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Transcript: Rams HC Jeff Fisher Gets Testy On Goff-Keenum Battle

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

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

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening remarks)

“I was really excited about the outcome of the game. We got a chance to look at it very closely as a staff this morning. We did some really good things. We have a lot of room for improvement, as you would expect and probably agree. But, we’re pleased with, in particular, the way the three phases played together. We got a sense, early, that it was going to be a field position game. Our punt team did an outstanding job. (P) Johnny (Hekker) had six punts, and all six were inside the 20 (-yard line). That gave us a drive start advantage, and put them on a long field every time, and gave our defense an opportunity to get them into third down and get off the field. I thought defense played very well. We have some room for improvement in some specific areas. Clearly offensively, we’re still struggling, in the third down area, and scoring. But, we made some plays. Our second-down production was much improved. We got the ball down the field. We capitalized on some of their mistakes, some of their penalties. We found a way to win at the end. Again, like I said yesterday evening, disappointed in the big play down the field in the two-minute drive. But, (LB) Alec (Ogletree) and the defense responded with the turnover, and we were able to kneel on it. We’ve got work to do. As we talked about the 22-hour rule last week, we have a 24-hour rule. This one is over; we’re going on to the next opponent. We came through it somewhat healthy. I’m really pleased with that.”

(On switching up the defensive packages against Seattle)

“We have numerous packages. We tried to attach the packages to some of the things they were doing. (LB) Josh (Forrest) got a chance to play in base, which when (Defensive Coordinator) Gregg (Williams) called base or called regular that pattern I looked and his eyes got really big. He did a nice a job and he’s learned from that. He know that when we go there, we’re going to lean on him for that. Our intention going into the game was to give (CB) Troy (Hill) some snaps and Troy got some snaps and I though he responded well. He had some heat issues, but beyond that, he can run, he can play. We’ll see where that goes. I may make a decision, as far as that starting spot there between Troy and (DB) Coty (Sensabaugh).”

(On the stark contrast between last week’s performance to this week’s performance)

“We were clearly disappointed in the opener on the road, short week. We put it behind us – the guys were disappointed. We missed some opportunities. There were some flashes of good things at San Francisco, but we need to eliminate mistakes. We did so, we improved – I think in all three areas. Now we just have to build on that.”

(On what that says about the NFL)

“That’s the way it is. You have some teams out there that are 0-2, that are really good. Good teams with good quarterbacks. That’s just our world – it’s a week-to-week thing, it’s a play here, it’s a play there, it’s a break here or a break there. You just have to keep playing, you got to have, and everybody does, you’ve got to have a philosophy that allows players to bounce back the next week. I mean nobody saw, after Tampa’s (Buccaneers) opener, nobody saw this coming. Obviously, their opponent’s really good, we know their opponent, but you wouldn’t think that that was going to happen to them. We’re expecting them to rebound this week at home. We got some work to do.”

(On how long he can stick with QB Case Keenum when his stat line ranks towards the bottom on the league)

“Our opener was a team loss. I don’t blame it on Case, nor do I give credit to Case for this win here yesterday – although he contributed, made a lot of plays, pushed the ball down the field, made plays when he needed to. We need more production out of our offense. All things point to the quarterback position, but I’m expecting Case to continue to get better in this offense and we’re going to win games and score points. If you’re talking about (QB) Jared (Goff), I don’t want to be a broken record here, but we’re going to play him when he’s ready. That was a great experience for him yesterday, he loved it. I talked to him this morning and said, ‘This is going to be your home for a long time.’ He’s excited about that. When that happens, we’ll let you know.”

(On if the decision on when to start Goff will be based on how he’s doing in practice or how Keenum is performing in the games)

“It’s based on a lot of different things. When he’s under center, you’ll know. Keep asking it every week if you want. You can ask it again, if you want.”

(On what he needs out of the other cornerback position opposite CB Trumaine Johnson)

“We need more production. (CB) E.J. (Gaines) is really close, we’re going to get some guys back on the field this week – so E.J.’s close. He’s been there, he’s done it, he’s’ played there, he’s excelled there. We’ve missed E.J. there. Once he’s healthy, I would suggest that he’s probably got a pretty good chance of taking that job over, but he’ll be questionable for this week.”

(On if LB Alec Ogletree was out of position on his fumble recovery as Ogletree suggested following the game and what he saw on that particular play)

“No, he dropped in coverage. He was dropped in coverage, we had a really good match-up downfield. But we were trying to keep (Seahawks QB) Russell (Wilson) from scrambling, so we didn’t get the pass rush that we wanted on that particular play – the quick, sudden collapse of the pocket. So ‘Tree’ dropped a little bit deeper in coverage, but once the ball was thrown, he broke on it. I think you have to give them both credit for the caused fumble. I’ve looked at it numerous times and both (LB/S) Mark (Barron) and Alec arrived at the same time in a bad mood – that’s why the ball came out.”

(On how K Greg Zuerlein is performing to this point in the season after having concern coming into the season)

“He’s been fine. Our concern – yes there were some misses, we had a couple blocked last year and he had some long-range that were missed – and every kicker has a moment. But he’s been very consistent, his kickoffs have been outstanding – in the wind, with the wind, his placement of the kickoffs. I didn’t have any issues with him at all. He’s kicking very well. We have a really good operation right now with (LS) Jake (McQuaide) and ‘Hek’ (P Johnny Hekker) and him. He’s confident right now. I elected not to take the longshot yesterday, just because of field position. He’s been great.”

(On how matching up well against a team translates to still growing and trying to become a consistent winner against other teams)

“It’s a week-to-week thing. We’re familiar with our division, especially as it relates to Seattle. We have great respect for them, I think they have respect for us and we know what kind of game it’s going to be. And I think that’s the case, by and large, with both San Francisco and Arizona. The San Francisco thing, in Week 1, it didn’t happen. This young team needs to be able to go out and match-up week after week with the different opponents. We’ve had recent success against the Bucs – that means nothing. We’ve got to go down, they’re much improved, (Buccaneers QB) Jameis (Winston) is playing really well, despite the day he had yesterday. We’re going to be challenged. In order for us to be successful, we’re going to have to play consistent on defense, week-in and week-out, become a defensive unit that will stop the run, get off the field on third down. And we’re going to have to start scoring points on offense, that’s a given.”

(On how RB Todd Gurley is handling not putting up the numbers he’s used to putting up)

“He’s been fine, he’s a team guy. And he made some big plays in this game. Everyone expects the running back to have 30 carries for 150 yards – that doesn’t happen every week. You look back and, whatever Seattle’s stats are with respect to 100-yard rushers – it’s been decades, it seems like, since they gave up a 100-yard rusher. That’s a good defensive football team. But we got chunks out of Todd and that was good. It was good for us, from a field position standpoint. His production, I thought, was outstanding – the numbers don’t reflect it. But the screen pass, for example, and a couple first downs there really helped us switch the field. But he’ll have a breakout day.”

(On if WR Pharoh Cooper and WR Nelson Spruce are two of the players he expects to get back on the field this week and how that can change the offense once those two are back)

“We expect them to get on the field. Whether they’re available on Sunday, I don’t know yet. But they’re making progress, which is good. How it affects the offense, I can’t tell you. They’re both rookies, they haven’t had a regular season snap yet. But they both have promising futures and showed that they can make plays in the NFL early in the preseason.”