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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher, DC Gregg Williams, QB Jared Goff & RB Todd Gurley Flap Gums On Atlanta Falcons Matchup

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Let’s yap sheep on bird violence.

Bird of prey

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“You heard form Jared – he’s doing well. Bounced back, had a good day. That’s encouraging. We didn’t see you guys yesterday, but he came in and spent most of the day here – spent a lot of time with (C) Tim Barnes. He’s caught up and he feels good – it’s encouraging. We got (WR) Tavon (Austin) back, (DE) Rob (Quinn) practiced as well. (RB) Benny (Cunningham) did not practice. We have him doubtful for the game. (RB) Malcolm (Brown) had a really good week – we’ll be in good shape there. Hope to get Benny back next week.”

(On the recent reaction to his comments about GM Les Snead’s contract extension and whether he’s been aware of the reaction)

“Yeah. Things were brought to my attention yesterday. If you go back and look at the transcripts, I was speaking the truth. Honestly, I don’t know where this came from. Les and I have been on the same page since day one. We communicate all the time, we work together, we make decisions together and I don’t know where it’s coming from – I’ll find out. In our business, unnamed sources, they’re not good. If we’ve got sources within the organization that are speaking, then we’ll address it. But there are no issues between Les and I – by no means. We agree to disagree and we’ve had a fun run, but we’re certainly disappointed – as I said on Tuesday – in the outcome and where we are. We’ve got work to do, but we’re doing it together.”

(On hearing terms like a ‘junior high atmosphere’ or ‘toxic’)

“That came from either the editor or the writer, but I didn’t think the ‘junior high’ thing came from an unnamed source. But again, I don’t pay as close attention to those things as you do because I’m more concerned about the Falcons. But I’ll just say this again, Les and I are fine. We work together. We talk every day. I don’t know where that’s coming from.”

(On whether he and Snead have spoken about the aftermath of his comments)

“Yeah, Les and I did. I took the transcripts and I gave it to Les. Then, I took the article and I said ‘how do you connect the dots’ – you can’t connect the dots. Somebody said that we ‘don’t pad our practices’ – we padded on Wednesday. So whoever is talking obviously has not been out to practice or does not understand the CBA (NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement). Enough is enough, Les and I are good, we’re all good. Our focus is on Atlanta right now.”

(On whether there is any concern for him regarding the unnamed source within the organization and that they have that sort of impression about the relationship between himself and Snead)

“I don’t know. When you’re 4-8, people are frustrated, you know, they’re frustrated. We’ll find out where it’s coming from.”

(On having two games within four days of each other and how the team prepares for a quick turnaround like that)

“On Monday, we had two games in 11 days – we’re getting down to it. Our focus is on the Falcons. We’ll have a brief meeting tomorrow before we come out for our walk-thru and I’ll just go through the schedule with them. It’s about getting your bodies back, restoring, hydrating, and recovering – that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll come back Sunday here after the game and the coaches will start game planning – you want to park in the parking lot, we’ll probably all be here Sunday night (laughs). That’s just the nature of the Thursday games and travel. Since we’ve been here, we have not had a Thursday Night Football away game – we’ve been at home, fortunately. It’s a different challenge, but we’ll educate the players and communicate with them – give them the schedule tomorrow because the unknown is hard on players and they need to know. Immediately after the Atlanta game we will start focusing on Seattle and getting their bodies back. It’s going to be a short week, quick week. I’ll refer to last night that was a good ball game last night – both teams played well in difficult conditions. We have to get ourselves back, travel and ready to play against Seattle.”

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams

(On the challenge that Falcons QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones present)

“Arguably the top receiver in the league, he’s right up there with a lot of the really good ones we’ve played this year. Everybody, now in the National Football League, they put an investment in those kind of guys that can score points. He’s had some very, very impressive days this year. And again, he came in the league when I was still in that division, so I know some of the things about him from being in that division. He’s matured well and hopefully we’ll see if we can play some of the same, similar things we’ve been able to do against some of the other really big-time receivers we have. He’s done a very, very good job adapting to (Falcons offensive coordinator) Kyle Shanahan’s offense. I think Kyle’s done a great job on how he’s utilized him, too. They’re having a good year on offense. Matt, at the quarterback position – I was down there, too, in that division when he first came into the league. He’s grown each and every year and he really has taken it to the next level this year with Kyle Shanahan’s offense and he’s doing a great job.”

(On if you can tell the chemistry when a quarterback and wide receiver have been together for a while like Ryan and Jones)

“Yeah, you can tell the chemistry. You can tell the things that they do where, really, there’s no hand signals, there’s just eye movements, there’s just nods. And there is a feel that they trust each other in the spaces on the field. You’ll see the ball being thrown in to space before the breaker curves – and that’s the trust that you have of going and practicing and playing with somebody rep after rep after rep. So, yeah, you’ll see that on film and hopefully we can disrupt some of that, we’ll see.”

(On what he means by saying Matt Ryan has gone to the next level)

“He understands the offense, he understands what they way out of him offensively. At this point in time in the league, there’s only so many disguises you can do – with (Patriots QB) Tom Brady, (Saints QB) Drew Brees, Matt, those kinds of guys, is that they’ve seen every disguise known to man. Hopefully we can have some fractions of time, involvement, on how we, maybe, cause him to freeze a little bit and then hopefully our rush can get there. But he does a very good job with that. Again, each time a coordinator changes with him, he’s been able to adapt to that coordinator – and that coordinator has also kind of kept some things along the years that Matt likes to do. And I’ve seen that with whoever has come in down there, because you can see he has his impact on, ‘I like this route concept, I like it in this area of the field.’ They’re still doing some of the similar things they were doing when (former Falcons offensive coordinator) Dirk (Koetter) was there. He’s doing it quite effectively, he really is.”

(On how DB Mike Jordan has developed)

“He’s done great, I love the kid. Again, I take great pride on coaching young men that other people don’t like. Here he was, an undrafted free agent, I take a lot of pride in the undrafted free agents that can play in this league. He’s here for a reason, we saw some qualities in him for a reason to get here. But the young man has not backed away from any challenge. And then once a kid shows, maybe, that he is going to have a chance, then he has to deal with me and dealing with me on putting more and more and more pressures on him because I don’t want to see him fold on game day, I want to see him fold in practice. The water has just kind of flowed off his back – whatever I’ve given him, he’s done a good job with that. And then we’ve adapted some things, schematically, to fit his skillset, too. I think (defensive backs coach) Dennard (Wilson) has done a great job, his coach, has done a really, really good job on getting him ready to go in a short amount a time. And he’s done well on special teams, too.”

(On how his years in the NFC South helps him this Sunday against Matt Ryan)

“Just a familiarity on timing. I understand what throws that he is qualified to make – sometimes you go into a game and you’re shocked that a guy has this arm strength or you’re shocked that he can move that quickly out of the pocket. Once you’ve been on the field with him, in a stressful situation, you can see when he can improvise and when he can’t improvise. That part of it, because I’ve been on the field with him, nothing that will surprise me. I’ve seen him do some pretty good things before. A lot of times, we can convey that to our guys, hopefully it’ll be an advantage.”

QB Jared Goff

(On how he’s feeling)

“Better, really good. It was a little one day deal. A little stomach deal, it’ll be fine though. Fatigued me a little bit, but I’m good.”

(On how he felt in practice after coming off a day of rest)

“Good, yeah, real good. I think yesterday, I was able to regroup and get back to myself, and then today felt normal.”

(On how difficult the preparation becomes after missing a day of practice)

“Obviously, I wanted to (practice). I wanted to get all the work in and do what we do here in practice. But, physically was unable to. I watched the film. (QB) Case (Keenum) did a good job, and I was able to get some good reps mentally.”

(On if he came in on Thursday)

“I was here Thursday. I was fine Thursday morning. I was here yesterday, basically all day just trying to get caught up.”

(On if he’s ever played a college game while being sick, and if he’s ever had to fight through it)

“I don’t think so. I’ve played games before though in other sports where I’ve been sick, and football. But, not in college.”

(On if he sees this game as an opportunity to capitalize on a struggling Falcons defense)

“I don’t think it has anything to do with their defense and what we’re planning to do, or change anything offensively. I think we’re just going to do what we do. We have a good plan coming in. We got a good week of practice in. Today was a really good day, I thought. Got some good work in. We feel confident. Regardless of what they want to do on defense, regardless of what they have done on defense, we feel confident in what we’ve done, and I just want to continue to get better.”

(On what the offense has worked on this week to be more efficient on third down)

“Everything man, everything. A part of it is putting stuff together that will work this weekend. A part of it is us doing our job and executing. We need to do our job on third down, and need to throw completions. We need to protect, we need to run the ball well, and need to catch the ball and everything in between.”

(On how important was the long pass completion to WR Kenny Britt to finally get a deep ball under his belt)

“I wasn’t thinking of it. We were down like 20 something at that point. That was probably the first long completion, aside from the touchdown to (WR) Tavon (Austin) against New Orleans. Again, I wasn’t really thinking of it at the time. It’s a good one to have, but we lost the game. So, it doesn’t really matter.”

(On his tendency to keep his eyes on the rush, in turn, creating more pressure from the defense)

“I’m always working on everything, but I don‘t think that’s something I’ve been looking at really.”

(On how he feels he’s handled the pressure)

“Fine. Yeah, good.”

(On if the game has slowed down for him since becoming the starter)

“Yeah, absolutely. I think the last three games, obviously, that I got under my belt, I’ve been able to get some reps, and some experience. As well as in practice, getting more reps in practice helps as well. This will be my fourth game now, and I expect to continue to progress and continue to get better.”

(On playing in the Coliseum without the rain)

“It’ll be nice. It’ll be my first one there, obviously without the rain. It’ll be fun.”

(On if he feels defense are starting to game plan against him now that he’s had three NFL games under his belt)

“Yeah, they definitely have more stuff to look at that they can probably, try to game plan for. Again, it’s only been three games, so I don’t know how much. But, there’s definitely been a little bit, yeah.”

(On his biggest adjustment to the NFL)

“The speed. Obviously, it’s faster on game day than it is in practice. But, I think that after the Miami game, I was done with that. It felt good against New Orleans, and really felt good against the Patriots. We don’t play well, I didn’t play well in particular. As far as adjustment, speed, and feeling good in the pocket, it felt good. They just did a good job getting pressure. They schemed it up well, and did a good job against us. They’re 10-2 for a reason, and they make the playoffs every year for a reason, and they did a good job against us.”

(On what personal goals he’s set for himself in the final four games)

“Just continue to get better. Continue to be able lead the offense, and be the best quarterback I can be. And continue to get myself prepared for every game.”

RB Todd Gurley

(On how much more he stays after practice this year to catch footballs)

“I did it like every day after practice last year, so about the same.”

(On how much he feels he’s improved as a pass catcher)

“I feel like I’ve been doing a great job when the ball has been thrown to me. I’ve been able to catch it a majority of the time. I’m just trying to make sure that I stay reliable in the pass game.”

(On if he feels encouraged about facing Atlanta’s defense)

“In the league, anything can happen any week, you never know. You’ve got to prepare hard and just go into the game with the mindset that you’re going to have a successful game.”

(On how he personally approaches the final four games of the season)

“Obviously, we’re kind of in the same position we were in last year, I think we were probably the same record – just try to finish strong. Go in to the offseason feeling good about yourself, knowing we finished on a good little streak. Hopefully we can pull these last four games off and get some momentum going into the offseason, feeling good about yourself, then coming back into OTAs.”

(On what it would mean to end the season with 1,000 yards rushing)

“I feel like it would be important to us, as far as the offense just knowing the struggles we’ve been having, it’s still a good accomplishment. At the end of the day, we’re looking for wins. Definitely, the big boys up front definitely want to get that for me for sure. They’re definitely going to be working.”

(On how it feels with three of the last four games at home)

“Feels good, finally. I feel like we’ve been on the road like every week. Definitely feels good not to be traveling. Then next week we only go two and a half hours up North, so it’s not bad.”

(On how he feels he’s improved in pass-protection over the last season and a half)

“I feel like I’ve been just doing a pretty good job. Obviously, I don’t go to the special teams meetings, so I’m able to be in there doing the pass-protection meetings, the extra two or three times a week. I feel like I’ve been doing a pretty good job, obviously missed a few this year, but I feel like I’ve been doing a good job and the coaches have been doing a good job. The quarterbacks, too, of just helping me, helping everybody understand the protections.”