Fisher explains leaving Titans

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:19 PM ET

NASHVILLE -- Jeff Fisher said Friday it was time to move on after spending 17 years as head coach of the Tennessee Titans franchise.

Fisher and the Titans on Thursday agreed to part ways, just three weeks after owner Bud Adams sided with the coach amid a growing dispute with quarterback Vince Young, and on Friday both sides said differences that arose over the past few weeks prompted a change.

"There were some differences, but beyond that it's just a situation we just got into," Fisher said at a Friday news conference. "I was moving into the last year of a contract and it's just best for everybody."

When pressed for details, Fisher wouldn't elaborate.

"I'm not going to go into the specifics," Fisher stated. "They've been worked out and they've been dealt with. Again, it's time to move on."

Fisher first took over as the head coach on an interim basis in November 1994 when the franchise was known as the Houston Oilers, then was given the job on a full-time basis starting in 1995. He helped in the transition to Tennessee, first playing in Memphis in 1997 and on to Nashville the following year.

The franchise officially changed its name from the Oilers to Titans beginning in 1999 and went to its first and only Super Bowl after that season, losing to the St. Louis Rams, 23-16.

"This is a very, very tough day for this franchise," said Adams on the phone from his office in Houston. "Jeff meant a great deal to this team and I appreciate all he has done for us. He helped us create great moments for our fans.

"Unfortunately, organizations and coaches almost always reach a point where it's time for a change. I think both the team and Jeff will benefit from this move."

Fisher, who took the podium after Adams' brief phone statement, agreed.

"It's best," Fisher said. "I've been coaching for 25 years and it's just time. It's a perfect opportunity to do this. They'll move forward with their plan and I'll move forward."

Fisher guided the team to a record of 142-120 with four division titles and six postseason appearances during his tenure. After a 13-3 season and an AFC South title in 2008, the club went 8-8 in 2009 and just 6-10 this past season.

The Titans began 2010 with a 5-2 mark, but managed just one win the rest of the way. There was also the situation involving Young, who started eight of the nine games he played this season before a torn tendon in his right thumb ended his campaign in November. He and Fisher reportedly had a heated exchange after the Week 11 loss to the Redskins when Young was hurt, and communication issues arose when Young was placed on injured reserve and was told not to attend a team meeting that week.

Fisher was guarded in most of his comments throughout Friday's news conference and continually said he was only thankful for the experience he had with the organization. He would not comment on his immediate future, saying he hadn't thought about anything past Friday afternoon.

"I've been coaching for 25 years and I think I'm tired," Fisher said. "I need some rest."

Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt and senior executive vice president Steve Underwood addressed the situation after Fisher left and also would not divulge details of the process.

"In general we had differences we were not able to resolve," Underwood said Friday. "When you're not able to work through those, that's what you do.

"The differences came about in the past two or three weeks. I think it became obvious [to everyone] we were not going to successfully work through these. We had differences. It doesn't do anyone any good to go into details. We're starting off anew. I think it's good for us, for Jeff and our fans."

Underwood added that there was no timetable for hiring a new coach, only saying the team would take its time to make the right choice.

Reinfeldt also said Young's status would remain the same, that the team had no plans to bring back the quarterback now that Fisher is out of the picture.

Fisher had been the NFL's longest-tenured head coach and will likely sit out at least a year since all of the previous head coaching vacancies were already filled. He could, however, take a step back and accept a coordinator position.


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