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St. Louis Rams: Jeff Fisher Speaks On Playing Time, Player Health, & His Return to TEN

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St. Louis Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher fielded questions from the media after Thursday’s practice. Here’s what he had to say about his return to Tennessee, and the health/progress of the team...

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher - Post Practice - Aug. 20

(On his thoughts going back to Tennessee for the first time since he was coaching there)
"You know, it’s a preseason game and it’s an opportunity for us to get better. I had great memories down there, but obviously it’s been a while. I guess I’d say I’d rather go down there for a preseason game than a regular game, but we’re looking forward to it. There’s some other guys in addition to myself that have some special memories there."

(On if he gets down to Tennessee in the offseason at all)
"On occasion, yeah, I’ll get down there. I kept my property down there."

(On if he is expecting a warm ovation)
"I don’t know what to expect. I just know we’re going to go down there, focus on trying to get better and play time and keep people healthy and playing hard. (Titans HC) Ken (Whisenhunt) has done a good job down there and they have an outstanding, young quarterback. So it’ll be a good challenge for our defense."

(On the video tribute they are giving him before the game)
"That’s the first that I’ve heard of it. So I’ll probably miss it. Coaches on the sideline don’t watch stuff on the board."

(On playing QB Nick Foles more this week)
"We’re going to increase everybody’s reps depending on the series and things like that. The one thing that we did get which is really important for us, where we are now, is we got great reps against Dallas. So as I said, we almost got an extra preseason game. We’ll increase reps, but some guys may play less. We’ll give Nick a chance to play a little bit."

(On what he would like to see out of this game against the Titans that he didn’t see out of the game against the Raiders)
"Well we want to keep the penalties down. I’d like to see the run game continue to improve. It’s the same thing with the defense, defense against the run. When you tackle and just do those things, it’s a progression. Progression, it’s about improvement so that’s what we’re looking for."

(On an update on G Rodger Saffold)
"We’re going to hold him out this week, but he’s doing well. Doing much better."

(On what he sees out of DB Lamarcus Joyner with CB E.J. Gaines out)
"Yeah, he does. He’s going to be our inside guy. He’s improving every day. He’s light years ahead of where he was last year. It was all happening really fast and it’s starting to slow down for him. When he knows exactly what to do, he does it very well. We’re counting on him to be effective in the slot, which means as a third corner, you’re probably going to play 50-60% of our snaps."

(On his thoughts of having an extra official)
"Well yeah, I don’t want to say it’s experimental, but we are…the officiating department is leaning towards going to the eighth official. All Division I conferences right now have the eighth, and so we felt it would be good to experiment with it in a couple preseason games. As far as where we put them, we’re experimenting so we don’t necessarily know. The Division I conferences have put the extra official back where the old umpire was back behind the defense, so we’re going to have a little bit deeper, but we’ll move around. They’re working on the mechanics thing, so I think it will be good. It’ll be a good test for us."

(On CB Marcus Roberson being the fourth cornerback and what he’s seen from him)
"He played in several games for us last year and was a very productive and trustworthy special teams player. He knows what to do and we have no problem with putting him in the game and outside at all, so it’s good."

(On the progress of the offensive line)
"Both (T) Rob (Havenstein) and ‘JB’ (G Jamon Brown) I thought played well against Oakland and had a good two days of practice against a good Cowboy defense. So they’re continuing to improve and are learning every day. They act like they’ve been there before. (Offensive Line Coach Paul) ‘Bou’ (Boudreau) has done a great job with them and have no hesitation whatsoever starting the season with both of them."

(On if any action will take place against players because of the brawl)
"No, we played hard, and we practiced hard. Like I said after practice, we had one and three-quarter days of really good work against them and it’s unfortunate that that happened. We’re moving on. We’ve taken advantage of that work and I think we’ve gotten better and we’re moving on to the Titans."

(On his favorite memories from his time with the Titans)
"I have great memories. The thing reflecting back, it’s the relationships with the players. All of the players that came through there, getting through the move process, the relocation process, and then the ’99 season and the 2000 season, where I think we had a better team than we did in ’99. It didn’t work out for us. It’s a great organization. I owe a tremendous amount to the Adams family for the opportunity. We won a lot of games down there."