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St. Louis Rams: Head Coach Jeff Fisher, OC Frank Cignetti, QB Nick Foles Wednesday Practice Press Conference Transcript

Here's what the Rams' trio of Jeff Fisher, Frank Cignetti and Nick Foles had to say after practice yesterday.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(On Arizona’s secondary)

"They’re versatile, in that (S Tyrann) Mathieu he’ll line up at free safety, he’ll play nickel and he’s making all the plays right there. It’s understandable how he could be recognized this past week for his play; made a lot of plays. They communicate well. They don’t make any mistakes. They run well and they tackle. That’s the most impressive thing about their defense, is they’re an outstanding tackling defense. They’re getting a lot of tackles for losses because of the penetration, but the secondary is deep. (CB Jerraud) Powers is playing really well. Peterson is as good as there is out there at corner. So, it’s very talented."

(On if he coaches or approaches this game differently because of the results of playing them in the past)
"Well you just have to make good decisions. Nick’s got to make good decisions and put the ball in places where they can’t contest the throw. They read some things, they read some short routes last week against the 49ers and got two out-breaking routes and they took it the distance. But yeah, they’ve got seven interceptions already in three games."

(On if their defense is different with a new coordinator)
"Oh, they’re doing the same thing. I mean, yeah, they’re doing the same thing. They’re really stout up front. (Cardinals DE) Calais (Campbell) is really good at getting his hands up and knocking down balls. I think we take those things for granted sometimes, when you get your hand up and knock a ball down on third down. You’re off the field, so they’re getting a lot of big plays. I’m really impressed with (S Deone) Bucannon. We liked him coming out, but to think they got a hybrid player behind the ball playing the way he’s playing, is pretty impressive the way they use him."

(On S Deone Buchanan being used at linebacker)
"He plays most of the time behind the ball."

(On QB Carson Palmer spreading the ball around)
"He’s so experienced and he’s been in the system now. He’s got great command of the system. He takes the ball where he’s supposed to go. That’s why the numbers are dispersed and the targets are dispersed. I mean, (WR) Larry Fitzgerald has more touchdowns than our football team does right now. I mean, that kind of gives you an idea of how good they are on offense. So, we’re going to have to line up and cover him and try to keep him out of the end zone."

(On coaching Cardinals RB Chris Johnson the season he became CJ2K with the Titans)
"He just changes…he changes angles on defense because of his speed. So, defense, they’ll get in their routine and pursue the ball and go to the ball as fast as they can. He flattens the angles out because he just…he’s got such tremendous acceleration and speed. So, he’s a very good inside runner. He’s a very good bounce outside runner. I mean, he knocked the ball in there on a goal line situation, so he’s not especially heavy, but he’s got that strength, that quickness to get the ball between the crease. And they’re using him out of the back field. So, they’ve…I’ve been told and I’ve read as you guys know, that he probably wasn’t in training camp shape when he got there, but he’s getting there. When CJ gets there, he’s going to be a productive player for them."

(On scoring on the Rams with Johnson when he coached the Titans)
"Was that a preseason game or regular season game? We had a good thing going there. We had a good thing going with not only he but LenDale White and Vince (Young) was able to pull the ball down. My good friend Mike Heimendinger did a great job with that offense. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that record in Week 17 in Seattle, but we gave it a good run."

Rams Offense Coordinator Frank Cignetti

(On how he gets the offense going again)
"Well first off, we’ve got a great group of guys. They prepare well. They practice well. We believe in what we’re doing. We understand on offense, it’s about execution. It’s about scoring points. We talk about doing the little things better. The details are the difference between champions and near champions and we want to be champions. The details that we talk about are fundamentals, are techniques, maximizing scoring opportunities and minimizing things that either stop drives or keep you from scoring points."

(On Gurley’s running game being a little better on Sunday had a few more blocks taken place)
"Well, we’re close. When you got back and you watch the tape, there are so many encouraging things in every phase: the running game, the protection phase, the passing game. We’re very encouraged by things that we see. Now, what we have to do is we have to do the little things better, so those runs or the passes become conversions."

(On some of the distinguishing characteristics of Arizona’s secondary)
"It’s just like playing Pittsburgh last week. They have a great defense. Arizona has a tremendous defense. It probably starts up front. Three-four defense, they’ll cover the core. The front gets a lot of penetration, a lot of pressure, which any secondary would enjoy. They do a great job."

(On if he coaches or game plans any differently with how good Arizona’s secondary ball skills are)
"No, not really. What you do, is you want to make sure that our players understand that we’re going to do what we do well. The quarterback’s going to trust what he sees and he’s going to play decisive. He’s not going to worry about who’s on the other side, but he’s certainly going to respect them. Once again it comes down to the St. Louis Rams. It’s all about us and how we go out there and prepare and perform."

(On some of the adjustments he’s made to the run game)
"Well you know what, our run game, Coach (Paul) Bou (Boudreau), (Offensive Assistant Coach Andy) Dickerson and (Assistant Head Coach/Offense) Coach (Rob) Boras have done a great job. (Running Backs) Coach (Ben) Sirman’s with the running backs. We have a zone scheme. We have a man scheme. We have misdirection scheme. When you have a young group of guys, the accumulation of repetitions you can see it starting to come. You can see it’s starting to come. You can see the zone blocks on our front side getting better. You can see the cuts on the back side getting better. You can see that, wow, there’s progress. If we continue to make progress, we’ll get the production out of it."

(On the running backs knowing when to press the hole)
"Absolutely. You want to talk about the running game, you have to start with the running backs. It starts with their feet. It starts with their footwork, pressing their reads. The line can do a great job, but if the running back’s not in sync, it won’t matter. Football’s an ultimate team game. It takes all 11 guys to function as one. We talk about it every day. Offense is about execution. Eleven guys coming together to play as one. So, in the running game, the running back has to have his core set right, trust what he sees and be a decisive one-cut runner."

(On communication regarding the offensive linemen)
"I tell you what, the linemen, you’re seeing tremendous progress. What you’re seeing is every week, they’re gaining experience, which is invaluable for young players. When we put the tape on, you can just see the progress. We talk to our guys about, ‘Hey, we’re close.’ Let’s do the little things out here, in the meeting room and on the practice field, that we’re not saying we’re close again. That we’re closing that gap and we’re scoring points and we’re winning football games."

(On if communication has been a factor of not running well on first downs and setting up tough situations)
"Well, football’s a tough game. These defenses in the National Football League are pretty good. You have to give the running game at bats. Just because you give the running game at bats, doesn’t mean you’re going to always have successful runs, but it’s a mindset and an attitude and it sets up your run actions. The quarterback’s best friend is the run game and getting at bats. Each week, I think what you’re going to see is you’re going to see progress."

(On QB Nick Foles’ progress)
"Nick’s done a very nice job. Once again, each week just like the other guys, he’s getting more comfortable with the system. He’s getting more repetitions within the system. He’s starting to see things better. He’s starting to play more decisive. Hey, you know, football’s like golf – it’s not perfect. There’s going to always be corrections. There’s always going to be things that you’d like to do over. The key is minimizing those mistakes."

(On what he saw out of RB Todd Gurley on Sunday)
"I saw a lot of good things out of Todd. I thought he made good run reads. I thought he was decisive. I thought he had good vision."

(On the relationship between WR Kenny Britt and Foles)
"I think their relationship is outstanding, but I think you could say that with Nick and all of his teammates. One of Nick Foles’ strengths is being a tremendous leader. Building trusting relationships just the way he’s able to communicate in the locker room, in the meeting rooms. If you watch him out here in practice, he’s always talking to his teammates."

(On WR Brian Quick’s status)
"We’re excited. It’s a great problem to have in terms of, ‘Wow, who’s going to be down?’ If you…just like today’s practice, you see that Brian’s making tremendous progress."

Rams QB Nick Foles

(On if he’ll enjoy going back to Arizona)
"It’s always nice going back to Arizona. Going to college there, I have family there. I’m excited to go back with these guys."

(On if he’ll visit Arizona’s campus)
"No, Tucson is a little too far away. It’s a business trip."

(On if he has to approach the Arizona secondary differently)
"I have a lot of respect for their defense. I have a lot of respect for their team and (Head) Coach (Bruce) Arians and what he’s done. Their defense is talented. They create a lot of pressure - have some big guys up front. Like you said, they have a talented secondary that’s aggressive and got pick-6s, got some turnovers. We just have to go in and I have to keep studying the film, keep watching them and just go in and really recognize what they’re doing and take advantage."

(On if he sees the offense coming along)
"I think every day - improvement. Even watching the film, seeing near misses and stuff like that. I know the score doesn’t show it. By any means, we didn’t execute, but it’s there and to the point where I’m optimistic. We just have to keep working. We have to keep detailing our work. We have to keep going outside and getting a little bit of extra work in and working on things that we’re not good at. That’s what the guys are doing each and every day. It’s never fun losing. It’s never fun when your defense goes out there and does what they do and we can’t put points on the board. That’s something where as an offense we have to keep going. We have to keep working for it. We have great coaches that detail it up. We have to keep leaning on each other and keep pushing each other out there at practice, after practice and right now in meetings."

(On if he could play better)
"Oh, absolutely. I’m at the front of it. I’ve got to play a lot better. That’s me, big time. I’m the one who touches the ball every single play. My job is to make sure the guys are in great position. Make sure as an offense we’re in position. I have to execute better and I have to spread it around and keep pushing the guys. They push me each and every day."

(On if the Cardinals play-making ability in the secondary makes him feel less inclined to take chances)
"I’m just going to play football. I’m going to play like I always have. Just keep preparing throughout the week and run our offense, run what we do. Like I said, I have great respect for those guys, but when we go out there, I expect my guys to win in coverage, win on routes and one-on-ones. I won’t shy away from that, but I also know they’re very talented. I’ll take our guys."

(On if he’s feeling more comfortable with the offense)
"Yeah, each and every day I’m getting more and more comfortable. That’s just part of it. You just have to keep learning through these tough times. Keep pushing, keep detailing the work up. Coming in here, you watch the film from the previous game, you learn from it and you move forward. Now we’re in the middle of the game week preparation for Arizona, so it’s just detailing this part up and going out on the practice field and doing our job out there."

(On this being a big game for the division standings)
"Right now it’s the only game that matters. That’s how we approach it. It’s the beginning of the season. We’re improving each and every day. We’re a young team. Guys are working hard. I sound like a broken record, but we have to keep pushing each other. We have to keep looking each other in the mirror and pushing it and detailing stuff up and pushing each other harder. That’s going to be the story this year."

(On how good the Cardinals defense is playing)
"They’re playing really well. Their offense is putting up a lot of points. Their defense is creating points as well with turnovers. So, they’re playing really well."

(On if everybody has embraced the idea that this is not the end of the world)
"You just can’t. You can’t freak out. You have to learn from the previous game and move forward. You can’t let that game mess up this next one. It’s over with. You learn from it. You move on. You have to have a short memory to play this game. You can’t dwell on the past, because if you do, it’s hard to play in the future."

(On what he saw out of RB Todd Gurley)
"I think he’s going to be an explosive runner. A guy that, he’s smooth, he can see the holes. Once he really gets going, it’s going to be great."

(On if Gurley just missed a few big runs)
"That comes. That’s a rookie first game. You get all of the anxiety out. He’s not a real rookie because I’m with him every day – he’s a mature kid. He doesn’t run like a rookie. He runs like a guy who is sure of himself and knows who he is as a player. He’s coming off of an injury as well and he’s playing his first game in the NFL, so I know there’s a lot of nerves, but each and every day he comes out to practice and works his butt off. He looks great in practice and I know he’s going to show it on the field."

(On how he approaches TE Lance Kendricks after the dropped pass last week)
"All I do is look at him in the eyes and say, ‘I’m coming back at you.’ I believe in him. He knows more than anyone, I’m going to keep throwing at him. I’m not going to shy away. Lance is an extremely talented player. I’m going to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. I’m about supporting my teammates and lifting them up. And Lance knows that. Lance comes back in the huddle ready to go. That’s part of the game. We’re not always going to be perfect."