Home Football St. Louis Rams Round One Press Conference – Jeff Fisher and Les Snead

St. Louis Rams Round One Press Conference – Jeff Fisher and Les Snead

by Press Release

(On first round pick RB Todd Gurley)

Snead: “Coach Fisher would tell you, we’ve been discussing it a while. Obviously we felt he was a unique talent. That’s subjective, but definitely thought he was a unique talent that only comes around once in a while. So, we thought he might have fallen…could have gone earlier if it hadn’t been for the injury, so it was kind of a bonus to maybe be sitting there at 10. We’ve got a lot of things we’ve got to do, but I think it was a consensus that that player helps everybody: our defense, it helps our offense, our offensive line, our wide receivers, our QB. So, that’s the pick in a nutshell.”

(On why they think Gurley is a unique talent)

Fisher: “His body of work speaks for itself. What he was able to do at the University of Georgia was very impressive. Clearly, he was set back because of the injury, but the athletic ability, the strength, the explosion, the acceleration, the instincts that he has as a runner, and he’s also got great hands out of the backfield. He’s that complete back. We have a good group. We really like our group in the room, but this is an opportunity that as Les said, that we could not pass up. There were good players. The board was right. We had a sense for where it was going to go. We’ve been talking about Todd for well over a week now. We were there at the re-check. The rehab’s coming along fine. We don’t know when he’s going to be on the field competitively. We do know that he’s not having any issues right now and as the doc’s typically say, he’s ahead of schedule. So, this is kind of one of those players at the position that really only comes around once in a great while. So, we’re very excited about him.”

(On when they became comfortable with Gurley’s knee and how comfortable they are being patient with him)

Fisher: “Well we’re comfortable with the process, the evaluation process. We’re comfortable with what happens at the Combine. Now, he did not allow anybody to manipulate him at the Combine just because the doctor didn’t want 32 teams jerking on the knee. So, he went through his rehab, went back to the re-check. We were there. Our doctors were there and there’s really no concern with where he is right now.”

(On if Gurley will be ready for the regular season)

Fisher: “There’s always that possibility, but we’re not going to be specific as to when. I will tell you this: we’re not going to rush it. We may be a little on the conservative side. This is the running back of our future, and it makes no sense to subject him to…put him in a bad situation sooner than we have to. Like I said, we’ve got outstanding backs on our roster. He’s going to add to that group. When that happens, we don’t know. But, he’s going to be the running back of the future for a number of years.”

(On the depth at the running back position)

Fisher: “We’ve got a good group, yes.”

(On if Gurley’s injury history factored into the decision to select him)

Fisher: “Well, obviously it’s been a concern of ours, but every situation is different. We don’t have any reservations whatsoever about him getting back to full-speed and 100 percent. That’s not going to be an issue with him. He’s endured a lot too. His road’s pretty impressive. He’s had some hard times, went and endured the suspension, but everyone you talk to absolutely loves the kid. Just loves the kid.”

(On selecting a running back in the first round this year despite one not being picked in the first round the last two years)

Snead: “I think you take Gurley, obviously we thought he was a unique talent and I think the next guy to go was a pretty damn-good player in the Wisconsin kid. He can hit some home runs and I think that’s why San Diego made a move to go get him. It’s really like I’ve said many times before, the position – that’s just letters in the alphabet. But you take players – they’re humans, you take the ability. I think that’s why you’re seeing the running backs go maybe two, maybe three go off the board this year because they’re skilled people.”

(On Gurley’s suspension in college)

Snead: “I think, obviously the Georgia people, he’s a hero to their people. I don’t know if I want to use the word hero, but well-respected throughout their fans. I’ve spent a lot of time in Atlanta so my texts are probably blowing up with UGA fans. We’ve got one on the staff who knows (University of Georgia Head Coach) Mark Richt well and he sent him a text right after the pick saying, ‘Hey, great pick. You guys got a stud.’ That’s coming from his head coach and a lot of the fans there. They respect him. He made a mistake. He got punished for it. He’s moving on.”

(On if Gurley is similar to former NFL running back Eddie George)

Fisher: “He’s special. Yeah he is. I got a text from Eddie five minutes after the pick was over saying, ‘Congratulations, great pick.’ But they’re different. They’re running styles are different. When his career is all said and done he could be that guy, yes.”

(On the coach who got the text from Coach Richt)

Snead: “(Quarterbacks) Coach (Chris) Weinke.”

(On who’s going to block for Gurley)

Fisher: “We’ve got a group up front. We’ll be OK.”

Snead: “We’ve drafted some people in the past and they did make this thing a three-day event. I didn’t decide that. We’ve got to live through Friday and Saturday. We’ll see if we can help improve that position there, but we’ll still let the board guide us, but we’re well aware.”

(On if there were any surprises)

Fisher: “No, the board was perfect so far.”

(On if Gurley was ranked second on the draft board)

Snead: “You can’t always believe everything that’s reported. That one’s in-house.”

Fisher: “We intentionally hid him on the board. So, he was way down some place.”

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