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Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer: On Bryan Burwell, Rams' Rookies, & the Redskins

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St. Louis Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer fielded questions from the media after Thursday’s practice. Here’s what they had to say about life on and off the football field.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Jeff Fisher – Post Practice – Dec. 4th

(Opening Statement)
"I want to start off by saying how saddened I was this morning to hear about the news, the passing of Bryan (Burwell). Dawn and Victoria (Burwell) lost a loving husband and father and we all lost just an amazing colleague. I apologize to all of you too that were close to him. Just very, very sad to hear the news. (Rams C.O.O.) Kevin (Demoff) obviously expressed himself very well in our release, but I too lost a friend and somebody that I valued. He was just a fine man and I’m sorry to hear about the loss."

(On the appreciation for Burwell by putting him up on the video boards throughout the facility)
"I appreciate that, too. We did that, he was special. Just life’s too short. For him, just happened so fast. We wish the family all the best, thanks."

(On preparing for Washington’s defense and their ability to bring pressure)
"We’re going to have to be really sharp up front. It’s going to be loud. We have to be perfect in our communication and our adjustments with respect to protection. Everybody’s got to be on the same page. So, thus far we’ve had a good week. We’ve got another day to prepare for. I can appreciate what it’s probably like to prepare for our defense during the week. They do a good job. There’s some risk associated with what they’re doing and if we get chances we have to take advantage and make some big plays. As far as the other side of the ball’s concerned, they can run it and (Redskins QB) Colt (McCoy) can escape and is an accurate passer. We obviously have respect and some concern for Colt, especially his production in his two games."

(On the amount of Redskins’ skill players that are making plays along with Redskins WR DeSean Jackson)
"They do. (Redskins WR) Pierre (Garcon) can make plays. The tight ends are athletic. The backs catch out of the backfield. It’s a good group, good skill group. Their special team phase is well coached. Again, as we go into these games where you’re playing a team with three wins, it doesn’t look like it on tape."

(On how the young players are handling playing on the road)
"The road, the whole travel issue has not been a problem. It’s just winning the game. We’re going to go in there and we’re going to be professional and we’re going to take care of what we need to take care of. It’s just finding a way to win a close game here and there. These circumstances are going to be different from a weather standpoint. Potentially from a footing standpoint. We’re going to have to be prepared for that. Ball may be wet. The footing may be less than perfect. We may not get the pass rush because of footing. As coaches, we’ve discussed and we have to be ready to adjust."

(On if the team wins two in a row they will ‘take off’)
"Well then the challenge is to win the next one. We’re playing consistently. We’re playing hard. We just haven’t been able to put two in a row. That’s our hope and that’s our goal this week."

(On if the blocking assignments for RB Tre Mason will be tough due to Washington’s ability to rush the passer)
"I think it potentially could be any running back’s biggest challenge this year with what they’re doing. Then again, the challenges with the noise and the running back who’s basically the furthest away from the adjustments. So, he’s going to have to be able to anticipate and be on the same page."

(On Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan)
"He’s a top pass rusher because he has skills, but also he’s an effort player. He’s very explosive. Uses his hands well. Can get the edge. Has a good counter, a number of good counters. (RT) Joe’s (Barksdale) got his hands full, but I like that match-up."

(On Redskins RB Alfred Morris)
"He’s a powerful back. He’s very, very strong. He runs strong and runs with good vision. The run scheme’s a little bit different than some of those that we’ve faced. This is more of a zone scheme. They get your defense running sideways and then he goes north and south. That’s not a good combination for a defense."

(On if they are bringing more cleat spikes in case the field conditions are unfavorable)
"Yes, we’ve already discussed that. We have to be prepared. There’s plenty of options for the players. The players understand that before they go out for warm-ups they have to have the appropriate shoe wear."

(On if he likes outdoor football)
"Yes, I look forward to seeing you guys outside tomorrow."

Brian Schottenheimer – Post Practice – Dec. 4th

(On what he can expect from Redskins Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett)
"A variety of looks certainly. He does a really good job of getting all his people involved. They do just, a lot of personnel groups. A lot of different things multiple wise, on third down. Very aggressive, seems like we say that every week, but the pressure numbers seem to go up each and every week. Some exotic looks that guy’s kind of come from all over the field. They play hard. He has them ready to go each and every week."

(On if they crowd the line of scrimmage and if sometimes they’ll blitz or drop back)
"Yeah, they get their safeties involved, both (S Brandon) Merriweather and (S Ryan) Clark. They obviously are two of the better run supporting safeties in the league. They’re built to set the edge with those big outside backers and kind of funnel everything inside to the safeties and they make a lot of tackles."

(On if with Haslett’s blitz packages throw everything but the kitchen sink at offenses)
"He does. Again, it’s a different pattern each week. He brings stuff, multiple things and you don’t see many of the same patterns. You just got to trust your roles. One of the few guys that’s very comfortable bringing everybody, just playing true man-to-man on the outside. Locking those guys down and putting them in one-one-one situations."

(On if he sees an uptick in confidence after beating Oakland by 50 points)
"No, I think our guys are excited to get back out and try to continue it. Our big thing’s has been try to be consistent all year long. Obviously, we played really, really well. Had a good week of practice. Be good to take it on the road and try to do it again."

(On how WR Stedman Bailey has grown and what he’s seen over the last two weeks)
"Obviously, I think even going back to training camp and spring, he had just a tremendous, tremendous practices, week-in-and-week-out, day-in-and-day-out. I think he’s real comfortable now, coming back. Dialed in on the system. Doesn’t surprise us, the catches that he makes, he makes those all the time out here. Got terrific body control, really good feet and those catches for him are kind of… they’re just easy for him to make. Add him to the mix of the guys that we’ve got and try to spread people around and move the ball to different people."

(On if Bailey was slowed down from missing the first couple of games of the season)
"I think being a young player especially when you miss two weeks or whatever it was, there’s a little bit of a learning curve getting back. Then there’s a transition at quarterback, but again he’s playing really, really well right now."

(On if he thinks going up against a pressure defense in practice helps against a defense like the Redskins)
"Oh yeah. There’s not many patterns we haven’t seen. I think Coach Haslett might have come up with a few, but there’s not much we haven’t seen from our defense. It’s hard to get the tempo in practice, but our guys have done a really good job this week, because again that’s the big part of it. It’s not just where they are, it’s how fast they show up and our guys have some of the same blitz patterns so they’re able to run it pretty good. Again, I’ll see the film, but I thought they did a nice job today."

(On RB Tre Mason and how he’s playing right now)
"Hitting his stride, I guess. Very comfortable. We knew he’d have the explosive plays, but the thing I keep saying each and every week is how strong and how physical he runs in between the tackles. It’s the run game is his comfort level. They’re still some things he needs to do from a protection standpoint that we’re staying on him about. I think he’ll just continue to focus on the details and reads and things like that. I think he’s truly just scratching the surface of what he can do. Now he needs to continue it and put back-to-back games together."

(On QB Shaun Hill and his performances and progress)
"I think he’s playing well. The one game, San Diego, a couple turnovers, can’t do that. Last week he didn’t have to do a whole lot, which sometimes those games happen. Did a really good job of taking some of the, we call them ‘nows’ and things in the run game where they played one-on-one outside, and he was able to take those. He’s playing well. He’s doing things that we need him to do. We’re 3-0 when we take care of the football. We know that. That’s something that we preach and talk about all the time. When we don’t give it away, we’re pretty hard to beat."

(On what he means by 3-0 with no turnovers)
"When we have zero giveaways offensively. When we don’t turn the ball over. That’s a big part of it and again, he gets that as a veteran player."

(On if he feels the offense is getting into a flow)
"I think their confidence is certainly up. I think we feel good coming off that game, ball’s getting spread out. Again, you have to do it week-in-and-week-out. That’s certainly not easy to do, going against a team like this, it creates problems. There will be some bad plays. They’ll be some times where they get some free runners, we think. Shaun will obviously try to take care of the football, but when you blitz you obviously open yourself up for big plays as well."

(On if he saw Redskins QB Colt McCoy’s receivers get behind the Redskins defense on tape)
"Certainly did, yep. It’s ‘big-little,’ sometimes. We certainly understand that. It’ll be a fun chess match."

(On what he means by ‘Big-little’)
"‘Big-little,’ means sometimes they’re going to get you. Other times you’re going to get them. Indianapolis got them a few times, but they got Indianapolis a few times as well. It’ll be a fun matchup to watch, especially the third-down stuff."