Jeff Fisher may have said it with a smile after Monday night's 30-3 win for the Tennessee Titans over Jacksonville, but it turns out that coaches are informed how many timeouts they have remaining at the two-minute warning and how many commercial breaks networks may be short.
Fisher tried to clarify how the situation works and how it played out with the Jaguars calling two timeouts after the two-minute warning and the Jaguars down by 20 points.
By burning his timeouts, Titans star running back Chris Johnson, who had been put back in the game, broke loose on fourth-and-5 for a 35-yard touchdown at the 1:40 mark, giving Johnson 111 yards rushing in the game.
“At the two-minute warning in every game in the fourth quarter, there are conversations that go by. There's conversations that take place at the two-minute warning before the first half. But there's conversations that take place, and it's the official's responsibility to give the head coach a status of commercials and TV timeouts,” Fisher said. “Yesterday, I was told that they were two short. And they looked at me and smiled, and I said, 'Sorry, I can't help you.' Mike [Carey] came across and said, 'Here's the deal. We're two short.' And I said, 'Mike, I can't help you. I'm trying to get a first down and I'm gonna kneel on it.'”
Fisher said he did not fault Del Rio for calling the timeouts, no matter his intent.
“Jack used his timeouts. Whether Jack used his timeouts because the official said we're two commercials short, or he used them to stop the clock to get his quarterback [Trent Edwards] some reps remains to be seen,” Fisher said. “My feeling is I had no issue with him using the timeouts. I completely understand. You've got a backup quarterback in that's been there for what, two weeks, and he wants to get him some reps. So I completely understand it, even though the game was out of reach.”
"ESPN did not directly or indirectly ask the coaches to take a timeout during the game," the statement said.