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Transcript: LA Rams Interim Head Coach John Fassel, RB Todd Gurley Talk Post-Fisher Landscape

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Here’s what the Rams’ interim head coach and running back said to the media in the wake of Jeff Fisher’s firing.

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Interim Head Coach John Fassel

(On practice today)

“It was good, it was great. It’s always good to be back out on the grass after the last 24 hours. Tuesday is a normal practice day for us anyways during the week, so it was just kind of a normal Tuesday practice even though it really was Friday emphasis.”

(On if today was easier for him and the team)

“I think so. A little bit of the initial sting wore off and the guys slept on it, came back this morning. They know the task at hand and ahead of us and they’ll be ready to go. But, yeah, probably a little bit easier.

(On if the team was as energetic in meetings as they seemed to be on the field today)

“Yeah, I felt good this morning in the meetings, the installs. It was a pretty fast practice for a short week, but we’re used to practicing on Tuesday, so it was a little bit (more live) than a normal Tuesday – which is good. The guys will be ready to go.”

(On if his dad, former NFL Head Coach John Fassel, gave him any advice)

“Yeah, he said, ‘Be yourself and go for it.’ There really wasn’t a lot of discussion. He’s going to be at the game, I think I told you yesterday, which will be really exciting for me. I’ll rely on him a lot.”

(On what this week has been like for him and how much sleep he has been able to get)

“I’m not getting much sleep, but that’s okay. At this point, you’re kind of immune to it anyways. I try to stay in pretty decent shape so I can handle this. The adrenaline is a huge bonus. The last 24 hours, I’m just learning on the fly, it’s been an incredible experience. I would love to know everything Coach (Jeff) Fisher knows, it’s just there’s so many things and I’ll never learn all of it, but it’s interesting to be on that side of it.”

(On if it was strange not being with the special teams the entire time during practice and having to monitor the other units during practice)

“It was, it was really unique. I kind of had to find my place where I was supposed to be. I’m used to being with the specialists or kind of just bouncing around and talking to the guys on the sideline. There’s no manual for it and I just try to find my spot. I don’t know if I was in the right place, but I’ll figure it out.”

(On DE Robert Quinn’s practice participation)

“I believe we have him listed as full.”

(On where Quinn is in the concussion protocol)

“I’ll probably have to talk to our trainer about that afterword and find out exactly.”

(On if Quinn is optimistic for his availability for Thursday)

“He was running around out there pretty good, so he looked good. Part of it, too, I’ll have to get with the trainer to find out the injury status and all that is.”

(On TE Cory Harkey)

“Cory was placed on Injured Reserve and (CB) Troy Hill was just promoted to take his spot.”

(On the extent of Harkey’s injury)

“I probably shouldn’t (get into it). I will say this, from a special teams coach’s perspective, Cory Harkey is one of the greatest guys I’ve ever coached, just a leader, a player. Just a little shout out to ‘Hark,’ a great man.”

(On RB Benny Cunningham’s status)

“I think Benny is still with the doctors trying to figure out what the deal is. He just had a little neck, it sounded like a muscle thing, so they’re trying to figure it out. On that one, I don’t have information.”

(On how well he has gotten to know CB Troy Hill since he has been with the team)

“I got to know him, I think, really good. We picked him up on the practice squad, I think, the second-to-last week of last season and he’s really improved. In OTAs and in training camp, he really stood out as a guy that could help on special teams – which is, I think, one of the reasons why he became one of our active corners early in the season, because it’s one of those emergency corners, but special teams contributors. He’s a fantastic guy. He made a mistake but he knows it, he owns it. Coach Fisher was great giving him a second chance on the practice squad and having him earn it back and he did that.”

(On if there is a lot he can or wants to change over the next three weeks or if it will be a continuation of what has been in place)

“I think it’ll be a continuation until I really can figure it out. Coach ‘Fish’ had the practice schedules kind of laid out, the guys know the routine. So to come in and think I change it and make it better would probably be a bad decision. It’s going to be just as-is.”

(On if he is mindful about not disrupting QB Jared Goff during this coaching change)

“Yeah, I’ll definitely steer clear of dealing with Jared. He’s a great kid, but the quarterback room is the one that I have the least amount of experience with. I’ll be in communication with (offensive coordinator) Rob (Boras) and (quarterbacks) Coach (Chris) Weinke and do what’s best for the kid.”

(On if there is anything he wants implemented on a short week against a tough opponent in Seattle)

“Nothing has changed as far as the organization of the offense or the defense or even special teams. We prepped a little bit last week knowing it was going to be a short week. So we’re prepared for yesterday, today, tomorrow and Thursday. Obviously, Seattle is a great team and I think the cool thing about it for us is, we’re obviously out of the playoffs, but like I said yesterday, an opportunity to practice like it’s a playoff-atmosphere game is pretty good. This will be really good for us. I’m super excited, and I think about 48 hours from nowbeing on the sideline, it’s kind of crazy.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On how is the team doing today)

“We’re doing good. I feel like we had a pretty good day – coming out here, with some energy, being able to compete.”

(On his reaction to Jeff Fisher being fired)

“It was tough. It was tough on a lot of guys. Coach Fisher, he did a great job. He brought everybody in. We loved him as a coach. We know a lot of other people didn’t. But, at the end of the day, we knew what he did for us. He brought us in. He’s the one who drafted me when nobody else believed in me. It definitely hit us hard, for sure.”

(On when he realized his comments after the game would have a major impact)

“I didn’t really look at it that way. I didn’t care. Just speaking my mind, and speaking the truth of about how we looked.”

(On if his teammates responded to his postgame comments)

“Yeah, it definitely should be taken to heart – the way we played. Just way too many turnovers, way too many penalties, and we just can’t be doing that week after week.”

(On what qualities he would like to see from his next head coach)

“No, not at all. It’s definitely tough. Being taken care of from a guy like Coach Fisher – he did a great job for us. We’re definitely going to miss him.”

(On the difference between the mood of the team yesterday, as compared to today)

“I don’t know man. I feel like everybody is still hit pretty hard about the news. A lot of guys know how this business is. A lot of guys have been through coaching changes. It’s hard, but you got to kind of move on. At the end of the day, you know how you feel.”

(On what the Seahawks defense looks like without S Earl Thomas in the secondary)

“They’re still a great bunch. They’re not called the ‘Legion of Boom’ for no reason, even though Earl is back there. I’m sorry to hear about what happened to him, but they’re still a great, physical defense.”

(On if the Seahawks defense is different now as far as what they do)

“Same old stuff. They’re going to run their stuff, and be them. That’s why they’ve been winning games. It’s definitely a big difference without Earl, but they have guys that step in. That’s what this league is about.”

(On if he was upset by the way his comments after the game were portrayed)

“I really don’t care. At the end of the day, if anybody seen the game and seen the way we played, and seen the whole interview, then you would know what I was talking about.”

(On if he’s confident if his teammates will pick up their intensity and effort on the field)

“We’re about to find out Thursday, we’re going to definitely find out Thursday. Just got to come out – it’s a short week. Thursday Night Football is coming up in about two days. Seattle is feeling the same way we were feeling. So, we just got to come with some energy.”