Titans-Panthers Week:Monday Report
Coach Jeff Fisher/AP
TitansInsider.com
Posted Oct 30, 2007


Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher talks abouth the win over Oakland and the upcoming game with Carolina.

What did you think about Oakland’s penalties, which totaled 100 yards?

Fisher: “They definitely contributed to the way the game went. The false starts were good – that is a result of the crowd, which I talked about yesterday, which was great. We forced some holding penalties, which was good. We were very active up front once again. We forced them into some holding penalties, which creates some long-down distance situations. The defense put together a pretty good effort yesterday, and that’s the reason for a number of those penalties yesterday. ”

What injuries were sustained in the game?

Fisher: “The only one of note is Ken Amato. He tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and will be out for the rest of the season. We’ll be looking at different scenarios as far as replacing him. We had a bunch of little things that may cause some people to maybe miss Wednesday’s practice, but nothing substantial or significant. ”

Will the team look outside or inside the current roster for Amato’s replacement?

Fisher: “We could look outside. We can also look inside. We’ve got more long snappers on our roster than we’ve ever had. So we’ll discuss our options over the next couple of days. ”

Which players on the roster have long snapping abilities?

Fisher: “Well, Kevin (Mawae) did a great job on that last punt. We expected them to come (with pressure), and they did. He did a great job. He’s done the short snap and has been very consistent with that. Ryan Fowler can do it. LeVar Woods can do it. We have a number of guys who can do it. ”

How is Chris Henry doing hitting the holes?

Fisher: “He’s doing a nice job. He is a nice change-up. He has got a pretty good sense. His pass protection is good. He didn’t play a lot of plays yesterday, but he was effective when he got the opportunity. He runs hard. He’s hitting the hole with speed, and he has intensity. ”

Will Chris Brown return to the lineup when healthy?

Fisher: “Yeah. Whenever Chris Brown returns, then we’ll get him back into the game. I’m sure he’s probably going to be questionable again for this week. The ankle (injury) at the running back position is a difficult thing to overcome. ”

How did Michael Griffin perform in his first start?

Fisher: “He graded out fine, just some real minor things that you wouldn’t notice that we coach. The staff was pleased with what he did. He didn’t have any mistakes. He had a couple of tackles. He just really wasn’t involved much because we were handling the run game with the seven-man front or with Chris (Hope) down. Then in the passing game, he really wasn’t challenged deep down the field. He had the one ball where he was kind of caught in between. I knew he sensed that Nick (Harper) was going to overlap and make a play, so he didn’t contact the receiver. It wasn’t a negative play. I thought he played pretty well. ”

Why did you decid to start Griffin?

Fisher: “The decision was based on primarily what was going on outside at the cornerback spot. Cortland (Finnegan) and Nick (Harper) are playing so well out there. We’ve got depth out there with Rey (Hill) and Kelly (Herndon) and Eric (King). We just felt like we owe it to the defense to get the best players on the field. Griff had been working against the offense on the practice field for the last month or so, so we just felt like it was time to give him a shot. It had nothing to do with the way Calvin (Lowry) was playing. I’m very pleased with the way Calvin was playing. We were 4-2 with Calvin as our free safety, and he made a lot of plays for us. But Griff is a special athlete, and that doesn’t mean he won’t go back to corner. As of right now, we’re going to go ahead and start him again this week. ”

Did LenDale White perform as well in the fourth quarter as in the first three quarters?

Fisher: “We’ve said this, that those two and three-yard carries, hopefully if you’re doing the right things, will become seven, eight and nine-yard carries in the fourth quarter. He read things very well in the third quarter. I thought scheme-wise we did a nice job blocking for him – 100 yards in the second half is a pretty good day against a lot of people around the line of scrimmage. ”

Was Vince Young’s low rushing total was due to his previous quadriceps injury?

Fisher: “Nothing had to do with his physical condition. The Raiders had a very basic plan that kept people in front of him, and they are very good pass rushers. It did not have anything to do with his physical condition. ”

Are you concerned with the passing game?

Fisher: “No. I think everybody would like to see 48 points and 400 yards passing, but our plan last week, specifically, was to go in and run the football against this defense. We felt like if we could run the football and play well on defense, then we would win the ballgame. Now, we had a number of opportunities. We had four drops. We had an offensive pass interference call. We had a couple of touchdown passes that were dropped. We had a couple of things on third down that didn’t allow us to continue drives. Obviously, the game didn’t go the way we had hoped, from a scoring standpoint. I didn’t anticipate the defense having to make a stop at the end to win. When you run the football for nearly 200 yards against a defense like theirs that is playing eight or nine-man fronts, and they say ‘No you can’t’ and you say ‘Yes I can, and you do it, that is how you win football games. We’re not happy with the lack of points and the lack of touchdowns, but we definitely had some opportunities yesterday and couldn’t take advantage of them. ”

What are your thoughts about Kevin Mawae and Justin Gage drawing penalties that ended drives?

Fisher: “It’s hard to overcome that. [The Raiders] had that happen to them about four times yesterday. It’s hard to overcome it. When you get in those situations, you just have to hope that you can get a good punt off, get a stop and get the ball back. ”

Have Travis LaBoy and Antwan Odom benefited from the attention Kyle Vanden Bosch and Albert Haynesworth have been receiving?

Fisher: “Well, we’re getting a lot of centers sliding to Albert, which now helps Tony (Brown). We’re going to get turn protection and things to Kyle. Both of them are certainly rushing very well. Travis really rushed well yesterday, and Antwan did as well. When you have three ends that are healthy and you can rotate them and it allows you to wave them and play the way we do, they’re going to be productive. ”

Has Tony Brown missed some opportunities?

Fisher: “We missed on some opportunities. We had a ball in the air. We missed on a number of opportunities defensively. But the opportunities are coming and that is the important part. ”

Should have Ben Troupe caught the ball he missed in the end zone?

Fisher: “It’s just one of those things. If you’re looking for me to place blame, the ball was incomplete. You could probably get a slightly better throw or Ben could make a great catch. It’s just one of those things that happen”.

Should the hit on Young as he ran out of bounds have been a penalty?

Fisher: “It was not a foul in my opinion. At the time, when you look at it, I was on the spot. It happened so fast. I would have bet my life (at the time) that it was a personal foul, a late hit out of bounds. I talked to the officials later in the game and asked them what they saw. They both basically said the same thing. They saw the same thing. So I apologized for a few things I said at the time. (laughter) I talked to the league office this morning and they asked me for my opinion of it. I don’t think it was a foul, nor do they. The frustrating part is that we’re going to err on the side of caution to protect the quarterback. Most of that takes place in the pocket. If it is called, it’s still okay. Everybody understands that it’s okay. But it was a very, very good job of officiating on that play. ”

Did Vince reinjure his leg on that play?

Fisher: “He popped up fine. I think he was a little shocked. ”

What did you think about Chris Davis’ kickoff returns?

Fisher: “This wasn’t Chris Davis’ issue yesterday. We didn’t do a good job blocking for him. But we’re going to continue to work on it. [Oakland is] a very talented cover team. So one of the areas where we need to stress improvement is in the returner support and blocking. But he came off the ankle injury and I thought he handled the ball well. ”

How did the replacements for Michael Griffin on special teams perform?

Fisher: “They were productive. We got production out of them. We were minus 23 yards in field position, primarily because [Oakland P Shane Lechler] had an 84-yard punt. That’s the first time I’ve seen a ball travel 84 yards in the air. He punted the ball from the minus 20-yard-line. ”

Comment on the Titans defense keeping the Raiders out of their red zone the entire game?

Fisher: “It’s been a long time (since I’ve seen that), but that’s a credit to the defense and a credit to Jim (Schwartz) and his staff for putting a good plan together. ”

What are your thoughts about Stephen Tulloch’s holding penalty on special teams for the third week in a row?

Fisher: “This one was a little peculiar, similar to the one a couple weeks ago. I have to take a closer look at it, but there were a number of circumstances in this particular call. ”

Does Tulloch need to change something about what he’s doing?

Fisher: “I don’t think he could have avoided this one. It’s hard to tell in the angle I have. ”

What is the status of Brandon Jones’ knee?

Fisher: “We expect Brandon to be on the practice field on Wednesday and back on the field this coming week. ”

What is the status of Chris Brown’s ankle?

Fisher: “We’ll have to evaluate (him) during the week. ”

Do you expect to see David Carr or Vinny Testaverde at quarterback for Carolina this week?

Fisher: “That’s not my call. ”

Comment on the Titans’ diverse running game, using two tight ends, three receivers and two running back sets?

Fisher: “We emphasize it, and the credit goes to the offensive line, the backs and to the staff. But we can line up and run it with four wides or run it in those personnel groupings that you mentioned. I’m not pleased with it because we had a couple third-and-shorts that we didn’t convert. If we’re going to run the football the way we really should be, we need to be able to line up and get 95, or at least 90 percent of those third-and-ones and third-and-twos on the ground. ”

What has been the impact of Brandon Jones’ absence on the Titans’ passing game?

Fisher:Brandon really got going and made some plays for us. So I think he’s contributed a little bit, but the other guys have stepped up. Roydell (Williams) has stepped up and he certainly made the plays last week, and had the opportunity on a live ball. You want to see him catch that ball. But it will be nice to get [Jones] back. At least we’ll be able to tell once he comes back. ”

What did you think about the screen pass to LenDale White where White made Kirk Morrison miss the tackle?

Fisher: “On third-and-ten, when you’ve got a check-down, it’s not a normal situation to pick up a first down. But [White] knew where he needed to get to. He’s getting better, and he’s getting better without the ball. That’s been our emphasis with all the backs, especially LenDale.”

Transcript courtsey of the Tennessee Titans



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