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Transcript: Rams Loading Up For Buffalo

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Fish, Gregg Williams and Todd Gurley discussed Week 5.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(On if it seems like it’s been a while since the team has played at home)

“Yeah, it seems like forever, with the travel and everything. The memory is going to come back as soon as we walk in the Coliseum. The guys are excited about it. It’s going to be a warm day. We got to take ourselves between now and then, and we got an outstanding opponent.”

(On how concerned he is for the state of the defensive line)

“We have a tendency of healing up. We still have some time. It’s about being smart. It’s about the lack of practice reps for (DE Robert Quinn) Rob and (DE) Will (Hayes) and (DT) Michael (Brockers), or just trying to get them ready for Sunday right now. If they could practice, they would, but we’re concerned about Sunday’s, one.”

(On the skillset of S Maurice Alexander, and what he brings to the defense)

“(S Maurice Alexander) ’Mo’ came in and played really well for us last year when we lost (S) T.J. (McDonald) to injury. He’s just continued with that. He’s interchangeable, as you would expect most safeties to be, so he can play both positions. He’s tackling well, he’s covering well, and he understands things. He’s had a great offseason, it’s paying off. I think both safeties are playing well.”

(On his relationship with Bills’ Head Coach Rex Ryan and Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan)

“I’ve known them forever. I’ve been really, really happy for them, with respect to their career paths. I got started a little earlier than they did, but they paid their dues. They did a lot of small college stuff and worked their way up. Buddy gave them both an opportunity to work with him when he was at Arizona. I believe that was their first opportunity in the National Football League. Then they both went different directions, and have done great jobs. The job that Rex did in Baltimore was outstanding. They’re both fine coaches.”

(On if he sees any similarities between himself and Rex Ryan, in regards to coaching styles)

“At the end of the day, our teams are going to play the same way. They’re going to play really hard, play physical on defense, and run the football, play emotional, and all those kinds of things. Rex learned that from his dad. That’s where Rex got that, I can assure you of that. There’s a lot of Buddy in Rex, and that’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing, because I have total respect for Buddy. He gave me the opportunity to get in to coaching.”

Def. Coord. Gregg Williams

(On the reasoning behind having three straight games where defensive players have stepped up to make plays to close out games)

“Really, being wherever we’ve been in this style of defense, we’ve had guys mature. One of the things I preach is that you have to never be afraid of making a mistake, and if you’re going to make a mistake, make it full speed, let’s go. And I got hired to correct those mistakes. Our guys play fast – the team that we’ve put together here now, I think coach has done a great job, we’ve got pretty good team speed. But there is a confidence factor, there is a trust factor that, when called upon, I can make that play. That doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by how you prepare and how you practice. You guys come out here and see, sometimes people may think I’m being a little bit harsh on the young men, but we’re trying to practice at a fast pace and a confident pace. They’ve made those plays in practice before it ever happens in a game. It’s been a lot of fun seeing them grow in that way. We also say, we like to have a lead at the end of the game…where we have to make those kind of plays, although it’s a little bit stressful on me – no, I’m just kidding. They’ve been doing well.”

(On the thought process of going back to the ‘Tampa 2’ defense these last few games)

“Here’s a couple things – obviously you haven’t watched much film on me wherever I’ve been, because we’ve based and played more snaps of that than even Lovie Smith, Tony Dungy, Monte Kiffin – we do that everywhere I go. It happens that every game takes a different style of play and also a different style of match-up. We play a different version of Tampa 2, everybody sees the Mike (linebacker) in the middle and I think that’s what everybody else does. Unless you’re in this family of coaching, my family of coaching, you have no idea how complex that gets. We did it because that was needed for the opponents and it also is what we have to do with the guys that we’re playing at the time. Every game brings on its own life, every game brings on its own style of play and that has fit in and our guys do a good job with that.”

(On the challenge that Bills QB Tyrod Taylor poses this week)

“I’m glad you asked that. He’s a great young man, I know him very well because my son played with him in college, so I’ve known him since he’s been a very young college player at Virginia TecH. I’ve watched him grow, I’ve been on the practice field with him, I’ve been in meetings and watched him talk in meetings. The thing that I like most about Tyrod is that when he first came in the league, everybody else said he couldn’t play and all he’d do was kept on going, kept on going, got his opportunity and now he’s starting to shine. If I try to make it real simple, you’ll see similarities – great similarities – in him and Russell Wilson and the style that they try to play. They’re both very mobile quarterbacks, both not as tall as some of the other, bigger quarterbacks in the league, but they do a great job on running their team, and giving their team a chance to move the ball. I think that coaching staff up there has done a really good job on fitting the skillsets of the offense to him and not making him have to be somebody who he’s not. We have our work cut out for us, he is a very smart young man and he is a very good running quarterback. Those are the kind that drive you nuts as a defensive coordinator.”

(On the key to bringing down a running back who can cut like Bills RB LeSean McCoy)

“All of that, right there, is pursuit and swarm; anytime that you get alone, one-on-one, in space with a back like that, you’re at a disadvantage. What we say is, it’s going to be very minimal that you’re in there by yourself because we’re all running. As you guys see how we play with contact and how we play with very hard, ferocious contact, runners against us are looking to possibly take the safe way out. Our swarm and our pursuit has to be overwhelming or, otherwise, he’s going to make too many plays in space and he’s going to turn it into big plays and he’s done that before.”

(On if he has used safeties differently this year than he has in the past)

“No, I really started doing a lot of this same thing back in the Redskin days when I had Sean Taylor. I started doing some of those things with Sean and then every place I’ve been, I’ve tried to adapt to the personnel set. This year, our safeties are different than they were last year, so we have to adapt to the personnel set. The deep-concepts that we play, I started back at the Redskins and, really, you’ll see a lot of other people starting to copy that stuff in the league. I have a smile on my face because I really still don’t really know what we’re doing. When I watch them try to do it, they really haven’t got it quite figured out yet, which is good.”

(On how much he felt he needed to adapt the secondary because they lost CB Janoris Jenkins in the offseason)

“Those things happen. It started back in April, we started our Phase One, Phase Two, Phase Three of OTAs and it started right off the bat last year. We’ve been training all these young guys, these young guys in the secondary have been here. We haven’t had anybody just coming off the streets and having to play for us. They knew the package they would be involved, they knew how we go about highlighting their strengths. (CB) E.J. Gaines plays corner different than (CB) Trumaine Johnson, so why would I coach them the same way, different than (DB) Coty Sensabaugh, different than (CB) Troy Hill, and (S) T.J. (McDonald) and (S) Maurice (Alexander) are different, too. So, conceptually, we have a concept, but then I have to fit certain techniques – and we have to fit certain techniques – to the skillset of those guys. Maurice Alexander has a lot of linebacker background in his past, so all of the sudden how he plays as the free safety position is a little bit different than how (former Rams S) Rodney McCleod played. We’ve done a good job with it, I’m real proud of the staff. These staff guys have been around me for a long time, they’ve taken a lot of static from me, some of them played for me – (defensive backs coach) Dennard Wilson played safety for me, too. I can’t believe they’re still around, I thought they’d had enough of me.”

(On if the Tampa 2 defense fell out of favor with a lot of coaches)

“It does, it does because people don’t understand it. Again, I don’t play it that traditional way and I won’t tell you how I’m playing it.”

(On how DL Ethan Westbrooks has developed over the years)

“He’s very strong. He bounced around a lot of positions in the first couple of years and we’re trying to settle him in on one particular position now. But he has a power and a base about him that is like a defensive tackle, but he’s got the mobility of a defensive end. It’s been fun for us to adapt that quality into some of the things we’re doing. Again, we teach him, we coach him a little bit different than we would a (DE) Robert Quinn, the way we would a (DE) Eugene Sims or a (DE) Will Hayes, all those guys have an identity of their own and how it fits in to the whole scope of what we’re playing.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On not getting down on things, despite the running game not being up to his standards yet)

“It’s life. Sometimes you kind of wonder what’s going on, but you know you got to look at the bigger picture. At the end of the day we’re still winning, 3-1 and the running game hasn’t been going good. You always know that there’s room for improvement. You just kind of got to stay positive about everything.

(On what he’s seeing and what he thinks the issue is as it pertains to the run game)

“We just got to a better job. Everybody, from the linemen, to me, tight ends – everybody. Overall, just finishing blocks, making the right reads, hitting the hole – everybody in one.”

(On the progress he has shown as a wide receiver and whether it will open things up for him in the running game)

“I only caught like three balls and I guess I’m the best receiver now. Just going out there, being consistent and, you know, just putting the same thing on film every week – showing that you can be a threat somewhere else. I think that can definitely help us out a lot.”

(On whether he’s taking satisfaction in his presence contributing to the passing game opening up)

“Oh yeah, for sure. I mean (WR Brian) Quick, (WR Kenny Britt) KB, (WR) Tavon (Austin), (TE) Lance (Kendricks) – all those guys have been doing good. So, just having all those guys down in the box, they’re just going to give those receivers a good chance to win those one-on-ones. That’s what we talk about every week – just win your one-on-ones. That’s all football is, beating the man across from you. As long as we do that and keep executing, we’ll be just fine.”

(On the Bills defense and what he sees with them on film after they shut out the New England Patriots last week)

“Obviously, you just said it. That doesn’t happen. I don’t even know when the last time New England hasn’t scored at all, period. But they do a good job. The (Rex and Rob) Ryan brothers have great defense, the 3-4 defense. (DT) Marcell Dareus is back this week, so I know he’s looking forward to playing. Great linebackers, great coverage DBs, so, it’s definitely a good group. But, we’re at home, so, hopefully we can have a little home field advantage and be able to take this win.”

(On how multiple the Bills are defensively and whether that makes them a tough defense to study on film)

“Yeah, they do a lot of crazy stuff. Try to mess with your brain, and they do a pretty good job with it. So, just being able to watch that film and notice situations – seeing it before it happens, you know, just trying to study every day. Basically, just going out there and playing your rules. Like I said, just winning your one-on-one matchups. ”

(On what happened on the one handed catch play)

“I was just running. I don’t really know what happened. I just reached my hand out and then it just happened to come to me. I’m like, ‘oh snaps, I caught it’. I thought I was out, and then I got tackled. ”

(On whether he ever saw Reggie Bush play in college while he was growing up)

“Yeah. Well, my first game ever watching college football was the National Championship (2005) game. But everybody’s seen, Reggie Bush highlights – best to ever do it in college.”