Titans-Saints Week: Thursday Report

Titans-Saints Week: Thursday Report

Titans Coach Jeff Fisher spoke Thursday about game prepartion and the upcoming Monday Night Game.

How do you prepare for the Saints' running backs tandem, Deuce McAlister and Reggie Bush?


Fisher:
"You have to prepare for both of them because at times they'll have them both on the field, and at times they'll have one on the field without the other. So it's quite a challenge. They were a good running football team with McAlister, and now with Reggie in the backfield as a runner, they've improved. Of course, other things they do with him make them a very difficult offense to defend."


Do expect any difficulty playing in the Louisiana Superdome?


Fisher:
"I don't anticipate any problems. We just hope it starts a week from now. This game is taking the shape of the opener last year, and that was a huge thing for the National Football League and everybody in the country, probably with the exception of the Atlanta Falcons. They came [for the] the first time back in the Superdome after [Hurricane] Katrina. The place was buzzing; it was alive and really electric. In a lot of ways, this one is the same because the last meaningful, significant home game they had was the playoff game against the Eagles. They went up to Chicago and lost the [NFC] Championship game, so they're returning home for the first time. So we anticipate a lot of the same things that you saw in that opener last year. Coupled with the fact that they've started off with an 0-2 start, they're going to be ready to play. It's going to be a very difficult place to go in and play."


Have you talked to the players about this being the first Monday Night Football game for many?


Fisher:
"No, we're going to talk more later in the week about the game itself. Right now we're more involved in the gameplan. We're playing an unfamiliar opponent – we don't know them very well. There are a few guys on the roster that remember the game we had with them several years ago (a 27-12 win in 2003). So we have to get to know them as quickly as we can during the week and then as the week moves on, we'll talk about those things associated with the Monday Night game and everything else. But don't anticipate and issues. We've got a lot of guys who have played on those kinds of [primetime] games before."


What do think about Saints defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith?


Fisher:
"They're very talented, they rush the passer well, they're good run-defenders and they take advantage of the crowd noise at home with their takeoff and their get-off. They use it to their advantage. They can sneak up on a quarterback, sneak up on a tackle really quickly in passing situations."


Are Grant and Smith more similar or more complimentary in playing style?


Fisher:
"They compliment each other, yeah. At the end of they day they've both probably made about the same amount of plays and had a similar number of pressures on the quarterback."


What will the team do to pass the time during the day before Monday night's game?


Fisher:
"We'll tie them up in meetings. Rather than have the normal evening meetings that we have a Saturday night before a Sunday noon game, for example, we'll push those meetings into Monday. The time will go by fast."


What is the difference between having a 2-1 record versus a 1-2 record heading into the bye week?


Fisher:
"It's winning or losing the next game. That's what we're putting all our efforts into this week – doing whatever it takes to familiarize ourselves with this opponent and win the ballgame."


Does it affect the team mentally to know they have a bye next week?


Fisher:
"No, you don't think about the bye week. The players have their schedules. I asked them to make their plans before coming to work today or yesterday, so that's not a distraction for them. It doesn't change what we do next week. We're just doing everything we can to win this ballgame. I think the most important game is if you put too much emphasis on one ballgame in particular, then I think you can set yourself back a little bit. What we're doing is improving. That's what we're trying to do today, that's what we'll do tomorrow. In the long term, that's the most important thing for this club."


How has the Titans' wide receiver rotation sorted itself out?


Fisher:
"We said we're going to play a number of receivers and we've been doing that."


How close have the Saints been to getting pressure on the opposing QBs this season?


Fisher:
"First off, it's difficult to get pressure on Peyton (Manning), especially [in Indianapolis]. Last week, they got pressure on Jeff Garcia, but Jeff got the ball out and made some plays. What happened in the Tampa Bay game is that they got up by 21 points, so Tampa Bay understood that, they took advantage of that, ran the football and used the play-action pass to kind of neutralize their pass-rush."


Do the Titans feel they need to make a statement on Monday Night in front of a national a
udience?


Fisher:
"Statements are overrated. What we're trying to do is win a game. That would be the best possible thing we could do, is go out and find a way to win the game."

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