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St. Louis Rams react to their win over the New Orleans Saints

Posted Dec 15, 2013

Postgame quotes from St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher and players

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening statement)
“Wow, (Saints QB) Drew Brees is a good player. This was one of those games where we knew in order to have success against them that we had to play well in all three areas and I think that’s pretty much what we did. Our kickoffs, our field goals, our punting, the fact that we affected one, if not two, field goals with our rush was really a contributing factor in this game and then our ability to run the football again against a good defense helped. (QB Kellen Clemens) ‘Kell’ didn’t attempt a lot of passes, but he made some count and we were able to keep drives alive. Our turnovers, both the early turnovers, really helped us put them in a hole and then we played the rest of the game with time on our side. Unfortunate that we got a bad bounce on the onside kick, but we stole a possession with a surprise onside kick earlier. I’m proud of the guys. They played real hard. They bounced back and played very hard.”
 
(On the team never quitting and doing so throughout the season)
“I’ve told you that. Regardless of what happens on Sundays, they’re going to come back the next week and work and play and have fun and play hard. I’m just especially proud of the way they handled it. We didn’t have (WR) Tavon (Austin) today. We’ll see how he is next week, but we brought (WR) Justin (Veltung) up, had confidence in him doing the returning, not that we made them punt very often, but everybody contributed. Everybody last night felt like we had a chance to win this game.”
 
(On how he keeps his sanity when the team experiences various highs and lows throughout the year)
“Well, it’s a week-to-week thing and that’s your perspective of this (motions hand in an up and down wave). We try to stay like this (motions hand upward from right to left). We didn’t play well at Arizona. Obviously, Arizona’s a good football team, look what they’re doing today, and same thing with San Francisco. We kept our penalties down, which I think was huge for us today. Just proud of them. They played hard. They play hard. They’re fun to coach and fun to watch play.”
 
(On how much he contributes the team’s youth to the high highs and the low lows of the season)
“We do have a young team and we play different types of opponents. There’s different matchups. There’s different game-plans involved. They’ve been playing pretty well here as of late and we want to continue that.”
 
(On contributions in the receiving game from players who don’t typically get targeted often)
“Well (TE) Corey’s (Harkey) been really very reliable in the run game, and also very reliable as a receiver out of the backfield and down the field at the tight end spot. He’s very patient. He understands what to do and he made a big play for us today. It’s good to see. (WR Stedman Bailey) ‘Sted’ made a couple big plays for us as well. (WR Austin Pettis) ‘AP’ kept drives alive. Again, everybody contributed today.”
 
(On how the Rams pass rush allows the team to combat the Saints’ passing attack and game-plan)
“Well, our defensive line rushed the passer 55 times today. That’s a hard thing to do and they (Saints) did a lot, from a protection standpoint, to prevent them from getting on the edge. They were blocking with their backs and their tight ends, as a result it prevents them from pushing the ball down the field as well. It’s their choice to protect the quarterback, everybody needs to protect the quarterback. But, it was my understanding we got to him a few times today.” New Orleans Saints
 
(On RB Zac Stacy’s performance)
“He played well, but he got help from the offensive line, wide receivers, and tight ends. It was good to see him come back – he had to come in and get a little treatment – he came back out and finished strong.”
 
(On what he had to see from CB Janoris Jenkins before the game to know that he would be able to play)
“We watched ‘Jenks’ warm up well before pre-game warm ups and was pleased with where he was and felt like he could play. We backed him off of special teams, his assignments off special teams, but he felt good enough. It was very, very impressive for him to come out.”
 
(On if he agrees with national media’s characterization that thea the Rams have hard feelings over the way that Saints Defensive Coordinator left the Rams earlier in the year)
“Not at all…I commented on the record. When people change their mind, they change their mind and I was fine with that. He’s a good coach, they’ve got a good coach and he’s done a nice job with their defense.”
 
(On if someone got a piece of the Saints last field goal kick)
“I believe we did. Someone said we did. If you can rush, you don’t necessarily always have to get a piece to affect the kicker and we were gettinga pretty good pressure.”

Rams QB Kellen Clemens
 
(On how the game went today)
“This was a great team win. It really was. Offensively it starts with the offensive line, and they played great. Obviously (RB) Zac Stacy went over 100 again. I think it was over 100 in the first half. I didn’t get touched. They did a great job. And then on defense, you hold that offense to 16 points, only 3 in the first half. They were harassing Drew Brees all day, forced the turnovers, which were huge. They gave us good field position and kept points off the board for them obviously. On special teams we recovered an onside kick and blocked two field goals if I’m not mistaken. It was just a great team win across the board. I’m really, really happy for our guys.”
 
(On how Zac Stacy’s performance affects the game)
“We lean on the running game. That’s been our formula for success since week five, and again it goes back to the offensive line and their play. Coach Dickerson had those boys rolling. Coach Schottenheimer did a great job of scheming things up, and then Zac is a good back. He’s been good for us since he’s stepped up into that roll, and it was another good game for him again tonight.”
 
(On Cory Harkey’s run down the sideline)
“The thing about Cory that gets overlooked sometimes is how strong he is. There were a couple of guys in looking at the replay who had the chance to try to get him out of bounds, but he’s solid. He works his tail off in the weight room. He is a great, great guy. He’s a great guy to have on this football team. He’s a damn good football player.”
 
(On how the youth on the team is performing)
“They’re playing beyond their years. They really are. You talk about Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Zac Stacey, just to talk about the offensive guys and Benny Cunningham when he comes in and fills in for us. Isaiah Pead is getting things going now. It’s really been fun to watch how they have, you know, you start at the bottom as a rookie when you start at OTAs, but to see how they have progressed the last few months and even the last few weeks for those guys who are getting opportunities. It’s been great to watch. It goes back to the scouting process all the way back in February when these guys are coming out of college. This is going to be a good football team for a lot of years because we have a lot of young talent that is really starting to hit their stride.”
 
(On how long the team has saved the running option)
“We had to go pretty deep in the playbook for that one. Again, credit to the offensive coaching staff. They saw something on tape that a team had run against them several weeks ago and thought well, we might. I think the quarterback that ran it probably got 20, and the over-under for us tonight was five, and most people took the under.”
 
(On being motivated as an underdog)
“You expect to be the underdogs against the New Orleans Saints when you have the record we had. We understand that. I think more importantly is what this team has shown, such a drive to continue to work. There’s a handful of teams right now that aren’t going to the playoffs, and unfortunately we’re one of them, but I guarantee there’s no other team in that group that is working as hard as we are and is still having as much fun as we’re having. That comes from the leadership that we have at the top with Coach Fisher, and it trickles all the way down, and we’re still able to go out in week 15 and put together a good, solid game and get a win against a very good opponent that’s probably going to go pretty deep into the playoffs.”
 
(On what today’s game says about the team’s resiliency)
“I think you said it. Resilient is the word. We got beat up against some pretty tough divisional opponents on the road, and it was nice to come back home. It was nice to come back home, and again all three phases showed up, played well, and we’re really excited to get the win.”
 
(On what makes Zac Stacey so effective)
“I’m not much of a run game expert to be honest, but the thing about Zac is that he understands blocking schemes. He’s obviously talented. He’s very strong. He’s built to run forward, and he runs behind his pass well, and he never takes negative runs. If it’s there, he hits it. If it’s not there, he creates a hole and it gets us to. So it’s easy to dial up runs as an offensive coordinator when you have that type of a mentality coming from your back field.”
 
(On how the team feels going into non-divisional games versus divisional)
“I think the biggest thing that we haven’t done, going back to Chicago and Indianapolis, is that we haven’t turned the ball over. We had some crucial turnovers last weekend against Arizona. It’s a different ballgame probably if that pick-6 doesn’t happen in the first series of the second half. I think that’s been a big thing. We also have been able to get the run game going. We went for 260 or something in that ballpark against Chicago, have a special teams touchdown and a defensive touchdown against Indianapolis, so you love playing from ahead when you’re in our position and you’re built the way we are. We’re built to run the football, and that’s what we’re doing.
 
(On the touchdown passes to Harkey and Kendricks)
“The first one to Harkey should have been a 3-yard gain. That’s just to his credit and the guys who were blocking. Chris Givens had a very good block downfield for him. The second one was kind of play action but not really full stuff. Just some token stuff to try to get the linebackers to freeze their feet for a second and slip Lance out the back end.”
 
(On how great it was for the team to play like they did today)
“It kind of goes back to the previous question. If we start fast and have an opportunity to continue to lead on the running game,that plays into our strengths.”
 
Rams RB Zac Stacy
 
(On his performance today)
“When you’re going up a prolific offense like the Saints, the main thing is just to keep it away from them, so we did a great job establishing the run today. It all started up front. It’s definitely a momentum boost for us, gives us confidence going into next week.”
 
(On his injury in the first quarter not seeming too serious)
“No, I just took a shot. Healed it up, fixed it up for me and went back out there. I’m a competitor. I want to get back on the field as much as I can to help this team and this organization be successful.”
 
(On setting a Rams record for the most rushing yards in a half by a rookie)
“I just learned that by you telling me that. I didn’t know that. But, it all starts up front. It’s definitely not all me, so those guys did a great job today. When we execute and make plays, we can do a lot of good things.”
 
(On how it feels to get this win)
“Any time you win, regardless of who you play, it’s always a good feeling, so hopefully we can carry the momentum into next week.”
 
Rams DE Robert Quinn
 
(On the overall defensive performance)
“The guys just played relentless today. The guys know we always have to continue to play hard and put great film out there, so that’s what we did today against a great team. It was a great victory.”
 
(On recording 2.0 sacks today)
“That’s always good to add, but, like I said, it’s never just a one man show. It’s the other D-linemen getting pressure and the back seven covering, so every sack I get is a credit to the rest of the defense.”
 
(On what this win says about the Rams team)
“It shows that we can play along with great teams, beat great teams. Throughout this year, we were a little inconsistent up and down, but if we finally start playing like this more consistently, we can definitely be a great team.”

Rams DE Chris Long
 
(On how the defense played in the win against the Saints)
"It was magnificent, just to force two turnovers early. That's kind of what we aim to do every week. That gives us a little momentum. It gives our offense opportunities. That's the formula. Anytime you can do that against a really good quarterback (Saints QB Drew Brees) like that you're doing something right."
 
(On how he would describe the victory)
"Everything was working in unison. Offense running the football, (QB) Kellen (Clemens) played great, we didn't turn the ball over, we caused turnovers, and stopped the run. We said coming in if we could run the football and force turnovers we had a pretty good chance and that's usually the case."
 
(On if the defense tried to implement what the Seattle defense was successful at against the Saints)
"No, we pretty much stuck to what we do and we just did it well. There's going to be weeks when we don't get those turnovers we got this Sunday, but we'd like to get that every Sunday if we can and stop the run. Those are really two keys. If you do that - I haven't gone back and looked at all our games - but if we stop the run and force turnovers and our offense runs the football, we're going to win some football games."
 
(On DT Michael Brockers' blocked field goal)
"I didn't know he got it. That's awesome. It's big because if you think about it, that field goal doesn't get blocked and it's good, it's a one possession football game at the end of the game. It's a little thing, but it proves to be important."
 
(On what it's like to play opposite of DE Robert Quinn)
"It's really big. Rob's, in my opinion, the best pass-rushing defensive end in the league. So, they're always going to have to account for him and today they just decided they were going to try to take us away and they couldn't take Rob away. That's hard to do. He's had just a tremendous season. I think he's got 15 (sacks). He needs to be up for Defensive Player of the Year, in my opinion. He makes everybody better around him."
 
(On how QB Kellen Clemens has played)
"Kellen's been great. It just proves to have a good backup (quarterback) is such an important thing in this league. He's played great for us. He hasn't turned the ball over a lot. He hasn't tried to do too much. He's just done a good job being tough and showing that spark that we need to kind of get those wins. But, the run game was huge too and (RB) Zac's (Stacy) done such a heck of a job and (RB) Benny's (Cunningham) done well too. So, those guys all deserve credit."
 
(On if this win reminds him of when they beat the Saints in 2011)
"Just in that we jumped out on them early and I feel like they kind of realized when you looked at their sideline they realized, 'Oh gosh, here we go again.' They looked like we hit them early and they were reeling. Then when we get ahead and we have an opportunity to rush the passer a little bit, they're either going to keep eight people in or so many people in, which they did today - wasn't going to let us rush, and either way it's going to change the game."

Rams DE William Hayes
 
(On what DE Chris Long means to the Rams)
"He really plays a big role. When you think of the St. Louis Rams, you think of Chris Long. He's a guy who's going to come to work every single day and you can look at the energy from him. You don't really see him take plays off and that's even at work. He carries over what he does at practice to the game. He's a great player."
 
(On if this win came down to the defense setting the tone early and the running game controlling the tempo)
"Definitely. We had a quick turnover, a big turnover, because I think that was one of the biggest plays of the game because if they score a touchdown, their back in the game again. So, I think we set the tone early and the offensive line did a great job running the ball. We pounded them and we got the ball back for them to create more opportunities. That's what coach said at the beginning of the week, 'If you get turnovers, you give the offense more chances to score,' and that's what we did today."

Rams LB James Laurinaitis
 
(On beating the Saints)
“It feels really good. Nobody believed in us. Every time you get a win when nobody believes in you it feels pretty good.”
 
(On if DE Robert Quinn is the best in the league)
“I think Robert is definitely arguably one of the best in the league. The way he’s been extremely productive and has been consistently that way. The thing is, when you watch games where he hasn’t had the numbers, he’s always around the quarterback. He’s been on a tear this year.”
 
(On if having Quinn gives the defense confidence)
“A lot of confidence. He’s destructive, and it’s not just 94 (Quinn), it’s 91 (Rams DE Chris Long) as well. It’s our inside guys. We have two waves of D-linemen that can come in and disrupt the quarterback That’s a huge advantage to have. We’ve just got to be able to continue to get teams in longer yardage situations so we can let them have time to get there, and getting a lead always helps.”
 
(On being a young team is a reason for the inconsistent play)
“I’m never going to use the youth as a reason, we just have to be more consistent. I think that’s the frustrating thing to know that we’re going to sit at the end of the season and see maybe Chicago (Bears), New Orleans (Saints), teams that we’ve beat playing in January … Indianapolis (Colts). We’re sitting and watching. It’s just a matter of being more consistent. These guys have played plenty of football in their careers. Especially this late into the season, I could understand the first few, but after a few you’re not a rookie anymore.”
 
(On the inconsistency of the team)
“I really don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it. I wish I had an answer, but I don’t know what it is. Today we were able to come in and make some plays early and get some bounces our way. In some of the other games it just seems like things landslide fast, so I don’t know why it’s been like that. Hopefully we can reflect and figure that out.”

Rams OL Roger Saffold
 
(On the Rams matching up well with the Saints in their last two home meetings)
“I don’t really know. They have different players and we have different players. The only thing is that we constantly try to take advantage of the fronts that we have, and basically when it comes down to it I think that we just constantly try to stress the double teams and put ourselves in better position to move the line of scrimmage.”
 
(On Rams RB Zac Stacy)
“He understands the physicality of the game. He’s constantly working on having more wind, being able to take on the load of having 20-30 carries a game, which isn’t easy in the NFL at all. To still be able to go out and run routes and be able to do all those things that we depended on (former Rams RB Steven) Jack(son) so long to do. He’s doing an absolutely great job, and the fact that he’s so humble … humility is so important when you play this game. It’s great to look back and see how successful you’ve been.”
 
(On if running the ball well was a main focus)
“You guys already know that (Saints QB) Drew Brees is a great player, and he’s really able to pick away at defenses, so running the ball helps us to run the clock and make the game move faster. I think that we were able to take a lot of time off the clock so that we can put it out of arms reach, and the game plan worked.”

Rams DT Michael Brockers
 
(On the play of the defense)
“I think everybody compliments each other. As far as the big guys up front, we try to push the pocket so he (Saints QB Drew Brees) couldn’t step up. (Rams DE) Rob(ert Quinn) comes off the edge and turns the corner so short, it’s crazy. Everybody compliments each other, and we do our parts. It’s not we’re doing extra, we’re just doing our part and make sure we get our job done.”
 
(On tipping a field goal kick)
“It was a low trajectory kick. Coach has been preaching all season ‘You big guys just get a little penetration and just jump and get your hands up. You’re big guys.’ That’s what I did and I got a piece of the ball.”

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