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

The Rams had their last practice of the bye week today. With an open weekend schedule, here's what Fish had to say to the media.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(On if he gave his team the ‘behave yourself over the weekend’ speech)
"That took place inside the building already.

"Yeah, let me give you a (G) Rodger Saffold update. He’s going to require season-ending surgery, unfortunately. Our doctors agreed with the second opinion, so it will take place in the next couple of days. So, he’s been placed on IR without a designation for return. It’s the other shoulder, as I spoke. It wasn’t the shoulder that was problematic with him last year. So, we think that’s the best thing for his future. We made a roster move. We brought (TE) Justice Cunningham up to the active roster. Just a little update here, (TE) Lance (Kendricks) tore a ligament in his finger in the opener and has been playing with it. It needed to be repaired. So, we repaired it on Monday. We waited through the bye week. Courageous effort since the Seattle game with the injury, so he’s going to be questionable for Cleveland. So, we needed to get Justice up on the roster. So, Justice has earned right and we’ll be fine until Lance is ready to come back. He may be back for Cleveland. We just don’t know. So, that’s kind of the update. We had a few other guys that we really intentionally just rested. We should be in good shape when we come back on Tuesday."

(On what TE Justice Cunningham brings to the team)
"Special teams, four special teams core player. Five actually with field goal protection. He knows the offense and he can play on the line. He can play the fullback position, do all the same things that Lance has done."

(On Cunningham’s reputation as a good blocker)
"Good blocker. Strong. Physical. Good hands, can get open."

(On how G Rodger Saffold is handling the news about his injury)
"He was obviously very disappointed in the ball game, and then after the ball game a little optimistic. Once we got both opinions together...he was willing to try to play, but inevitably it’s going to come out again, when we talk about the condition of his shoulder. So, we just felt like for career-wise and future-wise, it’s best to get it fixed."

(On Saffold hurting his shoulder last year)
"He fought through it with the left shoulder, yeah, last year. So, we fixed it when the season was over. So, we’re getting an earlier start. His return to play and to 100 percent is estimated somewhere in February or March, so he’ll have a good offseason."  

(On G Garrett Reynolds)
"He played well. No problem with (G) Cody (Wichmann). No problem with (T) Andrew (Donnal). (T) Darrell (Williams) will be up getting the work as the potential backup left tackle. Darrell understands what he’s doing and had a good week of work this week, so he can come ready to play."

(On the progression of the offensive line and what strides have been made)
"What we did the last three days is, we put a number of the younger players in position to compete on the field against the defense and that’s important. We do as good of a job as we can with their reps as scout team players during the preparation week. We got them in there with the first offense. We got them in there with our stuff. I switched things up today and I let the 2’s go against the first team defense and so it’s valuable experience for them. And that’s part of the bye week. Those are kind of the hidden things that take place that aren’t often talked about. It’s getting the younger players the much needed reps. When we end up resting a (CB) Janoris (Jenkins), the younger corners are going to get reps, full speed reps with the starters. So, we got a lot of good reps. You don’t want them to fall behind and you don’t want them to get in this funk to where they don’t see an opportunity to play. We took full advantage of this opportunity the last few days."

(On if he thought the first five games were going to be a tough gauntlet when the schedule came out)
"No, same thing I said back then, they’ve got to play us too. We can make a case that the record should be better than it is. It’s where it is right now and we have to focus on the next opponent."

(On the schedule lightening up now in terms of opponents win-loss records)
"Put the Cleveland tape on and watch them play against Baltimore. None of that matters. It’s a week-to-week thing. (Browns QB) Josh (McCown) played really good against a solid Baltimore defense and put numbers up. It was impressive. We’ve got our work cut out."