McNair proud to have Volek fill his shoes as titan QB

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com

   NASHVILLE -- The big story coming out of Nashville Sunday afternoon was undoubtedly Billy Volek.
   The Tennessee back-up quarterback and Fresno State alumnus wowed a sell-out crowd at the Coliseum with 295 yards passing and two throws to paydirt in the Titans' 28-26 victory over the Buffalo Bills in his first career start, replacing a sick Steve McNair.
   "He's my MVP right now," McNair said.
   "He was wonderful and outstanding," said Titans receiver Derrick Mason, who had a career-high game in yards and receptions himself.
   "He took all the reps in practice and still didn't know whether he was going to start or not, but he had the mind of a starter," he said. "He came out and he's so poised. (Buffalo coach) Gregg Williams threw everything at him. He threw blitzes at him and tried to confuse him but Billy kept his poise."
   "This is a guy who, in college, threw over 37 touchdowns with only a couple interceptions, so obviously he can do the job and he proved it today."
   McNair sat out with an injury in a game, probably doing in his chances at an NFL MVP award.
   "I was in the room with Dr. Burton Elrod and our trainer Brad Brown. Steve was willing to do whatever we asked him to do but was concerned about not being able to plant and move," Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said.
   "Had we been in a situation where Steve was going to have to play, he would have been limited to a shotgun, because that was about all he could do today."
   McNair was happy with Volek starting, and helped his teammate from the sidelines.
   "Billy told me before the game, 'Let me know if you see anything I don't see.' Basically, that's all about communication of the quarterbacks," said McNair. "Some things that I saw on the sideline today he didn't see."
   "We made sure that if we got in that situation again, he can identify it," he said. "I think Billy played very smart today. He can sit in the pocket as well as anybody in their first start in the NFL and made some key throws, especially on third down."
   It was an important win for the Titans, who scored 28 points against the top defense in the NFL.
   "We played the number one team, the number one defense in the NFL, and we were able to score 28 points," added Mason, who also became the fourth player in franchise history to record two 1,100-yard receiving seasons.
   "We know we can do it. Our previous weeks, we just let it slip. This week we didn't. We were able to score some points and put ourselves in a position to score. This is a big lift for this team knowing that we can go out there and play with the best."
   The Titans defensive unit extended their sack streak to 23 games.
   "Of course there is so much we could have done better or differently, but at the end of the day, we got a victory and that's what we needed around here," said linebacker Keith Bullock.
   "Especially in a position where people were getting down on us for two straight losses and we were getting down on ourselves," he said. "We're a team and we're only going to get better, so maybe this is the momentum we need going in to these two last regular season games and hopefully, the playoffs."