Head Coach Scott Linehan, July 25
Head Coach Scott Linehan
July 25, 2008
“Based on how we traveled here, today was really the official first day of camp, so we had a lot of meetings today. They handled it great, in a business- like fashion today, and got a lot of work done. It’s good to see everyone back out there. It’s good to see (T) Orlando Pace back out there playing. It does a lot for how you feel about the team. (DE) Leonard Little, (DL) Adam Carriker, all the guys that have been missing from the lineup for awhile, that was great. One note, I really though (WR) Keenan Burton really had a great day. When you put pads on, guys really start to stand out and play football in this game. If I was going to go on the first day, I would say he’s got a pretty good handle on things. I’m very excited about that. I think as a group or as a whole, the team came out and we got a lot of work done.”
(On the status of T Orlando Pace)
“There are a lot of things we can do with (T )Orlando Pace, we just aren’t going to do as many. We’re going to play it by ear with them, probably more on the conservative side for right now, and just see how it goes. We have plenty of time to keep working. I think he’s in excellent shape.”
(On contract updates)
“Obviously, 39 (RB Steven Jackson) wasn’t here today, his agent informed (President of Football Operations and General Manager) Jay Zygmunt this afternoon that he wasn’t going to be here. My hope is that everything will be resolved soon. I know there is a business side of things that sometimes comes into play, but I’m totally confident that things will work out sooner than later. As far as (WR) Donnie Avery, there was no news as he’s obviously not here. There was no news from their end; it would certainly serve him good to get in here though. I think it’s really important for a young player like that, that’s learning our system to not miss any practice. I’m hopeful that will get resolved quickly.”
(On WR Keenan Burton’s thoughts on Avery missing camp)
“Its one of the best motivators in sports, so we will leave it at that.”
(On RB Steven Jackson not being at training camp)
“He didn’t miss anything and we’ve had a great off season. Things happen and when he said he wasn’t going to make the trip I knew something was going on, but I was hoping that something would work out and I still believe that. I know we have had a lot of dialogue with his representative and it has been fairly positive and I don’t anticipate that it won’t be resolved.”
(On how he found out that Jackson wasn’t making the trip)
“He said that he wasn’t going to be on the plane, so he gave me a heads up. I try to be a positive thinker and hope that there will be nothing like a ‘hold-out’ or anything, but I also understand the nature of this business and I’m hopeful that everything will get resolved quickly. “
(On Jackson’s contract)
“No, he didn’t say anything about that and everyone can put two -and -two together in regards to what its about but I have so much respect for Steven and he was respectful with letting me know he wasn’t going to be on the plane. Our focus was on the rest of the guys that were here getting ready for the opening day of training camp. “
(On competition between players)
“Every competitor does and no player knows or feels he has his position locked up. (WR) Dante Hall had a great off season and was one of the bright spots. He looks like he is in really great shape and I can tell he worked hard during the off season. I think competition is felt by every player whether they have been to the Pro Bowl or are starters because there are some guys out there playing the same position and it brings out the best in all of us.“
(On WR Derek Stanley and the competition between wide receivers)
“It really helps and makes him much more comfortable knowing the system and the speed of the game. He came from a small school although I don’t think that was really a big issue with him. It was more of being consistent and getting yourself ready to go each practice. All young players have highs and lows. I see more of a confident player and a guy that has worked hard on the mental side of the game so he could play fast.
(On if G Richie Incognito and C Brett Romberg will have equal playing opportunities)
“I want to be fair to both and it’s really hard to do and we are going to do the best we can with it. Richie is in a position where because Brett was playing primarily center and Richie was starting at guard and working him at center. So Richie is competing at both, but we have to give him the best shot at center because it requires so much mental work.”
(On CB Fahkir Brown icing his should at practice)
“I don’t think it’s anything serious. He reached out and went to the ground and strained it. He will go to evaluation with our doctors tonight, but he nor the doctors think it is anything serious.”
(On DE Victor Adeyanju not running at the end of practice)
“He has a tight hamstring, but is manageable and is nothing serious.”
President Football Operations/General Manager Jay Zygmunt
July 25, 2008
(On Steven Jackson’s contract situation)
“Earlier this offseason we approached Steven (Jackson) and his agent to express the (St. Louis) Rams interest to do a long term deal with him. Steven is not only an outstanding player but an outstanding person so it was one of the priorities of the offseason.”
“Steven actually went through an agent change sometime in June and Wednesday we made Steven an offer that would put him in the top group of running backs in the NFL. (His agent) Eugene Parker informed me that they were not accepting the offer and that he would not be showing up today… We don’t know when he will be showing up.”
“I told Eugene that it was fine, I mention that it was fine but this would be an unexcused absence and he would be fined. As soon as he comes to camp we would continue the negotiations but while he is not here, we will not talk about the contract. When I told him that he understood and I think that policy is not different with anybody else in the league.”
“Before (Steven) changed his agent, I had meetings set up right after the draft and then I was informed that he was no longer representing him. I was not informed that Eugene was representing him until the end of June. We wanted to do a new contract right after the season but obviously the franchise was going through some stuff with the passing of Georgia (Frontiere). But I expressed the fact that (the contract) was something that we wanted to do. Steven is important and we want to get this done.”
(On his concerns with Steven not being here)
“I think, within the whole league, there are not a lot of holdouts and we have not had one since, I think Jerome Bettis in the 1990s. We would like to get Steven signed and we want him to be here for a long time and hopefully this thing will get all worked out shortly. Hopefully he will show up and get here. Hopefully he will wear our jersey for years to come.”
“Everyone else is here and obviously he is a big part of our football team. He is one of the premiere running backs in the league and our offer is reflective of that. We look forward to him getting here.”
(On Donnie Avery contract situation)
“This is an unusual situation. All I have to say is that we offered him more money than the guy behind him in the second round, a little less than the guy in front and more than the guy who was drafted in his same spot a year ago. I would like to think that we will get this resolved soon.”
Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan, July 25
As much as I like Steven Jackson, I have to take the RAMS side on this issue.
Originally Posted by RamWraith
Jackson has 1 year left on his contract and is negoiating an extension/new contract for a boat load of money I'm sure. However the bottom line is that he is still employed by the RAMS for the upcoming season. Where does he get off holding out?? As Jay Zygmunt made perfectly clear, this is an unexcused absence and he will be fined. DUH! Get to training camp now.
I also like the hard-line about Jackson attending camp or there will not be any further negoiating from the RAMS.
This isn't rocket science, show up and things will get hashed out. Stay away and pay.
Blows my mind.....