Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher – Post Practice – 9.25.15
(On RB Todd Gurley’s status and the chances of him playing on Sunday)
"Well, he’ll be…we have him listed as full participation all three days. We have him listed as questionable, which means, implies that there’s a 50/50 chance he’ll play. It’ll be a game-time decision. So really, really pleased with the progress this week."
(On if the decision of making Gurley’s status known at game time is a strategic move)
"Well, I think around the league everybody would prefer not to tip their hat, and that’s kind of where we are right now. But if he doesn’t go, he doesn’t go. And that’ll be a decision we’ll make Sunday."
(On if he promised last week to reveal Gurley’s status of playing Sunday)
"I’ve already told them and you missed it. (laughs) No, I don’t remember saying that."
(On if the decision is already made not to play Gurley or if it will be determined Sunday morning)
"Well the decision was made last week. It’s not made this week. We made the decision last week on Friday. But right now, honestly, it’s a game-time decision, so we’ll see how he is."
(On how difficult the decision is as a coaching staff to judge when Gurley’s ready to play)
"It’s not that hard. We’ve seen the reps. That was our point the last couple of weeks was to get him back in the offense and running with the starters, and he’s done so. I think we split those reps probably 50/50 between he and (RB Tre) Mason. As a tribute to (RB) Benny (Cunningham), Benny doesn’t need a lot of reps. Benny’s get it and he can do it."
(On how much it will lift the team when Gurley plays)
"Well if he plays, it really would have to do with production. If he’s productive, which we expect him to be productive when he plays, now granted we’re playing a very talented defensive front. Then that becomes a big lift of the team. I think it helps us in a lot of areas."
Rams Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams – Post Practice – 9.25.15
(On if this is as good as a triplet he’s ever seen)
"Pretty good. They do a good job with not only the performance and the production of those guys, but I think as a coaching staff, those guys utilize those guys the right way. A lot of good friends on that staff, a couple of guys I’ve coached on that staff, too. To see them get off to a fast start the way they have – and I think (Offensive Coordinator) Todd (Haley) has done a really, really, good job as he’s adapted into that personnel pattern. The way those guys are playing, it’s going to be fun for us to get a chance to stop them."
(On if Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is the best quarterback in the league after Packers QB Aaron Rogers)
"I don’t know how you rate all of those guys. I just know that the guys you get ready to play against, there’s some top echelon quarterbacks. He’s in that area. He’s in those quarterbacks. Whenever you go against a quarterback that can throw you open – and that’s maybe a phrase that we use too often – but, Ben can throw you open. You can do a great job in covering. You can do a great job with your technique. You can be one-on-one perfect, but then he’ll put the ball on the back shoulder, back hip, front shoulder and he’ll throw you open. And those are the kind of guys that you win championships with and they have and he’s won them."
(On what are ways they can shed blocks better)
"We work on all that kind of stuff. We talk about shedding blocks, but we’re never going to stop attacking. One of the things is, we’re not a catch, read and react defense – never going to be that way. We’re going to attack blocks. We’re going to shed blocks. We’re going to attack the line of scrimmage. We’re going to attack the personnel and we’re also going to have an attacking form of how we go about calling the game and letting (LB) James (Laurinaitis) call the game. As you’ll see and as you have seen, James is doing more and more and more of that and doing a really good job with that. Now it’s time, you can’t take some risks, we took a couple of risks last week where we had a couple of D-linemen taking some risks trying to make a big play. We’re, I don’t know what the stat is, probably up near the top in tackles for losses. But, sometimes when you do that, you pop a seam here, you pop a seam there. We’ve got to be able to put them down. Those guys did well. They adjusted well."
(On how disappointed he was after last week)
"Disappointed… was not disappointed. I was pissed. P-I-S-S-E-D. You can ask those guys on Monday when they got a chance to grade the film with me. Usually the coaches get a chance to grade the film, now they grade it with me. So, I’m a little bit more communicative to exactly how we’re going to do those things. After all of these years, I take great pride in being a good communicator and I think they get it. That’ll be something you guys can follow up on in the locker room and find out if they got it or not."
(On if they are an accountable group)
"They’re greatly accountable. From the staff and everything, they’re a great group to be around. There were some points that were being made during the game. But, sometimes during a game, through the stresses of a game, guys have a hard time getting back into focus. They’ve got their plan and I give them a lot of freedom in those plans, too. But then how you get them back on the right reservation. Get them back on the right thing. I told them during the ball game, I take great pride in making adjustments during the game. We made some adjustments that did not come out the way they should’ve come out. But now, it’s fun to hear them talk, ‘Well, now I get it. Now I understand.’ Well, you listen to me, there’s no excuse for not understanding before you get into those situations. We’ve made some of those things too, but I’m never going to fault them on trying to make a big play either. They’re trying to make a big play. We’ve got to continue to make big plays. I think had we made that interception when (CB) Tru (Trumaine Johnson) put his hands on the ball. As you take a look at how much green grass was there, we had a chance to maybe put that in the end zone and then early in the third quarter it would’ve been 17-17 at that point in time. We created a couple of good short fields to start the third quarter. Really played well in the second half until that final drive when we jumped offside and lost leverage on one third down play. Other than that, we gave them some extra plays. In the second half, they played very, very well and lots of things that were giving them fits in the first half. So, we’ve got to start this game this way. I think (Steelers Offensive Line Coach) Mike Munchak is one of the best (offensive) line coaches in the National Football League. He’s in the Hall of Fame as a player. I got a chance to help coach him my first four years in the league he was still playing when I was still a young coach in the league and had a chance to learn some things from him. I smile a great smile on my face whenever I finally got a chance to convince Coach Fisher to hire him behind the scenes. I felt like he’d be a really, really good coach and he is. I took that year and went back and helped him. He asked me to come back in help him in ’13 back over there at the Titans and then I had a chance to work with him as a head coach, too. He does a really, really good job on the offensive line. I see the changes in the Pittsburgh offense because of what he is teaching technique-wise and how he has calmed down some of the protection issues they’ve had for quite a while. So, we’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s going to be a fun game for us, it really is."
(On being ranked highly in passing defense, but giving up an 81 percent completion percentage and how to knock that down)
"You continue to challenge. I always smile when you guys talk about rankings. Two weeks? Let me ask you this, did somebody’s ranking change after the Thursday night game? All of that kind of stuff is, each game takes on a personality of its own and you have to do what you have to do to win that game."
(On if there is merit to people saying Aaron Donald can take himself out of the play by being so quick to the backfield)
"It’s always fun to hear people say that, because as you take a look at Aaron Donald and I haven’t very many people at the college level and the pro level take advantage of him. People will try to trap you and he does a great job against the trap mechanics, too. The faster he is, the better he is and I’m never going to slow him down. That’s a bad coach that would slow him down."