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

Here's what Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher had to say at his post-game press conference today.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

(Opening Statement)
“We had a ball game where we had two defensive units that had really outstanding games. When you have a 12-6 ball game, that implies that both defenses are playing well and both defenses in my opinion played very well. It was a field position game and it was a game that we had a number of opportunities offensively to make some plays. We left some yards out there and we just didn’t capitalize. Our issue is on third down offense. Converting third downs and then making plays in the plus territory. Touchdowns rather than field goals, like I said after the ball game. We’ve looked at it. There were a lot of great efforts, a lot of good things. Obviously, we got out-scored and we lost the ball game, so we’re moving on. Our attention now goes to one of the top two teams in the NFC right now. It looks like we’ve got them both back-to-back, so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, so we’re moving forward.”

(On if running the ball better would open up the passing game)
“Oh yeah. Yeah, there’s no doubt about it. We were close. Coaches look at a little differently than everybody else. (RB) Todd (Gurley) had six carries for nine yards, played 14 plays. He could’ve very well had 50 or 60 yards in those six carries - it was that close. It’s not broken. It’s working. I thought this team improved over the Washington effort, yet it’s not reflected in the win/loss column. It’s not reflected in the points, but we did some good things. I thought our offensive line as a group played well. We just had little things go wrong here and there. I think objectively you look at the tape and there’s a lot of potential there.”

(On what he meant by Gurley’s runs being close)
“A block here, a press the hole here or a block there. Maybe it’s just a slight formation change and all of the sudden the back’s in the second level and on the third level.”

(On how Gurley bounced back today)
“He felt great. He feels good.”

(On if Gurley is ready for an increased work load)
“There is a possibility he will get more reps, yes. It’s a good possibility he plays this week.”

(On if he figured going into this season it would be tough for the offense at the beginning of the season)
“(QB) Nick (Foles) is new in the system. The system is new. I didn’t anticipate the points, the issue with the lack of points in the last two weeks, but the potential was certainly there. The three drops, the penalties, those kinds of things take points off the board. The points will increase once our drives increase. We just haven’t had the opportunity with the drives. It really all circles around the third down efficiency. We’re not converting third downs. We’ll get that figured out.”

(On if what he is doing schematically with the run game is a bigger adjustment for some of the linemen or backs)
“No, I mean, we’ve added a couple of things over last year, but I think in the long run we’re going to benefit from it. It’s going to help us.”

(On what he’s seen from the offensive line)
“(T) Greg (Robinson) played one of his better games. Really like what we saw out of Greg in the game. The offensive linemen, in my opinion from a pass-protection standpoint and a run game standpoint, they’ve improved. (T) Rob (Havenstein) is doing fine out there. We had a couple minor communication issues out there. ‘JB’ (G Jamon Brown) is doing fine. They’re just getting better. Sometimes this takes time. (G) Rodger (Saffold) is fine now with his shoulder. I thought (C) Timmy (Barnes) played well. It’s hard to say a player plays well on offense when you score six points, but when you look at the individual efforts, I thought Timmy got his job done.”

(On if there is a common thread on the third downs or if it’s just a matter of players making plays)
“It’s getting the correct depth. Or for example, it’s Nick in the system, pre-snap diagnosing man or zone and knowing where to go with the ball. We had some opportunities there. He’s seeing it. We’ve discussed it. We’ll improve upon it.”

(On re-thinking getting WR Brian Quick on the field)
“There’s a chance that he’ll be up this week. We’ll see how the week goes.”

(On if there’s anything Quick needs to show him on the practice field)
“No, he’s done everything. We can’t keep them all up like we’ve talked about. (WR) Bradley (Marquez) is playing really well on (special) teams. When (WR) Chris (Givens) got his opportunities, he made his plays. We’ll just see how things shake out during the week.”

(On if DE Eugene Sims and RB Chase Reynolds are any closer to being ready to play)
“They’ll be week-to-week, yes. Closer, I don’t know, it’d be really close this week. That kind of gives you an idea. We got a lot of good work out of (DE) Ethan (Westbrooks). He played end in relief of (DE) Rob (Quinn) and got a lot of production out of him. I thought the defensive line for the most part applied really good pressure against an offensive line that is very well-coached, that was prepared and we still got pressure there. Obviously we miss Eugene, but just moving Ethan around has been good for us.”

(On if he had to change anything with the line calls with OL Barrett Jones on the Steelers practice squad)
“No. That wasn’t the issue.”

(On how he saw S Mark Barron’s hit on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger from a rules standpoint)
“It’s the appropriate way to make contact with the quarterback when you’re going to the ground. That’s what the league wants to see. They don’t want to see helmet contact to the lower body or shoulder contact to the lower body. When you’re going by, the appropriate way is to use your arm to try and trip the quarterback up and that’s what he did. That was something that was discussed years ago with the committee.”

(On if his stance on WR Kenny Britt’s catch remains the same)
“I could see where they’re coming from, but I have not changed my mind from yesterday, no. The coach’s tape is really no different than what I saw, with respect to replay in the game.”

(On if it looks like the ball hit the ground)
“To me, you have to have indisputable visual evidence to overturn the ruling on the field, and I didn’t think it was indisputable. I think they just put things together. That’s what (Referee) John (Hussey) said, ‘Hey we got it. We put it together and this play’s correct.’ So, you go on.”

(On if P Johnny Hekker needs more practice throwing the ball)
“Johnny’s been pretty effective for us since his arrival here. But Johnny’s also a punter. He’s not a quarterback. So on occasion, he’ll miss it. But fortunately, we overcame it.”

(On the reasoning behind calling the fake punt)
“That play’s available to us on every punt.”

(On if he noticed that the Seattle Seahawks ran the ‘mountaineer play’ this past weekend during their game against the Chicago Bears)
“I didn’t notice, but I was informed of that by (Senior Director of Communications) Artis (Twyman) prior to coming down. It’s interesting. I wonder where they got it from?”

(On seeing the play work within one calendar year)
“Who knows, maybe that had it in before we did it last year.”

(On if he even considered the 60-yard field goal attempt)
“Yeah, I did. But a 60-(yard) miss at that time, point in the game, could be difficult to overcome. And it didn’t have anything to do with the choice to fake the punt, but I just felt like we would benefit from the field position change and make them drive it. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the kick. We didn’t get a pin. I think we had a touchback there anyway, so we didn’t get it. So we netted about 30 yards.”

(On how he thought QB Nick Foles performed)
“Nick made a lot of good throws, made a lot of good decisions. Nick pushed the ball down the field and gave the guys chances. The three drops were significant. That’s what we talked about last week. We had several last week. We had none in Week 1. We have to catch the ball when given the opportunity. (TE) Lance (Kendricks) makes that catch, it’s who knows what happens.”

(On if he wishes Foles would not have thrown that pass up the middle that was intercepted)
“Well it sailed a little bit, and there was a lot that had to do with that particular play. We’ve discussed it and I think he’s got a better perspective. But often times when there are balls that are intercepted, there’s more involved than just the throw. There’s routes that need to be run correctly and pushed down the field, so we have it in perspective.”

(On if there was a route that was not run correctly which then resulted in the interception)
“Yes, potentially there was. I’m not going to call anybody out, but as an offense, we can run that play better than we did.”

(On if the route run incorrectly was away from the throw)
“Yes. So go look. Go find the play.”

(On if the route was run correctly, it could have pushed the safety wider)
“To push a little bit wider. Yes.”

(On how he stays so outwardly calm)
“I’m seeing improvement. We have room for improvement, but I’m seeing improvement. We’ve got a lot of games left. We have huge challenges the next couple of weeks before the bye, but Arizona is playing as good as anybody in the league right now. So we’re going to go out there and see if we can find a way to win it. But I have complete confidence in the young group in this room. They’re practicing well. They’re getting better and excited to have (RB) Todd (Gurley) in the lineup and we’re going to go.”

(On if he likes the optimistic perspective of Foles)
“I think he’s got a real legitimate perspective of where we are as a football team right now. We are a few plays away from being 3-0. We make a couple of plays last week and make a couple plays this past week, we…you have to approach it that way. You can’t go and say, ‘Hey, we’re a few plays away from being 0-3.’ You have to look at it that way. If you look at it the way we’re looking at it, then there’s optimism. There’s I’m not saying hope, but there’s confidence that this team’s going to get better.”

(On how he avoids going 1-4 these next few weeks)
“They have to play us as well. That’s how we look at it.”

(On not running well on first downs and not converting on third downs)
“Yeah, we had some tackles for losses and create the second-and-12 and third-and-7s and we weren’t getting off, yeah. That’s where…it’s all contributing. It contributes to all that, so more importantly that than, we just have to avoid the third downs if at all possible. Make bigger plays and get more production on the early downs.”

(On how he thinks S Mark Barron has adjusted to being a role player for this team)
“He’s played well. Safeties are playing well right now. (No.) 25 (S TJ McDonald) and (No.) 26 (Barron) played well yesterday. So ask (Steelers RB) Le’Veon Bell.  They played good.”

(On his thoughts on the new system and the medical timeout)
“It was discussed at length over two different series of meetings during the offseason with the committee and Dr. Pellman and the NFL office. The concern was that, is there anyway there may be some competitive advantage to this type of concept? The committee came up with no answers to that. We didn’t feel there’s any way it was going to be competitive because it’s an independent observer. That’s the first time the player went out; he came back in and finished the game. They checked him. But the observer had every reason to believe that there may have been some sort of head injury and particularly because of the way the player was on the ground. But no, I think the system works and I think it’s important.  It’s good that it went in effect. The officials did a really good job with it, explaining to everybody, resetting the play clock, taking the player off and rewinding the clock.”

(On if he’s going to do away with the pyrotechnics)
“That’s not my call, but I’m going to enter the field through the other tunnel.”