How are the preparations progressing for Saturday's preseason opener against the Washington Redskins?
Fisher: "[The players] need to become familiar over a couple days with who they're playing, what their match-ups are. We're trying to introduce [Washington's] system to them, but it's hard to predict what they're going to do in the preseason because teams have different approaches in the preseason. So we're going to keep things basic yet we're still going to have some "pitches," if you will, to give us a chance to make some plays and defend ourselves and do things like that. So this one's going to be interesting. Their defense didn't finish as well as they would have liked last year, nor did we. So I think both defenses have something to prove. We'd like to start off on the right foot."
Will there be a targeted number of snaps for the first-team offense during the game?
Fisher: "It varies. You'd like to get, ideally and offensively, three really solid drives. That could take well into the second quarter. But we'll look at numbers of plays and things like that and then we'll start making our changes. But you could expect to see everybody playing in the second quarter."
Would you like to have more than one running back get work with the first-team this Saturday?
Fisher: "I think that's going to be hard to do. In the positions where we have competition, as I said earlier in the week, we've got to start somebody because you've got to put somebody in there to start with. So we will and then we'll flip it next week and start the other guy. We've got that going on in a number of different positions."
Have you made a decision on who will start at running back?
Fisher: "We've made those decisions, yes."
Will you keep second-year QB Vince Young in the game longer for the experience?
Fisher: "I think if you look back at what we did with Steve [McNair], Steve played well in the first quarter and would play a half early in his career. It wasn't until the end of Steve's career that he'd proven that he was able to take us to the Super Bowl before we played him a quarter here and there. So you can expect to see Vince play. We want Vince to play with the players around him. It's not all about Vince. This is about our offense. The longer they play together, the better off we're going to be."
Have you had any revelations about the team today?
Fisher: "None in particular. I've been especially pleased with the way they've been working. We had great work last night, it was certainly hot this afternoon. They worked, they paid attention and we had very few mistakes the first day off cards. They did a nice job with it."
Which rookie have you been impressed by?
Fisher: "I'm pleased with the entire class. I'm disappointed that we've lost Antonio Johnson and Mike Otto to injury right now but everybody's improving. The entire class is improving. They're smart, they've got a chance to help us in different roles. Some as starters, eventually, and some will be very good special teams players for us. They've all improved. And that's what you want to see out of your rookie class – improvement. Now improvement on the practice field is one thing. Carrying it over into a ballgame under the lights in their first NFL game is another. Those are the things we'll look at – the intangible things, the subjective things, as a staff."
How much can the rookies validate what they've done during training camp?
Fisher: "Fortunately we have three more preseason games after this. The good part about the preseason is, as a coach, the last thing I would like to have happen is for us to win 42-0 and have a perfect ballgame. You don't want that to happen. You have to learn from mistakes. Because you don't want to put yourself in a position where you have to learn from mistakes during the regular season. So there are going to be penalties that we'll come back in here Sunday night and Monday morning and correct. And there will be mistakes that will have to be corrected. That's part of the preseason. We talk about mistakes – you don't make mistakes on purpose. Nobody does. But we'll have to be able to correct mistakes and identify that if we do have a player who is struggling and is a repeat mistake-maker, then we have to make a decision there. Preseason is a learning experience, while at the same time, you want to also teach them, how to win. So we're going out there to try to win this ballgame as well."
Do you anticipate that Redskins' assistant head coach Gregg Williams will run his defense?
Fisher: "I'm anticipating a curveball or two out of Coach Williams. I hope we get something. You need to get back to that ‘how do you adjust, how do you react, can you protect some unusual blitz games,' and things like that. I'm not expecting them just to line up and play. We're expecting them to challenge us.
How are your position battles progressing?
Fisher: "We've talked about the middle linebacker position, we've talked about the competition at safety, the competition at corner[back]. We've got corners that are really improving right now. That includes [Michael] Griffin to Eric King. They're all going to get a chance to play. We feel good about the position, we have tough decisions to make at that position, but those are good problems to have. There are some other areas – the receiver position – where you see guys make plays. That's not necessarily with the ball, but that also includes without the ball, how they block."