Head Coach Scott Linehan

October 29, 2007



(Opening Remarks)

“Richie Incognito got back the results of his MRI and it showed that he had a subluxation of his knee cap which is basically a partial dislocation of his right knee cap. It will require surgery. The outlook doesn’t look that promising for this season. We haven’t ruled it out yet. There’s not anything official, on IR or anything, but it’s a pretty extended time out for that injury.



“Steven (Jackson) came out of the game with some severe back spasms. He had it looked at today and it shows he has a disk bulge in his lower back which is treatable. We’re optimistic for his return even as soon as New Orleans. Maybe it’s good timing that we have the bye this week for him. He wouldn’t be able to play this week if that weren’t the case.



“Marc (Bulger) has a bad bruise on his throwing hand. When he came out he had it X-rayed just to make sure it wasn’t broken. He came back in with that injury.



“We had a conditioning practice today. We’ll have a practice against each other tomorrow and watch film on New Orleans and yesterday’s game. On Wednesday will push on to the next game as well as some more lifting and conditioning. The players will be off from Thursday through Sunday.”



(On if G Richie Incognito’s injury is the same injury he had coming out of college)

“It’s similar. It’s not the same thing. The knee cap basically moved. It wasn’t a dislocation; they call it a subluxation where it popped in and out. There are some cartilage fragments that came off due to that. Dr. (Matt) Matava said it is basically a simple surgery – go in and clean that up, but it’s somewhat of a lengthy recovery time.”



(On if he was blocking on the play)

“He was blocking. He got his foot caught. It looked a little awkward, right at the finish. It looked like it happened as he was being turned and he ended up stepping on (Marc) Bulger’s foot on that particular play. He came out and he was done.”



(On when he will have surgery)

“He’s going to get another opinion which is recommended on these. As soon as he gets that – sometimes they recommend rehab first, so it depends on what the doctors say.”



(On if bulging disks develop over time)

“I don’t know if there is any correlation between the groin and the back. I don’t know that anybody knows if there’s any connection. Usually bulging disks develop over time. They are treatable. When you start talking about herniation and all that. It’s not that and can be treated. Normally the prognosis is pretty good as far as getting back in a couple of weeks.”



(On how to treat bulging disks)

“They medicate it first and by the end of the week, if he shows a lot of improvement, just probably go that way. If it doesn’t get a whole lot better then injection would be the next step.”



(On a time frame for RB Steven Jackson’s recovery)

“It’s a couple of weeks. We’re not really ruling out him being available for the next game.”



(On what he will take to recover)

“Rest, anti-inflammatory and then they go with that injection. With both the success for that is pretty good.”



(On if the team practiced last year during the bye week)

“Yes we practiced on Tuesday and also met on Wednesday and spent time on the next opponent.”



(On if this year’s bye week schedule is the same)

“It’s real similar. Today we did a lot of conditioning and lifting and did not meet as a team. We’ll meet as a team in the morning. We put to bed the game (against Cleveland) and gave them a little bit of time this afternoon, but then we’ll work towards the next game. We’ll practice against each other tomorrow, who’s available. On Wednesday we’ll concentrate on our next opponent.”



(On if it is surreal what has happened to the Rams offensive line)

“It’s something I never want to go through again. I’m sure nobody can go back in their past and say, ‘when we lost our offensive line this is what we did.’ I haven’t been able to find the answer to that one. I can say that, but I hope I don’t have to give that advice to anybody, ever. It’s obviously not working very well.



“It’s bad luck because every one of them is an isolated incident. It started with (Todd) Steussie’s injury in preseason. Steussie was a 15-game starter for us last year. That was significant. It looks like he’ll be back for the Seattle game. We’re looking forward to that. There’s nothing odder than what happened with Orlando’s (Pace) injury. That’s the strangest one that I’ve ever seen. Then we have a guy on PAT field goal, like (Mark) Setterstrom gets bent back, gets caught up by four guys. Then we have Richie (Incognito) in preseason. We’re back to Richie now so hopefully it won’t happen again to the other guys. Richie, in preseason gets rolled up on in the second preseason game and has a real severe high ankle sprain. The Orlando injury set the thing in motion with moving Alex (Barron) over to left tackle. We just could never settle in until two weeks ago. We had the same starting o-line and were able to keep guys there. Our goal now is to try to keep, without moving somebody in there at that right guard spot with the idea that when Steussie comes back he will play right guard or right tackle at some point. We’ll try to get somebody in there without moving somebody if we can help it.”



(On if he is hopeful C Brett Romberg will back for New Orleans)

“We’re hopeful that he will. We’re still talking about it. (Rob) Petitti has never played guard. He played guard his freshman year in college for a little while, maybe spring ball. He’s a big physical guy. He’s more of a possibility in there. A guy with bulk and size. We’re going to be playing against some even front teams that have some pretty big tackles. It’s tough for Nick (Leckey) to hold up at that guard spot every play. He did a nice job coming in there and playing a position that’s not all that foreign to him. He’s played some snaps, but not a complete game in the NFL that way. We’d like to keep throwing that around since we do have time. We’ll see if we can add another player to the roster. If it’s not from outside, maybe move one of the practice squad guys up and maybe insert that particular player in there. We need an inside player. We have centers, but we’re deficient with any depth at guard.”



(On RT Brandon Gorin)

“I think he did a good job. You could tell he’s played – great hustle and determination. There were a couple plays where you’d see him downfield trying to make that extra block. There were a couple times where he got off balance and was beaten and caused a hurry on the quarterback, but for the most part I think the line battled pretty well. It showed up in our protection and our ability to function offensively.”



(On if the two plays run on fourth-and-1 were designed to go a certain hole)

“They’re designed to go a certain place. The first play we ran on fourth-and-1 was a play we were actually 100 percent on a year ago in short yardage. One of our better areas was third-and-1, fourth-and-1 a year ago. It was right there on that line. We could have gone for the field goal, felt very confident with how our offense was playing to convert there and that we would again indeed score another touchdown. I have to be honest with you, it was designed to run behind Richie (Incognito) in that situation just because his ability. That’s one of the things he does very well – drive blocking people at the line of scrimmage. It’s nothing against Nick (Leckey), it’s just you have the game plan in the way it is and Nick’s playing a position he’s not accustomed to. We still had an opportunity if we use proper technique there to get the push we need. We had pretty decent blocking on the backside of the play – that play cuts back quite often. All three plays were different plays, though, to answer your question. The next one was a zone play that we ran out of our nickel and there was penetration that got in the backfield from the right side. They ran a guy through the backside ‘A’ gap and we were a little late off the ball and they made a play. We actually had pretty good play side movement on the left side, we just didn’t have the backside cutoff.”



(On Leckey saying he didn’t get off the ball fast enough on fourth-and-1)

“He’s a center and his anticipation is different from the guard spot. He’s not snapping the ball, so he can’t actually move when he’s normally moving if that makes sense. It’s a different position and he has not played there. Again, I’ll go back and say he gave a heck of an effort at that spot to do the best he could and at times really held up and battled in there. The last play was more of a power play and we just let play side run through get into the backfield. I think that was the best play what we were seeing and we had time to talk about it at the two-minute warning and unfortunately we were unable to get the run-through player. They made the plays in situation where we needed to make them.”



(On getting what looked like a less than favorable spot on a third-down reception by RB Brian Leonard in the fourth quarter)

“We were kind of in a bind because we were waiting for that real good . You can challenge a spot and we actually talked about it, but the spot could have gone across the line or short of the line – it was basically right there. Even in a challenge if they got to watch it a bunch of times I don’t think it was conclusive enough to move the ball anywhere. I think it was one of those things where because his knee was down and where the ball was and when you’re reaching out, it could have gone either way. It wasn’t the greatest spot for us, but the spot was pretty close. I would have preferred it to be marked across the line instead of short of the line.”



(On if he gave any thought to throwing the ball in short-yardage situations)

“There was (some thought given). If it wasn’t 6 inches, I think our fourth-down play would have been different, no doubt. To go back and look at it now in hindsight, sure, throw it every down. There was some thought to throwing the ball in that situation, especially the fourth-down play.”



(On if he considered a fourth-down sneak and if Bulger’s condition was a factor)

“That has not been something that we have done as well probably if you look back on that. You have a quarterback with bad ribs and a busted up hand…we feel confident and will continue to feel confident that Brian, with good blocking, should be able to for us.”



(On Cleveland WR Braylon Edwards’ first quarter sideline reception, which was challenged by the Rams and upheld)

“It was just close. That’s a tough one. It’s on their sideline, it was close. It looked like to me on the one replay we got right before they did the hurry-up that his heel was close enough to challenge. It’s a big play because of the nature of the play and a momentum play like that. That was a decision that I had to make in that situation. I actually went down to the official and told him that I was going to throw that before they snapped it if I got a replay. The replay was close enough. It wasn’t the best angle; it was the one from a little bit above and the side. It looked close enough to me, but after we got a couple more angles the booth confirmed that it probably wouldn’t get overturned.”



(On losing 17 yards of field position as result of a holding penalty against DT Claude Wroten during a Browns punt)

“He just held the guy and pulled the guy. When a guy gets even with you, you let go of him. It’s one of those situations where regardless of how you block the guy at the line of scrimmage, it’s absolutely no time for a penalty in that situation. You can’t grab their jersey and you can’t hold onto a guy.”



(On if they have to see the second half of the season as a clean slate)

“That has to be our message. There’s really no other way to be. We can’t live in the past. It certainly would feel much better if we were sitting here with a record opposite of the one we have, but we arrived here. How we got here is not anywhere near as significant as what we do in the second half. We have to look at it as an eight game season and do our best to win them all. There have been big turnarounds in this league in the past. You can go back and see them. It’s a tough challenge for us with the way things have gone and all that, but if we can just hold on to playing the next game and getting some momentum from a win on the road, we can do a lot more things in this season than appear right now. I think that has to be the mindset.”



(On two or three things he’d like to do better in the second half)

“It was obvious to everybody that we were a much better football team with back in there and I think we were a much more confident offensive team, but we still have to be able to do it without all the weapons. We have to find ways to do it. Putting points on the board has to happen in both halves. I think the second thing is we have to become a lot better team in the second half. That has not been something we’ve done well at all. I think second halves have been our downfall. It was evident to me that we were playing much better in this game. What’s hurt us before is turnovers and we allowed a team to basically overcome four or five penalties in one drive to get down and get a score. That was indicative of our inability to sustain anything. Our second halves have not been where they need to be. If we can do those two things – stay in rhythm offensively, be able to limit those turnovers, become a better second half team and then defensively, creating turnovers will be key for us as well. The biggest difference between this year and last year is we got a lot of turnovers defensively, we limited our turnovers offensively and the part that we can’t help right now is we stayed relatively healthy. We can’t focus on that because that’s what it is, but I think those three things would probably be a good place to start.”



(On if he has met with Rams president John Shaw recently and if he had been supportive)

“Very supportive. I met with him yesterday and there is no plan to meet with him this week He is back in LA as he normally is at this time of year. That’s really it. I’ve talked to John every week.”



(On if he considered taking a shot at the end zone at the end of the first half)

“If we had 10 seconds or more, for sure. I think with eight seconds with the timeout its fine, the only problem is if you throw the ball in the end zone from how far out we were and if for some reason the quarterback gets flushed at all there is a chance that you can use all the time. Outside 10 seconds you can throw the ball to the end zone. We were in field goal range so (throwing) anything short would be a bad play. At that point I think it is too risky to possibly take points off the board.”



(On the prognosis for DE Leonard Little for the second half of the season)

“Well I don’t know. That’s another one. We are going to support either way he goes. I think it’s going to be up to him at this point based on how his toe feels. I think it feels better this week and the swelling has gone down. He is going to give it a go next week. We will encourage that we get through this next game before we do anything drastic with what we are hoping for, but if he has any kind of setbacks then we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Hopefully we can get through the season with it.”



(On if Little will practice at all this week)

“He won’t do anything at all this week, it will be next week.”



(On the status of return specialist Dante Hall)

“It’s slow to come. I think there is an outside chance for next game and probably more realistic for the game after that.”



(On how the whole experience of this season thus far has been for him and if he tries to block out any of the outside chatter)

“No I don’t hear it, I know its there. Common sense I think you understand its part of the business. I understand it too, I really do and I don’t take any offense to it. It’s motivation for me because I want to turn this thing around. This season has gotten away from us. The experience has been that I have learned a lot about myself and you know that you never want to feel like this ever again so whatever you can do to avoid it is worth the trouble. I’m no different than anybody else; everybody has a vested interest in this thing. Players, coaches, everybody in this building, the fans for sure and I know all the media is in our corner. I know you guys want to win. It’s a much more pleasant thing to cover a winning football team and one that’s doing the things that make it exciting for you to go to work and right now it’s tough, it’s challenging. The only thing you can do is preach the same things. You just have to work on getting better everyday. That’s our challenge right now, not getting in the tank and you have to pull yourself out of there everyday and move forward and stay positive and work hard. I think we made some strides last week but it wasn’t good enough. At least in my opinion and from my standpoint from the offensive side, it was much better than what we had the previous two games.”



(On how he keeps his sanity and turns it off when he goes home)

“I keep my sanity because I have a lot of things going for me. First, I will always say this: I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have one of these 32 jobs and to be in this position. I don’t think I am having the luckiest season of my career but this isn’t about me either, it’s about the team. Everybody’s got, like I said, an equal part of this. I have a great supporting family. I’m not sure how the single coaches live out by themselves. I’m not sure I could do that one. It proves to me that going home every night is well worth the six or seven hours that I get to kind of unload for a little bit. There is one day, hopefully in the near future in about eight games, we can go back and say ‘that was a trying experience and we made it through this thing alright.’”



(On if he consoles himself with a lot of this being out of his control)

“Console myself? I don’t do a whole lot of consoling myself. To be honest with you I do a lot more of the other. There is some truth to the fact that there are some things out of your control but what is in your control is what you have to focus on. And there are things that have been in our control that we are still falling short on, regardless of the bad luck that we have had. As long as you keep your open mind and keep learning and you don’t get sensitive and stay the course I think you will always come out on a better end.”



(On if he gets out much and if the public is all over him)

“They probably would be but no I haven’t been out much but that’s not unusual for this time of year for me anyway. I’m not much of a shopper or got out type of person. My wife and my kids do that. I have a path to and from work and that is about it. I do get out maybe on a Friday night and watch my son’s practice and this weekend they are both playing in playoff games in their little league so I will get out and be able to take those games in. I have missed basically all of their games this year, they play on Sunday.”



(On if goes to his son’s games in a disguise)

“No, no. This is a great city. People are supportive, you would be surprised. Lot of supportive comments from people, that’s why it’s such a great town.”



(On how he will approach two straight away games coming out of the bye after being less competitive on the road in the first half of the season)

“Well we haven’t been as competitive on the road. That’s a good point. We have been competitive, we haven’t won, but we have been right there on all of our home games. The best way to turn this thing around is to play our most complete game on the road and get it started on the road because that will give us a lot more confidence knowing that we have kind of taken care of that and that we have been competitive at home.”