NASHVILLE -- As the Tennessee Titans headed for their bye week, a sentiment softly worked its way around their practice facility.
"We're 5-0," said Haynesworth, the Titans defensive tackle. "But we still have a chance to go 5-11."
The Titans weren't being fatalistic. They were being appreciative. They had built a foundation, but the work was just getting started.
The sentiment was pure
Believe that the Titans aren't throwing a party for being the NFL's only undefeated team.
"[Jeff] doesn't have a team meeting where he screams at guys for a half hour, and we don't have streamers and a disco ball when we're 5-0," said Titans defensive coordinator
The Titans have kept their heads this season despite seeing their starting quarterback,
"We've always had a problem or an issue fighting against nine [defensive players] in a box or eight in a box," said Titans center
While the offense has held steady, it is the defense that has defined the Titans with a ball-hawking secondary, physical linebackers and maybe the best front four in the NFL.
Though Haynesworth is the centerpiece, the Titans have expertly filled around him with three recent free-agent pickups: end
Said Schwartz: "
Fisher says it's about finding players and maximizing their unique skills. "Adjusting to what we have," he said, "and trying to improve the type of player that you have."
The process has yielded a perfect start despite imperfect circumstances. The Titans are taking their cue from a steady head coach, quietly taking their reps along the banks of the Cumberland River, putting a season together brick by brick.
"Some places you go 5-0 and maybe the locker room would look like you just won the Super Bowl," Schwartz said. "But there is a lot of matter of fact to our guys, and a lot of that comes from Jeff. Whether we're winning or losing, he's the same. He doesn't change schemes or the practice schedule. He's a model of consistency. That's why he's been around for so long."