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2016 Los Angeles Rams Training Camp: Head Coach Jeff Fisher, QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley Post-Practice Interview Transcripts

Here’s what Rams’ Head Coach and QB-RB starlet duo had to say after yesterday’s practice.

Los Angeles Rams Training Camp
Los Angeles Rams Training Camp
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening Remarks)

“Well, let me go back to the offseason program, OTAs. We finished very strong, in the staff’s opinion, with the OTAs. The thing that’s been impressive, thus far, is the work that they did between the OTAs and here reporting back to camp. As you know, we really didn’t have a place where they could work. They selected three or four facilities here in town and they just stayed in town and they just worked. Our conditioning test reflected that – the rookie test, in addition to the veteran condition test yesterday. The tests were better than I’ve ever seen. I think a lot of credit goes to the players, to their focus, to be able to put everything behind them and get focused in and preparing themselves for camp. We had a good first day, I can’t – we can’t – thank our hosts enough. UC Irvine has done a phenomenal job to have things up and rolling and ready for the players. It’s convenient; it’s an ideal spot to have training camp.

We made a few roster moves recently. Obviously, you saw the (QB) Nick Foles move – we thought it was important; it was a good situation for us and Nick. We’ve been talking to his people throughout the offseason and kind of felt like this was a direction that we’re heading and we got a good deal worked out, so Nick has an opportunity to go on with his career and we have an opportunity to move forward with some very talented young quarterbacks. I spoke personally to Nick and thanked him for his contribution last year and the way he handled himself through a difficult time from his career standpoint. I think he’s in a good place, as we are. We had to put (T) Rob Havenstein on PUP – Rob’s had a little foot issue during the offseason and he’s still not quite ready. So, PUP – this situation can be week-to-week, day-to-day. We really don’t have much more information on it, but it’s going to be some time, maybe a few weeks, before Rob gets back – he’s working very, very hard. We also placed (RB) Tre Mason on a Did Not Report list. It was our only option – well, we had a couple options – but it was our only option. Just to give you the background, I haven’t personally spoken with Tre since the season ended, when we had the checkout physicals. I tried numerous times after the incident to reach him, and it was unsuccessful. I’ve been communicating through the offseason with his agent, Bus Cook. I’ve had minimal conversation with family members. But Tre has made a decision not to communicate with us, not to talk, not talking to his teammates. Right now, we’re more concerned about Tre Mason’s well-being than we are his football career. We’re going to continue to try to reach him to see where he’s at. Right now, the best the best thing for us to do is put him on the Did Not Report list, so he does not count against our 90-man roster. With that, does anybody have any questions?”

(On nervousness and anxiety for the first practice today)

“I was excited. I’ve been here since Sunday. We got here early, got things set-up, had many staff meetings – not only with coaching staff, but with administrative staff, just to make sure things were good. I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the rookies. The rookies got here and we had two really good days with them. Our philosophy there is to get them on the field for a couple days, get their legs under them, get caught up before the vets come in because their reps kind of diminish at that point. But personally, I’m excited to get back. It was 1991 since I was on this campus. Trees are much taller, things look much different, but it’s certainly great to be back.”

(On the atmosphere at practice)

“It was great. We talked to the players about it last night – that there was a chance that there were going to be quite a few people here. They were really excited – as a matter of fact, we gathered them up before we got started, just to calm them down. When the atmosphere was the way it was and the environment and the fans and the support, there’s that tendency to go a little bit more quicker, earlier in practice than you should. I just encouraged them to make sure they got warmed up and got to full speed so we didn’t have any issues.”

(On RB Tre Mason being welcomed back to the team)

“I think there are some things we have to work through. I can’t comment on the legal issue and the arrest, because I don’t have any more information than you guys do – so that’s number one. And two, we’re going to have to delve into the reasons for the lack of communication at this point.”

(On QB Jared Goff)

“Jared was good today. We had some quarterback-center exchanges, and I’m not going to put it on (C Eric) Kush. But a couple of the snaps – it’s hard to catch a ball at your ankles and get up and throw it when you have rushers in your face. He was good, he’s really comfortable. He’s spent a lot of time, as you would expect from him, in the book this summer. Throwing to the receivers, he has a much better feel now than he did when he left. This is the first day, first day of installation. We just put some simple concepts in. Today, the ball wasn’t designed to go down the field – it was underneath, short passing game and those kind of things. But I thought he was good, he was much more comfortable now than he was when we left.”

(On what he would like to see from Goff in camp and preseason)

“Well, just continue the progression. Become more and more familiar. He gets the huddle, he gets his teammates, he gets that stuff, and he understands what’s ahead. It’s just the reps and getting experience and completing balls and making decisions – and making mistakes. You can’t expect anybody to go through a mistake-free camp and he’s not going to either. Particularly because you learn from them, you need to experience this. So there’s going to be mistakes and they’re okay right now.”

(On showing something by taking the time to work with receivers during down time)

“We’ve had them over time do it, but they made the commitment to each other to do it on their own, which was great. I remember back in when (QB) Sam (Bradford) brought receivers to Oklahoma for three or four days. They were here, they picked dates, times and locations and they worked out together and they threw. They all understood the importance of taking a break, so they took a break and they came back and worked some more. That’s how the league is right now – good players, good football teams commit themselves year-round to getting better.”

(On if it sank in anymore that the team is in Los Angeles)

“Yeah, it really did. Again, the set-up and all the preparation for today was a lot of hard work and we were involved in it. But it was great to come out of the locker room and see the fans and see the stands full – that’s real exciting. We’ve got a lot of work to do; we’ve got a long way to go with this football team. The atmosphere is certainly going to help us, it’s going to help them focus, help them to prepare and it’s exciting for them. Again, when I told them what we were anticipating and what I’m being told regarding next Saturdayat the Coliseum, it’s different, and it’s very good for them.”

(On if there were any disappointments from today)

“I’ll go back and look at the tape. That’s our job – to find things, (saying) this guy needs to finish or this ball should have been caught and those kinds of things. But no, I think overall, with the exception of the football stuff that we’re going to do tonight and go back through the day, it’s great to get the first one under your belt. Now we have to go.”

(On if their condition can be attributed to something)

“I think it started with the offseason program in Oxnard. Particularly because it had a training camp environment to it. It wasn’t just guys were living at home and coming into work at the facilities, working out for a couple hours and leaving – they stay and on their off-days they work. They were running the sand, they were running the hills, and they were doing all these things together. I think that’s where it started. And then they, on their own, carried it through the summer, which is impressive. The rookie class was impressive, probably the best numbers out of any rookie class in our tests. And then the vets didn’t have any issue whatsoever in the test. It’s something that, the conditioning test, everybody does it… they go to sleep thinking about and wake up thinking about for about a week. It’s a little uncomfortable knowing you have to go do it, but once it’s done, it’s done – and they were happy to get back into football. But the numbers were outstanding.”

(On if his contract extension talks take a backseat at this point)

“Yeah, I’m not concerned about that. I’m planning on coaching here a long time, so I’m not concerned about that.”

(On the one or two things he would like to see from RB Todd Gurley in the preseason)

“You know, this is Todd’s first full offseason program, so that’s different for him. He’s in great shape right now. It’s a few carries here and there during the preseason games, he’s going to get his workload in practice, more so than he will in the games – that just makes sense to us. He’s going to build; his reps are going to build as we move throughout camp. He’ll get to the point where he’s simulating a six-or-eight-play drive. So his reps are going to increase and it’s just a matter of him being in the best shape he can possibly be to start the season.”

(On an element of Gurley’s game that he can improve upon from last year)

“What he did last year is hard to do, coming off the injury. Playing with the brace, not playing until Week 3, not having any real live contact until the Steelers defense lined up across from him. That’s not easy to do and he settled in and he was a difference maker for us in a lot of the games. He had the foot thing that was an issue at the end, but we specifically sat him in the final game because we didn’t want to set back his offseason program and we didn’t. He healed up well enough to participate in the Pro Bowl. And then from there on, he’s just been going, just going.”

Rams QB Jared Goff

(On putting in work with teammates between OTAs and training camp)

“It’s my job now, and I think myself and the rest of the 90 guys out here were doing a lot of work. I was just putting in a lot of work in the offseason and trying to get as ready as I could for today.”

(On how the first day of practice went)

“It was okay. There’s stuff that you always want to work on. I felt good about a lot of plays, there’s some plays you want back. I think that will be the way it is kind of for a long time, probably for the majority of everyone’s career. You go into practice, it’s not always the way you want it. In college, I’d go into college and try to be 100 percent every day. You’ll probably never do it, but you’re always striving to be really good. I’m always trying to improve, but at the same time there’s stuff today I’d like to have back, but you’ll get it back tomorrow, and the next day, and hopefully for the next 10-12 years.”

(On Head Coach Jeff Fisher having to calm the players down due to the large crowds and media attention)

“Maybe a little bit, yeah. Obviously, a lot of people out here, music was bumping, people were excited.”

(On if he had butterflies going into today)

“A little bit yeah, absolutely. My first training camp practice, similar to my first rookie minicamp practice and my first OTA practice, and now on to training camp. We’re starting the actual football season now, so it’s the same kind of feeling. You go out there and get the jitters out and get comfortable.”

(On how training camp was different from OTAs)

“I definitely feel 10 times more comfortable. Much more comfortable with everything that we do, as far as daily stuff. Just very comfortable on the field, much more comfortable. I’m excited, ready to go.”

(On the first preseason game in two weeks)

“I think that’s kind of what he was eluding to, the difference between OTAs and now is that we have to play pretty soon. It’s exciting. I think everyone is excited for it. It’s going to be our first game in the Coliseum, playing the Cowboys; it’s going to be an exciting game. It will be fun and a good experience for everyone.”

(On the atmosphere surrounding training camp as a rookie quarterback)

“Walking on the field was cool, seeing a lot of people out here, people yelling and screaming. It’s awesome to be back in L.A., and what looks to be a pretty big fan base that we have. For them to all be out here, I don’t know what the number was, probably was a lot. It’s really exciting for not only me, but for the whole team, and the whole city.”

(On difficulty comprehending the playbook and improvements from OTAs to now)

“Just continuing every day to get better, continue every day to look over it, say it over to myself, do a little mental visualization in my head, and continue to get as many reps off the field as I can, and on my own.”

(On if the playbook is the most important thing he wants to get out of camp)

“No, I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of it at this point. I’ve got a pretty good understanding of it. There’s still obviously a lot of stuff I’m working on every day, but I think I just want to get comfortable and get ready to go, and get ready to play, and get ready help this team the best I can.”

(On getting to know your teammates)

“Oh yeah, we’re a very close team. They’ve all been really awesome with me and really cool, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them. Can’t say enough about our quarterback room, what they’ve done and how awesome they’ve been so far, and the relationship I have with them is awesome.”

(On his relationship with QB Case Keenum)“I didn’t know what to expect coming in and it’s been far and away more than I could’ve ever expected from somebody like him. The way he’s helped me, treated me, and brought me in, helped me with anything. If I got a question, I’ll go to him and he’s going to help me. You know, he’ll ask me little things to keep me on my toes, just stuff like that. He’s been really good and really helpful, and one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”

Rams RB Todd Gurley

(On acclimating to the training camp atmosphere)

“It’s the first day, definitely just come out here and enjoy it. Obviously, it’s the first day, so everybody’s going to be tired – but that just comes with it. For the most part, just enjoy it.”

(On if the crowd size surprised him)

“No, I didn’t know it was going to be like that. (Head) Coach (Jeff Fisher) warned us that there were going to be a lot of people out here. So it was pretty cool just to have everybody come out.”

(On if this training camp feels better than last year’s considering he doesn’t have to go through all the same questions regarding his injury)

“No. it just feels good to just be able to be out here. First day (last year), I wasn’t doing anything – I probably wasn’t doing anything until the end of training camp. It just feels good to be able to be out here at practice.”

(On if there is any part of his rookie season that he’s looking to improve upon)

“A lot of things. Obviously I’ve been saying this every year, just anything without the ball, play-faking, pass protection, all types of stuff, my eyes, footwork, all that stuff. Just getting better every day, (Running backs coach (Skip Peete) always tells us to focus on one thing to get better at every day, so I just try to focus on that.”

(On if Coach Fisher has indicated that the run game will be a bigger part of the offense this season than it was last year)

“Obviously I know we’re going to run the ball. I’m a running back, so if you give me the ball, I’ll be happy. I’ll just come out here, work hard and whatever they call in the game, I’ll be happy with it.”

(On if he prefers this kind of practice with a lot of fans or a more quiet experience with just the team)

“It really doesn’t even matter. When you’re out there on the field, you know what you have to focus on and get better at. I was so tired today; I couldn’t even hear half the people. I was just focused on trying to get my wind back.”

(On how much more he was able to do this offseason)

“A lot more. I didn’t want to do too much because I didn’t want to be worn out for camp. But just making sure I had my cardio right, my legs right and just be ready to be able to take those carries in practice.”

(On QB Jared Goff’s development since OTAs)

“I didn’t even pay attention today, I was so tired (laughs).”

(On if he feels he needs to monitor his health and keeping his legs fresh through the season to potentially accommodate more carries monitoring his health and keeping his legs going into the season)

“It just comes with it. Like we were saying earlier the day before practice, this is the best our legs will feel all year. So, it all goes downhill from here. We’ve just got to try to maintain and just treat your body right.”

(On what he’s learned last year about maintaining good health throughout the season)

“Just making sure to use good nutrition, eating right. I feel like last year I did a pretty good job just as far as, cold tub, their recovery boots, and all that type of stuff.”

(On if a lot of people have recognized him here in Los Angeles)

“No, not really. Nobody really knows football players. I mean, I have gotten a lot of questions like, ‘Oh you’re that guy from the burger commercial!’ So, that’s my name now. I’m the guy from the burger commercial.”

(On his plans for the preseason in terms of how many reps he will take during the preseason)

“Obviously that’s Coach’s decision, you know. I’m here to play football. So you know, I’m not going to say no. Playing is playing to me. I don’t really care if it’s in the preseason or the regular season. It’s whatever, I don’t really care.”

(On if he can tell at this year’s training camp that his role is a more significant one compared to when he entered his rookie season)

“Yeah for sure, because, the guys were able to see what I was able to do last year. It helped out a lot. So just being able to take that role on and just being able to tell myself ‘Okay, if you do stuff good, the team is going to roll off that.’ If (QB) Case (Keenum) or Goff start throwing touchdowns, they’re going to feed off of that. So, just try to go out there and create as much energy for the whole offense.”

(On the offense’s mindset of trying to improve from last year)

“Just try to eliminate turnovers. Just try to have explosive plays, and you know, just basically that. We have explosive players and as long as we take care of the ball, that’s the number one thing. Go out there, and execute and convert on third down, and just do all the little things, just making sure we do that.”

(On what the key was to having so many explosive runs last year)

“You know, my teammates. My line, the receivers, tight ends, just everybody. Everybody being on the same page and, you know, definitely (WR) Tavon (Austin) helping around going around on those fakes, and speed. Just my teammates and us going out there and preparing every week, and just running hard.”