Where did you think the team would be at this point in the season?
Fisher: “We expect to win every game. We didn’t, at the beginning of the season, say we were going to be 8-0. We are going to win our share of games. We don’t make predictions. It’s just about taking it one week at a time. The week before the opener, we were hoping to be 1-0, and we were. It’s a step-by-step process. ”
How is your new signing Demetrin Veal’s conditioning?
Fisher: “He was fine. He didn’t have any issues. He’s stayed in good shape. He’s strong and explosive, and he’s a quick learner, which is good to see. ”
What are Veal’s strengths?
Fisher: “He’s explosive. He uses his hands well, he gets off blocks, he provides you good inside pass-rush and he’s an effort player. ”
What is the challenge of playing a division game this week?
Fisher: “I think both teams have the same things at stake. We’re coming off different situations. That was a difficult game for them down in New Orleans. If you look at their history, they usually bounce back after tough losses. They bounced back after our ballgame and got some things fixed. So you can’t pay much attention to what happened in the first matchup because you expect adjustments to be made and things to be corrected. It’s really no different thank a classic second go-round in the division with an opponent. You anticipate a physical ballgame. They’re well-coached. They’re very much in the race. For both teams, again, this is a very important win. ”
What have you thought of the play of Jaguars Paul Spicer?
Fisher: “He’s been very, very active. He’s anticipating, he’s winning a lot of one-on-ones, he’s providing them with excellent pressure. Because of what he’s doing, specifically in the pass-rush area, they don’t have to bring extra rushers. They’re getting very good pressure with the four-man rush. ”
Comment on how the Titans are being opportunistic in getting interceptions this season?
Fisher: “Interceptions come as a result of a quarterback under pressure. That’s obvious. We’ve been able to maintain and keep consistent pressure on the quarterback. ”
What are the differences in the Jacksonville team since the season-opener?
Fisher: “They’ve got some things corrected, certainly. Since our game in the opener, they’re only averaging about 88 yards rushing (per game by opponents). They’re a very physical team – they run hard, they tackle well, and they can run the football. They’re a model team in the National Football League for running the football with the one-two punch of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. In addition to that, they’re very, very solid on special teams. They’re second in the NFL in kickoff coverage right now and third or fourth in kickoff returns. Our coverage units and our return units are going to be tested. ”
Do you expect Quinn Gray to start at QB for the Jaguars?
Fisher: “Yes, until we hear otherwise. We’ll watch and see whether David (Garrard) practices or not. But we expect to see Quinn. Quinn has played very well. He’s making all the throws. He’s won several games. He’s a very, very solid backup quarterback that looks like he has the potential to start in this league. He’s smart and he’s not making bad decisions. Some of his difficulties came when he came off the bench against the Colts. Even the best quarterbacks against the Colts with a week of preparation will have difficulty. ”
Does Gray stay in the pocket more than Garrard?
Fisher: “Yeah, he’s a little less mobile than Garrard. But he still has the ability to move in the pocket and stay alive. And they’ll get him outside the pocket with their play-action series. ”
What are the playoff implications of this game?
Fisher: “This is a division game for us. It’s nothing more than that. It’s important to win every game. It’s important to win the next game. It’s probably a little more important to win a division game. ”
What about the poor record of quarterbacks making their first appearance at LP Field?
Fisher: “Certainly the fans have a lot to do with it. The fans have been excellent. They’re directly responsible for seven false-start penalties (by opposing teams) the last two home games. So we know they’ll be behind us. We’ve played pretty good defense here over the years. We’ve still had some difficulty against some young quarterbacks in the past. We’re not playing just the quarterback. We’re playing a very well-coached team. ”
How are teams finding good backup quarterbacks when their starting QB goes down with an injury?
Fisher: “I think it’s a team-by-team thing. There are teams that have excellent backup quarterbacks. Matt Cassel is a very fine quarterback at New England. There are other solid backup quarterbacks around the league. I think when you don’t anticipate an injury and you have an injury or, in [Jacksonville’s] case, they were a couple days away from their season with Quinn (Gray) being their third quarterback because (Byron) Leftwich was on the roster. The quarterback play is cyclical. There are a lot of good, young quarterbacks that are developing right now on rosters that we haven’t even seen. Some teams, for example Carolina, have got some quarterback issues, obviously. The little bit we saw of Matt Moore, for example, I was very impressed with. ”
Is the league in a transition period with quarterbacks?
Fisher: “I think what you’re seeing this year is an unusual amount of injuries at the quarterback position. As a result, you’re getting an opportunity to play younger players more. The younger players, as they step up in supporting roles, just because they’ve been there a short period of time, aren’t equipped to come in and keep the pace as if he was a starter.”
Transcript courtesy of the Tennessee Titans