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Coach Fisher's Tuesday Press Conference




(on the status of Vince Young)

We've completed the testing and he'll be day-to-day.  I don't know whether he'll be able to practice tomorrow, we're going to have to wait and find out.  I believe he'll be day-to-day probably throughout most of the week.  I think if you look at the mechanism and what happened in the game, I could stand up here and say that he's lucky.  He's got just a mild knee sprain and he's got an ankle sprain—he's sore.  As he said, he's typically been a quick healer and we'll just go with him day-to-day.

(on if Vince Young is getting to the point that Steve McNair used to be at where he could miss practice and still play in games)

He's got a good feel for what we're doing.  Again, we'll keep you informed as best we can.  It's not unrealistic that if he misses a couple days of practice that he still can play.  I think he's got a good chance.  The hard part about what we're going to do tomorrow is that we're not going to do an awful lot tomorrow particularly because it's a short week.  Tomorrow will be more of a walkthrough and we'll just see how he is.

(on if it's too much to ask for him to hold onto the ball when he got injured)

In that situation, that's tough.  It's happened a few times around the league, but that's hard to do.  Especially the way his leg got pinned below him.

(on if he saw that Vince Young was down prior to fumbling when he decided to challenge)

I got real good information from upstairs—that's their job.  I didn't see the play; they didn't show it so I never saw it on the jumbotron.  The staff upstairs got a real good look.

(on the defense's ability to force turnovers)

It's been the big difference in our success, is our ability to get the ball back—and we've been real good at protecting it.  We were minus-five after Pittsburgh and we're already plus-four.  We have been able to hang on to the football and get it back, and the defense is doing a good job.  It all starts up front, the ball is coming out real quick and we're fortunately making plays on it.  We had a couple other opportunities yesterday and we couldn't finish the play, but to get the ball back four times like we did yesterday is huge.

(on how Kerry Collins played and how his practice reps may increase this week)

Kerry was fine.  He came in on third-and-10 and threw a complete 20-yard pass for a first down, so Kerry was fine.  He understands what we're doing, and he's at the age where he is ready to come off the bench and play without much practice time.  One would assume if he gets more practice time this week, it will just help him to be more effective.

(on Damian Williams)

He's a smart kid, he's experienced and that's why we drafted him because we felt like he would play for us.

(on who asked him to use his timeout late in Monday night's game)

At the two-minute warning of every game in the fourth quarter there are conversations that take place—there are conversations that happen at the two-minute warning of the first half too—but it's the official's responsibility to give the head coach the status of the commercials and TV timeouts.  Yesterday I was told that they were two short and they looked at me and smiled and I said, 'Sorry, can't help you.'  Then Mike (Carey, referee) came across and said, 'Hey, here is the deal—we're two short.' I said, 'Mike, I can't help you.  I'm trying to get a first down and I'm going to kneel on it.'  Then Jack (Del Rio) used his timeouts.  Whether Jack used his timeouts because the official said we're two commercials short, or he used them to stop the clock to get his quarterback some reps remains to be seen.  My feeling is I had no issue with him using the timeouts.  I completely understand, you have a backup quarterback who's been there for two weeks and he wants to get him some reps.  I completely understand, even though the game was completely out of reach.  I think the position group most excited that he used the timeouts was probably our defensive line, they got to go in there and rush.

(on the speculation that the NFL will start suspending for helmet-to-helmet hits)

The organization has not gotten a memo from the league.  I would assume that it will go out, if it comes out, all at the same time.  I am seeing and hearing what you're hearing.  So I'll just wait until we get direction from the league.  The bottom line is this; there are rules that are very specific in the rule book that are there to protect players—specifically in the area of player safety.  When the rules are violated there will be flags thrown and players will be fined, and/or suspended.  I think the league is just looking at this past weekend and said you know what, we had a couple here that were hard to watch and there are things that take place on the field that are avoidable, some are not.  I think the league's position is with respect to some of these hits that could have been prevented, so from this point on, in their opinion, there are hits that were intentional then the players will suffer the consequences.

(on if he thinks the NFL should suspend players for illegal hits)

I'm not going to voice my opinion on it.  I have a strong opinion about player safety.  I think there are things in the game that can be avoided and then those actions like launching, I don't think there is a place for that in the game.

(on if suspensions and fines will help limit the number of illegal hits)

I think we've seen because of the change in the rule and the fact that we added the launching language to the area of the defenseless player, I think the number of those incidents has gone down.  Again, I haven't collected the data but we've seen less and less, and we've seen different types of hits.  I think the players understand, but we're just kind of waiting for the league's official memo.

(on if he thinks there are more helmet-to-helmet hits now than there were five years ago)

No, I don't.  Again, I think those numbers are coming down.  This is the tough part, you may have a receiver with possession of the ball and both feet down and just beginning the act of something that has something to do with the game and he ducks.  He'll duck his head because it's an instinctive action, and he's ducking his head and you have helmet-to-helmet contact that results because the defender has got a low aiming point.  Those are the ones that the league will be very realistic with, and again I use the example of our personal fouls on low hits on the quarterbacks.  We had two that were penalized, but neither one was fined, it's just one of those things that happens.

(on if the change in league policy is a knee-jerk reaction)

No, I don't think so at all in light of the hits we witnessed over the weekend.

(on if he thinks defensive players will change the way they play)

I think clearly they're getting the message and as a result of the new stance that the league has taken, I think most everybody will get the message.

(on what they are going to do regarding David Thornton and the PUP)

We're not going to do anything this week.  It will be week-to-week; we have three weeks to make that decision.

(on why they chose to use more three wide receiver formations early in the game)

Well we've three wide receiver packages before, and each week we have a game plan that we feel is going to give us the best opportunity to make plays and win games and we felt putting three wide receivers on the field was going to do that for us.

(on why Will Witherspoon fits in so well with the Titans)

Will is a really smart football player, he's instinctive, he prepares and he's got tremendous ability.  It's a great fit for us, really from day one.  He walked in here and learned a new system and has been very productive for us.  The three of them (Witherspoon, Stephen Tulloch and Gerald McRath) are playing very well together.  It's fun to watch three linebackers play with such enthusiasm, emotion and passion for the game and how they respond to one another when one of them makes a play.

(on why Will Witherspoon is playing better in 2010 than he was for Philly in 2009)

He left the Rams and came into Philly, learned the system and played the next week.  Which is a hard thing to do, especially as we begin to look at Philly and try to figure out what they're doing on defense—that's a hard thing for him to do, and I think their defensive system is a little bit different than ours.  They asked him to do a little bit more.  Certainly he has proven that he has a unique sense and a knack for timing up pressure and blitzing and making tackles for losses and dropping in coverage and filling in the run.  I think he's benefiting from having an offseason and training camp here as compared to not having it there in Philadelphia.

(on how much it helps to score on the opening drive of the game on the road)

It's huge when you talk about it all week.  When you talk about 'hey, we're not going to defer, we're going to take the ball if we win the toss.' What we need to do, because it's going to be loud in both places, is we need to go down and get points.  We did and each of the drives had a significant penalty that changed the field position for us and we made the plays.  It's good for your offense and it's good for your football team, as opposed to the other option of a three-and-out and a punt, so Vince (Young) did a great job on that drive.

(on if it is rare that the NFL would consider changing a league rule or policy midseason)

I don't think there is going to be language changes in the rulebook, there is no modifications because everything is clearly in the rulebook, it is all there.  It clearly states a player can be fined and or suspended.  I think this is just a position that the league office has taken.  They will be very careful, they will look at each play like they do now and determine whether or not a suspension is warranted.

(on the NFL's motives for considering suspensions for illegal hits)

I just saw a report where two of the players were fined, and those were both significant fines.  I think that itself may send them a message—may be a shot across the bow.

(on if he worries about Chris Johnson getting injured when he plays him late in games that have already been decided)

No, not at all.  We have two good backs, we're just playing both of them.  As CJ said, he's part of our four-minute offense to keep the ball away, keep the ball away from the defense to win the game and we haven't been as effective at that.  So I had no problem with that, Ring (Javon Ringer) got to play, he (CJ) got to play and I have said this numerous times, I don't have any issue with him playing.  He's a tough guy, likes to play and has the potential to make big plays as you saw last night.

(on Kenny Britt)

He's just been carrying over what he's doing on the practice field in games.  The ball is getting there on time, and he's always had run-after-catch potential.  He's making acrobatic catches, tough catches out of frame and he's been very consistent with his hands and he's getting open and the safety took a poor angle on the in-route on the touchdown pass and Kenny ran over a couple guys, breaks a couple tackles and gets in the end zone.  He's playing well, he's healthy and he's improving as one would expect him to improve.

(on the play of Alterraun Verner and the potential he will keep the starting spot)

He played well, he's been playing well and when J-Mac (Jason McCourty) is ready to go, we'll make that decision.  It's good that we have two starting corners for one position.

(on how Jason McCourty is recovering)

He practiced last week and he'll practice this week.  Maybe we'll be able to make the decision by the end of the week. 

(on how the secondary played against Jacksonville after he said he wanted to see improved play from the unit)

I was speaking specifically about the entire secondary.  I thought Cortland (Finnegan) was very aggressive last night, his run support was extraordinary.  That's a hard back to get down, and I thought he was fine.  He cut the receiver off on the deep ball, kind of lost sight of the ball and kind of cut him off, which is the correct call and he understands that.  But other than that I thought he played pretty well.

(on not making a move at the trading deadline, specifically with Albert Haynesworth)

I think our defensive line is playing well, and I don't know if there were any trades since the Jacksonville trade Sunday night.  I think the line is playing well and clearly Albert's situation has settled down there in Washington, he's under contract and there was no interest in them as far as moving him was concerned.

(on how serious the trade talks with Washington got for Albert Haynesworth)

That was all you guys talking.  It's no different than us having conversation with any other club; we have each other's phone numbers.

(on why he thinks there weren't any big trades at the trading deadline around the league)

Clearly there are good players all around the league that we would like to have, but those teams recognize that they're good players and they don't want to give them up.  You want to keep all of your good players, you don't want to give them up and very few of us have depth at positions, when you take into consideration the potential for injury, to go ahead and move players.

(on how the defensive line's strong play has helped force turnovers)

What's happened is, both groups are helping one another.  The defensive line by putting pressure on the passer is creating the ball to come out a little early or maybe a little erratic—resulting in an interception.  The same thing is true when you have guys in coverage affecting coverage with no place to go for the quarterback, that's creating the sacks, tackles for loss and the hits.  So they're both helping each other.

(on game planning for Philadelphia)

I think we'd be doing our players a disservice if we didn't expect Michael Vick to play.  Therefore we have to prepare for him.

(on what makes Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb a good player)

Poise, confidence, accuracy, moving the ball around, they like to throw it and they do it very well, and he's making good decisions.

(on the neutral zone infractions committed by the Titans)

There were a couple guesses in shotgun and then a couple hard counts by the quarterback.

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