Titans-Buccaneers Week: Wednesday Report

Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher answers questions about the upcoming game against Tampa Bay

(on what he is most pleased with about the 3-1 start)

Obviously the record helps. It's the first quarter of the season and we've got a winning record. I'm pleased with our health, as well as the attitude, the focus and the concentration. And the work – each week they carry a respect level in for their opponent and each week they know it's going to be a tremendous challenge.

(on what, if anything, he is disappointed with after the 3-1 start)

That we're 3-1. We should be 4-0. We set out to win every ballgame. The one thing that I think is important is that we're trying to improve. That's the most important thing – improve daily, have a better practice than we did the day before, do a better job in the meeting rooms, focus and become a smarter football team. If you can do that, then you have a chance to win ballgames. So far, this team understands that.

(on what Buccaneers QB Jeff Garcia does for Tampa Bay's offense) 

His passer rating is just under 104. He's got no interceptions, a number of touchdowns and he's very, very efficient. He fits nicely in this system. He came from a similar system in Philadelphia and San Francisco. He's not making mistakes. He's been patient. He understands the importance of using his legs, not necessarily to run for first downs, but to buy himself time to make plays. He throws the ball on time. He doesn't have a lot of deep completions, but he has a lot of short completions that are timed up well where he creates run-after-catch.

(on if he anticipates the Bucs adjusting their gameplan based on their recent struggles at running back)

I can't see it because (Earnest) Graham is a very solid runner. We went back and looked at some carries over the last couple years, and he's a strong, powerful inside runner. So I can't see them adjusting anything. They're going to keep doing what they've done. They just plug different people in.

(on why the Titans have fared so well against the NFC South over time)

It's hard to say. We were pretty good last time we played the division, and probably pretty good the time before. I guess we're fortunate we didn't play them the last couple years, I guess. It gets back to the guys understanding the importance of becoming familiar to your opponent, especially uncommon opponents. I think it has a lot to do with what they do during the week.

(on what has allowed this team to be so successful on the road)

First off, there's no place like home. But when you go on the road, what becomes important is not necessarily where you're playing or who you're playing, but how you play together. It's a business trip. Everything's about being a professional and just doing the best you can. We stress turning toward each other when times get tough. Fortunately it's worked out for us.

(on being good on third-and-short, and how that affects momentum)

We're doing a lot of different things. Credit the offensive staff for that. We're not perfect. We'd like to be perfect on third-and-one or two and fourth-and-one or two. Each week we place an emphasis on it. At the end of the day, you have to credit your offensive line, and of course your (running) backs if you're running it because they understand that you can't have penetration and the yard is important.

(on the Titans' defensive performance in the red zone this season)

Certainly last week's effort – [Atlanta] had five drives inside the 25 and came away with six points – helps. And that's going to help those numbers. We just have to continue with it. What happens with streaks and strengths is that it seems like there's always a game where it goes just the opposite. You may have a strength in a certain area. You may be good against the run (in one game), then you give up a 180-yard rushing game. This is an area that you have to maintain. You can't afford to let up in this area. It's a point of focus and they take pride in it. They work at it. Friday is our ‘plus-20' day. Guys come to work with a purpose on Friday. I think that's been helping.

(on how productive Antwan Odom and Tony Brown have been)

I think the front is playing their best football, even when we rotate. Randy (Starks) has had opportunities, Corey (Simon), Travis (LaBoy), and everybody are playing well. Albert (Haynesworth) and Kyle (Vanden Bosch) are benefitting from what the other guys are doing and vice versa. 

(on if he's been around many guys with as much endurance and stamina as Kyle Vanden Bosch)

No, I haven't. I hope to see many more of them on this roster. I think he is a great example for what you do during the week, as far as taking care of yourself and getting the rest, and coming out and working hard at practice. Throughout the offseason, that carries over. We're seeing that in some of the other positions.

(on if Vince Young's confidence helps him to shake off a tough game like last week and move on)

He's got a fairly short memory. Not as short as some of the corners on the team. But at the quarterback position, you need to learn from mistakes. It's not an easy position to play. There are quarterbacks in the league with eight or 10 years experience that will have hard days. The important thing is to come back next week and understand the importance of a new and diverse gameplan, and do your best to go out and execute the following week.

(on why Young's knee was wrapped at today's practice)

It's some carryover from the game, but it didn't affect him today.

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