Rams Vs. Lions, Keys To The Game: Crowd Control

Aug 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Line judge Shannon Eastin talks with St Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

No "might" about it, Ford Field is going to be very loud when the St. Louis Rams take on the Detroit Lions this Sunday. Head coach Jeff Fisher knows that.

"They've got a terrific thing going there in Detroit, Fisher said after practice on Friday. "It all came together for them last year. It's a difficult place to play. It's hard to hear."

He should know. His son was a coach there, and Fisher was able to spend some time with the Lions during his coaching sabbatical in 2011. Last year, the Lions made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Hungry fans will be anxious to see what's in store this year, with expectations much, much higher.

Noise is a challenge for offensive lines, making it hard to hear the snap counts and leading to early jumps and the corresponding flags. Despite that, Fisher did not pipe in crowd noise for his practices. He never has, said Howard Balzer on Twitter.

"Well, it's a concern," Fisher said. "We don't make a big deal over it. We're going to go out there and deal with it and communicate as best we can."

Defensive end Chris Long has an even better suggestion for dealing with the crowd noise, a simple measure that he shared with fans on a Friday chat.

"On the road, try to quiet them down," Long said. "You never feel overmatched. That's just being a competitor you can't let yourself feel that way."

The Lions struggled with penalties themselves last season, a trend under Jim Schwartz. Fisher's staff worked hard to extract flag drawing tendencies from his players during camp, sending linemen for lengthy jogs around the practice field for early jumps and other penalties.

The Rams have no margin for error against a Detroit team that manufactures touchdowns seemingly at will, avoiding penalties will be crucial if they're going to have a fighting chance against the Lions.

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