– Rams coach Jeff Fisher took time out of a hectic day to talk about yesterday’s game against the Packers and what the week will have in store for his team when it arrives in London. The Rams depart for jolly old England at 6:30 tonight.
– Before we get into some of that, let’s run down some matters of business.
– First, as reported here earlier today, the Rams made a roster move by releasing OL Quinn Ojinnaka and signing OL Chris Williams to replace him. Williams is the former 14th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft of Chicago and was released on Oct. 16. He will provide depth and versatility to the Rams line, according to Fisher.
“Chris was released last week and we talked to him,” Fisher said. “He made a visit in here and we’re really excited about the opportunity as he is. He’s flexible from the standpoint that he’s played all the positions. He can help us. He’s got a lot to learn but we think he has a future here with us.”
– Also, as expected, C Scott Wells, who is eligible to return to practice this week from the injured reserve/designated to return list, will not be participating in practice this week. His foot injury is not quite there and it’s more likely he’ll be able to return to work during the bye week or the week after.
“Not yet,” Fisher said. “I think you can assume if they don’t make the trip, they will be out this week.”
– As for the game, Fisher said about what you’d expect him to say considering the results. He lamented the third downs and lack of turnovers on Sunday but it all really came down to the dynamic performance of Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers.
“Aaron was really good,” Fisher said. “He threw with great accuracy yesterday. He played really well. We gave him a lot of different looks…and he just made the plays.”
– Fisher was extremely pleased with the performance of his new look offensive line on the left side. He called out LG Shelley Smith and LT Joe Barksdale by name and said he felt the line “improved” this week and took a positive step in the right direction.
– Fisher was also pleased with QB Sam Bradford. He said Bradford, like his teammates didn’t play well enough to win but said he thought Bradford did a good job of feeling the pressure and evading it. He also made special note of Bradford’s ability to make adjustments at the line and get the Rams in and out of certain plays.
– Much as expected, Fisher was asked about eschewing the field goal try to go for it on fourth and 2 in the first half, a play that resulted in an incompletion and gave the ball back to the Packers. The explanation was simple and logical:
“You’re not going to beat Aaron Rodgers with field goals,” Fisher said. “We got points on the first drive, came back and we just needed more shots at the end zone. I wouldn’t second guess that. I’d do that again.”
– As for the onside kick the Rams could not recover, Fisher said the team was taken by surprise and gave credit to the Packers for executing it well.
– One thing that Fisher would like to see change is the turnovers. After getting them in bunches early in the season, the Rams have had a bit of a dry spell in that area and it must get turned around if the Rams are to knock off these tough opponents.
– That’ll do it for this week’s version of Wrapping Up. Have got a story to finish here before we head to London. I’ll be talking to you all then. Thanks for reading.
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– Before heading overseas, the Rams made another roster move Monday morning, again tweaking the mix they have on the offensive line.
– The Rams released OL Quinn Ojinnaka after he lost his starting job to Shelley Smith on Sunday. In his place, the Rams added another former high draft choice on the OL, the recently released Chris Williams, who was once the 14th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
– Ojinnaka, of course, had started all of the Rams’ preseason games but was released in the final round of cuts. He was brought back in week 3 after injuries to Rodger Saffold and Scott Wells. He plugged back in at left guard for the ensuing four games before Smith overtook him last week.
– Williams spent time at both tackle spots in Chicago before getting a look at left guard in recent opportunities. The Bears released him on Oct. 16.
– For now, it’s expected Williams will provide depth behind an offensive line that had a new look on the left side with Smith and Joe Barksdale (tackle) against Green Bay.
– Wells is eligible to return to practice this week from his injured reserve designation (though he wouldn’t count against the 53-man roster) but it’s not expected that he’s going to be ready to make that step just yet.
– Both Wells and Saffold seem to be on pace for a return sometime shortly after the bye depending on how they recover in the next couple of weeks.
– As it stands, here’s how the Rams offensive line depth looks:
Tackle: Barry Richardson, Wayne Hunter, Barksdale, Williams, (Saffold)
Guard: Harvey Dahl, Smith, Williams, Tim Barnes
Center: Robert Turner, Barnes, (Wells)
– Thanks for reading. Back with more after coach Jeff Fisher’s 1:30 news conference.
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