HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER, AUG. 6, 2008**
(On the first two practices with the Rams)
I think that both sessions were very, very good for both clubs. What you saw today was probably the hardest day of training camp particularly because where we are in camp, how they feel physically, how close we are to playing a ballgame and then when you bring two teams together like that they forget about everything and just go. So this was quite a challenge for them, for both clubs today, and I thought that both clubs did well. They ended up helping each other up off the ground, which is what you like to see, because there is a lot of respect for what people go through at this time in camp.
(On how Vince Young has been progressing)
He has been doing great. I'm very pleased with his production today and his improvement. He was decisive and made plays. For a young quarterback, when you're in a relatively new system and you step on the field and you're up against a completely different defense and you're completing passes, it means that you're improving. It was good to see that. He had no preparation whatsoever in as far as their defense is concerned and that means he is going through his reads and going through the progression and pulling the trigger and making big plays.
(On how helpful practicing against the Rams is for Vince Young)
Yeah, it's helpful for everybody. Specifically for a young quarterback it's beneficial and it just shows. What he did today on the field shows that he's been improving throughout camp. He just has to keep going and stay with the pace.
(On if he thought that Justin Gage would have a season like he had last year)
Well we saw it when we brought him in, and we saw it through the OTAs, and we saw it through training camp. He remained healthy throughout the season and we lost, of course, we lost Brandon [Jones] and then we lost Roydell [Williams] and Justin [Gage] ended up being the guy and became a favorite target of Vince [Young]. And that's why we were very excited about getting him back under contract.
(What he likes in particular about Justin Gage)
One thing that Justin [Gage] does very well is that he is very good out of frame. He can adjust and make a tough catch. When you're running routes for a young quarterback sometimes the ball's going to be a little off target, and he can adjust, and make a tough catch and he did that most of the year.
(On his first impressions of the morning and afternoon practices)
Well, I'm very pleased. The intensity level was there, the emotion. It looks like both teams executed. It's just great work, great work. Tomorrow we have a slightly different schedule. Tomorrow will be special teams only in the morning just for about an hour. Those guys that are not involved in the special teams practice will be inside the bubble taking a yoga class of which you will not permitted to watch. So it should be interesting to see both sets of offensive and defensive linemen in there. Then we will come back on the field tomorrow and repeat what we did this afternoon.
(On what the team is trying to accomplish during the first couple of preseason games)
Well, you're trying to accomplish a number of things. One, you're preparing your starters and your special teams corps for the regular season. You're also evaluating some younger players to see if they can in fact help in a role on the team. And then you play to win games. You have to teach the teams all over again how to win games.
(On how much has Coach Mike Heimerdinger's presence has helped in the development of Vince Young)
We'll have to measure that at the end of the season. Thus far I think it has been significant. I think that everything about Vince's game and playing the position has improved. As we improve around him he will get better but Mike's had a lot to do with that. Their relationship started early in the spring and it didn't start on the chalkboard it started inside with the footwork. I can see it and those of us that have seen it since back in the spring can see the improvement.
(On if he expected the morning practice to have as many scuffles as it did)
The first practice out of the blocks anytime you're working against another team has the tendency to be like that. Guys want to earn respect real quick. We got that foot behind us and we'll have no more issues.
(On the teams interest in resigning Jacob Bell)
We were very much interested in resigning him. We made a concerted effort to try to get him back under contract but he advised to wait and get on the market and it just didn't work out. We're happy for Jacob. We're also happy to have been able to get Jake Scott under contract. So, this is a good situation for Jacob, for the Rams, for us and for Jake Scott.
(On what he thinks Alge Crumpler is going to bring to Vince Young)
It's the experience. It's the ability to get open. He's a big target. Especially effective in the plus territory. The more I think about Alge [Crumpler], I think it needs to be pointed out that he's an exceptional blocker on the line of scrimmage. So if he can help us in the run game, the run game's effective, then that helps our passing game. But Alge in particular he's a very experienced tight end that knows how to sit down in zones and get open in man and gets at the right place and has excellent hands.
(On the fact that Alge has been talking to Vince everyday)
I would think that would be a good thing for a receiver to become good friends with the quarterback.
(On what the Colts' and Patriots' programs have that makes them so consistently good)
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It's pretty simple. And they are very well coached and they have excellent personnel departments. And when you've got quarterbacks like both those clubs have and then you surround them year after year with good people you're going to be successful.