Los Angeles Rams Notes: 09/14/2016

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Rams

Head Coach Jeff Fisher – Post Practice – September 14, 2016

(Opening remarks)

“We’re on to the next opponent. We had a really good day. The week is a little different than a normal preparation week, particularly because we have short, short week. So we adjusted today. We didn’t get to full-speed, but we’ll be full-speed tomorrow and Friday. I was really pleased with the way they responded. They came in anxious and eager to get into the game plan. We’re rolling; we’re playing a really good opponent. We know them well, and we’re real excited about having the opportunity to open the Coliseum for our home opener.”

 

(On what is special about this particular game)

“Yeah, there is. But, I guess that’s something to reflect back on when the season is over. We’re concerned about kickoff right now, and winning this game. We played them in Seattle, we played them in St. Louis, now we’re playing them in LA. It’s going to take our best shot, because they’re playing well. I was impressed the way they hung in there against the (Miami) Dolphins. The Dolphins really played well up there in a tough place to play, and (QB) Russell (Wilson), with a sore ankle, finds a way to put together a winning drive at the end is really impress. That’s what they’re about; play good defense, and hang in there. They win a lot of games at the end.”

 

(On his thoughts regarding QB Case Keenum’s performance last game)

“I think that the entire team…remember, we came out ready to play, we thought we had a good game plan, and we didn’t execute in all three areas. Case, he made some plays, and then missed some opportunities. But every game you watch, quarterbacks are missing opportunities. We have to just make sure we take advantage of those opportunities when they’re there.”

 

(On if he felt the 49ers game planned well against WR Tavon Austin)

“They did some things. They caught us off guard on one of the reverses where they brought the corner, and we thought we’d had a chance for a more significant gain. The issue with the targets and all those things is, unless you’re converting third downs…60 snaps is not ample to target and get the ball spread around to your playmakers. We just have to continue to work on that.”

 

(On RB Todd Gurley’s not practicing today)

“It’s a coaches’ decision. He’s inside; he’ll be fine. He’ll be out there tomorrow.”

 

(On if the loss will affect the team’s preparation for Seattle)

“Well, it’s over. That’s the key thing, is that it’s over, and you move on. That’s the great thing about the National Football League; for a long time, there’s always going to be a next week. We put it in perspective like we talked about, and we were disappointed. We’re better than that. I think the motivating factor for us to prove that we’re better than that, is the fact that we’re playing the Seahawks this weekend at home. They’re going to bring the best out of you.”

 

(On what he’s been experiencing in regards to the excitement that football is back in Los Angeles)

“It’s been a great transition since the day we arrived. Through the draft, through the OTAs, and through the first day of training camp, the fan appreciation, both preseason games, it’s been great. We’re hoping they come out, and hoping they give the Seattle fans a run for their money. Expect it to be loud, expect them to contribute. They have a chance to contribute to this win. We need to take advantage of the home field advantage, and things that are associated with that.”

 

(On if he’s addressed WR Kenny Britt and DE Robert Quinn regarding the national anthem)

“No, I’ve not addressed it with them, no. Look, I said yesterday, they have every right. I support their issue, I support the premise, and all that, and they have every right. But, we also have to respect the anthem, and I thought our team has been respecting the anthem for a long time.”

 

(On what impresses him most about Seattle’s defense)

“Seattle’s defense…they’re very, very talented. They’re well coached. They don’t do an awful lot, they just do what they do really, really well, and they do it in a difficult environment. When you take into consideration when they’re playing at home, they can’t hear. The defense cannot hear, they can’t communicate. So, you see (LB) Bobby Wagner slapping defensive linemen over and moving them, getting them lined up, because you really can’t communicate there. So, they’ve adjusted to that, and they’re just really solid across the board. The corners are playing well. (CB) Richard (Sherman) is always tough to attack. They fill, they don’t miss tackles, they put pressure on the passer, and they give up very few explosive plays, and that’s just how they’ve always been.”

 

(On if he thinks the Coliseum can be a similar environment than Seattle’s)

“When we needed a little bit of help there in the last preseason game. There were a few people left, it got loud. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when it’s full. We’re looking forward to it.”

 

(On if there’s more pressure in the home opener in comparison to last game)

“It’s the next game, next game on the schedule. We never entered a game worried about those things. We go in the game with the expectation to win. You obviously don’t want to get off to an 0-2 start, but we’re expecting to win this game, as is Seattle. That’s how you get through the week. That’s what gets you up in the morning. That’s the motivating factor, is to do everything you possibly can to give yourself a chance to win.”

 

(On when people will know if QB Jared Goff is active or inactive this weekend)

“Later in the week.”

 

Rams Quarterback Case Keenum – Post-Practice – September 14, 2016

 

(On positivity of first practice after Monday’s loss)

“Yeah it always feels good to get back on the field. We had a bad taste in our mouth, and we’re ready to get out of it. I think today was a good day, getting back  out, getting some good reps. Not a long practice, but we got some good work in and I think it was good.”

 

(On whether he will play with a chip on his shoulder come Sunday)

“I think I’ve got a chip on my shoulder – I’ve had it for a while. So, it’ll still be there, the same one”

 

(On what went wrong against the 49ers on Monday night)

“I over-thought a lot of things. You know, if the word over-prepare is, you know, something I think that I was seeing ghosts; I was seeing things that weren’t there. I wasn’t trusting myself and my abilities. I tried too hard. Just have to let the game come to me, take what the defense gives me, trust my teammates –  they do a great job, and get the ball out of my hands to the right place.”

 

(On if he saw looks that he didn’t expect in the loss on Monday night)

“They gave us some different looks. For us, we’ve always said, we trust our rules. That’s why our coaches do a great job preparing us to have rules that can fix anything in a game. So yeah, they mixed up some looks, did some good things. Their defense did a good job, but that’s the past, we’re moving on. Coach Fisher, talks about 22-hour, 24-hour rule, we’re moving on, it’s on to the Seahawks defense and getting ready for those guys and they’ve got a pretty good defense too.”

 

(On the challenges facing the Seattle Seahawks)

“They do what they do, and they do it well. They’re going to line up how they’re going to line up. We played them a bunch of times; we’ve got a lot of film on them. They just do it well, they’ve got great guys. Their secondary is one of the best, obviously, and their front seven or eight even if you’ll call it, you know, with (SS Kam) Chancellor coming down to the box too, it’s a great run stopping box too – we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

 

(On the takeaway from last year’s victory against the Seahawk and what they can apply this year)

“That was that game, it was that team too. This is a new team, they’re a new team, and we’re a new team. We’ve got to go, and obviously we can learn some stuff, from those games, but we’ve got a new challenge ahead of us, and a new opportunity really. All these adversity challenges, it’s really opportunities – that’s the way I’m looking at it.”

 

(On if receivers were out of position or if he was over-thinking things against the 49ers)

“It was me over-thinking it, like I said. You know, maybe thinking that they were going to do this, because of this, and this and this – just trust what you see and let it fly. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to trust – that’s a word I’m going to use this whole week, trust. That’s trust my protection, that’s trust my mechanics, my rules, my footwork, and trust what I see, trust the guys out there, get the ball into the hands of those guys that can make plays.”

 

Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll – Conference Call – September 14, 2016

 

(On if there is any sense of nostalgia for returning to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the Seahawks)

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“It’s going to be fun. I’ve looked forward to it ever since the switch took place – we kind of all looked forward to playing those guys down there. It’ll be fun to be back.”

 

(On how he thinks he’ll be received)

“I don’t know. No idea. I don’t think there’s going to be an actual reception, I think we’re just going to start the game.”

 

(On if there are any particular moments or games that stand out to him about his time at USC)

“Yeah, there’s a lot of them.”

 

(On which games stand out in particular)

“There’s a bunch of them. The first UCLA game that we played at night was the first time that the Coliseum really filled up and everybody was there. It was a big night – I think we won like 23-0 or something like that. It was being in the midst of the crowd, the atmosphere that I kind of hoped it would be. It took a while, during that season, to get people coming. But obviously, the UCLA-SC game drew a great crowd. That was kind of the start of the big enthusiasm, the big excitement about being at the Coliseum, I thought.”

 

(On if he ever thought he’d be coaching an NFL game at the Coliseum after his college career)

“That never really came to my mind, I’ll tell you that. I didn’t think about that.”

 

(On if he followed the process of the NFL coming back to Los Angeles)

“The conversation, I thought throughout the time we were there, was kind of ongoing. I mentioned today that there was a time when I remember Paul Tagliabue came through and visited with us when Roger Goodell was of the sidekicks and the whole crop of guys and they were talking about the league and talking about what could happen. I think they were just doing some advance work. That was pretty early on – the conversation was always kind of kicked around. The league always wanted to come back, you knew that, but it was just such a hard process. It was just kind of an ongoing conversation that it took them years and years and years to finally get it done. I was always aware of it.”

 

(On if he’s ever been in the visitor’s locker room at the Coliseum)

“As a matter of fact, the first time I was there – some of you may not remember when UCLA used to play their home games there – but I was at Ohio State and we played there. I don’t think the locker room was as bad as it turned out to be after Al Davis was there. That was the first time and then there was another time when I was with the Jets and we came out and played the Raiders. That was one of the scariest football days we ever had because nobody wanted to get off the bus at the time because of all the guys on the motorcycles and stuff waiting outside our bus, nobody wanted to go in the stadium.”

 

(On if they won that game)

“No. You didn’t ask me if we beat UCLA, yeah we beat UCLA that day.”

 

(On if any of the losses stick out to him while he was at USC)

“No.”

 

(On what he remembers about coaching current Rams S T.J. McDonald at USC)

“Well we didn’t have him very long. But because I coached his dad and knew the family throughout, I kind of watched him grow up a little bit in his high school days. I saw him more then than – I think we were just together a year – but he was a great kid, he was a perfect competitor, he did everything right, worked really hard, loved the game, respectful, loyal. He was a great kid. I love seeing him whenever we play him just because I see his dad, Tim, in him. And I’ve just always loved the family – it was a good story, I always liked following him, I always follow him, and watch him every time I get a chance to see him.”

 

(On his thoughts and what he says to the people in the Los Angeles market who blame him for the sanctions at USC)

“I regret that anybody had to go through all of that and I’m as remorseful as I can be about that. I think it was really off-base and out of line the way they handled it and I felt like it was a miserable thing to do to a great university. I’ve always felt really kind of upset about that. I wish I could have done something once we realized that it was a problem, but I was already gone by the time all of that stuff came out and I felt bad about that. Had I known what was going on, and what was going to come around, I never would have been able to leave and I just wouldn’t have. But that’s not the way this thing came down and I know there’s a lot of people who have different opinions about that because they don’t know. It’s a terrible, unfortunate thing that happened and I’m just glad that the university is through it and behind them and they’re ongoing and fired up and winning football games and everybody is having fun again.”

 

(On what kind of difference he thinks he could have made had he stayed at USC)

“I don’t know, I don’t know about all that, that’s not the point.”

 

(On how he thinks it will be like to walk down the Coliseum tunnel as an opponent)

“That’s a good point. I don’t know about that, I’m going to share a story with you. One time we were playing early on – it might have been the first year – and I was walking down the tunnel, as the team was going to the field, with Ronnie Lott. As we were walking down the tunnel, we were behind the team and I said ‘Is this special to you?’ And he looked at me like he thought I was crazy, he said ‘Are you kidding? Special? There’s nothing like this.’ After all those years in the league, he said ‘There’s nothing like playing at USC, there’s nothing like walking down this tunnel, there’s nothing like playing at this Coliseum.’ I was so moved because that was years after – he had played 12, 13 years, whatever the heck it was, in the league – and he still recalled the great sense of connection and his love in his heart for the university and playing there and representing the Trojans. I never forgot that he said that and it really impacted me from that point on, being able to coach there. He’s always been one of my favorite guys, but, to me, he said it all.”

 

(On why he thinks the Rams have had so much success against the Seahawks recently)

“They’re a good team. They’ve had a lot of opportunities to draw players in, they have really good talent, they’re athletic and fast and strong and tough, they coach tough. They have just had a little difficulty finding the consistency, but look at how they played in our division last year – they were 4-2 in the division last year. They’ve just been a problem for us, we’re hoping to put that behind us. What happened in the past doesn’t mean anything to me, it’s what we’re going to do now. And that’s how we’re dealing with it. They have had good success and we respect them for that.”

 

(On what it will be like for him walking down the Coliseum tunnel)

“I don’t, I haven’t done it yet. I don’t know. I’ll let you know afterwards.”

 

(On how the ambiance of CenturyLink Field in Seattle compares to the Coliseum)

“This is an amazing place to play any sport, whether you’re us or the (Seattle) Sounders, this is an incredible place. We have 60-or-something-thousand people there and maybe there’s going to be 90,000 or something (at the Coliseum). The fans here and the construction of this stadium and the heart they bring has just been extraordinary. Obviously, it’s world-class. It’s a different vibe playing here than it was in the college stadiums. I know that that may be hard to imagine, but it is. It was extraordinary to play before so many people in such a vast setup there, as it is in the Coliseum, and I loved it. It’s just different, it’s a different feeling.”

 

(On if throws out how the Rams played in their first game, considering this is their home opener or if there is anything he can take away from that)

“No, we take everything into account. We’re looking at how the 49ers got that job done and all and we’re trying to evaluate that to help us, as well as all the stuff in the past. It’s the first game, so you have to kind of dig back into the history a little bit. We’re using this information as well as all the stuff that’s occurred. It just seems like the Niners were really on it, they were on it in all three phases and did a really good job and just didn’t give an inch in any direction. I guess we would be so fortunate to be able to play anywhere near like that. It’s a statement of the Niners, I think right now, they came out of the chutes firing. (49ers Head Coach) Chip (Kelly) did a great job getting his guys ready.”

 

(On what being part of another historic game at the Coliseum means to him)

“I’ve looked forward to this. I have looked forward to it, just because I know that it’ll be so much fun for so many people. They’ve been waiting for the league to come back and the excitement of the NFL and all the great matchups that will happen in here during the coming years. I’m proud that we get to be the first ones that start this thing. For no other reason but I just love Southern California and love the fans and love who they are and what they’re all about. I feel fortunate that we have a chance to add to, kind of the kickoff event to this. That doesn’t amount to a whole lot, it’s just kind of a personal feeling about it. We’re hoping we’re going to play a good football game and the rest of that stuff will take care of itself later on.”

 

(On if he’s a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers)

“Oh I am. I listen to them, yeah. I can play a couple for you, if you want.”

 

(On what he’s seen Seahawks QB Russell Wilson do in the offseason and in Week 1 that shows how he’s progressed)

“It’s been a constant progression. He’s a very gifted guy, an athlete and all that – a leader and all that stuff. He played really well his first year and he’s played well every year. What we’ve seen, it’s just the natural progression of growing and understanding the game to the point where it becomes he’s in greater command of it. The second half of last season, he was just remarkably on it, so he goes in to the offseason with the thought that he wants to pick up where he left off and add to that. And that’s what he’s done, he’s been working like crazy to get that done, he had a great offseason, he came in in great shape. His extraordinary work ethic, the time he puts in is just beyond what you can imagine and he’s a fantastic NFL quarterback, an elite athlete in our country and I’m thrilled to be coaching him. It’s just this constant progression because he’s so competitive, he cares so much, he keeps working to learn. He’s got a lot more to learn and he’ll get better. In the second half (of 2015), he was like 25 touchdowns and one pick in the last eight or nine games or whatever the heck it was. You can’t do that unless you’re just lights out. Hopefully he can pick up where he left off – he did a great job finishing the game last week to get us a win, when he was kind of hobbling around and still got it done kind of in dramatic fashion. Hopefully we’ll be able to pick-up and play well again this week.”

 

(On what goes in to making the decision when to play a young quarterback like Matt Barkley at USC or Russell Wilson in Seattle and what went into his decisions to play young or rookie quarterbacks in college and the NFL)

“The choice wasn’t as obvious as you may have thought when Matt came up, it was just his deal to take over. Here, again, with another Matt, it was thought out right in front of us. Russell, he split time in the games in preseason and everything that he did just screamed that he’s ready to go. Even with that, I was really kind of restrictive in how we started the season, just to kind of protect him and get him going and all that. He just took the job over. So we made it a competition that the rook could win it and he did. You know how we do it, it’s all about the competition and we laid it out very carefully. We did the same thing with Barkley, if you remember. I don’t know how somebody else – I don’t even want to comment on how they do it. Ours was really about proving it and our guy did. It really wasn’t a hard decision, it was only a hard decision because of the scrutiny and what other people would think of it and all that – which I didn’t care about. It was quite easy on this end. And, really, I felt both decisions fell into that category with Matt Barkley and here.”

 

(On comparing the mindset of Seattle WR Doug Baldwin to Russell Wilson)

“These guys are so connected and have been for a number of years. Doug has been playing great football for us for years, just not everybody recognized it for a while. They have just kind of grown up together and they’re so connected right now. But our whole group is – (Seattle WR) Jermaine Kearse and (Seattle WR) Tyler Lockett – those guys are all on the same page with their quarterback. They communicate nonverbally in a lot of situations. It can surprise you that they can understand, that they can anticipate what’s going on. It’s really the kind of chemistry that you hope can develop. And these guys are all still young guys – they’ve only been playing five years right now. To compare those guys, I don’t know, but I see them very similar and their thoughts and their ways have kind of convened over the course of the years in a way that makes them really a great duo.”

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