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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher, DC Gregg Williams, RB Todd Gurley Talk Up Week 13 Clash With New England Patriots

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Here’s what the trio had to say after closing out their final practice of the week.

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“It was the first weather related practice that we’ve had. I thought we did a good job adjusting. We got done what we needed to get done. (QB) Jared (Goff) got the balls out and we had some really good red zone work, which is important to us right now. I though the guys responded well – the energy was good. We’re off on, just a short trip – hop, skip and a jump (laughs). We’re excited about playing the Patriots.”

(On the status of DE Robert Quinn, WR Tavon Austin and G Roger Saffold)

“Roger (Saffold) was limited, Tavon (Austin) did not practice, and Rob (Quinn) did not practice. Rob is actually in the concussion protocol right now – we’ll see how that goes over the next day or so. That was something that came up Monday – it was not a Sunday issue, it became a Monday issue. We examined him and we put him in the protocol – just to be on safe side. He’s still in it.”

(On whether he was glad to practice in the wind today in preparation for New England)

“Yeah. It’s going to be in the 40s, you can expect wind. I’ve been there when the forecast was 50s and we had six inches of snow. But yeah, it was good – it was good from a wind standpoint – just concentration – if you’ve ever had a helmet on when the wind is blowing, it’s hard to hear. It was good exercise for us.”

(On Patriots QB Tom Brady and what makes him so great)

“You can’t fool him. He’s got a great feel for what he’s doing – he knows where to go with the football. Footwork is absolutely excellent, he’s tall, he’s got an extremely strong arm and he can make all the throws. You can’t fool him with this or that – he knows where to go with the football. The interesting thing about what we’re going into, is with ‘Gronk’ (TE Rob Gronkowski) being, now down , now we don’t know what to expect out of their offense. We’re going to have to, as I said, be able to adjust defensively.”

(On how much Gronkowski’s absence will impact the Patriots’ offense)

“He’s a huge part. He’s a big time playmaker down the field, in addition to his blocking ability. But again, (Patriots Head Coach) Bill (Belichick) has always found a way to adjust. That’s the unanticipated consequences of the injury – I feel bad for ‘Gronk’ and hope he comes back healthy. But we don’t know what to expect right now out of them.”

(On having to play an opponent like the Patriots after coming off of a tough loss against the Saints)

“It’s a great challenge. It’s about us competing and that’s what we do – we compete. Every week’s a challenge. You go in to every game expecting to win and that you have a chance to win if you execute – that’s our philosophy going in to this thing right now. Anything can happen, but Tom, he’s won his fair share of football games over the years. But, I feel good about where we are defensively. It’s going to be a team effort – special teams and then offense is going to have to score some points. This is not going to be a 6-3 game – that’s not going to happen.”

(On how he saw the defense respond this week after coming off of the loss to the Saints)

“They bounced right back. Took responsibility for it and bounced right back. You couldn’t go back to the previous three or four weeks and their production, their execution, points allowed and everything – just we had a bad day and let’s go, let’s come on. They’ve bounced back. They’re determined to play well.”

(On QB Jared Goff’s performance at practice this week)

“He was great, especially today. He had the wind behind him, but he knew exactly where to go with the football. I thought he had a great week. Hopefully it carries over into his production and performance.”

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams

(Opening remarks)

“I think one of the best coaches in the National Football League is (Saints Head Coach) Sean (Payton), and then, obviously, with (Saints QB) Drew (Brees). Drew made a lot of really nice plays, and we had a couple of point of attack mistakes. A couple of those point of attack mistakes were explosive and point producing. There was an awful lot of really, really, really good plays to force them into some of those longer situations. Then, all of a sudden, you get a mental error here, you get a technique error here. We had a young guy that had a chance to play for the first time that probably will never make the mistake again that he made. But, tip your hat. They did a good job. There wasn’t any new plays. We just had to execute, coaching terminology wise, and we’re at the point of attack on a couple crucial plays. Our guys have really, really responded well this week to that. Sometimes you get a wake-up call. We’ve been pretty dominant for four or five weeks and all of a sudden, that wakes you up. I haven’t had any problem holding their attention in the meetings this week.”

(On if he took the trick play personally)

“No. We rep those plays. We rep those kinds of things. Now, it’s competition. We all enjoy the competition. I enjoy the competition. We rep that play and just had a young man that didn’t see it. That’s what happens when those kinds of things come up, and he’s got to play his technique. It happened to be the right play at the right time, with the right mistake on our side.”

(On if all teams have games like that, every once in a while)

“I’ve been a part of a lot of good defenses. I’ve said this before, this defense has a chance to be as good as any of them. You have those, but we don’t ever accept them. When you accept them, it’s time to move on. We don’t like it and I’ve told the guys that before. If there’s anybody that has an excuse or anybody that really likes that – you’re in the wrong room, especially with me.”

(On what makes Patriots QB Tom Brady so good on film)

“Got a chance to see him come up from the ranks of starting. I was the Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills when he got his first start, and had a chance to see him develop. Many years ago, I took criticism, because there was an article coming out – I think I was at the Redskins at the time – about who would you pick if you had the first pick in the draft, and I said, ‘Tom Brady.’ I think that he is the epitome of playing the position. He’s going to go down as arguably, if not the best – one of the very best in this league. The reason I like him is he has a chip on his shoulders, because I think he was drafted way down the list. So, a lot of people made mistakes on him. I’ve always enjoyed coaching those kinds of guys that feel like they have to prove it every time. Tom feels like he has to prove it every day in practice. He feels like he has to prove it every day in a game, and when you stop doing that as a coach or a player at this level, it’s time to move on. You have to do that. That’s how competitive this is. He does a very good job of doing things the way that he, and (Patriots Head Coach) Coach (Bill) Belichick want that, and I think (Patriots Offensive Coordinator) Josh McDaniels has done a fantastic job. I don’t think Josh gets enough credit for that. He had his opportunity to be a head coach too, and sometimes you don’t have the same quarterback that you have right there. He’s capitalized and changed things and adapted to things as Tom sees them too. That’s what Sean and Drew Brees do down there also. Everything runs through Drew Brees. Everything runs through Tom Brady. It’ll be a challenge. Been in a lot of games, but I have a smile on my face because I respect him as a person, on top of as a player. Even some of the things he went through, you think he’s got a chip on his shoulder? I don’t know if it’s any bigger than mine, but he has a chip on his shoulders and he has something to prove every day. I respect that. We’ll see how we play this weekend. We have to do well because our players respect him too. So, we’ve got to be on. We got to do a better job than we did last week.”

(On how does Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski’s absence affect the game plan)

“You’ll see is that they have multiple people playing the same position, so we’ll see. Every game takes on a different personality within the game, but they’ve been practicing all week without him anyway. So, they’ve got a plan. (Patriots TE) Martellus Bennett is a pretty good tight end. He can pretty much do everything that ‘Gronk’ was doing anyways. Probably all of us won’t see a whole lot of change because this is the profile that’s best for them. If it does change, then we have to react in the game to see what people they bring out there.”

Running Back Todd Gurley

(On how he’s feeling about the potential of playing in cold weather)

“I’m feeling good, we’ve all played in a little cold weather. Hopefully it won’t be too bad, it could be a lot worse at this point of the season. It’s still going to be cold, but the weather is going to be fine.”

(On if bumps and bruises and getting loose before the game are magnified in the colder weather)

“It just depends, once you get the adrenaline going. It’s at the point of the season where everybody has something. I’m not the only one in the league limping around, there’s always something.”

(On if he feels closer to a big game)

“We’ll see, just keep working hard every week and trust in the process. If something is not working, you’ve got to keep working at it and hope it comes the next week.”

(On if the passing game opening up will help the run game open up)

“Obviously, you don’t have as many in the box. Obviously, (QB Jared Goff) came out strong in the first half and opened things up. I’m pretty sure the Patriots are smart. I’m pretty sure they’ll know he can sling it a little bit. Hopefully that takes a couple out of the box.”

(On what he attributes slower second half starts to)

“I don’t know, man. Just executing, just going back to what we do on the first or second drive that we score on. Just go out there and minimize the mistakes – the turnovers, the penalties, just the little things and just go out there and win your one-on-ones.”

(On Goff’s comfort level)

“I feel like he’s been doing a good job. It’s football – we’ve been playing it our whole life, nothing new.”

(On memories watching the Patriots success growing up)

“Everybody knows what they’ve done. They’ve done a great job over there always winning every year.”