Fisher disagrees with Harper on adjustments

September, 21, 2009
9/21/09
5:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans cornerback Nick Harper had a bad day against the Texans, but some of his problems weren’t necessarily of his own doing.

On Andre Johnson’s 72-yard touchdown catch, Harper passed the receiver off to safety Michael Griffin, but Griffin inexplicably bit on a play-action fake leaving Johnson free. Jeff Fisher has twice said the obvious: Griffin made the costly error.

Reporters who approached Griffin after the game said he passed on commenting. He was gone by the time I got to the Titans’ locker room. It’s always a concern to me when anyone in the Tennessee secondary fails to raise his hand when he’s the guilty party.

The Titans’ best groups of defensive backs have always been beholden to each other, each stepping forward to admit when he botched a play so there was no chance one of his colleagues could wrongly receive any blame.

The Titans’ lesser groups at the position have had hiders who never said 'My bad,' and it helped ferment an unhealthy neighborhood of the locker room.

Jim Wyatt got this from Harper after the game:

“We didn’t make any corrections on our sideline. There were some plays that happened on my side, and (the Texans) flip-flopped and ran the exact same play on the other side and we still didn’t get any stops. That tells me we didn’t make any corrections on the sideline but they made all the corrections and that hurt us.’’



I credit Harper for taking questions and saying what he thought. I always applaud candor, though I know some readers will immediately see him as making excuses and I didn't think he played well. The Titans did fare better pass yardage-wise defensively in the second half. Matt Schaub threw for 224 in the first half and 133 in the second. That suggests some adjusting, doesn't it?

Fisher said: “When a player gets beat one on one, it has nothing to do with the game plan or the calls or so on and so forth.”

“Let me set the record straight here, OK?" he said at his Monday press conference. “When you’re a good football team and you start of the season 0-2, there is going to be frustration. And the only way you get out of it is you avoid pointing fingers at anybody. 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 that they made on the sideline. It was made. I heard it. So the players alluding to the fact that we are having trouble making adjustments, the players need to play closer attention to what’s being said on the sidelines. That’s just football, that happens.”

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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