Jeff Fisher clarifies television timeout remarks, wanted game to end

J. Fisher2.jpgSo we created a mini-controversy this morning after passing along Titans coach Jeff Fisher’s words about the odd ending to Monday night’s game. 

Now it’s time to wrap a bow on the issue.

A quick recap: Fisher said he was asked to use his timeouts late in the contest because the game was short on television breaks.  Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio wound up calling timeouts, leading to Chris Johnson’s late touchdown and some unfortunate Trent Edwards playing time.

Since we made the post, ESPN told us in a statement they “did not directly or indirectly ask the coaches to take a timeout during the game.”

That’s true, but the story is a little more complicated.  We’ll let Fisher explain it.



“At the two-minute warning in every game in the fourth quarter, there
are conversations that go by,” Fisher said Tuesday via Terry McCormick
of Titans Insider.  “There’s conversations that take place at
the two-minute warning before the first half. But there’s conversations
that take place, and it’s the official’s responsibility to give the head
coach a status of commercials and TV timeouts. 

“Yesterday, I was told that they were two short. And they looked at me
and smiled, and I said, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.’ [Official] Mike Carey came
across and said, ‘Here’s the deal. We’re two short.’ And I said, ‘Mike, I
can’t help you. I’m trying to get a first down and I’m gonna kneel on
it.'”

A source tells us that it’s not unprecedented for the league to take steps in order to
get TV timeouts in.  Carey is an experienced official and was likely
searching for a way to get the breaks in, with possible input from the NFL.   

After the game, Fisher seemed to be in on a private joke when he talked
about the timeouts.  
We suspect Fisher may have been having a wee bit of fun at Del Rio’s expense.  We’ve heard from folks who think the Titans were rubbing it in by re-inserting Johnson into the game, but Fisher insists he just wanted the game to end.

Since Del Rio didn’t let that happen, Fisher tried to score. 

“Jack [Del Rio] used his timeouts. Whether Jack used his timeouts because the
official said we’re two commercials short, or he used them to stop the
clock to get his quarterback Trent Edwards some reps remains to be
seen,” Fisher said.

“My feeling is I had no issue with him using the
timeouts. I completely understand. You’ve got a backup quarterback in
that’s been there for what, two weeks, and he wants to get him some
reps. So I completely understand it, even though the game was out of
reach.”

34 responses to “Jeff Fisher clarifies television timeout remarks, wanted game to end

  1. i guess Andy Reid is trying to get in good with the league and its broadcast partners by making sure to use all his timeouts before the two minute warning so they don’t have to worry about this.

  2. so what else is pumped into the refs ear??? is this like pro wrestling when they tell you to take the match longer to keep crowd into it or kill the mathc because it is a dud???

  3. This sucks for the league and it needs to change. I dislike going to the games because of the amount of downtime and hearing this, now I know why. Make it more fan friendly and speed up the game. The league makes enough money as it is to have to throw in two more timeouts, in a blowout, and its midnight or past on the East Coast already. Dumb move.

  4. Since we made the post, ESPN told us in a statement they “did not directly or indirectly ask the coaches to take a timeout during the game.”
    So it’s a given that coaches will help ESPN or any other network with commercials? We’ll be watching. Hail!!

  5. there’s no way in hell that the networks and the league should be influencing coaches decisions to use timeouts for the sake of commercial breaks…

  6. Holy Crap! The Intern inserted another picture in a headline. Must have gone to Virginia Tech.
    What is the name of the intern in charge of finding stills for these headlines?
    Rosenthal isn’t doing it himself , or is he?

  7. Yeah, this is ridiculous. It doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened in the past or might not in the future. Seems to me like we can start questioning the timeouts called at the end of NFL games. Listen, I’m a huge NFL/Pro Football fan but this is one of the huge issues I have with American sports. It seems like they are set up more to provide a platform for commercials than they are to showcase athletic competition.

  8. Here’s one..NFL fixing games? Geeezz shall we go back to the Steelers/Colts playoff game laugher when both lines jumped but wait!!! Refs stated No foul was committed? This league has been funny for years if you look closely.

  9. Really brings into question all those “judgement” calls by the refs every game. The outcome has been predetermined long before gametime.

  10. Must have been a signal from the local BW3 in order to let people drink more. I’m surprised the sprinklers didn’t come on to trip up Chris Johnson!

  11. I didn’t see the game but I don’t believe a word that comes out of Jeff Fisher’s mouth….about ANYTHING!

  12. It seems like there is a “quota” for commercials during a game. If you’ll pay attention, you’ll see that at the beginning of each half there is a timeout after each change of possession. If extra timeouts are used because of injury or official timeouts for reviews, then they start not having timeouts on some changes of possession. Once they’ve reached their quota, they back off on the timeouts. On the other hand, if there are some long time consuming drives and they don’t get the necessary timeouts in, its entirely possible that they “create” some timeouts, if you know what I mean. The bottom line is that the advertisers pay for their spots and one way or another, they’re going to get the commercials in.

  13. @nittanyliono:
    Actually, Andy Reid doesn’t use timeouts before the 2 minute warning–that’s old-fashioned. He just throws challenge flags at random times.

  14. my dad is crazy, gota love him though
    I cant wait for him to coach the raiders next year…..ooops did I let that out

  15. The simple answer here is to have NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, and anyone else broadcasting the NFL sponsor a section of the game. During that time, they will have their logo on the screen as part of the mini scoreboard or situation overlay on the screen. The announcers can make a statement like “this drive (next 5 minutes of play, etc.) is brought to you by (sponsor and present company tag line). Soccer did this for the World Cup and does this for other games now.
    This eliminates the 2-3 minute delays on a change of possession, kickoff, etc. for the 70,000+ at the stadium and keeps the officials and coaches focused on the game and not the needs of the media.
    Just a thought.

  16. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why they were dragging the game out. I thought fisher was just trying to get johnson some stats to cover up the fact that he ypc was pretty bad until garbage time. I still think that has something to do with it as fisher demonstrated his willingness to do that last year.
    And it really is short-sighted leaving CJ in the game at that point. In all fairness, he could have put in the backup so it wasnt just about commercials. What would have happened if CJ got hurt on that last run? Normally a coach doesnt over-work his best player AFTER the game has already been decided.
    Dude in my fantasy league lost because of that CJ run too… man I would have been pissed if it were me!

  17. Of course I believe it when I read reports that ESPN wants to draw out a game to increase revenue. Sports is ALL about greed. Not money. Every business is dedicated to earn money. But sports take it earnings further. It is ALL about the dollar and greed. Greed is why the World Series starts late, to be on during prime time, even though it means kids don’t see the games and games are often played in the cold. Greed is why their is a long gap between series so the playoffs can stretch out to 2 weekends. Greed is why games are not played quicker so more beer, food and crappy cheap junk can be sold. Everything in every professional sport, everything!, is decided on what will make that sport the most money. If it is bad for the players, tough! If it is bad for the fans, tough! If it’s bad for the cities that use public funds to build them stadiums and arenas, and then give them tax breaks, tough! This policy spans all sports. Until the day comes when the fans finally wake up and scream, “Enough!” and stop adding to the pockets of multi-millionaires, then ESPN and sport executives will continue to pick the pockets of the everyday fan.

  18. Fisher is really showing a side of him that is very ugly. Some of his comments seem to be poking fun at the Jaguars. It was good to see the Broncos hand them a loss.

  19. The NFL and their broadcasters better watch out!
    If they are truly altering the coarse of a game which is in process, for any reason at all, I promise to stop watching entirely. The sidelines should be completely free of outside influence during a game. Otherwise, the results are skewed and the entire league becomes tainted.
    If Del Rio infact called a time out to give the broadcaster additional ad space, shame on him, and he got exactly what he deserved, which was an otherwise totally egregious CJ touchdown as well as being called out by Jeff Fisher, a division opponent.
    I’ve got the NFL on probation now… One more slip up like this and I will impose a lifetime ban on these money grubbers. It’s bad enough that the league insists that I want 2 more regular-season games a year, which I don’t, and nor do any of my friends or family. You already make so much money, I implore you to stop fixing what ain’t broke.
    But, I will tell you this; if more commercial time is what you’re after, simply increase the length of breaks which already occur naturally in a game. As a viewer who sits at the edge of his seat during every Chargers game, I can tell you that an extra commercial per break is a completely valid and legitimate thing to do. Maybe increase timeout lengths, I’m sure the teams won’t mind that as much as coercing them to take unnecessary timeouts.
    Major props to Jeff Fisher… Homey don’t play that game.

  20. Jayman … in all fairness, there are plenty of people who won due to Johnson’s late run – so there are equally many people jovial about it . . . This isnt the first time Jeff has thrown the league’s “closet” out into the open , it makes you wonder how he has held the chair at the competition committee for so long ? ….

  21. Its obvious folks. Jeff hates Del Rio. That’s why No 28 scored a meaningless touchdown late in the game. Nothing like kicking an opponent when they’re down I say…not.

  22. Vegas is on the phone and needs a small change in the score because of the line must also be some of the “conversations” that occur at the 2 minute warning.
    Enjoy the games but they seem to be heading to pure theatre. Reference interference call in KC game where the receiver pushes the defender as the defender is looking at the ball and that is all we need to know.

  23. PFT got us all hooked enough on the headline that we read this article. Kudos for successful fishing!

  24. There was no plausible football reason for Del Rio to take the time out. Absolutely NONE.
    Down 23-3 they took 8 minutes to drive down the field. Huddle before every snap, mostly hand offs to MJD, running down the clock. No hurry-up, no sense of urgency.
    We now see they sign Bouman because Trent was hurt in like his first series?????? They wanted to get more reps for him?????
    Down 23-3, under two minutes, you are not moving the ball at all, you did not even cross the 50 mark line all of the first half and under two minutes to go you take a TIME OUT?????
    Either Del Rio is the dumbest play caller ever in professional sports or he did somebody a favor.
    Sorry but this looks just like somebody is fixing the game, just as bad. Again what if MJD or CJ or somebody else has a season ending injury during this extended play??? Especially after Young and Garrard already ahd to leave the game.
    How dumb do you have to be to extend a game when you are under 2 minutes, down 23-3 and inept to move the ball???? When you have Manning, Brees, Rivers, Rodgers, Brady at the helm and need to make the playoff, maybe you try to get three scores but the Jags with an already hurt backup QB who just joined your squad weeks earlier – this is not just a funky call – THIS IS INSANE – this is fixing the game.

  25. The curtain has been lifted on the great Oz!
    I’m sure the NFL will explain that this has “no effect on the integrity of the game,” but it absolutely does.
    More time on the clock = more scoring opportunities = direct effect on the integrity of the game.
    Shameful. The networks have been in business for many years and they still can’t get it right to fulfill their obligations to their advertisers? So, the NFL, because they’ve been paid billions, bows to their wishes. Has conversations with the officials on how to fix these mistakes. They then talk to the coaches to influence their in game decisions……..
    Rosenthal, since you’ve got Cornflorio’s ear, between the two of you and with his new “power ranking” better put some pressure on these folks. Look at some previous games and see if anything “suspicious” happened and hold their feet to the fire!
    Wait, you guys are part of the peacock, nevermind…….

  26. @ Natelan
    Increase the length of the commercial breaks !!!??? Are you kidding ??? that might be fine for a fan sitting in front of the TV or in warm & and sunny San Diego, but for us fans in the Northeast (I’m in Buffalo) freezing our backsides off, the breaks are already too long. In fact, get rid of replay while you’re at it.
    As an aside: the best NFL game I’ve ever attended was where the power went out at the San Diego vs Buffalo game last year. No scoreboard, no commercials for TV or in-house, nothing but football (and cheerleaders).
    Guess I’m old school

  27. The NFL and their broadcasters better watch out!
    If they are truly altering the coarse of a game which is in process, for any reason at all, I promise to stop watching entirely. The sidelines should be completely free of outside influence during a game. Otherwise, the results are skewed and the entire league becomes tainted.
    If Del Rio infact called a time out to give the broadcaster additional ad space, shame on him, and he got exactly what he deserved, which was an otherwise totally egregious CJ touchdown as well as being called out by Jeff Fisher, a division opponent.
    I’ve got the NFL on probation now… One more slip up like this and I will impose a lifetime ban on these money grubbers. It’s bad enough that the league insists that I want 2 more regular-season games a year, which I don’t, and nor do any of my friends or family. You already make so much money, I implore you to stop fixing what ain’t broke.
    But, I will tell you this; if more commercial time is what you’re after, simply increase the length of breaks which already occur naturally in a game. As a viewer who sits at the edge of his seat during every Chargers game, I can tell you that an extra commercial per break is a completely valid and legitimate thing to do. Maybe increase timeout lengths, I’m sure the teams won’t mind that as much as coercing them to take unnecessary timeouts.
    Major props to Jeff Fisher… Homey don’t play that game.

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