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Jeff Fisher Speaks On the Rams’ Morale. Schottenheimer on the Team’s 3rd and Short Struggles

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer fielded questions from the media on Thursday, prior to their Week 16 matchup against the NY Giants...

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher – Post-Practice – December 18, 2014

(On LT Greg Robinson’s development throughout the season)
"The work was extremely valuable at guard. As he was getting that work at guard we also were getting reps out there at the tackle spot. When (LT) Jake (Long) went down it was the logical time to go ahead and make the move. He’s gotten better and better each week. He’s played some sophisticated, scheme-oriented defenses and he’s done a nice job from a mental standpoint. The physical traits, the physical part of his play is everything you could ask for right now. He’s doing a nice job. He’s very athletic and finishing plays. He’s off to a good start."

(On the players decision the throw a Christmas party in Ferguson)
"It doesn’t surprise me. Guys have done an awful lot over there that has not drawn attention. It would make sense that over the holidays that guys would get involved down there."

(On QB Shaun Hill’s performance this season)
"He’s played well. He’s won some big games for us. Put us in position to win one out on the West Coast. He’s got a lot of help in the victories. I don’t think he got the help that he needed last Thursday night. Overall, he’s managing the game well and has a good feel for what he’s doing."

(On the team’s morale this week)
"They’re fine. We’re preparing no different than any other week to go win this next game. That’s our focus and that’s their intention. As long as you create an environment where they can have fun, look forward to coming to work, they’ll work hard. And that’s what we’ve done."

(On if he has had to change anything this week)
"No, just all you have to do is watch the Giants. That’s all you’ve got to do. Throw a little tape on and watch the Giants. That will get you ready."

(On Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul)
"Over the years he’s developed more moves, counters. He’s really got a good up field under move. He plays hard. He’s playing well against the run. He’s going to give any left tackle problems if the quarterback holds the ball. We’ve seen that here the last couple of weeks."

Brian Schottenheimer – Post-Practice – December 18, 2014

(On the amount of sacks the Giants have and if they look like a blitzing team)
"No, a lot of the sacks have come on third down, obviously, passing situations. They do a good job to find ways to get (Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul) ‘JPP’ isolated on different guys. They move him around some. Some gains, but a lot of it’s been coverage sacks. They’ve been covering guys pretty well in the back half and quarterbacks are having to hold the ball and there’s no place to really go and they’re getting home. You look at them early in the season and they were getting around them, but not really getting to them. Now you kind of watch them in the last couple weeks. I don’t know what the number is, but they’ve been around them quite a bit. Certainty, something that we’re aware of and need to be smart about what we’re doing."

(On if Pierre-Paul is normally over the right tackle)
"No. They move him around, but his most natural position would be over our left tackle. Over (OL) Greg (Robinson)."

(On DT Johnathan Hankins performance this season)
"Yeah, he’s had a very good year. You certainly notice him when he’s able to play the three-technique and kind of press the shoulder of the guard and kind of get penetration, you see him more than anything. I think for where their been with injuries and stuff,you see a lot of different numbers out there, but they’re kind of finding they’re grove right now. That’ll be a big challenge because if they can get you in the third-down-and-long, they can really create some problems for you."

(On how reliant the Rams offense is on the run game in order to keep teams off-balance)
"Balance is everything. It certainly helps the playcaller. It helps the quarterback. That group, when they know you’re getting ready to pass, they do a good job of pressing the edge and trying to push you back in there. These guys are no different. The biggest thing is getting into third-down-and-manageable, we call it six or less. How do you do that? It’s got nothing to do with third-down, it’s all to do with first and second down, your execution. We didn’t do a very good job of that last week. That’s a big emphasis this week is to try to live - whether it’s runs and completions - try to live in that third-down in six or less down and distance."

(On if RB Tre Mason is more focused on ball security)
"I think he’s a real prideful guy. I think he was disappointed as anybody that it came out. He’s been really, really good. I think he’s just excited to go out and bounce back like we all are. We expect him to perform well."

(On why they are struggling to run the ball on fourth-and-short and third-and-one)
"No. I think last week there were two situations that came up. One, we tried to get the ball to (WR) Tavon (Austin) on a little speed-sweep and they took it away, so we were forced to run the ball into a bad look. The first one to (RB) Benny (Cunningham). I think a lot of times we’re getting guys that are trying to run through. If anything, if probably mixing maybe a few too many passes in there. We have an identity. We know what we’re good at. These guys again are going to try and fire their linebackers through. It’s a big part of the game. It doesn’t come up very often, but obviously it leads to a brand new set of downs. There’s a mentality there. We certainly have the guys up front in the line that can do it. Again, we’ve kind of looked at it and there’s different things that have shown up. This week kind of get back to basics, and us verse them, mono e mono."

(On how Robinson has developed and where he needs to improve)
"We all know how talented he is. The biggest thing with him, pass protection’s all about your feet and sets and things like that. When you get forced to play against these great athletes on the edge, one thing you tend to try do… you kind of panic and turn your shoulders a little bit. He’s done that from time to time. All that does is shorten the edge, which means they close in on the quarterback. He feels it. Just some fundamental stuff with his footwork. I think he and (OL) Rodger (Saffold) have gotten better at passing games, things like that. It’s a tough duty for anybody. I was around (Jets OT) D'Brickashaw Ferguson as a rookie. He really, really struggled. I think Greg has done far better than what ‘Brick’ did his first year. Again, you see the ability and you got to have a short memory, playing left tackle, playing quarterback, being a playcaller in the NFL - humbling business. You’ve got to have short-term memory and he’s just got to keep working and take each day and challenge himself to get better."

(On QB Shaun Hill and what he’s seen from his performance)
"I’ve been pleased with his consistency. The guy gets what we’re trying to get done. He gets the formula of, ‘Hey, runs and completions.’ Big thing for us when you look at Shaun is trying to get the ball spread to different people through the progressions. He’s not going to hold the ball very long. He’s played well for us. Biggest thing for us, for him, is to take care of the football, get completions, move the chains. I thought he’s done well with the opportunities other than a few plays here and there."