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St. Louis Rams: Head Coach Jeff Fisher Monday Press Conference Transcript

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Here's what Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher had to say at his post-game press conference today.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

(Opening Remarks)
"First off, let me address Chris’s (Long) situation. We got good news – it’s not an ACL or MCL, so that’s good. We got good news. We feared the worst last night. Don’t know if he’s going to be available this week, for a couple weeks but the bye week comes at a good time. We’ll kind of go week to week on him. Don’t have any more information on Rodger (Saffold). We still have to do more tests, but right now he would probably be questionable for Cleveland. I thought Garrett (Reynolds) came in and played well for him. We’ve got depth there. We’ve got Andrew (Donnal), we’ve got Cody (Wichmann), and so we have a young group, so we’ll just kind of see where that goes as far as Rodger is concerned. Disappointed. It was the non…it was the other shoulder, the surgically repaired shoulder was his left, this is his right. The same thing that he had an issue with in the preseason. We’re hopeful we’ll get good news tomorrow. Beyond that, I think we’re in pretty good shape from an injury standpoint.

As we talked as a staff: it’s first down offense, it’s second down offense and it’s third down offense. - St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher


"Game-wise, I don’t think anybody – realistically speaking, outside this building – thought we had much of a chance to go into Lambeau and win based on the way they were playing. The difference is, is the people in the building - the players and the coaches felt like we had a good chance, if we played well. I think anybody that goes into Lambeau – the way they are playing right now – and turns the ball over four times, lucky not to give 40 or 50 points against that offense and that defense. Unfortunately for us, we turned it over twice inside the 10-yard line and we gave up a couple touchdown passes. But, there were some good things. Our issues right now are related to the passing game and getting off to a quicker start. As we talked as a staff: it’s first down offense, it’s second down offense and it’s third down offense. Like I’ve been saying, our first and second down offense has to get better. We need to get chunks, we need to create first downs and create opportunities. We were five-for-18 on third down in this game, and 18 third down attempts is not good. We have to bring that number down. We have a lot of stuff to work on. There were some good things, obviously, the run game was good against a good defensive front. It was good to see us settle in and get the ball going on the ground. Interceptions – four of them were unfortunate. They’re not all necessarily related to the quarterback, except he gets the blame for them. A receiver runs a wrong route, we have a protection problem, we have somebody slip, so everyone around Nick (Foles) has to play better, so we can play better in the passing game. Looking forward to the week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday will be productive for us. We’re going to rest some people and we’re going to push some people. We’re going to work on some things."

(On if Long’s injury is a sprain)
"No, it’s not a sprain. It’s a little bit more than a sprain, I’ll give you more details, but it’s not ligament related. It’s technically a hyper-extension, but there’s some pain things he has to deal with over the next few weeks."

(On if there is a concern that Saffold’s injury will require surgery because he dealt with it during the preseason as well)
"That’s why we’re doing more tests, yes."

(On some people being born with loose shoulder sockets and if that could be related to Saffold’s shoulder injury)
"He’s a heavy lifter. He’s really strong, so I wouldn’t classify it as that. But, unfortunately, sometimes these things happen. Sometimes the shoulder will sublux either direction – forward or backward – when it usually goes out backward, then there’s some labral tear issues, so that’s what we’re looking at."

(On if that’s why they added depth along the O-line)
"That’s why we brought Garrett (Reynolds) in. That’s why we drafted Cody (Wichmann) and why we drafted Andrew (Donnal), and why we have Darrell (Williams) here. In the event that Rodger can’t go, the concern is, who steps in at tackle, in case there’s an issue. We know Garrett can step in, he’s played right tackle. I also have confidence in Darrell Williams being able to play left."

(On TE Jared Cook stopping on the interception and if he should’ve kept going)
"No."

(On if Cook was sitting in a zone)
"Yes. And that was the issue, that was when (OL) Rodger (Saffold) got hurt. That’s why he got the pressure. If Rodger doesn’t get hurt on the play and go down and put (T) Rob (Havenstein) in a tough situation on the ‘E-T game’ and we don’t get the penetration, then (QB) Nick (Foles) can step up and throw the comeback for a first down. That’s how close those things… that’s what happens in those situations."

(On if Saffold got hurt when Packers DE Datone Jones was splitting him and Havenstein)
"Yes. So, when you talk about quarterback play, so many other things that are related to that. Now, in retrospect Nick said, ‘I should’ve taken the sack.’ He was hoping to step up and make that throw. Then he felt the pressure. Then he tried to get it to Cook. He didn’t see the outside defender."

(On if T Greg Robinson got hurt the play before Foles threw the first interception and if he doesn’t get hurt then maybe the turnover doesn’t happen)
"Were you in the offensive staff room today when we were grading the tape? That’s what I just described as far as they’re unfortunate, but you can’t put them all on the quarterback. In our meeting, our message today was everybody has to help the quarterback – everybody. And we will. And he’ll take charge, too."

(On what he saw on the two red zone interceptions)
"Basically, one was a tipped pass. It was no different than (LB) James’ (Laurinaitis) interception. Those things happen. Just unfortunate that they happen, they were contributing to the loss."

(On if RB Todd Gurley’s 30 carries was more than he would have liked and if he would’ve liked to get RB Tre Mason in more)
"We wanted to get Tre in more, it just didn’t happen. He will play more. I think 30 carries a game down the stretch is probably a little much for (Gurley). He’ll probably be one of those guys that get some rest this week."

(On if there is a sweet spot for the number of carries for a guy like Gurley coming off of an injury)
"No. 150 yards over the last two weeks is the sweet spot for me."

(On if the number of carries was based on Gurley being the hot hand)
"He feels good. Yeah, he feels good. In rushing offense, often times it takes a little to adjust to what the defense is doing based on formations and motions and things like that. I thought our offensive staff did a really good job the last couple of weeks adjusting and then identifying the runs that had a chance."

(On the pass protection being good in the first few weeks and if there’s any reason why they seem to be widespread)
"Well, we gave up three sacks. He had time, but we had too many hits. I’m going to credit their front. When (Packers LB) Clay (Matthews)… I mean, Clay is really disruptive regardless of where he comes from. They pressure the back, they pressure the A-gap with him, they rush him on the edge. Then you’ve got (LB Julius) Peppers and the rest of the group that can collapse the pocket pretty quickly, especially when it’s hard to hear. It’s one of those hard things that you go through on the road."

(On if the offensive line is where he’d like them to be at this point of the season)
"They’re way ahead of where I thought they’d be in the run game. I think we have some work to do in the pass game. Just in subtle techniques. It’s not a matter of having mental errors and things like that. They know what to do. The group has to work together. When (OL) Garrett (Reynolds) went in, it was kind of almost a settling factor in there. The guys almost seemed to settle down when Garrett went in there. That’s not a negative towards Rodger, but it just settled down for us, so we’ll see where it goes."

(On how C Tim Barnes is doing)
"Tim’s doing fine. He’s one of those guys that will probably get a break this week too. He’s played a lot of snaps. We played odd fronts and he’s had a big man line up on him for the last month. Timmy needs a little rest."

(On playing more press coverage and if he liked how it turned out)
"Yes, with the exception of two plays. But, when you’re playing (Packers QB) Aaron (Rodgers), he’s going to find somebody. We had a slip and then we had a technique error on the pick, but beyond that we challenged them and that was our philosophy, was to go in and challenge them. Make them hold the football knowing that the risk, the downside of that is that once you recognize it, which he does, then he can escape and he ended up being their leading rusher. I’d probably rather have Aaron running the football than throwing it. I don’t think it was a contributing factor, but it just shows you how good he is."

(On how much RB Todd Gurley’s emergence helps the young offensive line with run blocking)
"Well, yeah, I mean, Todd’s an outstanding back. (RB) Tre (Mason) could potentially be doing the same things. But, it helps. But we’ve still…we have to tie our run game now and do a better job of tying our run game to the passing game so we can make some plays down the field."

(On the defense getting three turnovers off of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers)
"They expected to. They said, ‘Let’s be the first team that goes in there and gets that first pick.’ I mean, you know with Aaron that you have to make a great play on the ball, which (CB) Trumaine (Johnson) did, or you have to get your hand on the ball and someone needs to catch the deflection. Then of course (DE) Rob (Quinn) had a great rush. They didn’t chip on him and Rob got a great take off and got the ball out."

(On waiving RB Trey Watts)
"Yeah, his exemption expired this afternoon. So, we’ll release him and we have every intention to bring him back to practice squad tomorrow."

(On if he’s going to keep LB Alec Ogletree on the roster for another week)
"Yes."

(On if the short-term IR- Designation period begins when the player is injured or when the team makes the decision)
"Until we start it. Correct."

(On if the time clock of making the decision to move Ogletree to IR has begun)
"No, until we start it."

(On if waiting to make a decision on Ogletree buys him a little time)
"Yes."

(On if Ogleetree is any better)
"Yeah, I mean, he’s better than he was a week ago, yeah. But he’s not close to playing."

(On the reasoning behind waiting to decide to move Ogletree to IR or not)
"He’s got a significant injury and he’s going to miss some time. So, we have a feel for how long the injury and when the return to practice and return to play date is. We’re going to wait to see if we need to use that designation for somebody else. That make sense? Okay."

(On the situation going on at USC)
"Yeah, I mean, we all are hopeful that Steve (Sarkisian) gets his life back together and gets things in order. It’s unfortunate. Sometimes the personal things affect the business. We all have to respect (USC Athletic Director) Pat Haden and (Senior Associate Athletic Director of Football) J.K. McKay and the decision that they’ve made and hope that they’re moving in the right direction and that ‘Sark’ can get things back together so he can get back on the sideline."

(On what he thinks about the hits that QB Nick Foles took on Sunday)
"Yes. One that I disagree with."

(On the hit Foles took from Packers LB Clay Matthews)
"Clay hit him with the crown of his helmet, right in the chest. But again, it goes back to the referee is the one who’s going to make that call and he doesn’t see the front of the quarterback because he’s to the throwing hand. So, (Referee) Brad (Allen) couldn’t see it. So, I clearly think it was roughing because of the crown of the helmet to the chest. But from his perspective, he couldn’t see the contact. So, it was kind of one of those things that happens. Sometimes you get those calls. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong."

(On how Matthews came up the middle and sacked Foles)
"We made a mistake. We had some issues with the coach to quarterback device and we should’ve been in shotgun. It was a screen pass. So, the ball comes out."