Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

What They're Saying

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

What They're Saying

Article excerpt

Here's a sampling of what columnist David Climer and Titans beat writer Paul Kuharsky of The Tennesseean had to say about the Titans' 41-14 victory over the Jaguars yesterday.

Jeff Fisher lied. For weeks, he's told us that the only way he would pull Steve McNair and replace him with Neil O'Donnell was if McNair suddenly started cranking out interceptions.

Let the record show that with 2:58 remaining in the third period of yesterday's post-Christmas parade at The Delph, none other than Neil O'Donnell was observed trotting toward the huddle, leaving McNair behind to locate the nearest cap and jacket.

Thus we have a rewrite of the McNair Rules: From this point forth, he is Fisher's quarterback of choice unless he gets intercepted repeatedly or throws five touchdown passes --- whichever comes first.

Yesterday's assault of what was allegedly the best defense in pro football should serve as a warning shot across the bow of the S.S. AFC. Despite all the quarterback controversy into which he has been thrust, Steve McNair brings something to the huddle that makes the Titans armed and dangerous on the eve of the playoffs.

This is not your father's NFL, where a team required a sturdy defense, a 100-yard rusher and a no-mistakes quarterback to achieve upward mobility in the postseason. Elway is retired. The Packers have been sent packing. There's too much parity to play it by the book.

The five-step drop is out. The five-TD splurge --- and the mobility required to achieve it --- is in.

"Steve's running ability is the X-factor for this offense," said Titans wide receiver Isaac Byrd, whose 65-yard scoring catch was one of the game's signature plays. "Teams can't rush us as much as they want to for fear he'll run the ball. . . ."

The slump --- if that's what it was --- is now officially over. And the playoffs are within sight for a quarterback who is now posing the questions as well as answering them. …

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