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Transcript: LA Rams HC Jeff Fisher, DC Gregg Williams, RB Todd Gurley On Miami Dolphins, QB Jared Goff Debut

Here’s what Fish, GW and JTG had to say to the media heading into Week 11.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“Good practice. (QB) Jared (Goff) completed some passes today, and the team is ready to go play. We got some things we have to finish up with tomorrow, but we’re in good shape. We’re healing up. (DE) Rob (Quinn) practiced, he was full. (CB) Trumaine (Johnson) was ill today, but he’ll be fine. The rest of the guys are looking good.”

(On if he’s noticed a certain level of excitement about Sunday’s game)

“Yeah, it’s the natural excitement that you get with the football team as you get closer to the end of the week; that’s natural. We’ll talk in terms of what to expect from our fans on Sunday, probably more tomorrow night. It was a good week of practice. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. It’s a good football team we’re playing.”

(On if Goff is nervous going into Sunday)

“He’s not nervous, he’s fine. He’s focused, he’s concentrating every play. There’s going to be mistakes in practice, because you give him difficult looks. He’s, ‘Hey Jeff, can I see that one again?’ Yeah, you can see it again. Or, ‘Do you like it?’ because we’ll sit down and we’ll kick some things out that he’s not comfortable with. But, he’s excited, and he will be excited. We’ll put him under center and we’ll hand it off, and he’ll have a game where he doesn’t have to throw it (laughter). But, he had a really good week.”

(On if he expects Goff to take some defensive pressure away from the run-game)

“That depends on our ability to put the ball down the field, if we’re having success. That’s the big deal offensively, is to be able to put it down the field so we can have balance.”

(On if he senses anticipation from fans and across the league to see Goff play)

“Yeah, you do. He’s the No.1 pick. We traded a lot away to get him to be our future, and it’s his turn now. Again, like I said the last few days, one game is not going to define a quarterback. He’s going to learn, and it’s not going to be perfect. Their defense has played well. They gave (Chargers QB) Philip (Rivers) everything they can handle, that’s what they’ve done against some pretty good quarterbacks. It’s our responsibility as coaches to put him in a position to be successful, and then he has to take advantage of them.”

(On how important it is to keep this momentum at a high level)

“It’s important. We’re disappointed in the four game stretch there. We were competitive, but not good enough. We’re always going to be competitive. It’ll be nice to put another one together. It was a historic moment for this franchise, and (Rams Owner/Chairman) Mr. (Stan) Kroenke, and everybody, and the fan base, as far as the excitement, the enthusiasm as to what’s going to take place there. In the meantime, we’re trying to get this team better. That’s my job, that’s what I’m focused on.”

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams

(On what the Dolphins present as an offense)

“I think (Dolphins Head Coach) Adam Gase has done a really, really good job down there. And I’ve known Adam for a while, but he’s adapted to the personnel that he has down there. As a head coach now, he’s still calling the plays, he does a very good job. We keep profiles and we keep reports on everybody, whether it’s a player or a coach in the league, just like they do on me, and I think he’s adapted that personnel group down there really well. I think they’re blocking the run-game very well, he’s got some dynamic runners. I think the quarterback’s playing real well, based off of the run-game principles and then in the passing game. This is going to be a tough game, we’re going to have to play very, very well. They’re coming in there with a lot of confidence, they’ve played very well, they’ve some really good defenses, so we’re going to have to tackle well.”

(On Miami winning four in a row adding to its confidence)

“It really does for them. Confidence is a big factor in any sport – at any level of sport, even – but even more so at our level. Everybody can play at our level, every player that makes a roster in the National Football League is a good player and then you add confidence on top of that and they even make faster decisions, better decisions. Defensively, we had to go through a few things that way and our confidence has gotten better and we’ve made quicker decisions because we’re making right, (anticipatory) decisions. They’re doing the same thing. It’s been really good to watch them on film. And watching them on film has gotten our players’ attention on how well they’re running the ball.”

(On if he can notice the things Gase does that translates from the different teams he Gase has been with)

“He takes a little bit of each and I think we all have done that. I’ve had a chance to work with a lot of great coaches in my career, a lot of guys that have gone through this style of play and how we adapt the style of play we do defensively. He does the same thing and he’s grasping things – even as an assistant before he became a coordinator. And once he got a chance to be in charge, he’s doing things his way. How about this, though – not only is he doing things his way, but then he adapted to the strengths of his players, I think he’s done a very good job with that. He’s a friend of mine, not on Sunday, but he is outside of the competition days. He’s done a really good job with that.”

(On how much it helps the Dolphins that they have stayed in Southern California since their game against the Chargers on Sunday)

“Sometimes if you win, it helps. But if you lose, you say it doesn’t. But sometimes that can be a distraction, too. People want to talk about that, as far as captivating and going back to training camp and stuff. Sometimes that can be a distraction, so we’ll see. Until you get inside the white lines, you don’t know, every weekend is a different weekend. And then within the game, every game changes and you have to be able to adapt to the score, the situations that are going on. So, we’ll see whether it was a distraction for them or not.”

(On what Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi does that’s particularly difficult to defend)

“Good pad level and very good aggression. One of things that we’ve talked about a lot with him this week is, you see some similarities to a young Marshawn Lynch – really, Marshawn, period. I wouldn’t say he’s as good as him, but you’ll see the cut-back principles he has with him, you’ll see the pad level that he runs with, he runs with good pad level. They’ll get everybody blocked, there will be one that they can’t block and that running back takes it upon him to block by making him miss or just running over him. He’s done a good job on breaking tackles – good running backs in this league do that, they break tackles, and he’s done a lot of that this year.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On his level of excitement and anticipation with QB Jared Goff starting on Sunday):

“Obviously he gets to have his first start – pretty sure he’s been waiting for it. I know he’s excited and we’re just going to go out there and play some ball.”

(On whether he thinks that starting Goff will help jumpstart the offense)

“I don’t know. You’re asking the wrong one – you’re just going to have to find out on Sunday, just like I am.”

(On his first start last year as a rookie and what it was like)

“It was cool. Just being able to play – live out your dreams. Definitely an exciting moment to just come in, being able to start.”

(On whether there has been a change in Goff’s demeanor now that he’s been named the starter – little more excited or jumpy at all)

“No – same old.”

(On what he’s seen from Goff and his progression form OTA’s to now)

“Obviously he’s progressed. I’m not really with him – until this week. It’s kind of hard to say all of that stuff.”

(On the rhythm he was able to get going during the Jets game last week and whether that has helped him feel any better going into this week)

“I always feel good. Just go win the game, try to execute and play has hard as you can.”

(On what stands out regarding Miami’s defense considering what they were able to do last week against San Diego’s run game)

“Great front-seven, physical front. Obviously the D-line is tremendous. (LB) Kiko (Alonso) at linebacker – he just makes plays and their DB’s, they can tackle pretty well.”

(On what it’s like playing against another marquee running back in RB Jay Ajayi and whether it gives him any extra motivation)

“It’s the NFL, anything can happen. You can have the number one rush defense one week, where somebody rushes for 100 and then the next week somebody rushes for 50 yards. That’s just a part of being in this league – anything is possible. We’re all pros at the end of the day.”