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Coach Fisher's Tuesday Press Conference

Posted Aug 24, 2010

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

(on the plan for tomorrow’s practice)

We’re going to have an efficient practice.  That’s what we are looking for.  I think we can all have these perceptions of these training camp battles where you line up against another team and you are looking forward to working against somebody else because you’ve been beating up on yourself for weeks and nothing but brawls take place out there.  That’s not going to be the case.  We are going to practice tomorrow in shoulder pads and helmets.  We’re going to have a little bit of 1-on-1 and special teams work.  There will be a little 7-on-7 and some pass rush and some team and some two-minute.  It’s an opportunity to go out there and work against somebody else.  We are going to carry the highest respect level for the Arizona Cardinals and it is highly unlikely that there will be any incidents.  These are two teams coming off a very physical game with just one day’s rest.  We’re looking forward to having a productive practice.

(on if the short week contributes to not wearing full pads against the Cardinals

We will leave the practice field tomorrow afternoon and our attention has to be on healing up and preparing our team for Carolina as they do to the Bears.

(on if he worries about the short turnaround between games and how the practice against the Cardinals influences his worry)

We’ll gain the time back next week.  We’re going to pass rush.  No one is going to the ground.  There will be no cheap shots.  We’re just going to go out there and play.  It was quite an effort.  It was a physical game on both sides of the ball for both teams last night.  I think that Coach (Whisenhunt) came away feeling that they got a lot accomplished as we feel

(on whether Fisher and the Cardinals have talked about practice plans)

We’ve been talking about this.  When you practice in this part of camp, a day like this coming off a game and another game coming up … The tempo is going to be good.  They will be competing but still you would like to see them help each other up

(on whether he can better evaluate his players when they are going against another team)

We expect to see some things.  We will probably see some similar things that we saw in the ball game as they will.  In the 1-on-1 opportunities you get some more opportunities for your corners.  We leaned toward pressure last night early.  Some of it was zone-type pressure and some of it was man-to-man.  We need to continue to evaluate the corners and we should get an opportunity tomorrow

(on whether he abstains from playing Derrick Morgan in practice against the Cardinals)

We’re going to watch him tomorrow.  I think he has a really good chance to play (on Saturday) but it doesn’t make too much sense to get him worked up tomorrow

(on which players he will hold out of practice)

William Hayes won’t work, nor will Tony BrownDavid ThorntonMike Otto might be out, he’s got a strained knee.  Other than that, I think everybody has got a chance to play

(on whether he thinks the D-line has been successful even with the injuries)

We got off to a great start with William (Hayes) prior to his injury.  He had a really solid offseason as did JJ (Jason Jones).  You see by JJ’s performance the last couple of weeks that he’s in a place he hasn’t been before and is playing well.  I would expect that out of William when he comes back.  Jacob (Ford) has had a solid couple of weeks.  He’s been hampered a little bit but will be back.  We drafted Derrick (Morgan) where we drafted him because he is a good player and of course you cannot say enough about what Tony (Brown) has done here.  What this has done is given these other guys opportunities to play.  It’s given Sen’Derrick (Marks) ample reps.  He has shown two weeks of steady improvement.  It gives us a comfort level knowing that we have depth, we have a rotation, and we have guys that know how to get to the quarterback

(on Cortland Finnegan, Justin Gage, Colin Allred and Jacob Ford’s injuries)

They all have a chance to practice this week and potentially play

(on Pete Ittersagen’s status)

We will hold him out this week

(on Vince Young’s accuracy)

He has been much better.  We’ve talked about it.  He threw some good balls in Seattle.  He knows where to go with it and he is seeing the field better.  He anticipated the hole and put that ball loose in perfect time

(on Damian Williams play)

He was fine.  No problems physically.  He was very comfortable in the offense.  He made a couple of tough catches.  He did what we expected him to do.  He really didn’t get many opportunities as a returner.  We were handling a lot of midfield or thereabout returns.  Fourth and one, fourth and two, a lot of balls were going inside the 10-yard line.  He made good decisions.  That is the other part of the punt returner thing that we are looking at is decision making.  He made good decisions, Marc (Mariani) made good decisions.  Of course Marc had a good kickoff return.  Damian (Williams) faired well.  He caught the ball well but just needs to do a little bit more

(on if he talked to Lavelle Hawkins about the risks of trying to jump over a defender)

You don’t have to say much.  He understands had he not completely the hurdle and got caught, he might have done a summersault much sooner than he did when he tried to get the ball in the end zone.  He is one of those guys who is really athletic and likes to have fun with the ball once he catches it.  We just need to get the ball in his hands.  I don’t think defenses are going to say, ‘this guy’s a leaper, so take him up high’ but it was an exciting play.

(on how the corners did in their isolation situations

Well, I thought they played well.  They were all in position to make plays.  I thought they tackled well, I thought overall the group is still improving.

(on how soon he’d like to make a decision on the starting cornerback opposite Cortland Finnegan)

We’ll have a decision before Oakland I’m sure.

(on how he’d rate the cornerbacks battling for a starting position)

I’m not going to put one over the other; I think the whole group is improving.  For a football team that is a good thing, because our depth is improving.

(on if he’s hesitant to start a rookie cornerback after some of the struggles last year)

No, they’re different—each individual player is different.  (Alterraun Verner) plays with a great deal of confidence and feel.  He’s comfortable and he’s been quite the surprise during camp.

(on if he’s plans to start Jason McCourty and Verner again this week)

You’re going to have to come to the ball game.

(on if Samkon Gado showed anything special on his touchdown runs against Arizona)

He has a real good sense for the zone scheme.  His aiming points are good, his shoulders are square, he’s got the ability to cutback and knife and get through a small area, and for a small guy he runs with good power.  That is kind of why we brought him here; he’s been around for a while.

(on how Gado earned playing time in such a short amount of time with the team)

Well he progressed—he’s a smart guy, he’s been around the block.  I did not want to put him in a position where he was going to risk muscle pulls, or injury and those kind of things because he hadn’t been to camp.  So we communicated, each day he did extra work after practice and felt good so I said okay, we’ll try to get you some carries.

(on if Nate Washington’s pleas influenced his decision to challenge the call of an incomplete pass)

He attempted to talk to me, but he had this much (zero) influence in my decision to challenge that play.  I learned that a long time ago, I thought I saw his hands cupped—I thought I saw it.  I know he was adamant about it, and he had every right to be, but I’m going to wait until I see it in person or get a confirmation upstairs.

(on if he appreciated Washington’s reaction when the call was overturned)

I just indicated to him that even though he was adamant, I was not trusting him because I got stung in Miami in 1997-98.  I had the exact same response from the player, and that ball skipped twice.

(on who that player was that convinced him to challenge the call in Miami)

Number 81 (Chris Sanders).

(on if the running game improved from their game against Seattle)

We did, I thought our group two—I thought our second group of offensive lineman improved over the week before.  Now keep this in mind, we weren’t getting a variety of fronts and the different things, we got one or two pressure things that we sorted out.  But I thought that they improved, and I thought that was the difference.

(on the added depth on this year’s camp roster)

I think it’s a concern because you look at the safety position, for example, and you have two draft choices and a draft choice from last year that was on the practice squad and who’s been hurt and you have three young safeties.  You really haven’t seen those guys on the field, and that is the case and depth at the linebacker spot.  But again, OTA’s, training camp and preseason games help to improve that, help to develop that.  Our focus as we wind down the next couple weeks is going to be on upgrading the bottom part of our roster.  It may be with players who are here, it may be with players who are not, but that is the same thing that we do every year.

(on the importance of wins in the preseason)

I think it is important to win preseason games.  Although, you can go back and see how many games the Colts have won over the last few years.  What was most important to us last night is that we emphasized the long week and we emphasized the extra couple days.  We said to them, ‘this is where we have to take a step,’ and we did.  We worked hard and for them to be able to carry the intensity and the enthusiasm into this ball game for however long they played was a success for us.  I think we’ve given up six points in 10 or so drives defensively.  That means they are playing hard, we are not sophisticated and we’re not game planning, we’re just going out and playing.  For the offense to overcome bad field position and drive starting, and getting the ball down and putting a couple drives together was good.

(on if he talked to or thought the league would talk to Kenny Britt about punting the ball after a dropped pass)

I am sure the league will address it, and I’m sure his teammates will address it as well.

(on Mike Leach playing in the league for 15 years)

Mike (Leach) was one of those bubble guys that made it because we had created an opportunity.  There is value there.  He is not the first in that position that has played that long.  He has been very consistent.

(on the tight end’s play)

Craig’s (Stevens) play speaks for itself.  His special team’s play was very solid.  That’s a tough catch that Cookie (Jared Cook) made that Kerry (Collins) threw.  He is playing to his speed now and catching the ball and I thought he blocked well.  Overall, it is a pretty solid group.

(on whether Jared Cook has made strides in his second year)

Thus far yes.

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