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Opposing View: Panthers at Rams

Rams running back Todd Gurley

On why Carolina's defense is good against the run:"Great front-seven – (Kawann) Short and Charles (Johnson) – all those guys up front. They're definitely some good run stoppers and then they have great linebackers. They're linebackers that are aware of the play, study film very well and then they know you as good as you know your offense."

On spending the bye week in Tarboro, N.C., helping with flood relief:"It was cool. I just wanted to give back. Get back and really go see my family and just see all my friends. I just wanted to kind of do something while I was there and show my appreciation for the town.

"I just helped out at the shelter, the soup kitchen. Helping people take food to the car and make a couple sandwiches. It was pretty cool just being able to see people's faces. People were excited just to have me there just serving and helping out. It was pretty cool."

On the flooding that affected Tarboro, N.C.:"I kind of rode through the town. It was bad. It was like a ghost town. A lot of people – some people could go back into their house, some people, they'd have to rebuild their whole house. It was like a ghost town out there. You just see everybody's stuff on the side of the roads, furniture and all types of stuff. I definitely want to keep everybody in prayers and know they'll get through it. Most people have been staying in a hotel the last three weeks to a month."

On playing his final high school football game with two sprained ankles:"Man, I don't know how I did it, but that was a good feeling. I had to play, man. It was definitely a battle. We kept going back-and-forth, back-and-forth. It seemed that whoever was the last team to score was going to win. It was a pretty good feeling. I actually remember that game like it was yesterday.

"Probably the whole playoffs, I only practiced like once or twice. It was really bad. Just getting treatment on it and getting in the ice bucket, just trying to get the swelling down and make sure I was ready to go for my last game, the last game of my high school career."

On how he has improved in his second season:"I think not being able to get things going in the running game, I improved a lot in the passing game. I think I got probably the same amount of receptions this year, halfway through the season, than all of last year. Just staying patient and trusting the process. You've got to keep working hard even though something's not going – hard work doesn't always pay off at the right time but you still have to trust the process and keep going."

On the transition to living in Los Angeles:"The weather is great all the time. It doesn't rain. Definitely not like anywhere I've been before. It's been cool for me. Everybody's been nice out here. It's been good getting out here to L.A. The fans love it. We've just been kind of embracing it and enjoying it."

On if he has a relationship with Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis and defensive end Johnson:"Yeah, T.D. was one of the first guys to reach out to me when I tore my ACL. Just encouraging me, just telling me his story and giving me tips on stuff I can do, like workouts and stuff like that. He's been nothing but a good guy since I met him and for a guy that I didn't even know. To reach out to me like that and hit me up and welcome me with open arms means a lot. Then C.J. – my last year at Georgia, we played in the Belk Bowl which was in Charlotte, so I got to meet him there. Just kind of been keeping up with him ever since."

On Davis' first career touchdown last week:"Man, I always thought he was scoring all the time. That's crazy. I definitely saw it. Dang, that's crazy. I'm happy for him, man. He deserves it, for sure."

On who would win in a 40-yard race between him and Davis:"I don't know, I've never ran a 40 before. I don't know. He got away from David [Johnson] pretty quick. He was out, man. He didn't have to run too fast because everybody else was already behind him."

On Davis using a stiff arm on Arizona RB David Johnson:"I saw it. It was funny. I was like, 'Oh snap, David's about to get him.' It almost was a facemask and then he hit him with the stiff arm and scored. I know he was excited to get his first NFL career touchdown. That's crazy. What year is this for him? Eleven? Twelve? Twelve. Dang, twelve years."

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher

His memories of head coach Ron Rivera with the Chicago Bears:"Ron was just a really talented, very smart player that came to learn the defense really quickly. An outstanding special teams player and a great teammate."

On if he saw anything when Coach Rivera was playing that showed he would someday be a coach:"You know, it's interesting. There were a number of players on that team that ended up coaching which is, I think, unique. I think Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan facilitated those things because their players and my teammates -- and most of those players could not have excelled had they not been smart. That was the number one priority they placed on, from a personnel standpoint. But from Ron's standpoint, I knew he was going to be a good coach early on in his career because he had great experience and did a great job with the defense and I'm really impressed with the job he's done with that team."

On his comments about quarterback Cam Newton overreacting to no-call hits:"I don't know if you read the whole transcript, but it was reaction to the low hit to me, and what I was indicating is that is understandable. I wasn't being critical of Cam. That was a dangerous hit and understand the frustration, that's a tough thing to endure for any quarterback. We're all dealing with the same set of circumstances with our quarterbacks. As I said yesterday, Case Keenum has probably been hit six times with no calls, and that's in the pocket. It's just something that, as I said, if you'd like me to repeat what I said yesterday, the league's number one priority from a player safety standpoint is protecting the quarterback, and they are continuing to look at it. They are evaluating their process. There are going to be some calls that are missed and there will be, we've all endured calls that should not have been called so it's just one of those things that's a priority for the league. I certainly understand where Cam is coming from in the pocket. I totally understand that. But as we all know, once he gets out of the pocket or on those designed runs, he's no longer a quarterback. He's out of the pocket and he slides, he deserves protection. He's out of the pocket and he puts his shoulder down, then he becomes a runner and on the called runs."

On if he agrees with the "Shaquille O'Neal" argument for Newton's situation:"I don't, only because the officials are going to officiate the game. They are going to enforce the rules. The quarterback gets protection, helmet-to-helmet protection, all kinds of protection for the upper body and lower body in the pocket. Once he leaves the pocket as a passer and is scrambling around, he loses the one-step protection outside the pocket. Once he attempts to become a runner and slides, he gets that protection. You can't hit the quarterback when he's initiating the slide. So to answer your question, they're being officials the best they can. I don't know that things are officiated differently based on who the quarterback is."

On how the Rams will try to snap a three-game losing streak coming off of bye week:"Not to be obvious, but trying to find a way to win this one, which is going to be a huge challenge for us. I'm very impressed with the way they are playing and how they bounced back from back-to-back three-point losses and beating a good Cardinal team that we are familiar with. So the obvious challenge is to play better in all areas. You can't turn the football over like we did in London and we have to get the run game going. There's no bigger challenge. We've been attempting to get the run game going but against this defense, it just doesn't allow you to run it. We have to have a good week of practice. I know it sounds like "coach speak" but we have to have a good week of practice coming off the bye week. The bye weeks are different now being overseas, you lose a couple days so we have to make it up this week."

On if he spoke to running back Todd Gurley about his trip to North Carolina to help Hurricane Matthew victims:"I did not, but it certainly doesn't surprise me. Todd, in his second year, was voted a team captain, and he has a heart for charity and for kids and he's done a great job handling his role here especially with the move and everything. I'm not surprised that Todd did something like that."

On how he defends Newton and if he thinks he is staying in the pocket more than usual:"I'm sure you ask every head coach this every week. You've got to be smart about what you're doing. He's doing a great job throwing the ball down the field. Greg Olsen is one of the best, if not the best, tight ends in the League. He's got weapons and they run the ball. I think he's doing a really good job. He's doing more on a line of scrimmage standpoint, checking in and out of things. It's apparent on film. He's signaling to receivers and making plays. He's very poised. You know you have to keep in the back of your mind, you know that he could pull the ball down if you give him the opportunity and flip the field. That's difficult to defend. But I'm just really impressed with how he's playing. I know they're not happy about their record right now but I think he's playing good football."

On the adjustment to Los Angeles from St. Louis:"It wasn't an easy transition because we've moved three or four times dating back to April. The players handled it really well. You know, we're settling down at a temporary facility right now. All those things are behind us. The team has been embraced. Our first appearance at the Coliseum against the Cowboys for the first preseason game, we set the NFL record for attendance in the United States. I think there was one game in Mexico City that was bigger. But we set that record in a preseason game. That just shows you the kind of excitement and enthusiasm that is here. The Coliseum is a very historic place. The winning tradition there extends over decades. It's just a different place to play. The fanbase has really gotten behind us. We finally have what appears to be home field advantage from a fan standpoint. They have really done a great job with it."

On if he thinks the league will change the tied games and overtime rule:"It's the only rule that's really different in the regular season and post-season. That will be something I'm sure they will discuss. You know we were involved in a tie in 2012 at San Francisco. It's a different experience and it's different managing that game as a head coach. My recollection is that most players just thought we were going to keep going. They didn't know it was over. So I'm sure it is something that the committee with discuss and it will be something that will probably have to be agreed to by the Players' Association as well because of extending the length of games."

On what he saw different in the pass rush on the Panthers' film from the Cardinals game:"Once they got up, they just rushed. It was really impressive. The outside speed and the inside push just collapsed the pocket very quickly. It was a hard day for Carson Palmer. And then you had the additional rushers, whether it was Luke Kuechly or whoever, there was just no time. The most impressive thing about their pass rush is that the secondary and the linebackers do a great job of taking things so there is no place to go when the pocket collapses."

View photos of Carolina's week of practice leading up to their game against Los Angeles.

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