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Jeff Fisher: Rob Ryan "is an outstanding coach"

Quotes from St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher's conference call with New Orleans media on Wednesday, December 11, 2013

St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What are the difficulties of playing against Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette?

"They are both very good players. They are a well-coached defense and they are active.  They are one sack per pass play in the National Football League.  That puts a lot of pressure on you, your offense, and everybody included, the (defensive) tackles, (and) the (defensive) backs because Rob (Ryan) has always done a great job with protecting protections."

Do you think the Saints offense has been more vulnerable on the road?

"Seattle is a very difficult place to play.  Everybody knows that.  But beyond that there are no issues with that offense.  Sean (Payton) does a great job with that and Drew (Brees) runs his show.  He is very good at it and it just a really great challenge for us defensively. We have a young defense and they cause the pressure on your all the time.  I don't see any problems with their offense.  It is a championship caliber offense obviously."

Is there a challenge of keeping a team motivated after being eliminated in playoff contention?

"No you prepare the same way every week whether you are in it or not, if you are contending for it or you still have a chance.  That is what we do.  They are professionals.  They come in.  They work hard. They have fun.  They look forward to coming into work and believe you have a chance to win every game."

What kind of job has Zac Stacey done this year?

"Well we drafted Zach because we felt like he had a chance to do what he has done thus far.  It takes young backs a while, some longer than others.  It didn't take Zach very long at all to what we call figure out how to play without the football.  It is very important to us.  He got that stuff down and when he got the opportunity he took advantage of it."

What kind of job has Rob Ryan done with this Saints defense?

"He has done a great job.  He is an outstanding coach.  He has them playing well and he has the pieces now.  There are no holes in the defense.  Everyone is playing well together."

To what extent to you see the Saints offense changing their approach or is it just Drew (Brees) picking different guys based on the defense?

"Well that is the case with everybody's offense.  Defense, oftentimes, will dictate where the football goes and Drew knows that.  He puts it where he needs to put it and it keeps the drive alive and those kinds of things.  Just because somebody has a week or two where they are not getting the touches or they are not getting the carries or there is not production doesn't mean it is the player, that is just life in the National Football League as you play against quality defenses."

Do you find that the Saints are particularly adepted doing that kind of thing or have the right mix of talent?

"It is hard to find teams better than the Saints from a familiar back defenses because you just watch the tape and Drew (Brees) knows exactly what he is doing, especially watching a two minute situation where they have done the preparation, they know what covers they can anticipate and they can attack the coverage and three plays later they are in the red zone.  They do a great job of that."

*They haven't been much of a running team this year, but they have been a couple of games where they have managed to do that. *

"They do what they need to do to win ballgames.  If they feel like they need to run it they are certainly equipped to run it.  This is a very well-coached offense, offensive line, tight ends, everybody understands the run game.  But when you have Drew (Brees) and the weapons outside you can push the ball down the field and make first downs.  They can do whatever they want to do."

Did Rob Ryan sort of have your blessing to come here to seek this opportunity or was that kind of awkward?

"People sometimes in life change their mind and I was fine with that.  I had no problem.  If he wanted to go there, that's fine.  If he wanted to stay here, that's great.  We were obviously talking and had a couple of things together and he had a change of heart.  That is fine and (I) have respect for that."

Was he hired before he had his change of heart or he wasn't actually hired at that time?

"Well he made a commitment to us, but he didn't sign a contract or anything, but he made a commitment to us."

How would you say it worked out on your end defensively?

"We have quality coaches on our staff.  We have a lot of young players."

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