How did Vince Young look in practice today?
Fisher: “He looked like we expected him to look. He was fine. He didn’t have any difficulty managing or running the offense. That was encouraging. ”
Young have a full practice?
Fisher: “Yeah, he took every snap he ordinarily takes during a Wednesday practice session. ”
Can you sense Young’s eagerness to get back on the playing field?
Fisher: “Oh yeah, he’s very excited. He spent yesterday watching tape and getting treatment. He got a good, early start on the game plan and he’s very excited. ”
Does the team’s win without him in the lineup at Houston takes away pressure?
Fisher: “I think he realized that well before the season. All he has to do is go out and manage the game, do the best he can and trust that his teammates around him will make the plays and give us a chance to win. Not that you would ever like to see your starting quarterback go down because of injury but there is positive in there. He got to watch, he got to observe, he got to watch an experienced veteran quarterback, his backup, who had really been his biggest supporter since the time he’s gotten here, go out and get the job done. I think it was a good experience for him. ”
How difficult is it for Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin to be a head coach at the age of 32?
Fisher: “The one thing Lane has going for him is that he’s got an experienced staff. He’s got an experienced offensive coordinator and the defensive staff stayed intact there. But it seems like yesterday I was reflecting back on the first year, and there are a lot of things that come up that you don’t anticipate. It’s a lot more than just Xs and Os. ”
Who do you expect the Raiders’ starting QB to be on Sunday?
Fisher: “ (Daunte) Culpepper. I wouldn’t know any reason why we wouldn’t see him. I know (Josh) McCown is healing up, but Culpepper has played pretty well for them. ”
How do you think Culpepper looks now compared to last season?
Fisher: “He is much better. His mobility is there. They’re running all of the outside (plays) – the boots, the keepers and the play-actions. He’s doing fine. He’s escaping and he’s running for first downs. He had two or three touchdown runs against the Miami Dolphins, so he’s fine. He’s not showing any signs of anything else. ”
Will you use two tight ends with the absence of FB Ahmard Hall?
Fisher: “We’ve got confidence – Casey (Cramer) has done it before and Bo (Scaife) has done it before. So it’s a part of our offense. But just because Ahmard’s not there, it’s not going to push us out of that personnel group. ”
Do you think it’s unusual to see a linebacker like Keith Bulluck near the top of the league in interceptions?
Fisher: “Not necessarily. The Raiders’ seven of their 10 interceptions are by linebackers. So there are a number of teams around the league and a number of players around the league that seem to be in the right place at the right time like Keith has been. ”
Have you talked to Bulluck about ball protection when he makes an open-field interception?
Fisher: “Yes. ”
Will Bulluck cover the ball with two hands next time he makes an interception?
Fisher: “He’s very familiar now with the three pressure points on the ball. (laughs) ”
Do you have any concerns about struggling against a team the Titans are favored to beat?
Fisher: “We don’t pay any attention to who is favored and who is not. What is important is that our opponent is very well-coached. It’s a different team than it was last year. They’re fourth in the league in rushing. They’re keeping good company with some other teams right now. And their defense is very, very explosive. So it is a much-improved team. They seem to play well on the road, especially in the past against us. But the favorites in those things mean nothing. We just have to go out and play. ”
What is the importance of getting yardage on first down?
Fisher: “The key to drives is to stay out of the third-and-longs. If you can pick up positive yards on either first or second down, your odds of converting your third downs and continuing drives are better. An explosive play, a 20 or 25-yard play certainly helps you put drives together. ”
What is the key to being more successful in the red zone?
Fisher: “Well, the field shrinks. You don’t want to turn it over. So often times, you’re throwing the ball away. You need to get away with points. The worst-case scenario is to get in there, get inside the 20, and not come away with points. You have to be aggressive, you have to make plays and the ball typically has to be a perfect throw and catch if you’re throwing the ball and teams are very good. So you have to mix run-pass and then, of course, play-action pass. But it’s something we just have to keep working on and the touchdowns will eventually come. ”
Have you been able to target the Titans’ problems in the red zone?
Fisher: “There is one in particular and we’re kicking it through the uprights, we’re not scoring touchdowns. I can site a different example each time. There are a lot of things that happen in any given drive that keep you from getting out of there. If it was an easy thing, then we’d be doing it. But it’s not, and it’s a thing we take responsibility for, we address and we’ll continue to keep working on. ”
What is the importance of taking advantage of the three upcoming home games?
Fisher: “We’re not looking ahead. We know that we will not be traveling for several weeks. But we’re not, by any means, going to look past this opponent. We’ll focus to try to find a way to win this game. And if that happens, then we’ll refocus on the next opponent.”