Jeff Fisher made his Rams players a sweet proposition before the team’s Saturday preseason game against the Packers: keep their penalty total under 7 and he would break camp immediately after the game.
Spurred on by the possibility of shaving four days off of training camp, the Rams went out and committed 10 penalties, 3 over Fisher’s limit of 7.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“We’re still in camp, yeah,” Fisher said. “Yep. I’m a man of my word. We are still in camp. We’ll be breaking camp Wednesday.” (As originally scheduled.)
You can forgive Fisher for being irked about the penalties, given that his team has now committed 24 of them in two preseason games.
Of course some of that is due to the league’s ridiculous, over-zealous, pace-ruining emphasis on enforcing illegal contact rules. But Fisher isn’t using that as an excuse:
“Well, it’s a point of emphasis, and we have to assume it’s going to continue,” he said. “We’ve gotta teach our players to avoid those things.”
Fisher hoped that his teaching process would be helped along by promising to let his players out of camp early, but clearly that was not sufficient incentive for them to bear down and avoid being flagged.
Or, maybe with all the flag-happy refs out there, 7 was just too unrealistic a target number for the Rams. Also they were playing the Packers, and you know the Packers always get favorable treatment from the refs anyway.