Vince Young said he was given no warning that he was being taken out of the game.
Jeff Fisher said he was just trying to spark a listless team in a 19-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kerry Collins said he expects Young to start next week against the New York Giants.
Whatever the end result, at the start of the quarter, Collins was on the field, leading Tennessee to its only touchdown.
When it was over, all three did their best to squelch talk of any potential budding quarterback controversy.
“I don't expect that there's going to be any situation whatsoever,” said Collins, who completed 17 of 25 passes for 149 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “I expect Vince to go back to being the starter, and we'll move on.”
Fisher declared as much, trying to stem any tide of momentum that media speculation might create surrounding the quarterback situation. He did say that he didn't take Young's feelings into consideration when making the change.
“I wasn't concerned about his feelings at that point. I was trying to win the football game,” Fisher said. “And he's our starting quarterback, and he will start this week, OK? So, you know it's not an easy thing to do to anybody. But he is going to come back, start this week and play well.”
Asked what Fisher said when he made the move to Collins, Young said, "He didn't tell me at all."
Young completed 7 of 10 passes for 66 yards, but two of his passes were intercepted, one that killed a potential scoring drive in the first half with Troy Polamalu stepping in front of Nate Washington in the end zone, and the other corraled by Lamar Woodley over the middle.
When Young fumbled for the fifth time in his last six games (including three fumbles in preseason), Fisher had apparently seen enough, having the veteran Collins warm up and enter the game at the start of the fourth period.
As for Young, he handled the situation better than he did a couple of years ago when he had to be coaxed back into a game, exited with a knee injury one series later and had a well-publicized off-field meltdown the following day.
“Right now, I'm mature about the situation,” Young said. “Back in the day, you all probably wouldn't even see me talking to you all right now, if I lost. Right now, I'm more mature about the situation. I understand that things like this happen.”
Young deferred to Fisher in the postgame, four times in his press conference saying, "He is the head coach."
From the sounds coming out of the Steelers locker room after the game, putting the game in Young's hands rather than Chris Johnson's feet was Pittsburgh's plan all along.
“We kind of knew what they were going to do in each formation and realized that if Chris Johnson didn't really get off and break a big run, they're not scoring a lot of points on teams,” Steelers safety Ryan Clark said. “So we tried to keep him bottled up as well as possible, and I think it worked to our advantage because Vince had to throw a little more.”
Added linebacker James Harrison, "Our plan coming in was to try to keep Chris Johnson contained, and if we got beat, it was going to be by the quarterback position."