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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher, OC Rob Boras Detail Preparations For Jared Goff Debut

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Here’s what Fish and Boras had to say as the Rams get ready for Week 11 vs. the Miami Dolphins.

LA Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher & QB Jared Goff
LA Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher & QB Jared Goff
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“All fired up, had a good practice. Really playing an outstanding opponent – the last four weeks they’ve done an outstanding job turning things around. (Dolphins QB) Ryan (Tannehill) is playing really well – they’re playing good defense – but Ryan in particular is playing well because of what (Dolphins RB) Jay (Ajayi) has done in the run game for them. Switching gears, that’s what we need to be successful this week is to have a run game so (QB) Jared (Goff) can be successful. I thought Jared had a good day today – he’s into it. As (Offensive Coordinator) Rob (Boras) probably told you, we have not scaled anything down, we’re moving forward, we’re opening the offense up. It was a good day at practice.”

(On whether there is more pressure on receivers to win their one-on-one match-ups with Goff at quarterback and with RB Todd Gurley being the focus of most defenses)

“We have to win outside, there’s no doubt and they’re going to challenge us outside, but we have to win. They have an outstanding secondary, their safeties run-support well and corners are going to challenge you. If their focus goes to (RB) Todd (Gurley), then yes, we have to make the plays down the field.”

(On if he sees a change in Goff’s body language since he’s become the starter)

“He’s just excited; he’s excited, as he should be. It’s a challenge. This game is not going to define his career. It’s a good defense, but he’s excited about the opportunity. He’s working hard, and he’s great in the huddle. The offensive group just moved on. We just moved on, and they’re excited about it. It’s not going to be easy. There’s going to be some negative plays that always happen in games, but he’ll overcome them. We have to put him in position to make some quick decisions, get rid of the football, and make some plays.”

(On Goff lining up against DT Ndamukong Suh)

“Suh is a really good player, but he’s not the only really good player they have on their defense. You start talking about their rushers and the depth that they have, and their middle linebacker, and everybody. What Jared is going to see is, he’s going to see 11 guys. He’s going to line up and see 11, and not necessarily be concerned where anybody is up front, other than trust his teammates to give him some time. I said yesterday, I have all of the respect in the world for (Chargers QB) Philip Rivers. He had very little time to throw the football. So, we have to do a better job up front.”

(On what most interests him about Goff going into Sunday)

“It’s how we finish up the week. Good day today; we’ll look at the tape. He’s going to take extra time tomorrow in their day off, and then we’ll have good Friday, and then the walk-thru Saturday, and then he’ll be prepared. We typically quiz the offensive players, and defensive players for that matter, with respect to the game plan Saturday night. I’m sure he’ll do well. He’ll be prepared, and it’s just relax and go play. I’m hoping that the game slows down for him, and I think it well. But again, there’s going to be tough times in this game because this is a good defense.”

(On the chemistry between Goff and WR Kenny Britt and TE Lance Kendricks, and if Goff will be more comfortable with other receivers and try to get them involved more)

“Other than Lance and Kenny, no, they’re a part of our offense. Jared’s progression – his reads take him to where he’s supposed to throw the football. But, he’s got a good feel for everybody. We just have to do a better job of getting people open. We have to do a better job out of the backfield and a better job on third down. But, that’s part of our offensive system and the game plan. Their defense is top-5 or top-3 on third down right now, and they can pressure you. It’s tough sledding for a quarterback, but we feel like we have a good plan in, and we’ll hang in there.”

(On the status of DE Rob Quinn)

“Rob was much better, yeah. He did a bunch of stuff inside. We didn’t clear him to practice, but tomorrow he’ll move around outside on the field.”

Offensive Coordinator Rob Boras

(On what Jared Goff being the new starting quarterback means for the offense)

“I think, offensively, obviously we need to rally around Jared, which I know that they will – we’re excited about it. He’s been preparing as if he’s been the starter for the first nine games. Again, we all recognize it’s different than actually playing. The volume of the plays, it’s the same amount of plays, the same package, we trust with where he is mentally – that’s what we’ve kept commenting on, how well he’s handling everything. I thought it was a really strong day today, obviously we’re really excited about this next chapter of the season and seeing Jared’s career take off.”

(On if he has much conversation with Goff leading up to the game regarding which plays he feels comfortable with)

“Without a doubt, and that’s part of it. In the past, I would sit down with (QB) Case (Keenum), as well as with Jared and I would get their favorites in each category. So I would have a call sheet with my rankings that Case had given me as well if Jared had gone in, so no different there except I’ll have a couple call sheets marked up for Jared and one marked up for Case. Same sort of conversations.”

(On if Goff gives the offense a different element)

“We’re going to find out. He’s tall – again, it’s a big man’s game at a lot of positions – he’s tall, he can see, everything we talked about – his delivery, how quick he is, he’s decisive. We saw how tough he was at Cal, we hope he doesn’t have to be that tough and take hits, but we saw his toughness. His ability to escape and extend plays, his intelligence. We’re excited about seeing it take off on Sunday.”

(On if the practices during the bye week where Goff got reps with the first team offense was a turning point)

“I think it was one of the turning points. Obviously any time that you get extended reps, you have a better time to evaluate. We kept talking about the classroom, classroom, classroom, but now you got more reps against the first team defense. So it definitely helped us see where he was and helped part of the evaluation process.”

(On how many plays they will script on Sunday)

“We script 16 in the openers.”

(On if 16 plays is the same amount regardless of who is at quarterback)

“Yes.”

(On if it puts more pressure on the receivers when defenses are focusing more on RB Todd Gurley)

“It can. Obviously anytime that they’re stacking the box and we’re getting man coverage, those guys have to get open. If they’re playing a lot of guys to stop the run, the receivers like Kenny (Britt) are taking advantage of it and making plays. It kind of works hand-in-hand. Hopefully they can’t defend both and the receivers like to see when they’re playing post-safety man and getting up there because they have the ability to win the one-on-one compared to the running backs want to see when they’re back there in cover-two and it’s a seven-man box. Those guys can argue in the locker room with what they get.”

(On how he can call plays to make sure the offensive line protects Goff to keep his nerves under control)

“I think whether it’s Jared at quarterback, Case at quarterback, whoever your quarterback is – that’s what you want to do. No quarterback likes having guys around their feet or in them. We try to do that all the time. Again, with this game coming up, it being his first regular season game, we’re going to take a look at all the different things that we think we can do protection-wise for him and put him in the best position. But that’s the same sort of the things we were doing with Case as our starter as well.”

(On the dynamic in the quarterback room)

“First of all, and I believe Coach (Fisher) has probably talked about it, Case Keenum is – and I’ve said it before, my heart goes out to Case. Case is a man. Case is a teammate and a great leader and he’s going to be great in that room. That’s a compliment to him and his family with the type of person and character that he is. There is nothing odd in that classroom. He’s going to handle it great. He will help Jared every way that he can, because that’s who he is. I can’t say enough good things about Case and the person he is. If he gets called on again, he will be ready because that’s who he is. I love him dearly, thank him for everything and he’s going to make this team better because of who he is as a leader still.”

(On if they had been straight-forward with Keenum regarding what they were doing with Goff)

“Yeah, when we drafted Jared where we did, everybody knew what was going to happen, it was just a question of when. We’re all competitors and Case is a competitive person. He’s not excited about this, but he also understands the situation and he’s going to make the most of it. There’s been communication along the way, it still doesn’t make it any easier for him when he ultimately finds out, but he’s handled it well and he’ll continue to handle it well. Shoot, he had a good practice today against our scout team, it really helped our defense today. It was good, that’s the type of guy that he is.”

(On if it was good to get things going with Gurley in the second half of last week’s game against the Jets)

“Yeah, we were able to get him, I believe he had 21 carries and the first half wasn’t pretty. I don’t know what his yards per carry was in the first half, but our defense again is playing lights out and it allowed us to hand the ball off in the second half. His yards per carry went up, we saw some 8, 9, 10, 12-yard gains there and that’s what we expect in the run game. It took us a half to get there, we’re hoping to build off that momentum and carry it over to the first half this week against a really good defense with Miami.”

(On if the offensive line graded out better this week)

“I thought they played really well in the second half. There were some really good examples in the run game with our double teams and our fits and getting to the second level, it was really well done. It was well-blocked and Todd and (RB) Benny (Cunningham) took advantage of it.”