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2015 St. Louis Rams: Jeff Fisher Expects “Bounce Back” From Jared Cook In Week 9

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher – Post Practice – 11/6/15

(On what he sees from Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater on tape)
"I remember some comments early last year from (Vikings Head Coach) Mike (Zimmer) and then from (Vikings Offensive Coordinator) Norv Turner about Teddy. They just said that he’s got all the talent in the world. You can see it. The ball’s coming out. He’s reading. He’s making good decisions. They’re doing a great job with him. So, it’s the primary reason that they’re 5-2. They’ve got a good football team, but Teddy’s playing the position very well right now."

(On if he thinks it seems like Bridgewater does not panic in the pocket)
"He does not. No, he’s got mobility where he can extend plays with his legs. They use him outside the edge. But, he makes really quick decisions, which is good. I mean, he’s patient. He takes check downs. He knows where to go when it’s time to go outside. He goes outside and he goes out there quickly. He effortlessly throws very accurate. I mean, that’s the thing that’s impressive. You watch him on tape, the ball’s right where it should be. So, they have a good one there."

(On how he sells this game to his team as it just being another game)
"It’s a road game and it’s the next game. It’s a very well-coached opponent. So, we have to go and play well."

(On if he has any concern that the players may be a little too excited at the start of the game)
"No. No, we’re on the road. I mean, last time we played well on the road was in the second half of Arizona. So, we have to find a way to just play consistently for four quarters. But, I’m not concerned about their mindset, their mentality and whether they’re too excited to start the game or flat to start the game. We’re never going to be there. We’re just going to play. We have to play."

(On what he saw out of TE Jared Cook last weekend and what he expects out of him every week)

The position’s hard. Sometimes the balls come loose. Sometimes you don’t make the catches.

"Yeah, Jared bounced back and he’s always going to do that. I’ve known him for a long time. The position’s hard. Sometimes balls come loose. Sometimes you don’t make the catches. But, he bounced back and made some really goodcatches for us. Each week, (QB) Nick (Foles) and Jared and (WR) Brian (Quick) and the rest of the guys are becoming more and more familiar with each other. So, you would hope that in a game like this, where they’re going to be geared and focused on stopping our run, that Jared would have some big plays."

(On if he’s seeing a pretty significant gain in his offensive line right now as opposed to five weeks ago)
"It’s interesting. I went back and I looked at our opener last year against the Vikings. We have five new offensive linemen. So, we’re making progress. They’re young. They’re making progress. They’re working hard. They’re protecting the quarterback right now. They did a decent job last week. We didn’t give up any sacks. So, I just would expect them to get better. Now, (T) Rob (Havenstein) didn’t practice. He’ll be questionable for the game with an Achilles. If that’s the case, then we’ll just plug people in. We have young guys that know what to do. (Coach Paul) Bou’s (Boudreau) done a good job with them. We’ll just plug them in and go."

(On his mentality on trying to make this an elite defense)
"Well, yeah, 12 points in two weeks is too much. Twenty-six points last week was not enough offensively. So, that’s just kind of the way we look at it. You have to just continue to emphasize to get better. I mean, you give up six points, you still have a chance to lose the game. So, you just have to be realistic. Again, yes, going into this week if you said we could hold them to six points, I’d take it. But, still it’s that defensive mindset that you have to instill. (Defensive Coordinator) Gregg (Williams) does a good job of it, but you can’t ever become satisfied."

Gregg Williams – Post Practice – 11/6/15

(On how they can make Vikings RB Adrian Peterson have a quiet Sunday)
"There’s never any guarantees when you’re playing against a guy like that, future Hall of Famer, played against him a bunch. I have a lot of different defenses and the thing from a coaching standpoint is, you can be sound, you can be right and then he can still win. From an offensive standpoint, when they look at him, they can hand the ball to him and he’ll make unblocked defenders pay for it by running over them, running around them. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We did that, we were geared up for it last year. He did a really good job last year. We’re going to have to make sure that we’re accounting for him every single snap."

(On what he sees from Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater)
"Bright young quarterback. Really, he’s very well coached. I have tremendous respect for (Vikings Offensive Coordinator) Norv Turner. Back in the old Dallas Cowboy days, and me in the Houston Oiler days as we came up through the ranks in the NFL. So, I’ve known him for a long time and he does a very good job developing young talent at the quarterback position. I can see a lot of the things that Norv wants his guys to do, following coaching instructions. And then, he’s also adapted some of the things to Teddy that Teddy does well. He’s coached some of his own things in and allowed Teddy to have some say. He’s doing better and better and better. You can tell he’s a sharp kid in how he recognizes defensive things and how he is able to make changes at the line of scrimmage. A lot of young quarterbacks can’t do that. Especially somebody that’s as multiple as we are. He’s done very well with that and Norv has done a really good job."

(On Bridgewater looking patient and poised)
"Very patient and poised, yeah. The thing is, the game unfolds…as the game moves along, he gets better. It shows you a guy that’s very confident in his abilities and he takes every play and measures himself, measures them every play. He wants to be able to have moving pieces and adapt to what you’re doing. He’s done very well. You look at his stats in the second half, you look at his stats in the fourth quarter, you look at his stats on third down, he’s done very well. We have our work cut out for us."

(On if the defense is an elite defense)
"Again, it’s still early in the season for me to say that. When we get those kind of things, it’s kind of when the season is all over and done with. They’re doing very well. Again, what I’ve said from day one when you guys asked me that question is: when they take ownership, and they are, when they have say, and they do, it might be my say and it’s their idea but when they do the same thing that I’m thinking about, we have a chance to be really, really good. These guys, if we can stay healthy, we’ve got to keep all of our guys healthy, they have a chance to really do it. They have a chance to be very good. Again, we’re playing against some dominant offenses. We’re playing against some really good quarterbacks and some really good coaching staffs. We’ve got a lot to do yet and we’ve got a long ways to go. You know what I want to do is, is I want to be able to see this weekend, are they going to be the best defense this weekend? It’s each and every weekend. We can’t take any plays off. We can’t take any days off. How we go about doing it this week, we’ve had several nice weekends in a row. All of that is over and behind us now, we’ve got to go do it this weekend."

(On his comfort level with S Maurice Alexander and how far he’s come)
"He’s come a long ways. I’ll tell you this and as you guys go and talk to him in the locker room and interview him, last year he couldn’t have a football discussion. And when I say this, and it’s not any knock on him, but here’s a kid that only played one year as a defensive back in college football. One year in his career from Pop Warner to now. Now he comes in the National Football League and has to play in the secondary. I mean, it was overwhelming. My personality is a little overwhelming. From the structure, discipline, accountability and trying to break his spirit on a couple of things and getting him to be more structured, more accountable, more focused and he’s done fabulous. He can have conversations now where I think I’m talking to one of his coaches or both of his coaches. So, he’s listening to his coaching and then he’s got athletic ability that belongs in this league. But, he has to make sure he understands the concepts of this league. And then he’s got to stay healthy and he has stayed healthy. Last year, he battled the health issue a little bit. So, when you miss practice, I tease those guys all of the time in the training room, I’m going to have to start having meetings with the trainers so that they can teach them and coach them because they have more time with them than I do. And that was one of the things last year, he was hurt quite a bit. Once he got on a roll and was able to play, (he did) very well. When you see a guy at his position play well in the special teams, he ought to be able to play defense, too. There’s more space that you’ve got to cover in special teams. There’s more athletic instinct of special teams than you have to do on an offensive or defensive play. He fits in very well to what we do and we’ve just got to keep on taking steps with him."

(On how important it’s been to allow one of the fewest red zone opportunities in the league and hardly any touchdowns)
"Very, very important, and I’ll tell you this. Not to over simplify the game, but really the best communicators I’ve ever been around have been able to take something that people think are complex and make it simple. Defense in this league, defense at any level of football is, how well do you tackle and how many touchdowns do you allow. Then you want to play great in the red zone, be really good on third down, don’t let them get down there. Have fewer opportunities to have to defend the end zone. Have fewer opportunities to have to defend the goal line. We’re doing decent in that area. We’re going to have to continue to step up. Continue to kind of turn people away in that area and we need to do a good job on taking the ball away down there. That’s our next step."

(On if he’s surprised at how well S Mark Barron has done)
"I really am not. When I tell you this, I’m not trying to act like I know everything, because I don’t. But, I loved the kid coming out. When we were scouting him and when he was coming out of the draft, I’m thinking, ‘Wow.’ This is a perfect kind of guy that I have had before in so many other stops. I shouldn’t say like him before, because he might be better than some of those other guys at stops. I’ve always had a three-safety package. I’ve always had a package of where we play a safety like a linebacker, but also have to play him like a safety and sometimes like a corner. One of the things that quickly comes to my mind, take a look at Roman Harper. Everybody was down on him when I went to the Saints and all of the sudden, he goes to two or three straight Pro Bowls and got nine sacks, or eight or nine sacks, a season and he is outstanding down around the box. Pierson Prioleau, Blaine Bishop, a lot of different guys along the stops, I thought, ‘Wow, this kid could be good.’ And when we got him here, he’s done exactly what we’ve asked him to do, what we expected him to do."