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Transcript: Rams Coaches Prep For Seattle

Jeff Fisher, Rob Boras and Gregg Williams all spoke to the media after today’s final practice getting ready for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and QB Jared Goff
Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and QB Jared Goff
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(On the short week)

“Yeah, they go by so fast. The players bounce back and like I said, the coaches – we’re caught up, which is good. They’ll get some rest tonight, and we’ll be good to go tomorrow. These weeks go by very fast, when you’re on a short week, especially on the road. I can only imagine what San Francisco is going through because they have to go to Carolina (Panthers). Challenges all around, you know, but you have to accept them on Sundays.”

(On the Rams pass-rush and Seattle’s ability to rush the passer)

“We’ve had success in the past putting pressure on them. We’ll just have to adjust things depending on their plan – that’s what we usually do. But they can really rush. They’re really good especially, you know, they come from all over the place, they win one-on-ones, they’re great at executing pass-rush games – they can really put pressure on you. Then, when they put pressure on you, they affect the coverage down the field and there’s no place to throw the football. From the starting point, running the football with success is always helpful.”

(On whether QB Jared Goff will be activated for Sunday’s game)

“Yeah – I’ve made my mind up. I’ve made my mind up. He’s two – he’s going to be two.”

(On what went into the decision to activate Goff)

“I talked to you guys weeks ago about potentially alternating it. We’re going to do it that way and we’ll see how it goes next week. He’s really excited about it. He’s going to be two and he’s ready to play. He’s got some reps throughout the week, good for him. It’s exciting for him, just knowing that he’s a snap away from going into the game – he was here until the wee hours last night preparing, as he should.

(On whether he intends to alternate the backup Quarterback spot between QB Sean Mannion and Goff)

“There is a chance I will do that – don’t know right now. We’ll see how this goes. ”

(On the Rams running backs going into Sunday’s game)

“(RB) Todd’s (Gurley) going to go, and (RB) Benny’s (Cunningham) going to spell him, and if we need to call on (RB) Malcolm (Brown) we will. But I’m happy with where the running backs are.”

(On how tough it will be to keep the Seahawks from loading up the box on Sunday)

“We’re going to have to take our shots. You saw last night, both teams took shots – you make a couple of plays down the field, it changes things. But, we always subscribe to the philosophy that even if it’s loaded, we still have to find a way to get it done, especially at the end of the game.”

Rams Offensive Coordinator Rob Boras

(On what happened in the game on Monday night from an offensive standpoint)

“Didn’t play up to our standard, didn’t coach to our standard, didn’t see it coming. I think, across the board, coaches (and) players would say that we thought we had a great week of preparation and then obviously just didn’t live up to our standard, playing-wise, coaching. I talked last week about being resilient and we’re not going to let that define us. Obviously, we have to see if we’re as resilient as we think we are, moving forward. But Coach (Fisher) talks about that 22-or-24-hour rule and we try to put that behind us as fast as we can and move on.”

(On how tough it is to get RB Todd Gurley into a situation where he might be able to break a couple of big plays, when a defense flows as well as Seattle’s does)

“That’s tough, they’re really good at what they do and they’re not real complicated and that’s why these battles that we’ve had over the last four years have been so fun – because we do what we do, and they do what they do and we’re going to find out who does it better. It’s hard in the run game. Their gap integrity, they’re athletic, they have playmakers up front and we try to get some misdirection and try to find a way to get Todd loose to try to create one of those explosives. But they’re as good as anybody at making that difficult.”

(On how he would evaluate how did in the game on Monday)

“Like I said for everybody across the board – playing and coaching – it just wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t up to our standards. We all need to do better, starting, obviously with me at the coordinator position. But I think, to a man, everybody recognizes that we have a lot more in us.”

(On if he heard the 49ers players saying they knew what plays were coming based on the formations and if he came away from the tape thinking the same thing)

“I had not heard that and no, I did not have that same perception.”

(On what is going to have to happen for WR Tavon Austin to become more productive)

“Well I think it goes with anything with the pass game – it’s timing and rhythm and just building that confidence between the quarterback and the receiver. And it’s not just Tavon, it’s across the board – it’s (WRs) Kenny (Britt), it’s Bradley (Marquez), it’s Brian (Quick), it’s (TEs) Lance (Kendricks), it’s Tyler (Higbee). That’s part of, when you protect your guys in the preseason and so forth, but that’s why we get so many reps at practice – it’s just trying to build that consistency and that trust between the quarterback and receiver.”

(On what stood out to him about QB Case Keenum in last week’s game)

“He did some good things – just like Coach (Fisher) has said, there were some good things there. And, obviously, everybody is focusing on the negative and I understand why, I’m not ignorant that way. I think he’s described it, and what he told me (is) he thinks he overthought things. I don’t want to speak for him, that’s not my job, to speak for Case. As an offense, we need to trust him and we need to trust what we see, not overthink it, trust our coaching, trust our vision, trust our instincts and play.”

(On if Keenum is a player who overthinks things)

“No. He analyzes like a lot of quarterbacks do through the study process. So, no, I wouldn’t say that’s been the norm.”

(On what particular challenges Seattle presents with the way they use S Kam Chancellor)

“Again, they’re sound with what they do and Kam is a special player. For the most part, you know where he’s going to be, it’s just he’s a safety that plays at the linebacker-type position quite a bit, so he’s in the box, but then you’ll see him in the back. They do a really good job moving him around. He’s a special talent, and since I’ve been here, you’ve seen him make plays every year.”

(On if Seattle is the toughest team to throw deep against because of their secondary)

“I don’t know if I could say they’re the toughest, but they’d be up there. Right now, obviously, they’re in our focus – I would say yes – but I’m sure there are some others out there, I don’t want to take away from anybody else. They’re a talented group and it’s going to be a challenge and we’re looking forward to that.”

(On the offensive players seeming to be very anxious to get to Sunday for a number of reasons)

“It can be a blessing in disguise – the short week. As hard as it is, both on the players and the coaches, to turn around, sometimes when you have a short week, you don’t have that extra day off like the players do where you’re reading or hearing all the negative things, that you have got to move forward. I think we’re all anxious, maybe not just offensively, but I think, hopefully, collectively as a team we’re excited to go out there and anxious to go out there and show what we’re about.”

(On how he helps QB Jared Goff keep his confidence up after being inactive in the first game)

“I think it starts in the classroom, just as it does for everybody. It starts in the classroom; he’s getting his reps – both, a little bit with the offense as well as with our scout teams. And it’s through the preparation, it’s learning how to prepare as if you’re the player. And that’s the challenge to everybody when they’re a backup in that position – they’re always one snap away. It’s hard, when you’re 21 years old, to recognize that and he’s done a really, really good job through his preparation that he hasn’t relaxed or anything. He’s in there early and he’s staying there late with Case. That’s really good to see for us, just as a franchise, moving forward, just the way he prepares, because that’s what we challenge all of our guys with, regardless of position. But, obviously at that position even more.”

Rams Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams

(On what he’s seen on film that generates success against Seattle QB Russell Wilson)

“There’s a familiarity, obviously, when you play somebody twice a year. Our guys have their own scouting report on people that their playing against. And then schematically, we try to do the things that are good just versus Seattle, and we’ve played pretty well in those situations. We have a lot of respect. I have a lot of respect for (Offensive Coordinator) Coach (Darrell) Bevell who runs that up there. I’ve followed him for a long time. He’s been brought up in all the great offensive staffs in the year. And what I’ve seen him do up there is that, similar to what we try to do, I see him fit the offense to the skill-set of the players there. You’ll see a new running back, but you see what they do with the receivers, and how they try to feature the receivers, and how they try to feature their offensive line. They do a good job of matching the skill-sets, schemes, to their players. Hopefully we can have some good recognition things, and make it a good ball game.”

(On what he saw on film that allowed San Francisco QB Blaine Gabbert to be successful)

“I would tell you this, is that we played very well. We played very strong in that ball game, defensively. There are some things, when you play zone coverage, when you want the ball to go certain places. We got to do a better job in the red zone. Wherever I’ve been, we’ve done a good job of making people kick field goals down there. We did a really good job of that last year, and we’ve been doing it all spring long, and then all preseason long. But, regular season is a different story. We’ve got to try to not have penalties to extend drives. Our guys played very, very solid in lots of different ways. The other thing we could’ve done a better job with, is we got our hands on three balls where it legitimately hit us in the hands, and those are three interceptions right there. Two of those three times that we dropped the ball, we could’ve put point on the board. We could have scored with those throws, because there was nobody between us and the goal line. Our guys understand that, and they’ll come back. They’ll bounce back very well. I was very pleased with how they came out and responded at half time.”

(On if he changes the game plan if Russell Wilson is not 100 percent healthy)

“Here’s what we do with that is, we’re assuming he’s fine, because I have a lot of respect. He’s one of the few offensive guys I wouldn’t mind playing on defense. He’s tough now, I will tell you this. He has a lot of great instincts of an athlete; things you can’t coach. So, we’re going to be assuming that he’s fine. As we’ve heard the injury reports all week long, he’s been practicing full, and been doing okay with that. But in the course of the game, we have to be able to adjust to whatever is going on. We’ll see on how it goes, but he’s very, very intelligent on how he goes about running the game, and it’s fun to see those quarterbacks. I’ve had an opportunity to coach against a lot of quarterbacks that are in the Hall of Fame, marquees guys, and I think Russell is one of them, is that “Bev” lets him have say. Hopefully, you guys have seen how I let (LB) Alec Ogletree have say, (LB) James Laurinaitis have say. Those kinds of people that play the positions, and you see them on the sideline, you see him giving his opinion of things. I’m sure all week long, as he’s practiced however he’s feeling, he’s involved in the game plan. I have tremendous respect for him for coming out and answering the bell after the injury anyway. That’s what tough guys are supposed to do.”

(On if it’s the same pass-rush challenge as last week)

“It’s always a tough challenge when a quarterback is mobile. We’re pretty good up there in doing that. We had a couple of…about three or four of them, that I wish we could’ve had back, and the extending of the down. But I will tell you this, when you say just like last week, no, because I think the best quarterback extending plays, is Russell Wilson. So, it’s even more urgent.”

(On if he was surprised he saw so many good things from the defense in Week 1, despite the outcome)

“The big thing was, is that you take a look at a couple of things. We had a couple of short fields where we’re really good on sudden change, whenever we have to come in after a takeaway, or a short field on special teams. We’ve been, wherever I’ve been, in the top ranked in the league every year, we make people kick field goals; we didn’t. One of those drives, we had a second-and-14, pass interference. We had a second-and-15, and all of a sudden, they throw the ball in there, and it extended the play. And that’s just not like us, on playing situational football. The guys grew from it. The thing that was very good for me to see is, before I ever got a chance to talk to them on the sideline, their talking to me. They know, they see, and that’s when you know you got good things going, is when they take ownership, and they understand before even you have a chance to correct them. On game day, I’m not going to add a lot of clutter to them, and I’m not going to add a lot of stress to them, unless there’s maybe a big-eyed lack of focus when I’ve got to snap them back into it. This is a really good group of guys. It’s a really good leadership group of guys. We’ve got to do our part, and keep them out of the end zone, and put more points, and shorten the field a little bit. Like I said, if we could’ve caught those three balls that his us right in the hands, we could’ve helped the offense a lot right there.”

(On what he saw on film regarding red zone situations)

“No. The plays are up there. They probably should’ve ran the ball more than they did, but that’s just (Head Coach) Chip (Kelly’s) nature, he doesn’t like to do that very much. We played 42 rushes in the ball game. Still, with a couple of those quarterback scrambles…don’t read my lips on the sideline, is that a couple of those scramble there are still less than three-and-a-half a carry. Our guys did really well against the run. Got to get off the field a little better on third down. We let a couple quarterback scrambles extend on third down, so I’m sure Russell saw that. We’re going to have to be ready to roll.”

(On how often they practice defending the quarterback scramble)

“A lot. It’s up there. We’ve practiced that an awful lot because of him. Because we have to make sure that we’re knowing what we’re doing against that opponent. Then schematically, we have some things too. Not only just technique in the rush plan, but schematically we have some things, too. Hopefully we’ll be able to get them called at the right times, the right places.”