Titans-Jets Week: Monday Report
Jeff Fisher (Getty Photo)
TitansInsider.com
Posted Dec 18, 2007


Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher talks about the win over the Chiefs and the upcoming game against the Jets.

(Injury update)

We have a lot of things going on, injury-wise. I don’t have really any specifics, other than we’re doing tests on a number of players – Keith Bulluck’s knee, Ryan Fowler’s shoulder, Vinny Fuller’s shoulder, and we’re going to take a look at Kevin (Mawae)’s calf. We don’t really have anything back yet, but we haven’t ruled anybody out. Of all of them, I’m probably most concerned about Ryan at this point. At Friday’s practice, Gilbert Gardner injured a calf, and we expect him to be out probably another week, maybe two. We made a move Saturday – we brought Colin Allred up off the practice squad. He actually did a nice job for us on special teams and played a couple snaps on defense. It was good to have Colin ready and available. I will have more information for you hopefully after Wednesday’s practice on injuries.

(on DT Albert Haynesworth’s health)

Albert just had a difficult time getting loose, I think because of the weather conditions. He didn’t have any setbacks. We’ve kind of been optimistic about the potential for him to practice. If there is ever a week for him to get back on the practice field, this would be the week, late in the week. I don’t expect him to do much on Wednesday or Thursday.

(on how much the weather contributed to the team’s injuries)

We didn’t have any pulls as a result of the footing, so I would say that the weather was not a factor. I think it was just unusual circumstances. 

(on whether the Titans will bring in a player to help the offensive line, considering current injuries)

Not necessarily. Leroy (Harris) has been active several weeks for us. Eugene (Amano) came in and played well at the center spot. Daniel Loper hadn’t played a snap at guard and he did a nice job for us. We’ve got, as I said, a couple options there. Leroy has been working hard, knows what to do and can play both spots. So I don’t anticipate making a roster move. We haven’t ruled [Kevin Mawae or Benji Olson] out, either.

(on why there was not a replay available for viewing on the QB Vince Young to RB LenDale White lateral, which was called an illegal forward pass)

There was no explanation. Apparently, the screen just went blank. Then they didn’t have any replays after that point. They didn’t get any footage on their monitor in the booth.

(on whether he will address the replay issues with the league)

You have to report it, and they’ll look into it. It’s a stadium issue, or a truck issue or something.

(on whether the illegal forward pass was actually a lateral, after watching film)

Yeah, it was a lateral. There is no doubt about it in my opinion.

(on if S Vincent Fuller was still on the field when the ball was snapped on LB David Thornton’s interception)

There is no speculation. He was on the field. He was trying to get off. He was sore and struggling with the shoulder, and hustling. They actually snapped the ball. They weren’t set, but they hustled up and snapped the ball. So yeah, he was still exiting the field. He was probably a couple yards on the field when the ball was snapped.

(on how LB Stephen Tulloch played filling in for injured LB Ryan Fowler)

He had nine tackles. Whenever he plays, he’s productive. I thought he did a nice job. He ran around and made plays. If Ryan (Fowler) can’t go this week, Stephen will be fine. If you recall, they were in a pretty good battle during training camp. So it’s good to have Stephen here.

(on how close WR Biren Ealy was to the touchdown reception and blocking Dustin Colquitt’s punt)

The ball was (thrown) a little high. Vince (Young) had to throw it underneath coverage and it was a little high. The good thing part about the throw is that it was really the only place to throw it to give him a chance to make the catch. It was just a little bit out of reach. [The near punt block] was very close.  He is contributing, and that’s what we expected him to do by bringing him up. 

(on the return of RB Chris Henry from suspension)

We’ve requested a (roster) exemption. We will have it through the weekend. We’ll just watch Chris and see how he is through the week and then we’ll make a decision.

(on if the Titans will be able to have a roster exemption during this Sunday’s game)

We can have it through the game, yes. We can lift it at any point, but it makes sense to evaluate him on the practice field and take advantage of the exemption as long as you can.

(on whether Henry is back at the Titans practice facility and his conditioning after the last four weeks)

Yes, he is here. He’s been working out. He always stays in good shape. He missed being around, but he’s looking forward to contributing again.

(on WR Roydell Williams’ play)

He’s stayed healthy, which is important. He’s practicing. He’s running very smart routes. He had to be patient on the second touchdown pass and create the illusion that he was going to stalk block like he had been doing on that particular play, and he did. Sometimes you can hurry that and it doesn’t have the same effect. He sold not only the corner, but he also sold the safety. The footing is an example of how the game is played, too, because the safety had no chance of putting his cleats in the ground and redirecting and making a play. Roydell’s done a nice job. He’s been consistent, he’s made plays. His speed is one of the reasons, in particular, that he got open yesterday…He’s able to use his speed to create a cushion and make some plays.

(on the difficulty of not watching where other teams stand with regards to the playoff race)

We just have to win. There are scenarios where if we’re fortunate to win this week, regardless of what happens this week (with other teams), that we’re still alive next week. Really, if we take care of our own business, we still have a chance. We’ve experienced this before. We experienced this last year in the final game. We have to regroup. We have to spend time in the training room getting healthy. We have to refocus for a different type of opponent this week, and we have to win it.

(on if he will turn over punt return duties to CB Cortland Finnegan for the remainder of the season)

No. I thought [Chris Davis] made good decisions. It was tough. He tried to field that ball [that he dropped]. It was a difficult catch with the footing situation. I thought he did some good things, especially after he got the ball in his hands. His decisions were good.

(on if WR Mike Williams will remain on the roster with Henry returning from suspension)

We’re going to look at the whole roster. Mike has improved weekly. He’s working hard. We like what we see. We’re going to have a difficult decision. At this point, I’d say that Mike is not a potential for creating room for that spot. I think Mike has a future. We’re going to continue to work Mike. Mike was not active last week because of the uncertainty of the return situation, and we had to get Chris (Davis) back up for that.

(on T Michael Roos’ holding call that negated Vince Young’s touchdown pass to TE Bo Scaife)

It was not a hold. There are two offensive penalties yesterday that should not have been called, the lateral and then the hold.

(on what the officials saw to call the holding penalty)

I asked the referee during the next stoppage what he called, and he said he called a hold. I thought he signaled unsportsmanlike conduct. He said that no, it was a hold.

(on if the play involved Chiefs DE Jared Allen)

Yes. What happened is we turned protection that way. So the center came that way, which allows Jacob (Bell) to turn that way. Jacob turned outside. As Allen turned inside to the crease, Jacob closed the gap and the ball was out. It was not a hold. It’s just one of those things that happens.

(on if the referee gave a signal for unsportsmanlike conduct)

That is what I thought I saw. I did not see a hold signal. That is why I asked him. That’s one of the first things I looked it. It’s one of those things. He thought he saw something; he threw the flag. It is what it is. Fortunately, it didn’t hurt us in that case. It did cost us points. It took a touchdown away, but it’s not a hold. It’s not something I have to correct Mike Roos about.

(on what a good performance at quarterback does for Young’s confidence)

He’s improving. He played well. He made the plays he needed to make. It adds to his confidence. He has been playing well for us. Despite the criticism, he’s making the plays. As a young quarterback in his second year, he’s making the plays and giving us a chance to play. It’s hard position to play, but he’s making the plays.

(on the field conditions)

The situation was a little different there because [the field] was covered, and there was a lot of moisture under the cover. Then when the temperature dropped and they got the snow, everything froze underneath. As they removed the cover an hour and a half before kickoff, the field was frozen. The grass was there. The top of the field thawed. It was slick, but it was still frozen underneath. Parts of the field remained frozen. It’s something that is part of the game. It’s not something where someone did something intentionally or something was wrong. It’s part of the game, and that’s the good part about December football. You have to adjust. Fortunately we found a way to adjust with the run game and the chunks and the passing game down field. Jim (Schwartz) was very aware of it as he was calling defenses. He was concerned about creating the one-on-ones, and he was concerned about (Chiefs TE)Tony Gonzalez. I think defensively, despite the numbers and the third-down things, we held Tony to three catches for 17 yards. That is what we set out to do.

(on if there are rules about when the tarp should come off the field)

No. They made the decision. (Referee) Bill (Levy) went out and talked to them. With the sun coming up, they felt the sooner they got the tarp off, the better, just because it would warm up. The sun didn’t get up on the field until probably 10:30. They got it off in time, and our players got out there and got warm. The thing you get concerned about is the players’ ability to get out there and warm-up before warm-ups. Most of our guys go out there and go through a routine.

(on if he saw Eagles RB Brian Westbrook’s play Sunday, when he stopped on the one-yard line to keep the clock going instead of scoring a wide open touchdown)

No, but I heard about it. It’s a good play. We’ve discussed that. Those types of things are discussed in our building, our classroom, with how to win at the end. I heard rumors, and this is second-hand information, that Jon Runyan told him to do it. Jon Runyan was part of a very similar play back in 1998 (with the Titans) where (Steve) McNair ran for 71 yards at the end of the ball game, and Steve scored. Had Steve taken a knee, then they would not have gotten the ball back. We ended up winning by nine or 10 points, but you score with a minute and 50 seconds left, and now they have a chance to score, kick an onsides, then score again. Who knows, maybe that is where that came from.

(on his thoughts about the Miami Dolphins winning their first game of the season)

I just said this – It’s harder to go 0-16 than it is to go 16-0. That’s a hard thing to do, to go through a year without a win. I’m happy for the organization. I’m happy for (Dolphins head coach) Cam (Cameron). He has worked hard. He stayed the course. There are a lot of good players down there, starting with Jason Taylor. It was good that they were finally getting the win.

(on if he expects to see Chad Pennington at quarterback for the Jets next week)

It’s hard to say. All we can say is that (starting QB Kellen) Clemens went out on the second play of the game, throwing an interception and went down hard. (Backup QB) Brad Smith came in, and here comes the option. Here comes all this other stuff. Then Chad comes in and does his stuff. This is not going to be an easy week defensively from a preparation standpoint.

(on Pro Bowl voting and if he thinks any Titans will make it)

We’ll have to wait and see. Every year we have players that are worthy of that recognition.


Transcript courtesy of the Tennessee Titans



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