Fisher: I'm not in survival mode

Monday, October 19, 2009 at 5:10pm

Despite comments from owner Bud Adams saying he would review Coach Jeff Fisher’s status at season’s end, the Tennessee Titans coach insisted Monday that he is not in survival mode.

“I am looking forward to this week. I can’t wait to get started tomorrow and working through this week to try and help improve this football team,” Fisher said. “I’m not in any kind of survival mode or fearful of my job or concerned about job security whatsoever.

“I’m a coach and I’m going to do the best I can with this football team. I have a good coaching staff. I’ve got tremendous confidence in my coaching staff and tremendous confidence in the players that we’re going to get this turned around.”

Adams made the comments to a Nashville newspaper that it appeared that coaching was the problem for the team and that he would not make any immediate changes, but would wait until season’s end to see where the 0-6 Titans wind up.

Speculation regarding Fisher not being secure, despite two more years to run on his current contract spiked up in the aftermath of a record-setting 59-0 thrashing Sunday by the New England Patriots at snowy Gillette Stadium. The loss matched the worst margin of defeat in the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, matching the Atlanta Falcons futility in a 1976 loss to the Los Angeles Rams by that same score.

Fisher was asked if he expected any sort of face-to-face meeting with the 86-year-old owner regarding the team’s plight, but said he would keep details of any such scheduled meeting to himself.

“If there’s going to be any kind of discussion and communication between me and the owner, that’s between me and the owner,” Fisher said.

The coach and his beleaguered staff and team head into a bye week with an altered schedule filled with closed practices and limited media access to just one day this week – Wednesday.

“We’re going to relearn to throw and catch and block and tackle and kick and do all those things, and make plays and score points and try to do all those areas that need to be improved,” Fisher said. “I guess you could say starting over. This is an opportunity for us to start fresh, and that would mean there is the potential for minor roster changes, people moving in and out. We have a lot of things we need to discuss.”

As for the potential of questions about his job becoming a distraction, Fisher sidestepped the issue.

“There’s all kind of distractions in the National Football League. It’s how you deal with them,” Fisher said. “Injuries are a distraction. Off the field issues are a distraction. Quarterback controversies are a distraction. Head coaches job security are distractions. It all depends on how you deal with hit. It’s what you make of it.”

As for part of that equation, Fisher insisted he has no quarterback controversy between Kerry Collins and Vince Young. Collins was just 2 of 12 on Sunday for minus-7 yards, while Young mopped up and had one of his two passes intercepted.

“We’re going into the bye week and we’re going to work both of them,” Fisher said, citing “competitive advantage” as his reason for not revealing any potential switch from Collins to Young.

He did partially exonerate Collins’ play Sunday, citing several dropped passes by Titans receivers.

“The balls hit the receivers in the hands. They were good throws,” Fisher said. “It’s kind of unfair. The interception on the sideline to Nate [Washington], it was underthrown because he got hit. … You have to be careful when you’re judging the quarterback.”

Fisher said he was “not gonna create competition in the bye week to determine which quarterback to start against Jacksonville.”

As for lineup changes, Fisher said players aren’t necessarily on notice, but know that in a winless situation, that nothing is guaranteed.

“Everybody understands that when you’re in the situation we’re in, not that you’re expendable, but there is always the potential for change,” Fisher said.

One area that won’t change, however, is the status of first-year defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil, who has come under fire and declined to meet with the media after Sunday’s game. Fisher said he would not be taking over calling the defensive signals for Cecil, whom he remains confident in.

“He’s not playing out there. He’s not the one missing the tackle,” Fisher said. “He’s not the one not getting to the quarterback. He’s not the one giving up plays down the field or making mental mistakes.”

Filed under: Sports

11 Comments on this post:

By: frank brown on 10/19/09 at 3:55

Thank goodness there are still coaches in the NFL that have an intellectual side to them like Jeff Fisher.

Anyone who has ever played the game of football knows that coahes are great when they have great players. Coaches are good when they have good players. Coaches are bad when they have bad players.

In the case of the Titans Fisher has gotten more out of old players and mediocre players the past two years than any coach should ever have expected.

Now I have no idea why the Titans have so many bad players. If Fisher had anything to do with that then he must be held accountable. Coaching however is not an issue.

By: dogmrb on 10/19/09 at 4:12

Anyone who has ever been involved in leadership knows that great leaders, coaches, principals, conductors, choir directors, can take an ordinary group and make them exceptional with leadership ; - ) It's easy when you have the best players, the motivated students, the talented musicians, the singers with perfect pitch - that just requires getting in front of the parade. This is a talented group of professional football players and now he is in charge of them becoming a winning team. It's what he get paid to do, paid very well.

By: pandabear on 10/20/09 at 6:30

Yeah, right.

The same team that almost made mincemeat of the Steelers
just can't seem to keep up the "attitude".

Fisher isn't in ANY mode. He's completely lost his "eye of the tiger"
and he certainly can't inspire the team with what he hasn't got.

It's just another day in the park for Fisher, "la la la....".

Time to let him go.

By: ppkdjls2 on 10/20/09 at 7:18

"Fisher: I'm not in survival mode"...therein lies the problem.
If you are not in survival mode at 0-6, and on the losing side of tying the record for the largest margin of defeat...when do you get there?
I am just about sick of Jeff Fisher and his nonchalant attitude.

By: wayneCaluger on 10/20/09 at 8:32

The buck stops with the coach and it was his decisions that has gotten the Titans to this point starting with letting Chris Carr walk giving up a proven return man and defensive back, both of which we could have used from day one. Per Fisher, "anybody can return punts and kickoffs", a statement he made after letting Mark Jones go having to eat crow to get him back.

It was he who left Greg Williams sitting by the phone waiting on Fisher to call (per Greg Williams). Williams is now the Defensive Coordinator of the 6-0 Saints. Instead of admitting this big mistake of turning over the defense to an unproven rookie and taking over the Defensive Coordinator duties like the Jets Rex Ryan and Bears Lovie Smith. Surely Fisher learned something as Buddy Ryan Defensive Coordinator with the Eagles!

Yes we have some and number 2 in the NFL for that matter over the hill players. But, Josh McDaniels takes over the broken down Bronco's from a two time Super Bowl champion coach and with a patch work rebuilding job of washed up players and trades has the Bronco's at 6-0. The secrets here is, motivation by a young head coach and concession by the owners to open up their purse.

Replacing Fisher who seems stuck in a rut with a good coach who will clean out the dead wood will require Adams opening up his purse and letting the coach do his job. The first thing a good coach will want is to draft or trade for a good or potential NFL caliber quarterback. If the new coach is given that latitude and no doubt a quality new head coach will demand that, you need one more year out of Collins to mentor him.

If Bud is not willing to but out and give then you will replace a burned out head coach with a so so head coach and the Titans will continue to struggle on offense even though a new head coach may be able to get the defense back on track. This butting heads over starting VY has to stop and Bud has to admit that a decision of the heart, a heart deep in Texas, was not a decision of the mind. I have yet to find anyone that understands NFL football that will say VY has any potential whatsoever as a NFL quarterback. Maybe as a tight end or some other position, but not as a NFL caliber starting or even back up quarterback.

By: TharonChandler on 10/20/09 at 9:22

The death of Steve McNair, and some unanswered questions about it, has some to do with why the ‘Titans’ are so down and out. The McNair killing was an obvious political murder with ties to some of the creepiest and highest ‘politico’s’ in TN [and now is under new scrutiny from some specific national media].

The fact the N’ville PD painted it as a ‘drug related homoside/ suicide’ is not unusual among corrupt police departments (nor merely an ongoing investigation without enough facts and not wanting to get the true facts {because of the same hazard that killed the Victims}). In Tennessee any good man Not involved in the ‘War-buck$ lobby’ and the ‘womanizing norms’ that goes with it- could be accused of drugs and/ or murdered.

Rest in Peace- Air McNair.

By: TitansFan035 on 10/20/09 at 9:40

Faulk: Where is Young?
When I ask myself if Jeff Fisher is doing everything that he can to allow the Titans to win, I have to look beyond just the X's and O's and the details of what it takes for this team to win.

The Titans have a dynamic player in Vince Young. It's easy to see what teams like Miami and Philadelphia are doing with the Wildcat package and the stress it creates for defenses. The fact that the Titans' defense is out on the field so much and giving up big plays, going back to their ball-control offense and bringing in Young as a changeup would only ease the pressure on the defense.

Even if you don't use a package featuring Young, but you show it, it's something defenses have to prepare for. The fact that Fisher doesn't have such a package -- or that they have it but aren't using it -- makes me wonder about what the Titans' intentions are with Young, or what the problem is with him.

-- Marshall Faulk

By: titansfb on 10/20/09 at 11:13

Love Fisher - dont wont him to go but he is not showing hardly if any emotion over being 0-6 and a detrimental loss this past Sunday. I would love him to be a little on the mad side not cursing all over. I love that he has class - but you can be angry and be classy at the same time.

By: wayneCaluger on 10/20/09 at 4:04

I agree that a wildcat type offense is a style VY is better suited for, but being a ball control offense the defense has to stop the the other team. Giving up 5 TD's in a quarter much less more than perhaps 3 will kill that kind of offense. If you watched the Dolphins vs. Colts game the Dolphins scored the go ahead touchdown with about 4 minutes left. Manning came out and in less than two minutes the Colts were up again and the Dolphins died on about the Colts 40 eating up the clock. Yes, the wildcat keep Manning off the field 45 plus minutes and Manning set a NFL record of being the first quarterback to win a NFL game playing less than a quarter (little over 14 minutes).

The second important aspect is a run game, something we have lacked all season. With White injured and little yardage to show I'm sure the wildcat would not give us any advantage at this point. If we could re-establish our run gain, then we might be able to improve our passing game. If the defense is going to T off on our receivers not much hope. I don't think I've seen the Titans run the first screen play this season.

By: courier37027 on 10/20/09 at 8:20

Hey McCormick, when are you going to review your trainign camp articles and hold some of these players accountable? Every year you post the repetitive "Titans Tight Ends Want Leadership Role" or "LInebacker Is New Locker Room Leader". You remember thos slow days? Why don;t you take on the Titans old quotes and summer training camp fire? Jim Wyatt rans circles around you this week. Be a journalist, or are you afraid of losing your free press passes to Titans practices? Hack, ahem, hack.

By: blktenn on 10/23/09 at 6:27

Hey McCormick YOU are good suckup (LOL) not kidding... I guess you think this will keep you in good with the titans.. Smart or dumb ????