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

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

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

(Opening Statement)
"We watched the tape and it’s pretty much what I expected to see. Really good effort, four-quarter effort out of the defense. A four-quarter effort out of our special teams. We played probably about a half worth of offense. We clearly struggled early. Still having some issues offensively that we’ve got to get fixed. Namely, those are first downs and third downs. We’re going to continue to work on it. Players understand. We took advantage of the film study and review time to move forward in preparation for the 49ers, so that’s been kind of the theme today is, let’s get things corrected and get better and go play San Francisco."

(On if there’s anything he sees as to why the offense struggles early)
"Yeah, we’re working on it. We’re trying to sift and sort it out. We had a drop on the first series. We’ve got a 7-yard completion and are looking at a third-and-three and instead we’re at third-and-10. What happens often times is, as coaches you – and we all do this – you game plan based on what you’ve seen your opponent do. So, you set things up and then you have to be mindful of making the adjustments because they’re not necessarily going to approach you the way they approached everybody else. And that’s in essence, basically what we did. We made good adjustments in the run game. It was reflected by the numbers and the production in the second half. Then we sped the tempo up just a little bit in the second half and that helped us a little bit. (QB) Nick (Foles) was good with that. That doesn’t mean we’re going to do it this week, but it was a good adjustment as far as most of the third quarter was concerned."

(On if he went through the script of the first 15 plays)
"Everybody’s got either 12 or 15 or what have you, but it never ends up going that way because those are all first and second down plays and things change. We have things we like going into the game plan and things that we move to in the event that we have to make an adjustment."

(On not getting a lot of offensive plays)
"It’s first down, it’s production on early downs and it’s third down efficiency. We were 1-for-9 in the game. We said this defense is respectable and they adjust. They’re well-coached and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy from an effort standpoint in the run game, but we knew if we adjusted correctly and got enough touches that we would be productive and that happened in the second half."

(On if being on the field trying to call timeout before RB Todd Gurley’s first score was a result of personnel)
"Nothing to do with personnel, no. We had the completion down inside of the 1-yard line and so there was some confusion as to whether or not we got in the end zone or not. They ruled it down inside the 1 (-yard line), so the play clock was running. We sent our goal line personnel grouping out there on the field, but we got them out there a little bit late. As I looked up, the play clock was running down. I started trying to call timeout with two seconds left and then one second left on the play clock and they didn’t see me. The actual play clock did go to zero and it stayed at zero. But, the ball was handed off and we scored."

(On if it should’ve been a delay of game)
"Should’ve been a delay of game. However, what happened on the play was the back judge, come to find out, they only had 10 guys on defense. The back judge’s responsibility is to count the defensive players to make sure there is always 11. If there’s not, he has to signal. So, his focus went to the fact that they had 10 players on defense and his eyes were not on the play clock. So, he did not... it’s one of those things that happens. It technically should have been delay of game. That’s why I was trying to call timeout."

(On if the back judge is responsible to keep track of the clock)
"He watches the play clock, the snap, and then… his pre-snap responsibilities are play clock and then the personnel on defense."

(On if he was reviewing WR Kenny Britt’s reception to see if it was a touchdown)
"Well, I was talking upstairs, just to try to see. But, we didn’t really get a good shot because it was happening and then you’ve got to roll with the offense too, as well. It ended up working out good for us."

(On if it’s only a matter of time before teams try to stack the box against RB Todd Gurley)
"Well, they’ve been doing it. Arizona did it. Green Bay did it. And so did Cleveland. We’ve got to do more with his teammates around him. We’ve got to get more production out of the other players and get the ball down the field. Take advantage of that and that’s what we’re working on."

(On if they got out of yesterday’s game healthy)
"We’ve got some bumps and bruises. We’ll know better here in the next couple of days."

(On if receivers were open)
"We need to do better across the board offensively. Getting open, creating opportunities for them to get open and then making the throws."

(On if he would like to get WR Brian Quick more involved)
"I don’t think when you look at the number of snaps we had and the number of pass attempts, it’s hard to get people targeted when you attempt 23 passes. But, I don’t mind that, the combination of the run production right now. But, we’ve got to get more people involved and help them to become more productive."

(On if he has confidence in TE Jared Cook to catch passes)
"I have confidence in him, he’s just got to end that. He’s got to protect the football. Our defense will help him learn how to protect the football after a catch this week. I assure you of that."

(On if they’re going to run some special drills)
"No, he’s just going to have to carry it all the way back to the huddle and carry it to the locker room - that’s all."

(On how the switches on the offensive line worked out)
"I thought it was good. JB (G Jamon Brown) got edged a couple of times. (G) Garrett (Reynolds) was good for (T) Greg (Robinson) I thought. It wasn’t, JB’s problems that he had were more of the match-up against the defensive talent level versus the fact that he had moved from left to right, so he’ll be fine."

(On if Browns DL Randy Starks is still a good player)
"Yes, he is."

(On why he likes Reynolds at the left guard position)
"The communication, yeah. I like the communication. (LT) Greg’s (Robinson) a long ways away from things out there at left tackle. So, it’s good to have Garrett in there communicating with him."

(On WR Tavon Austin’s blocking ability)
"I think it’s a message to our receivers that they need to learn how to block like Tavon. Tavon’s a good blocker."

(On how he thinks Austin has evolved in the blocking area since he’s been with the team)
"He’s competitive. He’s chasing the ball. He’s a team guy and he wants to help."

(On if Austin can be an example for the other wide outs on how to get open better as well)
"We’re going to improve our offense. Tavon, I don’t think Tavon was a 100 percent this week because of the hamstring, but he played under control. That’s a sign of a real pro, the way he handled himself."

(On if he’s seen more of a complete effort from Austin this year)
"Well again, we need to get him touches. He’s playing good without the ball. He’s playing very good without the ball. Now, we have to continue to get the ball in his hand."

(On if Austin has always been good without the ball in his hands)
"Yes, he’s competitive."

(On how he thinks S Mark Barron performed in the game at linebacker)
"Played every snap. The defensive staff had him credited with 19 tackles, two caused fumbles and two tackles for loss. He’s filled in nicely. I think (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Gregg (Williams) and his staff have done a good job. We miss (LB) Alec (Ogletree), but we’ve adjusted with Mark. We’ve adjusted with (LB) Akeem (Ayers). We’re getting good pressure. Mark’s just going to continue to get better."

(On if he thinks Barron can hold up at the linebacker position for the rest of the season if he needs to)
"Yes, he can play more than 16 games around the line of scrimmage."

(On if he thinks Barron can hold up 100 percent of the time in the box)
"He’s not always in there. We move him around. We’re blitzing him and he’s playing coverage and things like that. But often times when he’s behind the ball, yes he holds up. He understands his run responsibilities and his gap fits."

(On if he’s tempted to tell Barron to gain more weight next offseason and move him to linebacker)

(On if he thinks Barron has a unique set of skills that allow him to be a versatile athlete)
"Yeah, I would refer to it as ‘football instincts.’ They’re special."

(On if he thinks since it’s a copycat league, teams will start transitioning some of their safeties to linebackers)
"Arizona’s doing it and doing it with a great deal of success right now. So, their guy’s hard to block."

(On DE Williams Hayes’ performance during the game)
"Will’s healthy. He’s practicing well. The more snaps he plays, the more production he has. He’s really strong. Those were bull rushes and the pocket was collapsing. He was getting a lot of good help from the inside push that we got in the one-on-ones that we got from (DT) Aaron (Donald). So, Will got the ball out twice. It was good to see."

(On DL Ethan Westbrooks performance during the game after seeing extensive action on the line)
"It was. His sack, he can thank his buddy (CB) Marcus Roberson on that sack, because Marcus didn’t take the cheese on the double-move fake and made the quarterback hold the ball. So, Ethan got the sack, but he was productive. He was productive in the run game. He was collapsing the pocket as well."

(On if this is as close to the kind of defense he wants to play)
"Everybody’s playing well, but I believe we can all play better. We gave up a couple passes here. We don’t get the holding call on the ball that goes down the field, then we have an issue. We have a different game. So, we gave up some completions. Credit them, they schemed some things. But, overall, as long as we’re going to continue to get consistent pressure on the passer and tackle the way we’re tackling, we’ll be fine. So, it was nice to be able to…from their standpoint, to go out there and rush the passer, when you’ve got an offense that’s trailing, that’s trying to catch up. That’s the defensive ideal situation as far as the D-line’s concerned."

(On if neutral zone infractions are something that opposing coach’s watch and point out)
"No, it was their silent count. He paused a little bit. The center paused a little bit, and there was a little bit of hard counting going on. Two of them I agree with. One I didn’t. I thought we timed one up pretty good. But, those are things that are going to happen to a pass rushing defense. You look across the league and the teams that are last in sacks, they’re not getting off the ball. You have to get off the ball, especially at home."

(On if he thinks DE Chris Long’s is closer to returning to play or will it be a while)
"He’s closer and it will be a little while, yeah."

(On if he has any concerns about K Greg Zuerlein)
"No. No, he’s hitting it really well. He just needs to hit it between those two yellow poles. But, he’s hitting it well. I have to trust him."

(On the 63-yard attempt)
"That was on me. That wasn’t his. He had plenty of distance. I didn’t like the (35)-yard miss. But, what happens I think with kickers around the league right now, is that before the rule changed, you used to go out and just work on your…you’d just work on your approach. You’d work on your stroke on the extra points, and you just hit the ball up in the net. Now, every kick is a field goal. So, there’s more pressure on every single kick. But I’ve had total confidence in Greg. He’s hitting it as well as he’s hit it since he’s been here. He just needs to hit it in the right place."

(On if Zuerlein has talked about the pressure of a being a kicker this season)
"No, that’s just my observation."

(On what his reasoning was behind the no huddle play calls)
"We just needed to change some things up. Try to get some more snaps. It worked."

(On if he might use the no huddle play calls in the future)
"Probably never ever see it again." (laughs)

(On his confidence in QB Nick Foles to call the no huddle plays)
"Yeah, the adjustments were good. He got together with the offense and said, ‘These are the things we’re going to do. Let’s go do it.’ He did it. So, yeah it’s good. I mean, we work on it. It’s a two-minute offense. We work on in it in practice."

(On the hand off during the opening kickoff)
"It was close. Guys knew ahead of time. We talked about it Saturday night that we were going to open the first return, if it was not a touchback, it would be a reverse. They were excited about it. So, the special teams played very well."