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Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference

Posted Oct 4, 2010

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on if he’s concerned defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil will be suspended)

I’m not concerned.  Chuck’s been fined, the league office has already imposed disciplinary action, he’s been fined—he won’t be suspended.  And clearly, I’m speaking on behalf of the organization, that kind of conduct on the sideline—anyplace for that matter, is inappropriate.  The league has already dealt with the issue.

(on how much Coach Cecil was fined)

Forty thousand dollars.

(on if the players will help Coach Cecil pay the $40,000)

No, that’s not permitted.

(on if he talked to Coach Cecil about the situation)

I’ve discussed it with Chuck.  It was a heat-of-the-battle thing, clearly Chuck’s an emotional individual and it was a heat-of-the-battle thing, he got frustrated and he understands that he’s got to maintain his composure and we’ve moved on.  He’s done a nice job with the defense thus far, the defense is playing hard, playing aggressive—not cheap, they’re playing aggressive.  They played well enough for us to win yesterday.

(on if he feels fortunate that Cecil was fined and not suspended)

No, he’s been fined and that’s the end of it.

(on his initial reaction on the sidelines to the gesture)

I didn’t realize it happened until I got in the car.

(on his initial reaction to the gesture when he found out)

I had a discussion with him last night and that’s between he and I.  We’re done, we’ve moved on.  The league has taken swift and appropriate action and we’ve moved on.  We’ll learn from it.

(on what he thinks about Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton calling the Titans defense cheap)

We play aggressive, we don’t play cheap.  If there are things after the whistle or during the play, players are fined for them.  We’re not a cheap football team, I don’t know what he is referring to—we did have six sacks and hit the quarterback numerous other times, they did have some difficulty in protection and blocking our defensive line.  Maybe he’s referring to that.

(on if he is concerned about the defense getting an image of being cheap)

I’m concerned about our penalties.  I’m not concerned about the image or how we’re perceived.  We’re an aggressive football team; we’re going to play hard.  We’re going to play right to the whistle.  We’re tied for the league lead in sacks, but we’re certainly way ahead in the league in defensive offside penalties and we’re going to have to get that fixed.

(on if the defense plays with too much emotion)

No, this defense is playing well.  We only gave up 20 points yesterday and we’ve answered and gone on the field and played two back-to-back really talented quarterbacks and played well enough to win, so I’m not concerned with it.  I’d like to see them play harder, play more aggressive.

(on Sen’Derrick Marks’ roughing the passer penalty)

I don’t think that was a foul.  That contact was initiated right in the thigh, the upper part of the thigh.  But again it goes back to the Derrick Morgan play against Oakland.  They’re going to err on the side of caution, and they’re going to protect the quarterbacks.  I disagree with the call, but I understand why the call was made.

(on if he is concerned that league officials might look at the Titans defenders more closely if they develop an image as being cheap players)

No, officials are going to officiate the game.  They’re going to come in and objectively officiate the game.

(on the severity of Derrick Morgan, Sen’Derrick Marks and Justin Gage’s injuries)

Derrick Morgan tore his ACL, he will be lost for the season.  Sen’Derrick Marks obviously may miss some time, but did not suffer significant damage to his knee.  Justin Gage may miss some time, we’ll know later in the week.

(on how Jacob Ford’s injury recovery is coming along)

I think he’s got a chance this week—yes.

(on if the Titans might throw the ball more if the running game continues to be unproductive)

You know, we threw it a bunch.  If you look at the game, and you complete 60 percent of your passes and you throw a touchdown and no interceptions and you rush for 122 yards and 5.5 yards per carry, all of those other statistical things that came up defensively—holding their running backs to eight yards on 17 carries, the effort was there.  The game should have been won.  The game was not won because we turned it over twice, we had too many penalties and we had negative yards on special teams.  As I mentioned in my postgame comments, I have higher expectations for our run game than what we’re getting.  I expect more production than what we’re getting, and we’re going to continue to work on it.  I was pleased with the quarterback play, the decision making, the throws, the accuracy with which he threw—as an offense in the second half we were 0-5 on third down and that was the difference in the game because we just didn’t get opportunities to make plays in the second half.  You add a kickoff return for a touchdown, not that that’s not a good thing, but that also will take away from offensive snaps and put your defense back on the field.

(on how Derrick Morgan tore his ACL)

He was running through traffic and his leg landed awkwardly and he twisted.

(on the impact of losing Derrick Morgan for the rest of the season)

For him personally, it’s a hard thing.  The ACL is a lengthy, grueling process.  If there’s any positive to be taken from this, is that he’ll be back by the mid-to-end of the offseason program and should be fine for training camp, as compared to a late season injury.  But for him, it’s difficult because he was playing very well for us.  For our defensive line, he’s going to be missed but we have guys who will have to step up.  You deal with injuries all the time and guys step up and they play.

(on the Titans being 0-5 on third-down conversions in the second half)

One of them we were backed up and we decided to go with a screen pass that we thought was going to give us an opportunity to get out of there.  We liked the concept, we liked what we saw, we liked what we were getting—we just didn’t execute it.  I think it was more of us, we had opportunities.  Vince (Young) pulled one down and ran with it, he had a crease.  He just missed Cookie (Jared Cook) on the crossing route, so a combination of us and them.

(on if he would like to see Vince Young make more plays with his legs)

You always want to see him use his legs, but in the first half he didn’t need to.  The first couple series, the throws to Cookie (Jared Cook) and the two to Justin (Gage), one to Bo (Scaife) and one to Craig (Stevens) and he’s making accurate throws.

(on what needs to be fixed up front on offense)

It’s a combination of things.  It’s a breakdown here or there, penetration, defenses are doing a real good job edging right now—it’s hard to get CJ (Chris Johnson) an opportunity to bounce outside and force some cutbacks, and they’re anchoring.  We’re just going to have to stick with it, and pick the ball the ball up and put it down the field a little more just to give us an opportunity.

(on if they’ve made a roster move to replace Derrick Morgan)

No.

(on Jason Babin)

The entire defensive line is playing well right now, but as it relates to Jason, we felt like he would fit into our system.  We thought that he would play well because he’s a leverage player, he’s got good speed, he’s an emotional player and he plays real hard.  Ironically, he’s making a lot of plays inside—he’s made a couple tackle for losses inside—lined up at a tackle position, in a different front for us yesterday.  He’s playing well and he’s playing hard.

(on getting Gerald McRath back from his suspension)

He’s disappointed in the loss, but excited to get back on the field.  He worked out today and he’s going to work out tomorrow with Coach Watterson.  We’ll do some things, he’ll work himself right back in on the practice field.  We’ll have a role for him on special teams and we’ll get him involved in the defense—how much he’ll play I don’t know.  Understandably he may be a little rusty, we have a roster exemption until Saturday to make that decision then we’ll have to make a move if we do in fact decide to move him up.

(on the play of Jamie Winborn in Gerald McRath’s absence)

Jamie has played well for us.  Jamie didn’t play an awful lot for us yesterday because he’s not in the nickel package, and we saw primarily a three wide receiver set the entire day.

(on the importance of the next four games after starting 2-2)

Everyone is important.  The two that we didn’t win up to this point were very important to us, but this one becomes much more important now.  We had a chance yesterday, didn’t get it done.  We put our focus on Dallas, Dallas I’m sure will be well rested coming off of a bye week but this one is important.  The players understand, we discussed it—we’re not going to look ahead of anybody but three of the next four are on the road against good opponents.

(on if defenses are scheming to stop Chris Johnson differently than they were last year)

Not necessarily, we’re getting a little more edges.  We played two odd fronts, 3-4 fronts; you know with the big linebackers up there it’s hard to get the ball bounced outside.  It will come, I have confidence in our offensive players and our backs and our staff that we’ll get it turned around.  We still ran for 122 yards.

(on if he expected the team to be 2-2 after four games when the season started)

No, I was hoping we’d be 4-0 and I was hoping we had a chance to win them all.  That is the approach; I can’t stand in front of the players and say 2-2 is good.  Four starts, what do you tell them about the other two.

(on 13 teams being 2-2 going into the fifth week of the season)

There is parity, there are teams dealing with injuries, there are close games being won at the end—for whatever reason, the start of the season has been very exciting from a fan standpoint.  I’m a little disappointed for us to be where we’re at right now, but we can’t change what’s happened.  All we can do is move forward and play better football.

(on the possibility of playing Damian Williams and Marc Mariani more with Justin Gage being injured)

Our intention was to get them on the field after some deep balls, and then when Justin went down we got them in the rotation.  If Justin can’t go then Hawk (Lavelle Hawkins) steps up and we’ve got a good group, a solid group.  Hawk’s done everything right, he just hasn’t been active because we’ve elected to keep up the extra returner.  So if Justin can’t go, then Hawk will step up.

(on if he’s comfortable using Williams and Mariani in Gage’s abscence)

Yeah, we have no reservation whatsoever putting them on offense.  They got out there and they did the right things.

(on how Alterraun Verner performed in his first NFL start)

He was productive and very active and I thought in his first opportunity to start he played pretty well.

(on the muffed kickoff return late in the game against Denver)

We moved (Marc Mariani) up prior to the kick; we moved our alignment up—everybody’s alignment up.  Typically speaking, the end guys, both Ahmard (Hall) and Craig (Stevens) will field a short kick.  They’ve worked outside, they’ve worked with kickoffs on the machine, but in this case there were a combination of things that happened.  Because we had moved them up they made the decision that because they’re up that they assume they don’t have to field the kick, that the return man will field the kick.  Then the kick stalled it was just kind of a bizarre thing that happened there—very unfortunate thing that I don’t expect to happen again.  I think the day was summed up by our punt block right at the quarter change.  That punt was blocked, but the play was shut down because of the quarter change.  It was not blocked because somebody slowed down or because they heard a whistle, it was blocked because of execution.  That kind of summed up the day, we had a great play, a great opportunity to make a play—a game changing play, but there was a quarter change.

(on if the kickoff was kicked short intentionally to try and get the Titans to misplay it)

Yeah, he (didn’t mean to kick it short), he was trying to hit it deep right, or to our left.

(on if Kenny Britt should have caught the deep pass at the end of the game)

It’s a hard catch, a great play.  Clearly we’d like to see him catch it, but the ball came down, there was distraction—I think he probably lost it when the defenders arm waived.  It dropped down, it was a long throw and it came down like a punt.  It wasn’t one of those things that you run through.

(on if Kenny Britt should have caught the ball on the first play of their last possession)

You’d like to see him make that catch, but the defender was clearly involved and he gets credit for breaking that up.  It’s difficult to complete long passes when the defense knows a touchdown is going to beat them and they’re playing the long passes.  So I think for Vince (Young) to put that ball where he did, it was a great throw.

(on if he expects the Titans to have a lot of offsides penalties because of their style of play)

You know if we were leading the league in sacks by 10 or 15 then I’d say okay, but right now we’re not.  Some of these defensive offsides penalties didn’t result in a negative drive. Cortland’s (Finnegan) for example fourth-and-nine to fourth-and-four—field goal.  What we have to understand we can’t let that happen on fourth and four, because now you’ve got a new set of downs.  Same thing, we had two on one drive that resulted in an interception, another that resulted in a punt because we got a sack.  They weren’t penalties that just kill you, with exception of the pass interference.  That was the big penalty in the game that really hurt, and that should have been avoided.  Chris (Hope) should have made a play on the ball.

(on playing another explosive offense in the Dallas Cowboys)

The challenge is going to continue week after week now.  We’ve got a rested, probably very well prepared Cowboy offense in addition to their defense.  They came on, played very, very well against the Texans and they’re definitely going to challenge our defense.

(on giving up a lot of passing yards to Denver)

They threw 48 times yesterday; you’re going to give up some yards against an accurate quarterback.  I look at third down conversions; we were 20 percent yesterday.  We’re getting to the quarterback; we just need to continue with that.

(on if he feels like Chris Johnson was down before he fumbled against Denver)

I understand replay and I see how they could not overturn it because they did not get indisputable visual evidence.  The knee was down, the ball came out, but you don’t see the knee down and the ball simultaneously in a shot.  They can’t put those pieces together; you have to see it visually.

(on if he’s seen anything to change his mind about Kyle Orton’s quarterback sneak for a  first down on fourth and inches)

I don’t think he got past the line of scrimmage, I didn’t think he got to the line of scrimmage when he was down.  That’s one of those that are very hard to overturn, but you don’t have anything to lose there at that point.  I wanted them to take a look at it.

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