Wildcard Week: Titans Thursday Report

Wildcard Week: Titans Thursday Report

Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher talks about the match-up against the Chargers.

Why was LenDale White not at practice today?

Fisher: "He was excused for personal reasons. He'll be fine. We expect him to practice."

Are you worried about having your starting running back miss practice this week?

Fisher: "No. I would not have expected him to practice yesterday, and he probably would have been limited today on the practice field. But he knows what to do, and he's taking care of it."

What is the health status of Vince Young?

Fisher: "He split reps again with Kerry (Collins). I think he's a little bit better than he was yesterday."

Comment on this year's team having a franchise-low in number of penalties yards this season.

Fisher: "You want to do better than what we did (the year before). We've addressed penalties every year. Fortunately the last couple of years, [the numbers] have come down. We were consistent at right around 110 for three, four or five years. The numbers are still up a little bit, but the types of penalties were better than years past. We can handle the penalties that have to do with the play. It's the ones that have nothing to do with the play that are a concern. With the exception of the defensive line, those numbers were down. When you put pressure on the passer, on occasion there's going to be a defensive offsides. It's a tradeoff."

Do you expect San Diego to change up their protections based on the Titans' previous success getting to their quarterback?

Fisher: "I would think we'd see some different things, yeah. I think it will be a priority of theirs to protect their quarterback."

Are you concerned about the team being ready for the emotions of this game?

Fisher: "No. We talk about it. You have to weather the storm – the emotions associated with the pregame warm-ups and their time together in the locker room, the anthem and the kickoff. Then you just settle down and you play."

What is the advantage of a team having playoff experience?

Fisher: "It helps if you've participated in the playoffs recently or in the last couple years. But we have enough guys that have been there. We have an unusual number of guys that have won playoff games on this roster. They are able to share their experiences and help the guys that have not been there to anticipate what's going to happen."

Do the experienced players have to teach by experience, or can  they verbally describe what the playoffs are like?

Fisher: "I'm sure they talk. And we talk about it all week. During the week, you just do what you've been doing all year. You just get them ready for a very emotional start of the game, a very physical game and understand that you have to make plays."

What did the Titans previous loss to San Diego taught the Titans?

Fisher: "There is no such thing as a good loss. I've never experienced a good loss. This was a game that we had control of and we let slip away. The game itself, regardless of the outcome, was a good experience because we played with them. But I'm sure [the Chargers] are sitting there thinking they didn't play particularly well in that ballgame. It was a long trip, it was an extra day, it was all of those things. We caught them off guard a little bit. But we'll see."

Will the Titans defense have an advantage after having defended LaDainian Tomlinson before?

Fisher: "One thing we didn't want to do was look at last year's tape. We can pay particular attention to last game. You have to go real hard and pursue with good angles, and get a lot of people around him to be able to get him down."

Which team would benefit most if the field is muddy on Sunday?

Fisher: "Both teams are playing on the same surface. If the surface is sloppy, the first thing the field affects is the pass-rush. It's hard to get your cleats in the ground and corner, and do those kinds of things."

 Will the offense or defense have a better advantage if the field is muddy?

Fisher: "The offensive line and the pass-protectors would have an advantage just because you don't have the quickness. [The defense] loses the quickness in a sloppy field."

Can the rain diminish the skill levels on a team?

Fisher: "No, I don't see it evening out, because you've got different players at different positions. You have a very explosive offense, and typically if the footing is bad, the defense, by and large, is at a disadvantage. That's just the way the game goes when you have footing issues."

What is the health of WR Roydell Williams?

Fisher: "Roydell's season is over. He's having surgery this afternoon. He fractured his ankle yesterday on the practice field."

How will it be losing two of your top receivers this week in Williams and Bo Scaife?

Fisher: "It's a challenge. We've got a number of starters that we started the season with that are out. You just move on. You have younger players that have to step up and take advantage of the opportunities."

Were you satisfied with getting rookie WR Biren Ealy several snaps last week?

Fisher: "He's been working since he's been active with the offense. He's ready to play, Chris Davis is ready to play. We've got a group of guys that we'll put out there. We just have to make plays. That's the case with Ben Troupe as well."

What have you learned from your previous playoff experience?

Fisher: "I think it's important for most of the players to understand that the game is different. As you go through the week, you remind yourself on occasion that you are one of 12 teams (to make the playoffs). You don't necessarily have to be the best team in the playoffs to win, you just need to be the best team in that particular game. With that being said, you have to go out and execute, and you have to understand that your opponent is good, and they're capable of making plays. There are ebbs and flows in a game, and you just play. You make plays. You have to control your emotions. We found that out early in our playoff run back in '99."

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