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St. Louis Rams: Head Coach Jeff Fisher Monday Press Conference Transcript

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Here's what the Rams' head coach had to say yesterday after the Rams' week 1 34-31 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

(Opening Statement)
“Well we got a chance to take a look at it in detail and there’s some really good things in the game: tremendous effort and emotion and very few mental errors. We cut back on the penalties, which was obviously a concern of ours in the preseason. The bottom line is we have to do a better job closing out games. At the end of the third quarter, we were up by 11 and we had them at a second-and-20, basically. We just had some issues, had some mistakes. Anytime you have two returns against you for touchdowns, the odds are really diminished as far as having a chance to win ball games. The point is we gave up two returns for touchdowns and we turned the ball over three times. So you combine those two and then the one play was combined, but the odds of winning games are significantly reduced. So I think it speaks volumes from a patient standpoint and a commitment standpoint. They just never panicked. They kept playing. Tremendous efforts. The fourth-and-one stop, you saw, it was a great effort by both the tackles, but we wouldn’t have had that situation had they not on the third-and-three and a half or four the previously play, squeezed and collapsed the pocket, retraced and tackled (QB) Russell (Wilson) to create the fourth-and-one. So both tackles on back-to-back plays made tremendous effort plays to give us a chance to win in overtime.

“Injury-wise, good news on (DE) Eugene (Sims) and (RB) Chase (Reynolds). They may miss some time, but they’re not going to miss an extended period of time like we feared last night. They may not be available this week. I’ll let you know later in the week, but we got good news there. And (CB) Trumaine (Johnson) is feeling much better today, so we’ll take him through the protocol. I thought (CB) Marcus (Roberson) did a nice job when he came in. Made some plays, made some tackles, knew what to do. We were a little nervous when (DB) Lamarcus (Joyner) went down because then we were down to two corners. The coaches did a nice job moving guys around and preparing them to finish the game, but Lamarcus came right back. I thought (QB) Nick (Foles) played well. Made a lot of plays and both of our young offensive linemen (G Jamon Brown and T Rob Havenstein) lined up and played pretty well. I thought from a protective standpoint we were good. They were sound. They played with a lot of effort. Neither one of them played 60 minutes up to this point, and they both finished the game really well.”

Success in this league requires you to keep wins and losses in perspective. After a tough Sunday afternoon, things don’t work out – you have to get them back. When we have a really emotional win like we did yesterday, you have to keep things in perspective. We have to correct mistakes. We have to put another good plan in and we have to go out and carry respect in for next week’s opponent. But, it certainly was a reward for them for all of the hard work through camp and some of the negativity that emerged from our preseason games because of the lack of points and lack of production and things like that. It was a great day. - Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(On his relationship with and how inspired his team was by the Saturday night speaker Will Jimeno, the New York Port Authority police officer who survived 13 hours under World Trade Center rubble)
“Yeah, I met him probably back in 2003 at a function. We spoke at a function together and since have stayed in touch and become friends. We just thought because of the closeness of 9-11 to kickoff, that we reached out to him and he came in. That was pretty cool and I noticed that you noticed when we made that fourth-and-one, there was 9:11 left on the clock. So that’s pretty cool. I haven’t had a chance to tell Will that yet, but he’ll appreciate it. But, tremendous story. Tremendous man. Part of the reason was on Saturday nights it makes no sense to get guys motivated and get them ready to play at nine o’clock at night, so we do different things at times. I thought because so many of those guys might have been 6/7/8/9-years old and not really remember what happened, it was an opportunity to close the history gap for them and expose what was in essence the worst tragedy this country has ever faced. Will, in my eyes, was a hero. Those guys got an opportunity to listen to him.”

(On the status of Eugene Sims and Chase Reynolds)
“They’re knees (injuries). I’m not going to go into specifics, but (it’s) their knees. Non-ACLs.”

(On the status of RB Tre Mason)
“He was fine. I thought he had a really good warm-up in pre-game, so he’ll be day-to-day this week.”

(On WR Brian Quick’s status)
“We had to get to 46 (players). We have six (players) and the other guys are playing. He’s just going to have to be patient. He’s coming. He’s missed a lot of time. He’s coming. It wasn’t physically related. It was just number related.”

(On if he was disappointed in the size of the crowd)
“No, I wasn’t disappointed at all. They were great. They (Seattle) had to go to silent count. That was pretty good when their offense is in a silent count and a hurry-up throughout the game. No, we were excited. Both sets of fans, the Seahawk fans that were there and all of our fans that were there, saw an amazing football game. There’s a lot more to come. I know that.”

(On why there wasn’t a flag thrown on the onside kick for tackling WR Bradley Marquez after he waived for a fair catch because it seemed obvious that he signaled fair catch)
“He did. There should have been. It was incorrectly enforced. They got it half right.”

(On if at the time he was just happy to get the ball or was he thinking about the fact that there should have been a flag thrown for tackling Marquez after the signal)
“Yes, I was concerned that there was going to be a re-kick. When they ruled it an invalid fair catch signal, that implies that he signaled for a fair catch because it’s not permissible to signal fair catch if the ball is hit in the ground and bounces up in the air, like the college rule. So, when they ruled that, then there was no question in mind that they recognized the fair catch signal. I just couldn’t convince them to enforce the penalty because they just wouldn’t put the ball on the 35-yard line.”

(On if he brought up the penalty at that time)
“Yes.”

(On what the officials said when he asked about the penalty)
“They just said, ‘We’re going to give you the ball right here. We’re not going to re-kick, so let’s go.’”

(On if the officials were bargaining with him)
“No. That thing is…when have you seen that before? It just doesn’t come up. I talked to (NFL Vice President of Officiating) Dean (Blandino) last night and he explained it and we were right, and he said, ‘No, they made a mistake.’”

(On both DTs Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald coming up with double-digit tackles and what it says about the way they played)
“Well, they prepared. They both had great offseasons. They’re both talented. They’re both healthy and they prepared. They understood what to do. We had a really good plan inside with some stunts and things like that and just pressuring their interior offensive line. Aaron – and not taking away from ‘Brock’ – but Aaron really had one of the best games that I’ve seen a defensive tackle play.”

(On if this team is more resilient this year)
“Well, we had some good efforts last year and had some good games. If you look back, we let a couple slip away. But, I think this team understands now that you just keep playing. I think a lot of that has to do with the entire group’s confidence in Nick (Foles) because Nick was all about that, ‘Hey, let’s keep playing. Defense, give me the ball back. I’ll put a drive together here, we’ll go win,’ this kind of thing. That kind of attitude permeates throughout the team.”

(On how much confidence this gives the team)
“Success in this league requires you to keep wins and losses in perspective. After a tough Sunday afternoon, things don’t work out – you have to get them back. When we have a really emotional win like we did yesterday, you have to keep things in perspective. We have to correct mistakes. We have to put another good plan in and we have to go out and carry respect in for next week’s opponent. But, it certainly was a reward for them for all of the hard work through camp and some of the negativity that emerged from our preseason games because of the lack of points and lack of production and things like that. It was a great day. If you protect the football and put some drives together, the game probably goes a little bit differently. We score a couple more times, get the ball back, continue to put them in third down situations – we put them in 19 third down situations, which is pretty impressive from a defensive standpoint  - but, if you say for example, you go out there and you win by 14 (points). I’m not so sure that the manner in which we won this game yesterday is better than winning by 14 points against a team that played in back-to-back World Championships. Overall, I think it was a great effort. But, again, you can’t over-emphasize the importance of getting better. We have to improve in a lot of areas.”

(On if there are things that he can do to keep the team in perspective)
“They know how to practice. It’s about preparation and going out and practicing hard. That’s what we do. We have to size it a day at a time as you go through the preparation.”

(On if yesterday’s emotional win will help the players be consistent week to week)
“Again, it’s one week at a time. We have to build on this and carry this intensity and the lack of mistakes that have hurt us in the past and into Week 2. We’ll see what happens.”

(On how important short passes were against a defense that is tough to run against)
“I think it was a great plan. We were able to stay with the run throughout. The screen game for us has worked through the preseason. It worked yesterday a little bit. Even the tight end screen, (TE Jared) Cook was really close to hitting that seam and making a big play there. We were able to carry balance into the end of this game. We took our shots, we ran the football, we had the short passing game, missed a couple of opportunities, but one of the things we did do is we made the catches. There weren’t any drops. Against that team you have to catch the football. Remember what happened up there last year? That ball bounced off of (TE) Lance’s (Kendricks) shoulder.”

(On the play to WR Kenny Britt on third down)
“It was huge. Third-and-15s are hard. That’s about (QB) Nick (Foles) just having a feel and knowing where guys are and he made the throw and Kenny made the catch and then got up and made the first down. And, oh by the way, the towel is not part of the body. If you grab the towel or touch the towel, it’s not down by contact.”

(On the success Seattle had when they switched to no huddle and if that’s something they have to work on)
“Again, our practice tempo on the field against our defense is no huddle tempo every single day. They had success because of the talent level they have on offense in (QB) Russell Wilson and their running back, who by the way is really, really good.”

(On what happened on the Seahawks’ punt return)
“We were backed up. When you’re backed up, the timing is different. He couldn’t take the footwork that he needed to put the ball on the boundary. He had to punt the ball and just get the ball off. When you get the ball off and you’re backed up and you have a tight punt, you don’t get the immediate presence of your gunners. We just got a punt that he hit a little off the mark. Had we got the ball on the boundary, we would’ve been fine because our intention was to pin him. We got into problems on first down with the loss and then second down with the loss and then we pushed it out a little, but we were snapping from the 12-yard line and his heels on the end line and you have to get rid of the ball as quick as you can. The whole thing was a function of the offensive negative plays.”

(On the miscommunication on the snap)
“We’ll get that worked out. We’re alright. They haven’t been working together very long. When they went to change the play and (C Tim Barnes) ‘Timmy’ didn’t hear it and snapped the ball and that caught him by surprise.”

(On what worked for them on their punt return for a touchdown)
“We carry over all of the stuff we do on the practice field. All of our drills, on to the field yesterday in that return and it all paid off. Some great, great down the field, individual efforts by a number of players to wall people off, go to the next level knowing that (WR) Tavon (Austin) is going to make somebody miss and they just kind of dominoed down the field. And then his athletic ability kept him in the field of play.”

(On what he liked from CB Marcus Roberson)
“Since his arrival last year at the rookie minicamp or orientation, he learned our system. You saw him play in the preseason last year, he made plays. He understands the system, he’s got ball skills, he’ll tackle and he had a good preseason. He pays attention and he knows that he’s a snap away from going in and unfortunately yesterday he had to go in. Unfortunately we had the injury, but fortunately for him he had to go in and he filled in nicely.”

(On if G Jamon Brown being out for a few plays was an equipment thing)
“Yes, facemask.”

(On the number of plays Seattle had and not giving up a lot of yards on defense)
“I think it speaks volumes of their commitment through the spring and what we were able to do this summer and keep them fresh and how we backed down a little bit last year and kept them fresh. We were on the field for a lot of plays, but we weren’t tired.”

(On what makes WR Bradley Marquez such a good special teams player)
“He’s an instinctive football player. That was not the only really good play he made. He made a couple of other really good plays. He works hard, he pays attention, he acts like he’s been around for three or four years. We can trust him and put him in some unusually difficult positions, especially as a personal protector on our punt team to make all the calls and protection and things. We trust him and he gets it right.”

(On practicing tomorrow and going to a new schedule)
“We’re going to see how it works this week. Coaches are adjusting today and tomorrow. We’re going to stay with it this week and then we’ll go from there. I think it’s going to work. I don’t want to put anybody in a difficult position from a workload standpoint. Unless you’ve gone through it a week or two, so we already started preparing last week for this week’s change. But I definitely know that I feel confident that a day off on Thursday is really going to help to bring the players back as we near kickoff.”

(On how much you get accomplished practicing on Tuesday after a game)
“We’ll have a good idea. It’s a workload thing. We’re discussing it, but I’m confident. This event that we’re having tomorrow is not a full-speed practice. It’s kind of an install, a first and second down install. Wednesday is normal, completely normal.”

(On if that will be the plan every week if it works out)
“It may be the plan, depending on how it works out this week.”

(On if he’s ever done this with one of his teams before)
“No.”

(On other teams doing more work on Saturdays)
“We did that here this past Saturday. A little bit more. A little more up-tempo. You’ve got to get them going and get the functional movement rather than just shut down completely. It appeared to work out pretty good for us.”