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Transcript: Jeff Fisher on Jared Goff’s Progress, E.J. Gaines’ Health, and G-Rob’s “Great Offseason"

Los Angeles Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher stuck around after practice on Monday to talk about his quarterbacks, the health of the team, and what they need to improve upon in Week 2 of the preseason.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher -- Post-Practice -- August 15, 2016

(Opening Remarks)

"So, here’s kind of what happens after the ballgame – yesterday was their day off, we had treatments in the morning and we had treatments in the afternoon, so got to visit a number of players and the medical staff. And then, on occasion, some will come in with bumps and bruises and things like that. They were off yesterday, coaching staff, as we mentioned yesterday, got a chance to look at the game and then today we went through the ballgame through all phases – offense, defense, special teams – with them. We had a real good recovery period this morning and then the nature of this practice today was to get them ready for the next couple of days. We shortened the field a little bit, worked in the red zone, we got a couple guys back – obviously (QB) Jared (Goff) practiced today, so there’s no concern there. We got (CB) E.J. (Gaines) back; (T) Isaiah Battle came back today. We got better; we healed up a little bit. We did make a roster move, (S) Brian’s (Randolph) got that ACL, so we signed Michael Caputo as a safety, just to come in. we worked him out a few weeks ago, he’s in good shape, so he’ll give us some depth – those are kind of the things you do in the preseason.

"We’ve got a couple really good practices set up for tomorrow and Wednesday – we’re going to come out in pads – we have to take this next step as a football team with pads and continue to install. So, right now I feel good about where we are. They’re going to go in, eat and go into installation meetings and we’re going to cut them loose later. That’s kind of where we are, we’re in a good place."

(On if the running at the end of practice was just conditioning or a message to the team)

"No message. It’s something that we’ve done, traditionally, after the first preseason game and we’ll carry it through the preseason. What we ordinarily do – the last phase of it was penalties. We identify penalties and then whoever the victim was has to go over and back. What they’ve done over the years, as teammates, is they’ll join him. Fortunately, for them, we had two penalties in the game. We were the least penalized team in the preseason this weekend. It’s been a point of emphasis for us; we have to continue with it. And, as I mentioned, it’s a culture change and we just have got to keep the penalties down. If there’s those things that you look at in the ballgame, aside from the finish, aside from the comeback down 17 and winning the game – two penalties in the game, that’s good for the first preseason game. It doesn’t mean to say we’re not going to have 12 this week, because you have a different crew and you have different things that happen. What they’re doing is they’re carrying over the things on the practice field into the game and penalties have been an issue for us since we got here and we really want to keep the numbers down. So we’re off to a good start there."

(On if he anticipated fewer players taking a knee in the end zone on kickoffs with the new touchback rule)

"Obviously, we didn’t get the kick that we wanted and we actually wanted to cover the first kick, so we asked (K) Greg (Zuerlein) to set that thing right around the goal line or just inside the end zone. We had a couple other touchbacks, but I don’t know, I haven’t looked at the numbers around the league. I would suspect that kickers are going to try to get that ball up in the air coming down around the goal line, tempting returners to come out and see if you can get a stop inside the 25. Because the additional five yards this year, based on the rule changes, is significant from a drive start."

(On what he’s looking for QB Case Keenum to do in the preseason to hold onto the starting job)

"If (WR) Tavon (Austin) makes the catch, Case ends the game seven-for-seven and did everything he needed to do. That’s just what we want to see, he’s feeling good in the offense, he’s running the operation, you can see his movement skills. I think it was after the penalty we and on third-and-short, third-and-seven, he scrambled, didn’t get it and got down. He understands keeping drives alive. As we expand this offense through training camp, he’ll have a lot more opportunities to make those big plays. Again, I was pleased. I know all your attention is on Jared, but Case played good and so did (QB) Sean (Mannion), Sean’s numbers were really good. That room has gotten better. I’m happy with that right now and now it’s just a matter of Case leading this football team, Sean positioning himself to come in and back up if need be and then Jared just pushing himself to where he eventually becomes that guy for us."

(On if it’s necessarily a bad thing for a No. 1 overall pick like Jared Goff to not start right away)

"No, we’ve done this before. We have a plan and the plan is basically, it’s all around being patient, you have to be patient with it. Certainly, as I said numerous times, it’s unfair to Jared, and to Case, and to Sean to say ‘alright, here’s the date,’ it’s not fair. They’re having fun, they’re learning, you take the pressure off them, you’re patient and I think, after Week 1, we could basically say that all three of them have gotten better. Now we just want to improve. Every week is different, the challenges that we’re going to face this week from the Kansas City defense – the little that I saw – they’re coming, they’re bringing it, the ball has got to come out, you have to run it. Each week is a challenge and that’s part of the process. I believe all three quarterbacks were familiar with and got what they expected out of the Dallas defense, but this is a completely different defense this week. And the difficult thing for them is that we’re installing all the way up until Thursday. So the first time they’re going to be able to see Kansas City is going to be maybe late Thursday (or) Friday. That’ part of training camp and that’s how it works."

(On how T Greg Robinson graded out after the first game)

"Greg played well. It was good to see him. He was decisive – everybody has a mental error in a game, he may have one. He played hard, he finished blocks, his hands were good, his feet were good, he was consistent, his weight was down. He played well. As a matter of fact, that was one of the things that came out of our personnel meeting last night – that this may have been the best preseason game that Greg has played to date, which would imply that Greg’s getting better and he’s had a great offseason."

(On when E.J. Gaines is expected to play)

"He was close (to playing against Dallas); today he was cleared to go full speed, so we’re going to give him a good week of practice. Barring any setbacks, he’ll play this week."

(On his assessments of Gaines’ strengths)

"E.J. came in and prepared himself to play. He was in position to take advantage of an unfortunate situation that happened in the Cleveland game to (CB) Trumaine (Johnson). When Trumaine went down with the MCL, E.J. was the next guy up and E.J. kept the job all year. E.J. had really done a nice job for us prior to that in the slot, being that third corner and kept the job the whole year. Unfortunately, the role was reversed last year and E.J. went down and Trumaine stepped up. E.J.’s got the starting experience; we’ve just got to get this foot thing behind him. Typically what happens is when you’re battling, recovering, rehabbing, over the course of an offseason, one particular injury – which happened to be the foot – then you come out and you’re ready to go, then something else goes. That’s normal, that happens; we should have predicted it and probably could have. He’s got the hamstring thing behind him now, so we’ll see where he is."

(On how Jared Goff looked today)

"Jared was fine. He got in there and made the throws. Made a couple big throws to (TE) Temarrick (Hemmingway), I think and felt good. Again, this was kind of ease yourself back into the week day, but it was good for him to be able to overcome the shoulder soreness and get out there and throw the ball around. I thought he was good"

(On how Goff’s shoulder is doing)

"It’s fine."

(On what he wants to improve on defensively)

"It’s one of those things that happens in the preseason. Our defense is defending our run, they get used to the formations, they get used to the run concepts and then all of the sudden you play someone else who’s going to do a little different. Now you have to dwell on the actual individual techniques – the gap responsibilities, the run fits. That’ll be an emphasis for us. Great challenge this week, to work towards getting that fixed for the regular season, because (Chiefs Head Coach) Andy (Reid) loves to run it, Kansas City loves to run it and that’s what their offensive foundation is based on. It’ll be a really good challenge for our defense."