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  • Healing Fisher is eager to return to lineup

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Oct. 17 2004

    Travis Fisher won't be difficult to find on the Rams sideline tonight. He'll be
    the antsy-looking guy in street clothes with the quasi-dreadlock hairstyle.

    He's had the hairdo ever since he came to the Rams as a second-round draft pick
    in 2002. The "antsy" part is new, because for the first time in his young NFL
    career, Fisher is trying to cope with an extended injury.

    "Yeah, it's been pretty tough, especially last week," Fisher said. "But hey, I
    made it this far. I'm just trying to heal up."

    Fisher, normally a starting cornerback, has been sidelined since Aug. 23, when
    he suffered a broken forearm in a preseason game against Kansas City. He's had
    the cast off for more than a month, but the bone is still healing.

    He's not far from returning. Although still being held out of contact drills,
    Fisher is doing more and more work at practice during the week.

    "I've been able to do some technique stuff," Fisher said. "As long as I'm able
    to keep up with my mechanics, that's pretty good."

    On game day, Fisher has done all he can to help the Rams' young cornerbacks,
    "telling them what I see from the sideline."

    But obviously, it's not the same as playing.

    "I wish I could play this week," Fisher said. "Whenever it heals up, that's
    when I'm out."

    As in out on the field. It's possible Fisher could be back for the team's game
    Nov. 7 against New England - the Rams' first contest after their bye week.

    Opportunity knocks for Hargrove

    With Tyoka Jackson almost certain to miss tonight's game with Tampa Bay because
    of a hamstring injury, rookie Anthony Hargrove could see his most extensive
    action of the season in the defensive line rotation.

    A defensive end by trade, Hargrove was in for eight plays last week against
    Seattle, including one at defensive tackle. Bryce Fisher also slid inside in
    passing situations against the Seahawks, a role Jackson normally has.

    Without Jackson, "It just means Tony's going to get more reps, I believe,"
    coach Mike Martz said. "And Erik (Flowers) is ready. He's really practiced very
    well in the last few weeks.

    "But really, our starters predominantly play most of the snaps. We've not
    rotated like we've done in the past."

    Hargrove, a third-round pick from Georgia Tech, has six tackles in limited duty
    this season. In somewhat of a surprise given his potential as a pass-rusher,
    Hargrove has performed better against the run so far than he has rushing the
    passer.

    "He's going to be a real good player," Martz said. "He's learning. But the
    effort and the physical ability are certainly there. So we've just got to keep
    working with him. Get him in there. The only way you learn that stuff is to
    play. Unfortunately, at times you're going to make some mistakes, but that's
    the only way you'll get any better."

    Bulger attends debate

    Although he didn't get to pose a question to the candidates, quarterback Marc
    Bulger was among those in attendance at the recent presidential debate at
    Washington University.

    "One of my brother's roommates works for the Republican Committee," Bulger
    said. "And he worked his magic. It took a while even for him, so it wasn't
    easy."

    It's not that Bulger is a political fanatic, but he likes keeping up on current
    events, something that's easier said than done during the work day at Rams
    Park.

    "You don't see anything but the NFL network or SportsCenter on these TVs here,"
    Bulger said. "There's a lot going on in the world."

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  • RamWraith
    "Bone-crusher" hit left impression on Bryce Fisher
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Jan. 05 2005

    Rams defensive end Bryce Fisher, the reigning NFC defensive player of the
    month, never saw the train that plowed over him Oct. 24 in Miami. At least, it
    felt like a train.

    "That was a bone-crusher ... the biggest hit I've ever seen in football," coach
    Mike Martz said. "I mean, that was an ugly hit."

    Fisher was sprinting downfield to cover a punt return when Dolphins rookie Tony
    Bua barreled in from his left side. At 6 feet 3 and 272 pounds, Fisher had a
    size advantage over the 5-11, 212-pound Bua, a linebacker by trade. But Bua had
    the element of surprise going for him.

    The full-speed, blind-side collision dropped the unsuspecting Fisher in his
    tracks, and the effects lingered.

    "I don't want to make excuses, but it shook me," Fisher said. "I couldn't
    breathe right for a couple of weeks, and I was coughing up blood for another 10
    days or so."

    Fisher, who had earned a starting spot for the first time in his four-year NFL
    career, stayed in the lineup. But after collecting 38 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks
    in the first seven games, he mustered a mere eight tackles and no sacks in the
    four outings after the Miami game.

    In the five games since then, Fisher seems to have finally shrugged off the
    residue of the Bua hit and regained his early-season form.

    "You just don't recover (quickly) from something like that," Martz said. "He's
    just kind of now picking up where he left off. Because he was going great guns
    at that point."

    Fisher received the league award after recording 31 tackles and five assists in
    the stretch from Dec. 5 through Sunday.

    Interestingly, Fisher had big games the past two weeks coming off the bench,
    with rookie Tony Hargrove taking over the starting role on the right side.
    Fisher had seven tackles and a sack against Philadelphia and 10 stops and two
    sacks vs. the New York Jets.

    He finished the regular season as the team leader in sacks, with 8 1/2. Left
    defensive end Leonard Little, who had totaled 39 sacks over the previous three
    seasons and played in the 2004 Pro Bowl, wound up second with seven.

    But Fisher emphasized that if foes hadn't been concentrating on slowing Little,
    the stats would've looked different.

    "The way teams set their protections, it's to account for Little," Fisher said.
    "I've been lucky that I've gotten some one-on-one matchups against running
    backs and tight ends, and I've taken advantage of some of those opportunities."

    Award for Bulger

    Quarterback...
    -01-06-2005, 05:30 AM
  • RamWraith
    Vicious Hit Can't Keep Fisher Down
    by RamWraith
    Wednesday, January 5, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Entering the season, defensive end Bryce Fisher was just another guy attempting to make a name for himself.
    Easily lost in the shadow of star end Leonard Little, Fisher didn’t have to be a Pro Bowler, just a solid complement to Little, who was sure to start drawing double and triple teams. Now, Fisher has become one of the NFC’s top pass rushers in the past month.

    For most of the season, Fisher has been up and down, but in the past four games, he has been a force. He was rewarded for his stout work when he was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month on Wednesday.

    Fisher posted 31 tackles, five sacks and a pair of forced fumbles in the month to earn the honor. His performances in the past two weeks have probably been his best.

    He earned the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his two-sack outing against Philadelphia on Dec. 27 and had 10 tackles and another pair of sacks against the Jets last week. Those performances helped Fisher become the team’s sack leader for the regular season with 8.5.

    “I think I have played pretty well over the last couple of weeks,” Fisher said. “I had a couple of games early on in the year, but probably didn’t get noticed because we weren’t able to come out with a win. When we win, it’s easier to highlight guys who are playing well.”

    Entering the season, Fisher was asked to replace fan favorite Grant Wistrom, who moved on to Seattle in the offseason. That was a tall order and one that Fisher might not have been ready to meet.

    He played well early in the season, but he suffered a serious setback on Oct. 24 at Miami. Dolphins’ safety Tony Bua laid a devastating hit on Fisher on a punt that caused Fisher to lay grounded for awhile.

    Coach Mike Martz called the hit one of the most vicious he has seen.

    “I do know this. In my opinion, that hit that Fisher took down in Miami set him back quite some time,” Martz said. “That was a crushing blow. That’s the biggest hit that I’ve ever seen in football. It took him some time to get over that thing.”

    The Rams went into the bye week after that, but Fisher had trouble recovering both mentally and physically.

    “I don’t want to make excuses, but it shook me a little bit,” Fisher said. “It was definitely hard as far as I couldn’t breathe for a couple of weeks right and I was coughing up blood for another 10 days or so. I don’t think that was necessarily the reason for that four weeks or so when I didn’t play very well. It was more just not making plays when I had the opportunity.”

    Now, Fisher is making the most of every opportunity he gets. His performance against the Eagles was even more impressive considering the fact that he was in on just 17 snaps.

    His development has come at the right time for...
    -01-06-2005, 05:26 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Fisher: Rams A Couple Of Plays Away From 3-0
    by r8rh8rmike
    Fisher: Rams a couple of plays away from 3-0

    13 hours ago • By Jim Thomas

    Perhaps Rams coach Jeff Fisher has a special set of glasses. Because after two tough losses, and with an offense that ranks dead last in the NFL, Fisher says he sees improvement from his 1-2 squad.

    “We have room for improvement, but I’m seeing improvement,” Fisher said. “We’ve got a lot of games left. We have a huge challenge the next couple of weeks before the bye ... but I have complete confidence in the young group in this room.”

    Next up, the Rams play back-to-back road games against perhaps the NFC’s top two squads so far this season — Arizona and Green Bay. Arizona has won 15 of its last 18 at home. After beating Kansas City on Monday night, Green Bay has won 10 in a row at home.

    So how does Fisher avoid thinking: “Geez, we’re going to be 1-4 entering the bye”?

    “They’ve got to play us as well,” Fisher said, referring to the Cardinals and Packers. “That’s how we look at it.”

    From the outside, it all looks and sounds depressingly familiar. Another slow start, another season where the Rams could be out of playoff contention before the first frost. Call him delusional if you will, but Fisher isn’t thinking that way.

    With that in mind, he endorsed the viewpoint of quarterback Nick Foles, who said after the 12-6 loss to Pittsburgh: “We’re 1-2. The world’s not ending. We will figure it out.”

    “I think he’s got a real legitimate perspective of where we are as a football team right now,” Fisher said. “We are a few plays away from being 3-0. We make a couple of plays last week, and make a couple plays (Sunday) — you have to approach it that way.

    “You can’t go and say, ‘Hey, we’re a few plays away from being 0-3.’ You know? If you look at it the way we’re looking at it, then there’s optimism. And there’s — I’m not saying hope — but there’s confidence that this team’s going to get better.”

    Those aren’t exactly the words Rams Nation wants to hear right now. After Fisher inherited a 2-14 squad and took it to 7-8-1 in his inaugural season here in 2012, a fan base agitated on multiple levels has grown weary of waiting for this team to turn the corner.

    With the exception of a bad half against Washington, the Rams’ defense has held up its end of the bargain. The Rams limited Pittsburgh’s top-ranked offense to 259 yards, moving up to a tie for ninth (with San Diego) in total defense.

    But the lack of production on offense is dragging the team down. Two weeks ago at Washington, the Rams gained only 213 yards, the sixth-lowest total for a Fisher-coached team in St. Louis.

    Things didn’t get much better against Pittsburgh. The offense’s 258-yard output was the 14th-worst in Fisher’s 51 games with the Rams.

    As a result, the Rams rank 32nd in the league — or last — in total...
    -09-29-2015, 11:17 AM
  • RamWraith
    Fisher works his way back into Rams' lineup
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Aug. 23 2006

    In today's NFL, much more than ankles get taped. Games are taped, practices are
    taped, workouts are taped. And as the saying goes, the film doesn't lie.

    When coach Scott Linehan's Rams staff put on film of Travis Fisher from last
    season, they saw two things: A player who looked slow, and a player who looked
    heavy.

    "He was a little bit overweight," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said.
    "Probably 205 -- 10-12 pounds over what he normally plays at. He was nicked up
    and injured, and wasn't really impressive on film."

    Missing was Fisher's closing speed, one of the defining characteristics of his
    play when he came into the league as a second-round draft pick in 2002. A
    nagging groin injury, one that limited him to eight games, undoubtedly slowed
    him down in 2005, and probably made it harder to keep the weight off.

    The coaches challenged him to drop weight, and Fisher came back for training
    camp at a svelte 187.

    But Fisher responded to the coaching staff's desire that he dropped weight.

    "It's one thing to say you're going to do it," Linehan said. "It's another
    thing to actually do it. He took on that challenge full force and looks great
    -- in great condition."

    How'd he do it? Fisher cut down radically on junk food, and tried to avoid
    eating at night.

    "After 7 p.m., I just started eating a lot of fruit," Fisher said. "If I got
    hungry, I just ate two apples."

    During the summer break between the end of the offseason program and the start
    of training camp, Fisher broiled in the sun back home in Florida. By design. "I
    tried to go out in the hottest part of the day, every day," Fisher said.

    And work out. Fisher reported to camp in great shape, and just as importantly,
    in good health.

    "It is good to feel good," Fisher said. "I'm definitely happy that I'm healthy.
    I'm proud of myself for how serious I took it in the offseason to get myself
    ready to play."

    Knock on wood, Fisher hopes that a nasty string of injuries in 2004 and 2005 is
    over.

    "When I broke the forearm, it was my first injury ever," Fisher said.

    That injury came in the Governor's Cup exhibition game in Kansas City in 2004,
    sidelining Fisher for the first six games of the regular season. When he
    returned to the lineup, he suffered a broken jaw, but kept playing.

    There was more bad news on the injury front last season. Fisher suffered a
    pulled groin muscle in training camp, kept trying to play through it as the ...
    -08-23-2006, 04:54 AM
  • Guest's Avatar
    Hargrove not doing as good as Bryce Fisher did
    by Guest
    Fisher 11.5 sacks last 22 games.
    Hargrove 3 sacks last 21 games.

    Hargrove has not impressed me he is an athletic DE not a good one at this point he has a long way to go. He has not proven to be our long term DE solution. Regardless of stats I just don’t see him around the ball enough. Until after the play is almost blown dead and then he runs over and tries getting his mug on TV. I would like to see Green more to evaluate him.

    -10-18-2005, 06:02 PM
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