Head Coach Scott Linehan

November 7, 2007

(Opening Remarks)

“This week’s coach of the week goes to Matt Irvin at MICDS. They had a 37-0 victory over John Burroughs. Their season is 9-0 at this point. It’s a great accomplishment so far. Congratulations to Coach Irvin, his staff and team.

“Richie Incognito, who had surgery yesterday, will be listed as not practicing. Aaron Walker hurt his shoulder in Monday’s practice and was not able to participate today as well. Brett Romberg was limited in practice and Steven Jackson was limited in practice. Dante Hall was full practice. It looks pretty favorable that he would be ready to go this game unless we have some setback.”

(On who will play on the offensive line this week)

“I have to wait and see. We’re going to keep our fingers crossed about Brett (Romberg). He did enough today to count him as a possibility for this game. It could possibly be a combination of him or Andy (McCollum) – one of the two. One of them at center at the other at guard. We activated Dustin Fry to the roster. We’re going to start working him some at guard. We’ve been working Nick Leckey there, who finished the Cleveland game at guard.

“Because we had the extra week and we’ve been able to work a little bit of the different combinations, we’ll settle in on one by Friday.”

(On how much work C Brett Romberg has had at the guard position)

“Not much. Not anymore than Andy (McCollum) had when he moved there or Nick (Leckey) had when he had to go there. It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s the one that we’re in. At this point, we wanted move Dustin (Fry) up and start bringing him along and potentially have him be in the mix of that too. The bottom line is you still want to get your best five as you see it on the field.”

(On the benefit of having Romberg play at the guard position as opposed to McCollum)

“Being able to leave four guys at one position. Moving guys around is tough on these guys. You work them together, they’re communicating together. If we’re just able to replace one position and leave four guys at the spot they played the last game, it would enable us to have, if there’s such a thing, some continuity in there.”

(On how the game plan changes from week to week due to the changes at offensive line)

“It’s been difficult. It’s not the best situation to create the stability you need in your front because those guys have to work together as one. When we had the injuries we’ve had, we had to shuffle the deck. You have to do the best you can with the best group you can put in there. If we can settle in and leave guys at where they’re at and try to get multiple starts behind guys, it will eventually pay off.”

(On G Richie Incognito’s surgery)

“The surgeon, Dr. (James) Andrews talked to Jim Anderson and said it was relatively basic procedure. He removed some loose bodies from the knee. There was enough damage to put him on the shelf for the next couple of weeks and maybe more. We’re in the position where we have to make a decision on if he can be back at some point this season. I’d like to get him through a week or so. He’s out of this game and the next. He has to show some improvement quickly before we would consider having him on the roster throughout the season.”

(On waiting before deciding to place Incognito on IR)

“We may wait a week or so on him.”

(On the recovery time for Incognito’s surgery)

“Four to six weeks is probably pretty accurate right now. He’s had an injury on that knee before so some of that may have been the injury he had a week ago and also the injury he had before. It’s not a real rosey picture for him to be back sooner than later.”

(On TE Aaron Walker’s injury)
“He sprained his shoulder pretty bad. It doesn’t require anything surgically. It was bad enough to keep him out of practice today and keep him out awhile.”

(On RB Steven Jackson being limited in practice)

“He was limited. He looked good. He is still not 100 percent. If we can get a certain amount of plays and have him be ready for Sunday it will be beneficial for us. We’re planning that way.”

(On if he uses New Orleans’ turnaround as an example to his team)

“I’ve had that question a lot. In all fairness, everybody had a unique situation. They had an 0-4 start and they’ve won four in a row. You credit them for doing that. We haven’t accomplished that. We’re halfway into the season and we have the ability to win our next eight games. We have eight more to play and we’ve been in most of the games we’ve played to this point. If I had the ability to push the reset button, I’d done it a long time ago. I understand that you go through those kinds of scenarios. Their situation was similar, but different in a number of ways. You still have to make the adjustments and do what you can do to turn things around. We’re still working on things like that on our end.”

(On optimistic Jackson will play more than one quarter)

“We have to realistically look at how many plays he can run whether it’s series by series or plays by series, depending on how long he’s in there. We have to have an idea of how many plays are realistic for him to play if he is indeed up.”

(On Jackson supplying a lot of energy to the offense when the Rams played against Cleveland)

“When he came out we were up 14-0. He had two real good drives to start off the game. He was a great spark for us. We hadn’t been in that position all year, where we were up early two scores. That kind of play was our best quarter of football to this point of the season. Steven is a big part of what we do offensively. We’re always optimistic when he’s in the lineup.”

(On managing how many plays Jackson gets)

“It’s hard not to play a guy for a sequence. He was playing well and he hadn’t played an entire quarter. I’m not sure you can fairly judge it on the last game. It’s an unusual thing that we could pull him out of there. It could be series by series. It could be, take him out on certain downs or situations or play him in certain situations that are scripted that way.”

(On the Saints run-defense)

“They have a very good front, probably the strength of their defense. They’re playing much better team defense in the last four games than they did in the first four. They have talented players that are playing at a high level. Their defense has been built around that. Most of those guys, if not all of them, other than Hollis Thomas, where actually drafted or brought in by Jim (Haslett) and his staff. I know how their defense was built when they were down there. I have played against most of these guys, these front guys, when I was at Miami or even when I was at Minnesota. Those are the guys that have been around and have been playing pretty good football for them for a couple of years.”

(On the areas C Dustin Fry has improved in)

“He has gotten a lot stronger in the weight room. He’s worked very hard. Last year Mark Setterstrom was another example of a guy who worked hard in the interim before he was put in active duty. It just pays off for these guys to put that time in. It’s a situation you don’t plan on it because you don’t anticipate these injuries we’ve had. That’s why you have a full roster and guys on your practice squad. We drafted him for the reason he’s going to be playing for us, probably sooner than we planned, but to be a guy that could possibly play center. We also thought that he could be a very good guard because he has a little more size and bulk to him. He’s a little bit bigger than what we’re playing right now at the right guard spot.”

(On how DE Victor Adeyanju has progressed as a player)

“He’s become a more confident player. He’s definitely very good against the run. That’s his strength. He’s had to work on his ability to rush the passer. He’s not the same as Leonard (Little) as far as that goes. He does bring the ability to be an every down player. He has a really good knack and feel for the game. He’s solid in his ability to contain plays and keep plays where they’re supposed to be. He does not get himself out of position. He plays with very good power for a tall guy. He has a lot of experience two years into his career. Had he not got hurt last year and missed a certain amount of games he would have had even more. Over time that will be a real benefit for us to have a young player like that, that’s played a lot of downs in the first two years.”

(On if he is surprised with Adeyanju’s talent for a mid-round pick)

“It was a surprise that he would be able to start and fill-in at that point in his career. He’s a wonderful human being. He has a lot of passion for this game. We could fill this room up, in a team meeting, with a bunch of guys like Victor and our days ahead of us are going to be much brighter. Those are the kind of guys you want to get on your team.”

(On optimistic about the future of the Rams’ defensive line)

“We’ve done a lot of work to improve it. We brought in a lot of new players. There are a lot of new faces there. To a certain degree they’ve been very pleasant upgrades based on where we felt we were when we first got here. I’m real excited about the fact we have some good young players that are playing, basically starting for us, at a high level. It’s obvious why we drafted Adam (Carriker). He’s playing very well, but to have a guy like Cliff Ryan step in and play like he’s played; and Victor (Adeyanju) who’s played a lot to this point – we’re very happy where we are. We have a mixture of some older players, Leonard (Little), James Hall and La’Roi (Glover), who have played a lot. If you look around the league that’s about the best formula to have – a couple of really good, solid veterans that are proven players and mentors for these guys and then have a whole bunch of young guys that are developing.”

(On how QB Drew Brees looks on film)

“Other than those two guys that played on Sunday, (Peyton Manning and Tom Brady) there’s no one in the league playing better them him now. He had a tough start. Just looking at how he started the first four games, statistically, he had a high number of interceptions which is unusual for him. He has gotten rid of those negative plays. He’s created avoiding the sack and now he has gotten rid of that turnover bug. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and has a lot of timing and rhythm to his game which is pretty dangerous.”

(On why he doesn’t get sacked a lot)

“He has great anticipation. He understands the game. He’s played it seven years in the NFL. In college Greg (Olson) and Jim Chaney coached him at Purdue. He played his whole career there. His whole career he’s been very efficient. He has all the intangibles you’re looking for. One of the intangibles is he just plays smart. The ball comes out of his hands and he avoids the disaster. That’s the reason why, through his career, he’s sack numbers have been down. He may have had one bad year in ’03 in San Diego, but after that, ’04 and ’05, before he got hurt, he was exceptional at that when he was playing for the Chargers. I think he’s been doing that his whole life.”

(On if the Rams did self-scouting during the bye week)

“When you’re 0-8 and you’re not real pleased with much. We looked at what we had been doing well, and there are things. There are things that we’re struggling at. You always do that, whatever your record is at your break. You evaluate yourself and say, ’we need to do more of this and less of this.’ We did a lot more of it his go around then maybe you would when things are going a little bit better. We’ve had a number of things that we had to evaluate. We had to evaluate our personnel quite a bit more because of all the changes we’ve had to make. We looked at scenarios of what group of five linemen we would play whether we’d leave a guy here or more a guy and who’s better at guard and center. You don’t have a lot of time to do that during a normal work week. During the bye week we spent a lot of time doing that in all three phases.”

(On WR Dante Hall looking better this week)

“I talked to him Monday. He didn’t do much. He said he was going to do close to everything he could do today. I was conservatively optimistic about it. It looked to be that he was closer to 100 percent than I anticipated at this point.”

RB Steven Jackson

November 7, 2007

(On how he feels)

“I feel pretty good – got out there and practice with the guys. Everyone’s pretty upbeat.”

(On how much the bye week helped him)

“It helped out a lot. It allowed me to basically let the back lighten up. It locked up on me in the game and that week off really allowed it to heal itself.”

(On how the injury was treated)

“You can’t really dig into it. You get on a couple antibiotics and let it calm down on itself. You really don’t want people cracking on you and things like that. It’s one of those injuries where a couple days of rest allows it to heal itself.”

(On if his back is 100 percent healthy)

“Yes it is.”

(On how he looks at the first half of the season)

“You forget it and you move on. You try to make something of the season that’s left. In a football season, this is when the contenders and pretenders start to separate, so we want to go in and hopefully turn our season around and try to finish out strong. We have a chance to match the same record we had last year, so it’ll be pretty interesting to see what we can do.”

(On if he was surprised when he found out he had a bulging disc)

“Very shocked. I didn’t think the injury was going to be that severe. We went in at halftime and started kind of trying to loosen it up. I should have known it was something serious when it just wouldn’t quite act right. Once we got the results from the MRI, it really explained a lot why I was unable to go back in and play.”

(On how the injury developed)

“I don’t know. The two injuries I’ve had this season are things that just happen out of the blue. I can’t quite put my finger on why either injury happened.”

(On being able to play with a bulging disc)

“A lot of guys actually play with a bulging disc. I don’t know if you know this, but Brian Leonard actually had one in the preseason. It’s one of those things where you just have to let it calm down and you’re able to play.”

(On if it’s relieving to know that the injury was treating without an injection)

“A lot of the experts were leaning towards injecting the disc and I kind of shied away from that. I wanted to allow it to take the natural course. I did a lot of praying on it and I just kind of wanted to stay away from the needle.”

(On if it’s something he’ll have to manage the rest of the season)

“It’s definitely something I’ll have to manage the rest of the season.”

(On if his playing time will be cut back)

“I don’t know. I’m just going to play.”

(On today’s practice)

“I went full-go today. That’s a huge step and hopefully all week I can participate in practice and be a part of the game plan.”

(On if the team feels they have to regain respect around the league)

“For one thing, I think we have to start with ourselves within and we have to get the confidence back in our offense. We have to get the offense putting up numbers and once again be an offense to be respected and have defenses fear us. Once we get to that level I think we will get the respect of other teams because our defense and our special teams have been playing pretty well.”

(On the New Orleans defense)

“Their defensive line is pretty intense, led by Will Smith, so we’re going to have to try to contain him. We’re going to have to make plays. Their secondary is pretty solid. It’s a solid group, like I said. We’re just going to have to go out there on the road and it’s going to be a tough one to get, but each game from here on out is going to be tough. A lot of teams are trying to position themselves for the hunt. We’re going to have to go in there and execute.”

(On TE Randy McMichael’s statement that Jackson was running ‘like a wild beast’ against Cleveland)

“I just think I was fresh. I do like that (statement) and hopefully I can bring that same intensity for four quarters on Sunday.”

(On if he sensed what a lift his return gave the team against Cleveland)

“I really couldn’t sense it until once the game was over and you go back and look at the film. I was really just trying to go out and establish the running game and I really felt at the time, when we were playing Cleveland, if we got the running game open it would open some plays up down the field, which it did. It’s just unfortunate that I was unable to finish the game.”

(On going out and playing this weekend as opposed to trying to overcompensate for any injuries)

“Yeah, I’m just going to go out and play. I’m not going to try to o