This time of year I always have a guarded reaction to reports of a "good practice." Since we first hung out the TST shingle in 2006, reports of a great work on the field at Rams Park have been a regular feature in August. Needless to say, I was cautiously optimistic at best when I heard glowing reports of the work being done in practice last week by the St. Louis Rams, but it all paid off with a big win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason. There is something to those positive practice reports after all, allow me to explain.
Actually, I'll let Jeff Fisher explain.
From his post-game comments as reported by the Post-Dispatch:
"What happened tonight was directly related to what happened last week," Fisher said. "We had a really good week of practice. Not that we didn't practice well before the Colt game but we put some more things in, and things started to fall together for us during the week. ... We ran the football and threw it effectively with the first group."
Good practices lead to, or they should any way, good execution on the field. Players running plays correctly, defenders reading the offense, receivers running the right routes, quarterbacks in sync with their pass catchers, etc. all those things make up the bare minimum of a successful football team, the fundamentals if you will.
Steven Jackson echoed those thoughts.
"It felt really good to get our feet under us and get our confidence built up in what we've been doing in practice for the last two, three weeks."
In the regular season, points will not come so easily. I don't say that as a cynic, but as a realist. The Chiefs defense stayed on the plain side, not dialing up exotic blitzes or mixing and matching looks. They did not have their top cornerback Brandon Flowers either.
Preseason scores reveal in this case reveal more about how well the Rams ran through the basics of their offense and defense. With an infalible grasp of the fundamentals, a team can be successful and have a fighting chance to win most any game they play.
That's the secret to a Jeff Fisher football team.