Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher and quarterback Vince Young spoke to the Houston media on Wednesday morning during their weekly conference calls.
Head coach Jeff Fisher
(on different defenses QB Vince Young has seen) "I think each defense that he faces is slightly different, but it appears that people are trying to do similar things. One of the things that's helping is that we've been able to run the football in the last several weeks. Teams are taking the philosophy to stop the run first and then in passing situations do what you can to handle that. Things have settled down, they're not as unorthodox as they were earlier in the season. He (Young) faced the 3-4 scheme at Dallas in his first start and the Indy defense at Indy which is very challenging and then (assistant head coach – defense) Coach (Gregg) Williams, of course, at Washington did some different of things. He saw a variety of things, but things have settled down for the most part."
(on what it will take to trade QB Vince Young in the off-season) "To trade for who? I'm sorry."
(on trading for FB Ahmard Hall) "I'm sure we're going to get Ahmard Hall under a long term contract after the things he's done here this year. If you're talking about Vince or you're talking about Ahmard Hall, you need to be a little more specific."
(on trading Young) "I think Houston has done a real good job with personnel in the last couple of years so it looks like they're coming on."
(on what he's going to tell Young before a game this big for him) "If this was the first time we were playing the Texans I think it'd be a little different because I know the first match up, the first meeting against Houston was meaningful to Vince. Judging from the fact that it's not, it's the second time I'm confident that he's going to look at this as a business trip and just simply do what he would ordinarily do on a road trip. He's been here, he's obviously looking forward to the game and his success on Sunday has been directly related to his preparation week and he will endure a distraction-free preparation week if we have anything to do with it."
(on doing something different to make it distraction free) "I think last week was a big challenge for Vince coming off the comeback against the Giants. I think he handled it very well. His experience over the last five or six weeks has been varied and I think he's handled each week and he's settling in. there are times when you can kind of sense that this time of the year, a young player specifically rookies are tiring, a little bit overwhelmed. But nothing has affected Vince I think he's had a great attitude through the whole process."
(on being surprised at what Young has done) "I'm not surprised only because we see the understanding on the practice field. He's very poised, he doesn't rattle, and he has fun. I'm sure, and I've heard that he's joking around laughing in the huddle when we need to make a play to win the game. He doesn't panic and I think it's that poise that he has and that confidence that he has that allows him to make the plays. One of the things that I think has happened and I have not spoken to Vince about this, I think subconsciously there was so much said regarding the difference between the college defensive players and the NFL players. Time after time, 'Vince can do those things with his legs and make people miss at the collegiate level, but the speed of the (NFL) athletes he's just not going to be able to do that.' He's proven over the last two or three weeks that he can do that and I think that's a big part of taking a step as a quarterback. Now he all of a sudden has this tremendous confidence in his legs and his ability to pick up, make a play. He converted six third down attempts for us with his legs last week, which was very, very difficult on the Colts defense, but certainly was significant as far as our opportunity to win the game."
(on concern with Young running too much) "No, I don't because he's made throws the last couple of weeks that are very hard to make. They're timing throws with small windows, he knows that if he gets a flash of daylight or gets a crease and he needs four yards on third-and-four then he can get up and get it and get out real quickly and keep the drive alive."
(on truth to running game picking up when he played Hall) "We were impressed with Ahmard really since the day he got here. Keep in mind that he missed all the OTAs, he missed everything and basically just showed up at training camp without really any, much understanding of what we're doing. (He) applied himself and learned, he's very physical and very, very serious about his job and he's an emotional player, he's an inspirational player and the guys love him when he's on the field. He's not playing every snap because we vary our personnel groupings, but when he's out there he's very productive for us."
(on meaning of TE Bo Scaife with two other tight ends out) "Well Bo has really stepped up. Bo has made plays all year. He made plays last year for that matter, but he's versatile and can play all three positions. He's got a very, very good relationship with Vince, as one can expect, not only on the field but off the field. They push each other, they motivate each other and they also are beginning to show signs of really getting on the same page, not only when you're on schedule, but when you get off schedule. For example, in the Baltimore game Vince was tied up in the pocket and he was going down with a sack and he just flipped the ball to Bo and Bo was nearby and ran it 20 yards for a touchdown. They're getting on the same page and that's going to be a good thing for us."
(on importance of getting the crowd out of the game to get to a quick start) "I find it hard to believe, David's numbers are good, his completion percentage is nearly 70%, his quarterback rate is good. Yes, he's been sacked a few of times but there's been some injuries on the offensive line and I just think there would be a lot of teams who would have interest in David because of what he's capable of doing and I just think they need to understand they need to be patient. The running game's getting going, and when you can run the football it makes the quarterback play better. The defense, obviously, is sixth or seventh in the league over the last seven weeks and really come on. The quarterback play is really a by part of the people around him and if everybody continues to carry their load David will pull out of whatever the perceived slump their in."
(on difference between QB David Carr in 2004 and now) "I think you have to look at David Carr. David Carr is an improved quarterback over where he was the last couple of years. I think Coach Kubiak has done a nice job, they understand what he can do and they're giving him opportunities to do that. It was just several weeks ago, how many straight completions did he have 24? 25? 22. Quarterback play in this league is difficult. Even the best guys, the guys who have been doing this forever are going to have an off week or two. I think David's improved significantly."
(on who the fans cheered for when QB Steve McNair was there) "There was no doubt they were cheering for the Titans. There were a number of Ravens' fans here, but that's common with every 'team' that comes in, there's fan supporting the visiting team. But they clearly were in support of our team."
(on free time Young might have when he gets here to visit) "We stay busy really from the time we land until the time we take off. There's quiet time after the meetings where players are required to stay in the hotel, stay in there rooms so there will be a couple of hours, but I'm quite confident that Vince will be focused and prepared to execute this game plan."
(on what last minute wins do for their confidence) "We lost to Baltimore, we had a kick blocked, had a chance to win that game. We've had a number of games this year, we've had four games where we've had the ball in our hands in possession at the end to win and did not. I think the first game, the Colts game up there I think it was a step we had to come off a terrible, terrible against the Cowboys and came right back and nearly won that game. Since then things have been building, the reasons for that are football related. We're running the football, our offensive line is playing consistent football each and every week, and the quarterback play is improving each and ever week. Once you get beyond the football the actions of those the players are trusting each other and they like each other, they've working well together and they're having fun, those components give you a chance to win."
(on Bud Adams' feelings about this game) "He's pleased with the turnaround, the progress and he's excited to see that and he's excited to see the younger players becoming more productive. He understands we've got a young team and he knows we're all working hard at it and I think he's proud of this team right now because we've won three straight, five out of the last seven despite the tough start and he sees improvement, that's the bottom line, that's what he wanted to see from this club this year."
(on LB DeMeco Ryans) "He's very productive, he's a sideline-to-sideline player. If you get a ten point checklist of linebacker he could probably check them all off, he possesses all those qualities. We really liked him coming out. He was a great pick for them. Obviously he's running the defense, he's extremely versatile, he stays on the field and he's a playmaker. He's going to be a very good player."
(on what it takes for Vince to not get above the team when all the attention is about him) "The most important thing to Vince is his teammates and that'll never happen. He treats them all the same, all with respect and enjoys being around all of them. He would never put himself above the team even though I think there's a tendency from the outside perspective to do so, he would never allow it."
(on a contract extension for him) "No there's been no discussion as the organization has stated and I've stated numerous times. I'm confident that things will get worked out. Our plan is to wait until the season's over to put things together."
(on wanting to be back coaching the Titans) "I've never thought otherwise. I've never given any consideration to coaching any place else in my mind."
(on knowing K Rob Bironas could kick a 60-yard field goal) "Yes, I knew he had the leg strength. The accuracy is obviously the issue and there's a lot of components to executing that kick. He had just a slight wind behind him. It was a great kick. I can't say anything more than that, there were so many things working against him: the footing, the turf, he was kicking right off the middle of the logo, which had been week after week after week. he had a lot of things working against him and he hit it perfect. He probably had a couple more yards to spare."
(on Young scoring 50 points this week) "Each and every week it's a challenge, that's of great deal of respect for the (Texans) defense. The defense played pretty good football against us in the first game. We took advantage of some turnovers, had a defensive score. He understands that he's going to have to play better the second time around. That's one of the things I was looking forward to watching, Vince's first go-round at division opponent at the second time in his career and that was last week. it was an opportunity to go back, look at tapes of the first Indy game and correct things, have a better feel for what they're doing and then improve and he did so. That's the same approach he is taking. As far as putting 50 points on the board, no there's no guarantees."
(on turning Young lose after Carr's last performance) "David, if you recall, was taken from the game and Sage came in and threw for several hundred yards against us. It was not a choice by us to hold Vince back, we put as much points as we could on the board."
(on what CB Pacman Jones means to his team) "He's exceptional with the ball in his hands so we've just got to find ways to get it (to him). If he continues to have more success as a punt returner, more and more punts are going to land out of bounds. You saw last week that we had him return a couple of kickoffs, we have to find ways as a staff to try to get the ball in his hands."
(on presence of WR Andre Johnson to his defense) "Anytime you're competing against the top receiver in the National Football League you've got to be smart and you've got to be aware of where he is and what his strengths are and it's not an easy thing. He definitely challenges. He's one catch and one step away from going the distance because he's a very, very explosive receiver."
QB Vince Young
(on being excited about this weekend) "I'm alright. I just got to get my preparation right now, so that's pretty much it. I'm excited though, but I'm trying to get ready to play."
(on the first game against the Texans being just another game for the team) "It's always just another game. It's just another game as a team, the Tennessee Titans we're just trying to get better and better as a team and finish the season like we want to. We don't want to finish the season like we started. That's basically what we're trying to do over here is get better and better each week and go out there and play that game. If we're watching film we're looking real good, guys it's going to take an extra effort down field and things like that. So we want to continue to get better like that."
(on staying grounded with the support he's getting) "I'm really excited. It's the little bit of respect that I have, that they have for me and as well as that I have for the fans that I have gotten. I love them a whole lot for that. I just want to go out there and have a good football game and everything else."
(on knowing how much talk about him there is in Houston) "I've got friends and my uncle and them are down there and they listen too. It sounds like a good vibe down there. You've got fans calling and cussing and stuff on the radio."
* (on how he feels to have fans cheering for him on the road)* "It's a good thing. When you see Steve (McNair) come back to our field the guys showed how much they respect him. I just don't want it to be like they did T.O. (Terrell Owens) when he went back to Philly. It's good to know that there are fans and the city you're from, your hometown, the people, the Houstonian people, are behind you 100%."
(on him wanting to play better this week than ever) "I just want to be in the game and come out with a victory. That's it. Right now I really feel like Houston is playing better on defense so I've got to keep my eyes open because they're doing a lot in the blitz game and they're getting a lot of turnovers. So I've just want to take care of the ball and manage the game and win. And that's basically it, I don't want to go out there and be too excited because I want to do the same thing I've been doing each week to get better and better playing the game."
(on noticing different things that defenses have done) "Basically we come to the sidelines to adjust too, I mean we work on something all week and then we do something different, so that pretty much happens all the time. From (quarterback coach) Coach Johnson to (QB) Kerry Collins they help me out a whole lot of seeing the game out there."
(on defenses doing things just for him) "No, they're not throwing too much because every time they try to throw something at me I either use my legs to break it or to deliver a good pass down field. Them guys are a particular lineage trying to let them beat me with my run right now."
(on why the Titans seem to play better when they're behind) "I just think back at home all of them are comeback games or behind games. I feel they kind of motivate me to where I'm at today, comebacks and everything like that. And just believing on my teammates and believing in the calls that (offensive coordinator) Coach Norm Chow is calling and things like that and just go out here and pick up the game."
(on the most difficult adjustment) "Just being patient. Being patient from basically not trying to force things and trying to go to the big play all the time. You've got to be real patient in the NFL because we have some good defensive coordinators and you've got good defensive players out there."
(on a defense spying a guy on him) "They always got somebody spying me."
(on any bothering him more than others) "I just feel like on one on one I have a chance of beating any guy. The guy makes a tackle, but at the same time my confidence level is so high I'm always trying to make a guy miss or trying to beat him any way I can."
(on being busy once they get here) "Yeah I don't want to pretty much get it out of my mind out of the game. So I understand what coach (Fisher) is saying. There's going to be a lot of distractions and things going on when we get there. At the same time, my family I'll see them during the game and after the game. I mean before the game and after the game and give out a shot out to all the fans and the Houstonian people."
(on comparing this week's feelings to the Rose Bowl) "Yeah, in a way because I'm from Houston. I told my teammates earlier today while we were in a meeting that we need this one, I need this one and they understand. Anybody's that's on a football team and they're going home to their hometown team they want to win that game a lot. And the guys understand how I feel about that."
(on Reliant Stadium being like a home stadium to him) "Pretty much it is, whenever I go to that stadium to play a lot of times we were there it was pretty packed with all our Longhorn fans so right now it should be both, Texans fans and Houston fans."
(on inviting Longhorn fans to cheer him on) "No, everybody that's a fan of the Tennessee Titans to come out and watch us."
(on FB Ahmard Hall) "Ahmard Hall, he is an animal. He's one of the best fullbacks right now in the NFL. He's running the ball, he's blocking, and he's catching. Everybody looks for someone like that and I'm just honored to play with him right now."
(on remarks after draft on beating the Texans) "I just want to go out there and play my game. That's it. I don't want to start no shouting because I still got friends on that side of the ball."
(on backing down from his word) "I'm not backing down, I'm just saying I just want to go down there and play a good game and get on out of there."
(on LB DeMeco Ryans) "He's a move around guy, makes it happen. I mean we've got some different things, just keep our eye on him."
(on Ryans being like him as a linebacker) "He's got a nose for the ball, I know that. He's got great speed and he makes plays. He's a phenomenal back run and he's going to get better and better as the season go on and as the future go on."
(on sleeping good on Saturday) "Yeah I'm going to sleep good."
(on this sleep being any different) "It really depends on what hotel we're staying at and how the hotel bed feels."
(on playing the game out on his mind ahead of time) "I always visualize the game. I always do that."
(on when he does that) "Basically when I get to the locker room when I'm looking over my plays and teammates just trying to visualize what coach is going to call and when I get out there what kind of defense they're going to try to run on me. I always do that."