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Conference calls: Tennessee Titans


Jeff Fisher enters his 14th full season as head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher and quarterback Kerry Collins spoke to the Houston media on Wednesday via conference call about their Sunday matchup at LP Field against the Texans.

Titans head coach Jeff Fisher

(on QB Vince Young's medical condition) "Yes, he's rehabbing, and he's getting better. I won't go into specifics as far as the injury's concerned, but he's been in the building. He's meeting with the offense. He's still part of this team, and he's hoping to get back on the field as quickly as possible."

(on if there is anything that QB Vince Young needs to show to get back into the starting lineup) "No. I think we have most of this stuff behind us. We're just going to move forward. He's going to have an opportunity here for any period of time—I don't know how long—to watch Kerry (Collins), to learn from Kerry which is something that he hasn't had the opportunity to do to this point. And I think we're going to turn this into a positive experience and get him under center as quickly as possible."

(on if he knows when QB Vince Young can begin practicing again) "No. I don't have a timetable there."

(on what QB Kerry Collins brings to the Titans offense) "Well, Kerry (Collins) is certainly very experienced. Last week was his 150th start. He's 90 yards short of 35,000 yards passing, so he's been around the block. He understands defenses. He has a good feel for this offense as it is evolving. He understands the importance of protecting the football, and hopefully with his experience he can put us in the best situation possible on the line of scrimmage."

{QUOTE}(on if going from QB Vince Young to QB Kerry Collins changes the Titans' game plan) "No, it doesn't. We game plan to try to put our offense in position to be successful. There are obviously some things that Kerry's (Collins) not going to do that (QB) Vince (Young) does, but as far as the run game, the drop back passing game, no it doesn't."

(on what he has seen from the Texans that scares him going into the game) "Well, it's a very much improved team that was still in the playoff hunt until late in the year last year and showed improvement. (They) had a great offseason and a promising preseason with production. We all know what a tough place it is to go play in Pittsburgh and despite that there were still some very positive things that our staff took from the ballgame. Now, we're just preparing for what we feel is a much improved team that will be highly motivated to play."

(on if he has been impressed with rookie RB Steve Slaton) "Very impressive. Yeah, very, very impressive. The runs against Dallas in the preseason and he (Steve Slaton) hit a couple of tough runs against the Steelers, which is a group that is typically hard to run against. He's a good player. We thought highly of him in our draft room."

(on if he expected rookie RB Chris Johnson to contribute this early in the season) "We expected to see these things. We were very, very pleased with what we saw during the OTAs to preseason and training camp. He's (Chris Johnson) a special guy with special talents, and we just have to find ways to give him the ball."

(on if anything has surprised him in the AFC so far) "No, it's injuries that I think are the major factor for the things that have taken place. I don't know. San Diego has injuries on defense, but our division, the Colts and the Jaguars, are dealing with some extreme injury situations. But they'll pull through them. It's still early and you take it one week at a time. You prepare and you try to find a way to win the next ballgame."

(on his thoughts on the call in the San Diego-Denver game with him being on the competition committee) "Well, the committee will talk about all of the things that take place during the course of the year, and we always examine replay and we look at the unusual things that come up. I'm sure it will be discussed. It's just where we go with it. It's a little too premature to talk about that, but I'm sure it will be discussed."

(on what was his first feelings and thoughts when he saw the San Diego-Denver play) "I'm one that hesitated. There's a human element in this game. There are mistakes. I make mistakes. Our players make mistakes, and the official's makes mistakes. (Official) Ed (Hochuli) was in a very difficult position there. When you slow it down, yeah it's a fumble. When that thing is going in real speed, you can see what he saw. He came right out and said he made the mistake. Hopefully, you move on because of it. If we need to look at it, we will, but San Diego still had a couple of chances to win the ball game. They didn't. We'll look at this and, hopefully, it will settle down. As San Diego moves into this week's game plan, they will put it behind them and move on."

(on how hard it is to find a franchise quarterback and to replace one like Green Bay did) "It is difficult, but you have to be able to plan for that. I think that a lot of people may have questioned the selection years ago when they drafted Aaron (Rodgers), but now that he is playing like he is, they are saying, 'What a great move on the Packers behalf.' They did. They knew that Brett (Favre) wasn't going to play forever, and they went out and got the best guy to replace him. The time that he spent watching Brett and preparing and practicing has been well served. The Packers are to be commended for their personnel decisions and their planning and the big picture. That is what we have to constantly do is to look at the big picture and not get caught up in the present."

(on if QB Vince Young playing right away when he was drafted helped him) "Well, looking back, we'd do the same thing all over again. He's just in his third year. He's 18-11 as a starter. He hasn't really even finished his second year yet and he led us to the playoffs last year. So, the experience that he has and the game experience and such, has been valuable to him. Now, we just have to take a step just aside, just momentarily in his career and kind of regroup, and get back under center."

(on if he feels like QB Vince Young can still be a great quarterback in this league) "Yes. He's got special skills and rare athletic ability, desire, determination, he's a competitor. He's got all the intangibles. Everything that he needs to be a very good player."

(on Texans WR Andre Johnson and DE Mario Williams) "Well, you look at their stats in just the one game. Mario (Williams) comes up with two sacks in the opener and Andre (Johnson) has 10 catches for 112 yards. So, they are really, really good players. They have built the team around good players and they've really done a good job, I think over the last couple of years, replacing players and getting their type of players in their system."

(on what he thinks can happen to the Texans after what they've been through with Hurricane Ike) "I think they will be extremely focused, happy to get back to what they do. Momentarily put the aside the difficulties at home with their friends and families and everything going on with the city. It's a very, very difficult time, but I think it will be an experience that will pull them together and it will help them in the long run. Everybody will be pulling for them. I think the information is just beginning to get out as to the difficulties that they've endured over the last four or five days. The organization will pull together and unite and move on and be successful."

(on what DE Mario Williams and DT Amobi Okoye have to do to be compared to Kyle Vanden Bosch and Albert Haynesworth) "Well, obviously Mario (Williams) is off to a great start to his career with the 15 and a half sacks or the 15 last year and into this year. They are very talented up front. What they just need to do is win some ballgames. This is very talented, in my opinion, underrated defense."

(on why DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and DT Albert Haynesworth are recognized as one of the best one-two punches in the league) "Well, I think Kyle's (Vanden Bosch) efforts over the last couple of years, his play, the fact that he doesn't come out of the game - that he's been involved in a lot of big plays for us, game winning plays. And then of course Albert (Haynesworth) - Albert's work last year, specifically coming back in great shape and really having a dominating season - I think that drew attention from some people and they are obviously getting a lot of attention early in the season. Offenses are building their protection plans, their run game, around where these two players are."

(on if he sees anything in DT Amobi Okoye that would make him think he can become a great player) "I think he's going to be a very, very good player. He's very, very instinctive. I think he's ahead of where Albert (Haynesworth) was early in his career, just with his instincts and he's young. He's very powerful. He's going to be a very good player."

(on if QB Kerry Collins has been able to help QB Vince Young with what he is going through) "Kerry (Collins) has been very good with Vince (Young) since Kerry's arrival. He's going to continue to do so. I think this is going to be a great opportunity for Vince to actually see in action the things that Kerry talks about: How you go about preparing, how you work through a difficult time, how you overcome a bad series, how you put the game plan into place during the week."

(on if what he is going through with QB Vince Young is a unique situation) "Well, no. This is going to end up being a positive situation for Vince (Young) and the franchise. I believe that. I think it's important that when you go through things like that you look for the positive, and this has got nothing but good things ahead."

(on why he likes about QB Kerry Collins) "Well, as I mentioned earlier, last week was his 150th start and he's 90 yards short of 35,000 yards, so he's been there. He's been there. He's been involved with a lot of offenses and a lot of defenses. He's got confidence; he's got the natural leadership because of where he's been and what he's been done. And players are going to be in the right places and be where he expects them to be."

Titans quarterback Kerry Collins

(on what advice he can give QB Vince Young based on his experiences in his career) "First of all, I think every young quarterback who starts early and has success early goes through a rough period. I think every quarterback has experienced that. To me, it's all about how you come back from it. I think everyone here expects Vince (Young) to come back from it and be everything everybody thought he was going to be when they drafted him. I can definitely be a good resource for him. I certainly had my struggles. I always want him to know that my door is open if he ever does want to talk because I can relate to it better than anybody else."

(on what he has told QB Vince Young that has helped him) "I really haven't spoken to him too much since last Sunday. I said from day one that I could be a good person to talk to just because I did go through some things early in my career."

(on how he got through the struggles early in his career) "You kind of find a way to get through it. It's one of those things where you dig down deep inside and find the strength to come back and do the things that are necessary to get things back on track."

(on how it feels to be back playing) "I'm excited to play. I really appreciate the opportunity to play at this point in my career. (I) haven't started for a long time and then being a backup and not being in there every Sunday, the chances I get now I appreciate because of that. I'm excited. Given the choice, I would rather be out there playing. I still feel like I've got good football left in me. I just want to be the kind of guy that guys in this locker room can believe in and that they feel like (they) can be successful with."

(on if he wondered if this time would ever come for him again) "Oh, yeah. It's definitely something that I didn't see coming. I think we all know that injuries happen and certainly no wish for Vince (Young) to get hurt, but certainly as a backup I felt that I may never get a chance to play and that's why I think that I'm relishing the opportunity."

(on if there was someone to help him early in his career) "I had a lot of help. Whether it be professional help, quite honestly, or support people within the Giants or whether it be friends or family members. So I certainly realize that I needed to have those kind of people around me and I was fortunate that people were willing to help. And I think there are people here willing to help with Vince and I hope he takes advantage of those opportunities."

(on how much it helped him to play against Houston last year and not just watching) "It helps. I think, obviously being in the division, we get to see them twice a year. This will be my fifth time with the Titans playing against them, so I'm familiar with the personnel. Obviously, being under center for the game down there in Houston last year will get me just that much more familiarity with them. But, obviously like I said, we're division opponents so we know each other pretty well."

(on what he thinks DT Amobi Okoye and DE Mario Williams need to do to be recognized the same way DT Albert Haynesworth and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch are) "I think they just need to keep doing what they are doing. I think they are extremely talented players and they work hard and they always give great effort. I think that's the hallmark of a great player in this league. You look at Kyle (Vanden Bosch) and the things that he's done and the effort that he gives, it's no secret why he's successful. And certainly, with the talent those guys have and it seems like they work hard and play every play. That's what makes great players in this league, in my opinion."

(on if he thought he would be able to play as effectively at this age) "You know, physically, I haven't felt like I've lost anything. I still feel like I'm throwing the ball well. I've dropped my weight down a bunch, which has really helped me. So, from a physical standpoint, there's no reason to think I still can't be an effective quarterback in this league. And at a certain point, when you add the experience onto it, I think it all helps."

(on if QB Vince Young is doing everything he needs to be doing on and off the field to be able to come back) "I have seen him do things. First of all he's got to get healthy from his knee and we'll go from there. But I know what kind of competitor he is and I know how much he loves this game. So don't count him out. I think he's going to come back and be the kind of player that he can be."

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