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Titans coach Fisher says he'll announce starting QB on Thursday

  • By Associated Press
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans coach Jeff Fisher knows he can't hide the identity of his starting quarterback until kickoff Sunday, so he's trying to keep it quiet for another 24 hours.

Fisher said Wednesday that he will announce his starter Thursday, trying to carve out another day of competitive advantage for the winless Titans against the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3).

"I'm going to assume that as long as we can keep this thing a mystery, the better chances we have," Fisher said. "There's clearly a difference in skill-sets between the two quarterbacks. That's obvious."

The coach stuck with Kerry Collins as his starter all season. But the Titans are 0-6, and owner Bud Adams reportedly wants to see Vince Young start Sunday.

Neither Collins nor Young spoke to reporters Wednesday, and offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger wasn't available to three reporters asking to speak to him after practice. The Titans signed quarterback John David Booty to the practice squad Wednesday, and he worked with the scout team -- duties that had been handled solely by Young since Patrick Ramsey was cut Oct. 3.

The quarterbacks are very different.

Collins is the pocket passer with the accurate arm, but the 15-year veteran has eight interceptions -- one more than all of last season. His receivers have dropped at least 18 passes, Collins is completing just 54.8 percent of his passes, the offense ranks last in the NFL in time of possession and the Titans haven't scored a touchdown in eight quarters.

Young remains best known for his legs than his arm, having rushed for 979 yards since being drafted No. 3 overall in 2006. He is 18-11 as a starter, a job he lost to Collins in the 2008 season opener against the Jaguars after he had two passes intercepted and sprained his knee.

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"I still have faith in Kerry Collins -- that's our guy," linebacker Keith Bulluck said. "No one in this locker room, no one on this team said anything. That call came from the head."

Asked if Young would be ready if promoted to starter, Bulluck referred questions to the quarterback. But he said Young must be ready because people can look great in shorts during offseason workouts but not be up to playing at kickoff.

"I have confidence in both of our quarterbacks," Bulluck said. "Right now Kerry is our starter, and I'm fine with that."

Both quarterbacks worked with the first-team offense Wednesday. Center Kevin Mawae said he didn't know of a change and that quarterback switches can produce mixed results. He noted Young taking over for Collins in 2006 when the Titans were 0-3 with the team finishing 8-8 and how Collins replaced Young in 2008 as part of a 10-0 start.

Mawae said team owners can do what they want, but he believes Adams will leave final decisions up to Fisher.

"I know everyone wants a quarterback change because a quarterback change is the one thing that can incite something," Mawae said. "But if everybody else is doing their job, including the offensive line and receivers, then everybody looks better, including the quarterback."

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Wide receiver Justin Gage indicated that he senses a change is coming, and tight end Bo Scaife, who played with Young in college at Texas, said he wasn't the coach when asked about a switch at quarterback. Scaife said he knows Young, the 2006 Offensive Rookie of the Year, wants to play.

Is Young, who has more career interceptions (33) than touchdowns (22), ready?

"I hope he's ready," Scaife said. "Only Vince knows if he's ready. He's been looking good in practice, looked good in training camp. Only Vince knows when he's ready. Practice is different than the game."

Notes: Rookie RB Javon Ringer hurt his lower back or hip near the end of practice and was carted off the field before being helped inside the team's building. Fisher didn't have any information on the severity of the injury, though Ringer was in obvious pain. ... DB Vincent Fuller (broken right arm) wasn't listed on the injury report, and Fisher said the veteran has been cleared to return. CB Nick Harper (broken right arm) was limited. CB Cortland Finnegan (right hamstring) didn't practice, but Fisher said the Pro Bowler could be on the field Thursday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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