Coach Fisher's Sunday Training Camp Report

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(opening statement)*

Good afternoon.  Let's get through this, I want to watch the golf tournament.

(on Stafon Johnson's surgery)

It went very well.  I was just talking to Brad (Brown) and he just spoke with the doctors a bit ago and it went well.  They got it all put back together.

(on disclosing the extent of Stafon Johnson's injury)

I never do that.  He had a dislocated ankle and when that happens there is typically a fracture involved.  There was a fracture involved, it was in his fibula.  And then to accompany the dislocation, it is typically compounded by a high ankle sprain.  Sometimes a deltoid ligament is involved and they have to reattach that, but they did it.  They got him put all back together and it looked good.

(on how much time Stafon Johnson is likely to miss)

It's hard to say.  This could be eight to 12 weeks, we just don't know.

(on whether he was amazed that Stafon Johnson was able to stand up before realizing he was injured)

Well that gives you a sense of how intense the game is and how the emotions are going and the contact.  You can get caught up and you don't know.  When I looked I thought his shoe had come off, because of the spatting.  There was some separation there.  He settled down.  We spent a lot of time with him in the locker room.  He came back with us last night, obviously.  He was in good spirits and has an amazing pain tolerance and wants to get back on the field as fast as he can.

(on how he feels about Stafon Johnson's injury)

You know I didn't mention this last night.  I had told officials before the start of the game that I wanted to get a ball.  I wanted the ball from his first touch in the game.  I wasn't sure when that would be, whether it would be late in the second quarter or start of the third quarter, or whether it would be a catch or run.  I wanted that ball so I could give it to him after the game for his comeback from what happened down at school.  So I did.  I had the ball.  I had the ball in the locker room.  And then this happened.  It's difficult.  As I told them, sometimes our game is not fair.  It's not just fair.  Life is fair, but this game is not fair sometimes.  You have to work through it and he will.  He's a outstanding young man.  You can tell by the response of his teammates and they have only known him for a short time.  He's just an outstanding young man.  He will get his opportunity again.  He showed last night that he can play in this league.

(on whether he still gave Stafon Johnson the ball after the game)

I gave it to him last night, yeah.

(on the emotional nature of Stafon Johnson's injury)

Well I just think that everybody is pulling for him.  How can you not pull for him considering what he has gone through?  To have that happen in his first preseason game is difficult.  You know, injuries are part of it.  You overcome them.  He will put this one behind him.  It'll be great to have him around as he works through the rehab process.  We'll keep him busy.

(on the performance of Ryan Mouton, Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner)

They all played well.  They all made plays.  They tackled well.  They got their hands on balls.  I thought that the improvement that we've seen on the practice field through camp and through the offseason carried over in the first preseason game.

(on Ryan Mouton giving up a touchdown pass)

He missed a tackle.  He didn't come to balance and missed a tackle.  That's part of playing corner.  At that position you have to have a short memory or no memory whatsoever.  He came back and made an interception.  It was good to see him respond like that.

(on what he thought about Verner's interception)

Yeah just to maintain possession of the ball was difficult.  Most receivers drop that ball.  That was really a great example of hand-eye coordination and concentration.

(on traveling 2,500 miles to play a preseason game)

You know, I will say this: I am very, very proud of the guys. We prepped them beforehand. We told them it wasn't going to be easy; we're not going to go out early. We're going to go out there and take care of business and play. We told them they'd be playing after midnight our time, and they were. And we'd get in after the sun was up, and we did. We have to bounce back. I'm sure there are other teams that are doing it. It's the 10 p.m. Eastern kickoff for the teams that are coming from our time zone or the Eastern time zone that creates problems.

(on if there's a better system for scheduling preseason games)

You'd like to think so. I know Miami's having a rough go because they play Tampa and Jacksonville back to back. The other deal is that the way we're wired, we say, 'OK we've got a couple long trips.' So this is how you do it. It's part of the training camp preseason experience.

(on his assessment of the three quarterbacks' performances)

Vince (Young) got the ball in the end zone with the drive, and I thought he did well. I'd like to see him run for the first down, which he said he would if it were a regular season game. With Chris (Simms) and Rusty (Smith), as I mentioned to you last week, we didn't game plan against their defense. We said, 'This is what we're going to use.' We didn't know what to anticipate out of them. We, behind closed doors, thought the worst and got a lot of it. We got a lot of unique things, a lot of pressures, a lot of stuff. So the down-the-field passing game wasn't there because of what they were doing. We ended up doing a lot of three-step and quick things, and I thought we did OK. Chris got frustrated because of the sacks and his fumbled shotgun snap. But he made some good decisions. Rusty made some good decisions, and if Rusty puts air underneath that first ball, he might've had his first touchdown pass. It was Rusty's first game, and I thought he handled things well. He handled his offensive coordinator well, considering the circumstances. And we've just got to continue to work.

(on Chris Simms missing Kenny Britt and Jared Cook on his passes)

All quarterbacks throw incomplete passes. You don't see what he sees. You can sit upstairs or we can go on the sideline and say, 'You should've hit Cookie.' Well, when you've got two defenders in the throwing lane, you've got to put air on it. So I think he made the right decisions.

(on Vince Young becoming more mature and taking responsibility for his mistakes)

We've talked about his legs. We've emphasized that during camp, and that was an opportunity. He probably wouldn't take a hit. It looked like we had a flat defender already walled off; that would've been the only guy that would've gotten to him before he got out of bounds. But I thought he would've gotten out of bounds and got the first down. He was throwing the ball well, and he was completing passes, and at that point I don't think he'd thrown an incomplete pass yet, so he probably figured he could fit it in.

(on what he is least pleased about from the game)

I don't think there's anything I'm upset about. Let me just say this: Number one, I'm pleased with the rookie class. There were no wide eyes in the locker room or before the game. They were focused, they had fun, they played really hard. They didn't play perfectly, but they played hard. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, maybe even longer, to get a younger player used to that big environment out there. But they were not intimidated whatsoever. They went out and played. I thought our defensive line was very, very active. It was great to get J.J. (Jason Jones) back. Sen (Sen'Derrick Marks) played good. They rushed well. There were many times when we had 10 guys on the pile, which was good to see. Our tackling was good for the first preseason game. But we still have a lot of room for improvement. This coming week is going to be a big challenge for us. It ends up being the last week of camp, if you will, because we have the extra days between the Saturday and the Monday game. That's a long period of time. We're going to have to do a lot of different things. We're practicing at noon one day, at night one day, at 8:30. We're all recovering. We have to get a lot in because of the Monday game, and the short week is going to be a challenge. We also have players that we expect to come back this week that haven't been with us. Damian Williams should be back. Nick Schommer will be back. I think Vinny (Vincent Fuller) has a chance to get back by the end of the week. Tye Hill has a chance. I saw William Hayes walking down the hall, and he was smiling ear to ear because the swelling's out and he feels good. So we've got guys that will return to the practice field this week. With the exception of Stafon (Johnson) in the ball game, we got healthier. The guys that didn't play are going to be closer to returning. So big week for us. We're going to correct this and move on and see if we can win a game on Monday night.

(on how close Cortland Finnegan is to returning)

He's closer than he was before we left. I don't know when his day is.

(on Mark Mariani's performance during Saturday's preseason game)

Mark was one of those guys that just went out there and played and had fun. I think he made good decisions in the return game. The balls were all over the place. He got to the right place with the kickoffs, and he was in the right spot on offense, made a couple catches. And he forced the fair catch as a gunner.

(on his approach with Raheem Brock in Saturday's preseason game)

Yeah, he got in a little sooner, particularly because we were playing a lot and rushing a lot. He was moving around a lot, had a couple pressures and a couple plays in the run game. Having just practiced once, both he and Chris (Harrington) got an opportunity to play. They were much needed. They helped us.

(on downfield blocking being a point of emphasis)

It is, but we can't ever be satisfied there.  We have to keep throwing (blocks) downfield, stay alive and work and work and they did.  Even Javon's (Ringer) run was an exceptional run and he had a lot of help down field.  That is something that the receivers understand, they can be in press coverage running off the DB, and all of a sudden the DB responds and wheels back they know CJ (Chris Johnson) is probably on his heels.  They have to engage, they have to keep their feet working, at the same time they can't grab cloth and have a penalty and have a potential big run called back.

(on bringing in another running back due to injuries)

No, I think we're going to be okay.  I've excused LeGarrette (Blount) for personal reasons; he left today and he will be back on Wednesday.  So he won't be here and we'll be down to three but we'll watch it.  Ahmard (Hall) can move over, we can do some things.

(on faking another punt this preseason)

We're one of those teams who will potentially fake it every time we punt it.

(on the progress of Tony Brown, Derrick Morgan and David Thornton)

Tony is better, I spoke with him a while ago.  Derrick is better too.  DT increased his activity, but I don't expect any of those three to play this week, but I wouldn't rule them out for the following week.

(on what time they left Seattle and arrived in Nashville)

We landed at 6:30 a.m., so we got back to the facility around 7-7:15.  We left Seattle, it was a four-hour flight—do the math, I don't remember.

(on punter P Brett Kern's throw on the fake punt)

It was cautious, it was wide open and I know he was thinking 'don't miss this layup, its wide open' so he just laid it out there.  But yeah, Brett's a good athlete and he can do that, he adds that dimension to us.  He put a couple good balls down as the holder and hit the ball well.  Ricky (Schmitt) did a great job kicking off and punting as well.

(on if Jason McCourty gained separation in the cornerback battle)

I wouldn't say there is separation, but I was pleased with his play.  He was very consistent, made plays on the ball, came up and tackled well and was just much more comfortable than he's been in the past.  But same thing with Ryan (Mouton), he knocked down a skinny post to start the game and then has the unfortunate play with the missed tackle and comes back with an interception.  Then AV (Alterraun Verner) you saw what he is capable of doing; he showed up and made plays in the nickel, made plays on special teams and came up with the great catch.

(on Stephen Tulloch's play in the pass coverage)

He actually made some plays in both phases.  He wasn't in very long, but he was active and enthusiastic and it was good to have him back in the middle and in charge of things.

(on if Kareem Brown will practice tomorrow)

Yes he will.

(on Michael Roos getting beat for a sack)

That is what preseason is for, he kicked out and got on his heels and got beat inside and that won't happen again.  I thought, for the most part, that the starting offensive line did good—that's a good (defensive) front.  The linebackers are good, they strike and shed and take on blocks, it's an active front.  When you don't know what to anticipate out of a defense—I think considering the circumstances they held up pretty well.

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