Daily Archives: December 5, 2012

Fisher, Bradford on playing the Bills …

From the St. Louis Rams PR folks, here’s what St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and QB Sam Bradford said Wednesday before their trip to Buffalo on Sunday to play the Bills:
Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher – Post-Practice – December 5, 2012
 
(On the challenges that Bills RB C.J. Spiller provides that other running backs he seen have not provided)
“They’ve got as good a one-two punch in the backfield as anybody in the league and obviously the pressure’s on our defense. Sunday we faced the No. 2 team in National Football League in rushing. This week we face the third team, they’re third in rushing average and then unfortunately, not to look ahead, but the Vikings are first in rushing average. So, we’re finding out about our defense. It is a challenge. C.J.’s average per carry and they get the ball to him dozens of ways through quick screens and screens and hands off, so it really keeps you honest and you can have people unblocked in the hole and he makes them miss. So, we’ve got our hands full.”
(On how good LB James Laurinaitis has been this year)
“He’s played well. He’s been on the field every snap. He plays in our nickel and all our packages. He understands the defense very well and he’s getting to the ball. Last weekend in particular, after doing more look at the tape, our defensive line played really, really well, kept everything contained and let the ‘backers’ make the plays.”
(On what makes Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick the quarterback that he is)
“Well, he’s really smart, we know that, and he’s healthy. The run games is helping them considerably, helps their passing game. In obvious passing situations, he’s very dangerous because he’s very athletic. He’s mobile. He’ll pull the ball down and run, extend drives, pick up first downs.”
(On the Bills doing better at not giving up as many passing yards in recent weeks and what he sees on tape from their pass defense)
“Well, it’s a new scheme and they’re settling down. Their front is healthy. They’ve got a couple injuries in the secondary, but they play hard. In the last three or four weeks they’re getting more pressure. Looks like (Bills DE) Mario’s (Williams) healthy. He’s playing better. They’re getting pressure and that’s creating problems for people.”
(On Bills FS Jairus Byrd and his ball hawking skills)
“He did since he walked in the door up there. He was a corner at Oregon and he went in there and they put him at free safety because they needed him. He might have gone to the Pro Bowl his first year, I’m not sure. He had many, many interceptions and so he’s got great ball skills and he’s a smart player.”
(On how DT Kendall Langford is coming along and adjusting to playing a new position)
“Kendall’s doing fine. He played really well against the Niners and getting good pressure. He’s doing things both against the run and in passing situations.”
(On if he would like to see QB Sam Bradford run more)
“Sam’s running just enough right now. Sam knows when to run. Sam can escape, buy himself some time, make a completion, throw it away if need be. Then of course in situations where he recognizes specific coverages, like he did in the two-minute drive, he picked up two key first downs for us.”
(On how much he thinks special teams will be a factor in this game)
“They’re first in the league in punt returns, second in kickoff return average. That’s a huge challenge for us. We have to place the ball well. We have to cover well. We don’t know whether (Bills CB Leodis) McKelvin’s going to play or not. I’m assuming he’s probably going to play and he’s really, really talented. Then if he doesn’t go you’ve got (Bills WR) Brad Smith that can do it as well. So, they’re well-coached. Coach (Bruce) DeHaven, he’s been a long-time special teams coach. They know what they’re doing.”
(On how WR Chris Givens’ emergence has helped deepen the receiving core)
“It’s the downfield speed that really is the reason that everything else is falling in to place now. In addition, just the more practice time and the more experience he gets the better feel he gets. One thing he likes, as we say, is he likes balls that are easy to catch and most the balls that are thrown to him are right on target. He’s doing a good job with the other things other than just the deep routes.”
(On players making clutch plays late in games)
“That’s what is required of a football team to win close games is somebody’s got to make plays. That’s what we were able to do with the seven-minute drive at Arizona and then of course the various plays that were made at the end of last week’s game.”
(On how easy it is for a coach or player to confide in another player or a member of the organization if they’re in need of help considering the situation in Kansas City)
“Well, that’s taking place in the individual organizations. You rely on players and their ability to communicate with one another, the open-door policy, and then of course all the educational things we go through. If you’re asking a question that there was some potential for them to believe that there were some issues going on, that’s what I’ve been told and there were people that reached out to help. This is a very tragic, difficult situation to deal with from an organization’s standpoint. Believe me, when (Kansas City head) Coach (Romeo) Crennel says the locker room is truly a family, the team’s truly a family, it really is. Everybody looks after one another and takes care of each other and then in rare instances something like this happens. It’s very unfortunate.”
(On if he’s ever had to pull a player aside and tell them that they’re in need of help)
“Yes, but I’ve been in the league a long time. So, I’ve been around a lot of player and fortunately had success with it.”
QB Sam Bradford – Post-Practice – December 5, 2012
 
(On the importance of having a record that’s close to .500)
“It means a lot. Obviously, I think there are some games that we’d like to have back. I think our record could be better than what it is right now, but to win the last two weeks and get ourselves back to the position we’re in now, I think it just says a lot about the character. We’re going to look to continue to improve our record and finish strong.”
(On Buffalo’s defense)
“They’re good. They’re good up front. Their front seven is very disruptive, both in the run game and the pass game. Schematically, they’re fairly simple. They don’t do a whole lot, but they’re good at what they do. We should be very well-prepared for what we’re going to see on Sunday. It’s just a matter of us going out and executing.”
(On Buffalo’s pass defense)
“Kind of going back to what I just said, I think their front seven’s really good. I think they’re top-10 in the league in sacks right now. Their pass rush is getting home. Also, the rookie corner they have playing — 27 (Stephon) Gilmore — he’s playing at a high level right now. I think that’s probably one of the reasons that they’ve been better lately.”
(On if S Jairus Byrd is a good ball hawk and free safety)
“Absolutely. He’s got really good ball skills. We talked about him in our meeting this morning. He’s a guy that you can’t throw one to because if you do, he’s going to catch it.”
(On how he feels about scrambling)
“I like it, especially if teams are going to play us in two-man the way that San Francisco tried to do at the end of the game. There’s no one accounting for me, so if they’re going to do that, then I’ve got to show them that I’m willing to run to get them out of that coverage.”
(On if it’s harder to scramble against zone defenses)
“Yeah.”
(On what their late-game success says about their mental toughness)
“I think it says a lot. Obviously, on Sunday, we didn’t have a lot of things go our way early in the game, but we just kept fighting. Our guys hung in there and fortunately, we were able to make some plays at the end of the game to give ourselves an opportunity to win it. I think that just goes to Coach Fisher’s mindset and the way we prepare. We talk about two-minute every week. We go through the drill every week on Friday. We all understand that it’s an extremely important part of the game, and if we have the opportunity to put points on the board at the end of the half and the end of the game, it’s something that we need to do.”
(On adjusting without WR Danny Amendola)
“Obviously, things change a little bit. But, for the most part, we’re still able to do everything we do. It might take away some of our quick game and inside in the slot where we rely more on completions outside. But I think all the guys who have stepped up when he’s been down have done a great job, and they’ll continue to do that.”
(On if he has become more comfortable throwing the deep ball)
“I think it was just a matter of kind of getting used to some of the personnel we have now. I think it’s been really good for our offense, the fact that people have seen us throw the ball down the field. I think it’s backed people off. They obviously respect (WR Chris) Givens’ speed and it’s allowed us to use him in some different ways to get completions in other areas.”
(On what they can take from their two games against San Francisco)
“Obviously, they’re one of the best teams in the NFC. Anytime that you can play them as close as we did the first game and then beat them the second time, I think it shows you what this football team is capable of. I think I’ve said it the past couple of weeks: it’s just a matter of us being consistent, being more consistent, playing the way we know we can just more often.”
(On if he has played in any cold weather games)
“Yeah, I’ve played in a couple in college. If it’s cold, that’s really not a big deal. Obviously, if it starts to rain or snow, then that can affect things a little bit more. We’re going to prepare for the worst conditions possible. We threw after practice with balls, dipping them in the water bucket. We’ll continue to do that and prepare for the elements.”
(On how the depth of his receiving core has changed from his first season)
“I said it earlier: I think this is the deepest we’ve ever been at wide receiver. I think we’ve added pieces each year that I’ve been here. This year, with the addition of (WR Brian) Quick and Givens, I think it gives us the most options we’ve ever had, which is nice because we have a nice compliment of receivers who all do different things very well. I’m really happy with where that group is at right now and I think they’ve gotten better each week and that’s all you can ask.”