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Rams-Chargers: HC Jeff Fisher and DC Gregg Williams Talk to Media Before Heading to San Diego

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The Rams coaches offered up some thoughts following the last practice of the week.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher – Post-Practice – November 21, 2014


(On how the week went)
"It was a good week. We got some guys back on the field, had two good days outside. Ready to go. At some point later we’ll head out there and we’ll fine tune the game plan and polish things up Saturday. Play a good team on Sunday."

(On if he’s decided if DE Chris Long will be activated to the active roster for the game)
"There’s a chance, but it’s probably unlikely at this point to make a roster move this late. He’s improving each day. I’d say I think he’ll have a pretty good chance next week."

(On WR Kenny Britt and what he’s seeing out of him and his potential)
"He’s been there every single day. He’s not missed a practice. He plays through things in the game. He’s doing a great job blocking for us. He’s got the big play potential and it showed last week. He’s really having fun. I think he’s got a lot of football left in him. "

(On if Britt’s 25 years old)
"Yes."

(On how Britt has matured off the field)
"Again, I’ve said this many times. It was wrong place at the wrong time. A lot of things were taken out of context. Has a big heart, loves the game, is a great teammate, he’s always been that. I think he understands things are different now and you’ve got to be aware of your surroundings and all that. He is 110 percent into football right now and that’s great."

(On how QB Shaun Hill practiced this week and if it looks like he’s embracing the opportunity to start)
"Shaun’s had a good week. He’s ready to go. He respects this defensive scheme and the players that they have. He’s also excited about the game plan that we have in. He’ll handle things well I would expect."

(On if he gets kidded a lot by his teammates and coaches and if that’s his personality)
"I have not noticed that. Yeah, he’s pretty easy going. He likes this game. He’s very competitive. He likes the game. He has fun. Good qualities."

Rams Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams – Post-Practice – November 21, 2014


(On if he’s ever witnessed a massive snowfall during his time as head coach of the Buffalo Bills, similar to what the area is currently experiencing)
"I did the first winter I was there. Uncharacteristically, the jetstream and the make of that snow was north of town where I lived and it was eight feet in three days. Differently than that is that we didn’t miss a day of practice. It was only two feet at Orchard Park. I just slept at the office and didn’t go home. I think at the end of that week we traveled to the Jets, like they’re playing there, and we won, 15-14, but it was an unbelievable experience. It had not snowed in a long, long, long time up there and it started and three days later it was eight-feet deep. So, I’ve been through it."

(On the play of S T.J. McDonald and S Rodney McLeod)
"They’re very good players. What we’re doing there is that we’re looking to play great technique, sound. They do a great job with all of the adjustments. Our safeties have to be in sync with middle linebacker. Then our safeties and the middle linebacker have to be an extension of me from the sideline in the communication process of all the multiple things that we do. They’re playing really good right now. Playing at a really high level and they’re able to make some nice plays that on interceptions, pass breakups and also some contact issues, legally the way they’re supposed to do it. They’re doing very well. I’m very pleased with them. They’re young and they’re only going to get better."


(On if McDonald is playing at a Pro Bowl level)
"I think he is, I really do. Really this last month he’s played better each and every week. We’re challenging him a lot behind the scenes. He’s accepting every challenge. Even today in practice, I don’t know if you guys watched him today in practice, a few things that I kind of attacked him on in the meetings today that he brought out to the field and he did very well. I’ve been real pleased with how he’s playing. Got to continue to stay healthy, but he’s playing at an awful high level.

(On what he means by challenging McDonald each and every week)
"More thing to do and also to clean up some of the mistakes in that way, in challenging things and some of the mistakes. He’s a very prideful player, easy to try to motivate because he plays with a chip on his shoulder anyway. So, when you attack that chip in the meeting room then he comes out on the field and hopefully he’ll continue to play that same way, but I’ve really liked what I’ve seen on him and his growth process. You’ll see that leadership has no age. Guys who are leaders on your team set an example that somebody else wants to be like them. I think you’re starting to see him be more vocal, too because the example of his play is now allowing him to speak more and he’s starting say more and do more things behind the scenes from a leadership role that normal people want to say, ‘Well because a guy’s talking he must be a leader.’ Talking’s not leadership. Doing is leadership and then when you do say something maybe they’ll pay attention. He’s doing a good job with that."

(On McDonald’s ability to be more than a box safety)
"I liked him coming out and I really believe that his cover skills are more than adequate. He can do an awful lot of things in a lot of different systems, a lot of different design of the coverages. Liked him a lot coming out. Until you get a chance to go and be with him and see all the different things that he can do, I think we’ve just scratched the surface on some of the things that we can do with him. He’s a part of the game plan every week."

(On how CB E.J. Gaines performed in his first full game playing in the slot)
"Much more comfortable and also much more adaptable. He’s at that process and he’s growing so fast. There’s so many things that’s being thrown at him in his first year, different than college football. Was able to do a couple of things from an improv way that he was able to grasp and do and take advantage of. When I say improv, the better coaches, the better players, the better teams are able to adjust within the game. We practice all week long on things we think we’re going to see then all of the sudden you’re in the game and now we see what we’re seeing. Can we take the technique, can we take the idea and now move it around a little bit? He was able to do that because we had to make a couple of adjustments on what we were doing during the game, didn’t bat an eye. Early in the year that probably would have fell on deaf ears, he would’ve nodded and said, yes, but not been able to do it. He was able to do the right things and it’s fun to see him do that. He’s taken a lot of steps in the right direction. He’s been a really good acquisition for us."

(On LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar not playing this past Sunday)
"It’s one of those things too, from a substitution part of the thing, it cooperates with the packages. They had a couple of injuries where they stopped playing packages that he was going to match-up in. All that goes hand-in-hand. We have a lot of packages up each and every week to match what the opponent’s doing, but when they had to eliminate them because they didn’t have any more players to play in a couple of the packages that he was matched-up in. It just fell that way. He’ll be up this week and we’ll see."

(On what he told Dunbar during the situation that he won’t play due to the opponent’s personnel)
"Come over and help me coach. You think you know it all anyway, now we’ll find out. We’ll see. (joking)"

(On if players are benefitting from the familiarity with him as the season goes on)
"Everywhere I’ve been I’ve tried to adapt to the players. I haven’t made players do things they can’t do, I’ve got to adapt to them. The longer we’re around each other the more adaptation is going on. It’s been very good to see their understanding of why I call something. All of the sudden, they understand the why behind it and they’re eliminating the clutter that’s in their mind. They’re playing faster because we reduce some clutter because sometimes maybe some coaches are trying to get them to take every single, solitary thing away and you can’t do that. Not in our league you can’t do that. You’ve got to be able to play within the situation, within the down and distance, within the formation. Try to make them do something they don’t want to do and then react after that. Our guys are doing a better job of that. That’s just familiarity on both parts mine to them, them to me - all that kind of stuff. It’s been good."

(On if the familiarity with each other aids the defense understanding what opposing offenses are doing)
"I don’t know if you’ve talked to them about this because it’s not falling on deaf ears anymore. As a defensive coach and as a defensive player at some point in time you need to understand how much information you need to know about the opponent, know about offensive structure, offensive design, offensive concepts and then how it fits in, on how we’re playing defense against those concepts. They’re starting to now to be a lot less worried about what we’re doing and they’re spending more time on what the opponents’ doing or what the concept’s built to do. They’re eliminating the gray. They’re able to play faster defensively because they do understand offenses better. I’m not saying it’s there yet because they’re a very young team in that respect, but they’re growing a lot. I’m hearing them talk more about that and identifying things in the meetings as if they were a coach. When they’re starting to talk like a coach then my heart starts palpitating as much it is.  I start feeling more comfortable with them."

(On the challenges the Chargers’ offense present)
"They’ve got some big time match-ups and they’ve got some great players. There’s some similarities you’ll see between San Diego and Denver with (Chargers Head Coach) Mike (McCoy) coming from Denver and that quarterback coach for him (Broncos Offensive Coordinator) Adam (Gase) is still at Denver. You see some similarity in concepts, but we also see some things where Mike’s adapted to things that (Chargers QB) Philip (Rivers) likes to do. Things that even some carry over from when (Former Chargers Head Coach) Norv Turner was there. Conceptually, we have to understand that we’ve got to try to balance all of that stuff. They’ve got good players. They’ve got a good offensive line on how they’ve been going on about playing in that tough division too. It will be another good test for us. Each game takes on identity of it’s own. We’ve got to be able to match-up to what we’ve seen go on, on film, but we’ve got adjust during the game too. It will be a good test for us."