Fisher Excited by Improvement in Preseason

Posted Aug 17, 2014

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher looked past the stats and score from Saturday's game and saw improvement on both sides of the ball.

Jeff Fisher took to the podium on Sunday afternoon to wrapup the second week of the Rams’ preseason, which saw St. Louis lose 21-7 to Green Bay. Here are some of the highlights of the head coach’s press conference.
-- Fisher announced running back Isaiah Pead has indeed torn his ACL and will be out for the season.
“He worked very, very hard to get in position to where he was a very productive special teamer for us, and we had high hopes for him doing some things out of the backfield for us as well,” Fisher said. “He’ll go into surgery in the next 10 days to two weeks, which is typical for these injuries.”
-- The head coach was pleased with what he saw out of Sam Bradford in the quarterback’s first game action since his season-ending ACL tear in 2013.
“Sam played very, very well for us,” Fisher said. “He and Scott [Wells] were dead on as far as communication, protection and all those things. So we were pleased with that.”
“That was a great throw -- and catch -- to Lance [Kendricks],” Fisher added of Bradford’s touchdown throw. “That’s a hard throw, and a very, very difficult catch.”
Fisher said Bradford will play a little more against the Browns next week.
-- Bradford’s return to the field could be a prelude of sorts for a number of other veterans. Fisher said that there’s “a chance” for all four of Jake Long, Rodger Saffold, Michael Brockers, and James Laurinaitis to return for the third game of the preseason. While Fisher left the possibility open for most of those players, he was more confident in Long coming back in Cleveland.
“We’re expecting Jake to play, which will be good,” Fisher said. “We’ve got to get Jake in there and get Jake and Scott, make sure they’re surrounding Greg [Robinson].”
Fisher said it’s important to get the veterans around Robinson in a game because that’s how they’ve been practicing.
-- Speaking of Robinson, Fisher said he noticed some improvement in the rookie offensive lineman.
“He played tackle and got a chance to block two outstanding rushers,” Fisher said, referring to Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers. “And then he moved into guard and played well, was productive at guard.”
-- The Rams did struggle a bit running the ball on Saturday, tallying only 78 yards on 27 attempts -- a 2.9-yard average. Fisher said there were times when it looked like the Packers brought an extra man into the box, which is a look the Rams did not game plan for.
“As we grade this, our run philosophy is, we really don’t care how many guys are on the line of scrimmage -- we need to run the football,” Fisher said. “But we haven’t necessarily worked against those types of things that we saw yesterday.”
“We were close,” Fisher added. “We were real close on several different runs that didn’t look good -- very close to having significant gains.”
-- A league-wide trend, there were plenty of flags thrown in Saturday’s game, many of which were for illegal contact and illegal use of hands. Fisher said the team can’t expect for the penalties to go down once the regular season starts.
“It’s a point of emphasis and we have to assume it’s going to continue. We have to teach our players to avoid those things,” Fisher said. “The committee looked at a lot of plays, talked to the Players Association, talked to physicians, and the safety panel, and we’ve got to get the hands down off the head gear.”
“Now, as is the case any year with the points of emphasis, there are going to be things that look like them that weren’t,” Fisher added. “And that’s what we’re dealing with now.”
-- As for next week’s game, Fisher said the team will increase its game planning in preparation for the regular season.
“We’re going to do a little more, this week, on both sides of the ball,” Fisher said. “We need to put the players under a little more stress from a game-plan standpoint, and so the coaches will prepare to do that.”
“And it looks like we have an exciting opponent this week,”Fisher added.
The Rams will have their final two training camp practices open to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both practices will begin at 3:30.