– Rams coach Jeff Fisher just finished up his day after game news conference and in the process revealed what he saw when he watched the tape of last night’s 31-17 victory against the Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome.
– As usual, let’s hit the injuries first:
As first suspected, Fisher said the Rams came out of the game with no injuries of note, to the point that he said the Rams will be “plus 3” coming out of the weekend because he expects WR Brandon Gibson, S Darian Stewart and C Scott Wells to return to action this week.
CB Bradley Fletcher, who has dealt with a rib injury recently, is also expected back.
WR Brian Quick is sore, according to Fisher but he’s expected to be able to practice this week.
– Turning to Fisher’s thoughts on the game, he went into some detail about how the team approached this contest and what they did versus the opener against Indianapolis.
– Fisher said there was a little game planning for this one but nothing too extensive. The goal is to add more each week leading into the regular season opener against the Lions.
– For the most part, Fisher was pleased with his team’s performance but he pointed to one area that plagued his team again this week: third downs.
– The Rams defense has struggled to get off the field on third down in the preseason and the Chiefs added to that problem in going five-of-11 in those situations this week. In two weeks, opponents are converting more than 60 percent on third down.
– Part of that, of course, is a simple approach to defense, especially on third downs when teams are most apt to use their most exotic blitz packages and looks. Still, Fisher wants to see improvement.
– Likewise for the offense which was just four-of-12 on third down against the Chiefs.
– A couple areas Fisher was particularly pleased with: tackling and penalties.
– But Fisher made an interesting point on the penalties. Because there are replacement referees in right now, it’s entirely possible that the games are being called different than they normally would. So Fisher and his coaching staff have made it a point to locate plays that could be potential penalties and point them out to the players during tape review. Attention to detail.
– Fisher said G Rokevious Watkins did well in his move to left guard this week after playing the right side last week. Watkins had one monster block after pulling on the late touchdown by Daryl Richardson. He continues to work his way into the mix.
– The right tackle situation seems to be stabilized for the moment. Barry Richardson started and Fisher said he played well, though there were a couple hiccups along the way. He also said Richardson will continue to work with the first team this week.
– The Rams have allowed three touchdowns from 1 yard out in the preseason with little resistance from the defense. Fisher was asked if he was concerned about the struggles in those short yardage situations. Fisher said he isn’t and a big part of that is they are being extra bland with their defensive schemes in those situations.
– On the flip side of that conservative part of the coin is Fisher’s preference to go for it on fourth and short, especially in the red zone. The logic is simple: he already knows his kickers can make short field goals. He wants to get his offense some plays and put them in positions to come through in clutch situations.
– Fisher’s starters played exactly a quarter against the Chiefs and he was pleased with that, especially because Kansas City had its starters on longer, allowing the second team a chance to get extended reps against the Chiefs starters.
– Fisher also again discussed his approach to the preseason and said the Rams will continue the gradual build method in which the starters will get a bit more work each week leading into the regular season. He said the starters will play about the same, perhaps with another series or so this week in Dallas.
– Then, in the final preseason game, Fisher said the starters will play more, probably into the second half so as to get the experience of playing a full half, catching some wind and coming back out for more in the second half.
– One interesting topic broached with Fisher is his approach to roster spots for QBs. It’s become commonplace in the league for teams to carry just two signal callers and put one on the practice squad. Fisher said there’s no definitive thought in place for that and he’s carried three on the active roster and two on the active roster in the past.
– With that said, Fisher praised both backup QBs – Kellen Clemens and Austin Davis – for their work in relief of Sam Bradford last night.
– The Rams are back to work Monday at 3:30 with a practice which is free and open to the public.
– Before I go, I want to send some get well wishes to New Orleans LB Chris Chamberlain. The former Ram is one of the good guys and suffered a torn ACL in the Saints most recent preseason game, ending his season before it began. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Chamberlain.
– Thanks for reading.
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