Titans-Colts Week: Wednesday Report

Coach Jeff Fisher speaks from Baptist Sports Park on this week's game with the Colts.

Has new acquisition DE Bryce Fisher joined the team yet?

"Yeah. His situation's a little different. He's been practicing and playing, so he's in really good condition. He got in late last night and we got him all squared away. We'll see how quickly he progresses during the week."

What does Bryce Fisher bring to this team?

"He brings experience number one. He's been very productive as a player, at both end positions. He's a very good pass-rusher, and he understands the importance of playing the run. So he's a complete defensive end and he gives us depth."

Which side of the defensive line is Fisher's strength?

"He has no problem playing either side. That's the primary reason we brought him in, in addition to the others I just mentioned. He's versatile, and he can also rush inside."

Do the Titans have the ability to run as well against the Colts as they did last week in Jacksonville?

"Every week's a challenge. There's no guess-work as far as playing them. You have a better chance of winning with number 18 [Peyton Manning] is on the sidelines. The best way to do that is to run the football. We've got two good starters [LenDale White and Chris Brown], but they're a much improved defense. They strengthened their run front and their defense against the run as soon as the regular season was over last year. That's what took them through the playoffs. They came right back again with the start against the Saints and have done the same thing. So they're a very active defense. They're disciplined, they're quick and they're a little different than the team we faced last week. But that's got to be the emphasis for us."

Are the Colts doing anything different offensively this year, that he can see from one game?

"No, they're just scoring a lot of points. That's no different from what they did last year. They run the ball well, and [Peyton Manning] just sees things. He's just Peyton. It's a huge challenge for your defense."

How much difference does DB Bob Sanders make for the Colts' defense?

"They missed him when he was not in. He's key in the run-support. He's a chase guy – he plays with really good angles. He's a hard hitter and he knocks balls loose. When he was not there, there were issues. When he came back, there were not as many."

Does either team have a competitive advantage because of players who have played for both teams?

"Obviously there's going to be some recall and familiarity from practicing against them. But again, all you have to do is change the route, the protection or the run-scheme and you're back to basics again. They know [Nick Harper] very well. But the one misconception, as far as that's concerned, is that they haven't played against him at full speed when it counts. Practicing against a player is one thing. Playing against a player at full speed when the lights are on, with contact, is a different thing." 

What do think about Peyton Manning's predictability?

"You don't know what he's going to do until his back foot hits. That's why he's so good. With the few adjustments he makes, not only from run to pass, but from within the pass concepts and what he sees and what he thinks he's going to see. He's not going to make many mistakes."  

Will playing the Colts numerous times give the Titans a chance to beat them?

"We've watched games – what teams typically do is what they've been doing. And it hasn't worked for them [to beat the Colts]. I think the familiarity between the two teams, at least our defense with their offense, has helped us. But as I said, we have to score more points. You can't expect to beat the Colts 13-10. You have to score points on offense. And their defense is built to keep you from scoring points, so there's your challenge."

Are the Titans players who have played for the Colts in the past excited about the game?

"No, everybody's focused. What this team has done thus far is put last week behind them and they've moved on. They understand the importance of the game. They understand that it's a different type of game from last week. You have to refocus and you have to be precise in everything that you do."

Is it just a coincidence that there are so many former Colts players on the Titans team?

"No, I think it's a compliment to their personnel group and to what they have done. They have brought good players in and they can't keep them all. We've just been in the right place at the right time to be able to acquire them."

Are there any special attention or talks given to the younger players who have never played a big game like this before?

"No. The young guys found out last week what a regular season game is going to be like. They need to understand that it's one thing to go on the road and open the season, and it's another to come home for the home opener, especially against the world champs. It doesn't get any better than that."

Did you ever suspect New England was cheating when the Titans played them?

"No, I didn't."

Do you or your staff try to keep an eye out for potential spying?

"As far as I know right now, the league is looking into this matter. We trust that the league office is going to handle it appropriately. If [the Patriots] are, in fact, found guilty of doing things, the rest of the member clubs are confident that the league will take punitive action against it. There's no place for it. Everybody clearly understands the rules. The competition committee's responsibility is to protect the integrity of the game. With technology the way it is right now, things can get out of hand in a matter of weeks if we don't protect the integrity of the game. Everything is very specific and clear as to what you can do and what you can't do. If at any time there are violations or if rules are broken, whatever type of rules they are, the people or persons involved will face the consequences. That's going to be left up to the league."  

Does the competition committee have anything scheduled to discuss the matter?

"The competition committee discusses these types of things every year. I think the league has made significant strides in policing the potential abuses. If, in fact, they are found guilty of this, then it only shows the steps the league has taken are good steps."

Does this incident make the case for coach-to-defense communication?

"I would say so, yes."

How bad could the alleged cheating incident by New England potentially be for the NFL?

"Again, as far as I know, right now they have not been found guilty of anything. The league has not initiated any type of punishment or discipline there, so I don't want to comment on the severity of it."

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