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    Head Coach Scott Linehan Monday, December 18, 2006

    Mon Dec-18-06 05:49 PM

    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    (Opening statement)

    “Just quick again on the injury report. I think (Victor) Adeyanju will be closer this week. Felt much more comfortable on Friday last week with the cast and the padding and all that pain. We’re very hopeful he’ll be ready to go and finish this last stretch we have here. Jerome Carter had a cortisone injection in that ankle. That’s kind of a wait and see. We’ll know more after Wednesday’s practice. Stephen Davis had his right hand x-rayed during the game, was really inconclusive. We’re having a CT scan on it to see if he might have a re-fracture of some sort. He’d broken it before, not here, but just making sure it’s not an old break that they see in there or whatever. It’s something the doctors feel he can play with padding or a small cast if it does indeed show a break. Paul Smith, again, will be questionable with his neck. He has a disc bulge in his neck that’s causing him a lot of discomfort in both arms, which is basically pinched nerve-type symptoms. It hasn’t really improved much. He’s questionable at best. Adam Timmerman, we’ll list him as questionable again. Hopefully he’s a lot better. I would really hope that he would be available for this Sunday’s contest. We’ll have to wait and see. He could have been available. He’s been injecting that for pain to play with it the last games that he’s played prior to this game sitting out, but we’d like him to be 100 percent healthy if he’s not starting the game. Matt Turk got a neck strain on the first one that he ran. He actually got his neck twisted, but I think he’ll be alright. Other than that, that’s really it to report on the injury report. Not as bad as it’s been. Maybe it has something to do with winning the game, I don’t know. We just came out a lot healthier this game.”

    (On the location of Carter’s sprain)

    “Where the pain is, is more around a nerve. There’s not a whole lot of swelling, but it’s very painful. He’s a very tough individual; has played through a lot of pain all year, but this is really just a lot of discomfort there. He really just can’t push off. It’s been checked. It’s not anything that shows anything as far as a break or anything. It’s really pain tolerance.”

    (On when Davis injured his hand)

    “Until I talk to him…I really can’t talk. I thought it was on the screen pass because he got hit right on the hand area on the screen pass down. That’s what I think it was. He was only in for five plays, so it was one of those five. That’s the play I saw it.”

    (On why Davis didn’t see more playing time)

    “I think it was just Steven (Jackson) was feeling it. I think he was just running strong and felt very good, and he didn’t get winded too much and wanted to stay in there. That had more to do with it than anything.”

    (On when he told G Adam Timmerman he wouldn’t play)

    “We talked about it on Friday. I told him officially Saturday morning before we left. A lot of it had to do with backing ourselves up on the O-line that wasn’t playing full time since we had both the guys who had been our centers…our starting center with Richie (Incognito) when (Brett) Romberg was backing up both playing at the same time, and having Larry (Turner) available in case something happened to Romberg in a drive or things like that. It’s easier to put a guy in for a couple snaps and leave the other guy at his spot than to switch two guys because of that. The other was to back up on our special teams with our wedge and things like that. Larry had done the wedge. We actually ended up going with (Jason) Fisk. Fortunately for us, we only had one kickoff return attempt, but using both Jason Fisk and Larry Turner on the wedge. Logic to me said that if Adam wasn’t going to start or play, the whole idea was to get him through the game so he’d be healthier to finish out, hopefully, the last two. If you weren’t going to start him, they why play him at all? That was really it more than anything. Like I said it was my call. I made the decision. It wasn’t an easy decision based on taking the personal things with him involved and everything, but sometimes you’ve got to make those decisions so you can give yourself the best chance to win the game.”

    (On Timmerman’s reaction to not playing)

    “I think he was very disappointed, and I 100 percent understand that. The competitor that he is and the teammate that he is to the other guys…it wasn’t easy, but he handled it with class. He’s a competitor who wasn’t necessarily happy about it, but he’d never…he’s one of those guys who may not agree, but he’s not going to be a guy that’s causing any problems at the time. If it’s best for the team, like he said, he’s going to go along with it. That’s the kind of person he is.”

    (On if Timmerman will play this Sunday)

    “I can’t answer that until we get closer to the game. Hopefully he’s 100 percent, or closer to 100 percent, than he’s been.”

    (On if taking only a week off can heal Timmerman’s broken ribs)

    “He broke them four weeks ago, so they’re probably getting close to being healed if there is such a thing. He’s been playing with it, so I’m sure the pounding he’s taking as he’s pushing on guys is not expediting the process. We’ll see. It’s all based on how he feels. If he can practice, that would enhance our ability to have him back in there, but he hasn’t been able to practice, even this week, with the pain he’s got in there. Which is understandable, but it really doesn’t help a guy get himself ready to play a game, especially on the O-line.”

    (On G Adam Goldberg going in for G Mark Setterstrom)

    “His (Setterstrom) shoe came off. I think it was one play actually. We plan on leaving the group in there. There was no plan of substitution. I think that was it more than anything.”

    (On CB Tye Hill’s quad)

    “His quad came out fine. He really didn’t have any problems from that. He did experience cramping in the game, but I think he’s gotten closer to being 100 percent. I think his quad’s really improved since two games ago. Last week he came out okay. We modified his practice schedule a little bit last week, and he came out of this one okay.”

    (On the performance of the O-line as a whole)

    “I thought they played very well as a group. They had their moments where we looked a little young in there, but the thing I was the most pleased with is that we played very physical, and against a very physical defense. That’s one thing that the Raiders have been priding themselves all year defensively. There were some tough matchups in there at times, and we won some, we lost some. But they kept coming at them them. We played on their half of the line of scrimmage for the most part the whole day, and a lot of it was because we were able to hang with the run pretty good I thought.”

    (On the possibly of this being the ‘line of the future’ for the Rams)

    “It’s a possibly. It’s certainly something to look at right now. They’re a young group, really, across the board if you take (Todd) Steussie out of the mix as far as if you look at the age of the player. Setterstrom, four starts. Romberg’s first. Richie’s in his first year of starting in the NFL. Alex Barron’s in his second year starting, and Joe Klopfenstein’s in his first year starting if you count him as part of the line. The encouraging thing is they’re very willing. They’ve improved to this point to get in there, and deserve an opportunity. It shows for some good depth down the line for sure. I don’t know if it’ll be our starting lineup after this week, but we’re not focused on anything but this game. So far so good.”

    (On having the combination of Setterstrom, Romberg and Incognito starting next week)

    “Right now if we were to decide today, that would be what we would do, just because it would be nice to have some continuity in there.”

    (On evaluating C Andy McCollum and Timmerman’s futures)

    “At the end of the season. It’s not the appropriate time, and that’s really not at all…we’re really not talking about any of those things, or making any evaluations at this point. When that time comes we’ll address that right away.”

    (On planning on having RB Kay-Jay Harris contribute on special teams)

    “We’d hoped. A lot of it was based on him playing in the preseason. He had been primarily a practice squad back, so there’s nothing to base it on. My experience at Miami encouraged me that he was going to be able to be that kind of player. When you’re the third back going into a gameday roster, you’ve got to be, to me, a core special teams player, and be able to help in some shape or form on offense. Before (Tony) Fish(er) got hurt, he was a core special teams player and our third down back primarily, where I think we were hoping that Kay-Jay was going to be able to come in and help on special teams right away and then give us depth, which he’s been able to do for the, most part, since he’s been here.”

    (On Harris’ performance)

    “I think he had his best game yesterday. Like any young player and the rest of us, has probably had some ups and downs lately, but he really made a big improvement in his impact that he had on our special teams yesterday for sure.”

    (On DT La’Roi Glover’s performance against the Raiders)

    “He had his best game by far, in my opinion. He probably played more than what is optimal, but that’s our depth right now with the D-line only having six up yesterday. It helped that we were getting off the field and we didn’t have to stay on the field for those long drives. Offensively, the more you keep the defense on the field, you feel that it takes away the effectiveness of a pass rusher or a guy that plays the game the way La’Roi does. He was able to, early in downs; disrupt their timing a little bit. He was really the key to the first interception because he forced that bad throw. Then he came back on the next series and got a very big sack and had a number of tackles. He really showed his all-around game this game more than any all year.”

    (On LB Dexter Coakley’s performance filling in for injured LB Pisa Tinoisamoa)

    “Dexter had a very solid game. He came away with that interception and got that last turnover. He played very well at his position at the Will linebacker spot and he had quite a bit of production as far as tackles. The one thing about Dexter is that he’s a reliable guy and he’s played a lot and started a lot of games at linebacker in this league. That really showed yesterday. He’s not really fazed by not starting all year and then getting in there, playing a full game, and playing very well.”

    (On the Rams being able to bounce back after Monday night’s game)
    “That’s what I was most pleased with. You could say Monday night or whatever, based on where we were and what needed to be done. Going on the road, whether we played Sunday or Monday, we were coming off of a tough stretch to say the least. I mentioned it yesterday that it would be easy to look at it and say, ‘How are we going to get ourselves out of this hole we dug,’ but if we didn’t win that game there would be no hope. I was very pleased with our effort. We played physical and the effort was all there. You don’t know until you play the game how you’re going to respond. We’d hoped and I felt going into the game that we had prepared that way, but you have to go out and prove it. I think it was a pretty good test of character.”

    (On the NFL’s playoff scenarios)

    “Actually, I think that the scenario has become appropriate going into the last game. There are a number of things that could happen that would be out of our control, the only thing we can control is our performance. I know it’s a pretty easy thing to say, but if we don’t win this game the scenarios don’t matter. The best way for us to control that is to play well in our last home game, win the game, and we know that it will take care of itself, or not. There are still going to be some things out of our control going into the last game. If we take care of business this week then we can visit some of those scenarios going into the last game.”

    (On C Brett Romberg’s performance in Sunday’s game)
    “First of all, he’s a natural, he’s played there. That’s a position that he plays based on his physical characteristics. He’s not going to be an overpowering player because his stature is shorter and he’s not as big or doesn’t have the bulk of an (Richie) Incognito, for example. He understands position; he knows the technique that you need to use based on what’s in front of him. He really understands leverage, timing, and using his hands. You have to be able to do that as a center. You have your hand on the ball and an off hand, so you have to learn how to use it. He’s a natural at that. I think the one thing he brings us as a guy that’s played the position, is that you don’t worry as much about the ball being snapped. Some of those shotgun snaps that become a little bit erratic from a guy like Richie (Incognito) who hasn’t been doing it a lot doesn’t become a concern. Line calls that centers have to make, Richie’s done a nice job of it all year, but there has been times where it hasn’t been a natural thing and for Brett it is. He brings enough physical characteristics, but all the intangible things have been the reason why we made this decision to see how he would fare, and he really played very well.”

    (On G/C Richie Incognito’s adjustment to playing right guard)

    “I think you’ll see that he flashed half of the time where he looked like a natural there and there were some times when you could tell that it was his first time playing the position. I think that’s expected. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t improve a tremendous amount from one game to the next. It’s a natural position for him, the matchup is natural as far as the type of people that will be across for him, and hopefully we’ll build on his ability to play either one of the guard spots.”

    (On what the Rams are currently focused on)
    “Our focus was to finish these last games taking them one at a time and focusing on them as a three game season and taking each game for what it is. This is a big game for us. Whether we make the playoffs or not isn’t the focus. The focus is on winning the 15th game of the year, improving as a team, making the adjustments that are necessary for us to get there, and building on a really strong outing like this. You can take the records of the teams out of it, we had to go on the road after a tough stretch on our team as far as wins and losses are concerned and play well. I think the general expectation would be, ‘What are these guys going to do?’ I think the expectation within the building was that we needed to make some drastic improvement. We can build on it, but we’re going to be tested again this week. We’re playing at home and playing against a team that’s probably better than their record and we have to play well. New Orleans was considered as one of the best teams in all of the NFC, which is probably true. They didn’t look like the team I watched a few weeks ago because Washington decided to be that much better that day. We have two teams that are probably looking for the same result this week. Washington’s coming into our place, we’re coming home, and hopefully we can play well again.”

    (On shutting out the Raiders)

    “It was great. I was happy for our football team, not just our defense. I think we needed to go out and put together a team effort. When you can shut somebody down and make it one of those types of games is always good. Offensively we have to go out and play solid, but once we got the lead and got that first touchdown in the second half we felt like we were in control of things. That’s how you football games. You want to be a heck of a football team. We’re nowhere near that yet, but it was a step in the right direction. Just like I told (Jim) Haslett, ‘We just have do that every week.’”

    (On the illegal formation penalty that was called during a punt attempt)

    “We weren’t breaking the plane. Our gunners were on the ball, but we weren’t breaking the belt-line. We were warned and the adjustment was made on the sideline, but I’m not sure we understood that the whole team needed to move up. They were basically talking about one person and it wasn’t the guy on our side, it’s always the guy on the other side. They basically said that 58 (LB Isaiah Kacyvenski) needed to move up. As I look at it, if they were going to call illegal formation, it needed to be on our entire unit. I think our entire unit was a little far back. We knew they meant the left side of the line, so he moved up a little bit, but we still haven’t corrected the problem because we have to get the whole group up there. That’s something we have to take accountability for. We have to make sure those alignment things don’t happen. We’ve had too many of them and I know I’ve said it every week and it falls on all of our shoulders to get those corrected.”

    (On WR Torry Holt being called for a false start)
    “I suppose it’s happened, but usually they warn you first and say he’s crowding it. It’s not Torry Holt’s first time playing X-receiver, which he’s always on the line except for maybe five plays during the game. I thought that was a little unusual. I spent most of the game standing next to them and telling the that the Raiders’ X-receiver’s head crossed the ball, but it never really did much good.”

    (On the Rams possible Pro Bowl players)
    “I think a number of them are deserving. I think when your record’s better you can expect a few more representatives. I certainly feel that Leonard (Little) has had a Pro Bowl type season as have some other guys, but I think Leonard’s numbers speak for themselves. Steven (Jackson) is having a Pro Bowl year. I know there are a number of running backs that are getting a little bit more publicity than him based on the seasons they teams are having. I don’t think any of them have the impact, other than one guy, as far as running and catching. I certainly think that Torry (Holt) is always going to be in consideration. He’s having a very fine year and he’ll probably finish the year with very good numbers. I know he’s had some years where he’s had more yards, but he’s certainly up there as one of the top touchdown scorers for receivers, and that’s hard to do on a consistent basis. I think Marc (Bulger) is quietly having that kind of season, but it’s hard to say how the voters see it. There are certainly a number of guys that deserve the consideration, but you have to be realistic because there are only so many slots. We hope for the best, but our biggest focus is this game.”

  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan Monday, December 18, 2006

    Bulger, Holt, Jackson and Little should all make the Pro-Bowl IMO.

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    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan Monday, December 18, 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Bulger, Holt, Jackson and Little should all make the Pro-Bowl IMO.
    i agree, but i can see how some of them wont just because they are rams


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