Fisher: Titans 'ways away' from deal with DT Simon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans gave up 144.6 yards rushing per game in 2006, 30th in the NFL. That's why they are talking to defensive tackle Corey Simon.

General manager Mike Reinfeldt told The Tennessean before Friday night's kickoff in Buffalo that he had a good chance at signing the veteran tackle. Coach Jeff Fisher had no update Saturday except that they hadn't agreed to terms and remained "a ways away."

Sooner rather than later would be good if it's going to happen.

"If there's potential to sign a player to your roster you have interest in carrying into the regular season, the earlier you get him in the better," Fisher said.

Simon, released by Indianapolis on Aug. 4, visited the Titans last Monday and had a physical.

The Titans (2-1) have given up 80.7 yards rushing this preseason despite not being tested much. They gave up 94 yards to Buffalo with Bills rookie Marshawn Lynch, the 12th pick overall, rushing nine times for 9 yards in the first half of the Titans' 28-17 victory Friday night.

"Hypothetically speaking, if you're going to bring a player in that has the history and the production Corey Simon does against the run, one would assume you would be more effective against it," Fisher said when asked how Simon could help.

JOB PERFORMANCE: Free safety Lamont Thompson has started for Tennessee the past three seasons, and now it looks like he's fighting off Calvin Lowry to keep his job. Thompson intercepted a pass at Buffalo, giving him two this preseason.

Coach Jeff Fisher said Thompson intercepted those passes playing with a cast on his wrist.

"He's making plays. Again, we've got competition at a lot of different places," Fisher said.

Lowry started against New England, but Thompson has started two of the three exhibitions. Fisher said he and his staff believe a player can improve regardless of how many years they've been in the NFL, which is why Thompson has been given more time with the first-team defense.

"He's improving. We stress to work to maintain your strengths, but also you have to work to improve your weaknesses. That's what Lamont's been doing. That's why he's playing a lot," Fisher said.

PENALTY, NOT A PENALTY: Left tackle Michael Roos picked up a holding penalty on a 12-yard screen pass to LenDale White, and coach Jeff Fisher said Saturday it's a penalty that shouldn't have been called.

Fisher pointed out that the NFL experimented in Week 1 and Week 3 of the preseason by moving the umpire behind the line of scrimmage. They tested it in NFL Europa and two weeks in the NFL's preseason.

"The umpire was back there, and I just felt like that one particular call should not have been made," Fisher said.

CATCHING ON? Undrafted rookie free agent Biren Ealy has made an impression this preseason, and his 40-yard catch for a touchdown may have helped earn him a spot on this roster. The receiver from Houston worked out with Vince Young during the offseason and agreed to terms with the Titans on May 2.

Ealy has two catches for 67 yards.

"He's been consistent since his arrival," coach Jeff Fisher said. "He's done a very good job learning the offense, makes very few mistakes, gets open and is hard to cover."

With Ealy being an undrafted free agent and the Titans trying to choose between several young receivers, practice squad might have been a good spot for him. But his play has gotten some attention.

"We're going to play our best players," Fisher said. "We're going to try to evaluate them as best we can, all in the interest of winning."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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