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Jeff Fisher and Gregg Williams: Up From the Table, Out on the Field

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After spending Thursday watching football and enjoying time with their families, St. Louis Rams’ head Coach Jeff Fisher and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams got back to business on Friday...

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Jeff Fisher – Post-Practice – November 28, 2014

(On his Thanksgiving)
"It was great, thanks. Watched a little football. Enjoyed some food with the family."

(On if during the holidays he can ever fully take his mind off of football)
"I can’t remember having an entire day off over the holidays. That’s our business. We’re always either in early or dealing with Christmas and players and things like that. That’s the nature of our business. We’re going to work. We’ll find a couple hours."

(On how close DE Chris Long is to returning to action)
"He’s close."

(On the if Long will return this Sunday)
"Yeah, maybe. I think he had his best day of practice today. So, we’re going to discuss it this afternoon. If we make a decision, we’ll probably make a decision tomorrow."

(On when they need to complete the roster move Ii order for Long to play)
"We have to do it by 3:00 p.m. our time tomorrow."

(On the challenges the Raiders present)
"We talked about it earlier in the week, the Raiders have…I can give you five losses against five teams where these losses were by seven points or less. That would include New England, Seattle, San Diego twice. Then of course, they come back and they beat Kansas City. So, they’re in every game. They’re playing hard. They’re very talented. They’ve found their quarterback. He’s got legs to escape, quick release and he’s very accurate and they’ve got skill players. Typically what happens when teams start off the way they started off, no one pays attention to them so nobody except for Raiders fans know who’s on their roster, but they have a solid roster."

(On the performance of Raiders RBs Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew)
"For some reason, and I think it’s because of things that happened early, I think they’ve got the least amount of carries of any team in the National Football League. They’re well over 100 carries below the league average. So that’s going to affect their run game if you look at total yards averaged per game. Their time of possession has been down. It’s little over 26 minutes on the season. So, they’re not getting the opportunities. That doesn’t mean to say that they don’t have the ability. I’ve faced Maurice many, many times and he’s still doing some of the things he did in the past."

(On what he sees out of Raiders WR James Jones)"Well, he’s got vertical speed. He can uncover. He’s running after catches. He understands what they’re doing. He gets open and the ball comes to him on time. So, he’s a productive player."

(On if any other Raider other than Jones catches his eye on film)
"Yeah, the group’s productive. The tight end group is productive. Then they get the ball out of the backfield to the running backs, as we talked about."

(On if they had any interest in signing Raiders DE Antonio Smith in the offseason)
"We did."

(On what challenges the Raiders defense present)
"The entire group. (Raiders LB) Khalil Mack as of late is playing very well setting the edge also as a rusher in passing situations. The group’s just well-coached and solid. Safeties will run support. You’ve got a 38-year old safety that’s knocking backs down around the line of scrimmage. It’s pretty impressive to watch them play."

(On if he’s seen anything on tape as to why the Raider defense has improved on third-down defense)
"I think what they’ve done the last few weeks is they’ve played divisional opponents for the second time. So, there’s familiarity there. So, they’ve been able to execute."

(On if playing the other three teams in the AFC West helped in preparation)
"No, you have the common opponent and you’ll watch the Raiders, but really you spend your time on that week’s opponent. This was the first time we really obviously spent time on Oakland."

(On if he saw anything in the tape that he can attribute to the Raiders beating Kansas City)
"They played good defense. They tackled well. You had a situation in that game where the playing surface was really wet because it rained hard. So, that I think affected Kansas City’s speed on offense. Then the Raiders tackle well and managed the game very well. They kept the ball and kept the ball and then made the touchdown that they needed to make at the end of the game."


Gregg Williams – Post-Practice – November 28, 2014

(On his Thanksgiving)
"Had a great day. Got a chance to see some of the games a little bit in the background. By the end of the night had a chance to do some TV scouting on some division people, so it was good. "

(On if DE Chris Long is able to play Sunday what boost would it give the defense)
"Right now is that (Head Coach) Jeff’s (Fisher) is still making those decisions, but he’s had a good week. He’s had a really good three weeks. Everybody understands his production in the pass and I can’t wait to get a chance to coach him in a real ball game. Looking fun to do that and if it’s this week, we’ll have more discussions on that, but Jeff will have to make that discussion. He’ll make that call."

(On if Long has been lobbying him to play)
"(Laughs) Lobbying or torturing? How would you want to put that? No no no, that’s the fun part of it. He loves to play and wants to play. He brutalized me last week because he didn’t get to play. There’s no issues with that. He wants to do that and he’s doing well."

(On how he fends Long off)
"That’s the fun part of coaching, is the relationships you have behind the scenes. I don’t get a chance to talk to you guys a lot, but I hold my own in verbal repartees in the training room and all that kind of stuff. I’ve kind of told Chris right now is, I thought he was in some type of an internship program in the training room. He’s got his physical therapy degree just about done, so now he’s wanted to get back to playing football. He’s fun. He’s a good kid to be around in that respect."

(On what he sees from Oakland QB Derek Carr)
"They’ve done a good job of bringing a good live arm kid into that program. I think they do a good job of coaching. The former coach there was one of my protégés, (former Raiders Head Coach) Dennis Allen worked for me for a long time. I felt tough for him. I have a lot of respect for (Raiders Head Coach) Tony Sparano and (Raiders offensive coordinator) Greg Olson and going against them in the NFC South and with Greg over at Tampa Bay for a long time. Very well-coached and he’s given them some life. That ball game where they beat the Chiefs was a really well played game. They were able to do a lot of things from a mixture of Greg and Tony’s background and Raider background. They play a lot of people hard. Been very impressed with all the film we’ve seen on them because we’ve been playing in that division anyway, so we’ve had a chance to see them play in almost every one of their games. We’ve done a good job of scouting of that. We’ve been impressed all year long on how they’ve been playing. We’re going to have to play very well. They’re coming off of a mini bye week. They’ve got a little bit of rest. They’re going to be popping and hopping around and we’re going to have to play very well because they’ve got some explosive football players on their team. It’s our job to do what we have to do to play good defense against those kind of people."

(On if it’s an extra duty for him to make the defense understand how tough the Raiders are)
"As coaches we always do those type of things, but we haven’t had to do that this week because they see the film too. The film doesn’t lie. They understand how well they’ve been playing. They understand how well they played San Diego. How well…had New England on the ropes, on all those tight games. We’ve been in some of those same type games to. It’s a reflection on how we feel about ourselves at times, how well we played, but maybe not won the game. This is a good football team that we’re playing against and we really haven’t had to spend a lot of time. I’ve been primed and ready to jump all over them if I thought that they weren’t in the right frame of mind, but they’ve done a great job behind the scenes. Now it’s about going out and playing now. We’ve practiced and met well all year long. Now you’ve got to go out and put it on the field. You’ve got to do that right on the field and produce that day too. There’s been no slacking, no let off on the accelerator on how they’ve practiced and how they’ve prepared."

(On if he played a lot of off coverage and he felt that was the best way to go)
"One of the things we didn’t do is that we played some of that because of the sideway throws. We played some of that going into the ball game because that was one of the better vertical passing teams that we had played against this year. We knew going into the ball game that they were going to do quite a bit of that. We discouraged that by playing off. We discouraged that by them thinking all of a sudden, ‘Well they’re, not going to give us those opportunities the way we’d seen on film, they’ve taken those opportunities against other people.’ They threw the ball sideways and out of those 11 sideways throws they threw, we played seven or eight of them pretty good and we missed some tackles on some other ones. We’ve had obviously, a pretty good tackling influence all week long and we’ve been a really good tackling team all year. But, we missed a couple in that game and wish we had it back."

(On if the Raiders are similar to San Diego in getting the ball out quick)
"Very quick and for a young quarterback, he gets that. You can tell that was a part of his upbringing in college too. But they do get the ball out quick and get rid of the ball. That drive at the end of that Kansas City game was impressive, where they only held them over seven minutes and pounding the ball down the field and had a chance to get the go ahead and winning touchdown. We’ve got our work cut out for us."

(On how they’ve been generating turnovers)
"The big thing about that is, that’s every single day. You watch us practice, it’s been a high part of what we do. We have to do more of that. We have to create more short fields. We have to put points on the board. We were able to put points on the board last week and that’s what winning football teams do. We play off of each other. We’ve done a great job of playing after turnovers over offense, but now we’ve got to create some more for shorter fields for our offense. We’ve done a good job of that, but not good enough. That’s a big part going into each and every week."

(On what Raiders WR James Jones brings to the offense)
"Excellent. Some leadership there. Fits in very well. Gone against him at the former team and everything that he was at. He’s done very well for them. He’s been a setting influence in that rather young group of guys that he’s with. He’s a big body. Extremely talented receiver that we need to know where he’s at at all times."