Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher – August 22, 2012

(On the dizzy bat game and how it came about)
“Yeah, we’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember in camp. Probably better to put shoulder pads on and do it, rather than do it without. Every three or four years, you get a separated shoulder. Usually it’s the equipment intern or a training intern. But, the players love it. They didn’t have any idea what was going on. (CB) Cortland (Finnegan) and (DE) Will (Hayes) kept a secret.”

(On if any rookie impressed him in the dizzy bat game)
“You know, we’ll have to look at the film (laughs).”

(On if he went through the same game as a player)
“I did not, no.”

(On what he is looking for on Saturday and if part of it is the big stage that the stadium in Dallas can bring)
“No, I think, we’re going to have to hold up. Dallas, I’m sure, is determined to get ready for the opener and use Week 3, so we’re going to have to hold up and play well and play hard. The guys are…we’re going to have to protect our quarterback because they’re very multiple on defense. Rob (Ryan) is a good coordinator and he is going to pressure the passer and they’re going to try to stop the run and do all those things, so we’ve got quite a challenge ahead of us.”

(On if some of the players coming off injuries will be able to play)
“Yeah, there’s a chance that a couple guys, you know, we rested some guys today and there’s a chance that a couple of those guys will be able to play.”

(On if C Scott Wells and WR Brandon Gibson will play)
“Yeah, I would actually say they are day-to-day right now. They’re that close.”

(On if there are a lot of starting jobs up for grabs right now)
“Well, we’re looking. If there’s a drop-off in production or there’s mistakes and things like that or there’s a younger player that’s got an upside, we’re going to give that younger player a chance. The guys have done a good job. We’ve tried to create, in those certain areas where there is competition, we tried to create at least an even opportunity for them as best we can. We’ll see. There will be some things that will be settled here in the next week or so.”

(On this being the youngest team going into the season that he has ever coached)
“Somebody told me that it might be the youngest in the history of the NFL. Then, that would mean it would be my youngest too. But that’s OK. These guys like to play and they played hard and I’m not really concerned about our age. We’ve got some speed and we’ve got some talented athletes. The other side of that is, if it is young then it’s only going to get better. And that’s the approach we’re taking.”

(On this being the last open practice and how training camp set-up went)
“It was ideal. When we come back tomorrow, the fences will be going down and then it’s kind of…that’s your first kind of realization that you’re getting close. And then, of course, we’ll probably have a practice the weekend after the final preseason game and that’s when you stand there and you look around and go, ‘Where did everybody go?”. That’s when you know it’s here.”

(On if he will allow all-access to the media)
“That’s day-to-day also. It depends on your questions (laughs).”

(On if DE Eugene Sims was not at practice)
“Yes, that’s correct. He was inside in the training room.”

(On if he will play the first unit into the second half against Dallas)
“I won’t have anybody that’s going to play into the second half against the Cowboys. There will be a number of players that will do that in the fourth preseason game. We’ll do it in Week 4.”

Assistant Head Coach Dave McGinnis

(On how this training camp compares to others he’s been a part of)
“This is my 27th training camp and it’s been different. I started out in 1986. They were a lot different, but it’s still a lot of fun. It’s still come and get the work done. As you can see, at the end, (Head) Coach (Jeff) Fisher always adds a little personal touch to it.”

(On not much changing from today to tomorrow for the players)
“Yes. They’re out of the hotel and all that. Then they start getting into a regular season format. I think we’ve had a good training camp. We’ve gotten some things accomplished. We’re still not where we need to be, but we’re approaching where we need to be. It’s been a productive camp.”

(On DT Michael Brockers)
“We drafted him clearly where we did because of the type of player he is, and even more so of the type of player that he can become. And I do know this: he’s got a wonderful coach in (defensive line coach) Mike Waufle. He has bought heart and soul into what ‘Wauf’ is teaching him and what this defense provides him. I’m very excited to see him, to watch his development. I know (LB) James (Laurinaitis) is very excited to be playing behind him. This young man has got the right temperament, the right attitude, and he’s got the right coach and the right system. This is going to be fun to watch his development.”

(On CB Janoris Jenkins)
“We’ve talked about Janoris since the OTAs and he’s steadily progressed. What Janoris brings is the fact that he looks natural out there. There’s nothing that awes him. He knows how and he wants to play corner. He’s very coachable. The kid loves football. I love being in the meeting rooms with him and watching him interact with the other players and interact with (secondary) Coach (Chuck) Cecil and Coach Fisher. He’s got a thirst for knowledge if he wants to get better at this game and he’s got a chance to do that.”

(On how training camps have changed over the years)
“It’s entirely different. Of course, now, the players come in in such great shape. When I first started in this thing, you’d go for six weeks and basically the first two weeks, the players were coming in to get into condition. We’d have 120 guys in camp. It’s an entirely different world. The league has evolved a lot with offseason training, with the type of condition that these players are in, and clearly now with the new CBA, there’s new regulations. I’m a little bit of a dinosaur in this league. I was talking to (Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach) Romeo Crennel and (Chiefs defensive backs coach) Emmitt Thomas before the game there with Kansas City and they’ve both been in the league longer than I have. They’ve both got 30-plus years in the league. The league has changed, but the league has also changed in a good way. The first camp I went to was in Platteville, Wisconsin and it was two-a-days, every day, full pads, on your mark, get set, go. And so it’s changed.”

(On DT Jermelle Cudjo)
“’Cudj’ has done a nice job. You’ve seen him in practice and he’s been productive in the games, also. That’s a big, big plus for us because we need guys to be able to rotate in on that defensive line. ‘Cudj’ has been healthy and again, as I say, he’s taken to really the type of techniques and what Mike Waufle has brought to his game. Especially in the last couple of weeks, you’ve seen him kind of come up.”

(On the potential of the defensive ends)
“They can do a lot for us. Again, with the big guys in the middle and the speed off of the edge, what we have to do is we have to play really, really good run defense so that we can get those defensive ends a chance to rush the passer in long yardage situations. That’s one of the things we need to continue to work on is our third down defense. We’ve been getting people to third-and-long. We’ve got to be able to get them out now. We’ve got to be able to use our first and second down defenses very effectively so we can turn those speed guys loose on the edge on third down.”

Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer

(On if he thinks C Scott Wells is ready)
“Yeah, I think so. I think Scott’s excited to be back out there. It’s always good to get the mental reps, but until you go out there, especially at that spot and you have people moving around, you have side boards with the guards and stuff, you really don’t get a good feel for it. Luckily he’s a veteran guy. It’s nice to have him out there. But he’s really been working hard getting ready, preparing mentally. He’s been meeting a lot with (QB) Sam (Bradford) and the other quarterbacks and other centers are just kind of really dialing into the playbook. He looks good.”

(On if the wide receiver position has been sorted out)
“Well I think there’s still some tough calls. I think we know we got a good core group of guys. Again, we’re still waiting for some guys to separate themselves. Again, then you start playing the numbers game. But we’re very pleased with what those guys have done. In these next couple of games we expect to have a couple guys step up.”

(On if the offense will play into the third quarter against Dallas)
“I think the big thing is obviously we’ve had some success last week. The week before, not very good. So you just want to see them getting better. Again, Coach (Fisher) controls all those decisions. We’ve got a plan going in normally that we’ll talk about probably tonight or tomorrow. The biggest thing is that we see improvement. Doesn’t matter whether it’s the scoreboard. We want to see improvement on the field.”

(On OT Rodger Saffold)
“(He’s) very talented, extremely talented. I think if you look at his feet, you look at his strengths, things like that, I think he’s definitely got that ability. The big thing for him will be consistency. You know that’s a tough job every week sitting over there blocking the best pass rushers in the league. But he certainly has the ability. He showed flashes of it at times. I think with (Offensive Line) Coach Boudreau working with him, he’s got a chance to be a great player.”

(On how close the competition is at right tackle)
“It’s back and forth. It’s a competition. It’s been a fun competition to watch. Barry’s (Richardson) running with the1s right now. Jason (Smith) had most of the reps all spring with the 1s. It’s one of those competitions that will be fun to watch coming down to the wire.”

(On if he’s trying to have a workhorse running back paired with a feature back in this offense)
“I think we’re excited about what Steven’s (Jackson) done. Obviously, just the limited carries, limited exposure, I think last game it was 4.7 (yards per carry) or even higher than that. Actually 4.7 I think the first game even higher than that, almost 6 or 7 last week. He’s the bell cow, and we know that, but we’ve got some young guys that we’re excited about with both Isaiah (Pead) and Daryl Richardson. Again, Steven’s the bell cow. These guys can help spell him some. We’ll have little packages for each guy.”

(On how nice it is to have G Harvey Dahl maintain a consistent spot on the line)
“Obviously, we knew what we were getting with Harvey having Coach Boudreau here. Harvey was with ‘Boo’ in Atlanta. He’s one of the throw backs. Just hard nose, good football player, tough, going to answer the bell every day. He’s one of the leaders, if not the leader of that group.”

(On if Bradford and his accuracy surprised him at all thus far)
“Well I think that’s the first thing that jumps at out you, is the accuracy. The thing I like about him is he’s hard on himself. What we might deem a pretty good throw, he’s tough on himself, ‘Hey, I need to get that on the other number. I need to get that on the second level,’ things like that. It’s no surprise when you watch him do those things. We knew we were getting a very accurate passer. The throw he made the other night, the first play of the game, was not how we drew it up. He and (WR) Danny (Amendola) kind of hit that on the fly and it was a big time throw.”

(On how important it is for Bradford and Wells in sync)
“Yes, I think so. I think they’re in sync. I think that’s not an issue. You can do some of that stuff in walk-thrus and meetings. But to get them out there and playing a little bit, yeah that’ll be great. Again, you’re dealing with a veteran center that’s been here, been around. We’ll get some work together with them for sure. But at the end of the day they’ll be ready to go.”