On Rob Bironas' availability)

I really couldn't tell you right now. He's kicking. The last thing we can afford to do is have a setback. What we're focusing on right now is to have him ready for the opener. If that means he can kick this week, fine, if not, we'll direct our attention towards Jacksonville.

(On how much John Vaughn has helped himself this preseason)

I think its been a great experience for him. John Vaughn has spent a lot of Sunday afternoons in this stadium watching this team and to be able to go out last week and kick the game-winner, I think it was a great experience for him personally and professionally. He's four of five, he's had the distance on all of his kicks, he's had the accuracy and I thought he kicked off well last night.

(On the chances of getting Chris Carr back this week)

I think they're pretty good. There's a number of guys that hopefully we'll get back but if there is any reservation whatsoever that they could face a potential setback then we'll hold them until the opener.

(On any players that helped themselves on special teams)

We saw some good things out of the younger guys. [Stanford] Keglar did a nice job, [Craig] Stevens was doing some nice things. The guys that we expected to improve improved.

(On if Mike Heimerdinger's offense has changed the role of the fullback)

Not necessarily. We used Ahmard [Hall] often. The philosophy is the same as far as personnel packages. You want to keep rotating them and changing personnel packages. It helps to keep defenses off balance. But you have to have versatility. If anything I think you might see more of the fullback.

(On if Ahmard Hall offers that needed flexibility)

He is able to do a little bit more than we were able to do with Lo [Lorenzo Neal] at the point where Lo was in his career.

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