Get a good look at the St. Louis Rams' starters in the first half of Saturday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. They will not be seeing a snap in the second half, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.
The Rams' new head coach has been nothing if not a stickler for regimen when it comes to controlling the number of reps players get. In position battles, the players get even reps under Fisher. Players dealing with soft tissue injuries get recovery over reps, even when they might otherwise be on the field. The same goes for his starters, who could be playing into the third quarter of the final preseason game, a break with tradition.
Fisher talked reps and more in his remarks from the media after practice on Wednesday. Here's the transcript.
(On the dizzy bat game and how it came about)
"Yeah, we've been doing it for as long as I can remember in camp. Probably better to put shoulder pads on and do it, rather than do it without. Every three or four years, you get a separated shoulder. Usually it's the equipment intern or a training intern. But, the players love it. They didn't have any idea what was going on. (CB) Cortland (Finnegan) and (DE) Will (Hayes) kept a secret."
(On if any rookie impressed him in the dizzy bat game)
"You know, we'll have to look at the film (laughs)."
(On if he went through the same game as a player)
"I did not, no."
(On what he is looking for on Saturday and if part of it is the big stage that the stadium in Dallas can bring)
"No, I think, we're going to have to hold up. Dallas, I'm sure, is determined to get ready for the opener and use Week 3, so we're going to have to hold up and play well and play hard. The guys are...we're going to have to protect our quarterback because they're very multiple on defense. Rob (Ryan) is a good coordinator and he is going to pressure the passer and they're going to try to stop the run and do all those things, so we've got quite a challenge ahead of us."
(On if some of the players coming off injuries will be able to play)
"Yeah, there's a chance that a couple guys, you know, we rested some guys today and there's a chance that a couple of those guys will be able to play."
(On if C Scott Wells and WR Brandon Gibson will play)
"Yeah, I would actually say they are day-to-day right now. They're that close."
(On if there are a lot of starting jobs up for grabs right now)
"Well, we're looking. If there's a drop-off in production or there's mistakes and things like that or there's a younger player that's got an upside, we're going to give that younger player a chance. The guys have done a good job. We've tried to create, in those certain areas where there is competition, we tried to create at least an even opportunity for them as best we can. We'll see. There will be some things that will be settled here in the next week or so."
(On this being the youngest team going into the season that he has ever coached)
"Somebody told me that it might be the youngest in the history of the NFL. Then, that would mean it would be my youngest too. But that's OK. These guys like to play and they played hard and I'm not really concerned about our age. We've got some speed and we've got some talented athletes. The other side of that is, if it is young then it's only going to get better. And that's the approach we're taking."
(On this being the last open practice and how training camp set-up went)
"It was ideal. When we come back tomorrow, the fences will be going down and then it's kind of...that's your first kind of realization that you're getting close. And then, of course, we'll probably have a practice the weekend after the final preseason game and that's when you stand there and you look around and go, ‘Where did everybody go?". That's when you know it's here."
(On if he will allow all-access to the media)
"That's day-to-day also. It depends on your questions (laughs)."
(On if DE Eugene Sims was not at practice)
"Yes, that's correct. He was inside in the training room."
(On if he will play the first unit into the second half against Dallas)
"I won't have anybody that's going to play into the second half against the Cowboys. There will be a number of players that will do that in the fourth preseason game. We'll do it in Week 4."