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Jeff Fisher "Loading Up" Hekker’s Playbook. Gregg Williams Opens Up About Return to D.C.

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Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams spoke to the media after Friday’s practice. They touched on the Hekker extension, the emergence of Alec Ogletree, and Gregg’s return to Washington...

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Jeff Fisher – Post-Practice – Dec. 5, 2014

(On why they practiced the last half of practice outside and if there’s a lighter chance of rain)
"The forecast during the week was that there was a very good chance for showers throughout the day. As the week went on, it looks like probably a pretty good chance that it will have pushed through. Nonetheless, it’s still good experience to go out there and get the point across. There’s really no telling what the condition of the surface is going to be. I’m sure it will be covered and all that, but guys need to know that they can’t slip."

(On what kind of a home field advantage Washington has)
"It’s a tough place to play. It’s a great fan base and they’re loud. You can tell on the tape. When you look at some of the other home games against some of these opponents, there’s some crowd-related mistakes. You’ve got to be sharp."

(On OL Rodger Saffold returning to practice)
"Everybody practiced and I think everybody’s probable. I don’t’ think I have a player questionable on the list."

(On if it’s been a while since he could have an injury report will all probable players)
"It’s been a while. It’s good stuff."

(On P Johnny Hekker’s contract extension)
"Wanted to let you know that we are real excited to announce that we have agreed to a six-year deal with Johnny Hekker. Extended his contract, yes. So, real excited about that. He’s going to be our punter and passer for a long time (laughs)."

(On if he has plays in the playbook for Hekker)
"Oh yeah. We’ve got plenty. Actually, we’ve got some work to do. We’ve got to keep loading up that playbook of his."

(On Hekker’s skill set as a punter)
"During the evaluation process when we came in here, obviously it was a tremendous task. League people were talking about how he dunks the basketball and does all that and then his ability to throw football and what he’d done in high school and school. That’s the kind of guy that we want back there running the punt team for us. He’s got a great group of teammates around him. He’s got a really a fine long snapper and he’s got a lot of good years ahead of him."

(On if as a coach he likes when players are around a long time)
"Yes, especially as we’re planning for the future and things like that. Those discussions are ongoing."

(On his sense of positive momentum with the team based on how they’ve played in the last five weeks and how that factor’s into having consecutive wins)
"We’ve played well. We’ve played hard. We’ve overcome some things. I think we could say that we’re improving and that’s the most important thing at this time of year is just to keep improving. Hopefully, that improvement will translate into back-to-back wins for us. We have an outstanding opponent ahead of us that we’re not familiar with."

Gregg Williams – Post-Practice – Dec. 5, 2014


(Opening Statement)
"I wanted to start off by saying my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Bryan Burwell. We lost a very good man in our profession. He was a friend of mine and I’m sure he was a friend your alls. Hopefully, one more time it’s a testament to enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it. Those kind of things are tough for all of us, but my thoughts and prayers are with his family and his friends."

(On returning to Washington)
"Been a few years, but had kids go to school there and they did very well and they have a lot of fond memories back there. A lot of really good people back there, good organization. It will be nice. I think the hotel we’re staying in was the home hotel all those years when I was there with (Former Redskins Head) Coach (Joe) Gibbs and everybody. Been there before since I left there and it will be another good homecoming."

(On if he wants to beat Washington)
"Always looking to win, not looking to apologize for anything once we get into competition. It will be a good game. We need to win another game. We need to win two in a row. The guys have done a very good job of preparing. They’ve been very focused this week. There hasn’t been anything nonchalant about anything they’ve done. Their preparation has been very good. Really and every single week I’ve said that when I’ve come up here and I’m not saying that just to be talking about that. I’ve been very impressed with this young team on how hard they prepare and then how much they’ve improved and also in the areas that were needed. This will be another step. This is a good football team. They’ve got some explosive playmakers and we’re going to have to change some of the things that we’ve done here in the last several weeks. We’ve got to match-up right, we’ve got to communicate right and we’re going to have to do a good job tackling because this team can bust some big plays on you. Defensively, we’re going to have to try to negate those things."

(On if there is anybody left at Washington from when he was there)
"There’s a lot of people inside the organization, yeah. Player wise, there’s still a couple of them that are there."

(On if he ever felt like he was going to be the head coach at Washington)
"No, those days have come and gone. I’ve enjoyed that opportunity. Maybe I’ll do it again one of these days. It’s a good organization, it really is, but I love the fact that I’m back in my home state with the St. Louis Rams and this is a great place to be."

(On his perspective on why it’s been so difficult to win back-to-back games)
"You love that, is that it’s about detailing your work. Really, the next win is about what you’re doing that day. It doesn’t make any difference what you’ve done so far. It doesn’t make any difference about what you did the week before, how well we played the week before. You’ve got to go out and audition every week. Every day’s an interview, every week’s an interview, every game’s an interview. We need to go out there and do the things that help our team to win. It’s a team game. It’s just not one side of the ball. It’s just not one area. Special teams, offense, defense, it’s a team thing. We’ve done a good job of trying to compliment things that go on throughout the course of the game team wise. We’ve got to go out and do our part. This is a good football team we’re getting ready to play."

(On if it’s harder to get his message across to the young team)
"Maybe sometimes, but not with this group. This group’s a focused group. I’ve not been challenged at any point in time where I’ve felt like things are falling on deaf ears. They want to be coached. There’s a craving of wanting to do right. I believe that this is a good group of pleasers. They just want to know how you want done, ‘Coach, how you want done?’ They’ve been going out there and improving and really working hard to improve each and every week."

(On the emphasis of trying to win the turnover battle each week)
"It’s always in every week. That’s been a formula for an awful long time in the National Football League. It’s something that we preach an awful lot. You see how we practice with takeaway emphasis and balls on the ground and how we turn them into takeaways whether it’s an incomplete pass or not, every time the ball’s on the ground we’re treating it that way. So, yes that’s always a big determining factor and our guys have been doing a pretty good job with that."

(On Redskins RB Alfred Morris)
"He’s got our attention on how he’s able to press the hole. He’s been a great one-cut runner. He’s more explosive than people give him credit for. When he gets out on the edge, he has a chance of turning a simple run into a big run because he can run through tackles. Individual tacklers have had to pay the price on him. We need to go a job of swarming. We need to do a good job of making sure we have more at the point of attack then they have at the point of attack, but he’s a good strong runner."

(On the Redskins skill players)
"We’ve played against some receiver corps throughout this season that have been pretty explosive. This group fits right in there. They’re very complimentary of the skill sets that we’ve had to go against in our own division. We’ve got some top receivers in the National Football League in our division. They’ve collected some very explosive guys with varying skill sets. So, you just can’t play one specific technique on the whole group. One of the things we worked on all week long is how our technique, how our scheme, how our adjustments change depending upon who you’re lining up on. We need to do a good job of that because they can make you pay."

(On the growth of LB Alec Ogletree in his second season)
"He’s done a very good job. When you say mistakes, it’s that he’s just continued to improve his technique also. Nobody makes a mistake on purpose, certainly not him, but he’s refined some of his techniques very well. He’s got great burst, great explosion and I think his comfortability about what we’re doing why we’re doing has fit in very well here, especially the last five or six weeks. He’s very comfortable in knowing what to do, when to do, when to pull the trigger, when to be maybe a little bit of a risk taker. He’s done a very good job of that."

(On Ogletree’s ability to force turnovers)
"We point that out to him. I don’t always just chew on him. I don’t always just rip him all the time, but one of the things I pointed out very hard…(Defensive Line Coach) Mike Waufle when he talks about that part of the production each week in our game planning, we highlight guys that have a knack for putting their hand on the ball. We highlight guys that have a knack for stripping the football. You very seldom see Ogletree around a pile or around a tackle that he’s not making an attempt to take it away. Those are the things you like so we highlight that and we try to get other guys to emulate that and do the same thing. I think (S) Mark Barron does the same thing, too. I think he has a very unique skill set on how he’s able to do that when you guys focus on him when he’s tackling."

(On what it meant to record a shutout last week)
"It was good. They’re very hard to come by. All the years I’ve been coaching they’re hard to come by. It’s good defensively for the morale of the team. It’s also good for the morale of just the individual defense that you’re not letting guys into scoring territory. So, it’s always good that way and that’s our job."

(On Redskins QB Colt McCoy)
"He’s improved a lot since the last time I’ve had a chance to go against him. He’s very decisive. He’s running their offense. He’s communicating their offense very well. He’s moving around in the pocket well. He’s not just a pocket passer. They do a lot of things movement wise to put him out on the edge to try and get adjustments with you in that way. He’s done a pretty good job. I see a lot of progress in his game since the last time I’ve gone against him a few years ago when he was at Cleveland."