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Transcript: Jeff Fisher Touches On Cam Newton, Jared Goff And Rams’ Health

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Jeff Fisher didn’t rest following the Rams’ Week 8 bye. He worked. Here’s what he had to say following the Rams’ practice on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Los Angeles Rams Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

(Opening Remarks)

“The players took advantage of the break. We didn’t have any issues. A lot of guys stayed behind. As I said, where else would you go – it was great. We got some guys back, guys who stayed behind, that needed treatment, and we’re close. ‘Tru’ (CB Trumaine Johnson) was on the field today, and ‘Brock’s’ (DT Michael Brockers) close – it was a productive weekend. As you say, they always come at the right time. We got a good start on the plan and we’re playing an outstanding opponent. We have a big week ahead of us. ”

(On whether the players were anxious to get back on the field)

“They are excited about getting back on the field. We got back together yesterday, had some meetings, and jogged around, got loose, got stretched out for today and particularly for tomorrow. They’re excited.”

(On Panthers QB Cam Newton and Head Coach Ron Rivera saying Newton may be subject to illegal hits and what he has seen on tape regarding that)

“Well, first off, what head coach is not going to support his quarterback, number one? Secondly, there are hits – illegal hits – that are missed in every game on a quarterback. We’ve got, probably, a half dozen or so on (QB) Case (Keenum) – and I have my own theory on that. They’re doing the best they can to officiate the game. Cam’s a great player, he’s a physical player. I know he understands the difference between being hit in the pocket as a passer and pulling the ball down and running as a runner, because he does run the football quite a bit, I mean, he’s a big man. When you go into a pile or go into the line of scrimmage on a called run, where the quarterback’s purpose is to run the football, then there’s going to be some contact. But those aren’t the things, I don’t think, Cam was complaining about – I think he overreacted to the low hit from (Cardinals DE) Calais (Campbell), which, I’ve heard different things, should have been called, should not have been called. Not that Calais did it on purpose, you just can’t have people on the knees of any quarterback, for that matter. Calais found himself unblocked, stumbled and went in, so I can see Cam’s frustration on that. Across the league, it happens all the time. The league’s priority, from a safety standpoint, starts at the quarterback position. I’ve done a lot of work, through the (competition) committee over the years, protecting the quarterback – there’s going to be things that just aren’t called. At the same time, there are hits on quarterbacks that are legal that are called fouls. The league’s doing the best they can to protect them.”

(On if he’s concerned being the next team to play Carolina after all the attention being paid to this issue)

“I’m not concerned about it, because there’s no rule changes, and our players understand the rules – as do their players understand the rules. So I’m not concerned about it at all. I’m more concerned about him extending plays with his legs and making plays with his arm. He was an MVP for a lot of reasons last year.

(On what concerns him the most about getting the team back in rhythm after the bye week)

“There are statistics associated with the week off, penalties tend to increase a little bit after a week off. You have a tendency over the years, at times, to start a little slower. But I don’t anticipate that with our guys, they’ve played hard, they know how to practice. I’m kind of excited to get back on the field, it seems like we’ve been out of the Coliseum forever right now.”

(On how QB Jared Goff came out today with his extra work over the bye)

“He was good. He’s good and he benefitted from it, no doubt. We’ll continue to give him the same reps we’ve given him the last few weeks, work him in with the 1s during the preparation week.”

(On if he is happy with the offensive line’s performance)

“I think anytime we’re allowing pressure on the quarterback – although we’ve played some good defenses – and not run the football, all attention goes there. But we’re just going to get better up front. You look around the league, there are some teams that are really hurting up front on the offensive line, from a health standpoint, and we’re in good shape. We’re just going to get better.”

(On what he did to relax over the bye week)

“I worked.”

(On if he senses if the opportunity to win the division is still present)

“Yeah, we do. Obviously, that’s our goal, as is the rest of the teams in the division. But, this thing just becomes one at a time now, it really does. November is an important month to make a move if you’re going to have a chance to plan in January, but you can’t look ahead. You can’t look ahead to December. You just got to focus on each opponent. We got a challenge. This is a good football team. It’s hard to look at the tape and see that they only won two games, but it’s a good football team. We get a sense for watching them match-up against Arizona, because we know Arizona very well, and it’s a dominating game. It was a great effort by them, and a much needed win for them.”

(On if he sees any similar tendencies with Carolina that he also sees within NFC West opponents)

“Yeah, they’re built to run the football and they play outstanding defense and their really talented front seven. They’re hard to run the football against they don’t give up a lot of big plays and they can collapse the pocket. You get behind there, and they make it hard on you. Our focus and our goal going into this week is we’re going to have to play the best run defense we’ve played all year, just because of the way they’re built, and the way they commit to it. That puts a lot of pressure on your secondary, but we’re going to have to commit there.”

(On how has LB Alec Ogletree’s role developed since the start of the season)

“This is his first year as our starting ‘Mike’ and he’s taken it by the horns, and he’s running with it. He’s running the show. He’s the guy in the room right now. He came out with his football pants on today. This thing is important to him, and it’s also important to him that everybody does everything right. From a leadership standpoint and an ability standpoint, I think he’s off to a great start.”

(On the health status of CB Trumaine Johnson and DT Michael Brockers)

“They were out today, so they’re coming on. Probably will be a game-time decision. We’ll have an injury report for you at the end of the week.”

(On if he dressed up for Halloween)

“You know, I did not, actually. I’m probably wearing the same thing tonight that I wore last night (laughter). I missed it unfortunately. We extended an invitation to the players’ and staff’s kids, and we made the rookies sit out in that lounge out there and hand out candy. It was kind of cute last night.”