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Bye means a hello to a new Rams start
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Thursday, Oct. 02 2008
The locker room at Rams Park emptied quickly Wednesday afternoon, as the
players headed off on a four-day hiatus. The bye week probably couldn't have
come at a better juncture for the beaten-down Rams.
"I think it's a great time for us to kind of get a break, get away from it a
little bit," guard Richie Incognito said. "It's a lot to take in, what happened
to Scott (Linehan) on Monday. We have the loss (to Buffalo 31-14 on Sunday),
the coach getting fired, you have to evaluate game film, you've got the bye
"Our heads are in about a million different places. ... There's a lot of
negativity swirling around, and I think it's good to just kind of clear the air
and come back with a fresh start under 'Has.' "
Jim Haslett, the former defensive coordinator who was named to replace Linehan
as head coach, put the team through a 90-minute practice Wednesday, then
dismissed the players and coaches until Monday.
"With everything that happened this week, they probably need a couple of days
off," Haslett said. "It's an unfortunate situation, but I thought they dealt
with it in a great manner these last two days. They're going to get some time
off to reflect on it and hopefully come back here with a little vigor and see
if we can get this thing right."
When they return, defensive tackle Adam Carriker explained, it will be with a
different outlook. "We're just going to come out like we're 0-0 and it's a
12-game season," he said. "It's like we're restarting the season. Obviously, we
know we're 0-4, but that's our approach to it."
Despite their woes, the Rams are just two games out of first place in the NFC
West. "It's still early in the season," tackle Orlando Pace stressed. "We still
have a chance to come back and get into the mix of things."
Talk is one thing; results are another, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa noted. The
Rams' fortunes won't turn without a renewed commitment from the players, he
said. And a win or two.
"It's up to us, basically, to go ahead and change it," he said. "Until we do
that, I'm sure it's going to be a part of us."
Aware that the Rams have been outscored 53-10 in fourth quarters, Haslett had
the team run sprints after both practices this week. He plans to conduct
conditioning drills every Monday and Wednesday, starting next week.
"There's a reason why we haven't played very well in the fourth quarter," he
said. "I don't know what it is, but I'm not going to let conditioning be part
The concussion that wide receiver Dane Looker suffered on a big hit Sunday left
him woozy. The medical report he received the next day left him fearful.
"They did a CAT scan on my neck just to see if I had any damage, and something
came up on that image," Looker said. He was told he might have a blockage in
his carotid artery.
"They brought up terms like 'aneurysm' and 'stroke,' and that kind of got me
scared a little bit," Looker said. A subsequent MRI exam showed that the
original report was a false reading.
"They called me and said everything's fine," Looker said. "But they had me
scared for 24 hours."
Pace practiced Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday with a sore shoulder. ...
Sidelined were Looker, linebacker Will Witherspoon (shoulder) and wide receiver
Dante Hall (hamstring). ... Wide receiver Derek Stanley, a member of the
practice squad, took reps with the regulars Tuesday and Wednesday.
Re: Bye means a hello to a new Rams start
Q: How bad is the NFC West?
A:Despite their woes, the Rams are just two games out of first place in the NFC West.Wide receiver Derek Stanley, a member of the practice squad, took reps with the regulars Tuesday and Wednesday.
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