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Jeff Fisher Considers Win Against the Seahawks “Top Three” With Rams. [Transcript]

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Following a win in Seattle, St. Louis Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher answered a few questions from the media on Monday afternoon...

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher – Press Conference – 12/28/15

(On how you keep a team together after starting 4-8)
"Well, it’s a one week at a time process - that’s the key. You have to be consistent every week. At the same time, you’ve got to change things up. You can’t dwell on the wins. You can’t get over-worked over the losses. You just keep going and get them to trust that what we’re doing and the way we’re doing it is the right way. You just stress improvement, and that’s what we’ve done. Again, like I said yesterday, we’ve made a couple of changes – difficult changes. One to go with (QB) Case (Keenum) and then give the offense over to (Assistant Head Coach/Offense) Rob (Boras). It appears after three weeks that those were good decisions. Guys are really excited right now as I mentioned to you guys after the ball game. I don’t remember seeing that kind of energy in the locker room that we saw after a win. You sense with these guys that we’re closing the gap in the division and that’s where it starts. I think we can say we’ve done that this year."

(On if Sunday’s win was his biggest since he’s been with the Rams)
"No, I mean, it was a top three. I think winning the opener against Seattle starting off this year was a huge win for us and we’ve had some great wins at home. But, I would say this is probably our best win on the road."

(On what an 8-8 record would mean)
"I’m not, certainly, by no means satisfied with it. But, 8-8 is better than 7-9. We’re certainly not satisfied with being 8-8, but we don’t have any options right now. Probably more importantly, to be able to win four straight, finish the year with four straight wins, would give us momentum into the offseason."

(On if wins at the end of one season can carry over to the next season, particularly a big win on the road at Seattle)
"Yeah, I think there’s something to be said about that. Yeah, we can. It’s not an easy place to play. I’ll credit our offensive line and the offensive coaches and the game plan and the mechanics and Case. We didn’t have a false start. We didn’t have a sack in one of, if not the toughest place to play. So, I don’t think there’s many teams that can say they came in and out of here without either one of those two things. We got a sense for what it takes up here."

(On if Keenum got hit during the game)
"Case ended up extending a couple of plays and got pushed around a little bit. He feels better than he has in the last couple of weeks."

(On the offensive line playing better)
"I think it illustrates what happens when you have change up front. When you’ve got continuity and they’re playing well together, you’ve got a chance to make plays, especially against really good defenses. And we’ve faced some outstanding defenses. But, when there’s change, there’s potential for a setback. Then you’ve got to gain experience together. This group has been playing together now for two or three weeks since (T) Rob (Havenstein) came back. (G) Cody (Wichman) is playing solid football. (C) ‘Timmy’ (Barnes), obviously, his two effort plays were outstanding. (G) Garrett (Reynolds) is doing a really good job over there next to (T) Greg (Robinson), and keeping Greg settled down. Yeah, it’s a good group. We’re not knocking people off the ball like we would like to, like we eventually will be able to. But, we are protecting the passer. We aren’t attempting a lot of passes, but when we do we’re protecting the passer. We’re getting rid of the ball. These guys are doing a good job downfield. They’re athletic. They’re making the blocks. Our screen game is working. They understand the scheme. They have a good sense for misdirection and the (WR) Tavon (Austin) reverses. We just have to keep going and expand on it."

(On how much being in Napa will help)
"Basically, what we’ve eliminated, is we’ve eliminated, as you can appreciate, maybe 10-12 hours on an aircraft. You’re changing time zones and so on and so forth. We’ve got a great setup here. A lot of people behind the scenes have worked hard to get us set up so the coaches can game plan and the players can meet and lift. We’re going to go over and use the Raiders training camp facility here, which is an outstanding facility. We just had a short trip down here last night. Players got a good night sleep, got treatment and tomorrow’s going to be their day off. Coaches are going to game plan and we’ll get started Wednesday. And by the way, it’s not raining here."

(On if there’s anything new with the players in concussion protocol)
"Good news. (S Mark) Barron, all of them actually, (DE) Ethan (Westbrooks), they all felt much better today. ‘Tru’ (S Trumaine Johnson) came in and out of it and came back into the game. I think that (DT) Nick Fairley is doing much better today."

(On if P Johnny Hekker pushing someone bothers him at all and Seahawks DE Michael Bennett’s comments about the play)
"I was disappointed in 'Hekk’s' decision to push him in the back. In years past, that’s a legal play. The league is, obviously, leaning towards a rule change from that standpoint. But, it was not a good decision based on ‘Hekk’. It’s not characteristic of ‘Hekk’. I think if ‘Hekk’ was his teammate, I think he’d appreciate having him as his teammate. But, nonetheless, I can see the perspective that he’s coming from. But, it was unnecessary roughness. It was away from the play. We didn’t need to lose the 15 yards on that play."

(On if he considered going for the two-point conversion after Gurley’s touchdown in the fourth quarter)
"Yes, I did. Do you want to know why I didn’t go for two? I was concerned about a touchdown and being beat by a touchdown and two field goals. If you don’t convert against a really good defense and you’re up by 12, a touchdown and two field goals beats you. I am very, very familiar with what Russell Wilson can do with that offense and changing field position in a hurry. That’s why I elected not to do it. If you have the ole little high school chart that says, ‘Go for it when you’re up by five and you’re up by 12 or you’re down by five or 12, then you can love on your high school chart.’ But, when you get a sense in the game and possessions are important and timing-wise, I thought at that point it was really, really important for us to get it back, considering we missed it on an extra point."

(On DE William Hayes’ performance yesterday and why he wanted to bring him to St. Louis when he became the head coach of the Rams)
"Well, clearly we drafted him (in Tennessee) and he was very young. It took him a while to learn, but I felt like that with his skill set, with his strength - you have to look long and hard to find somebody that has that natural lower body and upper body strength that’s tied together - that he would be an asset to us on the defensive line. He obviously had a rough time his last year there, but since he’s been here, he’s done everything that we’ve asked of him. He’s looked at and looked up by the younger players. He lines up and plays every week. He’s not 100 percent, but he knows he’s got three hours of work to do and he puts it in. We had a good match up yesterday. He was outstanding in the run game. Obviously, the three sacks, he understands, as do our guys for the most part, how to get Russell on the ground because it’s really hard to do. He knows where his help’s coming from and he recognizes things. He’s just been…it was one of his better games, not only with the three sacks but the hits and tackles for losses in the run game and the effort plays down field. He played a lot of snaps. In addition to that, (DE) Chris (Long) even had to go on the right side because of the injuries that we had."

(On Hayes’ personality)
"He fits in well with everybody. I mean everybody. When he walks in the building, from the security guard to everybody in between, he fits in with everybody. He’s passionate. He loves the game. He prepares. He has fun and that’s important to us in this organization that the players can have fun and still win."

(On WR Kenny Britt’s touchdown catch yesterday and big plays this season)
"Shoulder’s been sore, but he pushes through it. He takes care of himself during the week. He practices hard. It was a great play call by (Assistant Head Coach/ Offense Rob Boras). We had good protection and Case made a great throw – put the ball in the only place you can possibly put it on one of the best corners in the league and Kenny got a step and he laid out and completed the catch. He made a similar play last week where he didn’t have to lay out, but he made the tough catch and got in the end zone. Case has a good feel for him. Case can throw the deep ball and Kenny can go get it."

(On Gurley leaping over players)
"Well, that’s a result…it’s a combination of two things: his athletic ability to be able to do it, No. 1 and secondly, film study, No 2. When he’s got vision on a defender and he’s studied, he knows the defender’s going to come take him low, he’s going to go up top. He’s got the speed. Had he not lost that ball, it would’ve been the play of the year."

(On LB Alec Ogletree’s status)
"We’re going to see how he is. We’re going to kind of move him around tomorrow and we’ll get him on the grass on Wednesday and try to get him involved a little bit. He was with us. He was on the sideline. He was really into the game. He’s been very helpful to the linebackers, especially (LB) Akeem (Ayers). Akeem had to go in for Mark. So, we’ll just see how he is. We’ll have a much better idea on Monday."

(On LB Akeem Ayers versatility)
"Akeem, we move him all over the place. He’ll stand up and rush. He’ll be behind the ball. He’ll drop in coverage. He’s a good football player, and because the fact that Mark went down and Akeem went up and he got a lot more opportunity. That position requires you to make plays. Mark makes them when he was in and Akeem stepped in the position and he made those plays. Mark knew what was going on on the third-and-short. Mark got him in the gap and got his head on the football and Akeem picked it up and he showed his athletic ability and put the ball in the end zone."