Fisher: “You Don’t Replace Haynesworth Unless He’s Got A Twin Someplace”
by Jimmy Shapiro
I probably have more respect for Jeff Fisher than any other head coach in the NFL. I remember watching him coach Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense at the ripe old age of 30. Say what you want about Buddy Ball, but they got after it on defense. You can learn both positive and negative lessons from your mentors and Jeff Fisher was smart enough to learn what to and what not to do from Buddy Ryan. So basically we won’t see him punching another coach on the sideline or completely ignoring building a solid offensive line.
Fisher is starting his 16th season as head coach for the Titans which is astonishing in today’s sports landscape. We often hear about coaches wearing out their welcome and players starting to tune them out after eight or so years, but Fisher is revered by his players. After a disappointing finish to an amazing regular season, Fisher and the Titans have gone a bit under the radar in the AFC this off-season.
Jeff Fisher joined Galloway and Company on ESPN Radio Dallasto talk about playing in the first game in the new stadium, the loss of Albert Haynesworth, Vince Young, and dealing with grief over the Steve McNair homicide. He even delves into Brett Favre and Michael Vick.
How tough is Albert Haynesworth to replace:
“You don’t replace him unless he’s got a twin someplace. What we’ve done is we’re going to fill in that void with numbers. We like to platoon and wave our defensive tackles and defensive ends for that matter. I kind of like what we’ve got going right now.” “Thus far the group looks like they’ll be okay. They’re healthy, their fresh…we’ll keep a fresh defensive tackle lining up on the center or guard all game.”
(Referring to Vince Young) Are you disappointed more with off the field with him than on the field?
“No, I’m not. When you refer to off the field that’s a wide topic. You know Vince basically had some difficulty early in the season last year. Quarterback play in this league is not easy and it’s difficult.
We put so much pressure on our passers. It’s not just Sundays, guys. It’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday during the regular season because they have to practice perfectly. If you don’t have a good practice your team is let down and I think most quarterbacks at some point in their career are going to have what I like to refer to as “the defining moment of their career” where it’s just not working for em and it’s a difficult time…a lot of them go through it and he happened to have it early in his career. He’s very fortunate to be able to sit and watch Kerry because of the tremendous amount of experience Kerry has. Vince put it behind him when we started the off-season program. He’s been distraction free, he’s a good teammate, he’s having fun, and he’s working every day at getting better. That’s going to pay off for him when it’s time for him to be the starter again.”