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Jeff Fisher Conference Call with Arizona Media

Posted Nov 25, 2009

On if he will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving at all with the short week:

“The short week is going to cut into it a little bit, but we will be okay. We are going to let the players, like we typically do, come in a little early tomorrow and allow them to spend some time with their families’ tomorrow afternoon.”

On what factors helped with the turnaround during the last month:

“There are a number of factors. We healed up in some key positions. I think that is number one. I think our approach to the bye week was productive, we worked on some things. Not a lot of roster changes with the exception at the quarterback position. I think from a defensive standpoint, getting Cortland Finnegan back and Vincent Fuller back certainly helped settle things down there. I think the players stayed focused and continued to have fun despite the rough start and we were able to pull out of it.”

On this four game stretch for Vince Young and if the time off helped him:

“I really believe that Vince’s time last year watching Kerry (Collins) and preparing himself each week to play as a backup and his commitment to the offseason program and to training camp and preseason really helped him. I think he clearly sees things differently now and he is having fun. He is trusting the players around him, not that he didn’t trust them before, but I think early on he was trying to do everything on his own. He is letting the running backs run and letting everybody play around him.”

On if Vince Young using his legs and going to his check downs more is part of making better decisions:

“The decision process is going to improve simply because he is in the second year of the new system, second year with (offensive coordinator) Mike (Heimerdinger). We saw that with Steve (McNair) too. Steve really took off in his second and third year and I think that has a lot to do with it.”

On how close it was between drafting Vince Young or Matt Leinart:

“We obviously had done quite a bit of work on all three of them. That would obviously include Jay (Cutler). We loved everything about Matt (Leinart) and everything about Jay and certainly everything about Vince (Young). It was clearly a tough decision but we felt like all three of the quarterbacks were going to be productive and all three of them had a chance to have great careers.”

On RB Chris Johnson becoming a complete football player:

“He was a football player in college. This is not something new. This is not somebody that we developed. He was very productive at school. He would be a lead blocker on the quarterback draw for the quarterback. He was an inside-outside runner and a good receiver out of the backfield. We’ve surrounded him with good people and he is off to a great start this year. He has terrific speed, vision, balance and change of direction. He is hard to defend.”

On how to prepare for an unfamiliar opponent like the Cardinals on a short week:

“That is the big challenge. It is always a challenge when we play teams in the NFC. We just kind of stress that you have to do the extra little things to familiarize yourself with an uncommon opponent. It is a good challenge against a very talented football team.”

On what the keys have been to the Cardinals surge in the running game:

“I think it is pretty simple. It is the threats that they have outside. Kurt (Warner) is very, very experienced. He sees the field. He gets rid of the ball on time. He can really hurt you down the field. He puts you in a situation where you are going to have to be cognizant of what is going on down the field. As a result, you are a little light up front and they take advantage in the run game.”

On if they prepare as if Kurt Warner will definitely play even though his status is not known:

“Yes, certainly. We have made that assumption and that is the way we are going to prepare. I think if you didn’t know whether you were going to get Kerry Collins or Vince Young, I think there would potentially be two different types of game plans. But both Matt (Leinart) and Kurt are very similar so it is not as if they are going to come in and do different things if one plays and not the other.”

On how he views the idea of sitting young quarterbacks or playing them right away and if it depends on the guy:

“It depends on the people you have around them. I think you can afford to play a young quarterback if you can run the football. That was a big part of Vince’s (Young) early success because we could run the football and we did so. That takes a great deal of pressure off of them. If you are not built to run the football then you are going to put a lot more pressure on your quarterback.”

On if Vince Young is a much different guy then he was last year:

“Yes. He was able to put all of that behind him. I think he has taken a different approach. He has certainly developed intellectually as a quarterback but I think he has taken advantage of a difficult experience and learned from it and put it behind him. I know he was looking forward to getting that second opportunity.”

On if Vince Young having fun is a big deal for him:

“I think that is a big deal for everybody. I don’t think we would have pulled out of the situation that we were in had we not continued that approach. I think it’s important and it’s very important at the quarterback position.”

On how you take that fun approach when you are 0-6:

“You have to put the losses in perspective, move on and continue to work to get better and we did so. You can’t beat a team down because they are not winning. You have to pull them up.”

On how important the bye week was when they made the quarterback switch:

“It came at a good time for us. It allowed us to heal up and allowed us to get some work done early. It also allowed them to get away.”

On what kind of contribution former Cardinals cornerback Rod Hood has made:

“We were really pleased with Rod (Hood), terrific young man. Came in, learned the defense quickly and then when we had the second injury, Rod came in and started three games for us. The first three that we won and in each one of those games he had an interception.”

On his philosophy of freezing the kicker since he didn’t use a time out against Houston and the kicker missed:

“Do you think that was a good idea? I think every situation is different. I just had that feeling and I told the coaches upstairs the he was going to pull it left. I guess you could say I was lucky there.”

On if he thought about firing assistant head coach/linebackers coach Dave McGinnis, who use to coach the Cardinals, when they were 0-6:

“No. They probably thought about firing the head coach and promoting him.”

On if wearing the Peyton Manning jersey was to send a message that they had to be looser:

“No. I think the flack came from those who were not aware of what I was doing at that time, at the event I was participating in. I was honored to introduce Tony Dungy at a terrific charity here in town. That was my way of introducing Tony and having fun with it. It just came off the heels of our difficult loss at New England. I think people need to see that you can’t take this game too serious. We try to win them all but you have move on. It is a week-to-week deal and I just felt like it went over very well at the event. Some people were offended by it, some people were taken back, but I wasn’t there to stir up public opinion or create controversy. I was there to honor Tony.”

On how he approaches concussions:

“I think we, like everybody else, are very concerned about it. We’ve established our baseline studies for all of our players over the years and we trust our physicians and our staff. I think it is important, as you say once they are cleared and they are feeling good, then it is important to take some extra time. If he (Kurt Warner) still had any symptoms whatsoever Sunday, I think they need to wait a month or so before they put him back on the field.”

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