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Transcript: Fisher, Boras, Goff Weigh in on Saints’ Loss, Patriots Prep

Los Angeles Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher, Off. Coordinator Rob Boras, and QB Jared Goff recap last week’s loss and weigh in on their upcoming matchup against the Patriots

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Fisher – Post-Practice – November 30, 2016

(Opening remarks)

“A good day today, we were excited. The guys had a lot of energy, they practiced well. (QB) Jared (Goff) had a nice day. We get to take a little deep breath tomorrow and continue with our game plan against an outstanding opponent. The key against this team is your ability to adjust, particularly offensively, because there’s a different game plan for everybody week after week after week, (Patriots Head Coach) Bill (Belichick) and his staff do a great job preparing the defense. We’ll have some things to go to and be ready to adjust. But I think it’s a great challenge for us. We’re excited about it.”

(On how serious G Rodger Saffold’s injury is)

“Yeah, I know exactly how it is. I’ll have an injury report for you on Friday (laughs). I know exactly what he’s got going on there. He’s not out, he’s not been ruled out.”

(On how T Greg Robinson has reacted to everything that has happened recently)

“He’s been great. He understands. Every once in a while, when you take a step back and watch what’s going on and see things through a different window – it’s life-changing. He is really excited right now. He’s been in here early, he’s staying late, he’s focused. We’ve got some stuff behind him and he’s excited about playing.”

(On if Robinson’s problems were mostly mental as opposed to technique problems)

“I don’t want to call this a day care, but things come up outside and there’s distractions and you have to deal with them and you have to put them in perspective and we did that – and he did that. He’s embracing it right now. It’s a combination of technique, it’s a combination of some outside distractions and some misunderstandings – maybe a little lack of preparation. By all accounts right now, he’s ready to go play, so I’m proud of him.”

(On if Patriots DE Chris Long is doing what he expected him to do)

“Yeah, he is. It was a difficult decision to part ways with Chris because he’s one of my all-time favorites and a locker room favorite and everything. But of all the places where one would think that he’d have a chance to be successful, it would be New England. He landed on his feet and he’s playing well. And he’s playing especially well on the right side of their defense because he’s primarily, for his whole career, prior to us getting here and then while we were here, he was a left defensive end. He’s doing some things, he’s dropping, he’s covering and he’s buying in – he bought into it, obviously. It looks like he’s having fun, I’m happy for him. It was a tough decision last year, to go the direction that we did with Chris and (LB) James (Laurinaitis) because they were just such great locker room guys. But I’m happy that Chris is on a team that’s won a lot of games, because he’s deserved that opportunity.”

(On the decision to release a very popular player like Chris Long)

“We were dealing with, over the course of a couple years, with some injury issues, so that was primarily the reason. I liked the youth that we had on the roster, but at the same time, wanted to give him an opportunity. He landed in a good spot. It’ll be a great battle, a great battle. He knows (T) Rob (Havenstein) really well, he knows Greg (Robinson), there will be some great match-ups.”

(On what he has thought of DT Dominique Easley since his arrival from New England)

“He’s done a great job for us in the rotation. He’s having a blast, he’s not making any mistakes and he’s playing hard. I don’t know what happened there, all I know is that we had a very high draftable grade on him and it made sense for us to give him an opportunity. It’s not the first time, these things happen in the league, sometimes guys fit, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they go to another club and there’s a better fit. I know he’s excited. He’s excited about playing against them.”

(On if it makes a difference that Patriots QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski did not practice today and may not play on Sunday)

“I don’t know how much they practiced last week. ‘Gronk,’ I don’t know what the situation is, we’ll see. He’s an impact player on their offense. But I can assure you that Tom is going to show up, he always does week after week after week. At his age and with his experience, he doesn’t need a lot of practice reps. We’re not going to be mislead by the lack of practice as far as the quarterback is concerned.

(On if there are any developments in the Eric Dickerson situation)

“No, it’s the first time I’ve heard his name since yesterday, not a word. All about the Patriots.”

(On what kind of response he’s seen from the defense this week after the game on Sunday)

“They’ve been playing hard and reckless and have been hunting and contact, we just had some issues within the scheme. But they’ve bounced back. They understand the challenge this week. We’re certainly not looking ahead to next week or the following week, but we’ve got some good quarterbacks on our schedule. They understand this challenge and they know they need to be right.

(On if he has an update on CB Troy Hill’s status)

“We released Troy and re-signed him back to (the) practice (squad). I’m not aware of any of the law enforcement issues and the status there. Like I said last week when we released him, I think people deserve second chances in life – he made a bad decision and he understands that. And there’s a significant difference between being on our active roster on being on practice squad. He’s here and we’ll support him as he goes through this. I believe that he’ll do whatever is asked of him from a legal standpoint and that would include Mothers Against Drunk (Driving) and all that stuff. Hoping to take a negative and turn it into a positive right now with him.”

(On how he deals with scrutiny regarding his job security after some of his quotes on “Hard Knocks” in training camp)

“We opened our world to ‘Hard Knocks,’ and those comments came after a couple of issues that we had. I’ve never been satisfied with 7-9 or 8-8. I’ve had a number of winning seasons. I’m not concerned, I don’t look over my shoulder, like I’ve said over and over again. I’m not concerned about my job, I have a great relationship with (Owner/Chairman) Stan (Kroenke). He understands the difficulties that were placed on this organization, as far as the move is concerned. And I’m moving forward, optimistically, with this team. In fairness to the fans and in fairness to the players, that’s all I can do. We’re just going to prepare day after day and week after week and try to win games, that’s what you do. Over the years, I’ve learned to realize that the most important thing is to be consistent, you need to be consistent through this. Consistent through the wins, consistent through the losses and just keep moving your team forward. You guys have been out here, you’ve seen these guys, they love to practice, they like each other. We went through some trying things over time – I had a player, in particular, that lost his grandfather last night and I had a coach whose son gave birth to his grandson. As a family, you stress those things, you stress the importance of coming to work every day and how lucky we are. We had a great example of the circle of life today with respect to our team.”

Rob Boras – Post Practice – November 30, 2016

(On his thoughts regarding the first half against New Orleans)

“It was, obviously, good to see. We’ve been saying it for so long with all the questions about how he’s growing in the classroom, and then we’ve seen the flashes of it, and it was good. You saw it leading up during the course of the week. Just his comfort being in the huddle, the tempo that we had to practice with Friday, the way he handled everything. You saw it coming, and you prayed that it was going to happen. You just didn’t know if it was going to come to fruition, and it did. It just proved it wasn’t too big for him. You saw the way he moved in the pocket. He made some big-time throws. It was a really good first half for him.

(On why they’ve been so good on opening drives this season, and how to sustain that success)

“That’s a great question. Obviously, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what our openers are going to be, and have had success, whether it’s been the first series or the second series in a number of games, we just got to continue that in the second half. Trying to script the openers, give the guys the plays that they know that we’re thinking about coming in the second half, to give them some comfort. We know how fast those halftimes go, but we just got to find a way to do better. Again, it’s the focus, and getting back to what we’re doing, and guys just playing one play at a time. Hopefully, we can find that same sort of success in the second half, and find a way to put some points on the board.”

(On the next step QB Jared Goff needs to take in his development)

“I don’t know exactly what the next step it. I think he’s getting more comfortable. Even coming out Tuesday, again, there’s the same plays, but maybe different formations and stuff. A lot of times, it takes the quarterback a day, maybe, to catch up. This Tuesday when we came out yesterday, he was good. You just saw even how much better he was this Tuesday, compared to last Tuesday. Now, he’s just playing football. You don’t see him thinking out here on the practice field. It’s way faster in the meetings, and I think it’s just, again, I’m assuming his confidence level – you’d have to ask him – I think he’s feeling confident too. That’s a big part of having success in any sport, or really anything in life, is having some confidence, and I would think right now, having a taste of success, he feels pretty good. Again, what his next step would be, he’s got to protect the football, as we all do. If we can play turnover free, we’re going to have a chance. But having two turnovers, however they come about, is going to hurt most offenses, and obviously, it hurt us Sunday. So, just being more aware and doing a better job protecting the football.”

(On the challenge of facing the Patriots defense, and how will it manifest itself Sunday)

“We’ll find out Sunday how it manifests. Their defense, with Coach (Bill) Belichick, and Coach (Matt) Patricia, and their whole defensive staff, they do a lot, and they do it very well. That’s a really good team defense. Again, just playing on the road again, and having that environment, different temperature, outside, the crowd noise. Every week there’s new challenges and new obstacles. That’s why this league is the best league in sports. I think he’ll handle it. He’s going to see different looks. We know they’re going to try to create confusion. It’s not just Jared that they’re confusing. Because of that, all the other guys need to step up and apply the rules, and trust what they’re seeing as well. It’s not just the quarterback, it’s, obviously, the other 10 guys on the field as well have to recognize and get on the same page with Jared, and all those different fronts and coverages that we’re going to see.”

(On if Goff is a different quarterback if he was a fifth year senior out of college, compared to a true junior)

“I can’t comment on (Eagles QB) Carson (Wentz), or (Cowboys QB) Dak (Prescott). I haven’t really seen them play at all this year. We just haven’t had any cross over games. But, yeah, I would think anytime that you’re 23 as compared to 21, you’ve played more games, and you’ve had more experience. We’ll see a different quarterback in Jared in two years from now, as compared to what he is now. It’s hard to quantitate how much better he would be, but I think that’s safe to assume the more games you play, the more experience you have, the more comfortable and better that you can be.”

(On what surprised him the most about Goff that he didn’t know about before he started playing)

“Jared has a very short memory, and he’s a very confident young man. I talked, his confidence has probably even gotten better. But, the fumble – he forgets it. He comes back, and he’ll play. The next play. Same thing with the interception. He doesn’t carry that, and that’s hard. We always talk about play the next play, and a lot of times it can just be lip service, but I think he’s got a short memory. He’s confident in himself, and his ability. I think seeing something go bad and how he responded, I think that was a really positive sign, how he battled through those couple plays of adversity.

(On the decision to make T Greg Robinson inactive, and if Robinson has benefited from that moving forward)

“That was a decision Coach (Fisher) made in communication with the offensive staff. Anytime that you feel threatened, and you get something taken away, I think it refocuses your energy and channels your focus. I think in communication with Greg, and just the guys that were on the sideline just talking about Greg’s energy, and what he was on the sideline, and how he handled the situation, I think spoke volumes. He didn’t pout, he handled it, he was communicating, making calls. Again, he’s handled things in the meeting really well, and had a good practice today. So, we’ll see how he handles it, but everything is pointing in the right direction right now. We expect Greg to perform really well.”

(On the performance of T Andrew Donnal)

“That’s a compliment to all of those guys in the room. When you only dress seven or eight offensive linemen, you say you’ve got to be the third tackle, or the second or third center, or whatever, and Andrew is kind of those guys that has to be the third center, or guard, and tackle, but there just aren’t enough reps in practice for him to get it. So, when he went in, you’re concerned. Not necessarily about him knowing his assignment, because he’s a pro and he handles that part of it very well, it was just going to be adjusting to the speed of things, and he handled it really well. That two-minute drive – I think we got hurt on the first play with Rodger (Saffold) – and then he came in at the two-minute warning, and we went down the field; and we were trying to throw the ball. You weren’t sure exactly what we were going to get, and he handled that as well in the second half, very well. We got down two or three scores and we knew they were going to keep blitzing and coming after us. When they know you’re going to pass, and you have to pass, it’s tough on those five guys up front, and I thought Andrew handled that situation well. It speaks to his preparation both mentally, and the physical aspect of it.”

(On if WR Kenny Britt’s career season a result of the play-calling, or his preparation)

“I’ve talked about Kenny a number of times. His focus in the classroom, his energy on the practice field, I think it’s at an all-time high. I think what’s great is it’s carrying over from the classroom, to the field, to Sundays. He’s having that success, and then success breeds success. The quarterbacks have comfort with him, they trust him, and he’s made plays when he’s been called upon. I’m sure there’s lots of different variables to it, but it starts with him, and then building that rapport with the quarterbacks, which he did this offseason.”

Jared Goff – Post-Practice – November 30, 2016

(On Patriots QB Tom Brady and what he represented growing up)

“I’ve been a big fan of his growing up. Obviously, he’s one of the greats – if not the greatest. Big fan of his growing up. He’s a Bay Area guy as well. Always looked up to him and have been a fan of his.”

(On what he admires about Brady’s game)

“Everything. He’s really good at everything, has been for a long time. Of course, there are little things that I’ll watch in him, (Saints QB) Drew (Brees), Peyton (Manning) and a bunch of guys across the league, that I’ll take from and have in the past, as well.”

(On what it means to compete on the same field as Brady)

“It’s similar to last week, they’re both great quarterbacks. I need to stay focused on their defense, but at the same time it’s going to be cool to see them out there, maybe see them across the field in warm-ups or something – it’ll be cool to be on the same filed, for sure.”

(On the most difficult part about preparing for a Bill Belichick defense)

“I think it’s just the variety that they have. They change stuff pretty consistently and do what they do really well for a long time – it’s proven results. You don’t really know what to expect going in, you have an idea on film, but you know they’re going to bring something new every week – you have to be ready to adjust.

(On looking at his game against New Orleans and what stands out to him in terms of the progress he’s made since the preseason)

“I don’t think it’s anything in particular. I think it’s just everything’s improved and the game is starting to slow down. It’s starting to feel more comfortable every day out here and every week on Sundays.”

(On the message Saints QB Drew Brees had for him after the game last Sunday)

“Nothing. It was real quick. Just said, ‘good luck, stay healthy’, and wished me the best. I told him that I’m a big fan of his and I appreciate it.”

(On whether he hopes to greet Brady after the game)

“I think the quarterbacks shake hands, right? After the games? Yeah.

(On Offensive Coordinator Rob Boras’ comments concerning Goff’s ability to forget about things during the game and how he learned to do that)

“Always kind of been like that with good things and bad things. Throw a touchdown, it’s over immediately. Have a bad play, it’s over immediately. I think that’s kind of the best way to go about it as a quarterback – not get too high, not get too low. Obviously there are times that you’re going to be excited and there’s going to be times where you’re not very happy, but forget about as soon as you can because the next play is the most important one.”

(On playing in California all his life and if he has any memories playing in cold weather)

“Oh yeah, I got a few. Even at Cal last year, our last game of the season at Cal, it was like 35 (degrees) – really cold, against Arizona State and that was a home one. But yeah, we had plenty – Washington, Oregon and Utah.”

(On whether there will be any difference playing in New England)

“No. I’ve played in a bunch of cold weather.”