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Fisher went 31-45-1 in five seasons with the Rams. USA TODAY Sports

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Team captain Johnny Hekker stood up and delivered a clear and concise message to players and coaches alike: "We didn't take advantage of this opportunity that we had, and we let it slip away from us."

The Los Angeles Rams' all-pro punter, much like the rest of the squad, ultimately felt responsible for the ouster of Jeff Fisher, a players' coach well-respected in the locker room for his hands-off approach.

No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, the team's franchise quarterback, was visibly shaken by the coach's final departure from the team facility Monday. He chalked up Todd Gurley's remarks that the Rams operated a "middle-school offense" as heat-of-the-moment chatter, views the team as a whole didn't share.

Goff claimed all his teammates were similarly sad for one simple reason: Fisher respected them all.

"He’s a guy that, I think I speak for the whole team when I say, was very well liked, very giving, and he treated us the right way — he treated us the way we’re supposed to be treated," said Goff, whom Fisher didn't install as the starter until Week 11.

"And in return we didn’t do enough for him. That’s really what it comes down to — is we didn’t get it done and unfortunately it falls on him. Us in the locker room blame ourselves and we need to be better.”

Fans received a glimpse into Fisher's methods during HBO's inside-look at training camp, Hard Knocks. Fisher defiantly claimed the team was too good to go 7-9 again. The Rams started the season in promising fashion, with consecutive victories over the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals following a shutout loss to the hapless San Francisco 49ers.

The Rams would win only more game under Fisher's watch, though: a listless 9-6 victory over the New York Jets. The former Tennessee Titans coach leaves L.A. tied for the most career defeats by a head coach in league history.

Aaron Donald, regarded as the game's premier defensive tackle, had a sense of regret as he looked back on Fisher's days roaming the sideline.

"Coaches coach, players play," Donald said. "It's on us — it's on us as players. We feel like we let him down. ... Players' coach; great coach. He's going to push you at the same time."

Backup offensive lineman Jamon Brown, a third-round draft pick in 2015, said Fisher apologized to the team, but the vibe was that the players should have been apologizing to him.

Brown was thankful for the opportunity he received under Fisher's watch, and stated many players — most emotional, some more than others -- echoed the same sentiment: Fisher gave many players on the squad their first chance to play professional football.

"To see him walk out the door is hard," Brown admitted, "it's hard."

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