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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher On Contract Extension, Goff V. Keenum, T.J. McDonald

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

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“A good day at practice, we got some guys back. We’re really excited. We have to finish up tomorrow strong and we’ll fine tune things on Saturday and then head down to the hotel and give it a shot. They’re a good football team, but we’ve had success against them and we have great respect for them, like I said. I’m pleased with where we are right now.”

(On if he has decided if QB Jared Goff will be active on Sunday)

“I haven’t decided yet, no. We’ll probably let you know tomorrow or Saturday or Sunday.”

(On if this game is as big of a Week 2 game as he can remember)

“Every week is big and there’s storylines behind everything. This is special because this is the first one that counts at the Coliseum, the first one that counts here at home. It’s special and we couldn’t think of a better opponent to open against. All the stuff with (Seahawks Head Coach) Pete (Carroll) coming back to the Coliseum for the first time, the little rivalry that we’ve established here over the last couple of years, I think it’s going to be special.”

(On if the injuries to WR Nelson Spruce and WR Pharoh Cooper handcuff the offense)

“You have to play through injures, that’s your philosophy. Who knows what would happen had they both been available – we don’t know. But we’ll find out when they come back. Other guys have to step up.”

(On if Spruce and Cooper are close to playing)

“They’re getting closer, yeah. They both did not practice today.”

(On DT Michael Brockers’ contract extension and keeping the defensive line together)

“Yeah, something about ‘Brock’ – I’m really excited about that. I appreciate (Owner/Chairman) Stan (Kroenke) and his willingness to allow us to go ahead and do that. We’ve been talking for quite some time about it. It’s important to keep our playmakers and people that we’ve drafted. We got a good deal for both sides and Michael is happy about it and so are we.”

(On what Brockers brings to the defense)

“He’s a big man inside and you have to have that nowadays for two reasons – one, for your ability to stop the inside run and two, to put pressure on the quarterback and collapse the pocket. He creates opportunities for everybody else and every so often he makes a big play himself. He’s been consistent week-in, week-out, he’s changed his body since his arrival, overcame some early career injuries and has just been one of those guys you can count on.”

(On QB Case Keenum saying he needs trust himself more and if there is anything, going into the second game, that RB Todd Gurley needs to adjust)

“No, I think we just need to be in a position where we can keep feeding him. The two are tied together – Case makes a good decision, converts a third down, then we get another opportunity to hand the ball off to Todd. It’s all tied together. Nothing really goes right when you struggle offensively on third down, you just don’t get the plays, you don’t get the shots. It just kind of debilitates your entire offense. We’d like to stay out of third downs – 15 last week was way too many – have anywhere (from) 10-to-12 max, that means you’re making chunks on first and second down and you’re moving the football.”

(On what it means to the organization to be the team that comes back to the Los Angeles market)

“It means a lot. Since the discussion started, all those things fall into place. It means a lot to us. Yeah, we’ve had a generation that’s been without it here. We want to, from a marketing standpoint and from a football standpoint, from a winning standpoint, attract their attention and get them behind us because that’s what storied franchises are all about and we expect this to last for a long time.”

(On if he has any memories of the Rams wearing their royal blue and yellow throwback uniforms that they will be wearing on Sunday)

“Well I have one in particular, but that didn’t work out very well for me (laughs). The players love them, they love the colors, they love the colors. I don’t know what our record is – you look at it – but they like playing in those uniforms. I think it’s a great way to open up.”

(On how he thought T.J. McDonald responded after what he went through in the summer)

“I’m really proud of T.J., what he overcame and the commitment that he made to conditioning prior to camp and the camp that he had and then the way he played in the opener. I’m really proud of him. He’s back. He’s back and he’s much better than he was.”

(On if he was worried about McDonald at any point during the summer)

“No, we were concerned with respect to the issues he was working through. But we stood behind him the whole time knowing that he would come back.”

(On if the team can build off the success it has had against the Seahawks knowing that both teams are different this year)

“No, as Pete told you guys yesterday, the past is the past. We’re starting over again. I can’t stand up in front of this team and say ‘Hey, we beat them twice last year.’ We did, but last year has no bearing on what we’re going to do this Sunday. We have to find a way to do it again.”

(On the rumors of him signing a contract extension)

“I never talk about my personal stuff or my extensions or non-extensions or anything. That’s between me and the organization.”

(On how their preparation changes with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson having a high ankle sprain)

“We’re preparing for a 100 percent healthy Russell. You have to do that or you sell yourself short. I thought their offensive staff, when he was injured, did a tremendous job adjusting the play-calling to allow him to find a way to win that game without using his legs. I thought they did a great job. We have to approach this, from a player standpoint and assume that he’s going to be 100 percent.”

(On if coaches or uses the emotion in big games like on Sunday and if it’s realistic to say the team can channel the emotion in a positive way)

“I think you have to be careful with emotions, especially as they relate to the start of games because you can lose your composure, you can lose track of your focus – those kind of things. Again, it was like last week (when) we talked about the only thing better than the season opener is a playoff game. The season opener itself is an emotional issue that players deal with. So you calm them down, then you add the Monday night thing, and you have to calm them down. Because we calmed them down, it wasn’t directly related to the way we played, but I think it’s important that you go out and use the crowd, use the emotion, but you have to use it wisely. I think that’s going to be a topic of discussion as we move through the weekend. The players, the defense has to understand that it’s going to be really difficult to communicate because it’s going to be extremely loud and that’s a good thing for us. Seattle has learned how to win at home with that, we have to learn how to win at home an extremely loud crowd.”

Rams RB Todd Gurley

(On if having a short week is better in regards to the team’s preparation for the next game)

“Not really. We’re going to get a win this week, for sure. Not really, obviously, you want to have that extra day to prepare, but I just feel like after a loss like that, you’re just so ready to get back at it. We’re definitely ready to play Sunday.”

(On the biggest takeaway from last week’s loss, that he can carry into this week)

“Obviously, it can’t get much worse than zero points, so, no going back. It was a lot of good things, but obviously everybody has to be on the same page. Whether it’s me missing a blitz, or somebody coming through free. We just all have to be on the same page, do what the coaches tell us, and go out there and execute.”

(On if there’s anything he needs to do different this weekend that he didn’t do last game)

“Just stay with it, be patient. I felt like some of the runs got busted up a little early. I feel like I was trying to do too much, or wasn’t patient enough in my reads. I just got to stick to the game plan, and just know that everything is going to be fine, and we’re going to break one.”

(On if he feels Seattle’s defense is game planned around stopping him)

“They run a pretty simple defense. They’re going to run what they run, and they’re going to try and stop you. They’re going to have (S Kam) Chancellor down in the box. You have to respect a great player like himself. Just stick to my reads, stick to the game plan, know my assignments, and just go from there.”

(On if he notices any changes in Seattle’s defense this year in comparison to last season)

“Yeah definitely, definitely have a few more looks this year. But like I said, from the previous film of us playing them the past couple of years, they play what they play, and they’re just going to try to stop you.”

(On his thought regarding the anticipation leading up to the home opener)

“Obviously, we’re playing at the Coliseum; great tradition. I kind of treat it like college again; just glad that we’re back. A lot of people are excited for us to be back. There’s over millions of people in the city, so I’m pretty sure somebody wants to come watch football. Like I said, it’s just going to feel like college; that game day atmosphere, the love, football is back in L.A. Hopefully we can just get this win for the city.”

(On if seeing himself on billboards around the city is a surreal moment for him)

“Yeah, it’s still mind blowing that we’re here, but we can’t let that be our focus. Just try to execute, stay to the game plan, stay focused on football, and just try to go out there and win. Obviously, being in the media capital of the world, you see stuff like that. It’s definitely a good look for us, and for the Rams.”

(On what it means for him to represent the new generation of L.A. fans who never got a taste of the Rams)

“It’s cool man. It’s a blessing just to be in this league. Whether you’re on the Rams or not, I feel like NFL players appreciate that. For fans that buy our jerseys, and come support us, we’re just excited to be here, play in this league, and play for this team, and this city.”