Titans conference calls

Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher **

(on scoring 48 points against the Packers) "The scoring was a reflection of a number of different things. It was our ability to run the football, playing on the short field and of course the turnovers. Steve (McNair) was healthy. He was better last week than he has been at anytime since the calf injury last year against Atlanta, which was good because there was a difference on the practice field with his mobility. We were able to get him on the edge. He was able to run around and make plays. We are still a little disappointed. We had opportunities. We dropped passes, dropped a touchdown pass and had a field goal come out low where we could have put more points on the board. Our feeling going in was we had to score as many (points) and as often and keep scoring anytime you line up to play against Brett Favre."

(on cornerback Samari Rolle's overturned interception)"Basically what happens when you look at a review from that standpoint is we don't always or don't necessarily get to look at exactly what they're seeing. They have the benefit of slowing down each shot from the network truck piece, by piece, by piece and we don't. I'm kind of anxiously waiting on a different shot just to see. But based on what I saw on the TV tape I didn't see the ball hit the ground but the referee was 100 percent sure that the ball was moving and on the ground or he wouldn't have overturned it."

(on what is making running back Chris Brown so good)"Our offensive line up until several weeks ago had been in tact for a number of years now. We lost Zach (Piller) but Jacob Bell is playing well for us. It's a combination anytime run the football. You also have to get some help from your receivers down field. It's everybody involved but Chris has got quickness and great vision and he has the ability to make people miss. He's a little stronger runner I think than most opponents measure him out to be."

(on rookie contributions)"We've got a number of rookies. We had 12 that were on the active roster Monday night. When you have those kind of numbers you're going to have to get contributionsout of it and we're starting to. Jacob (Bell) is playing well at guard. He's a smart player. He has tackle feet and he's playing guard and he's been able to fill in nicely for Zach (Piller). Troy Fleming broke a hand in the preseason and was slow the first few weeks but as you can tell the hand has healed up and now he's catching the ball very well for us. It gives us a chance to do a little more with the fullback. With Robert (Holcombe) and Troy we've got a good combination and we can do some different things with them but we're pleased there. The rest of the rookie class is coming along. Antwan Odom has been productive for us. We moved Kevin (Carter) over last week to defensive end and Antwan became a backup and came off the bench and played well. He's got pass rush skills and is going to be a fine player for us. Travis LaBoy is still a little slow. He did not play in the preseason. Last week at San Diego was his first time in a ball game for us and so he's a little bit behind. But we expect him to come on and we've got some production from Jared Clauss and Randy Starks as well."

(on if the team is where it should be in stopping the run)"No we're not. Our numbers were good only because (Green Bay) didn't run it because we got up. The longest run they had was obviously in a situation where we had a nickel on the field against an unusual personnel grouping. No we're not satisfied with our production against the run. We're missing some key players at the linebacker position and it has taken time to settle down. I think we're as settled as we've been all year. We were not challenged last week and I expect to be challenged this week by the Texans. Justin Ena, It's taking him some time to learn the defense. We picked him up after training camp at the start of the season off of waivers from Philadelphia. He started last week. We have a four linebacker package that is obvious on tape and our fourth linebacker in the Monday night game was our deep snapper. We've been struggling to settle in at the linebacker position but last week we had a good week of practice and I anticipate having another good week of practice and expect to improve. Good run defense is a team effort. You have to have 11 people working together and for the last three or four weeks up until the other night it seems like every play we'd have someone in the wrong gap or out of position. So we're settling down, we're working at it and this team has a track record when you emphasis something they have a tendency to get it fixed. So we expect to get it fixed over the next couple of weeks."

(on the Titans coming back from 1-4 to go to the AFC Championship Game in 2002)"A lot of people have designated the Monday night game as a must win for both teams and whichever team came up on the losing end was for all intents and purposes out. We didn't look at it that way. You don't like to go back and talk about the 1-4 start. We were able to overcome it, but every year the personality of your team is different and there's no guarantees that you can do that. We want to avoid it. We're still in a little hole, we still have some work to do, but fortunately we've got games. Every week it becomes a challenge. Just watching how the Texans have improved with what they're doing offensively and the skill players they have this week they challenge us. They matched up well against us and played us close in both games there in Houston the last couple of years and have a sense of confidence that they're brining in here from the stand point that they have every chance to win this ball game."

(on if David Carr and Andre Johnson are becoming a dangerous threat)"I don't think it's about to become, I think it has become. I think if you look at the plays and the average per catch and the confidence that Dave has in Andre. You know he's putting it up and he makes the plays. He's made some phenomenal catches in the last month. It's a dangerous combination when you have the speed that he has and the explosiveness, the ability to break tackles and come up with the big catch. Dave's got confidence in him now and it's an impressive thing to watch on film and it certainly got our guy's attention this morning."

(on running the football)"The run game is very important to us and everybody else because it allows you to do things in the passing game and the run game, we're going to need to rely on the run game to be able to throw it because what has happened at the receiver position losing (Tyrone Calico) so we don't have the depth there. We feel like the run game will enable us to throw the ball and make the plays down the field. Chris is a very explosive runner. One of the toughest things to do in this league is to strike from outside the 20-yard line, between the 20 and the 30 and the 35 yard line. As you get closer to the goal line obviously in the red zone and some teams refer to it as the green zone it gets tougher and tougher to get in. Chris has enabled us to do that. People are paying attention to Chris. Chris has four touchdown runs and they're all over 20 yards. That's been a huge plus for us offensively. When you've got a back that can go the distance, in his case the long distance, it enables you to do some things offensively."

(on how many starters have been lost to injury)"I haven't counted. I would imagine, including Joe Nedney… seven or eight."

(on frustrations due to injuries)"Everybody deals with injuries. That's part of the game. The difficulty arises when you have injuries at the same position. With (Peter) Sirmon and (Rocky) Calmus and then Rocky Boiman has been out the last three weeks, four weeks we've had some difficulty overcoming that but we're settling down now. The benefit, if there is one, of losing starters and having to play young players early is as the season goes on the younger players will improve and we're seeing that already with some of the younger players."

(on having the best record among active coaches when taking a lead into the fourth quarter on the road)"Well I have not played on the road as a coach here, nor have any of my coaches. Games are won on the road with that lead that you speak of by the players that we have, specifically the core group of players who we have that understand the importance of protecting leads and understand how to win. I think a great number of those victories that they alluded to have an awful lot to do with Eddie George and Steve McNair and our abilities to make plays on defense and so on and so forth. I was unaware of the stat. Obviously if you think about it, it's impressive but we've played more than 37 road games in the last 10 years so there's been a lot of road games we've been unable to win. You prepare your team no differently than you do at home when you go on the road. You prepare them. You take the same expectation level in. It's the same philosophy that we have at home. I guess it's unusual that it's occurred in such a way on the road. When you can carry a lead into the fourth quarter there are certain things that need to be done, need to be accomplished. It's not everyday that you have an opportunity to do that. But the manner which we played the other night, our ability to control the ball and keep the ball and get key first downs inside of four minutes was very satisfying to me as far as victory was concerned. The players needed it, they worked very hard, they put some difficult things behind them and found a way to win the ball game."
Titans Quarterback Steve McNair *

(On the Monday night win against the Packers)
"I think it was about time for us to get things going offensively and on special teams and defense. I think we came together as a unit in all three phases. In the first four games we hadn't put up the points we were able to put up. We came together and got some turnovers on defense and special teams. We did put some good things together."

(On rolling out and throwing on the run against Green Bay)"Mike was very cautious of putting me on the run early. Because of the scar tissue in my ankle, he wanted me to just drop back. Now that I'm feeling healthy, we wanted to put some things together and create different situations to keep the defense off balance."

(On Neil O'Donnell showing how he tapes his ankles on television in Nashville) "My wife was looking at it and she told me he had a special on ankles. I never spat. I think that's what draws a lot of attention, especially Neil's. The reason I don't spat is because I have a lot of orthodics and heel lift in my ankle and it was kind of sliding out of my shoe. Until I got a taller shoe last week, I had to spat on that ankle, because of that."

(On if Chris Brown would have been able to accomplish what he has if Eddie George returned to the team)"I think so. I think the coaches had made up their mind that Eddie was going to share the position with Chris. I think with Chris being in there, it changed the pace from a power running game to a speedy running game. I'm not sure he would have gotten as many touches as he's getting right now, but I'm quite sure the performance and the outcome would be the same."

(On what the absence of Justin McCareins, Tyrone Calico and their starting tight end has done to the passing game) "It's slowed us down a little bit, but at the same time we had some young guys against Green Bay who stepped up and proved they can perform on a high level, especially on a Monday night. They performed well on a Monday night, with all the pressure and everyone looking at them, I'm quite sure they have enough confidence to help them this weekend and in the weeks to come."

(On how he views the Texans)"They are doing some great things on offense to build up their team. Last year, the score would have been 10-3 or 7-3, but they're scoring a lot of points on offense now. They have a great defense, a veteran defense that is playing well. The only way we can go in and perform well is to do the things we did last week against Green Bay and put a lot of points on the board. Right now, David Carr is playing well, the receiver group they have is magnificent and they are putting a lot of points on the board. It won't be that 10-3 game anymore. Both teams will have to put some points on the board."

(On if WR Eddie Berlin will get more chances on offense this game)"Absolutely. I think the coaching staff, myself, and he has a lot of confidence in each other that he can go out and get the job done. Eddie was capable of doing that. It was just a matter of him making up his mind and going out and doing it."

(On going against former teammates Gary Walker and Robaire Smith and trying to exloit the three rookies the Texans have starting on defense) "We just have to be patient against the Texans. They have a great front. Their run defense is good. Regardless of the situation we have to be balanced on this offensive unit. Without balance we fail to win ball games. We have to be balanced in the pass and running games. Up front, we have to make sure we get a scheme together where we can take advantage of Chris' speed against their defensive lineman and naturally take advantage of some of the rookies. Overall, we have to put a good scheme together and go out and execute it."

(On if he has thought about retiring)"Coming into the NFL in 1995, I said that if I can get 10 years, I would be happy in the National Football League. Right now, with the health, if I can go out and compete on the level I am now, regardless of injury. I can play. I'm just taking it year-by-year. Until I'm not able to perform at a high level and compete against these young guys, then there is a chance you have to consider for your health and the health of the organization to retire."

(On surpassing Warren Moon in wins for the Tennessee franchise)"It's a great feeling. When you get so many wins in an organization, it means you've been there a long time. I'm just blessed to be part of this organization for a long time. I was drafted by the Oilers and now I'm on the Titans. It's just a thrill to me because I'm a friend of Warren Moon and I also was a fan. It's great for me. It's overwhelming. I'm just glad to be mentioned in the same breath as Warren Moon."

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