Fisher: “We got about what we expected out of the Panthers, knowing that they were 4-0 on the road and a good traveling football team and I think a very under-rated defense.
Today was a fine defensive effort. We got a lot of plays out of special teams and we put points on the board in two very important drives for us from an offensive standpoint. We got points in the first drive for the first time. Then after Craig’s punt, the defensive stop, we put together a 13-play, six-and-a-half minute drive and went 86 yards. Obviously, that was the difference in the ballgame. A lot of that was on the ground.
So, we are improving and we are just going to keep improving. It is nice to be midway through the season at 6-2. We talked about that all week, that was going to be our goal. That was the only thing that mattered this week was to find a way to get to 6-2 and we did. ”
I was pleased overall with all three phases. We obviously had some things happen that we have got to get corrected. But, for the defense to go out and get stops and not give up any points after three turnovers is pretty impressive. The sacks, the pressure, the defense against the run – the defense is playing like we expected them to play and so they sort of gave us a chance. ”
Is the defensive line building momentum at this point?
Fisher: “They are working hard. Fortunately, what has happened is that we are stopping the run and we are creating third-down situations, which gives us a chance to roll off and rush the passer. We are keeping the rotation going and we are trying to keep them as fresh as possible. We got a little thin today. Albert left the game with a strained hamstring. I don’t have any more information about that and we will see how he is tomorrow. Travis left the game with a mild concussion, so we got down in numbers but the guys finished the game strong. ”
Was Vince Young encouraged to run more?
Fisher: “They gave him some opportunities. We always encourage him to do so. We had a couple of things called that he actually was forced to check out of and throw the ball. One play in particular right before half, that was a good drive. We overcame a couple of difficult situations there in the two-minute drive right before half. He makes a couple of big throws to put us in field goal range and Rob’s kick was huge. As we say, it is nice to go into halftime with some momentum, make some corrections and come back out and play. ”
How do you think the defense did against Steve Smith?
Fisher: “I believe he had three catches for 15 yards. You just can’t credit the secondary. You’ve got to credit the linebackers. You’ve got to credit the defensive line. He did get behind us one time, but I look back and Carr was running for his life. So, it is a team defensive effort when you are playing great players like Steve Smith and DeShaun Foster. ”
How is the team doing with backing away from post-play activity?
Fisher: “It is an emotional game. Fortunately we didn’t have any. I have to look and see (if) Cortland’s penalty. I think that probably should not have been called. I will look at that one. ”
We did have some penalties. We had the roughing the passer. We had a couple of things happen. But, their penalties seemed to affect them, had a bigger impact on this game than ours did. We were able to overcome ours. ”
Have you considered replacing Chris Davis as the punt returner?
Fisher: “No, the one that he mishandled was a tough catch and he is trying to make that play. He got the ball out-of-bounds. He didn’t put the ball on the ground on purpose. He did also have a couple of nice returns for us. So he’s improved. ”
What do you think about the work effort of LenDale White?
Fisher: “He is responding each week. We challenged him last week to get number three (third straight 100-yard rushing game) because his teammates are behind him. Now he has to go get number four and we are playing a really very, very good defense next week.”