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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher Explains Week 11 Loss

Fisher spoke to the press about how the Rams squandered the 10-0 lead to the Miami Dolphins.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“Probably one of the most disappointing losses I’ve endured over the years, particularly because of everything that went into the game: the opportunities for (QB) Jared (Goff) to start here at home and all those things, and the fact that we’re coming off of a win. Knowing that we were going to play a good football team today, to play three and a half quarters of good football, even though we didn’t get the points and then to let things slip away in the last six minutes was really disappointing, but that’s the National Football League. We’ve got a lot of things to improve on. I’m disappointed with penalties they contributed. Your defense holds someone scoreless for three and a half quarters, and against a good offense, and all of a sudden you give up two touchdown drives with penalties. It’s not good. This is one that we’ll look at from a standpoint of they found a way to win the game, and I have great respect for (Dolphins Head Coach) Adam (Gase) and their organization and the players that they acquired and they played well. They overcame some injuries in this game, but we beat ourselves today with penalties and allowing big plays in the last two drives.

“As far as Jared’s concerned, he did a really good job. No delay-of-games, was in complete control in the huddle, did a nice job on the line of scrimmage. I was disappointed in the outcome of the game, but I think you could see the light. There’s light there for him, so we’ll continue to allow him to get ready and to continue to progress. Obviously disappointed to go into the last six minutes of the game and be up by 10 and lose it. We’ll get them back. That’s the nature of our business, we’ll get them back.”

(On controlling the pressure put on QB Jared Goff)

“We were trying to get the run game going. We were trying to manage the clock, their time outs, the two-minute warning that they had, we didn’t take the shot and we came up a couple of yards short. There was nothing from an offensive standpoint that was minimized because of Jared. There were a lot of things that they did, like anyone would do when you’re facing a first-time starting rookie, but I thought he handled things very well.“

(On whether the secondary suffered without having a sub in CB Troy Hill)

“No, we subbed. We were fine. We subbed. We had a plan. Troy made a bad decision. We’ll deal with that tomorrow. We subbed around him and we were okay. (CB Trumaine Johnson) Tru didn’t practice this week, particularly for two reasons, because of injury and then illness. Then (DB) Lamarcus (Joyner) didn’t practice much this week, but we felt good about him. So, no, we’ll deal with Troy tomorrow.”

(On DE Robert Quinn’s performance)

“Rob had a rough week, but he came on strong, feels good. We felt like he was going to be fine. It was interesting that he was playing their third left tackle. There was some stuff going on as far as the depth of the tackle and Rob lining up, and we’ll look at it tomorrow.”

(On what QB Jared Goff is going to take from today)

“I hope he’s really disappointed. Not in his own play, but the fact that we lost the game. I think each and every player in the locker room needs to look at themselves and say, ‘Okay how do we avoid these things from happening?’ Whether that’s (DT) Aaron (Donald) on roughing the passer, or that’s (LB Alec Ogletree) ‘Tree’ on the hit out of bounds, or that’s (T) Greg (Robinson) with the block in the back, those are the kind of things that you can’t have in close games. Unfortunately, where we are right now offensively we’re going to have to play good defense and get turnovers. We answered after the turnover and came right back and (S Maurice Alexander) ‘Mo’ made a great play in the end zone, and it’s the first time (Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill) Ryan’s thrown a pick in five or six weeks, and we made the play. We had some momentum, we just couldn’t take advantage of it.”

(On RB Todd Gurley’s performance)

“I thought Todd played really hard. He made some plays. It’s just getting him the carries and things, but I thought he played hard. He ran the football well and had some plays. I look at the halftime stats and they’re 0-for-5 on third down and we’re 1-for-6. It’s hard to get Todd the touches that you want.”

(On QB Jared Goff’s comfort level)

“If you know Jared, your perception is that he’s a gun slinger. You don’t think that he has the mobility that he does. Well he does. He showed that today. He extended that play, we got a good spot, it was a first down then it was called back because of the penalty on (T) Gred (Robinson), and who knows what would have happened after that. I made the decision which is fourth-and-1, or fourth-and-1.5, we’re in (K) Greg Zuerlein’s range, and I felt like a field goal at that point would put them two scores behind, this game would be over, and Greg hit the upright.”

(On the penalties being a contributing factor on the defense toward the end of the game)

“Yeah, it was a contributing factor. The penalties really changed field position and gave them shots, and they got down. Talking on the headsets to (Defensive Coordinator) Gregg (Williams) saying, ‘Okay threes, threes. Threes are okay, touchdowns are not.’ Then they made the plays in the end zone. Defense is going to be disappointed. You don’t want to play us next week because the defense is going to be upset.”

(On QB Jared Goff’s composure in different situations)

“I feel really good about it. There were a couple of things where he got hit, and I told (Offensive Coordinator) Rob (Boras) - because Rob’s on the communication device to him - and just asked if he was okay and he gave a thumbs up. He’s okay and he’s ready to go the next play. He was really into it. I was really proud of him. It’s hard to praise any one of your players in a loss like this, but when all eyes were on our quarterback, I thought he handled this game pretty well. I’m looking forward to him having another real week of preparation. What greater challenge can you imagine, being in his shoes, than going down and competing against (Saints QB) Drew Brees. That’s a huge challenge for a young quarterback.”

(On the potential of the offense as QB Jared Goff gets more experience)

“I think we’ll make more plays and we’ll do different things. Their defense was second or third in the league in third down efficiency, and obviously very good against the run. They did an outstanding job building that team with (Dolphins DT Ndamukong) Suh and the rest of the guys. If we got behind the chains, meaning second-and-10, we need to get something back. The design is to pick up four or five yards and then quick passing game, it’s not to take your shots, and that’s what we tried to do so we could complete drives.”

(On the excitement level of the crowd)

“The crowd, yeah. The crowd was great. Yeah, they were great. They knew what to expect. They saw our future here today. They were really good. I’m just disappointed for them and for us that we weren’t able to hang on and win this game.”

QB Jared Goff

(On how his first NFL start felt)

“It felt good. I think I’ll start off with obviously very disappointed with the result there at the end, and how things turned out and how we felt the whole game and how in control we were. How at the end there, with six minutes left, we just couldn’t put it away and I think that’s just every play— we need to finish well and finish better than that. I don’t think it’s just one thing or another, or we need do this better, we need to do more or something, we just need to stay out of our own way— we just need to continue to do what we do correctly, and do it well and we’ll be fine.”

(On his comfort ability on the field in his first game)

“I think it took me a couple drives to settle in—that was expected, I expected that. Similar to my first start in college, in high school, my whole life, your first game in there you got to settle in. It took a couple of drives probably, but I felt good. I did settle in well through the game. “

(On what went right during the Rams first touchdown with RB Todd Gurley)

“The o-line was just doing what they do, doing what they do well. Opened up holes for them and he was doing what he has been doing for his whole life, just running the ball well. I think early on we were running it well, and like I said, we just hit a lull and started stepping in front of ourselves. Again, it’s not any one person or any one little thing, it’s just a culmination of little things that add up and it seems like it has been a story for a while now, but that’s it. It’s not like we need to do something more, something better, if we do what we do right, we will be fine.”

(On if he would like to take more shots downfield)

“Yeah, I think we will. I think that early on it had to do with the weather. I think, honestly, both sides were kind of running the ball, trying keep it on the ground. It was just a little bit wet out there, and early on, that was the reason why and late, we were winning, and we wanted to run the ball and that’s when it got dry and that’s when they had to pass it. But, yeah, I would like to throw some balls down field and I think that will be in the plan every week and it’s up to them.”

(On what did he the best and what he could improve on during today’s game)

“I think getting in and out of the huddle in time, getting the ball snapped and not having any delay of games was a positive. Something I would like to do better is to just be a little cleaner on my reads— I missed a couple and some I want back. You are never going to be perfect, but you want to be as perfect as you can and I strive for that, but there’s a couple I want back, of course, but I think it’s kind of a testament to their (Miami’s) defense. They’ve got a really good team, a really good defense, a really good front seven, a really good secondary and did a good job on us.”

(On the last 36-seconds of the game)

“Yeah, I don’t think it was shocking because we saw them drive down the field. I think we lost some of the momentum, honestly, I think that’s how games go, the momentum shifts back-and-forth. I think we had it for most of the game and I think at the end there, we started stepping in front of ourselves there and started not doing what we are supposed to do and then they started making plays.”

(On opportunities for the quick passing game in the future)

“Maybe, I think we like completions and got a bunch of those on the slants today. Again, I think it had a lot to do with the weather early on, a little bit with the play calling, but I don’t expect us to try and do anything crazy next week – we’ll do what we do, of course, we had shots on the play and stuff we wanted to do, but I was happy with the play calling, really happy with it and I felt really confortable out there.”

(On where he sees the team’s future with a 4-6 standing)

“We are going to go to New Orleans next week and get a “W.” That’s what we got to do, get back on the horse tomorrow and go out and practice throughout this whole week and go to New Orleans and win that game there.”

(On how helpful it is to have a starting NFL game to watch on film)

“Yeah, I think game experience is priceless. It’s something that you can’t get enough of, it’s something that is helpful for myself, the rest of the team and the rest of the young guys. I think it’s going to be good to go back and go look at and see what we did right, see what we did wrong, see what we want to do – and the coaches will look at it and do what they do.”

(On what was different before this game as a starter compared previous games)

“Yeah, it was definitely a little more nerve-racking, more nerves, but I’ve never been one to be too nervous. I think it’s just natural to be nervous and have butterflies, but honestly, once the first play happened, I was good to go, felt like I’ve played in every game of my life. That’s how it felt and I think, of course there were nerves, but I felt pretty good.”

(On how helpful QB Case Keenum was on the sidelines of the game)

“Case was great. I told him before the game that I’m going to need to lean on you and he was great – very helpful. He gave me good information when I came over there, helped me out, he told me what he said, he told me what the pressures they (Miami) were bringing, everything in-between, they were really helpful, him and (QB) Sean (Mannion), were really helpful.”

LB Alec Ogletree

(On the final four minutes of the game)

“We just had too many penalties and we just didn’t make the end play at the end to get off the field.”

(On the defense’s overall performance and what they can do to make a playoff push)

“We have to learn to finish – we have to be mentally strong in crunch time. You can’t have all those penalties that we had and expect to win. We played pretty well for most of the game, and then on two possessions we gave up two touchdowns. As a defense, you pride yourself in trying to win a game and, in pressure situations, you want to be on the field to close out a game. Like I said, we weren’t able to do that today.”

(On how much pressure it puts on the defense when there are limited points offensively)

“It’s no pressure. Our method is, anytime we step on the field, we have to go three-and-out and get off the field, get our offense the ball back as many times as we can. Like I said, we weren’t able to do that today, we had too many penalties here at the end of the game to, basically, give them 14 points. It’s a credit to them, they finished the game and we didn’t.”

(On what the defense did well)

“We were just playing physical up front and on the back end, too. We were just trying to stop the run first and make them throw the ball outside. We played pretty well, but we had too many mistakes at the end of the game that cost us.”

DT Michael Brockers

(On if the penalties cost the team in the fourth quarter)

“The fans, the team, coaches, everybody is kind of at a loss for words right now because we had the perfect plan – (QB Jared) Goff was doing great, the defense was playing really strong. We knew they were a good second half team, we just have learn how to execute and, towards the end of the game, finish people.”

(On how frustrating it was to give up two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the game)

“It’s hard, it’s hard to really even talk about. Defensively, we have to do better. We have to execute, we have to tackle, we have to make sure we give the ball to our offense as many times as possible to score. We just didn’t do that enough, we did a lot of good things, we just didn’t do enough.”

S T.J. McDonald

(On if Miami did anything different in the last minutes of the game)

“I’ll have to see when I watch the film. We hurt ourselves, penalties, we gave them free yards – I think they had 27 yards passing before six or seven minutes left to go. We hurt ourselves with some big yards, putting us in a bad situation and had to adjust how we played because of the score.”

(On if the cornerbacks had to play more with CB Troy Hill inactive)

“It’s that next man up philosophy, we had ‘Tru’ (CB Trumaine Johnson) and (CB) E.J. (Gaines) outside. We definitely have got to do better.”

DE Robert Quinn

(On it was difficult to be on the field so long as a defense)

“We always say, we want the offense to put up 50 points – that’s not going to happen week-in and week-out. They gave us a 10-0 lead, all we had to do was either hold them to field goals or keep them out of the end zone. I guess the last six minutes, we definitely – the best way to put it is we dropped the ball. It’s frustrating, we thought we had a win, but I guess that’s why you play until the clock says zero.”

(On if it’s surprising that the defense didn’t come through in the end on account of how good they have been all season)

“It’s just aggravating when you just don’t win. Like I said, we played well pretty much all game, and that last six minutes, not to make an excuse, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do – or Miami did enough to win. Just as a defense, we can’t finish a ballgame like that because that’s definitely not the words we preach in our room.”

TE Lance Kendricks

(On if the feel for the game was any different with QB Jared Goff in there)

“I thought he did a great job for his first start. I thought he really handled the huddle really well. I thought he was poised. I thought he did all that he can do. I think us around him, we have to make sure that we do better. We had a couple of false starts, and I think we had a block in the back, or something like that on offense. Things like that can’t happen. I thought overall, we gave ourselves a chance.”

(On if he thought Goff was frustrated with the amount of three-and-outs the team had)

“I think coming out, he was encouraging. He was, ‘Let’s get the next one. Let’s put a drive together. Let’s do it.’ The good thing about an offense, you’ve got to forget about the last play. I think I had a fumble, and our defense went right back out and got a pick. That’s how we bring each other up.”

(On if this loss hurts more than others based on how it ended)

“Yeah, we can’t put it all on the defense. The defense held them to zero points until six minutes left in the game. They played great. At some point, the offense has to go out and score. We can’t just rely on the defense to get a three-and-out and say, ‘Alright, the defense is going to hold them.’ Those guys on other side of the ball are good too. We’ve got to make sure we’re really just focusing on us, and when we’re on the field, we’re trying to score. We’re trying to drive ball down the field.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On what worked for him on his first quarter touchdown run)

“The O-line did a great job. (TE Cory) Harkey had a hell of a block, and those guys did the work. They just let me run.”

(On what was working for him in the first half)

“Everything was just going. We we’re doing our job, executing. Like I said every week, beating your guy and winning your one-on-one, at the end of the day.”

(On how he felt with QB Jared Goff out there)

“I felt good, he did a great job. We had a couple of mistakes out there, but for the most part, he did a great job. We did a great job with just helping him out. We just got to finish.”