Coach Fisher's Wednesday practice report   printer  

Fisher addresses reporters following Wednesday's practice at Baptist Sports Park.

Fisher addresses reporters following Wednesday's practice at Baptist Sports Park.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, Wednesday, June 25, 2003

(on QB Neil ODonnells performance)

He was better with the ball down the field than we thought. He typically waits to get the arm into shape later on in the off-season.

(on play where ODonnell fell under pressure)

We got a little anxious up front with the young defensive lineman. We were using a technique that you would like them to wait until they put pads on. The pocket collapsed too quickly and Neil just kind of went down. I think he wanted to hear me yell.

(on ODonnells place in the system)

Hes been in the system for so long and understands the system. He just loves to compete and loves to practice and thats what he did today. Well get him through tomorrow and well take a break and hell be fine when he comes back.

(on ODonnells role behind QB Steve McNair)

Its not new for him, its not a new role. Its something he has gotten used to and hes done it very well. Take it back to what he did for the team last year when Steve (McNair) wasnt able practice and what hes done for us when we called upon him to come in and play. Hes done a real good job from that standpoint. And as you saw yesterday when he came out hes a very popular guy and guys are glad to have him back.

(on how to quantify ODonnells contribution)

He didnt have any starts last year. Hes like a pitcher where he didnt have any decisions -- he didnt have any wins or any losses. So, its hard to quantify that, but his value with the football team in the locker room every day is hard to measure. He does a good job getting this team ready to play. And when Steve is practicing he does a real good job against the defense. He gives them a good look and is very competitive.

(on if he thought he would be with the team this long and get contract extension)

There were some shaky times back there in 95, 96, and 97 just to take you back a few years. Yeah, there were some times when we didnt think we were going to see 99, any of us. Im just really honored that we were able to get things together. I knew wed get things together. Mr. Adams and I have been talking over the off-season. We polished things up over the weekend. We have a few little things to take care of, but weve agreed to terms and Im just fortunate that were able to put that behind us. Our timetable was to try and get it done before training camp and we stayed focused throughout and obviously came to an agreement on the length and everything last weekend.

(on being one of the highest paid coaches in the league)

You know, thats all speculation. I dont know where the other guys are specifically. I dont do this for that, I do it because I love the game. Again, whats most important to me is having the opportunity to continue with this plan. We put this plan in place a long time ago and I couldnt have done it without Floyd (Reese) and Mr. (Bud) Adams and Steve Underwood and of course without the players. Thats what its all about, just giving us a couple more opportunities to try and win a championship.

(on working for Adams)

He recognizes how hard the job is. He respects what weve done with the staff. He agrees with the direction were headed with the players. He agrees with the over all plan and understands how hard it is. Two years ago at 7-9 he understood why we were there. This past year at 1-4 he knew why we were there. He was frustrated as we all were with it, but he understood why we were there. To me, when you have an owner like Mr. Adams who understands, you have a chance.

(on not letting his coaching techniques get old)

Well, I think as a coach, you take the same approach you ask the players to take and thats to get better and work to improve your weaknesses and maintain your strengths I think you have a chance. All the coaches on the staff are working to improve. We practice, we look at techniques, we study opponents and we try to find an edge anywhere we can to try and win games. I think if you become stagnant, you become complacent, then thats when you lose control and thats when you have a tendency to flatten out. We set our goals high every year regardless of how good everyone else thinks were going to be, were going to be good.

(on the contract process and difficulty with the last extension)

I think because of that experience, we wanted to take a different approach. We just agreed that we were going to get it done and the less people involved the easier it is, so it was basically Mr. Adams and I. Never at anytime, nor did he say we have a drop dead date. We said lets just work at this and understanding that hes got a lot of things on his plate as I did mine and that we would get to it.