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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher, DC Gregg Williams, RB Todd Gurley Turn Up For Week 10

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The Rams had the following to say after their final practice before taking on the New York Jets in Week 10.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(On the teams’ health going into Sunday’s game)

“We got guys back on the field. (DT Michael Brockers) ‘Brock’ came back on the field, (CB Trumaine Johnson) ‘Tru’ was back on the field, (RB) Todd (Gurley) was back on the field – all be listed as questionable, but that means that they have a good chance of playing. The only one we designated as out was (WR Nelson) ‘Nels’, Spruce.”

(On whether it helps being well traveled as a team for the upcoming road trips)

“Yeah. We talk about this morning in the meeting, we started a little bit earlier this morning to try to get them acclimated to the time change. Their wakeup call is at 5:00 a.m. our time, pregame meal is at 6:00 a.m. and kickoff is at 10:00 a.m... We were meeting at 8:00 a.m. We told them this morning another hour from now, your bodies are going to be in pregame warm-up. We adjusted, they understand it and we’ve handled it – we just need to score some points. I’m not going to tie the two together, but we need to score some points.”

(On whether the Detroit game was an earlier start)

“Detroit was an earlier start. You had that looming thing after Detroit, with the London thing after. But none of that matters, they were focused. It’s a challenge, but our division has to go do it. It’s not the first or the last 10:00 a.m. start we’re going to have, but we’re going to go out there, get ready and go play.”

(On entering the second half of the season and what he is looking to see form RB Todd Gurley)

“We’re looking for overall improvement. We want to see the arrow go up with respect to the whole football team, and that includes Todd, that includes his touches and that includes his production. That’s an offensive team oriented challenge that we have to face, that we have to meet. But he’s feeling good. The numbers are down right now, for a lot of different reasons. But, I’d like to see the numbers increase out of the backfield as well as the carries.”

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams

(On the emphasis of forcing turnovers this week)

“It’s that way every week, but we’re always looking for something to improve upon, (and) we’re in the middle of the pack defensively on that. Some of the better teams I’ve ever been around, some of the better teams I’ve ever coached we’re dominant in that area – it helps the offense, it helps us; taking the ball away. We kind of went back to some training camp rules on some extra drills that we did – heck, I even had to throw the ball a little this week, without getting a sore arm on the interception drill that we really do. The guys have done a great job with that. It’s not that we don’t emphasize it all the time, because we do, and every week, we have been doing it. But it’s been a focal point. The next step for them, would be to do that. We’ve had our hands on the ball enough that we just can’t drop it. We’ve had a couple of dropped interceptions, we’ve had a couple of fumbles that we didn’t quite in possession of. So now, the next time, we’ve got to a better job of that. I will tell you this, I was impressed with (Panthers QB) Cam Newton last week on some of the sacks we got on him – we’re trying to get some ball pressures that way. It tells you what a big hand he has and also what a strong man he is, to be able to protect the ball he did in the pocket last week. We had some opportunities, the next step is for us is to take the ball away – and then score, too.”

(On if it is challenging to not know who will be starting at quarterback for the opposition)

“In all honesty, no. When I say this, conceptually, you take a look at – I scout coordinators every week, too. I’ve gone against (Jets offensive coordinator) Chan (Gailey) and know that, and have a lot a lot of respect for (Jets Head Coach) Todd (Bowles). All the years that Todd was a player, I tried to sign him a long time ago and then the coordinating down here. You have to understand defensive head coaches, too, on what they want their offensive coordinators to do. We’ve got a good handle on all that, if ‘Fitz’ (Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) plays – I was with ‘Fitz,’ too at Tennessee and when he was a quarterback I went against him in a lot of practices. I feel like I know quite a bit about him. He and I had a really good relationship in the meeting rooms and that kind of stuff, because he would pick defensive players’ mind and defensive coaches’ mind. He’s real sharp, not just because he went to Harvard, I told him all the time that doesn’t make you smart, because my son went to Princeton – there was a rivalry back-and-forth with him on that. Whoever plays, they’re going to adapt the strengths to that player, but it’s going to be within the concepts of, offensively, what they do.”

(On how big the challenge is for coast-to-coast road games)

“Somewhat. And I think in the older days, it was quite a bit more. Not as much so nowadays because we are more understanding of it. And I think our head coach is the best there is at that, I think he understands it very well. He takes a high priority on how we stock up during the week, how we practice during the week, monitoring the reps during the week. And then he and (director of sports medicine and performance) Reggie (Scott) and Anthony (Zamora), our (nutrition assistant), on what we do on the plane. Because we’re on the plane for a long time, that’s also captivated the players on doing what we want done on storing up energy and storing up nutrition. In the old days, it was a hamburger and fries and who knows what was going to go on. It’s a lot better now, it really is.”

(On if he has any superstitions to break losing streaks)

“Oh yeah, I come from a baseball family, too. So you know (St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster) Mike Shannon is my father-in-law, so I get a lot of baseball superstitions, football superstitions, but I just keep it to myself.”

(On if there are ways he can see DT Aaron Donald elevating his game)

“I’m proud of him. Let’s go back to the very first year – you guys weren’t covering, we weren’t out here – but everybody wanted me to compare him to somebody and I refused to do that. Last year, they wanted me to compare him to somebody, I refused to do that. You want to know why? Because people are eventually going to start comparing to him. He is his own guy and he does things I cannot coach – I can help, maybe speed up a decision – but he has instincts that are rare. Not only does he have athletic ability and strength, height and weight and things, but he has instincts that you don’t come around very much. He’s been playing very well, especially as emphasis on offensive protections and emphasis in blocking schemes are going towards him, he’s still being able to find a way to beat it.”

(On if there is anything he can offer the offense when they are having trouble running the ball)

“I really do stay in my lane, but when they come and ask me, I’ll talk to them about that, I was an offensive coordinator, too. But the big thing is, I try to do whatever I can to give a good picture, defensively, give a good picture. They’ve got a lot of good people on that side, so they’ve been doing fine with that.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On what he’s working on to break through his current slump)

“You know, certain stuff every week. Just got to stay consistent, and read your tracks, and just stay patient.”

(On if there’s any doubt he will play this week after showing up on the injury list)

“I felt pretty good today. I’ll just leave it at that.”

(On what he can do to help get the offense rolling)

“Just do the same things. Just stay patient, read my track, read my press to the line of scrimmage. Just make sure I’m doing the things that help me out, as far as helping those guys out as well.”

(On what staying patient means as a running back)

“Even when the hole is not there, still being able to just read it the same, and don’t try to do nothing outside of the play. If the play is not designed to hit outside, then don’t make up in your mind, ‘Oh, I know it’s not going to be up inside, so I’ll just go outside.’ Just making sure you’re on the same track as everybody else, because once you start to predetermine stuff, that’s when you know you’re not on the same page as your linemen, you try to bounce it outside, you get holding calls. You just want to stay consistent.”

(On how he takes the pressure off himself)

“It’s always a must win, it’s always a must win. You’ve got to win every game. Got to play every game like you’re trying to win. It’s definitely tough going to East Coast opponents. At the end of the day, they have to come over here as well. Just go out there and execute.”

(On if he had any superstitions growing up playing sports, in regards to breaking out of a slump)

“No. Just keep it the same. Definitely work a little harder, but keep it the same.”

(On how to manage getting the ball play, after play, after play)

“Just depends. You’re getting yards play, after play, after play, or you’re not getting yards play, after play, after play (laughter). Obviously being a running back, you want the ball. You’ve just got to mentally tough to be able to get those carries play after play. The biggest thing with that is – that’s when endurance comes in. You start seeing stuff when you’re tired. Just making sure you’re doing the same thing on that first carry that you’re doing on that 25th carry.”

(On if it’s easier to sustain a consistent rhythm when you’re getting a lot of carries)

“I don’t know, you’ve just got to get your mind right. You never know what they play call is. Sometimes, like I said, I’ve had times in college where I got the ball five times in a row, and you know you’re going to get it again. But, you just got to man up and do your best.”

(On how his body feels at this point in the season, in comparison to this point last season)

“I feel like this year, my body has been a lot healthier. Definitely been better, knock on wood. I say that next week, and I feel like crap (laughter).”