clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher On Starting QB, National Anthem Protest, Aaron Donald’s Ejection

Here’s what Fish had to say in his day after press conference.

Los Angeles Rams QB Case Keenum
Los Angeles Rams QB Case Keenum
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“You’ve heard of the 24-hour rule. If you haven’t, and you’re new to this, I’ll explain to you what it is. We basically have this philosophy, and everybody does, that you get 24 hours to get this thing over with, and corrected, and done. In this case, I gave them a 22-hour rule, because we got a short week. We’re just wrapping up with the players now at 5:00 p.m. We’re correcting things and looking at tape, and see what happens, and then we go on; we have to move on. Everybody is sleep deprived, but that’s a part of theMonday Night game. So, the coaches have already got a good start on our next opponent. I did ask the players, just to take an extra half hour…so maybe it’s an 22.5-hour (rule), and go back and reflect; make sure that we did everything possible that we possibly could do last week. That’s about preparation, and everything. Players are resilient, they bounce back. They’re excited about this challenge this coming weekend.

“As far as the game is concerned, you don’t win games converting 3-of-15 on third down, You don’t win games with 10 penalties, seven on defense. Not rushing the football, not scoring points, giving up too many big plays. There were some really good things in the game. Great, tremendous efforts, tremendous plays, in all three phases. Let me remind you, this is not a preseason game. This is a regular season game, and we didn’t do enough to win the game. So, you learn from it and you move on. From an injury standpoint, we came through it healthy, which is encouraging. Everybody is in good shape.

(On what disappointed him the most about last night’s game)

“It was the constant inability to get back into the game. We had opportunities. When we were third-and-3, we called a timeout, avoided the delay of game, got the first down, and then we get the penalty. We get (RB) Todd (Gurley) has the penalty. So now, we’re back out 15 yards, and we throw the interception. We had opportunities to get back in the game; we just never capitalized on it.”

(On his thoughts regarding last night not looking like a Jeff Fisher coached team)

“We didn’t. We expected to go in there and compete, and win the football game. I didn’t expect to go in there and get beat 28-0. Yes, you have to go back and look at it. Offensively, we couldn’t make plays. It’s a combination of bad decisions at the quarterback position, and drops at the receiver position. When you look at games like this, what happens is...I’ll take, for example, the offensive line. You’ve got five guys up there that are going to grade out really well, in a loss, but each one of them had a mistake. If you add those five mistakes in critical situations, that costs you a third-down conversion, that costs you an opportunity to score. We had mistakes; we had too many mistakes at different positions at different times, it added up.”

(On if he’s concerned about the decision-making of his leaders, in regards to the Gurley and DT Aaron Donald penalties)

“That’s a great point. We addressed it today. Todd was a little frustrated when he flipped the ball past the official and it landed in the hands of an opponent. Sometimes that’s called, and that’s not called. The learning experience from that is just give it to him, put it on the ground. When they scored their final touchdown, their tight end spiked the ball right in front of three of our defensive players; that was not called. So, that in itself is also a learning experience for our guys. Now with respect to Aaron, Aaron was playing really hard, and there was some chirping going on in that little scrum. He shouldn’t have done it, but he kind of pushed (WR Quinton Patton) 11 away, who I am fond of, I think he’s a really good player, I’ve known him since he was about this big, he played at Nashville. So, the helmet comes off; so now things start. The officiating department got involved. One of the officials put his hands on Aaron, and Aaron, just didn’t know him, he just slapped hands down, so that’s what he was ejected for. The helmet coming off was a result of the ejection, which I disagree with. The helmet doesn’t come off if he’s not ejected. He does have a 15-yard penalty, which is not acceptable. When you have time to look at it and be realistic, that’s how those things play out. But, we addressed it. These are two captains that had significant penalties in this game, and we just can’t have that.”

(On if anything stood out about the inability to run the ball consistently yesterday)

“Well they didn’t let us – they weren’t going to let us – their whole defense was setup to that. We had, probably, a half-dozen runs that were close to getting unblocked to the safety with Todd, it’s just that close. Their commitment was to stop the run and then try to get us to make the plays outside. But we wanted to stay with the run because it’s the run game that helps you get the plays outside.”

(On if he has made a decision regarding whether QB Sean Mannion or QB Jared Goff will be the backup on Sunday)

“No I haven’t, I will. And there’s that chance, too (that Goff is the backup). He’s pushing along; this whole experience for Jared was good – not good for our team, but good for him to see all this. We’ll decide later in the week.”

(On if he was aware that DE Robert Quinn and WR Kenny Britt were going to raise their fists during the National Anthem)

“I was not aware of that and I still haven’t seen it and I haven’t addressed it with them yet. But they have the right, they totally have the right and I get the issue. I think what we’ve done and what the organizational philosophy, with respect to the anthem, is well-known. They have the right to do that. I think there’s a difference between what they did and sitting down or kneeling down or sitting on the bench and things like that. But they have that right and I respect that.”

(On the kind of game he thought offensive coordinator Rob Boras called and if they were trying to get the ball up the field more)

“As a head coach, as coordinators, we all second-guess ourselves after it’s all said and done. Rob was not happy with himself, but a lot of it was dictated by what the defense was doing and by what we were trying to do. We wanted to get the run-game going, we needed to get the run-game going. We felt that, even at halftime being down two scores, we felt (that) we just needed to take balance in this game and make some plays and get some points and we’ll find a way to win this. As I mentioned to you in the past, Rob did an outstanding job calling plays the last four or five weeks (of last season) when I put him in a difficult position – he’s a good playcaller, we just didn’t execute for him.”

(On if he has to massage egos or if the team was down on themselves today)

“There’s the actual sense of disappointment and frustration, but you have got to push that out, you have got to eliminate that and come back ready to work. Our challenge, which we talked to them about, was we’re on a short week already, so we’re back tomorrow. And today we’re trying to recover, so tomorrow’s going to be a mental day and we have to get everybody back in the swing of things, physically. Yeah, we talked about it. Players are different than coaches – my job is to go back down the hall and get the coaches going because losses linger much longer with coaches than they do players. Players wake up in the morning and go ‘Oh, shoot, who are we playing this week?’ But, you also have to go into detail, like we said, about what happened.”

(On starting G Cody Wichmann at right guard and the rotation during the game)

“Yeah, our plan going in was to let them both play – Cody and ‘J.B.’ (G Jamon Brown). We’ll probably settle into one or the other by the end of the week. But you’re very observant, they both played and they both had a moment, but they also both did some really good things there. In addition to that, I was really pleased with (T) Rob (Havenstein) – once he settled down after the first quarter, it was really good to have Rob back at the right tackle spot.”

(On Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll coming back to the Los Angeles Coliseum after coaching at USC for a number of years and if addresses the type of reception he expects Carroll to get)

“I would like to think that we would have a significant home-field advantage there. From a personal standpoint, I’m excited – this is our home opener here. We’re disappointed what happened last night, but as the week goes on, the enthusiasm and excitement is going to grow. As far as Pete is concerned, I could see the emotions that Pete is going to go through. He and I have been doing this a long time, this is about our teams competing and finding a way to win the game. I’m sure he’ll have an emotional moment. I may bring him into my office – which was his old office – and let him see it.”

(On how to not allow a defeat like this to define the team)

“It’s pretty simple, if you beat them down all week because we got beat, you have really little chance of having success the next week. You have to learn from it and move on. It’s, again, what I said earlier – they’re resilient, they come back. Everybody is either 1-0 or 0-1 right now, our focus is on Week 2 and that’s what gives you a chance. It’s a good group, they’re disappointed, they’re disappointed in each other but they’re together. The defense understands that they’re going to need the offense and the offense understands that they’re going to need the defense and special teams will balance it out. They’re together right now and they’re ready to compete this week and get ready.”

(On what advice he will give the team about shutting down the outside noise that will be talked about for the rest of the week and focus on the upcoming game)

“Well that’s okay, it’s talked about in every NFL city. Teams are winning and hey, they’re going to the playoffs. Teams lose and they’re not going to the playoffs – it’s doom and gloom. You don’t get caught up with that, you just focus on what you’re doing – turn to each other and have fun and prepare.”

(On if there’s a little bit of advantage to playing a team that you have had recent success against after just suffering a loss)

“I don’t know if there’s an advantage or not. My job, as the head coach, and our jobs as a staff is to get them ready to play and respect this opponent because they’re highly-talented. I think Miami is a good football team and for them to hang in there and find a way, even with (Seahawks QB) Russell’s (Wilson) ankle situation, to find a way to win that game is impressive. We’re just going to prepare. We’re familiar with them, they’re familiar with us; we respect them, they respect us. I love watching them play – the Seahawks – because they play hard, Pete does a great job and fortunately, we’ve had some success against them.”