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St. Louis Rams Post-Practice 12/24: On Christmas At Home, and Seahawks on the Road

The St. Louis Rams head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterback answered a few questions after practice on Christmas Eve, prior to their day off in Week 17...

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher – Post-Practice – December 24, 2014

(On if the weather was similar to that in Seattle)
"Perfect, yeah. Besides the moisture the forecast up there is about the same temperature. So, it was good for us to get outside today."

(On if the temperature here is the same as in Seattle)
"Yeah, quite similar as a matter of fact."

(On the development of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson)
"He’s always taking advantage of his legs. He’s a special athlete. He’s got a great release. He just extends plays all the time. He knows where to go with the football. They’ve got an outstanding group around him. The running back is special. He’s almost as if there’s an extra player. He’s the 11th and 12th player on offense. Because of his legs, he’s just so hard to defend."

(On Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch’s 79-yard TD run last week)
"It was similar to the one in New Orleans I think, last year or the year before. He just keeps breaking tackles and breaking tackles. Obviously, he’s very hard to get down. He’s quite a player. The other thing about their team right now is they’re really coming together. (Seahawks Head Coach) Pete’s (Carroll) done a great job with them. They’re healing up, (Seahawks LB Bobby) Wagner’s back. They’re peaking at the right time. It will be a big challenge for us."

(On LBs Alec Ogletree and James Laurinaitis)
"They’re both playing well. ‘Tree’ especially, the last four to six weeks is playing as good as any other linebacker in the league, I think. He’s only going to continue to get better. Both of them have been very productive for us. They’ve been on the field, too. We’re seeing a lot of sub-packages and they’re both in the sub-packages. As a result, they’re involved in a lot plays."

(On if the team approaches this final game against Seattle as a "one-game playoff")
"Well it’s the last one. It’s important to us and we’re taking it very seriously, yes. And they have and they’ve responded. That’s kind of what we said after the loss last Sunday was we want to go into this offseason and offseason program playing good football. That’s very important to us."

(On if he enjoys playing in the atmosphere at Seattle)
"Yeah, it’s an exciting place. It’s a challenge. It’s different than most places in the league. That ‘12th man’ is unique and special. It’s hard to hear and they force mistakes and they take advantage of it."

(On if the focus in practice this week)
"It’s been great. We told them when we’re working, we’re working. We’ll give them time to spend time with their families and things, but when we’re working, we’re working. Some meetings to wrap up and then they’ll be off this evening and all day tomorrow, which they’re excited about."

(On Wilson’s ability as a pocket passer)
"He does fine. They move the pocket a little bit for him, but drop back stuff, when they go no-back and things like that, he makes good decisions and he gets rid of the football."

(On adjusting the schedule due to the holidays)
"No, as we said Monday, we created a short week for the coaches to a certain extent because we got a head start late Tuesday. The coaches have gotten through it. They got their work done. They also wanted to spend some time with their families as well."

(On if he discussed the adjustments to the schedule with the players prior to making the decision)
"Because of where it (Christmas) fell, yeah. I discussed it with a couple of captains and they obviously are not going to say no."

Brian Schottenheimer – Post-Practice – December 24, 2014

(On if it ever feels like Christmas to the coaching staff)
"A lot to be thankful for, but you keep in mind you’ve got a big game coming up against a team that we love to compete against. Certainly, they’ve got a lot riding on it and we’d love to try to spoil their Christmas."

(On if he can step away and focus on Christmas)
"Yeah, you do. It’s not easy, but we get a chance to fret about them enough during the week. Really good team, great defense. We know what we’re in store for. Obviously, playing up there is extremely difficult with the noise. I said we talked to the guys, it’s a great place to play a game. It’s not easy, but it’s fun. It’s electric. We know it will be loud and we’ll have to keep mistakes to a minimum."

(On what he’s seen from the Seahawks on tape)
"I think when they lose the nose tackle (Brandon) Mebane, you think they’re going to have a drop off, but again speaks to their depth. Kevin Williams is playing terrific inside. Getting (LB) Bobby Wagner back helps. They’re talented. They do a great job of penetrating. They control the line of scrimmage. That’s when they’re at their best, when they can control the line of scrimmage. You know it’s an eight man front they’ve got (S Kam) Chancellor down in the box. Are they doing anything different? Not at all. They’re just really executing and playing really, really well."

(On if strategic-wise they’re going to reinvent themselves)
"No, they’ve probably been home for Christmas all week. They don’t do too much. Been around (Seahawks Defensive Coordinators) Dan Quinn a long time, great football coach. They just don’t have to do a lot. They do what they do and they do it well. They’re a great group and then when you get them up there it’s even more difficult, just because of the crowd noise."

(On how he keeps the players motivated)
"We love to play Seattle. It’s fun to go up there and play them. They have a lot on the line and it’s a division game. Our guys, we want to finish on a high note going into the off season. We’ve don’t some good things this year. Came up short in some areas, but in terms of a game like this, playing in the environment we’re playing against an opponent like this, we’ll all be ready to go."

(On WR Kenny Britt and his impression of him)
"Number one, he’s just a joy to be around. Comes out to practice every day high energy, intense, works, runs. I’ve been around a few receivers in my career that have talent like that and they don’t want to work. This guy comes to work every day. He’s a special talent, but he works his craft which is great. Certainly, had a huge game last week for us. A guy that we’d love to see back here."

(On Britt’s mentality and if him wearing shorts in cold weather speaks to his mentality)
"I think so. I think he just loves to play football. I think he would play in front of one fan, 50,000 fans, hot, cold - he doesn’t care. He just loves to play ball."

Shaun Hill – Post-Practice - December 24, 2014

(On having Christmas off)
"This is certainly nice that we are able to do this. It’s good to have that day off and be able to spend it with your loved ones."

(On the Seattle defense)
"They’re really good. This just in, right? They’re the No. 1 defense in the league and there’s plenty of evidence as to why. Then, obviously, playing at their place is a hostile environment. They play very, very well there on defense, so we’ll have our hands full for sure."

(On the differences between how Seattle’s defense is playing now compared to how they were the first time they played the Seahawks this season)
"Well, they haven’t changed schematically that much in however many years, but they’re certainly playing at a very high level. They haven’t changed who they are at all. They’re just playing better, I’d say."

(On how important it is to play well because the Seahawks are playing for home field advantage and how there are probably a lot of fans around the league rooting for the Rams this week)
"It’s important every time you have a chance to compete to go and play well. To give it everything you have. Personally, I don’t buy into that they have more on the line than we have. It’s an opportunity to go out and compete and win a football game in the NFL. I like to just kind of sit back and reflect on what this game means to me and everything that it’s done for me in my life that I never would have guessed or even dreamed about. And if that means anything to you, then you’re going to strap them up and you’re going to play as hard as you can on Sunday. That’s my mentality and that’s the mentality of the guys in this room."

(On how much fun it has been for him to get the chance to play this season)
"Obviously, that’s why you play the game is, to be on the field and playing. It has been a lot of fun for me to have that opportunity. Just kind of a different side of it that I haven’t had since 2010. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it."

(On if he has enjoyed his time with the Rams)
"Yeah, I have. I have enjoyed it here. I like St. Louis. I’m not exactly a local, but pretty close. Just a couple hours away is where I live and so that part of it has been very nice. My hometown is just five hours away, so people have been able to come out and see more games – I’m talking family. Family has been able to come out and see more games than they’ve ever seen me play, even in college. That part’s been great. And the organization’s been wonderful, too. So, the whole experience has been thoroughly enjoyable."

(On if he would like to continue it in 2015)
"Yeah. We’ll see what happens. A lot of things can happen in the offseason. My mind hasn’t shifted to that yet. We’ll approach that when it comes after Sunday."

(On if he is happy with his play this year)
"Obviously, every game there’s going to be certain plays that you wish you had back and you wish were different. And then there’s going to be some that you’re very happy with. I think you could sit back and look at what I’ve done as a whole and say the same thing. There’s certain things that I’d liked to have done differently and there’s certain things that I’m very happy with."

(On if he gets fired up on the field)
"Yeah, I can. I try to keep it pretty much even-keeled. But if the fiery comes, it usually doesn’t take long to settle into the even-keeled mode. It happens."

(On if the fieriness comes from his competitive nature)
"Yeah, I guess. I don’t know. It’s not something that I really think about. It really just kind of comes out."

(On what WR Kenny Britt has meant to the team and to the wide receiver corps)
"He’s been great for us. His work ethic and the way he comes out every day, his mentality. The guy comes to work every single day. He’s been good for this team, but in particular that room. Just kind of giving them a veteran leader. He’s a vocal leader as well as by his actions, too, so he does it both ways."

(On what makes the Seattle defense so effective, scheme or personnel)
"It’s both. Its good personnel and a good scheme and they play it very, very well. It’s a combination of all of those things."