JavaScript must be enabled to use this chat software. Head Coach Scott Linehan--Monday, September 11, 2006

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    Head Coach Scott Linehan--Monday, September 11, 2006

    (Opening statement- injury report)

    “Just to update you on the injury report. Andy McCollum, unfortunately, had a pretty severe knee injury. It will be a few weeks before he undergoes the actual surgery, but he had a pretty substantial injury to his left knee-ACL/MCL tear, which will pretty much end his season this year. It was tough too, he was playing really well. He had a really good camp, and is really a guy who’s really shown, over time, to be pretty injury-free. We certainly feel bad for Andy, at this point, to have this happen so early in the year. It’s an unfortunate part of this game. We’re looking for some alternatives as to what we’re going to do there. We should know more certainly by tomorrow, if not, early Wednesday if we make any acquisitions of any kind. Jimmy Kennedy broke a small bone in his hand. They put a couple pins in there today. He should be done by now, I think they were doi6ng it at noon. He should be ready to go by Sunday. He should be able to do some limited work even Wednesday, in a cast obviously, and Thursday and Friday. He went back in and played. They put a cast on it and this will actually be less cumbersome than what he had played with after he went back in with it. That’s good news there as far as that injury. Everything else was pretty minor, pretty general. Post-game soreness and things like that. Nobody else to report there.”

    (Opening statement- game recap)

    “Like I said yesterday, it was a great effort from our football team to get our first win against, really, a top-notch opponent. I’m sure it was one of those ones that probably raised some eyebrows when they saw the results of the game and we felt very fortunate to come out on the better end of it. It’s a good start for us. I was really proud of our defense and their effort. Going against a team that I think…Dan Dierdorf showed me a stat that they had scored 250 more points than any other team in the past 10 years in first quarter since coach Shanahan’s been there. To be able to go out and start fast defensively and get a little bit of a lead…I would have liked to get a little bit more, but to be able to get to a fast start, that was a great start for our defense and something hopefully our team can build on. I think our special teams showed a real marked improvement. Our coverage teams did an excellent job. They didn’t have a lot of opportunities for returns. Our one punt return got nullified due to a penalty, but it was a nice return there by Shaun , and we had one nice return there by J.R. . Not to minimize the big-time performance by our kicker Jeff Wilkins. That was certainly one we’ll all remember and hopefully we‘ll…he said his leg was sore after the game. I don’t want to hear that too many times, his leg being too sore. I’d rather have it be after extra points. We’ll continue to work on that. I was proud of our offense that they understand and trust me, welcome the opportunity to see that we have to improve but also didn’t wreck the game on our side. The thing that was great was we protected the ball. It’s really hard to go through an NFL game and not turn the ball over. To be able to protect the football the way we did, and kind of hang in there even though it’s a little frustrating to come away with threes instead of sevens. Not to make that the emphasis, but that’s the obvious thing that we have to improve on. The one thing that I’m the most happy with is we’re plus five in the turnover differential in the NFL right now and that’s a great way to come out of the gates. Certainly something we can build on. We’ve got a lot that we have to improve on. In a lot of areas it was obvious, ones offensively, but I think those things will come. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we will work very hard every day to improve in those areas.”

    (On what happened in the play when C Andy McCollum got injured)

    “We threw a quick double move up the sideline. He was blocking, and a guy actually kind of just fell back from the opposite side. He actually got turned. He actually had his back to the line of scrimmage because the guy had turned on him because it was an actually a run play. You know we’ll throw those quick-look passes and we through it down the field and the guy got turned and it was unfortunate that the other guy just kind of fell onto his legs funny from the other side. It was just kind of a fluke deal.”

    (On C Larry Turner’s performance and being confident with starting him)

    “That’s a tough offensive line position to lose. You go into a game, you don’t want to loose anyone but you loose your center who’s been snapping to your quarterback for quite a few years, let alone all off season, you worry about some things like quarterback exchange or big things like that. I think Larry did a very good job. He came in- gave up one sack. I think he just didn’t set properly. Got a little bit out-manned. That was a pretty big fellow that ran through him to get Marc on that one. Other than that, I think he did a very good job, and I think he did better as the game went on. In the last quarter, in the last drive, he did a nice job in the four minute situation. He showed that he’s very capable and we were very happy with his performance. Other than the one pressure, I think he pretty much played mistake-free. So he, right how, is the one that’s going to be throwing the ball up to the quarterback. We’ll look at some things that we can possibly do to give ourselves depth at that position, but we’ve got some different scenarios within our team right now. We’ve certainly got to give snaps to some of the guys that are already here, as far as making sure Richie gets some snaps, even Adam Goldberg, guys like that who have actually pulled the ball up in games. Richie’s done it, not in the NFL, but he’s done it prior to now. We’ve worked him quite a bit, and had been working him quite a bit in the offseason, but since we had the depth we had there, we didn’t continue with it, but we’re forced to now. We’ve got to look at some other options as well.”

    (On bringing G Blaine Saipaia back onto the team)

    “Because he’s been here and played here, he’s certainly going to be somebody we’ll consider. I think we’re in the position right now we’re looking for, truly, somebody that’s a center, that’s been doing it full time. He’s certainly someone we’ll consider because he’s been here and played in our system.”

    (On both G Mark Setterstrom G Adam Goldberg being placed inactive)

    “It’s not uncommon for me to have seven offensive line out. The main reason you do that is to help your special teams. You can’t go into a game…it’s hard to not have somebody that’s been playing center fulltime. With Adam, he’s just getting his feet wet with being here for just a week. You’ve got Todd who’s played both tackles and both guards. Mark hasn’t played center, and being a rookie, was really the reason, but it’s not uncommon to go into a game with seven active linemen. Usually you want to back yourself up at both tackle spots and that can swing at both guards and also play center, which we had the luxury that we had Todd a little bit at guard, so he was really backing up four spots in this particular game, but that could change in this next game.”

    (On the difficulty of finding someone to build a rapport with QB Marc Bulger)

    “I think we’re going to find out it’s easier to have a guy that plays the position. In a short span, I think over time you can work guys there in an offseason, get them ready. I think we’ve got to certainly look at the option of bringing somebody that has been a fulltime center here. If we can’t, then we’ve got to go with the other option, which is moving guys around and starting to get them working. We worked with Richie and even Adam now, they do snap the ball when we do our exchange drills and things just so it’s not the first time we’ve done it. You never know what can happen. We were down to one center, basically, after Andy went down and that’s the thing that makes you the most nervous, going into the game with seven on the line. We’re going to make sure that we have at least three guys that have pulled the ball up between their legs going into this next game during practice.”

    (On having to use a backup center after C Andy McCollum was injured)

    “Well, it’s tough. We worked Larry (Turner) quite a bit. He’d got a lot of reps. He actually snapped the ball to Marc enough times during in practice during the offseason program. He’s the guy that makes all the line calls up front, so it’s a tough blow to your line initially because you count on a guy that’s been there, especially a guy that’s experienced, like Andy (McCollum). We’re just going to have to overcome it and step up at the other positions. I think some of those older players are going to have to help out the young player that’s playing in the middle, who’s getting his first start. I think everybody’s got to step up for the young guy in the middle. It’s not an easy transition.”

    (On Jimmy Kennedy’s broken hand)

    “He got the pins put in the fourth metacarpal, I believe. It’ll be a little bit different cast. One that’s more comfortable for him. The doctor said that it would actually be more comfortable and more pain-free with the pins than it was, the way they cast it initially. They had the surgery, so obviously it’ll be a new cast on it. I don’t know if the design is a little different, or just the way they set it. It’s going to be a while. I would say that it’s going to be on there four to six weeks. I think you have to protect those small bone fractures until they’re 100 percent healed. I’m not certain the exact time, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be any sooner than that.”

    (On Jimmy Kennedy playing with a broken hand)

    “I think it says a lot. You want to see how young players respond. That’s playing with an injury. That’s pain. You have to basically tell a young guy that, ‘you can go back in if we put a cast on that. It’s not going to feel much better than it does now, but you can play.’ He never blinked. He went back in, and when he went back in there was one play where he got reached where he wasn’t able to get his hands on the center. Other than that, he graded out very well even after the injury, which I think says volumes for him.”

    (On CB Jerametrius Butler being inactive for Sunday’s game)

    “It was really based on our depth in our secondary that I think we’ve created and where people of value are in the backup positions on special teams. It was certainly not an easy decision because you have a guy that certainly has ability to help you in the secondary, but going into the first game I felt that we were better-suited to have the guys we had helping us in the depth positions and the starting positions in our special teams.”

    (On CB Ron Bartell contributing to Butler’s inactivity for Sunday’s game)

    “There’s no doubt. That’s the guy. Here’s a guy who has played corner, moved to safety, and moved back to corner. You never know what could happen. You could go through a rash of unfortunate injuries in the secondary and you’ve go to have a guy that has versatility there. Plus Ronnie (Bartell) has done a great job in our teams and really earned his spot during the preseason.”

    (On being shut out of the end zone after so many red zone appearances)

    “It’s a combination. A lot of times, you fail to give credit to the other team in this business. They’re a good red zone defense and I think we need to have much better execution. Our thoughts on how we execute what we do comes from the plays we call, to the execution of the plays that are called. I think we have to concentrate better as a team. Down there we had way too many negative plays. It’s one thing if you have to throw an incompletion. I don’t’ look at an incomplete pass or a zero-gain as a negative play in the red zone. It’s just one missed try. You get first and goal with great field position after a turnover on the three (yard-line). You run the ball for a yard and a half, you call play action, we have a mental error and turn a guy loose up the middle, then the quarterback’s forced to throw the ball away and we get a grounding penalty and lose the down. That right there was the one that got us a little bit out of whack and got us a little bit tight and tentative. I think that the natural tendency was to start pressing a little bit with. There are no excuses. We have to do better. It’s certainly something we can’t shy away from. We’ve got to address it. I still believe we worked it more than any other team I’d ever worked it, during a week of practice last week and maybe that becomes an issue. It’s like anything else. The minute we start clicking and going, it’ll be quickly in our review mirror, but we’re going to have to do better. I think we just have to go in there and get it done and start a new streak. That’s getting it done down there.”

    (On TE Joe Klopfenstein’s performance)

    “We were going to limit a little bit of what we did with the young tight end corps. We only have two up, Madison (Hedgecock) backed up, both the fullback and tight end spot. He was a little tentative early in the game, but as the game went on, he got better and blocked very well. He didn’t really have many opportunities to catch the ball. We used some three-wide sets and things like that, but that was the designed nature of this particular gameplan. We used him in protections on some play actions and things like that to help our protection and take some pressure off him. I think some games will lend more to the tight end and I think our utilization of him in the red zone will improve our productivity down there as well. Not many guys, whether they’re drafted high, or not, start the opener. He did it with relatively little anxiety and improved as the game went on, and I think he played pretty good in second half, and played great down the stretch of the fourth quarter.”

    (On QB Marc Bulger’s performance)

    “Marc (Bulger) managed the game beautifully, and that’s something the quarterback has to do. Sometimes they’re going to light it up and have those big statistical numbers and you’re going to get a lot of credit for those kinds of things. I think this particular game went a certain way. I think you saw a guy that knows he will play better the next game, but feel very good about the fact that we kind of hung in there and didn’t do things to lose the game. That’s the type of thing you can’t do against Denver. We watched so many games on Denver and they create so many problems and turnovers were keys to losses last year. I think he minimized those things, and if we can continue to go along with that trend, I know he has the ability to play better and be much more productive. He’ll get more comfortable with me. As we get going, he’ll feel more comfortable with what we’re doing. He’s very accountable and the best (thing) about yesterday is how good he felt about winning the game. It didn’t matter to him about stats or anything like that. All that mattered was that we upset a team that nobody gave us a chance to beat. That’s what’s the most impressive thing about Marc.”

    (On the chemistry between the offensive unit and the coaching staff)

    “I met with the entire offensive unit today. I think Greg (Olson) and Doug (Nussmeier) do a great job. When the head coach is calling the plays, it’s hard, initially to develop the chemistry that we’re developing. It’s gotten better over time and I’ll be in every meeting and I’ll be with them like I have been; even more and moreso as we’re going through it. Sometimes I’m not there for the individual meetings, but that doesn’t make any difference, as far as I’m concerned. I think we just need to continue to be patient with each other and we’ll continue to get better. I feel really good with the fact that our quarterback may not have played his best game, but he played mistake-free and came out as the winner in yesterday’s game. That’s really how a quarterback should be judged.”

    (On stressing mistake free football to the team)

    “That’s stressed, but it’s not the focus. We have to make plays and score points. That game management thing has a lot more to it. Yesterday, just because the game went that way, it became a bigger part of the game. If the game’s not as much in balance and you’re down a score or two scores things would have been different. That’s the way it ended up and he was smart on a couple occasions when there could have been negative plays and he didn’t make them. Some games you’ve got to do that. I think Marc embraces that idea and I have all the confidence in the world that we’re doing everything that we hoped for and planned. To be sitting here 1-0 after that opener is a testament to him sticking with it.”

    (On not trying to score a touchdown after RB Steven Jackson’s run got the Rams close to the end zone)

    “The game was over. The red zone success or lack of had no bearing. The only way you lose a game is to try to score down there. We can kneel all three times and the game is over.”

    (On not kicking a field goal in the final seconds of the game to give Wilkins the field goals made record)

    “It’s not about records; it’s about getting a win.”

    (On being accountable for the lack of red zone success)

    “The blame for the offense not being as good as it needs to be falls on my shoulders. Everybody’s got to be accountable at their individual positions to improve everyday, and that’s all I ask my team. I promised them that I would work hard to improve everyday, and get better at things that I am deficient at. The way I look at it, we just won a big ballgame and it’s naturally going to be a focus because that’s what we do. We evaluate our performances and like I said, there are no style points in wins. You either win or you lose and the Rams won yesterday. We have a 1-0 quarterback and that’s how I look at it.”

    (On failing to score a touchdown)

    “I think as a competitor it weighs on you, but we’re going to keep calling plays and try to get it in the end zone.”

  2. #2
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan--Monday, September 11, 2006

    Reasonable, accountable and sensible. Bad news on Andy though.

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    jjigga3000's Avatar
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    Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan--Monday, September 11, 2006

    Very Bad news on Andy, I think that's a rap for him career wise. Sad, I really like the guy


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