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2015 St. Louis Rams Training Camp: Head Coach Jeff Fisher, LB James Laurinaitis, DE Chris Long Post-Practice Interviews

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The Rams fought. Then, they talked.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher

(Opening statement)
"We got through a day and three quarters and we had really good work and then unfortunately things got out of hand and we shut it down. It’s unfortunate. There’s no excuse for it. You can’t blame it on anybody. It just happened. One thing led to another and it happened. It’s unfortunate. Fortunately, nobody got hurt. I think both teams came out of two good practice sessions healthy. We got a lot of good work and it’s unfortunate about the end. I’m not going to minimize it because we’re not going to focus on it. We’ll get it corrected. There’s no place for that in our game. There’s no place for that from the standpoint of being role models in this game and representing this game for kids. There&rsquorsquo;s no place. That’s not how this game goes, so we’re sorry about that and I know (Cowboys Head Coach) Jason (Garrett) will echo the same thing. I’ll talk about what we got done: we got some really good work. It was very, very competitive. We got to play a lot of people. Now we’ve got to move on.

"We had originally planned on coming back out here tomorrow. The Cowboys had a day off and we were going to use the facility. We’ve decided against that. We’ve got a tired team. We’re going to emphasize recovery. We’re going to go over to Point Mugu Naval Base and visit with the soldiers and get out a little bit early so we can get out and get some rest and go back on the practice field in St. Louis on Thursday and prepare to get ready for the Titans."

(On what he took away from the Oxnard practices)
"That’s a good football team over there. They won 12 games. We’re a young team. We matched-up and we got some things done. There were some great 1-on-1 battles and some great team efforts and great special teams work. It was extremely valuable. I’d be the first one to say I’d love to come back and practice against the Cowboys again because they’re a talented team. It’s a class organization."

(On if he was disappointed that they couldn’t get the fight under control)
"I had it under control and (Cowboys QB) Tony (Romo) wanted to go to a two-minute drive but we didn’t want to let it go any more. Once the emotions started out here, in game situations it’s different. Once the emotions got going, I didn’t trust that. We got enough good work in."

(On if you have a moment where you hope nobody is hurt)
"Yeah, I mean guys swinging with helmets on, there’s no good, it makes no sense. The only thing that happens is you’re going to hurt yourself."

(On if he could understand why his players were upset)
"There were probably a number of things that happened out there today. Some not intentional. Some intentional. We had a practice tempo that we had agreed upon and for the most part we were okay. Both teams have young players that are trying to make the team and sometimes they go beyond what’s expected or what the rest of the guys are doing. So, we’ll look at it, but we’ll move on. I’m glad nobody got hurt."

(On CB Trumaine Johnson’s progress)
"It all goes back to what he’s done this offseason. He was there every day, he’s worked, he’s taken care of his body and he’s determined. If you get in that third and fourth year and play like he has, you should start making those plays when you have that kind of ability."

(On what they will do tomorrow)
"We’re going to have a walk-thru and we’re going to emphasize recovery. Then we’re going to go over to Point (Mugu) Naval Base and we’re going to visit with soldiers for 45 minutes to an hour before we head back."

(On visiting with the soldiers)
"Yeah, it’s something that was part of this trip. Once we agreed to come here, we kind of looked around and said, ‘Where are they?’ and found them, so we’re going to spend some time with the tomorrow."

(On if the schedule will change this week)
"No, nothing’s going to change. We’ll go 5:30 (p.m.) on Thursday. Friday is a player day off and then we’ll come in and have a walk-thru and then travel down to Nashville."

LB James Laurinaitis

(On his takeaway from the brawl)
"I don't know. I was over there playing, trying to get our defensive calls and could see it over here. I'm sure some of our defensive guys went over to kind of stick up for each other. But that's never the intention when you come out here. There's a fine line between defending yourself, so to speak, versus instigating it. You want to defend your teammates, but you never want it to turn into that, so I'm just glad nobody got hurt."

(On if he's ever called plays for a three man defense)
"It was. They were about to snap the ball and I was the only guy over there, so I just kept kicking it. I'll keep taking the penalty over and over until I could get my guys back, so that was a first."

(On if the tone changed from yesterday's workout)
"No, I mean yesterday we had a good day against them. We expected some push back. Anytime you have the same team back-to-back, there's always going to be trash talk. There's trash talk when we go against each other. But it never should escalate to that. But, I believe we got better these last two days, I really do. I think we got some really good work in against obviously a playoff team. What an awesome opportunity." 

(On if he was glad they called off practice)
"Anytime you can get some time off practice in training camp, you enjoy it. So, I don't know, maybe that was the scheme of some of our veteran guys, get this thing called off, no. I would've like to at least finish because we were getting such good work. It's challenging going against them and so I would've liked to finish, but I'm not complaining that I have a few less reps on these legs." 

(On if it's fun to line up against the Cowboys)
"Yeah I mean, talk about a challenge for us. You're guarding running backs that you don't see every single day. So when you do for instance, one-on-ones, when you do it against your own team, you start to learn the tendencies of your own guys. You know what routes they're really good at and what they're not good at. When you go out here blind against guys that you don't see every day, it makes you get that much better at what you're doing. And then gosh, to go against guys like (Cowboys TE Jason) Witten, who's going to be a Hall of Famer, it's an awesome challenge and an awesome experience." 

(On if it's weird to be a player in the middle of fan bases with all of the LA fans)
"You know what, to be honest with you, I don't really think about it. I really just relish this trip as a way for us to get better. Coach spoke to about it to us and said, 'Hey, with the limited amount of hits we get in practice now and you don't really get a whole lot of time in a lot of the preseason games, so when you practice against another team like this, it's like trying to sneak in a fifth preseason game.' This camp already, we've already had the pads on more than usual. I think that's really good for our football team. I think we need that, because we've started slow the last three years. So, what better way to try to teach us to start fast against the NFC Champs coming to our place than to put the pads on and go on." 

(On having the day off tomorrow)
"Yeah, I mean, that's what coach does best. He always kind of finds a way to get us our legs back. He always says you come into camp in the best shape of your life and then you kind of break down, break down. How can we get you back up to that? That's just kind of one of those things that he is just trying to get our legs back to where we were."

(On what it means to go to the base tomorrow)
"It's awesome. To be able to be with the military, any time we do it, when we do it back in St. Louis, it's one of my favorite things at the end of camp when we go over there. To be there and to sign autographs for our troops, I mean, it just puts life in perspective. We're out here playing a game that we love and they're the ones that are defending our country, so I wish that it was kind of flipped around and we could be getting their autographs in a way to kind of really salute them."

DE Chris Long

(On how he thinks the match-up went against the Cowboys' offensive line)
"I thought it was a great battle. You know, they're really at the top of their game. They have one of the best young players in (G) Zack (Martin). I hope he's alright. I don't know what happened with him. They have (T) Tyron (Smith) over there at left tackle, who's a lead at his position. Certainly, we have two of the best guys in the league at their positions in (DT) Aaron (Donald) and (DE) Rob (Quinn) and we're very deep and they're deep as well, so it was a good match-up."

(On what his vantage point was when things got out of hand)
"Everybody was right in the middle of it. So I mean...listen we didn't come here to do that, but you know, they're very competitive. We're very competitive. There's a lot riding on everything for all of us. When you're out here for two days, I'm not going to say it's inevitable, but things happen."

(On if he has ever witnessed a continuous fight)
"I don't know. I'll watch NFL Network later and see how long it looked. It seemed like it went on for a while because we were in it, but maybe it was pretty quick. I don't know."

(On if the main concern is safety)
"That is the main thing. As far as we know, no one got hurt, so it's...these things happen. Got out of hand, we wish it didn't. It's a violent sport and it's a very competitive sport, and these are a bunch of competitive grown men."

(On Coach Fisher's message to the team before coming to play against the Cowboys)
"Fish was very adamant about that. You know, we're here to compete and get better, and we're here to prepare for Seattle. We're not here to fight. We're not here to do the things that we see on TV. Some things are really tough. You know, all it takes is one real, bad scuffle and everybody's involved. So it happens. We have respect for them. They have respect for us. It happened."

(On his summary of how the two days in Oxnard went)
"Competitive. Productive. It was unique. I haven't done that in seven years. You know, it was good for me as a player. Well for one, I haven't practiced in a while, but you practice against different guys than you see all camp and that's what you're going to see every week is different guys. Having to come here, hit the ground running and play different guys that have different sets and play things differently, it's good for you."

(On if he thinks these practices were a distraction with the fans yelling LA)
"No distraction. I mean we are appreciative of our fans wherever they are. Obviously they did a great job of coming to support us. We have great fans in St. Louis too. We're not here to choose sides. We're here to play football. We're appreciative of all of our fans."

(On if he was trying to break up the fight or make sure none of his teammates got hurt)
"It's a fine line between breaking things up and getting in on it. So you know."

(On him looking physically equipped today)
"Thank you. Put that in the paper. You know, I feel good. I dropped some weight this year to try to be quicker. I'm not 23(-years old) anymore, so it's helped me a lot. I feel like playing at that weight, I can be destructive and really get off the ball and cause problems."

(On if he had the chance to meet Rosey Grier)
"Yeah, I've met him before. You know, he just had a really good message for us. You know, cherish the time. He really enjoyed his time with the Fearsome Foursome, and him being the last one left is pretty special to get to meet a guy like that who's a big part of our history."

(On getting to play against stars like WR Dez Bryant and QB Tony Romo and TE Jason Witten)
"We were just starstruck to be on the field with them."

(On the level of competition being different)
"Oh no. Anytime, you know those guys as far as a one, two, three are as good as pretty much any one-two-three. I don't know. I haven't sat down and thought about it. Dez is at the top of his position group. Tony is too, and Jason is a Hall of Famer. So that's tough. Yeah."