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Transcript: Rams Head To Detroit

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Here’s what Rams HC Jeff Fisher, DC Gregg Williams and RB Todd Gurley had to say after the Rams’ final preparatory practice for their game against the Lions in Week 6.

Los Angeles Rams DC Gregg Williams
Los Angeles Rams DC Gregg Williams
Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening Remarks)

“We finished up a good week. Obviously, our focus is on Detroit. Like I said all week, it’s a good football team. I’m pleased with the practice. We got some guys back. We got (DT Michael Brokers) ‘Brock’ back on the field, got (DE William Hayes) Will back, we got (DE Robert Quinn) Rob back on the field, which is good, and then (S Cody Davis) Cody. So, it ended up being a good week for us.”

(On his thoughts regarding the defensive line going into the game)

“They’ve got, what, 48 hours, 46 hours or something like that, from now. Each passing day, they’re getting better. Obviously we need them, especially against this group.”

(On how great the support staff has been with all the moving and transitioning that has taken place)

“The operations side and the administrative side, they’ve done a tremendous job; planning in advance, taking care of the players and the coaches. When you have to do all these things that we’ve been doing, that’s first and foremost; is making sure that things are settled, we got a practice field, and we got time, and all those things. We’re moving the whole franchise again, for a week. But, everything is in place right now. We’ll be fine.”

(On how he evaluates the job Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams has done adjusting schematically with the group they have now, in comparison to last season)

“We adjusted early on after the two free agent losses. As if we evolved, you have to play and build your scheme around your strengths and weaknesses, and that’s what we’ve tried to do. I think he’s done a good job with that.”

(On if Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams’ personality helps energize the team)

“Yeah, he does. He’s consistent every day. He captures the group. He loves meeting, and has a unique way of communicating it with them.”

(On if he’s seen any growth in passion from DB Lamarcus Joyner)

“It was back when he left my office in camp, so he’s fine. He’s taking his game seriously. He always has, he’s just passionate about it. As we said, that’s one of the toughest positions to play on the defense, is when you’re on the slot, inside. You got run-pass reads, you got man-to-man match-ups, you have got all kinds of things that you have to do. It’s a tough place to play inside, and he does a good job at it.”

(On how DT Michael Brockers complements DT Aaron Donald on the defensive line)

“The two of them do a great job of communicating. They’re talking all of the time, even though their hands are down, they’re talking all the time. They play off each other. Mike is kind of more of the anchor guys, and Aaron becomes our go-to guy, as far as penetration. The two of them work well together, there’s no doubt. What was good last week, was not that is was good not to have Michael up, we got to play some other players. They got to get more involved in the communication and had to trust each other.”

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams

(On what he’s seen from Lions QB Matthew Stafford this season)

“I think he’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play. I have a lot of respect for that coaching staff, anyway. I think (Head) Coach (Jim) Caldwell does a really good job, and that whole staff, on their style of play. Matt looks very comfortable, he’s playing very well, it’s going to be our job to try to make him unsettled. But he’s been making throws that not very many quarterbacks can make – with his mobility, his arm strength. But he understands, you can see it, that he’s taking the next step as a quarterback being the pseudo-offensive coordinator, too. Because they’re letting him check a lot, so you’ll see that check system going on. He’s doing very well.”

(On the main issues with not being able to stop Bills RB LeSean McCoy last week)

“You’ll love this – sometimes we blow things out of proportion – LeSean made us miss in space a couple of times, he popped a couple runs, but there were 19 of them that there’s nothing on. We have got to make sure that those long ones don’t get in scoring position and then we have to make them kick a field goal. Our guys played very solid, there was a couple of pulls that they did in there where we kind of missed fit. And then LeSean is very, very good on making you miss in space. He’s the kind of running back that, once he gets into space, he can get extra yardage himself. We have to do a better job of that – if we miss fit, once he gets into space, we have to minimize the gain. And we didn’t minimize the gain last week.”

(On how much they have to change when there are three injured defensive linemen)

“I really don’t in that respect, because the guys that are here are proven. They played pretty solid; it was a few guys behind the ball, behind the defensive line (that) have to improve. Our defensive line is very solid, we’ve moved them around. Again, I haven’t seen any of you guys write this, but what happened in the second half? Until the fake punt, they had, what, one first down? Those guys, they did a good job at halftime, we did a good job on the sideline. I’m really respectful and appreciative of what a good job the staff did. These guys have been around me quite a bit and I listened, and they listened to me. We did a really, really good job of adjusting when we had to. Unfortunately, maybe I didn’t pull the trigger fast enough on a couple of situations there. I was very pleased with how they adjusted in the second half. And just talking for the Bills coaching staff, they were a little bit panicked there on what we were doing.”

(On how much they lose by not having CB Trumaine Johnson)

“He’s a really good football player. He’s grown every single year that I’ve had a chance to be around him. But (CB) Troy’s (Hill) played well and (CB) E.J. (Gaines) has played well and (CB) Lamarcus (Joyner) has played well. One of the things we have around here, and our head coach does a good job with this too, is we also have a philosophy – I have about 32 philosophies that I’ve passed down to young coaches and stuff that have a chance to work with us – is next man up. And the next man up has to be ready to play. If you’ve made a team in the National Football League, you’re pretty good. It’s up to us, now, to make sure we highlight your strengths and maybe hide your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses – Trumaine does, (DE) Robert Quinn does, (DT) Aaron Donald does. Let’s make sure that they get a chance do to the things they’re real good at. The other guys that are playing in those spots, we’ll try to highlight those things.”

(On what he’s seen from E.J. Gaines)

“He’s bounced back in a hurry. And I have a lot of respect, and I have a lot of like in that kid. He grew up in the same general area that I grew up in back in Missouri, played against his high school. And we dig each other all the time about the rivalry between my high school and his high school. But he’s done very well and I think (head athletic trainer) Reggie (Scott) and our head coach have done a good job on how they brought him along slowly that so there’s not a setback. He bounced right back in, he’s light years ahead of where he was after that rookie year – then he got hurt and missed the whole year. It’s fun to see him take the next step. And I’m hoping that I’m not jinxing him right now – I think you guys are going to see a much-improved E.J. Gaines as he goes through the years, because, typically, people make that drastic improvement in the second and the third year when they get in this league. He’s been doing very well; I’d love for him to get his hands on the ball a little more because he does catch the ball very well, too.”

(On how LB Josh Forrest has adjusted to playing more on defense)

“He’s adjusted very well. And he’s been in my dog house since the very first snap that he played – but all rookies are in my dog house. All rookies have to understand there’s lots of people have played this game way before them and we’re not playing it for a scholarship anymore, we’re not playing it for intramurals anymore, we’re playing it for real. He had to get that little bit of a mode locked into him, but he’s a good young kind and all he has done is improved – every single day he’s improved. Now, we as a staff, again, have to highlight his strengths, too, and try to keep him out of positions that he’s not as good at until he catches up.”

(On if there are any particular problems they face with Lions WR Marvin Jones)

“He’s done very well. We’ve gone against him over in Cincinnati, also. But he’s fit in very well. And in a short amount of time, he has linked well with Stafford, he’s on our radar. But every receiver in the league right now is pretty special. He’s done very well for them, too.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On his performance last season against the Lions)

“It was a pretty good game, but that was last year. I wish I was doing what I was doing last year, but I’m not. Just got to focus on this game. They’ve got a good defense, great pass rushers, good linebackers, and good inside defenders.”

(On why he thinks the Lions defense has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season)

“I don’t know. You’ve got to be doing something right to not give up a rushing touchdown. Like I said, they’re a good defense. They’ve been playing their tails off this year.”

(On whether he has ever been out of the United States before)

“Yeah.”

(On whether it’s unusual for him to be traveling this far)

Yeah it is, because I’m going to go play a game and out of the country. But it’ll be pretty cool.”

(On if it will be tough to deal with the logistical challenges associated with the trip such as time changes, body rhythms, sleep patterns, etc.)

“Probably so, to be honest. But it is what it is, you’re going to have to deal with it.”

(On how comfortable he feels taking snaps out of the wildcat formation)

“It’s fine. They’re giving me a role to do and I just try to do it as best I can.”

(On what he thinks the biggest difference is from last year to this year)

“I can’t tell you. I don’t know, couldn’t tell you. I haven’t even been focusing on last year.”

(On what it’s been like mentally adjusting to every defense keying on him)

“It is what it is. You kind of know that going into the game. You still have to run the ball. Obviously, we’re probably weren’t having much success. But at the end of the day, we’re still running the ball. We’re not going to go away from what we usually do.”