Coach Fisher's Sunday Press Conference


(on if there are concerns about the offensive performance considering the short week)

*No. As I said, I'm not concerned about our offense.  After looking at the tape, we saw a lot more out of their defense than I thought we saw last night in person.  I'm not concerned about it.  There were some good things there offensively, so I'm not concerned.  Again we have another challenge ahead of us because we just have a couple of days to prepare for our fourth game.  Going into this ball game we kept things basic and simple and we just wanted to let players play.  We didn't scheme or come into the game with much of a game plan.  I'm not concerned about it. Defensively, on the other side we kept things basic and played hard and played well.  We tackled well.  We rushed well.  We covered well.  I thought we had a pretty good day defensively against an offense that was trying to score points.

(on whether the offensive turnovers are the main reason between winning and losing this preseason)

We are playing a lot of people.  We are trying to get a lot of things done as it relates to individual players, a lot of the young players.  Kerry (Collins) needs to throw the ball away or take the check down but he got pressured and tried to fit it in considering the down and distance situation, which we shouldn't have been in because I don't think either one of those two penalties should have been called.  Damian's (Williams) fumble, you have to hang onto the football but his shoulder popped out.  Sometimes it is hard to hang onto the football when your shoulder pops out.  He came back in and finished playing the game, so he won't miss time.  That is part of the preseason and part of teaching and learning from mistakes.

(on whether Damian Williams' shoulder popped out on the fumble-causing hit)

Yes, on that hit.

(on whether Damian Williams or Marc Mariani has an advantage in the return battle)

At this point, they both can do it.

(on facing another short week before the Saints game)

We are treating them today.  Tomorrow morning we will get some exercise and we will grade the tape and we will move forward.  We will start preparation.  We will have a practice tomorrow at 3:15 or 3:30.  We will have one Tuesday at 11:15 and then we are back into a walk-thru mode on Wednesday which is the day before our game.  We just have a short turnaround.

(on getting some of the injured players back)

We should have a number of players back.

(on Michael Roos injury)

Mike is fine.  I haven't ruled anyone out from last night as far as this week is concerned.

(on whether they are going to MRI Michael Roos' knee)

That is not necessary.

(on whether there were communication issues on the sacks)

There were a lot of things going on up front, a lot of different fronts we haven't practiced against.  Munch (Mike Munchak) was scrambling on the sidelines, which is a good experience for us trying to sort things out.  There are things in which we will address those types of situations.  Like anything else, you set out to go into a preseason and say these are things we are going to do and things we are not going to do.  We have a laundry list of things that could have sorted out a lot of the problems last night, but we elected to stay away from it.

(on whether the roster is pretty much set or if there are jobs up in the air)

We have to go from 80 to 75 on Tuesday.  Of course we have the big one next weekend.  There are still spots there.  I would say there are probably a half a dozen spots that are yet to be determined.

(on Derrick Morgan's first game)

He got exactly 15 snaps.  Needless to say, he was quite impressive with his first four considering the fact that this was the first time he had full pads on since last January against Iowa.  I thought his first outing was pretty impressive, if you take into consideration he is rushing against a starting NFL tackle as well.

(on what made Morgan successful)

It is the reason we drafted him.  He has strength and power and explosion and good hands.  He had two hits on the quarterback and had an assist and a tackle for loss in the first four plays and was equally as effective in the other 11.

(on whether Morgan tired as the snaps increased)

No. I though he handled it well.  Wash (Jim Washburn) was excited about it.

(on Alterraun Verner getting beat on the deep play)

That was not a result of anything other than he just settled.  It was not a lack of speed or that kind of thing.  He just settled and it was good that he can learn from that and that particular route combination.

(on if Jason McCourty's run support puts him in the lead in the cornerback battle)

\Alterraun (Verner) did a nice job in run support also; both of them were equally effective in run support.  I'd say that they are dead even as far as that's concerned.

(on how much run support will play into the starting cornerback decision)

It's a complete package; there are a lot of things that go into the decision—I might play them both, who knows.  Nothing says I can't play them both in the regular season.

(on if he wants to see the starting offense longer on Thursday)

Yeah, we are.  We are going to be flexible; we have to get a sense of the condition of the team right now.  For example, I think the defensive line is a little tired.  The defensive line got going last Monday night, they amped it up again Wednesday on the practice field and they got going again last night, so I think they're a little tired.  We'll adjust it, we'll play people based on needs, we'll hold a couple veteran guys out due to injuries, like Nate (Washington) and Justin (Gage).  By in large, I'd like to play them a little bit more but we'll just have to see how it goes.

(on the status of Nate Washington and Bo Scaife)

There is a chance that I might hold Nate, just to put this thing behind him so it doesn't linger, but Bo should be okay, he just tightened up.

(on how he feels about Chris Johnson going into the regular season despite lack of preseason success)

I'm not concerned about his numbers, he was at 3.1 (yards per carry) last preseason and it's 2.1 right now.  The only difference is a receiver blocking a safety.  But he's fine, he's having a good camp, I'm not concerned.  We obviously have to be productive in the regular season, but I think he's shown the last couple of years he can do that.

(on the status of Tony Brown)

I would expect Tony to be able to play a little bit this week.

(on the status of Cortland Finnegan)

Again, I haven't really ruled anybody out.  I think everybody has a chance.

(on what Chris Johnson's best attributes are besides his speed)

It's just his quickness, his lateral change of direction—the downfield speed is the thing that creates problems for the defense because it causes them to adjust their angles and flatten out.  When they flatten out, then they subject themselves to being vulnerable to the cutback.  If you protect yourself from the cutback he will run by you, so it's a combination of those things plus his quickness through the hole.

(on if Craig Stevens making plays in the passing game is a pleasant surprise)

Alge (Crumpler) made catches for us too over the last couple years.  Alge was at the point in his career, for us, that he did a great job blocking and he knows how to get open.  That tight end is not just a third tackle, he is a guy who has to get down field and Craig has shown he can do that.  That concentration and focus on that ball was good to see, he turned his head and the ball was there and he made the catch.

(on if they expected that from Craig Stevens coming out of college)

Yeah, he can run.  We drafted him because he is a blocker but he has good down field speed, and his hands have become more consistent. 

(on if he's looking forward to seeing Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams)

Is he coming?   Is he making the trip?  Is he…good.

(on if Samkon Gado getting into the game before LeGarrette Blount means anything)

No, we just want to get him some carries.  Hopefully LeGarrette's the pound-it-at-the-end-of-the-game, keep-the-ball-away type of back.  I think Sam has a better understanding of the whole package of the offense even though he's been here just a short time—offenses are offenses.

(on the play of the rookie safeties)

We got Nick (Schommer) in the ballgame a little earlier, and we got Nick in there with Robert (Johnson).  We wanted to see them play together, Nick made some plays.  Nick's fill on the two-point play knocked the ball out, it was a good reaction and it was good to see.  Nick's going to come down hill, he's a contact player, he overlaps and he can play the ball.  It's good to get him back on the practice field and in the games; because when he's able to catch his breath he's a productive special teams player for us.  Robert is getting better each week.  Myron we just ran out of reps, ran out of time so hopefully we'll get him more opportunity this week.

(on last night's penalties)

I looked at the penalties very closely this morning.  The false starts are what they are, we had one defensive offsides, two false starts, a holding on Fernando (Velasco) that I don't think should have been called because the defensive tackle had already tripped and was going down and I don't expect an offensive lineman to hold him up and keep him from falling.  I don't think it was offensive pass interference because it was a rotation corner, and I didn't see a hold on (Troy) Kropog's kickoff return.  With that being said, and then you guys can make the call on G-Mac's (Gerald McRath) pass interference on the ball to the flat.  Overall, I thought our guys are playing well between the snap and the whistle and trying to minimize those penalties that have nothing to do with the play.

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