(on how DB-Bob Sanders felt after practice yesterday) * *
"He appears to be just fine. I think it's just a matter of him increasing his activity level to a point where he feels comfortable."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on DB-Marlin Jackson not practicing yesterday)
"We've always kind of watched it (his knee) a little bit. He did aggravate it a little bit (last game vs. Seattle). We're just trying to be pretty cautious with him and let him rest it a little and see what happens from there."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the chance that DB-Marlin Jackson does not play at Tennessee)
"We'll probably list that as the week goes on, in terms of what his status is. We still have to go through practice and all those kind of things."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if DB-Jacob Lacey plays in the nickel package if DB-Marlin Jackson is unable to play)
"We have a couple different scenarios that we're looking at. That is certainly a possibility."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on how LB-Gary Brackett looked at practice yesterday)
"He looked good. He did well. He functioned extremely well, and obviously was able to carry out his duties and responsibilities. He did fine."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the team's focus being on the AFC South)
"It is (our focus). If there is one area that gives you a fairly decent indication of how the end of the year will start to pan out, that's one of them. We know how difficult our league is, how tough it is. The division is extremely challenging, and this week presents a great challenge for us, as well."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the running game)
"I do think we have been able to continue to make strides and get a little bit better. This day is a big day for us, just in terms of preparation. Every week is a little different, because of the fact that you face so many different defenses. Also, the players that play those defenses make a huge difference. Tennessee has a very tough, hard-nosed front that is very difficult to handle. Obviously, we have to work against their scheme and see how we fare, but I certainly feel good about our direction and our plan."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on Tennessee missing DT-Albert Haynesworth)
"Overall, it's the same defense. It's just as rugged. It's just as tough. He's the only guy missing. He's the only one not back out of that group. Certainly, he is a force in-and-of-himself, and a very rare individual, in terms of size and speed and ability and those kinds of things. From what I see, their defense is just as tough. It gives you just as many problems, and the guys they have playing inside, that they rotate in and out, are very, very difficult to handle."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on DT-Fili Moala)
"I think he's better than he was coming out of training camp. When you look at young guys in the league and you see them develop, the real test is can they continue to get better every week. Sometimes, you see them plateau and nothing really happens until the spring when you have OTAs (On-field Training Activities), but that's not the case with him. I've seen a steady improvement, little-by-little. He's making some strides. It's difficult because of all the different things he has to face inside, the speed of the linemen he is having to work against and the size. I think in college, he's well over 300-pounds, he was probably one of the bigger guys on the field. Now, there are tackles he is facing that are 330 and 335 (pounds), and guards in there that have good size and girth, as well. I do think he is finding his niche. I think that, more so than anything else, you kind of figure out what works for you inside, where you can maximize your ability and size. I think he is getting a feel for that. I think you'll really start to see him come on as the year goes on."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on DT-Fili Moala adjusting to a system change)
"I think that is part of it. Schematically, it's probably a bit different from what they (his college, University of Southern California) have done, but not to the point, because he's a smart guy, where he has paralysis by analysis, or anything of that nature. I think when you try to put it all together and all the things that are required of you (it's difficult). (Defensive Line Coach) John (Teerlinck) is working with him on all those phases. He is in there early in the morning with John. He's studying. John has a group that comes in, particularly younger guys that need a little more work, and meets with him in the morning, just to get a little extra film work done. Fili has been there."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on if it's hard to bring a high draft pick like DT-Fili Moala along slowly)
"He does indeed have ability and shows promise. I think he understands how we feel about him and where he fits into our system and what our plans in the future are for him. I don't think there is any guesswork in that regard. We just push him to get better and get to the point where he is performing extremely well. It's not customary that young guys that come in out of college play in this league early. We've got a few guys that have done so, but it's highly unusual. It's not commonplace that WR-Austin Collie plays, that RB-Donald Brown plays the way he plays and DB-Jerraud Powers (plays early). That's not commonplace. I think we look at it around here and say, 'Well, you know, we've done it and done it so many times that maybe that's the way it is.' But, I think when you look around the league and look at guys (rookies), even the high draft choices, are still trying to find their way, and usually start to come-on toward the of the season or after they have a season under their belt. Oftentimes, I think people kind of discount the fact that this is an elite level of athleticism. It's just like any other form of business. It's not very easy to come in and be a manager of a company without getting a good feel for that company and learning the ins and outs of it before you're able to advance. This is no different. These guys have to learn it and understand it, in order to be able to perform it consistently well. We sometimes take that for granted."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on TE-Jacob Tamme)
"He's been doing special teams quite a bit for us. It's just one of those situations where it depends on the ballgame, who we're facing and what personnel group we deploy, on how much playing time he gets. He is still performing extremely well in practice. He runs well. He has fine hands. I think he is going to be a contributor for us, but it just depends on the personnel groupings."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on the crowd he expects at Tennessee)
"It's probably going to be much like it's been over the years, a very vocal crowd, a very enthusiastic crowd and a very knowledgeable crowd. They know when to make the noise to give you all the problems they could possibly give you. They also understand the situation with their team, and they want their team to do well. I would suspect there will be a pretty vocal crowd, a pretty loud group, that's going to be fairly angry."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on Tennessee Head Coach Jeff Fisher)
"I think he has proven over the years that he is one of the best coaches in the NFL and has been for a long time. I think he has the longest tenure of any coach in the league. That tells you something, particularly in a league where it's, 'What have you done for me lately.' He's shown the ability to get his team ready week-in and week-out to perform extremely well. They perform at a high level every week. The players love him. They play hard for him, and they've won a lot of football games. We have a lot of respect for what he does, and how he goes about it."
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL (on his first four games as a head coach in the NFL)
"It's exactly what I thought it would be, extremely challenging, certainly hones your leadership skills, and it can keep you up late at night, as well."