Coach Fisher: Titans play aggressive, not dirty

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“They’re not any dirtier than any other team,” Ward said. “They play all the way to the whistle, and stuff like that. If they do play beyond the whistle, they get fined for it and we go accordingly. But I can’t recall them going out of their way to hurt somebody or stuff like that.”

Fisher was defensive backs coach in Philadelphia between 1986-88 when Phillips was the Eagles’ defensive coordinator. Phillips doesn’t see the Titans as cheap.

“I disagree with whatever Denver said from watching the film. I coached with Jeff Fisher, and I know how he coaches and what kind of guy he is. I know what he is telling his players. I see a really hard working team that gets after you on defense, but that is what defense is all about. I don’t see any of that,” Phillips said.

How the Titans run to the ball jumps out on film to Dallas tight end Jason Witten. He doesn’t know how someone could see that as being cheap.

“They just play hard, and so you have to match that intensity,” Witten said.

The Tennessean newspaper has tracked the fines racked up by the Titans, a number that had reached $47,500 before playing Denver. The Titans finished that game with a season-high 111 yards in penalties, which included 49 yards on a pass interference call and 15 yards for tackle Sen’Derrick Marks taking down Orton. Replays showed Marks hitting Orton around the thighs.

Both Fisher and Cecil said officials are erring on the side of safety in protecting quarterbacks.

“We’re not doing anything intentionally illegal anyway so there’s nothing for us to worry about getting called for,” Cecil said. “We’re going to play hard. That’s what we do.”

Titans end Dave Ball, who has a team-high 4 1/2 sacks, said Orton was complaining to officials throughout the game.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody … by doing cheap stuff. We’re trying to hurt them by doing legal stuff, by hitting them with our shoulder pads,” Ball said.

If opponents worry about the Titans, safety Chris Hope said so be it. That won’t change how the Titans play, though they do want to eliminate the offsides calls and neutral zone infractions from trying to get the jump off the snap of the ball.

“While the play is going on, we’re going to play 100 mph and full speed,” Hope said.

Notes: Marks (right knee) did not practice along with starting LG Leroy Harris (ankle), WR Justin Gage (left hamstring) or DT Tony Brown (right knee). But DE Jacob Ford (right ankle) did practice for the first time since getting hurt Sept. 19.


AP Sports Writers Pat Graham in Englewood, Colo., Jaime Aron in Irving, Texas, and Alan Robinson in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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