JavaScript must be enabled to use this chat software. Head Coach Scott Linehan--Monday, October 09, 2006

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    Head Coach Scott Linehan--Monday, October 09, 2006

    (Opening statement injury report)

    “Travis Fisher has a strained groin. Seemed like he came out okay. We’re going to do an MRI on it. It was actually the other groin than the one that was bothering him. We’ll get the results of that here sometime tomorrow. I think it’s optimistic that it’s going to be okay. Fahkir Brown has an ankle sprain; wasn’t able to go. Should be day-to-day this week. Ron Bartell had some cramping. Might have seen him come out. Seemed like that was really all it was but we’ll evaluate him as well. Will Witherspoon came out for a couple of plays with a mild ankle sprain. We came out reasonably healthy, but we have a few nicks that we’re going to have to manage during the week. We’ll evaluate these guys and update you daily on their status. Paul Smith…the specialists are still looking at some things with his injury. I’m not really sure what that means, but we’ll have an update on him after we get this done with him by Wednesday. The optimism of him being able to go in three weeks is still kind of up in the air. It’s kind of a tricky deal there with that eye. We’ll know more about that.”

    (Opening statement game report)

    “As far as the game, classic, hard-fought. The game really reminded me a lot of the old black-and-blue division-type games when I was at Minnesota. Very similar. I think both teams worked very hard. We were certainly fortunate to come out on the better end of it, but I thought our players played with great effort and played all the way to the end. Felt very fortunate and good about going on the road and winning in a tough place like Lambeau Field.”

    (On CB Travis Fisher’s injury)

    “He said that he strained his other groin. Really it bothered him a little bit in practice. It was really the other groin that had been bothering him…it was really the same groin that was hampering him a little bit during the week. He felt much better Friday, and actually felt good and looked good in the game, but aggravated it and didn’t feel that he was able to go. We went with a healthier player at that point.”

    (On T Orlando Pace’s condition)

    “Really well. Didn’t mention him because we think he’s kind of gotten past that, hopefully. Shouldn’t have any limitations as far as starting this week.”

    (On what bothered WR Torry Holt during the game)

    “His ankle. Got it kind of twisted after the long run after the catch. It didn’t bother him too bad. He wasn’t complaining about it too much today and felt like he’d be good to go by Wednesday.”

    (On CB Fahkir Brown having a high ankle sprain)

    “No it’s not. It’s actually in the lower part. I think it’s like anything else, you get those ligaments down there when you sprain it, it’s pretty painful for a while. It’s pretty painful for him to plant down and push off. It’s not a high ankle sprain, so the likelihood of it being something that lingers on much longer is pretty low I think.”

    (On CB Tye Hill being hard on himself after the game)

    “First of all, I think a great trait a competitor has is that it means a lot to them if they don’t feel they played well enough or…in his words he felt he let his teammates down and all that. I think that’s a great trait to have, to a point. I think you’ve got to have a short memory to play corner, just like quarterback or starting pitcher. You make a mistake, you’ve got to get mad or disappointed, and you’ve got to get over it. I think young players have got to go through that. I certainly would rather have that. A guy that absolutely crushes if he gets beat than have any kind of indifference in any way. He’ll learn and he’ll learn how to not carry that over so much.”

    (On spreading the ball and using four wide receivers)

    “A little bit. They had some changes in their secondary. We certainly felt that our third and fourth receiver had some favorable matchups and we utilized it some. It was effective for the most part, especially for giving Kevin and Shaun the ball. That was part of it. That was definitely part of the plan.”

    (On considering RB Stephen Davis in goal-line situations)

    “I have confidence in Steven Jackson to do it. I told Steven that too. I said, he wants certainly to be the complete player, and he’s working very hard to get there. He’s playing very well for us. We’ve just got to work very hard at getting better when we get down in there, at sealing the deal, so-to-speak, and getting the ball in. It’s a team evaluation, though. It’s not just him on the goal line. It’s what we’re doing and all those things. I think as we work hard and progress in this thing, that we all look at it and say ‘This is what we need to do to get better,’ and give him every opportunity to do that. I think Stephen Davis certainly is a guy that can do it as well, but that’s still pretty early. He missed the entire training camp. He’s still working his way into the lineup as well. We’ll utilize both in that situation for different reasons as the year goes on I would think.”

    (On Davis’ grasp of the offense)

    “He is, and has done a good job. Hasn’t had any problems with mental errors or anything like that. He certainly was more limited to start off and will continue to get more snaps as we feel needed. He’s a professional. Each week he puts a lot of time and energy into knowing the plan and kind of learning it as we go. He gets more comfortable with things, especially in the passing game and the protection and things like that. I feel more and more confident that he feels confident in those situations now.”

    (On QB Marc Bulger’s rollout near the goal line)

    “That’s one of those plays that you call it and tell him to keep it and it’s going to look great if they all bite it, and if it doesn’t, it’s going to kind of look like a botched play. It was a gamble. I don’t know how many more of those you’ll see us run.”

    (On Bulger’s lack of acceleration)

    “The whole idea is that…you see it on tape. You see some of those situations that come up when they disregard the quarterback on a lot of those plays. It was a gamble, a gamble that we didn’t certainly get. It’s one of those things that if you call it and if it works, it’s a great play. If you call it and it doesn’t work, then it’s a lousy play. That’s kind of what happened there.”

    (On running the clock down at the end of the fourth quarter)

    “In that situation we knew we needed to get another first down. We ran the ball on first down and they called an immediate timeout. They had two more stoppages. They could stop it two more times with a time out and the two minute. We needed another first down to really manage the clock to where we could run it and make the clock run. In that situation, if we ran it, they’re going to call another time out, and then if we run it again, it’s going to be the two minute warning. What we ran in that situation, we ran a pass play that we called four times prior and we were four for four on. Didn’t execute the one that was to McDonald. That’s when we ran some what of a basic play but it was really the first time they ran a man blitz where it’s going to be all or nothing. They had good coverage and so we missed that one. Again, you have to credit them. They covered it when they needed to. We felt that if we could have gotten that first down there, then we’d certainly gain an extra set of downs. You’d like to be able to complete the ball and have the clock still run, and get the first down. We didn’t execute as good as we needed to in that situation. We certainly felt like, in that series there, with their ability to stop the clock, that we needed to play as if we needed to get a first down, regardless if we ran it or not.”

    (On getting WRs Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald more involved in the offense)

    “They certainly have not done anything to not deserve a chance to play. It just that we utilize a number of personnel groups and you can only get 11 guys out there at a time. I think this was a great opportunity for us in a game against a team that has changed quite a bit in their secondary, as far as who’s going to possibly cover those guys, to utilize it. We also felt it would give us a potential advantage in the running game if we spread them out and they gave us favorable looks to run, which was somewhat effective in this game too. If we think that’s something that can help us going into a game we have with the luxury of the depth we have at receiver to be able to do that at times.”

    (On the Rams difficulty getting the ball to WRs Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt)

    “I think they did a good job to make sure that those guys had two guys covering them most of the game. We moved Torry (Holt) in the slot a number of times and weren’t able to execute the plays that were called for him. I think it was more that they were going to give the favorable match-ups to some of the other guys. I think they did a very good job of evaluating where they were the week before. They had a pretty big change with a player that they released and played a pretty basic, sound plan. They didn’t come after us much. We’ve seen actually three or four games where teams have blitzed us quite a bit, (but) in this game we saw very little, which is usually pretty sound as far as being able to double receivers.”

    (On QB Marc Bulger’s streak of no interceptions)

    “There’s certainly some luck involved. But, like I tell the players, ‘We create our own luck most of the time.’ I don’t think he’s just gotten lucky every time he’s thrown the ball; he’s making really good decisions with the ball. He admittedly would say that he’s been fortunate a couple of times. A lot of it is the fact that he’s a darn smart quarterback and doesn’t give the defense too many opportunities. I guess we got a couple of breaks there, but for the most part it’s been very good decision making.”

    (On Bulger’s performance yesterday)

    “I thought he played solid. He played well enough to be the winning quarterback in that game. You really evaluate it that way. Some weeks you have big stats, but the bottom line is in that game that day. There’s an old saying, ‘You don’t have to be the best quarterback in the league, and you need to be the best quarterback in that stadium.’ I don’t know if that’s true. Brett Favre played excellent, but I think Marc (Bulger) did what we needed to have done well enough for us to win the football game, and that’s really what the goal is.”

    (On Bulger un-learning Mike Martz’s system)

    “I can’t really speak for how he was coached or what he was taught. I know it was very effective and he was very good at it before. I think anytime there’s a new system any quarterback, especially a veteran, has to get re-trained in what the new regime or new coaches want, and he’s been very, very willing. Marc’s ultimate goal through this whole thing is, he just wants the same result all of us want. He wants a positive result, whatever it takes. I’ve heard the term conservative, but I don’t think that’s our approach at all. I think we have the ability to be as aggressive as anyone. The formula for success in this league is playing as mistake free as you can, but you still have to have to ability to put up the points needed, and we certainly can do better. Some of the things we are not doing are helping us get to where we are at this point. We’d like to score more touchdowns, but we’re not coming away with no-scores in the red zone. That’s important, every point counts. I think Marc knows that we still need to be explosive. We have a number of plays called that gives us the ability to have big plays and we’ve had a number of big plays. We’re not a lousy team offensively by any means. We’re moving the ball and I think the way we’re throwing and running it, we’re affecting the game in a positive way. I think as we keep going with this thing, it’s really important that we see the payoff from that philosophy. I think we do have the ability to have our cake and eat it too, so to speak.”

    (On knowing any players that have a streak similar to Bulger’s streak)

    “I don’t remember. I would say ‘no’ off-hand, but these guys call me out on it. Someone will call me if I say ‘no’, so I’m going to take ‘The Fifth’ on that one, but I think it’s pretty darn good. It’s highly unlikely.”

    (On offensive coordinator, Greg Olson’s absence today)
    “We’ll all pick up the things that Greg (Olson) gets done today and tomorrow. That’s what you have to do. This is an important family issue that he’s got to take care of and that’s always going to be a priority. I think a lot of time we tighten things up a little bit and we’ll all pick up where we need to pick up.”

    (On winning so many close games)

    “We’re very happy with the fact that we’ve been resilient through the tough games. We know we’ve caught some breaks along the way, but we feel we took advantage of a lot of self-belief and effort and I believe we created a lot of that too. I, as well as the other coaches, am very proud how hard the players are playing, how positive they have stayed and not let a bad play affect the next series. I think for the most part we’ve had pretty short memories as players in these games, where we’ve not let a bad series or bad play affect the next drive. I think that’s something we have to keep stressing. Certainly, to this point it’s been helpful, but it’s too early to evaluate where we are and how we’re doing. I think it will be a big mistake to get ahead of yourself and start feeling too good about yourself at this point. I think it’s really important that we stay with the same philosophy we started with and hold ourselves accountable for mistakes that are made, but also feel good about the progress we’re making and work harder everyday to get better.”

    (On feeling fortunate because the Rams received a couple of breaks this season)

    “I’ve been on the other side of as many tough breaks, but again I think it still needs to be pointed out that our players have created a lot of that luck too. So I think there has to be some credit for them hanging in there too.”

    (On looking past the Packers to Sunday’s game)

    “I wasn’t. We’re not in a position to feel that way. It’s not like we were coming off a Super Bowl hangover last year. We had a lot of things that we needed to correct as a team. We have to approach this thing daily and every week. Half of our team is a new team that’s trying to figure out how to play each week. We had to go play another road game in a tough environment, but I don’t think there was anybody thinking about anything but that Green Bay game, to be honest with you.”

    (On how the team reacts to tough environments)

    “I think everybody has to have poise. It’s easier said than done, though. That’s a pretty intimidating environment. You have to learn how to be poised in that situation. I don’t think that is a place to unravel. If you do that all of a sudden all those things associated with playing on the road and its disadvantages become the reason why you didn’t win, and you can’t allow yourself to get there. A lot of it I credit to our experience. Even though we’re an inexperienced team together, we have experienced players that have been in that situation a number of times. I think between the coaches on our staff and the players that have been through a lot of these types of games, I think calmer heads have prevailed so far.”

    (On the upcoming stretch of opponents all having winning records)

    “The records are irrelevant. I think it’s a key game because it’s the next one that we play. I think it’s very important that we stay with that frame of mind and don’t get ahead of ourselves and think about who we’re playing and what their records are. I’ve been in this long enough now to say that the records really don’t matter. If we approach them the way we’ve been approaching them, I think it’ll be more effective.”

    (On winning road games building team confidence)

    “I think winning on the road is a big confidence builder. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to win at a place like where we won yesterday. It just is. Historically it is just a tough place to play. I think it does give our players something they can fall back on and say that they’ve been in tough environments and that they can go back in there and hang in with those guys. I would say it doesn’t hurt.”

    (On the Rams’ identity)

    “They create it weekly. I think the number one identity is that they play well together. We’ve done a little bit of ‘Ham and Egging’ like you do in golf when you play with partners. I think we’ve done a little bit of that and I think good teams do that. We’ve certainly got a long way to go in some areas, but as a team I think we believe in each other and have backed each other up at times and I think good teams do that. I don’t know if that’s our identity, but I think that it’s a good place to start that the guys are sticking together.”

    (On the Rams’ red zone defense)
    “I think that’s one thing that hasn’t really been talked about. I think our red zone defense has been a big part of what we’ve been able to accomplish defensively up to this point. We’ve been stingy down there and limited teams to field goals and kept them out of the end zone and so we’ve been able to keep the score down in a number of the games so far and that’s something that held up for us in a couple of these close wins.”

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan--Monday, October 09, 2006

    Steven Jackson / Stephen Davis for goal line situations:

    "...I think Stephen Davis certainly is a guy that can do it as well, but that’s still pretty early. He missed the entire training camp. He’s still working his way into the lineup as well. We’ll utilize both in that situation for different reasons as the year goes on I would think.”
    Say what!?! :O I'm a little surprised by that statement, but find consolation in...

    (On Davis’ grasp of the offense)

    “He is, and has done a good job. Hasn’t had any problems with mental errors or anything like that. He certainly was more limited to start off and will continue to get more snaps as we feel needed. He’s a professional. Each week he puts a lot of time and energy into knowing the plan and kind of learning it as we go. He gets more comfortable with things, especially in the passing game and the protection and things like that. I feel more and more confident that he feels confident in those situations now.”
    I suppose Coach Linehan wants to give Jax as many opportunities as possible to learn how to power his way in short, goal-line running situations. So long as we score from the one, two or three yard line with the occasional powerful battering-ram plays, the OL, the FB and the RB together, fine. But LET'S DO IT!

    Davis has expertise on that type of old-fashion punches for short and goal scenarios. He's got the size too.

    I trust SL will keep a well balanced view of his options and manage to increase the TD count inside the 10 yrd. line.
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-10-2006 at 02:15 AM. Reason: Format


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