– Rams coach Jeff Fisher took some time to answer some important questions after new TE Jared Cook’s introductory press conference; discussing the current goings on in free agency as well as some of his thoughts on things that have already happened.
– Fisher discussed Cook’s addition to the team, something we’ll delve further into in a feature story on the homepage this afternoon. Needless to say, Fisher is very pleased with Cook’s addition. He looked on like a proud father during Cook’s news conference and he clearly has big plans for the hulking, athletic TE.
– Fisher acknowledged the team’s interest in Miami OT Jake Long and said Long is still in the building. It appears things are building to a crescendo on striking a deal with the talented left tackle. While declining to give too many details about Long’s status, Fisher appeared hopeful something will get done soon enough.
“I can’t go into that right now but he’s still here,” Fisher said. “That’s a good sign.”
– Asked what he likes about Long, Fisher said it was pretty clear what he brings to the table and expressed no concerns over Long’s injury history after a lengthy physical on Wednesday.
“Jake may be the only offensive lineman in NFL history to go to four consecutive Pro Bowls starting with his rookie year,” Fisher said. “He’s a very, very talented player. He’s still got a lot left and obviously it’s part of this process. You have to do your due diligence from a physical standpoint. We’ve done that and we’ll see where it goes.”
– In a related issue, it was reported Wednesday that current LT Rodger Saffold would ask the Rams for a trade if they asked him to move to RT. Fisher said he’s already discussed the matter with Saffold himself and that he doesn’t view it as being a problem.
“We had discussions with Rodg, not his agent,” Fisher said. “And what I’m concerned about right now is Rodger. And Rodger’s fine.”
– Detroit S Louis Delmas also paid a visit to St. Louis on Tuesday and Wednesday. He received a contract offer but headed to San Francisco to discuss further options.
“We’ve left the door open so we’ll see where that goes,” Fisher said.
– Fisher also talked further about some of the other situations currently developing at safety. He said releasing veteran SS Quintin Mikell was a difficult decision but also mentioned that Mikell could still return to the Rams at a reduced rate.
“It’s part of the process,” Fisher said. “It’s difficult. Sometimes those things happen. The door is still open. We have a lot of things going right now and it’s just putting the pieces together. One move affects another move. The communication has been great, we still have some things we are working on right now.”
– One move the Rams already made at safety was to tender and retain S Darian Stewart. Coincidentally, Stewart was a college teammate of Cook’s at South Carolina and the duo is reunited in St. Louis. Stewart didn’t play much last year and it was unknown whether he’d be back with the Rams this year but he apparently figures into the fans in a fairly prominent way, according to Fisher.
“It wasn’t a tough decision as far as Stew is concerned,” Fisher said. “Stew missed part of the offseason program and things fell into place and he didn’t get a chance to play very much but he’s a very talented player. So yeah, he steps up and he’s our guy. We are counting on him.”
– Speaking of free agents the Rams retained, Fisher expressed his happiness that William Hayes and Jermelle Cudjo, key cogs in the Rams’ defensive line rotation, were brought back on multi-year deals. Hayes signed a three-year contract in the hours before free agency opened and Cudjo signed a two-year pact the previous day.
“Very important,” Fisher said. “As we go back through the tape the last couple months he was a productive player for us. He came in, he was always ready so we wanted to get that done. Then of course Will was a priority of ours also. The way he played last year really helped the defensive front. We envision him maybe getting some more snaps this year and the years to come. Will had seven sacks last year as a backup, very impressive.”
– And finally, Fisher took a moment to wish the best of luck to WR Danny Amendola, who agreed to a five-year deal with New England on Wednesday evening.
“We talked to Danny throughout the process and I am very excited for Danny and happy for Danny and his opportunity and wish him well,” Fisher said. “We started this process back in September and it didn’t work out for us. Obviously you think as soon as Welker leaves that Danny is their guy and in fact he is. He’s going to be very productive in their offense.”
– Stay tuned for updates throughout the day as the Rams continue to work on tweaking the roster. A full story on Cook and how he fits in St. Louis will be coming later today to the homepage as well. Thanks for reading.
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