Head Coach Scott Linehan

November 28, 2007

(Opening Remarks)

“Columbia High School’s Coach Scott Horner and his staff are this week’s coach of the week recipients. Coach Horner’s team loss to Plano 32-7, but had a great 12-2 year. Congratulations to Coach and his staff.

“La’Roi Glover is this year’s Rams’ recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award which is voted on by the organization, myself included. There isn’t a better guy than La’Roi to receive and award like this. He certainly does deserve it. He’s very, very deserving of it. Congrats to Glove on that one.

“Eric Bassey is out and will be out for a couple of games. We officially put Pisa (Tinoisamoa) on injured reserve, yesterday.

“The people that did not practice today are (Marc) Bulger, Dante Hall, James Hall and Andy McCollum. The limited practice players were Drew Bennett, Torry Holt, Brett Romberg and Fakhir Brown, who has a sore tailbone that wasn’t a big deal, but seems to be somewhat painful today. He wasn’t able to finish practice. Hanik Milligan was full practice today. He saw a hand specialist and has been cleared to wear a cast on that hand, at least for this game, to see how it works. He came back in from casting his hand in the game on Sunday and did a really good job for us.”

(On WR Dante Hall and C Andy McCollum’s injuries)

“Dante re-injured his ankle after his return. He was able to finish with it, but it stayed pretty sore on Monday and swelled on him and was sore today. He said he’ll give it a go tomorrow and see how he feels. Andy’s knee – he banged his knee the week before that limited him. He said he fell on it in the game and it got some fluid in there. The doctors drained the fluid out yesterday. To let it settle down a little bit, we just kept him out of practice today.”

(On if the swelling in McCollum’s knee is the same one he had surgery on)


(On if QB Marc Bulger is gone for tests)

“Yes. He’s doing his tests this afternoon.”

(On how Bulger seems to be feeling)

“He seems fine. I want to leave that up to the specialists.”

(On if there is a tear in LB Pisa Tinoisamoa’s knee)

“It’s an MCL which doesn’t require surgery, but it’s a 4-6 week injury. The best case scenario would be, five weeks from now which doesn’t time out very good for the remainder of the season. That’s why we decided to go the IR route. He should be able to rehab it and play with it. It’s not an uncommon injury. He should be able to strengthen it. It shouldn’t affect him once he can rehab it.”

(On LB Will Witherspoons’ level of play)

“Will’s playing exceptional football. In a lot of ways we’re forced into using him more which really lends to his strengths. What he’s been able to do is show his versatility. Being able to play the way he has at the middle linebacker spot and now rushing the passer, really shows what kind of player he’s capable of being and his growth at the position in the last few years.”

(On the loss of Tinoisamoa)

“Pisa was playing very well. When Pisa’ healthy he’s a very, very solid player for us – underrated somewhat in what he is able to do for us on the field. He’s a very heady guy that understands the defense. It’s a loss. One of the reasons we brought Chris Draft here was in case of these kinds of things. Chris will be able to fill in very nicely which we wouldn’t have had a year ago. There is a positive way of looking at it. We have a very capable player that will step in for him. When you lose starters like this, they’re tough losses.”

(On if Bulger will play Sunday if he passes his tests)

“I don’t know if it’s that cut and dry. I would like to think so, but I’ll wait until I hear the results of the last four days of evaluating him and what the tests show and don’t show, and make that decision. We’d error on the side of caution with a concussion for sure.”

(On if Bulger would like to play)

“I’m sure he does. I don’t think there’s any question. I talked to him and he said, let’s not discuss it until we get through all the tests you need to take first and then we’ll talk about the possibility of playing this game.”

(On the defense improving by utilizing a three-man front)

“It gets some more speed on the field. We played a team that primarily throws the football and that didn’t hurt. In this last game, that was a good match up for that kind of game. It showed, especially in the first half, the way we were able to play and get pressure on the quarterback and get to the quarterback. It’s one of those things that you have to have the ability to utilize it when it’s a good thing and still have the ability to use a four-man front. It’s not a true 3-4 personnel, it’s a little bit more like a third-down. It gets faster people on the field, so if you feel your match up is good, you can create the pressure you need on the quarterback to get the plays you need to get off the field.”

(On QB Brock Berlin being ready to play)

“He’s ready for the quarterback position. Brock’s a very capable quarterback. He’s been a journeyman since he came out of college. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He got a number of snaps in preseason. He’s played in the system or a system like our system. He played for me in Miami and was with Jason (Garrett) down in Dallas a good portion of the OTA time. He has a lot of experience. He’s been playing his whole life. He’s been behind center, so if we were to call upon him he would be able to step in nicely because he knows the system and he knows where to put the ball.”

(On what concerns he has about the Atlanta Falcons)

“Defensively, they have great speed and talent on their defense. They’re playing really good defense and their secondary is playing very good pass defense. They’ve had a couple of injuries. They’ve lost a couple of their defensive tackles, but their ends are high-quality players. They have one of the best pass rushers in the league. That always concerns you. Jamaal Anderson, he was real high on our list during the draft. They have one of the better middle linebackers in (Keith) Brooking in the middle and one of the elite corners in all of football. The biggest thing is we can’t play into their hands and give the ball away because they have the ability to hawk the ball and get turnovers and pressure our quarterback. They have scary people over there. Offensively, they’re changing their way of thinking. I know their head coach very well. I know the direction they’re going. They are going to be very, very good as they put the pieces together. They show a lot of what they can do in the last five to seven weeks. They’ve played much better football. They played very good, on Thanksgiving, in the first half, against the defending World Champions. They are one of those teams that are improving. They’re going to be well coached.”

(On if he is surprised by Atlanta’s offensive struggles)

“There are a lot of reasons for that. You can sit there and go through all the reasons for it. I know it will only get better and better because he’s one of the best offensive coaches I’ve been around. You’re seeing the improvement as they’re making adjustments. Their personnel is going to change over the next year or two. When you start putting people on the field that you identify for your team, you’ll see the improvement. I already see an improved team from where they started to where they are now. They’ve had to deal with injuries as well.”

(On why the Rams have struggled to win at home)

“It’s pretty well documented that our second halves haven’t been there. We’ve played pretty good football in the first half for most of our home games. We just haven’t played a complete game. We have to change that. We have certainly felt that we had the advantage and do have an advantage at home, but we haven’t shown it. It’s a goal of ours that hasn’t been accomplished, but we talk about it all the time, but it hasn’t been done. We’d like to get that started and get our winning ways back at home, so we can consider it an advantage for us and utilize that.”

(On how confident he is in QB Gus Frerotte)

“I’ll always have confidence in Gus and stand by him. We won nine games at Miami when I was there in 2005. I went down there and the team was 31st in the league in offense. We didn’t add one single player to our roster other than Gus that year, on the offensive side of the ball. We did draft RB Ronnie Brown, but as far as free agents and bringing people in, it was virtually the same team they had the year before. We ended up 13th in the league and with nine wins. I always attribute that to him. He’s been a big part of what we’re trying to do here. He’s been a great asset for us as a backup to Marc (Bulger) and being a buffer. He’s been put in some tough situations this year. It’s not like he’s been thrown in there with everything in place. He’s been part of the fill in the blanks season for us offensively, with all the injuries. He’ll bounce back. Gus is tough. He’s a great competitor. He’s very mature and has played excellent football in this league and will get himself ready and put it behind him. That’s the kind of person he is.”

(On if he views player community involvement as a distraction)

“It comes with the position. The guys that handle that don’t make it a distraction. La’Roi (Glover) is the kind of guy who can do these kinds of things and not affect him. Younger players may have to manage that a little different. In his case, he takes some things that are very important to him and puts the time and effort into it. He’s a great leader and a great example for the younger players. I’m sure in his early years he wasn’t doing as much, but you have to build your credibility first then you can step out and do that. I encourage it because it’s very important for the professional athlete to be a positive role model in the communities they play in and for the fans that attend their games. He gives back. That’s why you see guys like this get acknowledge for what they do. He’s a great recipient for this award.”

(On the atmosphere at the Edward Jones Dome on gameday)

“We can create the atmosphere by finishing the game and getting wins under our belt and getting people in there. We have to finish out games and get the home winning streak here and the atmosphere will change dramatically when that happens.”