President John Shaw

Friday, January 20, 2006

(Introduction of Scott Linehan as the Ramsí new head coach)

ďGood morning. It is my pleasure today to introduce Scott Linehan as the new head coach of the St. Louis Rams. The hiring today culminates an aggressive and extensive search for a new head coach where we interviewed a wide range of candidates including three NFL defensive coordinators, two offensive coordinators, a college head coach and one former NFL head coach. After all of these interviews it was clear to us that coach Linehan should be the next head coach of the St. Louis Rams. By way of background, Scott Linehan is considered one of the young, bright offensive minds in the NFL. Last year, he was the (offensive) coordinator of the Miami Dolphins and for the three years before that, he was the (offensive) coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. For the three years that he was the Vikings coordinator, their offense ranked in the top four in the NFL. Prior to that, he was a college coach for 13 years. Scott is married to his wife Kristen for 17 years, and he has three young boys. On behalf of Georgia Frontiere, Stan Kroenke, Jay Zygmunt, myself and the entire Ram organization, I welcome our new head coach, Scott Linehan.Ē

Head Coach Scott Linehan

Friday, January 20, 2006

(Opening statement)

ďIt feels kind of like kickoff. Iíll tell you, Iím pretty excited about this opportunity. I do want to tell you on behalf of my wife, Kristen, and our three young boys, we are very, very excited to be a part of the Ram family. I also want to thank John [Shaw], and Jay [Zygmunt], and obviously the ownership. I had a wonderful meeting with Georgia a couple days ago, and itís been a great experience, and theyíve done a lot of extensive work. I donít know how they do it. There were a lot of great candidates that theyíve been evaluating, and I feel very honored to be selected for this position. The one thing I want to make sure is really established right away is that this is going to be a family environment here at the Rams. We will do things cohesively as a group, as a unit and make decisions as a team from day one. Thatís how things get done. Thatís how things get done properly. Thatís the most important thing that I feel needs to be established right away. The next thing is I believe this is a new Rams era within, what I believe, is a great tradition. The tradition here is kind of a well-kept secret in a way, because some people donít really describe it that way to me. Itís really hard for me to believe that there are many teams in the modern era, for example the last seven years, have won or been in the top five in wins, won an NFC Championship and a World Championship. That is outstanding. It is a tradition that we will hold, the entire organization to that standard and to get back to that level of excellence that has already been established, and that will be a goal. To be really honest with you, itís something that you really canít buy or bottle up. Itís tradition. Thatís something that is earned, and there are not many teams that have that to rely on, and we will use that as a big focal point of our organization. The term dominance is something that will be strived for in what we do and how we aggressively pursue, day in and day out, to achieve. We want to be one of those feared teams. One of those teams that nobody wants to play, a team that for sure nobody wants to come to our house to play, a team that they donít want to have on the schedule when they get the schedule out in the spring. We want to be that kind of team that has that dominant personality and continue that tradition. One thing is, just speaking on my behalf, words that I live by that I try to teach, not only my young boys, but the players that I coach is number one, be authentic. Iím going to be who I am. I am the guy that is standing at this podium, and it is what it is as they say. I think thatís very important. I think itís very important to establish that within our organization with everybody that works in that organization, be yourself. The next thing is, youíre going to have a progressive attitude here. Day in and day out, we will work extensively to get better at all areas of the organization. Thatís what you do when you want to get to where you want to get. Setting those goals and doing those things are very important, but we will be progressive day in and day out, and thatís a promise. With that in mind, we have to be effective leaders. It starts with me and the other leaders in this organization, but everybody in this room has the ability to affect somebody in a positive way, and to be a leader, thatís what you do. Weíll strive hard to go by those basic principles and that will be the basis for our success in the future. One last thing that I would like to comment on, and I think itís very important that these words are taken in the right perspective. I read a quote this past offseason, and I think itís important that we listen to it very carefully. I donít know if youíve read the recent book by John Wooden, he had a quote in there that I highlighted. He said Ďnever try to be better than any one person, but never cease trying to be the best that you can be.í Youíll get the best from this organization, from the coaches we hire and from the people that work within this system. Boy, I couldnít tell you, I canít wait to do it. Iím open to any questions anybody has, so fire away.Ē

(On how he sold himself to the Ramsí front office to become the head coach)

ďIt wasnít a matter of selling myself; you have to understand the process that went through this selection. I obviously came into the middle of it. They were doing the due diligence, as we say, to evaluate what is best for the franchise. I had an initial meeting, and I felt good about the meeting because it was very up front. I had a very good idea of the vision of the organization. I felt like we were on the same page at that point, and then it became time to talk more extensively about what youíre going to do day in and day out and those kinds of things. Iíll tell you, I donít envy the job that they have to do in evaluating that, and I Know you have to feel really confident with the guy that you pick. I feel like my approach to that was that I wanted to be that guy. I felt I had a very good background with the people that Iím going to be able to bring in to get the job done.Ē

(On what he is going to do to keep the organization from being dysfunctional)

ďI wasnít here, so I canít really comment on previous issues. You have to remember, that there are always going to be bumps in the road in life. The recent history of this organization isnít what happened last month, last year, itís whatís happening in the modern era, and this is one of the most dominant programs, one of the most studied, one of the most emulated programs in the modern era in football. You watch the commentators, the national commentators, you watch the Al Michaels and the John Maddens describe the Rams type of football, and thatís not too far removed from where they were. There was a bump in the road for whatever reason. I wasnít here for that. There will be a new era and a new chapter to it with the incoming regime, but we have to continue to build on the positive things that have happened around here and move on.Ē

(On his game plan for the Rams)

ďWeíre going to start by unifying as a team, and thatís in all areas. What I think that we have to understand is that weíre going to do things together, weíre going to make decisions together and we will come to the right decision. Weíre not always going to agree, but weíre not going to be disagreeable about it. Thatís what the most important thing is, and thatís the plan in all phases of the organization.Ē

(On if there is a timetable for when he would like to have his staff in place)

ďOur priorities are the coordinators. Obviously, the defensive coordinator is going to be, in my mind there is no one person thatís more important than another, but he is the most important priority right now. So, weíll get the coordinators done, and Iíd like to address a couple other positions and talk to some people on some other positions, but those are my priorities right now. It wonít take long, but weíll do the diligence again to get the right people.Ē

(On if he will interview the current staff)

ďI will talk to the current staff, and Iíve been in their shoes too. So, itís appropriate that they understand in some cases, itís not a matter of them being qualified or competent. I want to be able to hear what they have to say. I donít know a lot of them that well well, but Iíll give them an opportunity to visit with me and then, if itís time to move on, weíll let them know at that point.Ē

(On if he will have a say in personnel matters and in the draft)

ďIím going to have a piece to the puzzle. Weíll make those decisions as a team. It will be unified. Obviously, Iím going to be involved, as will our coaching staff, but we will make decisions collectively as a group, and we will come to the right decision.Ē

(On if he is going to call plays)

ďYes, I am. Itís like giving up a dog or something. I just canít give that away.Ē

(On his offensive style)

ďItís aggressive, itís attacking. Weíll aggressively take what the defense gives us. In that, it sounds kind of simple, but it is. Weíll establish the running game, but sometimes you set up a great running game with a great passing game as well. I think it will be similar to a lot of the things youíve seen here before. Youíll see different wrinkles, but it will be with the idea that weíre going to start with that premise that when we attack, weíre going to do that offensively, and one thing I want to point out is thatís not just the offenseís approach, itís the defense and the special teams. Weíre going to be aggressive. We want to be dominant, be relentless, play 60 minutes and do that as a team, not just as an offense.Ē

(On what he thinks of the current Rams players)

ďI think theyíre excellent. I donít know enough about the whole entire team as far as where guys are in their careers. Obviously in this day in age with free agency, contract status and things like that, weíll get caught up to date on that, but there is definitely a great core of players in place. Iím really excited about the prospects of working with these guys, and I know they have a great attitude. Iíve just been really impressed with their approach and the quality and character of the players here.Ē

(On changing the offense and making it easier for the players to learn)

ďThere will be a lot of co-mingling of terms to make it easier for players. Iíve become, and I hate to admit this, but an expert in moving and co-mingling a system so to make it easy on the players. If I gave you my moving resume, I think youíd be a little disturbed by it. Youíll wonder why Iím still married to be honest with you. I think the most important thing is to make it comfortable and easy on the players, so that they can make the adjustments right away. The wrinkles that come in there, thatís part of the game. I think those are the things we establish right away is keeping things as similar as we can while we donít let it effect the, for example, offensive terminology to be a problem.Ē

(On his coaching influences)

ďWell, my family. Iím the youngest of seven. My entire family was teachers. My dad was a high school principal. That was where I developed the work ethic. I got into college coaching. I played at the University of Idaho. I donít know how many people are familiar with that part of the world, but my college coach was Dennis Erickson. He was one of the first people to basically become an attack-style offensive philosophy type coach in college football. He used a spread offense. He moved on from Idaho to Wyoming, Washington State and won a couple National Championships at Miami, then moved to the NFL and Oregon State and back to the NFL. Heís been around. He had the biggest influence on me as to the style of offense and system. John L. Smith, the head coach at Michigan State, gave me my first job. He also gave me another job later in my career and actually hired me my third time. Heís hired me three times; I donít know what the heckís wrong with him. Heís hired me three times and given me some great opportunities there. Heís been a great mentor for me as a coach. My first Division I job was for Jim Lambright at the University of Washington, and that was home for me. That was a great goal to have reached to coach at a university that I grew up in the shadows of. To be honest with you, a lot of credit for being where I am is Mike Tice took a shot on me. He hired me out of college and gave me a chance to be a coordinator in the NFL without any NFL experience and said Ďhey, go do it.í For sure, Mike deserves a lot of credit for that. Of course, Nick Saban gave me an opportunity to go down and work on a rebuilding process down in Miami, and Iíve learned a lot of detail and things from him as a coach and the process that it takes to get things going again. So, Iíve named a lot of people there. I donít want to exclude anybody, but those are the people that have been the most influential as far as where Iím at right now.Ē

(On if he would prefer a defensive coordinator that runs a 4-3 similar to what is in place already)

ďThatís a good point, because when youíre looking for any kind of personnel, whether itís a player or a coach, you want to get the best. You know, there are a lot of things that factor into whatís best. Competency, for one, is this guy going to fit in good with the staff and is the chemistry going to be good? I think all those things have to factor in whether itís a 3-4 or a 4-3 or a 5-2-4 or whatever it is, those two things have to factor in. I really think that is the most important thing, getting a real competent guy that can get guys to play good whether youíre playing a 3-4 scheme or a 4-3, but also a guy that can come in here and affect players in a positive way and get them to play at the level they need to play.Ē

(On being able to be a head coach and call plays)

ďWe discussed this, because without being in that situation, Iíll spend a lot of time on that side of things as far as managing the game, working with the defense, working with the special teams, making decisions. Thatís why you have to hire good people. I will have a very competent offensive coordinator that knows the system as well as I, that can make the adjustments on the sidelines, so that I can be a presence on the sidelines and affect the game in a positive way, not look over anyoneís shoulder by any means, but affect the game in a very positive way and work in that capacity. Itís very important that I make the transition right away and establish the fact that yeah, I am going to call plays, thatís a big part of my duty, but my job is to be the head coach and make the decisions that a head coach needs to make seven days a week, let alone on game day.Ē

(On if he would like to retain members of the coaching staff to learn the system that was in place)

ďThatís a consideration for sure. I think thatís very important. The term co-mingle means a lot of things. A lot of it is terminology. Once you get through the language barrier and those kinds of things, thatís important. There are some darn good coaches that are here, and itís a shame that theyíre in a position where they are evaluated again, but thatís part of change. Weíll make those decisions in the upcoming days, but that is certainly something that would work in somebodyís favor, being here.Ē

(On his vision for the defense)

ďMy vision for the defense is they carry the same attitude as far as being an aggressive, attacking, dominant, 60-minutes, play until the last play, donít watch the scoreboard, that kind of thing as the offense does and the special teams. My vision is that theyíre on the exact same page the offense is, and that the defense will have the same approach and attitude to the game that the offense does or the special teams. I really believe when you establish things as a group and as a team, there is a unity in that, and that we all approach it the same way. We know itís a different side of the ball, but when we approach it the same way, then we have one common goal, and thatís to win the game with the same kind of attitude and intensity.Ē

(On if he has always wanted to be a head coach)

ďWell, itís always in your mind, but when you set goals, thereís a level of achievement that you have to establish. Understand that, I donít know when they decide youíre a head coach and when youíre not. Iíve never said that at age 40, or whatever, that I was now ready to be a head coach. I donít think anybody can tell you or prepare you for all the things that I needed to be told and prepared to be a head coach thatís just ready to go out there today. I know throughout my career that when I was a part-time assistant coach when I started, that I wanted to be a full-time coach, and I wanted to establish that, become a full-time coach and become a coordinator and establish that, become a coordinator at a small school, go to be a coordinator at a larger school and move from one conference to the next. I had no idea that I was going to end up in the NFL, and I got a phone call from Mike Tice four years ago, and I was in Minneapolis two days later getting ready to establish my first team meeting with the Minnesota Vikings offense. So, you donít really know what path itís going to take you, but youíre always preparing yourself for this day. Youíre taking down the notes you need to take from the guys youíve worked with, worked for, played for, and when that day does come , you establish all that background and all that tradition that youíve learned and take all of the good things, and some of the bad things you may say well, I want to do it that way and go from there. I know one thing; Iím going to be asking a lot of questions. When I run into something thatís unusual to me or new territory or new turf, Iím going to ask. Iím going to over-communicate with people, and it might be annoying, but thatís how you get better. I didnít put any air in the football, I didnít invent one play, everything that I have learned Iíve plagiarized from somebody else and here I stand in front of you, and Iíll continue to do the same as a head coach to be honest with you.Ē

(On how he feels he compares to former Head Coach Mike Martz)

ďI donít draw comparisons, not to myself nor do I compare players. One thing I will comment on that, because that is something that should obviously be addressed. I have always admired what the Rams have done offensively, and Coach Martz was obviously the guy that has been doing that on the offensive side and when he was the coordinator for Coach Vermeil. We studied and emulated a lot of things offensively that were done here, just like everybody else in the league, and everybody knows it. They have copied the Rams offense, but we did it every year. And I was just a huge fan. Iím Scott Linehan; Iím not anybody other than that, and I will never try to be like anybody else, but I will always work on being a little bit better everyday so that our team can continue to improve.Ē

(On whether he feels he would benefit from hiring a coordinator with head coaching experience)

ďI think that is always a benefit, but thatís not the number one criteria for him to being an effective coordinator. I think when we evaluate him, he has to be a competent guy that knows the defense and the system, he has to be someone who can get along with the coaches and affect them in a positive way, and most importantly get the players to play for you, because bottom line is that is how youíre evaluated as a coach, if your players play at the level that is expected out of them.Ē

(On whether he will base the defensive philosophy on defenses that he disliked facing)

ďWhen youíre evaluating guys that you like [for the positions] thatís exactly what goes through your mind. We had a lot of weapons, just like the weapons that are in place here. I always liked to have several chances to get one-on-one coverage with that prominent player, whether it is receiver or get a good one-on-one look for a back in a passing game, or a good box count to run the ball. But the guys that really make you be patient, and by nature Iím probably not a real patient person but I have learned it over time, a guy that makes you be patient and drive the ball in this league, but play aggressive when itís time, third-down packages where they get after you when they know they have you pinned back and those kind of things. Those are the guys that I think do the best job in this league because they know they still get and create pressure and create havoc with great players that they may have in their fronts, whether it may be a rush end or good blitzing linebacker. They never expose the players that you want to expose and those are the guys, I think, that are smart. Good coaches really protect the players that need to be protected because maybe they are not good coverage guys in space or they really exploit your weaknesses as well. So thatís a big part of what you evaluate, but they are all good in this league. In this league there isnít anybody in this league who does have the ability to go out and affect you in a negative way defensively, I say that from an offensive side of it, and stop you any given Sunday.Ē

(On QB Marc Bulger)

ďI have not met Marc. As a person, I asked a lot of questions about him, but as quarterback I really think he is one of the elite players in the league. What I like about him is he kind of emerged from, I donít mean to say nowhere, Marc will think I didnít give him credit to begin with, but the guy really came and really proved himself in a short period of time. I think heís one of the best quarterbacks in the league at anticipation of letting the ball go to open areas and throwing the ball to guy extremely accurate. I know he is one of those kind of quiet calm leaders, and I like that in a quarterback and a leader. He affects the team positively with his play, and I just really look forward to the guy and working with him, and I look forward to him continuing to grow and continue to be that. Iím certain he will because itís going to be his personality to do that. I canít wait to start work with him.Ē

(On dealing with the additional pressure and adversity of being a head coach)

ďI handle that fairly well. I have to be honest with you, it affects you if you have a negative experience, but thatís how you grow and get better. Itís how you handle experience; itís not the experience itself. I look at, probably, the most stressful experience I have made was when I moved from college to the NFL without any NFL experience and coordinating an offense that [had] people the likes of Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss and Matt Burk, and those kind of people in their system. I felt more pressure walking into that room the first day I introduced the offense to the team in the OTAs than I did [during] the opening kickoff for that season, because I wanted to establish my credibility that I knew what I was doing and be prepared. They did a great job of preparing me for this day in my opinion. That whole experience really enlightened me to the fact that, hey, itís still the same game. You have to prepare differently. These players are expecting you to be ready, to be prepared, to establish your credibility by knowing what youíre doing, number one, and going out and putting a great product on the field. The bottom line is getting those guys to play for you, and play well for you, is the key for a coach.Ē

(On the possibility of teams not allowing coaches to leave to become his assistants)

ďIím anticipating that. If we were just getting everybody we wanted, we probably werenít looking for the right guys. Itís going to happen. I coached and recruited in college for 13 years; you learn to handle rejection and move on and have a backup plan for a guy that is equally as effective. Weíre going to set the profiles of the coordinators and the position coaches in an order and go after them aggressively, and have the plan and move on and move swiftly to the next guy, and feel comfortable with the plan we have in place to make these hires is the right plan. You canít go into it blind and say I want the ĎAí coach, and if I donít get the ĎAí coach then I have a ĎBí. You have to have A, B, C, D, EÖall the way down the alphabet ready to go, and thereís not going to be a whole lot of difference between those guys in my view. You may rate them that way, but sometimes 5í9Ē receivers go out and dominate a game and are the Super Bowl MVP. They just arenít 6í2Ē so thatís just the way it works.Ē

(On RB Marshall Faulkís future with the Rams)

ďI have not spoken with Marshall [Faulk]. I know heís been in touch with [President] John [Shaw]. My hope is, and I really donít know peoplesí plans and I think itís appropriate to say that until I talk to him that would be my only comment on it. But my hope would be that whatever is best for Marshall is what we get. I would love for him to be here. I am the biggest fan of his that he doesnít know. I donít know if itís appropriate to call him Mr. Ram, but when you think of the Rams that is who you think of. Iím just excited to meet him. I have to be honest with you; my boys are more excited to meet him than anybody of any place I have ever gone. Iím looking forward to meeting with him and talking to him about his future, and I sure do hope he feels comfortable with his future here, because I think the world of the guy.Ē

(On how important he feels it is to initiate communication with the veteran players)

ďI think itís important to do that right away, and there has to be an appropriate time. There canít be a quick meeting and then move on. I want to set those times and make I put the time into hearing them out, and I want to hear their opinions and what they think of the team and the direction and things that have happened in the past and how we can avoid those things. And things that have happened in the past that were good, how we can bring them back. Those things all have to be established and the leaders deserve that. Thatís what you have to do to establish your credibility with the players. Donít go in talking; go in listening. Thatís how I have always been.Ē

(On what his areas of concern on defense and what he will do to address those issues)

ďI think its, more than anything, without getting in depth with the personnel and things like that, is really the attitude and the style of play and even just how they view themselves. I think one of the problems that happens when you get such a wonderful, dominate offensive scheme, like they have had here, that sometimes you get that little brother syndrome. And a lot of it is just bringing them into the fold as far as part of the whole concept. Everybody has the same vision and goal as a team here. I think we have to play identical styles. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but we basically have to have the same goals up in reverse order in both rooms so that weíre all playing together and on the same page, and know that sometimes what you do offensively can help protect your defense too. Establish those things so that we as a group go look each other in the eye and say weíre doing what is best for the team. And I think that is why it is so critical that we evaluate this as bringing in quality people on the defensive side to get this accomplished. Thatís why itís not just what I know, itís not so much their competency and whatís in their brain, Iím talking about the coaches, itís how they affect those players in a positive way so that they can play with that attitude.Ē

(On how much obligations like dealing with the media will be a change for him)

ďItís going to be a bigger change. Itís going to be a bigger change than what I was doing in Miami, I can tell you that. Iím just saying that in jest; I donít want [Dolphinís Head Coach] Nick [Saban] to be mad at me, but I thought it would be appropriate. I think that is going to be the challenge; managing your time as a coach, whether youíre a coordinator or a quarterbacks coach or youíre quality control, thatís going to be the key. And I have to do a really good job of listening and using the people in the business that are friends of mine that can give me good advise that have been head coaches, that are head coaches right now, and listen to them say if I could do it over again, this is how I would do it, this is a good media policy, this one isnít, this a good way to do your game plan, and this is a good time for you to spend time with the defense. Those are all things that have to be managed and already planned for me so that I can effectively do the job. And Iím going to have to tweak it. There is not perfect plan; you just have to execute the plan. And the way you execute the plan is if you have to make an adjustment here or there then I have to be willing to do that. But thatís really the only way you can prepare yourself for a position when you move from one level to the next is really plan for it, but plan for using a lot of resources to get through it too.Ē

(On the Rams special teams and how he plans to improve that area and his philosophy on starters on special teams)

ďI think the special teams have to have that same, you asked the question about the defenseÖ That has to be the approach. They have to know that theyíre going to be an aggressive, attacking, relentless, 60-minute group just like the offense, just like the defense; and that theyíre on the same page as well. Sometimes special teams get pushed aside, and itís not always done on purpose, it just happens. And it might be a philosophy or whatever, I donít know. My thing is getting the best players on the field is a very smart thing to do, but we have to budget who that is and when that is, but I think you play the best players in critical situations to help you to become a better team. I use the [New England LB] Tedy Bruschi analogy. A lot of people donít realize what an effective player Tedy Bruschi was on special teams. I think everybody looks at him as the heart and soul of the Patriots, but hereís a guy that flies down the field, makes tackles on kickoff coverage. He might not do it every time. I canít say that he goes down of kickoff cover every time, but he was probably out there on a critical kickoff cover in some of those Super Bowl years. So I think you budget the time; you put them on the field to help effect to change the game, but you also have to be smart with that and decide and establish who those players are going to be and when you play them.Ē

(On how much influence he plans to have on defense once he hires a coordinator)

ďWell, the reason you hire coaches is so that they can do the job you hire them for. Iím going to be involved just so Iím informed. Iím not going to be one of those guys who is sitting here saying, hey this blitz and I really think you should play corners with bump in this situation. That is the kind of thing that you do as a group, and you say what we hate as an offense is to see Cover Two, 25 straight plays in a row when you have two dominate receivers out there in a double cover the whole game. Those are the kind of things that I will try to do to try to affect and improve anybody I work with. And I want to get the same interaction from them. I want to have the same kind of dialogue with that particular person when he says, hey, if we say that [DE] Leonard Little is going to be flopped to the other side. I want to hear those things so I can learn and get better, and just be informed. That is why the whole philosophy of working as a team and being a cohesive unit, thatís why we have to be on the same page. Iím not going look over a guys shoulder other than I want to know what weíre doing and I want to be in a position of support.Ē

(On what it means to him to be an NFL head coach)

ďItís a dream come true. I promised my wife I wouldnít cry, so Iím not going to do that, but itís fulfilling a dream and being in the greatest profession in the world, and being in the greatest league in the world. How lucky am I?Ē

G Adam Timmerman

Friday, January 20, 2006

(On the hiring of Head Coach Scott Linehan)

ďI think itís good. I donít know a lot about Coach yet. We did just meet him upstairs, and [he] seemed like a nice guy, a family guy, so I look forward to getting to know him a little bit better.Ē

(On whether he thinks that hiring an offensive coach will help ease the transition)

ďI think from that standpoint that is one of our strengths is in our offense. I think it is good to have an offensive coach who is really going to know how to use those things, rather than do the full 180 and try to get a defensive guy. Iím sure heís going to look for a quality defensive coordinator to get him on staff and make the improvements that need to be made. But I think it is probably a smart move to hire somebody who is offensive-minded.Ē

(On whether it is a relief to have a new coach hired from a playerís standpoint)

ďYeah, that is nice just to finally get somebody on board who will find out who coaches and get to know him and see his style, and what kind of changes are going to happen from our standpoint. But, yeah, at least make a decision and start moving forward.Ē

(On whether he got a sense of what kind of guy Coach Linehan is in their first meeting)

ďEnthusiastic, but we didnít meet him real long or talk real long. He just seemed like a real quick witted guy, and personable.Ē

(On whether he seems like a playersí coach)

ďYeah, I think so. And I think just as far as personality, just real easy to talk to and easygoing. Iím sure heís had a whirlwind the last few days and is probably going to have a whirlwind next couple of weeks too. Iím sure he has a ton of stuff going on, but it seems like heís well prepared and ready for it.Ē

C Andy McCollum

Friday, January 20, 2006

(On what the head coaching change has been like)

ďFor us, it still remains to be seen. It seems like a good choice. Heís done a great job if you look at his record. I just got to meet him this morning, and he seems like a great guy. So, changes-wise, weíll just have to wait and see who he hires as far as his staff and go from there.Ē

(On if it is more difficult as a player to have a head coach that is not a recognizable name)

ďI donít think it really matters, because weíre just going to go out and do our job the best that we can, no matter what. If some changes are made here and there then we have to roll with it.Ē

(On what Head Coach Scott Linehan said to him when they met)

ďIt was just getting to meet him, introductions and what not. He didnít tell us what plays heís going to call or anything like that.Ē

(On his first impressions of Linehan)

ďYeah, he seems like a good guy. Thatís about it.Ē

(On if it is good for the players that there are no more questions about who the coach will be)

ďYeah, I guess so. We can find out whoís going to be around, and he can give us a schedule for the off-season and how weíre going to attack what we need to do. So, yeah, in that regard, itís a good thing.Ē

(On how his introduction to Linehan went)

ďWe had some donuts, and we made sure that he had donuts in here every single day. No, he doesnít look like he eats too many donuts.Ē

(On his impressions of Linehan and if there is pressure from following Mike Martz)

ďI donít know, there could be a little bit. What Mikeís done with the offense in past years is impressive, but heís his own guy, and he has to do his own thing. If he does things a little different, then weíll all adjust, and weíll do our best to make it work. Thatís what we get paid to do. If you look at what heís done, record-wise and in the past with offenses, heís been successful. Thereís no reason we shouldnít believe in what heís going to have us do.