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Coach Fisher's Monday Press Conference

Posted Sep 28, 2009

 
HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on if there is a timetable for Vincent Fuller’s return and Cortland Finnegan’s injury)

Vinny Fuller’s going to undergo surgery this afternoon to just repair the fracture. And that typically is a four to six week recovery time before he’s actually back on the field, four being optimistic, six probably being realistic. So, as far as Cortland I can’t say right now.

(on the Week 7 bye helping the team heal)

Yes.

(on if the team will wait for Vincent Fuller to recover rather than make a roster move)

I think it would be prudent to go ahead and do that. He’s a good football player and he’s been a very efficient, effective nickel corner for us. So, it makes sense for us to do that.

(on if Vincent Fuller will wear a cast when he returns)

Yeah, he’ll wear a protective cast.

(on if the corner shortage is creating roster move decisions)

We are in discussions with the roster, the practice squad roster, and the 53 right now. We’re in the middle of it and I don’t have anything to report at this point.

(on Ryan Mouton’s performance filling in for Vincent Fuller)

He was okay. Both Ryan and Jason (McCourty) are going to be good players for us in the secondary. We’ve asked quite a bit of them early on in special teams as well as here early in the season getting a chance to play defense. They’re going to be fine. It’s just a matter of them getting the reps. It’s difficult as a backup player to play because you don’t get to practice reps. As they get practice reps, if that’s the case, then they’ll be fine.

(on if Ryan Mouton will replace Vincent Fuller while he is injured)

He played well in the preseason at the nickel spot. He’s a possibility, yes.

(on if a roster move will include bringing someone in to return kicks and play corner)

Well, as I said, we’re looking at the roster right now and I don’t have anything to report. But all of those are considerations, yes.

(on what went wrong during Ryan Mouton’s two fumbles on returns)

It’s interesting when you bring young players in, different positions for example, you really don’t know until you play them. Some come in like the Mike Rooses, the Michael Griffins, and Chris Johnsons they come in and do well. Other players it takes a little bit longer. Ryan’s seeing some things out there that he hasn’t seen before. You really don’t know until you give them an opportunity. I’ve got confidence in him. I know eventually he’ll be a good returner if we need to call upon him. He may be a good returner this week, I don’t know. He’s doing the best he can. He understands the mistakes he made and he’s doing his best to try and not and repeat them. As far as our decision to go with Ryan and Javon (Ringer), we feel like they’ve got potential. It’s one of those situations where you’re playing younger player’s maybe a little bit before they’re prepared to play.

(on how to keep guys from blaming each other such as Ryan Mouton’s mistakes on kick returns)

They understand. I think Ryan’s defensive teammates and the team for that matter understands that he was doing the best he can. But we also have a responsibility to hold on to the football and they have responsibility to take care of the little things. There’s no finger pointing. This is a frustrated, disappointed team but yet it’s a talented team. It did do some things yesterday, this club did some good things yesterday. Defensively we did some good things, we ran the football pretty well against them. You know, our difficulties were on special teams and the field position game. Those two, the fumble and the muff, were costly. That’s the difficult thing to overcome. Now, you’d like to see your defense hold them to threes, but we didn’t. We gave up touchdowns on both of those drives and that ended up being the difference in the game.

(on if Jared Cook’s lack of playing time is a result of his ankle bothering him)

I’m hopeful that he’ll be 100 percent this week but a lot of that is that he’s still struggling with it. We felt like if we needed to turn to him then we would, but we didn’t. We want to get him involved in our game plan, but a lot has to do with how he responds this week.

(on if keeping nine rookies is contributing to the special teams problems)

Well the return area is my biggest concern. Yeah, these are good football players that are going to become core players for us but they just haven’t had a lot of experience doing it.

(on if Cortland Finnegan being hurt affected the game)

Well yeah, anytime your starting corner goes out of the game it’s going to affect you. Chuck (Cecil) did a nice job with the play call selection. The guys filled in and they challenged people. That’s the nature of our game. If you get people hurt you have to replace them. You put people on the field and you do the best you can. The secondary had a tough week last week as you all know. I was surprised with the way they responded. It was a long week, it was a long time from Sunday to Sunday and they came back out and they answered the bell. They had some opportunities with balls flying around and fortunately we got one of them, but I thought by and large they held up their own. And the defense did for that matter. Our defensive third down efficiency right now is below 30 percent. I can’t ever remember it being below 30 percent. The second half of our last two ball games our opponents are 0-15 on third downs. They’re doing some good things. Our pressure was good, out defense against the run was good yesterday. As I said, offensively we flashed. We did some things against a tough defense. We just didn’t hold our own on special teams.

(on when looking at roster moves if someone will be considered that can play corner and return kicks)

Again, we’re just looking at our options. There’s a need for a returner. At this point, there are several guys out there that can help us. We’re just trying to see if they fit on the roster and if they in fact have the experience we’ll get it done.

(on if Mark Jones being considered)

He would be a consideration, yes.

(on if he can pinpoint the offensive struggles in the fourth quarter)

No there’s not. If there was we would avoid it. We’re doing the best we can. We had five drops in the second half, that does not allow you to make plays. Three or four of them were on third down. Kenny’s (Britt) got a chance to come up with a play and create a fourth-and-one or fourth-and-two in that last drive and we can’t make that play. That’s what happens when you lose, you’re not making enough plays in critical times.

(on Kerry Collins’ performance)

Kerry’s been fine. He’s been fine. I mean, that’s a tough defense. That defense gave Tom Brady fits the week before. That’s a tough defense to attack and he made some great throws. I thought he did a good job as best he could, shifting, redirecting protections. Kerry’s certainly not the reason for the situation that we’re in.

(on if there is any thought to changing quarterbacks)

No.

(on how to approach the team at 0-3)

It’s not the division, it’s not playoffs. It’s just win a game, win a game. Win a game this week against a team that spent the offseason preparing themselves to compete in the division. They could very well be 3-0 or 2-0 in the division going into our game. That’s the work we have ahead of us.

(on Kerry Collins taking the blame for yesterday’s game and if he saw anything new on film)

There are always going to be plays that you’d like to have over again. There was probably a couple of situations where we could have gone elsewhere. On the touchdown pass he could have thrown it to Ahmard (Hall) for a touchdown as well. I thought for the most part he handled it, there were some opportunities. When teams are overloading you and rushing five off of one side and dropping people out, you need to be sure about your decision. Kerry made some good decisions, made some good throws and threw some balls away as well.

(on how Leroy Harris filled in for Eugene Amano)

He didn’t struggle at all, played solid for us.

(on if the tape revealed why the receivers dropped passes)

It’s just concentration. That’s the only reason for drops is concentration.

(on Reggie Hodgess performance)

His get-offs were good. We had a couple of opportunities to down a couple punts inside the 20 and didn’t. My young gunners have to understand to run behind the return man and handle that ball when they let it go. We’ll get that fixed. I thought his hang time was good. We got out of out lanes on the one long run, had a couple of missed tackles but I was pleased with his holding as well as his get-off times.

(on if it is a problem to have three punters on the roster)

We’ve got some decisions, that’s part of it. We have to weigh all those factors.

(on how long Craig Hentrich will be out)

Typically, when a player undergoes surgery I usually comment on his expected return date. I haven’t ruled Craig out for this weekend.

(on Bo Scaife)

Bo will practice. He practiced last week the last couple of days and he should practice this week. I expect him to improve.

(on Jason McCourty’s performance on kickoffs)

I thought he handled kickoffs well. He’s catching the ball well and getting where he needs to get to. He’s got the potential to, I think, to be a good kickoff returner.

(on if there is any consideration to use starters to return kicks)

No, none. Not yesterday.

(on why Javon Ringer didn’t return kicks yesterday and Jason McCourty did)

I just wanted to see. [Jason’s] a different style runner then Javon. I think Javon will continue to improve. It wasn’t anything that Javon didn’t do. We just wanted to give Jason an opportunity.

(on the players saying after the game that this is a dangerous time for the team being 0-3)

Well again, that’s their frustration. We’re all frustrated after a loss. Not concerned about the locker room. Not concerned about their work ethic. They’re going to continue to work and practice and do the best they can. We got away from trying to do too much yesterday. I thought last week with Houston, I thought at times people were trying to do a little more than what was asked of them and that created problems. Guys played within the system, in the scheme and did what was asked of them. They understand that’s what you have to continue to do.

(on if being a former punt returner makes the situation more difficult)

Yeah, it does. What happens is – I’m getting too technical on the catch – and Ryan (Mouton) understands this now, I thought he understood it before, but you fair catch punts, you don’t fair catch coverage. And the moment you start fair catching coverage is the minute you start having problems. Because you take your eye off the ball and you can’t afford to do that and that’s in essence what happened yesterday.

(on if Jason McCourty was cramping yesterday)

Yes, no issues.

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