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2015 St. Louis Rams Training Camp: HC Jeff Fisher Talks About QB Depth, Rodger Saffold, O-Line & Roster Cuts

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As the Rams wrapped up their final formal practice of the preseason today, here's what Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher had to say.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

(On why he didn’t practice indoors today)
“Well we practiced indoors yesterday because of the proximity of the lightening. Today, we had no lightening and I was kind of hoping when I scheduled camp, that we’d have a warm day. We needed to work through that, so it was good work for them. They focused and they pushed through it. It’s not easy out here midday like this, but as we told them, it’s quite likely going to be very similar to the kickoff in Washington.”

(On this being the last practice of the preseason, other than the walk-thru at Scott Air Force Base tomorrow)
“No, we actually have an additional walk-thru in the morning that we’re going to classify as a practice. Then we have the air force base, which we always look forward to. And y’all are invited to that too as I understand right?”

(On him squeezing in two military trips this camp)
“We did, yeah. We got a chance to go by Point Magu on our way out of Oxnard. Had a great visit with them, and players got to sign autographs and got to interact with the soldiers. This is our third or fourth consecutive year that we’re going over to Scott Air Force Base and we’re going to have a walk-thru, so the soldiers will participate. If it’s an offensive period, then we’ll have soldiers on defense and vice versa and they always look forward to that.”

(On who picks the soldiers to play)
“They do. And we haven’t signed any from the list yet so we’ll see how it goes.”

(On heading into the final preseason game, how tight the race for the No. 2 quarterback spot is)
“I think Case (Keenum) has the advantage right now. I would say the competition would be related to the third spot, with Austin (Davis) and Sean (Mannion). So we’re going to try to get them both reps in the game. But I think that Case has done a good enough job right now at this point that he’s got No. 2 locked up.”

(On what he’s seen from Keenum so far)
“We saw it last year when we had him on the practice squad. He just has a good feel for our offense and timing and release and is a natural athlete. Since the trade, he’s been able to sit here and really grasp the offense, so he’s a got a good feel for what we’re doing.”

(On G Rodger Saffold’s return to practice)
“Rodger’s back on the field a little bit, doing some stuff. He’s coming around. He’ll be questionable for Thursday, but obviously, definitely, he’s in a really good position for the opener.”

(On if it’s easier for him to get Saffold ready for the opener on short preparation since he’s a veteran)
“He’s played a lot of games. He’s played the Seahawks. He understands, so I’m not concerned about that. The one that he’s doing is he’s getting the walk-thru reps so the communication is very sound up front with the young guys, so I’m not concerned.”

(On his thoughts about the center position)
“It’s really…it’s good. It’s competitive and it’s good. We’re getting productive out of not only (C/G)
Barrett (Jones) and (C) Tim (Barnes) but also out of (C/G) Demetrius (Rhaney). Demetrius and Tim have the flex at guard and Barrett could potentially play guard if need be, so it’s a good race right now.”

(On if it is a tender balance for him with the young O-linemen wanting them to get experience but still taking it easy before the season opener)
“I think you’ll see that we’ll probably play the young guys up front on the offensive line a little more than you ordinarily would play your starting line in the fourth preseason game, just because they need those reps.”

(On T Isaiah Battle’s status)
“He’s okay. He got kicked in the Achilles. I’m going to go in and personally tape an Advil on his Achilles to make sure he’s back at practice tomorrow.”
(On if taping Advil on an injury really works)
“It works. It really works. In the package, you just put it on the area that’s sore, put a piece of tape and say go. But I think he’s going to be alright.”

(On CB Brandon McGee’s status)
“He’s getting close. Yeah, I noticed he did some really good work on the field here today so he’s close.”

(On McGee’s recovery being frustrating as a head coach)
“Yeah, it’s been hard particularly because he’s been dealing with things over the last year and a half, but by all accounts he’s very, very close. All the medical reports, all the MRI’s, all those things would imply or suggest that’s he’s very close to being ready to go.”

(On how difficult yesterday’s round of cuts were for him and how tough it is to get down to 53 players)
“Difficult to get to 75 (players), which is a good problem to have, but you take into consideration: practicing, youth experience, play time and then getting through the game. So that’s what’s involved in those decisions and then because there’s injuries that associate that so difficult to get there. Fifty-three’s not going to be easy. And those are good problems to have. In years past, our first and second year wasn’t …we could pretty much look at the start of camp and get to 55, so we have some tough decisions to make. It’ll be here before we know it too. It’s hard to imagine it’s Tuesday, we play Thursday, and then Friday and Saturday we’re rolling.”

(On the process of cuts being difficult for him considering his background of playing in the league)
“Well our personal philosophy here is I prefer to talk to everybody. I don’t know if that’s the case around the league, but I’ll have individual conversations with every single person that we’ll release. Like we discussed, I want them to feel good about their efforts and they helped this team get better and they got better and they should feel good about it. Doors are opened elsewhere. When you get to 53, it’s hard. You got 75 to 53, it’s not an easy thing because you’re taking into consideration your practice squad and those that may or may not get claimed, so we have a lot of work to do.”

(On if he’s working on his pep speech for the Governor’s Cup Thursday)
“No, I have not given it any consideration at all. I’ll gladly accept the trophy. That would be a good thing. It’s always great to compete against (Chiefs Head Coach) Andy (Reid).”

(On how long he’s known Reid)
“Played against him in high school. Is that long enough?”

(On what position Reid played in high school)
“He played offensive line.”

(On if Reid blocked him during those games)
“No, you don’t know who you’re playing against in high school. But yeah, we went back and we were in basically the same couple of conferences or divisions.”