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Los Angeles Rams Postgame Transcripts 12/4

Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, December 4, 2016.


JF: You know, as I just told the team, if you want to win football games you need to play all three phases like the Patriots did. They played good offense. They played good defense and matched up with our special teams. Until we can put the three phases together, offensively and defensively, it's hard to win games, especially against the opponents that you play. So, that's our focus. You know, the elephant in the room is the offense, but we are working hard on it and we are doing everything we possibly can to get better. You know, when you are playing someone like Tom [Brady] and you convert one third down offensively and give them so many more opportunities, it's hard to win games. So, we have to improve in the run game, we have to improve in the pass protection, we have to improve on third down, scoring and so that's where our problems lie. I thought, you know, going into this game, we shared with them last night, the biggest challenge is going to be our ability to adjust. Particularly because [Rob] Gronkowski was out. We don't know what they are going to do defensively and so, I thought, from an adjustment standpoint that the defense did a nice job. We settled down the second half and adjusted to what they were doing, but we couldn't get anything going offensively. And then when you are facing the defense and we are trailing like we are, you know, they are rolling off and pressuring the passer, it makes you a one-dimensional defense. Penalties, dropped passes on offense and our inability to protect the passer, contributed to the loss. So, we are going back to work, going back home. I've been told this is the last time we are leaving the Pacific time zone, which will be nice for us, so we have some work to do to get ready for the Falcons. 

Q: How discouraging is it for you and your team, when you see Tom Brady performing the way that he did today and it was almost like you couldn't do anything about it?

JF: Well, we held them to four third-down conversions. And that in itself, I think, is respectable. But you know he's going to move the football when you play Tom and this offense, you have to go into it thinking you are going to hold them to field goals. Field goals are a win for your defense. You guys have heard me say that before. And for the most part, we did. The opening drive, hey, people are going to put their first drive together. We had a miss-assignment on LG's [LeGarrette Blount's] run. You know, and then you turn the football over, a couple times it gives them a couple more opportunities. And then you don't get the turnovers. We tip the ball and they catch it and then they tip a ball and they catch it. You know, that's the difference in the ballgame really. 

Q: Jeff, it seemed like Jared was hanging in there, making some nice throws, but unfortunately the wide receivers aren't coming up with the football.

JF: Yeah, they are drops. They are drops and it's hard on a quarterback. So, you know, we will be realistic when we evaluate the plays, but just offhand, my perspective on the sideline was he making the reads. You are going to miss some. Tom threw some throws away today, but when you hit someone in the chest with the football, you got to hang on it, even though there is contact involved. And then both interceptions, one was the result of a drop and one was the result of bad protection and he got hit and let the ball go. So if he's making a bad decision and hitting a defender in the chest with the ball, then that's one thing, but you know, he didn't do that. You know, he extended plays with his legs, you know, he moved around. And so, I have to look at the tape so I can give you a more realistic evaluation of his play, but Jared Goff wasn't the reason we lost this football game today. 

Q: Jeff, some news broke today that you got a contract extension, and I wonder if you've done enough to warrant a contract extension?

JF: You know, the discussion started at the end of the year, last year. Then they moved into the off season, so I agreed with the organization well before the season started. 

Q: Was there a contract extension during the summer?

JF: Yes, sometime in the offseason. It's not my personal position to go ahead and release that stuff, so I was very appreciative with respect to Stan [Kroenke], knowing what we were going through. And you know, it somehow got out. So, I am expecting to be the coach of the franchise, however, I fully understand that the wins and losses fall on my shoulders. You know, that is the fact of our business. And I get that. And as I said, I'm not looking over my shoulder, I'm doing everything I can, on a daily basis, to get this team to win football games. 

Q: What would you say to fans in Los Angeles who are kind of scratching their heads asking how  they could give Jeff Fisher a contract extension?

JF: Well, I would tell them the truth, that this was done well before the season started. It was done well before we had 90,000 people in the [Los Angeles] Colosseum for our first preseason game. And you know, we're just moving forward, that's what we are doing. Trying to put our product on the field, we've lost some close games, you know, and we are struggling offensively. That's where it is at. That stuff is out of my control. 

Q: Jeff, why do you think they announced it?

JF: I don't know, it is out of my hands. You know, we had a lot going on this offseason. A lot of stuff going on, so I don't know. It's not my place to make that announcement. 

Q: Was it difficult for you as we were asking you week after week and you told us there was an understanding with the owner? Were you getting anxious that no one has announced this at all?

JF: No, I wasn't at all. Again, it was not my place to announce it. And I don't know where it came from and how the timing, it just ended up coming out today. Yes, I am confirming it. And again, I am excited about this opportunity. Stan knows what we have been through and he knows the direction we are headed as a franchise. 

Q: Is it signed or is it still just an agreement?

JF: I'm not going to go into detail. OK? 

Q: I mean, if it's not signed, then it's not done.

JF: It's been signed. 

Q: Jeff, do you expect to be the coach in 2017?

JF: Yes, I do. I've got some work to do here to finish up strong. You know, we have some personnel issues to deal with and get better. And we have some issues to deal with from an offensive side of the ball. 

Q: Jeff, in this game, one thing we've seen from the Patriots is the commitment to running the ball. Haven't maybe seen it as much in previous years. Can you talk about the Patriots and that…

JF: Do you mean this afternoon with them?

Q: Yes.

JF: We expected that without Gronk. We thought this was going to be a big challenge for us, as far as the running game is concerned. They did a really good job, scheming the run game, whether it was old fashion I formation downhill run to shotgun draws. You know, those kind of things. A quick passing game, you saw a lot of quick passing game out of Tom. In my mind, it is an extension of the run game. You know, they do a great job adjusting. This is just a very well-coached team. And when you have a quarterback with the experience that he has, you know, he settles down and makes the plays he needs to make. 

Q: Defensively, looks like they had some delayed blitzes in the corner position. How do you think Jared handled that pressure?

JF: Well, I have to go and look at it. I mean, we had some things that should have been picked up and had some things that probably couldn't have been picked up and he had to rid of the football. But I have to look at it. But going into the game, we anticipated pressure out of their defense.


Q: This is not the easiest place to make your third career start. They are going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at you in a Bill Belichick defense. Was it what you expected?

JG: Yeah, they did mix it up really well. Obviously, they're a great team and have been for a long time, so they know what they're doing and did a good job of it today against us.

Q: There were some plays that looked like you guys left out on the field. How frustrating does that get seeing things that you're capable of doing become errors?

JG: Yeah, we had a lot of errors across the board, really, offensively, myself and everybody really. Errors are obviously going to happen; you just want to limit them. When one thing happens, you can't get down about, you're OK [and] move on. Things don't always go your way, but you can't let [errors] keep happening. You just have to try to limit them.

Q: What did Tom Brady tell you after the game? Did you get a chance to sort of keep him in the corner of your eye while you were on the sideline?

JG: Yeah, I actually made a point to watch his first drive while we were on the sideline. Just to see him and watch him play, but yeah, after the game he just said, 'Good luck,' and I told him congratulations on the record and he just wished me good luck.  

Q: What was it about their scheme that allowed them to get in the backfield so often?

JG: It's just the way they mix everything up. They don't really do the same thing twice often. They do a good job up front with their games and were able to confuse us upfront front and do some good things. 

Q: Did you see anything out of them that you haven't seen before at this level?

JG: No. I think again; they did a lot of different things. Everything they had did, I had seen. It was just never consistent I guess, which makes it a little hard. 

Q: Earlier today it was maybe not announced, but released that Coach Jeff Fisher has a contract extension. What does that do for you as you look forward to having that stability upfront?

JG: Yeah, it's great. Coach Fisher is the guy who obviously brought me in here. I'm excited for him and excited to continue playing for him.

Mark Barron, Linebacker

*(On what has to happen in the last four games to finish strong) *
"We have to go out and believe in ourselves. We have to play disciplined ball and once we do that we can come out with victories."

William Hayes, Defensive End

*(On his general thoughts) *
"I just try to find a way to get better. It's just getting frustrating, week-in, week-out. Everybody's taking their turns making mistakes. Same guys not making enough plays on our side of the ball to give the offense more chances. We're just not executing like we need to. We think teams are capitalizing on our mistakes and we've just got to get better. I really don't know what to say. It's getting harder. A little bit harder every week. You go out there, guys bust their butt, and we're just not getting the results we want. The only thing I know is to keep fighting, and go out there and try to get a little bit better this week."

*(On Head Coach Jeff Fisher getting an extension) *
"I had kind of an idea about it. He's put together a hell of a team this year. It's just unfortunate he's getting a lot of slack on us losing, but at the end of the day we haven't been doing a good job capitalizing and winning games for him. Give or take, we've probably really been beaten just three times all year. Every other game, we could look back at the end of the season and say, 'we should have won those games.' That's hard and it's very unfortunate, us having that record, but at the end of the day we could easily be 7-4, or whatever it is."

*(On if Jeff Fisher is the right person to coach the team) *
"Absolutely. He's a stand-up guy, takes care of his guys, and he does everything that a player wants from his coach. He pushes us, and like I said, we are going to sit back at the end of this year, and you'll go to the Miami game or the Arizona game, games we lost, like Detroit, there's no way we should have lost that game. Like the Giants. You just keep going, and that's the most frustrating part. That has nothing to do with him. That's just us not capitalizing and making the plays when we need to."

Johnny Hekker, Punter

(On Coach Belichick's comment)
"It was cool and a little flattering hearing that from a long time ball coach. I would love to have him raving about some other players on our team because we have guys that are worthy of that kind of stuff but it is a difficult year for us. The weirdest other thing is that I was the player that asked for the conference call when we played Seattle a couple of years back. That was about the most attention that has ever been given to me by the other team's media. It was cool for my parents to shoot me those texts and definitely gave them a proud moment. They were able to send them to all of their buddies. They were all pretty excited about it."

*(On the game) *
"Eight punts today and I am not here looking for any silver lining, it sucks, losing sucks. To punt eight times we are not getting the job done on offense and we take some pride in trying to get field position handled and all that taken care of. It is a long day for our special teams unit if we are punting eight times."

Michael Jordan, Cornerback

*(On his performance) *
"I think I did alright. In some cases during the ball game I felt like of course I had my rookie mistakes at times, missed tackles things like that. But overall I think I did alright."

*(On going against Tom Brady) *
"It's tough you know. Our coaches definitely prepared us for the challenge that it's Tom Brady. So you got to switch up things, and play the game at the same time."

*(On what he learned today) *
"Just to remain confident, cause in a ball game especially the NFL, you got people that are also getting paid to be a professional athlete. So things aren't going to go your way all the time. You have to remain throughout the whole 60 minutes."

Lance Kendricks, Tight End

*(On the play of Jared Goff) *
"I thought his technique was consistent. He tried to hang in the pocket as long as he could. They are a good team and they're going to make plays. We have to learn how to score and execute. It's just a process and eventually it will come together."

*(On whether he thought [Jared] Goff had much of a chance to make plays today) *
"I think so. I think the longer he held the ball, the more the defense had a chance to get to him. You want to get the ball out quick, but at the same time, they have a good defensive line, so it's tough."

T.J. McDonald, Safety

*(On Tom Brady) *
"It wasn't so much [about what] we didn't expect, he went up tempo a little bit. He got them into the right calls so it's tough. He's a great Quarterback, he gets the ball where it's supposed to be. They jumped out on us early. We did a good job responding in the second half. We just couldn't get it done today."

*(On the defense) *
"We wish we could have put more pressure on him [Tom Brady]. You always wish you could have this or that, but at the end of the day, after giving up the first two touchdowns early, I thought everyone was pretty much on their assignments."

Greg Robinson, Tackle

*(On the Patriots' quarterback blitzes) *
"They got us a few times and mostly from the outside. We practiced that all week and I feel they held it long enough for us to get in our sets and our protection and then they brought it. It is stuff that Goff [Jared Goff] can't see and the center can't see and after the snap and everything they do after that we just have to hope we pick it up."

(On playing with a young quarterback and the defensive pressure)
"It plays a big factor. They preach to get up on the ball with energy and getting up on the ball quickly. We have to abide by that because in order for us to be successful we have to see those things that are unseen. From there we have to go with the call and if we are wrong, then we are wrong and that is the best way to be."

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