Were you a Rams fan growing up?
"I was. We had season tickets. I think they came in ‘96. I remember the first game they played outdoors at the old Busch Stadium. That was my first professional football game."
Does this matchup mean anything more to you, anything like that?
"No, not at all. It's another division game. It's a big game for both sides regardless of the situation that we put ourselves in up to this point. You want to end the year on a positive note, on a high note and go out and play good football."
We asked St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher this question, do you feel like what you're doing in 2015 will have carryover next year? Winning games at the end of the season, is that important to--?
"It's huge to build momentum going into the offseason program, momentum into next season. You want to end the year strong. You want to hang your hat on something positive and it's a big game for a lot of people. We're just focused on today, going out there, putting this game plan together, getting good work in in practice and carrying that over to Sunday."
What do you want to see from the offense in this game?
"Just go out and compete. Play tough, smart football. Do everything that we're prepared to do and just play a complete football game. We've seen starting the game fast, we've seen finishing the game strong, we just need to put four quarters of good football together and we have an opportunity to do that this week."
Is there anything you can put your finger on why there was such an abrupt shift from the first half to the second half?
"We failed to execute on four plays. Sack-fumble, took another sack later on in the game on a shot play. There's always going to be three or four plays in a game that are going to determine the outcome. You never know when that play's going to be or when it's going to happen, but when you watch the film and kind of diagnose things there's always usually three plays that stand out that determine the outcome of the football game. We've just got to make the plays when they come about."
Head coach Jim Tomsula was talking about addressing the fact that he thought that in the Cleveland game that he had forced some things early. He wanted to get the ball downfield. As you guys are going through your meetings during the week, are they asking which plays you like, what you want to call?
"Yeah. There's always dialogue back and forth. It's the player's jobs to go out there and execute regardless of the play. We have to make it work because you're not going to get the perfect look to the perfect play every time. The defenses do their homework too and defensive coordinators do a great job changing up their calls and not playing to the percentages. It's very rare you get the perfect look for a perfect play. But, it's up to the players to read the coverage, read the defensive front, make that specific play work regardless of the situation."
You talked about you want to go into the offseason and hang your hat on something positive. Looking back over these seven games you've played, what do you think that you've done best, that you're most proud of?
"I think just playing pretty clean football. Putting our offense in the best position to succeed. We haven't won a lot of games, but I feel like we've been playing pretty clean football, not making a lot of mental errors, not making a lot of critical errors. So, from that standpoint, it's been pretty clean. But, at the end of the day, I've got to do more to win games. I know that, we all know that and that's what we are looking forward to do this week."
Once you get into the offseason, what is your plan going to be? Are you going to be here as early as possible or are you just going to be doing training?
"Yeah, just the usual routine. Definitely, you take a little breather time. Let your body heal, let your mind heal and kind of recuperate a little bit. But, I'm eager to get back into it. I feel like there's something that we can build on here and I'm definitely eager to be a part of it."
Are you a guy that, will you go seek outside help as far as quarterback coaching, mechanics, that kind of thing in the offseason?
"I trust our coaches here."
But, there's that area where they can't have contact with you.
"Some people believe that you can get outside help, others don't. I'm more one to believe that I trust my routine, my lifting and training regiment, the facilities that I work out at. And I do things specific to what we're doing here. That's about it."
Do you have guys that you've talked to about throwing, dating back years, that you still talk to, that you still trust?
"What do you mean?"
As far as the mechanics of throwing and all that kind of stuff.
"I think if you can throw a football and deliver it from point A to point B, that's what it boils down to. Everybody has different mechanics. Everybody has a different throwing motion. But, at the end of the day, if you can deliver the ball on time and accurate, that's what you have to do. So, every quarterback guru thinks they know how to throw a football one certain way, but I beg to differ when it comes to that. If you can deliver it accurately and on time, that's what works for you."
So, you don't have your guy so to speak, a guru that you sort of--?
"I just grip it and rip it. That's what it boils down to."
You mention not making many critical errors, playing fairly clean. And you have. You've had very few turnovers. As we've asked you about it as well, you've had a lot of third down throws short of the sticks. Is there a balance you can strike better between not making mistakes, but also being a little more aggressive?
"I think it just depends on definitely the situation in the game. Early on in the game, you're less prone to force throws down the field. It just depends on the coverage. You know in certain looks you can throw into some windows. But, at the end of the day, I've got to trust my eyes, trust what I see and trust my guys if I do throw it short below the sticks, that they're going to make a guy miss and get the first down."
The right side of the offensive line has been playing a little bit better and there are new names there with G/T Erik Pears moving in and T Trent Brown coming in. What have you seen from those guys in the limited time that they've played?
"Yeah. Last week really was the first time that they've been in that rotation and [G Andrew Tiller] Till went over and did a tremendous job at left guard. [G/C] Daniel's [Kilgore] playing great. [T] Joe [Staley] of course is playing great. But, Erik moving down to guard and big Trent stepping up, those guys did a tremendous job. That was a tall task last week and we have another tall task ahead of us this week. But, the communication that we have going on between those front five and myself and just the way that I feel like we're all on the same page, it's good to see and looking forward to working with those guys again."
When you go into a game knowing that there are going to be changes like that, do you spend extra time working on the communication aspects or is that more--?
"Yeah, communication is huge and those guys do a tremendous job. Daniel does a great job studying film, working his tail off to put those guys in the right spots in the run game and the pass game and making the right calls because he's got his hands full. But, when those guys communicate and I communicate with them and we're all on the same page, it's a fun group to work with."
What has QB Colin Kaepernick's role been the last couple weeks? When a guy's on IR, is he able to help you in the film room?
"The biggest thing is he's just rehabbing right now. I'm going about my same routine with [QB] Dylan [Thompson] and [QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson] Mac and [quarterbacks] coach [Steve] Logan and the offensive staff. That's the biggest thing that I'm worried about. I'm worried about being accountable to those guys and the teammates that are out there on Sunday."