Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
"We just completed OTA 5. Quite pleased with where we are. Still have some things that need to go in. We did some situational stuff today, which we’ll repeat again before we finish, as well as in camp. Have some guys that we backed down a little bit today. (RB) Todd Gurley got the day off. He’ll be back on the field on Friday. We’re kind of monitoring their bodies and just want to make sure that everyone recovers. He’s been working really hard, so he got the day off. Got a couple minor things going on with a couple of the rookies, but they’ll be back on the field on Friday, I’m sure. Beyond that, quarterbacks are making progress. (QB) Jared’s (Goff) learning. Had some interesting situations out here that he hadn’t seen before in our offense, and he’s learning. Progress is good right now. As it was reported yesterday, we made a roster decision on (WR) Stedman Bailey. He’d been here since the start of our offseason program. With specifics to the roster move, the league requires us to subject him to waivers and then, once he clears, and I believe he’s cleared – we’re going to put him back on a non-football list and then we’re going to decide what we’re going to do with him this year. He will not be able to play. He’s not been cleared. As I’ve said numerous times, he’s lucky to be alive. So impressed he’s gotten back into shape. Willing to play, but really at this point, there’s no medical research that will permit him to play. He’s seen several specialists. With that being said, we’re going to take care of Stedman."
(On how he would describe WR Tavon Austin’s development)
"Tavon’s just getting better every year. He’s focused in on the offense, the changes in the offense. Once he gets comfortable in the offense, we’ll see a lot of big plays out of him."
(On the combination of Austin’s size and talents in a league dominated by physicality)
"The reason we drafted him, number one, is we didn’t want to have to defend him. Secondly, he’s just an explosive athlete. He has great quickness and vision. He’s hard to get down. His acceleration – he can stop and start on a dime. Great hand-eye coordination. I think he’s one of the top punt returners in the league. He’s had numerous returns called back or he would be, early in his career. Then, you see him when he gets the ball in his hands – however that is – he’s got the potential to go the distance."
(On what type of role Bailey may end up taking on with the Rams)
"There’s a lot of different things. I’m going to be selfish and try to bring him over on the coaching side and have him help. He’s done some of that already out here. He’s worked with some of our punt-cover guys. ‘Sted’ was an outstanding special teams player for us, and an outside gunner. There’s a lot of work behind the scenes that needs to be done. We’ll put him behind the desk and bring him out on the field and see how he likes it."
(On what extent OTAs can impact the depth chart)
"I’ll give you an example. Several times a week, we’re going to meet as a staff and each individual coach is going to rank their players from 1 to however many, top to bottom. Well, that ranking changes every time we meet and it’s based on our experience that we’re having out here. So a guy will go from two to three or six to four on a weekly basis, so that’s good for the guys that are rising and not so good for the guys that are falling. But, we’ll do that before we leave and so we’ll have a good feel before we go to camp. As you guys will find out, those things take very quickly, so this has an impact. Again, you have to keep training and re-training your mind that there’s not pads on, and pads are certainly going to be different. Often times, the coaches say, ‘Well, I can’t wait to see him when we put the pads on.’ But, then I say, we have to wait a couple months."
(On how DE Ian Seau is doing so far)
"He’s doing well. He’s a very instinctive player. He understands a lot of things along the defensive line, mainly pass rush. He’s having a blast right now. He’s having fun and improving. I think he has a chance to play some special teams in the preseason."
(On his stance on how the heat in Irvine, Calif. can affect a player’s body versus the cooler climate in Oxnard, Calif.)
"Well, recovery is probably…aside from the reps, recovery is important. We want to make sure that they are recovering. Obviously, it’s a different challenge when you’ve got heat and humidity and things like that. But still none the less, you have to address muscle recovery. It’s going to be significant. In years past, every third practice was an evening practice. But then we also would have a noon practice, just to get them ready for the regular season if we were starting some place with heat. It’s a mental thing, it’s a physical thing. But, obviously, we’re going to have a tremendous break in the weather considering what we’ve been used to. We’ll adjust to that. Fortunately, we’re opening at San Francisco in the evening. If we were opening at Miami atone o’clock, it would be different."
(On if the running back depth chart has become more unsettled with Tre Mason’s absence)
"No, it’s settled right now. I’m pleased with where it’s going. Malcolm’s (Brown) done a great job there as the third, and Chase (Reynolds) is always a guy that you can count on. And we have a couple young guys that we’re going to let play. In our minds, we just have to prepare ourselves that Tre’s not going to be here."
(On his impression of the new wide receivers)
"Well, when you look at the receiver depth chart, you have to be sure that you’re playing them in the right spots. Sometimes you have a guy that you call that ‘slot receiver’ so he has to get most of his reps there. Then, you have the stationary guy, then you have the move guy. What we’re doing, as far as the younger guys are concerned, is we’re trying to plug them in the right spots right now and get them reps so they know what to do, so they can compete. Nothing worse than having a young receiver running the wrong route, especially when you have a young quarterback expecting him to be there and the ball hits the defensive player in the chest – that’s a waste of a rep. You want to make sure you have the young guys in place to compete."
(On what he has seen from the free safeties and if he sees that as a competition that can last through camp)
"Yes, it’s a good group. Christian Bryant is coming on, really taking advantage of this opportunity. Cody (Davis) understands the position; he’s got some game experience. We’ve got a couple young guys that we’ll have to look at in a game, when things are live and they are in a pressure situation."
(On what he is looking for in a quarterback beyond consistency)
"Beyond consistency, it’s production. You’re looking for production, you’re looking for leadership, you’re looking for quality decision-making and that all comes with reps. Really, that all comes with reps. As I started with earlier, Jared (Goff) saw a couple things out here that he hadn’t seen before. The ball ends up in the defensive player’s hands and the best thing about the play was, watching the huddle and he goes, ‘Hey, that one’s on me. That one’s on me, let’s go to the next play and we’ll go on.’ He doesn’t dwell on those things."