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Transcript: Rams Post-Game Quotes Show Frustration As Team Drops To 3-5

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Here’s what the Rams had to say after dropping a defensive battle to the Carolina Panthers.

Los Angeles Rams TE Lance Kendricks
Los Angeles Rams TE Lance Kendricks
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“Well, obviously it didn’t turn out the way we hoped it would turn out. As I just finished with the team, painting a realistic picture over the last two weeks, our defense has given up a touchdown to (Giants QB) Eli Manning and (Panthers QB) Cam Newton, and that’s it. That’s a winning effort. The problem is, we’ve only scored two touchdowns in the last two weeks and therein lies our problem. We have to continue to keep the defense playing at this rate, this effort, and with the production. We have to find a way to get some turnovers on defense, however, and we have to figure out a way to score some points. I’m very disappointed, but we’ll bounce back. Four consecutive in the loss column is not good, and the only way you can win four in the win column is you go out and win the next one, so that’s where we’re at. I think the team understands that. They understand where we’re at. We’re not getting the turnovers. Turnovers hurt us in London, and the one turnover today hurt us, but there were some outstanding efforts out there today and that was a good football team.”

(On QB Case Keenum’s current performance and whether or not it is elevating the team’s performance)

“We’re going to lick our wounds here, and it’s still fresh. I’m going to look at the tape. I would submit that (QB Case Keenum) Case was not the reason we lost this game today. We just didn’t make plays in all three phases. We’ll circle the wagons with the coaches and look at the tape, but I’m pleased with the way Case has fought. As I say consistently, repeatedly, week after week, I’m pleased with (QB Jared Goff) Jared’s progress.”

(On the success of the Rams’ run defense)

“You look at the tape going into this game, and this football team can run it. I thought (LB Alec Ogletree) Alec did a great job putting the defense in position to stunt, to stop, and audible from a defensive standpoint and stop the run. I thought we tackled well. We didn’t give up a lot of plays. Obviously, we have some frustration on the defensive side when you lose back to back. You hold your opponent to 17, but one was returned for a touchdown in London, and then 13 today. As we told our team, the defense has to keep doing what they’re doing and offense has to step it up. We have to score some points. We have to figure out a way to get back to where we were in Detroit when we scored 28.”

(On whether he will reevaluate his QB decision this week after being definitive in London that QB Case Keenum is the best choice)

“Yeah, because we had four interceptions by our quarterback, two of which were his responsibility and two of which were not, so I don’t think (QB Case Keenum) Case’s play today was indicative of raising the question.”

(On the potentially game-changing dropped ball by TE Lance Kendricks)

“Tough catch, ball surprised him. (TE Lance Kendricks) Lance had nine catches, tough catches, and we’re going to bring up the drop. That’s tough on Lance, but the ball was thrown in a good position. Windows are short. This is a good defense.”

(On RB Todd Gurley)

“We’re picking it up trying to spread the ball around. They’re taking the run away with respect to the fronts and the stunting, so we pick it up and throw it. It’s not a (RB Todd Gurley) Todd thing, it’s not a personal thing from Todd. You can see how explosive he is when we get the ball in his hands.”

(On reason for Gurley sitting out for final drive)

“(RB Benny Cunningham) Benny is our two-minute back.”

(On the development of WR Brian Quick)

“(WR Brian Quick) Brian started slow after we drafted him, and then two years ago got off to a really good start and suffered a near career-ending shoulder injury, then came back. I thought he started a little bit slow this week, but he’s getting open and making the plays. How much did you want that ball to be complete to him when we got behind it? That would’ve been a game-changing play, the way the game ended up, and (QB Case Keenum) Case just overthrew it a little bit.”

(On the fans booing the offense and chanting for QB Jared Goff)

“The fans expect production and execution and points. I totally get that. I’ve been through that before. I totally understand their position on that. I honestly didn’t hear them root for (QB Jared Goff) Jared.”

(On the decision to go for the field goal on the very first drive)

“I felt like we were going to need points, and (K Greg Zuerlein) Greg felt really comfortable there, he just miss-hit it. Unfortunately for Greg, he missed two today and they were both 55-yarders.”

Rams QB Case Keenum

(On the performance of himself and the team in today’s game)

“Not good enough. It wasn’t good enough. Again, a turnover cost us and not good enough on third down. There were couple plays there that I want back, but it wasn’t good enough. I have to go look at it on film, but it was not good enough.”

(On the touchdown in the fourth quarter and the possible momentum at the end of the game)

“Yeah, it was too little, too late. I think we got going with some on the ball stuff. We were able to complete some passes and get some guys open down field— even short passes to get some guys running and kind of getting on the ball, two-minute type style offense, and got a score, but it wasn’t enough.”

(On his reaction to the fans booing the offense)

“It’s frustrating. I’m frustrated. I’m glad they care, I do. I’m really glad the fans care. I care, too. I put a lot into this. I put a lot of hours, I put a lot of work into it and it’s something I’ve worked for my whole life. I’m glad they care because I care as well and when we aren’t scoring points and we aren’t moving the football, it’s frustrating. I can tell they’re frustrated, we’re frustrated, too, but we are doing our best and we are going to go back and look at it and see what we need to fix and come in Monday ready to go.”

(On if the interception fueled the rest of his game)

“Yeah, I played a bit angry today, at certain points, not because of any one thing, but it’s kind of how I’ve played my whole life— with a little chip on my shoulder. But, it was a bad decision, it was a poor decision. My feet, I didn’t get my feet set underneath me and (LB Thomas) Davis is a heck of a player, but I just need to check that down, (RB) Todd (Gurley) was wide open in the flat. That was a crucial mistake. I really want that one back, because we were moving on offense. I think we had a holding penalty, got second-and-long, but (WR) Tavon (Austin) made a good move and got open down field and we were able to hit him and we were kind of were rolling a bit, we had a good run. We just have to be smart with the football. That was my goal for this week coming in was being smart with the football and that wound up costing us big.”

(On the ‘We want (QB Jared) Goff’ chant from the fans)

“Yeah, they have a right to feel however they want to feel. I’m always the type of person that, I’m glad that the fans are there and the stadium is full. So, like I said earlier, in one ear and out the other, but we are frustrated, too, that we aren’t scoring points. We have to score more points, so I understand.”

(On the last drive and his switch to a left-handed throw)

“Yeah, I’ve never done that before. I don’t know what happened. (RB) Benny (Cunningham) ran a good route because they kind of gave us a different blitz than we expected, and I think I kind of clutched and then kind of had somebody on me, so I choked it left-handed. He did a great job of making an adjustment, but yeah, that was an interesting play.”

(On TE Lance Kendrick’s drop)

“Yeah, I’ve got complete faith in all my guys, including Lance. We all want plays back and you say that, and it’s frustrating that you sound like a broken record on certain things, but we have to score touchdowns. The two plays before, there were some guys that I missed. That’s not on one person or one guy, we have to score a touchdown in that situation.”

(On the small margin for error and the type of preparation and pressure it creates)

“Yeah, that’s why we do what we do. That’s why this game is not for everybody. That’s why this is the NFL and that’s why these games are put on TV and they are super slow motion and you see these catches these guys make. It’s just a game of inches and we know that and we know coming in, that we’ve got belief in ourselves and trust our preparation and technique, but when it comes down to it, instincts take over and you try to give guys a chance to make plays.”

(On what positives he can use from this game moving forward)

“You know, I don’t know. I have to go look at the film. I said it before, I’m pretty frustrated right now. It’s upsetting that we have been within a score multiple times and not coming away with a victory. I’m never going let it get me down. I’ve got tough skin and I’m going to keep fighting, keep battling—that’s what I do. I know we’ve got a good football team in that locker room. I know we’ve got a good offense. We may not have put it on the field today, for all four quarters, but we can move the ball, we can score points and we have to do it more consistently, we have to do it at the right time, we have to help our defense out. Our defense played so well today. They play well the last couple of weeks and we’ve got to score more points and that’s a whole offense deal—that’s all of us combined. Look for us to be better next week.

(On his confidence in remaining the starting quarterback for the Rams)

“That’s not something I think about. I get ready to play and that’s what I do. I’m getting ready to play the (New York) Jets. We have the 24-hour rule, for me, I have a shower rule. I take a shower, good or bad, I rinse all the crap off and I’m looking forward to next week.”

(On the defensive pressure from the Carolina Panthers)

“They brought pressure at different times. I thought we handled it pretty well at times. There were a couple of times where I didn’t move well enough in the pocket and it wasn’t even pressure, I didn’t have the pocket presence and didn’t have a clear view on a few third-downs to pull the trigger. So, something I need to look back and work on my mechanics and moving in the pocket. We just have to be better.”

(On the development of his shower rule)

“I don’t know, I’ve had it for a while. It’s kind of a metaphor to just to clean everything off, just let it all down the drain. {It doesn’t give you a lot of time after a game} Nope. Good quarterbacks have amnesia.”

Rams DE Robert Quinn

(On what the team is not getting done in order to get over the close losses)

“Well I play defense, so we’re not making enough plays to get the offense an opportunity or score on defense. I’ll speak for myself – we’re not doing enough, to me. I think we’re doing great, but, of course, we’d like to raise our bar. We’re not playing great enough to win. I think guys, we’re frustrated, but we’re not out of it. We have, what, nine games left – it’s crunch time – so hopefully guys are aware of our situation.”

(On how they were able to sack Panthers QB Cam Newton five times today)

“(Defensive Coordinator) Gregg (Williams), he called a great game, giving us opportunities to run. For the most part, the secondary had their guys locked down, giving us time. Once you’ve got the opportunity, you try to get him down, and our guys did a great job. Of course, we’d like to get the ball out and score on defense, but we rattled him in the pocket to give ourselves a chance. We just have to keep building from there.”

(On if operating with a narrow margin of error gets harder as the season goes on)

“Yes and no. when you start playing in close games like that all the time, you get a feel for them. Now, the thing is, we have to start winning them – that’s the big difference. At the end of the game, it could have turned so much faster – just whatever, one play here or there that we need to make to get that momentum going, we just haven’t done that. To lose close games like that, it’s tough and we just have to figure out (how) to make one or two plays so we can start being on the other side and getting Ws.”

Rams LB Alec Ogletree

(On if he feels like there is a lot of room for improvement on the defense)

“I don’t think there’s many major things. All the little things that you need to do to win the game, you have to prepare to do that each and every week. You can’t be lackadaisical in your technique or your mental awareness. Like I said, we hate you lose, but we’re not far off. We just have to find a way to win games.”

(On what it’s like operating with a thin margin for error week after week)

“No games are easy. I feel like, I’ve said all the time, our team is built to win close games. You can see, every game that we’ve kind of lost, we’ve been there close at the end. We just haven’t found a way to finish those games, but we’re built to play close games and we’re going to have to find a way to win those close games.”

Rams RB Todd Gurley

(On how he feels the team can pull itself out of the losing streak)

“Just have to come ready to work next week. Obviously, we have got to score points to win the game. It’s not the end of the world, you just have to win games.”

(On getting the ball on back-to-back plays)

“I don’t control the play calling – (offensive coordinator) Coach (Rob) Boras does a great job. It’s a team game, you can’t get the ball every time.”

(On if he wants the ball in his hands more)

“Like I said, obviously everybody wants the ball in their hands. But it’s a team game, I trust in my guys as much as they trust in me.”

(On what he would change about the recent games ending with such a close score)

“We just have got to score more points, no ifs, ands or buts about it, we have to get in the end zone, we have to execute.”

Rams G Rodger Saffold

(On the mental state of the team)

“Crushed. We’re just absolutely crushed. Enough is enough. We know we need to put more work in on offense and have to score touchdowns. I don’t blame anyone group. I don’t blame coaching. I don’t blame anything, but just collectively, we need figure it out. Our defense is out here putting up games. We need to be able to capitalize. Enough is enough. Enough with just sitting around and saying, ‘Let’s stick together.’ It’s time to just go power it in.”

(On if the ‘We Want Goff’ chant affected him mentally)

“That doesn’t matter to me. It’s the coaches’ decision. It’s not my decision who is going to be back there. My job is to protect whoever is out there, and to make sure we run the ball. We need to find a way to get that together or else it’s going to be a long season.”

(On if he hears the crowd booing the offense)

“Yeah, but once again, that doesn’t bother me at all. It could’ve been looking like ghost and saying ‘boo’ and I wouldn’t care. The true thing is, that we need to continue to work. All I know how to do is work. I’ll be in here tomorrow, 9:30 a.m. putting up weight, and trying to put my team in the best position to win.”

(On if it’s harder to swallow the loss because the team wants to make an impression on the fans of Los Angeles)

“Absolutely, but at the end of the day, we have to focus on what we have to focus on. If we put something out there that they can cheer for, good. But, all the booing and all the distractions that are going on, we have to ignore it because we have to continue to work.”

(On his biggest frustration of to what’s not happening out on the field)

“We’re not playing as one. Eleven have to play as one in order to make plays and to get big plays down the field, and be able to score touchdowns. It’s always one thing here, there, and that has to stop. We have to continue to play cohesive and we have to improve. Like I said, it’s just not one group. It’s not the quarterback, it’s not the [offensive] line, it’s not the wide receivers – it’s everybody collectively.”