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Jeff Fisher talks Daniel Rodriguez, Putting Up Points, and Missed Tackles

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Jeff Fisher Post Practice, August 26

(On how he thinks the team looked today)
I thought they practiced pretty well. We put the pads on, kind of more of a run emphasis, run special teams. Of course we got a lot of throwing in the 7-on-7, but most of our team work was heavy run because we need to work on both sides of the ball. So I thought it went well. Got through it. Didn’t have any issues. It’s just one of those training camp days. We had a good practice, and I really look forward to seeing you guys tomorrow after practice.

(On the camp that WR Daniel Rodriguez has had)
Oh Daniel’s had a blast. He’s going to return every possible kickoff he can out of the end zone and catch every punt. He’s learning the offense and he’s just really fun to be around, very enthusiastic.

(On if he thinks Rodriguez has the ability to play in this league)
Well, his story…he was productive at Clemson and needed a shot, so I’d say it’s probably a combination of both. We’re trying to find a way to get him in the end zone in the preseason.

(On how important it is for the first team to put points on the board against the Colts)
Well it will be helpful. We’ll be doing a little bit more offensively, so I would expect us to be able to score some points. We’re protecting the ball for the most part, with the exception of the interception. We got the ball back a couple of times at Oakland. We’d like to get the ball back a little bit more defensively and get some more pressure on the passer. From a point scoring standpoint, it’d be good to put some points on the board offensively.

(On why tackling seems to be an issue league wide)
It will come around. Usually we talk about it every year, tackling needs to improve in the preseason and that’s why you have padded practices and that’s why you emphasize it in drills. We had footing issues at Oakland, slipped a little bit. Then we had some of the younger guys miss some tackles, but we had gap issues and misfits and that’s where early in the game in the run game, so it wasn’t necessarily missed tackles as much as it was we had people out of their gap. Overall, I think we’re tackling well on special teams. We work that and we’ll just continue to work on it.

(On if he feels the veterans in the defensive front seven will take care of the gap issues)
It will. We got some things fixed. Again, we didn’t prepare an awful lot for their formations and things and their run game. We did make adjustments, however, in the second half. I thought we made a lot of plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage, which was good.

(On QB Case Keenum’s performance against Tennessee)
It was a great throw. You know it’s a great throw, touchdown pass you have to put the ball up in the air with timing and he ran around. He extended some plays, made some throws. He was under a little bit of pressure but handled the run game really well. He’ll cut the ball loose and won’t take the sack. He understands the importance of check downs, so he’s got a good feel for it.

(On if they have been a lot more vanilla than the other teams so far)
We’ve only played two games, so I really haven’t looked around the league to see what everybody else is doing. We haven’t carried a regular season game plan into a preseason game and we won’t.

(On what he thinks of the injuries occurring around the league in the four preseason games)
It comes up every year. I haven’t looked at the injury rate, but there’s always…unfortunately there’s going to be injuries in the preseason. You hope you keep it to a minimum from your starters, from that standpoint. As far as reducing the number of games, that’s a league issue. I don’t mind four because the way training camp is set up right now and the offseason program is set up, you just don’t have the reps for the players. The four games, especially the fourth game gives the younger players an opportunity to get some quality reps.