Fisher Press Conference Wrap: Extra Rest Coming at A Good Time for Rams

Posted Sep 27, 2013

After a challenging five-day stretch that saw the Rams face two vaunted running attacks in Dallas and San Francisco, the extra three days afforded to St. Louis before hosting Jacksonville next week is just what the doctor ordered.

“We found out the last two weeks against very good opponents where our team is and what we need to do and what we need to improve upon,” Head Coach Jeff Fisher said at his Friday news conference. We have a lot of work to do as a staff, and fortunately we have some extra time, some extra days to get focused in that area, and that’s going to be our focus. Players will be off for a couple days, get some much-needed rest. We’ll treat it just like a bye week. We finished strong in meetings and I know they’re excited to get away and come back and prepare for our next opponent.”

Fisher also doubled down on the need to improve the running game, which has been an area of difficulty through four weeks. The Rams average 2.6 yards per carry and have yet to reach the end zone on the ground, a rarity for a Fisher-coached team. In his 19 seasons as a head coach in the NFL, Fisher’s teams have ranked in the top half of the league in rushing yardage 13 times.

“We’ll get it (the running game) fixed as I said last night,” Fisher said. “We’ve started to kind of adjust our offensive philosophy to I think what’s probably better suited for us right now, and that’s to hand it off, and everything else spins off that.”

Injury Update:

-S T.J. McDonald suffered a non-displaced lower leg fracture during Thursday’s game and will be placed on the injured reserve-designated to return list. The injury will not require surgery and is not deemed season-ending. Safety Cody Davis will be elevated from the practice squad to replace McDonald on the 53-man roster. Fisher was pleased with the performance of McDonald through his first four NFL games.

“He was playing well,” Fisher said. “Gosh, in addition to defensively, he was close to blocking punts, playing well for us on special teams.”

-LB Will Witherspoon and CB Cortland Finnegan left Thursday’s game with hamstring injuries. Fisher listed each as day-to-day.

News and Notes:

-Fisher said he anticipated using WR/PR Tavon Austin out of the backfield against San Francisco, but elected against it after falling behind early. Austin leads the Rams with 20 receptions through four games.

-Fisher said team morale remains strong despite the Rams’ 1-3 start.

“I think they’re really good right now,” Fisher said. They’re going to be fine. They’re more than hanging in there.”