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Ram-scripts: Jeff Fisher talks E.J. Gaines, Young O-Line, Nick Foles, and more!

St. Louis Rams’ head coach stuck around after practice on Sunday to answer a few questions. He speaks about the E.J. Gaines injury, a young offensive line, what he’s looking for from the center posision, and more...

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher- Training Camp Post-Practice- 8.2.15

(On how the first few days have been in the heat)
"Well, it’s been great. Yesterday was a good experience for them. I think it caught up with them towards the end. It could’ve been because we were a little bit earlier, but tonight was great. So, we’re three days into it now. We’ve exhausted the acclamation period, so we’re three days in to it. We’ll have pads on tomorrow. What we’ve done in the past is, we’ve gone the first padded practice with special teams. The rest of the guys will be doing some recovery stuff. But we’ll have a good session in the morning for about an hour with pads and then we’ll recover tomorrow afternoon. Then Tuesday will be our big day with shoulder pads on."

(On CB E.J. Gaines’)
"Don’t know. We’re going to have to do some tests. He got stepped on, which is encouraging, you know, as opposed to the other things. So we’ll do some tests and we’ll find out. Right now they’re not too concerned. He’s very sore, but that typically can happen when you get stepped on the way he did."

(On if he gets the impression that the team is ready to be in pads after today’s practice)
"Yeah, I mean I think so. It got a little heated. It got a little competitive, but it happens. I’m surprised it took until the third practice, but we got it straightened out. So, they’re fine. You know they are. We need to put pads on especially up front. So they can get used to it, even the quarterbacks. The quarterbacks need to get used to throwing the ball with shoulder pads on. We’ll have some good work throughout the week. We’ll go Tuesday, Wednesday they’re off, and then we’ll do some work Thursday. Then of course Friday we’re going to go over to Lindenwood and we’ll have pads on so we’ll get a really solid workout Friday night."

(On if he’s ever been in a situation where he’s had to get a young offensive line ready so quickly)
"There was a time back when we had two tackles that we played early, and they did fine. So I’m not too concerned about it. We’re creating competition. They’re getting the work done. Again, ask about three, four days from now once they get the pads on. It’s so hard to evaluate an offensive lineman without the pads. The defense clearly has the advantage out there. I’m suspecting that ‘J.B’ (G Jamon Brown) and (T) Rob (Havenstein), and the whole crew for that matter, will look a whole lot different once the pads go on."

(On CB Janoris Jenkins)
"Well you know the first offseason he disappeared and came in a little light. It took him a while to get caught up. Last year was productive for him and I think his play reflected that. I can give you a long list of guys that had their best offseason to date; those young guys. You know Janoris, ‘Tree’ (LB Alec Ogletree), Trumaine (Johnson), all those guys. Even those guys that weren’t rehabbing. They just stayed here and they just worked and it’s paying off for them now."

(On ‘if the players’ offseason work will help the team get off ot a good start)
"Once we get closer and we start talking about it. It’s very, very important to get off to a good start. We’ve got three of the first four games against playoff teams from the last year, but we’re not going to look past Seattle. And we know were the challenges are there, but we’re a long ways away. I think three or four days from now these guys are going to look forward to working against somebody else rather than themselves."

(On S Maurice Alexander)
"You know he is playing really fast right now and that implies that he knows what to do. I mean he’s sure He’s decisive. He makes good decisions. He is reacting, he’s very athletic and he’s playing fast. He’s going to make a lot of plays for us."

(On him starting with the center rotation like in OTAs and how long he thinks it will it take before a decision is made on who the center will be)
"I’m not going to put a date on it or a deadline on it. We’re going to let him do it. I think it’s important when you’re in those situations that you don’t overwork any of them. We’re going to rotate them and give them the reps. It’s hard enough nowadays to get the reps, but you know, when we feel comfortable with it and make a decision, we’ll let you know. But I’m not going to say it’s week three in preseason or week four or whatever. You know you want to get it done as quickly as you can, but we have three guys that are capable, two that have played. You know Tim (Barnes) has played more than Barrett (Jones). Barrett played a solid 24-28 plays against Kansas City, but Demetrius (Rhaney) has a couple of preseason games under his belt from last year. So we’ll just see."

(On what he looks for most in a center)
"Well, you know, obviously it’s getting everybody lined up and making the ID calls and making the subtle adjustments on the line of scrimmage, communicating with the quarterback. We have two snaps. We have the shot gun snap and we have the snap under center that are vitally important. They have to be…you know, often times that’s taken for granted. I remember a couple of times last year when (former Rams’ C) Scotty’s (Wells) ball skipped over his head and it cost us the game. So the snap, the exchange thing is very, very important. Then it’s the ability to understand, recognize what they’re doing and make the calls and hang in there in a one-on-one situation. Their ability to help, that’s the most important thing. You know when you’re playing different configurations of fronts, your center is going to be quick to go help at some plays. He needs to be right when he goes to help."

(On QB Nick Foles not taking many snaps under center with at Philadelphia and if he thinks that’s something the average fan may take for granted)
"Yeah, I think the number was less than 30, so you’re right. There were not a lot of under center snaps. We’re getting much better at it now. We haven’t had any problems in a couple of days. We had one in walk-thru today, but it wasn’t Nick. It was just a communication thing, so those are things that you can’t afford to take for granted. You can’t have the ball on the ground. Nick is conscientious about it and so are the guys, and for the most part, the ball placement has been outstanding as far as all three of the guys."

(On what he thinks about the story of Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel being a hero on his vacation)
"Well, I heard it first I guess when you guys heard because he hadn’t quite gotten back to work yet and I just kind of heard the reports. We let him tell the story in the staff meeting and then I had him tell the story in front of the players. It was quite an experience. Quite an opportunity. He’s a tremendously conditioned individual, that not many people could probably do what he did."