Fisher defends Titans defensive game plan

Monday, September 21, 2009 at 6:10pm

Coach Jeff Fisher was busy Monday trying to head off any potential questions about internal issues with the defense in the aftermath of Sunday’s 34-31 loss to the Houston Texans.

The Titans were shredded in the passing game for the second consecutive week, as Texans quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 357 yards and four touchdowns, as big plays like his 72-yard toss to Andre Johnson victimized a Tennessee secondary that sent three players to the Pro Bowl a year ago. On that touchdown, Pro Bowl safety MIchael Griffin was supposed to have deep coverage, but moved in on a play fake and Johnson raced past him wide open for Schaub to complete the TD pass.

After the game, cornerback Nick Harper, who was called for pass interference three times (two were declined) and said the Titans didn’t make the necessary adjustments to slow down Houston’s offense.

“We came in with a certain game plan in mind, and they had other things in mind. I guess their game plan was better than the one we had. [Expletive], it’s the NFL and if you don’t make adjustments, there’s no way you can win,” Harper said.

Harper said coverage issues plagued the Titans all day.

“It was mix-ups in coverages, busted coverages, and quarterbacks are going to find that open guy in busted coverages. There were some guys running Scott-free because we didn’t have people where they needed to be,” Harper said. “If we would have been where we should have been, then there is no way we would have had those deep balls, but like I said, [with] busted coverages, that’s what’s supposed to happen.”

Fisher said adjustments were made on the sidelines.

“When a player gets beat one-on-one, it has nothing to do with the game plan or the call. That’s not an issue,” Fisher said.

The coach chalked much of the talk up to the frustration of another three-point loss and an 0-2 start.

“Let me set the record straight here. When you’re a good football team, and you start off the season 0-2, there’s gonna be frustration. And the only way you get out of it is you avoid pointing fingers at anybody,” Fisher said. “Everybody accepts the blame and you move on. There were adjustments made on the sideline for each and everything that we saw. There was an adjustment made for that last big pass they made on the sideline. It was made. I heard it.

"The players alluding to the fact that we’re having trouble making adjustments, the players need to pay closer attention to what’s being said on the sideline. That’s just football. It happens week after week.”

Some of the blame was put on a pass rush that did not produce any sacks, but the Texans employed a number of three-step drops to try and avoid having Schaub hit so many times.

Asked if he was concerned about the pass rush, defensive end Jevon Kearse said, “Somewhat. We’re gonna do what we’re supposed to do up front, but if something breaks down on the back end, that’s not our fault,” defensive end Jevon Kearse said.

Nickelback Vincent Fuller said the secondary has to take responsibility for anytime the ball leaves the quarterback’s hands.

“If the ball is in the air, we put it on ourselves. Everybody knows that the best pass coverage is a pass rush, but if the ball goes in the air, as a secondary we’re responsible for making the plays,” Fuller said.

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9 Comments on this post:

By: MusicCity615 on 9/21/09 at 8:12

If a player gets beat one on one, yes there is something wrong with the call. We should never go with a single coverage on andre johnson. That was a bad scheme.

By: jps13pat on 9/21/09 at 8:55

You've got to defend your coach if your Fisher, I guess, but Harper is right. Cecil has got to be better. I miss Schwartz.

By: floatinglighthouse on 9/21/09 at 9:12

Is it possible Chuck Cecil is over-matched and Fisher's just standing up for his guy? How long will such defensive ineptitude go unpunished?

The defensive line is good, but the secondary, which was great last year, is having some serious trouble this year. Why? I'd put some of the blame on the players. They've all certainly exhibited lack of concentration and focus in the past two games. What's the problem guys? C'mon, Chuck. You're responsible for your guys dropping the ball. It's time to pick it back up.

By: blktenn on 9/22/09 at 6:32

Defense !!!!!
Just like those idiots on 104.5 think, because you score 31 points you win the game. In the last game BOTH team made defense mistakes. Here are the TRUE differences in the game. Some Tennessee fans and most reports radio and news paper are so anti-VY and anti-black that they will accept a slow washed up QB like Kerry Collins. I guess Kerry felt like with 31 points that CJ made mostly on his own was enough to win!!!
1. Turn over’s:
Titans 2 (Kerry Collins made them both)
Houston none
2. When the game was tied 31 to 31. The Texans QB drove his team down the field and kicked a field Goal. (Kerry Collins fumbled)
3. Last night what did Payton do? Both QB drove their team in that game.
4. Can you say MISSING Steve Mcnair?
5. Titans Fans when you are 4-0, what are you going to say then?
6. VY cannot do any worst than lose.

By: Titan9282 on 9/22/09 at 7:22

How about this!!!!! Let's stop all this finger pounting and get back to work. and you, blktenn, why don't you do all of us a favor. it is obvious you just want attention and you need to get some on here. Well, sorry, but your post is probably the most idiotic thing I have ever heard in my life, and I just wasted brain cells and my life reading that crap!!!!!! Ask ANYONE who has a clue about the NFL and they will tell you that if you score 31 points in the NFL, 9 times out of 10 you have a good shot of winning the game. So, you don't know what you are talking about there. And, to sit there and call the Titans racist because they will not start VY is the most STUPID, STUPID thing I have ever heard in my life, and you are an idiot if that is what you think!!!!!!!! You are a VY homer and that is fine. However, Fisher is not a moron. He knows if Young was a better option that Kerry, he would sit Kerry and play Young. Why don't you do everyone a favor, and SHUT-UP and stop wasting your and our time!!!!!!!!!

By: OperaReed on 9/22/09 at 7:38

As the saying goes "live by the sword, die by the sword..." Coach Fisher seems to prefer a grind 'em out kind of football game: field position, conservative calls, and play for the last possession. If you look at last season's 10-0 start, I can't remember a single game when we were beating another team by 21 points at halftime- Did Vince Young come in to "mop up" a game last year? It's tough to argue with success: Coach Fisher had the best record in football last season, but now that his defense has faltered, I'm not sure that Kerry Collins is the type of quarterback who is going to take the team on his shoulders and score more points than the defense gives up. We had an opportunity to catch Pittsburgh by surprise, should have beaten the Texans at home, and now it only gets harder. It this point, 9-7 would be an accomplishment.

By: knilob on 9/22/09 at 8:06

I have a feeling we're in for a long season. The changing of the guard at defensive coordinator is never a positive experience. Remember what happened during Jim Schwartz's first year after Gregg Williams left to be the head coach in Buffalo? The Titans dropped from the #1 ranked defense to #25 overall, and we went from giving up 11.9 ppg to 24.2 ppg.

It could be awhile before Cecil gets his feet completely under him. I hope it happens sooner rather than later though.

By: blktenn on 9/24/09 at 1:06

Titan9282 are you gay ?

By: blktenn on 9/24/09 at 1:09

You sound are gay !!!!! You have no idea what fisher will do !!! As for 31 points " SURE you should win IF the other team has 30 points. STOP repeating what you hear. In sport it is the highest score not who gets to 31 ( A*** Hole)