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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher, QB Jared Goff Talk NFL Debut

The Rams’ head coach and #1 overall pick spoke to the media today about Goff taking over starting duties.

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff
Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“I sat down with both (QB) Case (Keenum) and (QB) Jared (Goff) this morning, and informed them of the move. First I want to say, Case was voted a captain when the preseason was over, and he’s still a captain. His leadership, and his enthusiasm, and his commitment, and everything – you can’t ask for anything more out of somebody. It’s the same thing that I shared with the team today, as far as Case’s job and what’s he’s done, the difficulties we’ve had offensively, which were not necessarily his fault, but it’s time. It’s time to move on. I felt in my heart – I was getting closer and closer over the last couple of weeks. I felt like this was the best time to go ahead and turn the keys over to Jared. We’re excited for him. He had a good day today. He’s into the plan, he’s really excited. The position is not easy to play, as we’ve seen around the league. A lot of good quarterbacks took their lumps last weekend, but we got confidence in him, as the offense does. We’ll get him prepared to play. The option was to wait until Sunday, but that’s not a good option. It’s not fair to you guys, it’s not fair to him. It’s out there, he’s our starter, we’re moving forward.

“As far a (DE) Rob’s (Quinn) situation is concerned, he’s here. He’s doing well, we got good results back. It’ll be a day-to-day thing with Rob, as far as getting back on the field. That will be the case with a couple of other guys. I’ll have an injury report for you guys on Friday. I don’t want to say it’s a new era, it’s a new start, but in a lot of way, it is. Jared Goff is going to be under center this week, at home, against a really good defensive team in the Miami Dolphins. So, big challenge ahead.”

(On his biggest concern regarding QB Jared Goff and this game)

“I don’t go into games having concerns. I go into games having expectations, and the expectation is he’s going to run the offense. We’re not scaling the offense down. We’ve game planned. I’ve shared my decision with the staff early yesterday, so they would have time as the game plan continues to go in, and we’ve done so. I don’t have any concerns about Jared. I just have high expectations for him.”

(On if this was a collaborative decision)

“No, they’re all behind me as far as decisions are concerned. It was my decision. I did inform (Owner/Chairman) Stan (Kroenke) for obvious reasons. I told him this is here I wanted to go, and the direction I wanted to go, and we’re going that way. It’s an exciting time right now. The record aside, we’re expecting him to play well and win games for us.”

(On what ultimately swayed him in making the decision)

“It was just Jared’s progress, and the progression week, after week, after week. Preparing to be a two, preparing to be a play away from going in. When he got the reps over the last three or four weeks, they were right, they were good, they were good decisions, so it was time.”

(On if starting him at home rather than on the road factor into his decision)

“You can argue the point, well gosh, maybe he didn’t want to do it in New York, against that defense, but I don’t want to discount Miami’s defense, because they’re playing really well right now. Ask (Chargers QB) Philip Rivers, he had all he can handle a couple of days ago. No, it’s a timing thing. That’s what I’ve been speaking day, after day, after day, especially right here since we drafted him – It’s a timing thing. We’ll have a feel for it, and we got a feel for it. The decision is behind us now. Let’s look forward to watching him play.”

(On what changed from yesterday’s press conference regarding Goff’s status)

“The question that was asked of me was, is Jared number two, or is Case your starter. He was yesterday. He’s not today.”

(On what changed between Sunday and this morning)

“It was a progression. It wasn’t a spontaneous decision – it was a progression. It’s a gut feel. It’s not an easy thing, it’s a gut feel. It takes time, and we gave it time. It’s the right decision right now – looking forward to watching him play and backing him up. He’s going to do well. He’s going to have some moments, like all young quarterbacks do, but he’s going to do well.”

(On whether QB Case Keenum will be the backup quarterback)

“Case is number two – yes.”

(On how Keenum took the news)

“Case is a pro. He understands – doesn’t like it – but understands and appreciates his opportunity and is going to do everything he possibly can to help make Jared successful. His class – he’s a class act. ”

(On QB Jared Goff’s reaction to being named the starter)

“I’m ready to go. Let’s go win the game.”

(On what Goff brings to the table on offense)

“He hasn’t started an NFL game yet – it’s going to take some time. It’s going to take experience, snaps practice reps, game reps, and different situations. But he’s had an opportunity to observe things and that experience is extremely valuable. It’s hard for me to describe to all of you how that experience is, but it is valuable. We’ll see where it goes. But he’s tall, he can see, get rid of the ball, he understands the offense, and we got to help him, you know, we have to run the football – that’s going to help any quarterback. We have to do that. We showed signs of it last week and we got to continue with it.”

(On whether they will stay committed to the decision to start Goff beyond this week)

“Yeah, we’re committed to this.”

(On whether he will stay committed to the decision to start Goff for the remainder of the season)

“Yeah. We didn’t do what we did this offseason and trade for Jared, to come in and just spot-play him over the next five or six weeks. By no means – even though there’s people out there saying ‘well you’re doing it now because your playoff chances aren’t real good’ – well no, our playoff chances are still fine. We’re doing this for two reasons, one, I feel like this is the best decision. And two, he has a chance to help us win football games. Offensively our numbers are where they are. We’re hoping that he’s going to help us improve. I will caution everybody to evaluate him on this game. It’s unfair to evaluate a quarterback just on one games performance. But I will guarantee you this, he’s going to prepare and be ready to play.”

(On whether the offense will be tweaked in any way with Goff as the starting quarterback, given his arm talent)

“We don’t have to reduce anything and we talked as a staff last night about that. There are some things that we will expand because of the arm talent, you know, the stuff down the field. We have to block better up front and that includes in the run game and protection. We have to make plays down the field, we have to get the ball in the end zone when we have opportunities to help him, and defense has to play better. Again, it’s an exciting time for us. I’m excited to watch him play, I’m excited to watch him go through and finish up his first week of preparation as our starter.”

(On whether having Goff as the starting quarterback will provide a spark within the team)

“We’ve lost some really close games, that’s frustrating and we found a way to win last week in New York. We’ve been in games. We have a good football team – we just have to find a way to win it. We’re going to put the pressure right now on Jared to do so.”

QB Jared Goff

(On his initial reaction when he was told that he would be the starting quarterback)

“I was excited, very excited. It’s been a long time, it feels like, since I’ve gotten out there and played. I’m excited to get back out there and play.”

(On if this is the time he thought he would be named the starter)

“I don’t know. It was whatever time they wanted to do it. This is the week they chose, I’m ready to go and I’m excited.”

(On how much more ready he feels now than he did in the preseason or earlier in the regular season)

“I saw a lot of stuff from the sidelines, as much as you can see during the games. I learned from a lot of the things (QB) Case (Keenum) did, good and bad. It’s been a long process, I guess, trying to pick up everything and get ready for it – I think I have and I think I’ve been ready for a little while. I feel good and I feel excited.”

(On the challenges of going against the Miami defense)

“They’ve won four in a row now, have a great defense, a great front seven, obviously, with the guys they have there, but their back half is good, too. They’re going to be a good challenge for us and we’re excited.”

(On how he found out from Coach Fisher that he was going to be named the starter)

“He sat me and Case down and just told us, just straight up. Again, I was excited. I’ll say it now, I can’t stress enough how awesome Case has been before this, in training camp, in OTAs, now this has happened after. On and off the field, I can’t stress enough how good of a teammate and how awesome he’s been with it. He told us both at the same time, (Keenum) handled it well and he’s been awesome.”

(On how it feels to have a vote of confidence from the coaching staff)

“I’ve been working hard to get to that point. I’m glad it’s finally come, glad they’ve given me that vote of confidence and the nod. I’m ready to go and I’m proving them right.”

(On if Keenum gave him any advice regarding what to expect or what to do when taking over as the starter)

“Yeah, he’s given advice all year though. I don’t think today changed anything or changed any way he’s treated me. He’s given me advice all year, I’m sure he’ll be very helpful this week and helpful on Sunday.”

(On if he felt that this opportunity was building since the bye week and if it felt any different for him)

“Just continued to come out here and do what I can do. I know stuff probably changed with their opinions and whatever it may be with the coaches. But every day I came out here and tried to get better and tried to improve. Once again, I’m very happy and excited that they’ve made the move. I’m excited and ready to go.”

(On how he quells the anxiety and tries to stay even-keeled)

“Anxiety is over, I’m good now. I’m confident and ready to go. Ready to play, ready to get back to playing football, back to doing what I love – my job – and hopefully start what will be a long career.”

(On how frustrating it was to be on the sideline while the offense struggled to score touchdowns)

“Not really, you try not to do that. I think Case did a great job with what he was doing. Of course, there were times, every time you’re not playing, you want to get out there and want to play. I wasn’t going to gripe about not playing. I was being supportive of Case and trying to be the best teammate I could be on the sidelines and not try to get frustrated or anything, let the process take its toll. It has now. Once again, I’m excited to get out there and ready to go.”

(On his expectations for himself in this game and going forward)

“I expect to do whatever it takes to win, hopefully you go out there and try to win every Sunday. Whatever it takes, if that’s a lot of touchdowns, a lot of yards, if that’s handing the ball off a lot – whatever it is, I want to win. I want to be the quarterback for this team for a long time.”

(On how his teammates reacted to the news)

“A lot of guys said, ‘Congrats, I’m happy for you and ready to go.’ Everyone was pretty positive about it.”

(On some of the things he learned by sitting and watching his team or the opposing teams)

“I learned a lot about how the league works, how Sundays work, how the practice week works, how you work in the classroom and everything in between I’ve learned. I’m thankful for that experience and thankful for everything that I’ve gathered over the last, however many weeks it’s been. But at the same time, I think it’s time and I think I’m ready, ready to move forward and play.”

(On how he feels about the responsibility with everything that’s been invested in him)

“I’m going to play as best I can and whatever happens, happens. I’m just going to go out there and work hard every day. Hopefully play well on Sundays, hopefully win and do the best I can – that’s all you can do. I feel confident in myself and I know my teammates feel confident in me. I’m going to go out there and hopefully play well and win.”

(On if he’s extra motivated because the team is in the thick of the playoff chase)

“Yeah, absolutely. There’s definitely a part of that, too, where you want to make a push towards the playoffs. We’re right there, right in the thick of it. We need to string a few together, we’ve got one and now it’s time to put two together.”