Monday, December 28, 2009
Fisher won't share what Cecil said
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher isn't sharing what his defensive coordinator said in drawing a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct in the Titans' loss to San Diego.
He only promises Chuck Cecil won't make that mistake again.
Cecil was flagged in Friday night's 42-17 loss to San Diego as officials were marking off a 15-yard penalty on the Titans for a late hit on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. That loss of composure came as the Titans matched a season high with nine penalties in a loss that also ended their faint playoff hopes.
Fisher promised he would talk to his first-year defensive coordinator after the game, and the coach said Monday they talked.
"Chuck makes a mistake, he's the first one to stand up and say he did it," Fisher said. "What Chuck said, it wasn't directed toward the officials. It was directed toward the staff on the headset. It's been resolved, and there's a chance he gets fined for it."
Being fined hardly would be a first for Cecil, a former NFL safety who drew his share of fines from the league as a player.
But his penalty merely marked one of the low points in a game where the Titans melted down seemingly all around. The loss also ended any chance at a third straight winning season, which Fisher hasn't managed yet as a head coach.
Now Tennessee must win at Seattle (5-10) on Sunday to salvage a .500 finish after an 0-6 start -- not the playoff berth this franchise started the season with as the top goal. Still, Fisher said it would provide a springboard into the offseason with the franchise's first win to end a season since 2004, when they went 4-11 but beat Detroit 24-19 in the regular season finale.
"Play hard and do everything you possibly can, try to win it. Pretty simple. It's the next game on our schedule," Fisher said of his message to the Titans.
With the Seahawks having lost three straight, a win seems like it should be easy enough for a Tennessee squad that has won seven of nine.
History shows that might not be true.
Fisher has yet to beat San Diego, having lost six straight to the Chargers after Friday's loss. Seattle is the only other NFL team he has yet to beat despite wrapping up his 15th full season with the franchise.
Luckily for Fisher and the Titans, they are united around another goal. That mission? Getting Chris Johnson to 2,000 yards, making him only the sixth player in NFL history to reach that mark and the first since Jamal Lewis in 2003.
"Of course, the 2,000-yard mark is not an individual goal," Fisher said. "That's a team goal. It's just not CJ. That's an opportunity for his offensive teammates to be part of the history book, so it's not just Chris Johnson. It may on the outside looking in. It's not inside this building."
That said, Fisher insists he won't be tracking Johnson's yardage to know exactly what the running back needs during Sunday's game.
The NFL's leading rusher is 128 yards shy of 2,000 and needs 234 yards to top Eric Dickerson's single-season record set in 1984 with the then-Los Angeles Rams. Johnson is 74 yards from matching Marshall Faulk's NFL record of yards from scrimmage set in 1999 with St. Louis.
Faulk's record is 2,429, and Johnson currently has 2,355 all-purpose yards. Johnson leads the Titans with 47 catches and is third with 483 yards receiving to go with his 1,872 yards rushing.
"That's huge," Fisher said of Faulk's record. "I think there's also a stat he has 17 yards receiving and gets the Faulk record, then he would be the first in NFL history to have 2,000 rushing and 500 receiving. ... That's unique as well."
Fisher said he will have a full injury update Wednesday, but cornerback Nick Harper, who didn't return after halftime of the Chargers' loss, is having problems with the forearm he broke in October.