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Conference calls: Tennessee Titans


Titans coach Jeff Fisher said that he expects the Texans to be one of the best rushing teams in the league this season.

Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch spoke to the Houston media on Wednesday about their team's upcoming matchup with the Texans at LP Field in Nashville.

Titans head coach Jeff Fisher(on RB Steve Slaton's success against them and why the Texans might be struggling to run to start the season) "I think he's the first back in I don't know how many years that's had back-to-back 100-yard games against us. So clearly, we have a great deal of respect for him. He broke a couple of long runs in each of the games where we had him basically tied up or tackled and we didn't finish, and he broke the long run. So that's the kind of back he is. I think everyone needs to be careful and mindful of the type of defense that the Jets play. They did a nice job. They're not easy to run against. That game got a little bit out of hand, but there is no doubt in our mind that the Texans will be one of the top rushing teams in the league when the season is said and done."

(on the key for coaches under great scrutiny) "(Texans head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak is a fine coach. He's got a good staff. He's got a good team and support and he's conveyed to his players and to his staff that it's not worth the 50 cents to purchase a newspaper or worth the headache to listen to sports radio. They control really what happens, and I'm sure that's what he's doing. They played a good football team, didn't win, you move on."

(on if in his experience, he had to do anything different to get past 8-8) "You have to keep doing – the season starts during the offseason and you maintain the philosophy and keep doing what you believe is going to get you through it. If you change too soon, then you're presenting a panic mode, and so you just keep doing what you're doing. They're too talented not to be successful this year."

(on what they're doing to make up for the loss of DT Albert Haynesworth) "We're doing it with numbers. I'm really pleased with who we have at the tackle position right now with Tony Brown, Jason Jones and Jovan Haye. We've got Kevin Vickerson. We're happy with our draft choice, Sen'Derrick Marks. So through a rotation, we'll be fine. I think we were stout against the run in the opener and that we've been able to at least get some somewhat consistent pressure throughout the preseason. Even throughout most of the Pittsburgh game, we were getting decent pressure inside, so I feel like we're going to be fine with the rotation."

(on WR Andre Johnson's big game against them in December) "He made the big catch over (Titans CB) Cortland (Finnegan) down our sideline. That was a great throw. We got caught up in a couple play-actions and situations where we didn't sit properly in the secondary. That's what happens when you run the football as well as they do; he's going to make his plays outside."

(on how much the loss in Houston last December motivates the players) "Well, it wasn't one of our better games. The points were down and we had opportunities, but we didn't tackle when we needed to. We didn't the make plays when we needed to make the plays. We opted to go for it on fourth down and our receiver slowed down for whatever reason. We probably would've thrown a touchdown pass and that game would've been decided there. We had another opportunity inside of a couple minutes with our timeouts left to get a stop and get the ball back and we couldn't. (Texans RB) Steve (Slaton) made a great run and got the first down and they kneeled down on it. That's how we left it. That game, you learn from it, but you move on. We learned from our opener as the Texans have learned from experience from their opener, and you move on."

(on if he is concerned about K Rob Bironas missing two field goals last week) "No."

(on what the key is to winning the AFC South) "Protecting the football. Playing good special teams. Playing good football. In division games, teams that turn the ball over are not going to be successful. You've got to protect it. Of course, you have to be able to carry balance throughout the game. If you're forced to become one-dimensional, meaning you've got to throw to catch up, it's very difficult because everyone in our division can take advantage of that."

(on the AFC South and NFC East known as the toughest/most physical divisions) "Well, I think there is physical play throughout the league. The Colts have been the team to beat for years and the other three of us have been building our team. We've been building our team not only to play the Colts, but to play one another. You know, in order to do that and survive the league, you have to be a physical team."

(on if it seems odd that you can horse-collar a quarterback) "No, it doesn't. You're allowed to horse-collar a running back between the tackles as well. It's just the outside plays, the boundary plays where the injuries were taking place. The horse-collar is a player safety penalty and the committee felt that there is not much speed generated inside. The players, the likelihood of someone getting hurt between the tackles or the quarterback in the pocket is unlikely as compared to when you're outside of the pocket running for your life."

(on QB Vince Young's status) "Vince is doing very well. He finished up real strong through the preseason. Played the last couple games well and had a lot of fun, and he's ready to play if called upon."

(on what concerns him the most about his team after one game) "The one thing that concerns me the most is the next game, and that is figuring out a way to win the next game. That's the only way you can approach things in this league—concern yourself with the next game."

Titans DE Kyle Vanden Bosch(on life without DT Albert Haynesworth and what he thinks about DT Jason Jones) "It's kind of hard to comment on. Honestly, it's been a long time; last year was a long time ago. This is a new team. I feel like we've done some good things. We probably haven't done enough for people to stop talking about the loss of Albert, but I feel like as a group, we've made good progress. I think you'll see some good things out of us. Especially, like you said, Jason Jones, he's just such an explosive-type athlete that he's the type of player that can make those difference-making type plays throughout the course of a ballgame."

(on what he thinks about T Duane Brown) "He's settled in as a second year player. He's going to be a starting left tackle for a long time in this league. It's difficult for us, throughout the preseason, to find instances where he gets beat. Especially for us, studying Jets film where they run a different defense from us, it's hard to take a lot from that game tape."

(on why Texans RB Steve Slaton had so much success against the Titans last year) "He had a lot of success against a lot of people last year. I think, especially the first time we played them here in Nashville, we did a good job most of the game, we just didn't finish on one play and he broke it on us. He's that type of back where he's explosive. You have to get 11 hats at the ball at all times because he's shifty, explosive and he's strong. He might seem like a smaller-type back but he's a powerful runner and keeps his legs churning."

(on the Texans having trouble running the football) "No, what you have to prepare for is their scheme, their offense. They are built upon establishing the run game, then having play-action set up off of that. At the end of the week, our challenge will be to stop the run so that play-action becomes less effective. That run game, they are going to get a lot of yards this year. It's a high-powered offense. It's a good offensive line and like you said, they have a really good running back so they're going to get yards this year. Our challenge is making sure that it doesn't get started this week."

(on the challenge RB Chris Brown presents for a defense) "He's a strong runner. The guys around this building know the type of player he is. He's got powerful legs and you can lean on him when you need to pick up third-and-short, second-and-short. He's done that throughout his career. It looks like he's being leaned on again to be that type of running back where you know he's going to pick up the third-and-short. They feel comfortable with him in that type of situation. We know the type of player he's been, and that's the type of player we expect to see."

(on the key to winning the AFC South) "I think it becomes difficult to beat the Colts for a lot of teams if you only play them once a week. When you get a feel for the tempo that they play with in a game, the type of offensive style they have. When you try to figure out Peyton Manning; he has timing-type routes and passes and you figure out which ones he's comfortable with, what receivers he's most comfortable with. I think then you give yourself a chance."

(on how they develop the mindset of being physical) "It starts in practice. It starts with our mentality. I think most of it is a reflection, not only Coach (Chuck) Cecil, our defensive coordinator, but (defensive line) Coach (Jim) Washburn. If you've ever been at a Titans practice or witnessed his mentality, his coaching style, anything less than being physical, going all-out all the time, is unacceptable."

(on if there are any differences with Chuck Cecil as the new defensive coordinator) "Thus far, not really. We had a good defense last year. We did some good things. We return a lot of players from that defense, so I think that if things are going well and you play well, you don't change a lot of things. It obviously becomes an evolution from week to week and you find out which things you need to improve on. But thus far, it's been pretty much the same as last year."

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