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TRANSCRIPT: Fisher, Snead, S TJ McDonald, WR Stedman Bailey, 4-26-13

April 27, 2013 01:06AM
TRANSCRIPT: Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, GM Les Snead, S TJ McDonald, WR Stedman Bailey, 4-26-13


Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead
Press Conference – April 26, 2013

(On picking WR Stedman Bailey)
Snead: ”I think that going to that private workout, hearing what our quarterback said about this kid, I think ESPN or whoever said he’s got some of the best hands in the draft. That’s kind of what’s been reported. But to hear the quarterback say, ‘This guy is 5’11, whatever, but it’s like throwing to a 6-foot-3 guy. He goes up and gets the ball.’ So I think that private workout really helped solidify that pick for us.”

Fisher: “I think you have to look at it from this standpoint: We had them on the board based on their grades, not based on what school they attended. He was up there. He was high and it was a great opportunity for us. The staff has already gotten several calls from clubs that were a little disappointed that were right behind us – that’s usually the case. He’s a great young man and is very, very talented. Both of them (Bailey and WR Tavon Austin) had outstanding workouts. What we’ve done now is we’ve filled a couple of spots out there. We’re going to lobby with the league to see if we can play with more than one ball. We’re going to need more than one ball.”

(On if Fisher was at the West Virginia workout)
Fisher: “Yes.”

Snead: “He’s the one that had to shut down the quarterbacks from smiling. A good story from that one is the quarterbacks went and said, ‘We thought Stedman was a teammate and was along for the ride. We didn’t know who he was,’ and they came out of the workout going, ‘Wow, that guy is actually a good player.’”

(On if Bailey runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash)
Fisher: “He plays fast.”

Snead: “He probably ran-at the combine-4.51, but he plays faster. He has good acceleration after the start. He’s a deceptive player.”

(On if the team has upgraded its speed at skill positions)
Fisher: “We have. We’ve upgraded speed, upgraded play-making ability. Don’t forget, we’ve got (TE) Jared (Cook) too, so we’ve got skill players at all the positions. With Isaiah (Pead) who can run, and Daryl (Richardson) who can run, we’ve got exceptional speed on offense.”

(On the talent that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer now has to work with)
Fisher: “Yeah, he’s going to be busy.”

(On what Fisher likes the most about safety T.J. McDonald)
Fisher: “I know his father. I was fortunate enough to coach him when I was with San Francisco. As generally is the case, I followed T.J. the last couple years. T.J. is a big safety that moves well, who covers and will run and hit. He knows football. He’s very, very smart. Some people say maybe he didn’t have as good a year this year as last year. We addressed it. There were some reasons for that, but he’s a good football player. That was a ‘hold your breath’ pick, because we were a little bit nervous.”

(On McDonald’s qualities as a leader)
Fisher: “He is. He’s extremely well-spoken and intelligent and physical. He has all the tools to play the position.”

(On if there are any similarities between McDonald and his father)
Fisher: “There are some similarities. His dad played a little heavier when we had him than T.J. is now, but T.J. is a fine athlete, long arms. You watch him match up against Tyler Eifert on a couple plays in the Notre Dame game and win. He’s one of those guys that has the cover skills. He sees things. He anticipates. He’s one of those guys that is not just a react player, but he has anticipation. He gets the game. He plays the position well.”

(On if they were tempted to move up or down with their picks today)
Snead: “You always get calls constantly, but we kind of had these guys – especially T.J. with that pick – were really glad that he was there because of the void at safety. So we didn’t really take calls for that one. You listen, but nothing tempted us.”

(On waiting and hoping that certain players would fall to them)
Snead: “The board was looking good and all of the sudden, as always, right before the pick you end up saying, ‘Hey, if we get three of these guys here, we’re really good.’ All of the sudden one or two go, so there’s always a little adrenaline there with the last two picks.”

(On if Bailey primarily played on the outside)
Fisher: “He played primarily outside on both sides, but he’d motion inside and be in the slot when Tavon would motion and do all that kind of stuff. He went inside when Tavon played some running back. He’s versatile. He’s smart. He’s really smart.”

(On what jumped out about Bailey on tape)
Fisher: “The playmaking ability. He has run after catch ability as well. When you look at the tape you automatically go look for No. 1 and No. 3 is overlooked, but (No.) 3 ends up making catches all over the field. Circus catches in the end zone, elevates contested catches.”

Snead: “Like Coach said, when he catches the ball he’ll run away from people. It’s funny with Tavon and him - when we were originally talking to him – I think he finished runner-up for receiver of the year. Is that the Biletnikoff? I think he was runner up for that award this year. He’s always probably overlooked because of Tavon, but he was runner-up for that award behind the USC kid, the sophomore there (Marqise Lee).”

(On what they will do with the rest of the night)
Fisher: “We’re going to go upstairs and talk. I think we’ve got some work on the board - it went fast. We’ve got some quality picks remaining and we’ll go up and look at the board. Obviously, we’ve met some needs and we’ll look at some other positions now and see how it unfolds.”


Rams S Timothy ‘T.J.’ McDonald
Press Conference – April 26, 2013


(On how it feels to be a Ram)
“It feels great. I can’t really explain the feeling right now. I’ve been sitting here waiting anxiously, just nervous and everything. Once I took my trip out there to St. Louis, I knew that was a place I definitely could see myself playing. Now that I know that I’m there, I’m just more happy than I could ever be.”

(On having a chance to start in St. Louis)
“When you come in, you know you’ve got to compete so I’m going to compete regardless. If that spot is there for the taking, my plans are to go in and take it.”

(On his trip to St. Louis)
“My trip there was awesome. (Secondary) Coach (Chuck) Cecil, (Head) Coach (Jeff) Fisher and everybody I met with out there was awesome. They made me feel comfortable. We talked football. We talked one on one, (were) honest with each other and (were) able to talk about what was going on and that was great with me and Coach Fisher. Coach Fisher is an awesome coach and also an SC (University of Southern California) guy and we were all able to talk about football, talk about my last season, their organization and things like that. So, it went good.”

(On his dad’s familiarity with Coach Fisher)
“They’re both very familiar with each other. I know my dad has a lot of respect for Coach Fisher and I know that he’s definitely proud that I get to play for him. His first team was also, they were the Cardinals, but they were in St. Louis as well, so for me to go out there to St. Louis it’s a little ironic. To be playing for Coach Fisher, I’m very excited.”

(On his dad’s impression of St. Louis)
“He says that it’s a great city. He always says at first he was a little nervous because he hadn’t been out of California at first, but once he got out there he realized it was a great city and told me I would like it there.”

(On if his dad told him about Fisher as a coach)
“Not too much, but I kind of got a sense from myself about how he was as a coach. I mean just from meeting him it doesn’t take very long to figure out he’s a great coach. Just how he talks about football, how he talks to you as a person. You could definitely tell that, that’s a guy you want to play for and I’m definitely excited to play for.”

(On his position at USC)
“I was counted as free safety but I played both deep and I played in the box a lot. So I did a little bit of both, but a lot of time I played in the box a lot. I did a little bit of both, so whatever I’m asked to do I’ll go out and do it.”

(On if thinks he had a bad senior year)
“I don’t think it was a bad year. I wouldn’t say a bad year. I think it was a different year than past years because you didn’t see me flashing across the screen like you did in past years because a lot of times I was in the box a lot more. I wasn’t coming down from the fifteen yards deep, flashing across the screen making those plays. It was a little different, but I was still went out there and made plays. That’s the name of the game just to make plays, so I feel like I get it done.”

(On the expectations when coming from USC)
“The expectations are high because they deserve to be. ‘SC’ is a great school and they’re always hot. They’re always expected to do well and when you don’t’ live up to that, you represent a lot of people. You represent the players that come before you and if you don’t represent that well, then of course you’ll be looked down upon so you can’t be surprised. You have to be able to hold yourself accountable for life and be able to work on it and move forward.”

(On what he thinks he does best on the field and how he would describe his style of play)
“I’m physical. That’s one thing I know I am, and that’s physical. I’m coming with bad intentions. I’m never coming with intentions to hurt somebody, but my level of physicality allows me to be able to play free and fast and I’m able to throw my body around and make plays. Being a smart player you know, and being able to know and understand concepts and understand parts of the game, so when I get to the NFL be able to pick up a playbook and be able to understand what’s going on.”

(On if he knows much about the Rams’ defensive personnel)
“I know a little bit from when I went on the trip. I know that they run a lot of single-high and they do a little bit of both. I’m definitely excited to get a hold of the playbook, so when I get in there I know what’s going on.”

(On if he knows players like DE Chris Long, LB James Laurinaitis, CB Cortland Finnegan, some young talent like CB Janoris Jenkins and DE Robert Quinn, and on fans thinking that he could be the final piece that makes the team a top-10 defense)
“Well, I hope that that’s the case. I know this defense is great. I definitely watched Janoris last year come in as a rookie and make big plays. James Laurinaitis has been a guy that I’ve watched him since he was at Ohio State. Chris Long, when I was out there on my visit there I met him and I know he’s a great player. For me all the pieces are there, I just want to be able to come in and make an impact for myself and the rest of my team and help us win games.”

(On where he is now)
“I’m at home in Fresno, California.”

(On if his dad is with him)
“No, he’s actually in the draft room with the Jets.”

(On if his dad coached at Fresno State last year)
“He was at Fresno State last year as a DB coach, now he’s at the Jets as a DB coach.”

(On if his dad is going to have problems when the Rams play San Francisco regarding who he will root for)
“No. I don’t think he’s going to have any problems with that. I think he’ll be fine. They just picked another safety, so it will be all good.”

(On if this is where he expected to get drafted)
“I definitely expected to go on day two. I didn’t know whether it would be round two or round three, but regardless I don’t even care anymore to be honest with you. I’m happy that I was able to get picked by them. They didn’t have the second-round pick, so I was kind of nervous a little bit. Then my opportunity came in the third round and the fact that I was still there, I feel like it was a blessing that they picked me.”

(On if Head Coach Jeff Fisher discussed him quarterbacking the backfield considering his football intelligence)
“I didn’t talk too much about it with Coach Fisher. We talked with Coach Cecil about it and I know that the biggest thing he told me was my knowledge of the game was pretty advanced. He wasn’t worried about that at all, and that’s what drew me to them was the fact that I could process information and be able to communicate, be able to be a leader. I’ve been a leader for my team for two years in college…but that’s my plans for the next level. That’s my plan, is to go to the NFL and be able to still be leader and do all those things, and still be a good communicator and stay a student of the game.”

Rams WR Stedman Bailey
Press Conference – April 26, 2013

(On if he expected to be playing with college teammate Tavon Austin)
“It’s a pretty amazing thing that we’ll be continuing the next chapter of our lives together in St. Louis. I’m very excited and just so happy for the opportunity to be a St. Louis Ram.”

(On if he worked out with Austin for the Rams recently)
“It was actually about a good week ago. We both had a private workout for St. Louis. It went fairly well. We got a lot of positive feedback after the workout was over. We left that workout with some pretty good impressions.”

(On if he took a pre-draft visit to St. Louis)
“I did take a visit out to St. Louis. That was about two days before they came to Morgantown to work me and Tavon out…I came there and took a visit and two days later they came for us.”

(On if his pre-draft visit was with Austin)
“No, I didn’t. He took a visit there, too, but it was at different times. I think his visit was maybe two weeks before mine or a week before.”

(On if he and Austin will compete for catches)
“No, not at all. We’re not selfish at all. If anything we’re going to help and motivate each other to just continue to work hard and do all we can to bring a Super Bowl to St. Louis.”

(On the differences between him and Austin)
“I would say we’re both very dynamic football players. Tavon is very elusive. You can use Tavon quite a (few) different ways. That’s what makes him such a dynamic player. You can line him up in the backfield. You can put him the slot, kick return, punt return. He does all of that extremely well. I’m more of a receiver that can line up on the outside. I can get in the slot and work. I’m definitely a guy that can get on special teams. We’re both hardworking guys that pretty much have our own ways of playing.”

(On how he scored 25 touchdowns in one season)
“Just hard work. Pretty much going over the game plan throughout the week, studying good film, trying to study my opponent. Just trying to come up with ways to find myself getting into the end zone, no matter what it takes. ”

(On the origin of his first name)
“I was told by my mom that she got it from Oprah Winfrey’s boyfriend. His name is Stedman Graham and I guess she liked it, so that’s what she named me.”

(On what he knows about the offense in St. Louis)
“I know that (Qcool smiley Sam Bradford is a very good quarterback and I’m looking forward to getting up there whenever we have to report and just working with him. I understand that he’s a young, great quarterback in this league. I feel that I can get with him and probably try to develop into his favorite target, just grow with him. I know that the offense is pretty wide open. I got a chance to sit down with the offensive coordinator (Brian Schottenheimer) when I came up there on my visit and was looking though the playbook and checking some things out on film. I saw a lot of things that were pretty similar to what we did at West Virginia, so I feel like I will translate pretty well over with that. Just be able to step right in and be ready day one.”

(On if he’s spoken to Austin yet)
“My phone is blowing up right now. I’ve been talking to you, getting hundreds of messages. I definitely got a call from him, but I was actually on the phone with you guys, so I’ll have to get back with him. Throughout this whole time as I was sitting there waiting, he was texting me and telling me to keep my head up and don’t get discouraged and here I am reuniting back up with Tavon. It’s a beautiful thing.”

(On if he and Austin are close)
“Yes. We’re from two different places – he’s from Baltimore, I come from Miami – but throughout our years of playing together at West Virginia we developed a very good relationship. I kind of look at Tavon as a brother. I was very happy to see him. I was at the draft Thursday when they literally kicked off and when I saw him go up on the stage and get drafted by (St. Louis), I kind of shed a few tears because I was just very happy for him. Once again we get a chance to play together.”
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