Tennessee Titans Conference Calls

Titans head coach Jeff Fisher

(on Fisher's strong record over the past several years) "I think it says more about the players. We've had a core group of players since '99 that understand preparation and carry an expectation to win on the field and we've got a number of players that have made a great deal of plays for us over the years, specifically our quarterback.

"We have a philosophy in place and despite the fact that there's been a great deal of turnover, we've been fortunate to win our share of games. It hasn't been enough by anyone's standard in the organization but if statistics state this is the most for anybody since 1999, then that's good but what happened in 1999, 2000 and the past couple years isn't important. What' s important to us is what's going on right now."

(on losing in the final minutes to New England last week) "Losses are unacceptable. You have to put into perspective how it happens and why it happens and learn from it and go on. We had several opportunities to take control of the game and win the game, we just didn't do it."

(on the Titans kicking rotation) "If it's outside Gary's (Anderson) range, the situation is such that we can turn towards Craig (Hentrich). We have to be careful with that because Craig's a punter, he's not a placekicker. He's four for four right now but he's still a punter so we have to be very selective about that."

(on what factors determine who will kick) "It really depends on the situation. Wind, whether we're inside or outside. It's a decision we come to at game time."

(on Eddie George's productivity this season) "They're (his numbers) are down because collectively as an offense we're not running the ball as efficient as we should. It has nothing to do with Eddie, I think it's a collective effort. It also has to do with having 39 snaps in the game against Pittsburgh. It would also have to do with teams respecting the run at the line of scrimmage and we throw it. Fortunately we're able to adjust. Years ago, if we couldn't run, we couldn't win. Now, if people are determined to take the running game away from us we're no longer one-dimensional. We can win with the passing game."

(on the Texans being a competitive threat in the AFC South) "If you measure their improvement from last year to this year and one would expect they'll continue to improve and be in the race at the end of the season, there's no question. I've been very impressed with what they've done. I see a different football team on the field this year than we did last year. Last year they had a plan, there was a method to each game. They wanted to stay close, they wanted to give themselves a chance to win at the end and they did a great job last year. I think despite the fact that they only won four games, they lost four by seven points or less. The way they're playing this year is very impressive. They've done a great job at the receiver position. They're group of receivers rates with the best in the NFL in my opinion. Protection-wise, they're protecting the quarterback and they're running the football. They're running for 104 yards a game right now so this is a much-improved team and they're very well-coached. They're going to be in it. It's not one of those "expansion teams." I didn't look at them like that last year. I have a great deal of respect for what they've done and we had all we could handle in both games and we're anticipating a much better effort out of them than we got last year. That being said, we're going to have to play better than we did last year."

(on the matchup between Andre Johnson and the Titans defensive backs without Samari Rolle) "When you have players get hurt, younger players or backups have to step up and play, regardless. Andre is a very, very good receiver very early in his career. He's shown it in just four games. I don't know who's going to line up on him when and I don't necessarily know how it's all going to turn out. Whoever has to step up is going to have to make plays. Even with Samari it would be hard to shut down a quality receiver like Andre."

(on the play of rookie WR Tyrone Calico) "He hasn't played much. He's just got a few catches and a few drops. He's learning the game and he's got a lot ahead of him. He made some plays for us last week and didn't play very much during week three or four. He had a couple touchdown catches earlier in the season and we expect him just to improve as he gets more opportunity to play the game and also in practice."

(on low sack numbers this season in the NFL) "I think we have to be careful when we look at numbers like sacks, sacks given up and sacks taken, all kinds of those numbers this early in the season. What you have to look at is personnel and they (the Texans) have the potential to beat one-on-one blocks and have the potential to out-scheme you and they have the potential to knock the quarterback down. Just because someone doesn't have sacks doesn't mean they're not pressuring the quarterback or forcing the quarterback to make tough decision and getting off the field. They have the capability of pressuring the quarterback at any given time. That's going to be one of our focal points this week leading up to the game, stressing the importance of protection."

Running back Eddie George

(on last Sunday's loss to New England) "We are just looking to really correct our mistakes. We were in a position to win the game at the end. I think we were fortunate to be in that position. We gave up two big plays that were called back. They missed field goals. We were fortunate to be in a position to win at the end, but unfortunately they made more plays than we did in the last few minutes of the game and they came out with the victory. Now we have to lick our wounds and rally up the troops. We have a couple of guys hurt. We have to go against a very, very improved Houston football team."

(on playing the Texans this Sunday) "They've always had a pretty good defense. I think they were ranked in the top-15, top-10 of all defenses (last year). You've got four or five Pro Bowlers over there. Offensively, they've improved quite a bit. Their offensive line is improved. Their special teams are good. This is a solid team. I'm pretty sure that they're not set on just winning games this year. I think their mindset is to go and compete in the playoffs. They have the capability of doing that because there are guys on that team that have gone and have been in the playoffs. Their mindset has definitely changed this year and you can see it in their play. They play with a great deal of confidence."

(on his low rushing statistics this year) "My numbers right now—they aren't good at all as far as running attempts and yards. We just have to make a commitment to doing it right when we have the opportunity. Steve (McNair) is playing outstanding right now and we have to pick up our slack and help him out and take some of the pressure off of him so he can be even more productive. It's a give-and-take situation. We have a few guys missing. We have a new center at the helm. We're just trying to make adjustments to be a successful running team."

(on how the Colts have an early lead in the AFC South standings) "It's still early in the season. We really can't be concerned with that. We're going to allow that to play itself out. It's a long season. Fortunately, we see (Indianapolis) again and hopefully we can kind of put ourselves in position to overtake the first-place spot. We really can't think about first place with the talent that's in this division. If Houston is sitting right there and a lot of people aren't talking about them, but they're a damn good football team. We are really focused on not so much Indy. We just try to go week-to-week because every game is key."

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