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LA Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, QB Jared Goff Talk About Preseason Opener

Fish and Goff pipe up on practice this week, Hard Knocks and Saturday’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff
Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening Remarks)

“A lot has happened here the last couple of days. As you know, this kind of concludes the week as we’re preparing for the Cowboys Saturday. We’ll have a session tomorrow, but we’ll tone things down and kind of go through all those little detailed things that you have to go through, including the anthem and pregame warm ups and stuff. It’ll be fun for the players, starting tonight and tomorrow. We’re going to be talking to them over the next day or so about playing time, most of them have a pretty good idea, know what to expect as far asSaturday is concerned. There may be a couple guys that don’t get on the field – we may wait until next week – we want to inform them first before I can tell you. Typically speaking, what we’ve done in the first preseason game is you play your starters two-to-three series and then you start making your changes. The challenge is in special teams, where you’ve got guys up and down and moving around and the real burden falls on the younger players that are starting offense and also playing four core special teams – those guys are going to get a lot of exercise. But that’s typically how the first preseason game is. We’re looking forward to it; our guys had a great experience at the Coliseum (on Family Day on Saturday) and they’re looking forward to going back under real-life situations and circumstances. Beyond that, we’re ready to go, let’s see how we are.”

(On if he has accomplished everything he wanted to in the week leading up to the first preseason game)

“We’re keeping things pretty basic, as I would expect the Cowboys to do as well. Most people keep things pretty basic in the first preseason game. We just want to see them block and tackle and run and do those things. The players are excited about lining up against somebody else. Our interior center and two guards have just about had enough of (DT) Aaron Donald. They’re looking forward to lining up against someone else.”

(On if the preseason games take on a little more meaning in his evaluation on tackling with how the practices are structured now with a limit on how often teams are allowed to be in pads)

“I think defensively, yes tackling. But we tackled today. You don’t have to tackle with pads on and go to the ground – we had tackling drills today, so we’ll see how these drills carry over. But there’s an emphasis placed on it. When you got through preseason games, you don’t want to go out and win 48-0 and have no penalties, you have to learn from things. It’s a great learning experience for the team. Once we grade the tape, we come back, address the penalties and address the mistakes that you have to correct.”

(On how much time he spends preparing for what he may see from Dallas in the preseason game)

“We’ll familiarize them tomorrow in a walk-thru session environment. Their fronts are a little different for our guys on offense and some of the formations, or run concepts, are a little different. We want the young guys to have some familiarity. They’ll get a chance to look at some tape from last year.”

(On his impression of the first episode of Hard Knocks)

“I thought it was great. I was especially impressed with the talent – the video and the shots and everything – it’s a very, very talented crew. There are some extraordinary shots in there. The content was good – obviously, it didn’t come as a surprise to me, I had a pretty good idea of where they were going, for obvious reasons. I got one of these yesterday: ‘Jeffrey,’ (laughs) this is from mom, so I said ‘sorry, mom, this is our world. I’ll try to do better.’ So she watched. When I hear ‘Jeffrey,’ it’s like ‘uh-oh, something went wrong.’”

(On what his message was on Hard Knocks when he said he wasn’t going 7-9 or 10-6)

“Part of the whole process is inviting them in to the meeting rooms. There are spontaneous things that come up that, as coaches, you have to go and address them. So, I addressed something that took place in the morning and I wanted to get the point across. People can read into whatever they want, but that was me talking to the team as if the cameras weren’t there. They were there and I was okay with what was said. I stopped at that point, I could have gone on – you don’t know that I didn’t go on because there’s an edit guy there. There’s a lot of stuff that took place that was edited. To answer your question, I thought the guys did a great job and I thought it was an outstanding show.”

(On if he went on after the cameras cut off)

“I may have. You never know.”

(On what he wants fans to learn about the Hard Knocks series and what the team goes through every day)

“They’re portraying our life at camp as it is. The players, on occasion, are going to have a little fun – which they should and they normally do. None of it, from my perspective, is done for cameras; it’s done just because that’s the way they are. Aaron Donald would have taken his shirt off and played ping-pong had (the cameras) been in there or had they not been in there. You get an opportunity to kind of see how life in an NFL training camp is. I think, as we move forward, things are going to get more specific. There’s going to be some stories – is a guy going to make the 75-(man roster)? Is he going to make the 53-(man roster)? That will probably be the direction that we’re heading. I thought from an introduction standpoint, I thought it was outstanding.”

(On if he will be looking at any specific position battles over the next few games that he feels are particularly close)

“Not only are there battles for the competition for the backup spot – we have to move some people around on the offensive line. As you’ve seen, (G) Roger’s (Saffold) playing right tackle, we’re waiting on (T) Rob (Havenstein) to come back. Defensively, the corner spot is competitive. They’re all playing well right now. Someone’s going to have to go inside on the slot and somebody is going to have to line up outside and start for us. I think that would be one position that you keep an eye on. I’m not going to say when I’ll make the decision – particularly because everybody’s going to get a chance to play.”

(On what he expects from the crowd on Saturday)

“Only what I’ve been told, which is there’s going to be a lot of people there and there are going to be a lot of Cowboy fans there as well. And that’s the NFL; I’ve been told the number is going to be quite high. I think it’s great, it’s a great experience. It’s going to be a great experience for the fans to come out there and see us for the first time and hopefully we make some plays that they can be impressed about.”

(On if he sees a different intensity from younger guys before preseason games)

“The players understand that there’s an intensity level on the practice field and it ratchets up a notch before preseason games – especially on special teams, because everybody that’s covering a kick or returning a kick is trying to make the football team. It’s a different deal. Our suggestion to them is that we go out and set the tempo, let’s set the standard for play – start in the preseason and gain on throughout the season.”

(On what he most wants to see translate from the practice fields to the game)

“We’re looking for execution and obviously keep the penalties down. Granted, this is (the referees’) first game back, too. The crew is getting back and there’s some points of emphasis and things like that, so you have to work through that. I just want to see them execute, you’d like to see execution throughout the game. Your starters, in a perfect world, your defense goes out and goes three-and-out, they come off the field and the offense goes down and gets points. It doesn’t always happen, but you have to keep in mind and be objective about the fact that we’re not doing an awful lot. We’re not game-planning the Cowboys, we do very little game-planning in the offseason. There are a lot of things, but intention, we hold back and that you don’t show. And clearly there are things that we haven’t shown here for obvious reasons that once we get into the closed practices, we’ll do some things.”

(On what he wants the fans to take away from the game on Saturday)

“I want them to go home having lost their voices. You have to get ready for that, that’s what’s important. We want to hear them; we need that ‘12th man.’ If they go home and they’ve lost their voices, they did their job.”

Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Jared Goff

(On his thoughts regarding the offense and how it has progressed since the start of training camp)

“It’s been great. It’s been really good to see. I think early on the defense was playing really well. We’re trying to settle in. Up to this point, we’ve had a lot of days where the offense is thriving and doing well, it’s a credit to everyone’s hard work, and just continuing to grind and trying get through training camp.

(On what specifically he’s seen in terms of the overall improvement of the offense)

“I think everything has been going well. I think the offense is just been improving on all aspects, as far as communication, execution, and the speed, it’s just all been really good and on the rise.

(On whether he’s ready for Saturday’s preseason game against the Cowboys)

“Yeah, I think so. I feel good, I feel ready. Obviously, my first NFL game. I’m going to try and go out there and treat it like every other game I’ve ever played in my life, and have fun, execute, enjoy my time, and do the best I can.”

(On whether he gives himself time to relish the fact that this is his first NFL game)

“Maybe a little bit at first when I run out of the tunnel, but after that, it’s just football. It’s the same game I’ve played my whole life. I’ve played hundreds of games up to this point, this will just be another one.”

(On his thought regarding the first episode of Hard Knocks Training Camp)

“It was funny, I thought it was funny. I caught a lot of grief from my friends and stuff. But it was funny, I didn’t mind it.”

(On if he’s heard from Taylor Swift yet)

“No, I haven’t.”

(On when is the last time he didn’t start a game)

In football, I don’t know. I’ve had various times where I’ve watched, of course. It’ll be fine. It will be like any other game. Go in there, execute, and do my best.”

(On if he’s changed the way he’s prepared this week in anticipation of Saturday’s preseason game)

“No, not at all.”

(On whether he will ask for more series and reps during Saturday’s game, depending on the flow of the game)

“I’m going to do whatever they tell me. I’ll go in whenever they tell me to go in, and come out whenever they tell me to come out. I don’t think that’s up to me.”

(On if there’s any way to prepare for the speed of an NFL game)

“I don’t know if there’s any way to prepare other than practice. Our tempo in practice is pretty good. Our defense is really fast, and flies around. So, I think that’s been a really good bar, as far as when I go into the game to base myself off of. I’m going to treat it like every other game, like I said, go in there and have fun.”

(On his thoughts regarding his timing on the field with the wide receivers)

“Great, great, great, always improving, but I feel really good right now. Feel like I’ve come a long way so far.”

(On his thoughts of Hard Knocks Training Camp on terms of how he was portrayed, the outcome, and if it’s what he expected it to be)

“I don’t really care what they do. I know it’s a TV show, and their trying to make a story line, and whatever that may be, it really doesn’t bother me. I think it’s funny, I think it’s cool. Something I can probably watch for years to come.”

(On whether or not there’s a different kind of anticipation or butterflies for Saturday’s preseason matchup)

“Yeah, yeah, there’s a little bit. But at the same time, I know once I step on the field, again, it’s just the same thing. I can’t make it more than it is. I can’t blow it up in my head. I’ve just got to treat it like any other game. I’ve always been pretty good doing that my whole life. So, I don’t feel like I have any issue with the magnitude of it.”

(On whether or not the coaches outlined with him regarding playing time and when he will see the field this Saturday)

“No, not sure. No”

(On if he’s seen anything in camp that makes him question whether he can handle being in the position he’s in)

“Sure yeah, there’s tons of things. I think the fact that the coaches won’t be there to like, kind of coach you up right after. You just kind of have to move on from the play, good or bad, and move on to the next play, and execute the next play that will be a little bit different. But other than that, it’s going to be a regular game. I’ll do my best, and have as much fun as I can.”

(On if he’s ready to handle the criticism that will come his way if things don’t go well)

“I don’t. I prepare myself not to handle any of that stuff. Whatever you guys say, take it with a grain of salt. It does not mean much to me. I don’t read anything, I don’t look at anything. I just try to do my best everyday out here, and get better, and continue to do the best I can.”

(On if he’s prepared to be the quarterback and have stuff said about him)

“Absolutely, they’ll probably say stuff about me, good or bad, for the rest of my career. Ain’t nothing I can do about it. So, you just continue to move on. Hopefully it’s more good than bad. But either way, it doesn’t really matter.”