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Sunday, September 28, 2008
Loyal, conservative Fisher goes against grain

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The fair criticism of Jeff Fisher over his career, in my eyes, has always been that he's overly loyal and overly conservative.

I've often said there are plenty of NFL cities that would love for those to be their primary beefs with the coach.

This week, Fisher has shown a willingness to venture away from both tendencies.

He demoted an uninjured veteran, Ryan Fowler, inserting the faster Stephen Tulloch. The sort of move the Titans never make.

And a coach who's always regarded field goals as a friend just approved the Titans going for it on a fourth-and-2 from the Minnesota 3-yard line.

Officials said Justin Gage got the necessary yardage on a rollout pass from Kerry Collins.

Replays showed he was short, but referee Peter Morelli somehow didn't see it that way and upheld the first down call. The Titans quickly scored to go ahead, 20-7.

Brad Childress butchered the challenge, calling a timeout, discussing things, then throwing the flag. He lost the challenge and wound up blowing two timeouts instead of one. Why ever call a timeout when considering a challenge, instead of just challenging?