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Singletary's Notebook: Nov. 4



Opening statements:**"Once again, another tremendous opportunity this weekend. We're very excited about the game that we have coming up, excited to be back home again. The Titans are a good football team, as you well know, but we feel we're a good football team too. We're just out here working, continuing to put the pieces together. As far as who's up this week, in terms of what was different than last week, obviously [CB] Nate Clements is down. [LT] Joe Staley is down. [DT] Demetric Evans is down. [DT] Ricky Jean-Francois will be up. [S] Reggie Smith, we have a chance to get him back, and [T] Chris Patrick is up. Any other questions go right ahead."

On whether he has any concerns about depth on offensive line:"I think we'll be fine going forward. That's where we are. That's what we have. I'm very thankful that Patrick was able to come in, and that's going to help us with our depth."

On whether Patrick is the backup at both right and left tackle:"Yes."

On whether T Barry Sims remains at left tackle:"Yes, for right now."

On whether he has to remind himself that the Titans are the same team that went 13-3 last season:"I don't ever really look at the record. We can't afford to be letting our guard down. We're trying to get somewhere. I'm not really thinking about their record. I just look at the film. The film is always the thing that is telling you the truth. So, for us, we know we're playing a good football team. They're a very talented team. They're big and physical. They've got their quarterback back, Vince Young, who's excited to be starting again. They've got a tremendous running back. They've got a defense that's very talented – quick, fast. Trust me, we have no problem getting sidetracked here. We know exactly what we're getting in to and we're excited about the opportunity and the challenge to play before our fans and continue to get better and take strides where we need to go."

On how Titans QB Vince Young has looked on film:"He can make some things happen with his feet. He's a better quarterback than he was before, and I thought he was a good quarterback before. Whenever a quarterback has a chance to sit down and watch another quarterback, it does something to them. It helps them develop. It helps them study. It helps that inner drive and all those things. But, Vince is definitely a good quarterback and poses a lot of different threats. It's going to give us, defensively, all that we can handle. So, we're excited about the challenge."

On whether he's pleased with QB Alex Smith's development:"Yes, I was. I was very excited about what I saw. I think the entire team was, but not surprised. I just think it's one of those things where he's ready. He's just going to continue to get better - the more things that we can do to surround him with the tools and have the guys in front of him - the o-line continued to protect him. They did a pretty decent job last week. I think the right side of our line took a big step last week, and I think they're on the road to getting better. We're just continuing to fight and continuing to go forward and get where we need to go."

On whether he has more trust in Smith to give him more responsibility:"That's every week. Week-in and week-out, as the quarterback, there are a lot of other intangibles that go into it. But, absolutely. As I sit down and talk with [offensive coordinator] Jimmy [Raye] and [quarterbacks coach] Mike Johnson, it's just a matter of this guy is ahead of schedule. He's working his tail off. He's making the reads, and that just shows that when he wasn't playing, he was doing some of the things that he had to do to continue to get better instead of sitting back and pouting and doing some of the other things that he could have done. So, I'm excited about him. I'm excited about his growth. I'm excited about where he's at. I'm excited about where he can go."

On whether he will expose Smith to a more wide open offense in practice:"Well, once again we talk about the trust factor. I think he is going to show us day-in and day-out what he can and can't do and when he's ready. Sitting down and talking is one thing. Going out there and doing it is another. I just think that we have to take it a step at a time and realize that this is his second start of the season. We just have to let him continue to let us know where he is."

On whether he thought Jeff Fisher could be a future coach when they were both rookies for the Bears:"No, I didn't because Jeff didn't want to coach. As a matter of fact, when Jeff left football, he went back to the computer business, and that's what he wanted to do. He and I talked about it a few times. Jeff wanted to be a business man and raise a family. Buddy Ryan was relentless talking to both Jeff and myself. He wanted one of us to go with him, and Jeff ended up being that guy."

On whether he ever regrets not coaching earlier:"No, not one bit. I know my kids. I know my wife. I feel very good about who I am, and I had some very good lessons that I learned in the time I was out of football – best thing that ever happened."

On how the toughest period he's experienced as a head coach has been for him:"Couldn't be any better. If it's going to happen, happen right now. Happen right now. Give me all we can take, and we've had about all we can take. So, I don't wish for any more, but it couldn't be any better. All it's doing is it's developing this team from the inside out. All of the guys that were on board at 3-1, are still on board now. I love times like this because I know we're going to come out of it. I know we're going to go forward. So, I'm very thankful for these times because this game is so much like life, it's amazing. You have to rise up when things are not going the way you want them to go. You have to find a way to work through it, get around it, go over it, go under it – whatever it is. That's where we are. With the character of guys on this team, I'm very excited about that."

On where the punt returner position stands:"Well, that's going to be a day-to-day thing. Thankfully, we have two. I think [WR] Brandon Jones, obviously, he's a guy that can do it, and [WR] Arnaz [Battle]. I still trust Arnaz to do a great job. We have both of those guys and that's where we are."

On LB Parys Haralson's lower sack numbers than last year and LB Ahmad Brooks' decreased playing time against the Colts:"First of all with Parys Haralson, what teams have done since maybe the first four games that we've had is begin to do more max protection. Those are things that we have to work through. It exposes us on the back end a little bit more. Guys have to be more disciplined, stay with their receivers longer and make sure they don't lose track of that. Parys Haralson, I think, will do just fine. I think that's just where we are right now. Teams, they're trying to protect their quarterbacks too. But, the max protection, that's one of the main things that has happened, for all of our guys. But, we're still trying to find a way to get there, and we will. Something just has to get better. Ahmad Brooks has done a great job on special teams and he'll see more time on the third down situation. He has to because he's a talented guy and he's just kind of getting back healthy from the knee and everything else. We'll definitely see more of him."

On whether there was any other reason Brooks played less:"No. As a matter of fact, he's earned the right to play more. You will see more of him."

On how to prepare in practice for a running quarterback like Vince Young:"I think the biggest thing is you definitely can't emulate Vince Young, but I just think we have to make sure what's really important is on the back end. Our guys, when Vince is running, can't lose track of the guy that they're on. We have to make sure that our guys are very disciplined downfield and stay with their guys. I don't care what happens. If Vince breaks loose, we just have to rally everybody together, the fronts, the linebackers and try to make a play. We have to make sure that we're very disciplined on the back end. That's the biggest thing."

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