Jeff Fisher - Post Practice - Dec. 9, 2014
(On the team’s energy Tuesday)
"They don’t know what day it is, and that’s the way you approach it. They don’t know whether it’s a Thursday or a Friday. We had a good session today. We had a good walkthru. We had a good practice. Abbreviated a little bit, but we’re going to get to full speed tomorrow. We have to to get some things done, but everybody’s back practicing. The only person that really didn’t practice was (DE) Chris (Long). He’s a little sore from the game. So, we’re in good shape."
(On Arizona’s ability to mix things up defensively)
"They do a great job with their pressure, with their run front. They’re difficult to run against. We did break a couple in that game, but it’s an outstanding defense. We had some opportunities in the game. They created plays for themselves. If we can protect the football and find a way to run it, we should be productive offensively. But, they’re a very difficult defense to prepare for, particularly on a short week."
(On what he’s seen from Cardinals QB Drew Stanton)
"Production. He’s got the mobility. He’s extending plays with his legs, frustrating the defense from that standpoint. He has a really good understanding of the offense. Knows where to go with it. They found a running back – not that they didn’t have one, but they found a new running back last week. I’m sure their plan with him is to get rid of the football and run it, considering the pressure we’ve been putting on the passer as of late. We’re going to have to be a good tackling defense Thursday night."
(On how he handles K Greg Zuerlein after a couple misses last week)
"He was 8-for-8 today. He hit eight bombs today, so I’m sure he just had a moment. He’ll be alright."
(On Cardinals RB Kerwynn Williams)
"Very explosive. He reminded me when I first put it on, it’s almost like a (Raiders RB) Maurice Jones-Drew, that type. He’s not a tall runner, but he runs with his pads down. He makes you miss. He’s a contact guy. He’s got good vision. They do a good job...their run game is a little different than some other teams that you face. They love to double your down guys and come off of the backers. They get big and he’s hard to find back there, so we’re going to have to protect our edges and make sure our gap fits are sound."
Brian Schottenheimer – Post-Practice – Dec. 9, 2014
(On how much playing a familiar opponent helps during the short week)
"It does help. I think obviously, I think the league kind of takes that into consideration when they do the short weeks. Been what? Five, six, seven weeks since we’ve played them. They’re a real game-plan specific defense. They’re going to have things for us that we haven’t seen and we’ll have to adjust to the run."
(On if he expects a lot of pressure from Arizona)
"Yeah, that’s what they do. Every game, different formations, different patterns. They’ll be coming most of the night."
(On if S Tyrann Mathieu not playing helps the Rams)
"This time a year everybody’s a little dinged up. The guys that they’re playing with all are good players. Big game, division game. Looking forward to it."
(On if RB Tre Masons’ performance allows more versatility in the run game)
"I think we’re still kind of learning a little bit about Tre. I think obviously, the explosiveness sometimes allows you to call some different things in the mis-directonal world and stuff like that. We’re still learning about Tre. Again, put together a number of good performances. I think looking back at last week’s game, there’s still some things he needs to do in terms of not trying to always hit the home run. Maybe taking the three and four, five-yard gain instead of looking for the big run. But, really good football player, just getting better every week."
(On WR Kenny Britt’s year and if he’s been the leader they expected)
"Yeah, I think so. Number one, just a great, great emotional leader. One of the leaders by example, brings energy to the group every day. Big play capability. Powerful route runner. You watch him block, we laugh because he gets to do all the dirty blocking and heavy lifting stuff we throw all those little things out there to (WR) ‘Tay’ (Tavon Austin) and those guys and he’s the one leading the way. He never complains, but he’s having a really good year."
(On if he had to grow up in a hurry when he arrived in St. Louis)
"Absolutely. Yeah, he’s done a real good job for us. That was never…for us we were thrilled to get him."
(On if WR Tavon Austin allows them to stretch the field horizontally and make opponents not only have to defend them sideline-to- sideline and how much that improves play calling flexibility)
"Well it’s huge, obviously. In this league, you’ve got to make people try to defend the whole field because everybody’s so big and strong inside it’s hard when they’re ‘root-hogged’ in there, it’s hard to move them. You’ve got a guy like that, that can create out in space. We’ve got receivers willing to block. We’ve got tight ends that can cover people up out in space. It’s a huge advantage for us."
(On if he feels Austin is more comfortable in his role)
"No doubt. We move him in a bunch of spots. We couldn’t have done that with him last year, as hard as he worked last year. Still, it was the mental approach was very different than what he was used to at West Virginia. We move him all over the place. He’s done a real good job of that. Very, very comfortable. You see him breaking the huddle with confidence. That’s a big part of playing and playing fast and being able to do the things he does. "
(On if he’s getting the consistency he’s been searching for on offense)
"I think we’re playing with some confidence. I think again, it’s still a week-to-week battle. We came out of that game, we were a little disappointed with some of the things that we weren’t capable of doing that we didn’t do, penalties and stuff. We feel pretty good about where we’re at. We’re good when we run the football. I think (QB) Shaun’s (Hill) playing well. I say it each and every week, the big things for us is taking care of the football. I think last week I said we were 3-0, now we’re 4-0 when we don’t turn the ball over, that’s a big part of it. Our guys our playing with some confidence right now. Certainly going up against a good group this week. They’re going to try and make us one dimensional, we know that. It’ll take our best efforts. "
(On if the guys get more amped up for a Thursday night game knowing the NFL world is watching)
"I think so. I think they know their peers are going to be watching. I think (Head Coach Jeff Fisher) Coach ‘Fish’ has done a great job this week of keeping them kind of fresh. That’s a big part of the deal is getting their bodies back and I think today the energy was really good out here. We got a lot of stuff done and they were able to walk the last couple racks. There’s definitely-I’ve been a part of a number of these-they know who’s watching and they want to play well."
(On if he’s going to shave for the national TV coverage)
"I definitely, probably won’t shave. Probably a haircut, I let my wife make those big decisions, I’ve got enough things to worry about. Again, playing a really good opponent. We played them really well for the better part of three quarters last time we played them. We’ve just got to finish this one."
(On if there is less value in looking at the tape since their defense is so varied)
"No. You’ve still got to study patterns and things that you do. You look at personnel and stuff like that, certainly there will be some carry over from what they did. (Cardinals Defensive Coordinator) Todd Bowles does a great job of mixing things up. Sometimes when you play a defense that’s this multiple, a short week helps because you don’t have time to overthink it. You just kind of look at what they do and say, ‘Okay guys, this is what they’ve done, but we’re going to get something different.’ Then they just have to trust their rules."
Shaun Hill – Post-Practice – Dec. 9, 2014
(On what challenges the Cardinals present)
"Obviously a very good defense, a very good team. Leaders in our division and they will certainly be ready to play."
(On the pressure that Cardinals Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles likes to bring)
"He dials them up. He likes to bring pressure and it’s something different every week. We’re going to have to definitely be on our game and be able to adjust if there’s something that needs to be adjusted to."
(On what he said to the offense at halftime on Sunday)
"Just wanted to make sure that nobody was hanging their heads. We had a good half. We had some drives, a couple setbacks here and there. Just basically said, ‘Look guys, they haven’t stopped us yet. We’ve stopped ourselves. Just go out and keep doing what we’re doing. We’ll be alright.’"
(On if he gathered all the offense together at halftime)
"It wasn’t a big bring everybody up type of thing. Just kind of passing by."
(On how the team feels after winning back-to-back games)
"The idea is to every week, win that week and that’s it. However everything unfolds at the end of the year, that should have no bearing on how we play this week, how we prepare this week. You can’t get caught up in all that stuff and all the numbers games and trying to figure out who’s going to make the playoffs. Shoot, there’s still three weeks left. The only thing we can take care of right now is this opponent, the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday."
(On if he feels that the team has turned a corner)
"Yeah, I mean I feel like we were playing well as a team. You can’t just say, ‘Well, we’ve turned the corner now it’s time to relax.’ You’ve got to keep doing the same things that you’ve been doing that have got you to this point. That’s the way it is in the NFL. You’ve got to just keep going, keep churning and keep working and this group does that."
(On if he feels like he turned a corner)
"Well, I don’t know if you ever really turn the corner. Check with me after the season, to be honest with you (jokes). Every week is it’s own new thing. Like I said, the only thing that matters is what we do this week. If we go out and lay an egg then obviously you’re going to say no, we haven’t turned the corner. If we go out and play well and you’re going to say we did. If you do the same thing the next week, you’re going to say we haven’t. Every week you have to prove yourself, you have to prepare and you have to go out and win."
(On if he has ever started in a Thursday night game before)
"Yeah I had a Thanksgiving Thursday in 2010. So, I’m familiar with all this process."
(On what happened in that Thursday night game)
"We had New England at home. Good ball game. Kind of got away from us in the 4th."
(On WR Kenny Britt)
"Yeah, Kenny’s been a good player for us. On top of what he does on the field for us, he’s great for our receivers in their classroom. Just a good guy to have around, for sure. Certainly been playing well for us, too."
(On his relationship with Cardinals QB Drew Stanton)
"Drew’s a good friend of mine. His wife and my wife are good friends. Somebody that I keep in touch with. I’ve always rooted for him until this week, but yeah we stay in touch and talk after games. If I’m able to see him or play or if I’ll see him on film or something, then I’ll give him a holler or something like that."
(On him being a mentor for Stanton)
"Poor guy (jokes). We had two years together in Detroit. I think the world of him. Great guy, great competitor. I’m happy he’s got this opportunity to prove himself and he’s doing a good job of it."
(On when he and Stanton starting texting about this game)
"We’ve had a little group text going on today. That’s about it."
(On the versatility of the Cardinals defense)
"They’re very versatile and every game seems to be something different. We’re going to have to take care of our business and be able to adjust if that needs to happen."
(On what position is the toughest to turn around in this short week)
"Probably the writers I would say. Turn around…I don’t know. I don’t think it’s easy on anybody, especially this late in the year. I think we’re handling it well. Obviously, (Head) Coach (Jeff) Fisher is great about making sure that guys get their rest and that guys’ bodies feel good. His whole design throughout the whole season is building for guys to feel good in December and to be able to handle a short week like this in December. I think we certainly have a head coach that’s very conscience of that."
(On if he will clean up for Thursday Night Football)
"I don’t know. There won’t be a haircut I don’t think, I don’t think have time for that. I might be able to knock the stubble down a little bit. This is about two-week stubble for me. It doesn’t grow real fast, so I should be alright. Either way you won’t notice if I shave or if I don’t."