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Rams HC Jeff Fisher Talks Raiders


Q: When you look at the tape, do you think the Raiders are as bad as their record?

Coach Fisher:"Absolutely not. As I've shared with our team, all you have to do is look at some of the teams, really good teams, that they've been so close to this year. The Raiders' loss, the first San Diego loss – by three. They go to Seattle, lose by six. It's hard to win up there, we all know that. To have a chance to beat the Chargers at San Diego and then beat Kansas City – this is a well-coached football team that's just hasn't gotten the breaks. The quarterback [Derek Carr], you can tell they have a franchise quarterback now. He's developing. It looks like each week he's getting better, making good decisions, obviously has a strong arm. There are good players. There are good players in all the positions, so this is not the team that the rest of the league was somewhat making fun of at one point. This is a good football team."

Q: Do you think it makes them more dangerous or does it matter at all that they're coming off of a win?

Coach Fisher:"Well, every week's a challenge. We're coming off a loss. They've had a couple extra days to prepare. I know the players don't think about what happened last week. When the ball's kicked off they play hard."

Q: How did you feel when you played against San Diego? Was there any kind of hangover from beating Denver, or did you put that behind you pretty well?

Coach Fisher:"No, this team's a week-to-week team. There were no issues with respect to that. We overcame a lot of things in the game – a couple of touchdown passes called back, a punt return called back. I lost 37 yards on the punt return. We had some calls that were incorrect at some critical times that hurt us. We had a chance to go and take the lead inside a minute and we didn't make it happen."

Q: How would you assess the performance of Joe Barksdale who was a Raider for a year and then he's played for you for a while now?

Coach Fisher:"Joe's been really solid, really solid for us out there. He's really fun to coach. He loves to practice and I'm just real proud of him. He's worked very hard and I think each week he's got a different challenge. He understands the difficulty in the matchups and he takes those challenges on. He knows he's not going to win every time, but he's a smart player and we were fortunate to be in the position to claim him."

Q: How do you process societal issues, things that are going on all around you in the St. Louis area? Is it something that you discuss with your team? Is it something you try to wrap yourself in a cocoon and prepare for it, or how do you deal with that?

Coach Fisher:"When the initial incident took place back in August, we discussed it. We tried to reach, extend a helping hand. There were three football teams there in Ferguson whose schools were closed. They were unable to practice. We provided busses and brought them over to our facility on two different occasions so they could practice before their Friday night games. A matter of fact, we had the players come in and observe practice from a better vantage point, if you will, and observe some of the practice. So it was kind of a neat thing to reach out. We've done some other things there – not to draw attention to ourselves, but done some other things there and we're going to have to continue to do so. It was just discussed in the team meeting this morning, about how unfortunate everything is and we just kind of hope that things will settle down and that people can potentially enjoy the holiday and take a deep breathe, and we're just hoping that things get worked out for the best."

Q: What do you see when you look at film of Charles Woodson at age 38?

Coach Fisher:"He's still doing it. He'll come out of the post and make a tackle for a 5-yard gain, which is hard to do at 38 years. His cover skills are there. His ability to match-up with guys is there. He's making a lot of plays, obviously. He's an emotional player and I'll probably venture to guess that he was selected captain."

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