Fisher, Reese Talk About McNair Trade

On June 8th, Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese and head coach Jeff Fisher held a press conference to talk about the impact of Steve McNair's trade to the Baltimore Ravens. Here are some of the highlights...

GM Floyd Reese

(on whether he regrets the timing of how the trade happened)

This was a difficult situation.  It was interesting because we actually anticipated this would happen.  If you'll notice in the contract, the non-exercise clause, the termination date was September 1.  We anticipated having to fight our way through the draft.  We anticipated having to get past free agency, past all of those things to actually this time of year, where we were going to have the time to really sit down, get face to face, look at each other and see if we can negotiate something out.  So that's not a surprise.  I think this, probably, fell right in line.  I think we've been spending, since the arbitration, we've had, what's it been?  Ten days?  Eight days?  During that time, Bus and I had tried to get in touch with each other several times, four, five, six times apiece.  Finally got in touch with him yesterday morning.  I think after that conversation, it became apparent to me that this was the thing we were going to have to do.  So at that time, I called Ozzie (Newsome), and we moved forward. 

(on whether Baltimore's contract offer set the bar higher than the Titans could meet)

I'm not sure.  That might be the case.  I'm not sure that that was the case.  The structure, I think, affected us as much as anything.  I mean, it's a heck of a contract.  He got a good contract.  He's not going there for peanuts.  From that standpoint, he's fortunate and I'm happy for him.

(on where the trade leaves the Titans at the quarterback position)

Billy Volek's our starter as of today.  Billy has been wanting to start.  This is going to be a great opportunity for Billy.  Billy has got some big shoes to step into, and this is a golden opportunity for him. I'm excited to see him.  As I've said before, I think we've got the most exciting young quarterback to come out of college in the last few years.  To see him come along is going to be very, very exciting.  Where that ends up, I don't think anybody knows.  Does it end up with him playing a little bit?  Does it end up with him not playing at all?  That'll be up to Jeff and Norm and the coaches.  But history tells us it's not too often those young guys come in and play and win a lot of games. 

(on how much the trade helps the salary cap situation)

I think if you look at this point in time last year, remember where we were.  Now, 12 months later or however many months it is, we've added five quality unrestricted free agents, including Kyle (Vanden Bosch) and the four other guys, and with this move we will end up with more money than we've had over the last probably seven or eight years.  Contingency cut funds will be full.  We'll have money for injuries.  We will have money to re-sign some of the quote-unquote core people.  We will have money to do the things that we have not been able to do for a number of years.  It's been hard, and we all know that, but in one fell swoop here, we've gotten ourselves pretty healthy pretty quickly.

(on whether free agent cornerback Ty Law is a possibility)

From a money standpoint, we might be able to afford him.  I think there are a lot of other issues that we have to consider.

(on whether free agent quarterback Kerry Collins is a possibility)

I think it's the same thing.  From a money standpoint, I think we could probably afford some of those guys.  I think we have to sit down and decide if that's the best for us, if that's what we want to do, if we want to remain the way we are and keep our funds high.  I think there are a lot of decisions along those lines that we'll make probably in the next few days.


(on how much he will miss McNair's running ability in the offense)

It has tapered off over the last couple of years, but it has been a big part of our offense.  We're going to have to adjust. Billy (Volek) has some mobility in the pocket and he should be able to get on the edge and do some things, but we will have to adjust.  We're going to miss that big play in the 2:00 minute drive.  Steve was always so good in recognizing when to pull it down and run.  We scored points I think, 90% of the time during the 2:00 minute drive when Steve ran for a first down.  We're going to miss that type of thing, but people are going to have to step up around Billy and make the plays that Steve would've ordinarily made with his legs.

(on does this accelerate the timeline for Vince Young starting)

No it does not.  We have a timeline and I can't be specific when it's going to be.  Vince timeline is Vince timeline; it's not affected by anything else.

(on Vince Young not conceding the starting quarterback job)

Absolutely, Vince is very competitive.  He's worked very hard and he's made tremendous strides since coming in the door after the draft.  We're going to have him ready to play.  I can't say if he's the number two or three right now, but you're going to assume that he's going to be very close to two, which means he's a play away from playing.  Yeah, he's not going to concede this, he's a competitor.  Again it's a process and a phase that he has to go through and it's going to depend on how quickly he's able to come around.  Let's face it, you're going to see No. 10 on the field this year.  When, where and how, I can't be specific, but you're going to see him on the field at some point.

(on if Billy Volek is the starting quarterback or can he be challenged by someone else)

Billy is our starter.  Of course we're dealing with this hypothetically.  We're all about making this team better, improving every position and creating competition in every position.  If somebody is out there that we think is going to create competition at this position and make it better, then we're going to make every effort to get something done there.  As it is right now, we think Billy has the best feel for the system and he's now in his second season of Coach Chow's system and he's going to give us our best chance to win.  If somebody happens to be available over the next month or two or what have you and we feel like that he can compete and make the position competitive, we're going to jump on it for the competitive situation.

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