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    Head Coach Scott Linehan--Sept. 1

    (Opening statement)

    “I think you’ve got the release there. I just want to make an announcement that we’ve agreed to terms and signed Stephen Davis to our team. He’s obviously a proven back in this league as a starter, and as a number two, he compliments what we’re trying to get done in our running game. Steven Jackson is our starter, and will be, and has no impact on that for any reason other than it gives us depth and somebody who has really complimented and gotten to that part of his career where he can really compliment Steven and our efforts to improve our ability to be an effective running team this year. I’m very happy to say that we’re able to get it done, it took us a while, but sometimes you’ve got to be patient with these things and it worked out. We also had some initial cuts, we’re not completely to the 50-man roster yet. We broke them up into two groups so that I could meet with each player individually and we’ll have another set tomorrow morning that I’ll meet with after we decide who the final will be. We should have all those names there on your list as far as the initial cuts from our team which was trimmed down to 75 going into last weeks game. We’re coming out of the game fairly healthy. Obviously we didn’t play a lot of our starters in the game. Some of the guys that played were vying for spots and solidified themselves on this team by their play yesterday. Some guys took a step up from where they were on this team too which factored in big in filling out the rest of our roster.”



    (On why it took so long to sign RB Stephen Davis)

    “I think there was a little negotiation. He had some other options. He had Philly and he had other feelers out there and he’s at the point where he wants to go with what he feels is the best spot for him. You’d have to ask him the specifics around that. We had a good feel for him here. I think he’s going to fit our running game and the style we’re planning on running, and he has good familiarity with a lot of the terminology and the way we run the ball, which is pretty similar to what he did at Carolina and pretty close to what he was doing even going back to Washington. I think he’ll have good carry over there.”



    (On the condition of Davis’ playing shape)

    “We’re going to have to work him into shape. He’s going to have a real good workout with Dana and Brad today. Certainly, he isn’t going to have the ability to go back and say he got it done in training camp but I think he’s at the point in his career where a training camp can be kind of hard on a guy that is just, I don’t know how many months he is, out of micro fracture surgery, but I think he understands he’s not at the beginning of his career. He’s certainly towards the tail end. The one thing I got from his workout was that he looked very good. He looked very agile. I didn’t see any signs of a problem or any limping or anything like that. He looked very good in his workout and I think we’re going to manage like you do when you have older players, and we have a number of them. We’re not the youngest team in the league and so there’s a certain amount of management that has to go on with some of these guys so you can successfully get through the year with minimal problems. I think he’ll be just fine. He looked good. He really passed our physical, which was the biggest part of his workout, making sure he came in and came in and passed his physical with the doctors.”



    (On how the signing of Davis effects running back spots)

    “It’s going to affect it. We’ll make a decision tonight as a staff. I certainly think Tony ran the ball very well for us when he was in there yesterday. I think he showed some improvement from how he played initially as far as a runner in the second and third game. He played much better, I think, in this one. It’s going to factor in early in the year with who’s really the two going into the first game. Hopefully Stephen is going to look good in practice and look ready to go. We’ve still got to get him in shape, he’s got to work himself into shape. I think he’s in pretty good condition, but football shape and condition are two different things. That will factor into what we do in the first game or two of the season for sure.”



    (On it being realistic to say that Davis will be ready to play against Denver)

    “It’s very realistic.”



    (On making a decision on a primary kick returner)

    “We’re going to utilize Kevin at times. We’re also going to look at some options…we haven’t decided what we’re going to do with where we’re at with Marques and some of the other options of guys who have returned here before. We’re looking at some of the options we might have with some of our running backs for a possible secondary guy that can fit in back there. The biggest thing is that’s a big question mark that we still haven’t answered and we’re going to have to answer it as we go. It would be nice to say that we came out of preseason with a kick returner. We had opportunities last night to return kicks based on them teeing up the ball but we didn’t actually get to bring them out of the end zone. I’m not sure that would have changed anything, but it certainly would have made us maybe feel a little bit different. I think that’s still a question for us right now.”



    (On how much he looked to Tony Softli for advice when deciding to sign Stephen Davis)

    “Tony was a big factor in that. He knows Stephen very well, been around him during his time there. It was a big factor. You’ve got to lean on the resources that you have. Having been there and been part of that and knowing what he really did for them last year…I think people forget last year Stephen had over 500 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns and it probably wasn’t his healthiest year. He still had a lot of swelling, I think, in the knee. I don’t think he’s where he was maybe five, 10 years ago, but none of us are. I think he did show that he complimented what they’re trying to get done in their running game and short-yardage and red zone and things like where he is a good compliment to a guy like Steven Jackson. I leaned heavily on Tony with this one.”



    (On how Davis is going to get into football shape)

    “You’ve got to do it through practice, and then he’s got to take reps with the scout team. He’s got to get extra. He’s going through a mock-game, but a training regiment today where we’re going to work him pretty good with the strength guys. We’ve got it done, and I said as soon as we sign, we can’t wait until tomorrow. We’ve got to at least start working on the conditioning side. It’s not a perfect scenario. It’d be nice to say we’ve been though an entire camp and we’re ready to go but some things take time and so we’re going to have to accelerate the conditioning as much as we can.”



    (On Davis’ running style)

    “He’s one of those north and south guys. He had a really good feel for setting up blocks and hitting the hole, but he doesn’t make it fancy. He makes one cut and gets down hill. Over time, he’s been one of those guys that has stood the test of time because he knows how to get first downs and he moves the chains. That’s what you’ve got to look for. We’ve got such an exciting guy in Steven Jackson. Here’s a guy, you give him the ball, and you know he’s got to get the hard yards at times, but Stephen , he’s got that complete game where he can break it outside, he can hit it inside. I think you’ve got that kind of back, but then if he needs a rest or we’re running the ball well and you want to go right at people in short yardage or four minute time of the game, he’s going to have a role like that. It might be down to the goal line or red zone. Not to take away Steven’s ability to do that, but you do have to have another guy who has done it to be effective. Steven’s going to carry the load, Jackson I mean, and then if we need a change of pace or if we need to get the ball going north and south and get those hard four or five yard gains then I think Stephen Davis is the perfect complement to that.”



    (On the reason Davis was signed)

    “I think Fisher and Williams did a great job of filing in that role for us, but you’re always looking to improve your roster. Like I said, here’s a guy that had a pretty good production last year. We based a lot of our decision on talking to people like Tony that had been around and that know he still has some fuel in the tank, first of all, but number two, is that he just compliments kind of what we need to get done with our running game. I think you really need to go in there with two proven-type backs.”



    (On if RBs Steven Jackson and Stephen Davis will work well together)

    “I think so. I mean, Steven , he was lucky enough to be working with Marshall for a few years in his initial part, and this is going to be a different relationship. It’s going to be more of a compliment to our running game. I think it’s always good to have a veteran…a real quality guy too. You’ll get to know Stephen well here and maybe some of you have met him and know him a little bit, but he’s one of the real good guys in this business and he knows it’s Steven’s job and he’s not going to be stepping on any toes, but he’s also going to be able to show him a little bit of how you kind of manage yourself through the year and you make adjustments and things like that. I think young backs like Steven Jackson, they eat that stuff up. I’m sure Stephen’s done it before and he’ll do it again. He’ll be a great addition to our offense.”



    (On having to cut players)

    “It doesn’t change. We started with 85 and now we’re down to 62. Every one of them has been hard for different reasons and you just see the disappointment in their eyes. That makes it hard because they’ve put in a lot of hours here. It is disappointing and the only thing I can do is encourage them to stick with it and know that they should have no regrets to the way they approached it. It’s the part that has probably been the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with, especially in the initial year of doing it, but I don’t see it ever getting easier.



    (On the plan for getting the roster down to 53)

    “We’ve met on it and we have an idea on who those 10 are going to be. They’re all hard decisions, but there are some that I needed to sleep on. We’ll meet again initially in the morning. We’re going to have early morning meetings with our players. We’re going to actually have a lift group at 7 am with our first group and another lift group at 7:45 am with our second group; that’s how we balance out the weight room. By about 8:30 am or so, we’ll come to a final decision on who those final 10 are going to be. We have an idea of who they’ll be. We just have to put some thought into it. There are a lot of things that could factor into who those 10 are, in what order. I just have to put some thought into how we’re going to do it and who they’re going to be and make those types of decisions because that’s part of the deal.



    (On being informed on the rest of the NFL’s roster changes)

    “There’s some of that in there. When you’re looking at your roster there’s always an outside chance that something could change. Maybe somebody’s looking at somebody on our roster or we may be looking at somebody on their roster. It doesn’t happen that often, but occasionally you end up swapping out guys based on needs. So, we left that door open for any possibility.”



    (On the Rams’ roster plan)

    “We have a roster plan and I kind of know going into it that I’ll have X amount of D-linemen and you’re going to have a practice squad player. You better have a pretty good idea if you’re going to go into that lobby and know exactly who those X number are in order because that’s not really going to change. We have a roster plan don’t think we’re going to suddenly change it. We have to stick with it. I think it’s a good fit and it keeps our team balanced. The biggest thing I want us to be able to do is make sure we’re giving ourselves the chance to have the depth we need so we can be a much improved on special teams. In some instances it probably weakens us because we have to have a toss-up whether that makes our 53 the best 53. It’s got to be a team decision. If this person has a significant contribution as a backup player, but on special teams he’s potentially starting, that’s kind of a kicker for a guy. That was promoted right from the get-go with our football team and I think you have to stand up firm with that philosophy. That’s probably been the biggest final decision making factor for filling out the final portion of our roster, which is still kind of going through my head right now.”



    (On RB Stephen Davis)

    “He’s been out there. It was just a matter of was he going to play again. They moved on in Carolina. It was a tough decision for them. They went for the youth movement and drafted DeAngelo Williams, who looks like he’s going to be pretty good. That’s one way of moving on; you go get a young guy and Stephen ends up being the odd man out. I’m sure he was going through a little bit of disappointment with that. He’d grown very fond of being in Carolina and I think he was deciding if he was going to play again. Plus he had the surgery. The thing that was important to us was that he was out there. We were contacted by his agent, contacted him and did all of those initial things. To me, part of him coming in on his workout was to basically see if he was in shape. He came in and was in great shape, he passed his physical with flying colors for a guy that had been through what he had been through, which proves to me that he wants to play again. I talked to him during his time here and he said that he would like to play one or two more years. He said that this is a good system for him with the style of running (in the Rams offense). I think he embraces the idea of being the compliment to Steven (Jackson). There was probably more said about being a mentor, but I don’t know if these guys are really mentors to each other, they’re co-workers. I think it is good to be in that situation and it worked well for him in his last few years in Carolina. I think he felt really comfortable with it; he just wasn’t able to continue. I think that the recovery from his knee surgery being positive was a big factor in him coming back.”



    (On Davis’ workout)

    “That was really the first time there was interest from both sides. He was on our list and we talked about him, but talking to Tony (Softli) we knew the big question was whether he wanted to come back or not. He was working out during this whole time and he’s at the end (of his career), but he has another year or two left in him.”



    (On signing Davis)

    It was just a matter of whether it was going to happen and we kept it on the radar as well as the other options out there. I watched about five games on him last year and he was very effective. He had over 500 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. That’s a pretty well kept secret on a team. We played them and I remember that he was their starter at the beginning of the season. He played pretty good against New Orleans in the opener. Typical Stephen Davis type runs. You know he’s going to go north and south and get you 4, 5, 6 yards. It’s a different type of style obviously, but it’s a good fit for us for what we’re looking for. He’s a guy that still has a nose for that end zone. To get 12 touchdowns as a backup (is impressive). I don’t know how many teams had their starting running back rush for 12 touchdowns.”



    (On RB Fred Russell)

    “He showed a couple of things on special teams. He had a couple of return opportunities and did okay on those. He went down on a couple of punts as a gunner and that shows that he wants to find a way to make this team. He’s one of those guys that are on the bubble right now, but if we could figure out a way to get him on this team I’d like to try to do it. But we haven’t made a final decision on Fred yet.”



    (On being pleased with preseason)

    “I’m pleased with what we got accomplished in our training camp through preseason. We stuck with the plan from the very beginning, which is what you have to do. Things went almost too good through the first game. We managed to stay healthy, we were grinding them, we did the pads, we did the 9-on-7, team run, tackling drills everyday, two and a half hour practices, practice outside, we did all that. I think at some point what you have to do in managing a team like ours is realize that we’re not very young on offense. I’m going to have to put some thought in the management of our offensive players. We’re an older offense, quite a bit older than the team I was coaching before. The only adjustment was pulling back a little bit when it came to the game. But I want you to know that we pushed them hard last week and in practice. Our ones never knew how much they would be playing last night. We didn’t want a week off. We didn’t want that mentality. The thing I was pleased with was the fact that they were in the game. I don’t know if you noticed Torry (Holt), he was into it. I though all the guys that weren’t out there were helping those guys out. They understood what we were doing, but it didn’t help the frustration of not winning the ballgame. The big picture is, I think we’re as healthy as we could possibly ask to be, I think we’re in as good a condition as I’ve been around a team at this point. We conditioned all the way through training camp. This is the first training camp where we conditioned our team. We conditioned them every third practice and we’ll condition them again pretty good tomorrow. They’re in great shape and we don’t have any guys with weight issues. I think we’re on the right track and I feel very good about those things. Obviously, how we play, especially early in the year will show whether that’s true or not, but I would be surprised if we don’t come out and put on a good performance in the beginning of the year.”



    (On the lack of offensive production throughout preseason)

    “Our lack of production has been points. We moved the ball with them and the only problem was scoring when we should have in the red zone and having a couple of turnovers at the end of the first half last week, which wasn’t indicative of how we played up until that point. Our average per play was good and all those things as far as execution of the plays we were running (looked good). So, you see it and say that it would be a lot of fun in a certain game to have Torry (Holt) and Isaac (Bruce) in there, but that’s not the way it worked out. You do have to understand that they are going to be there on the 10th of September. There will be no holding starters out of that game, I can promise you that.”



    (On the Rams offense)

    “It’s been pretty vanilla. I have to be honest with you. I wouldn’t categorize it. It’s the St. Louis Rams offense. You’ll see things that are progressive in nature. You’re going to see a lot of the same kind of approach, but we’re going to run the ball and we’re going to set up a lot of potential big plays with our ability to do that. The fact that we have the playmakers we do on the outside and the receiving corps, I think it’s a great compliment to the running game that we’re going to implement and our ability to adjust to throwing the ball when teams want to come up and stop the run. I think that’s going to be more of what you see from us rather than a certain style of offense. I think utilizing the players we have out there is going to be key to our success offensively.”



    (On this year’s preseason compared to last year’s)

    “I’m not aware of it to be honest with you. I watched some of the preseason games they’ve run around here in the last couple of years. Maybe they scored a few more points, but they still looked like preseason games to me. We’ll be fine. I told you guys that we shouldn’t have won one (preseason) game last year in Miami and we beat Denver 34-10 in the opener. Denver was undefeated and beat everybody by an average of 21 points in the preseason. That doesn’t mean this year that that’s the way it’s going to be this year, but I’m just saying that preseason is really hard to judge as to how you’re going to play in the regular season. We hadn’t done a lot and we weren’t able to go through the third game with the original plan because we weren’t able to play our full compliment of our offensive team in that last game. But I think we made progress. We certainly would have liked to gotten it in a couple more times down there, but I was happy that we were moving the ball and it wasn’t the three-and-out where you can’t get a first down. I’m really not concerned at all about it. The biggest thing is we’ve got to hit the field running tomorrow and get ready to win this opener.”



    (On last night’s injuries)

    “J.B. (CB Jerametrius Butler) had slight hip pointer, he’s fine. Jerome (Carter) had a pretty good bruise on his forearm and we’re going to do an MRI. The X-Rays were negative, but it’s pretty swollen. I think he’ll be alright, we just want to make sure. Blaine Saipaia hurt his elbow, which he had a problem with , but he seemed to be okay. We came out of that okay as far as the game.”



    (On RB Tony Fisher)

    “I think he was seeing stars. I looked at him on the sideline and I figured it was enough. He had been running pretty hard. I think Tony (Fisher) really played well last night and plus he was working hard on special teams which is going to be a pretty big part of what he does for us.”



    RB Stephen Davis

    Friday, September 01, 2006



    (On why it took over a week to get the deal finalized)

    “I had to go back home and talk to my wife and get the okay from her. Talk to my mom and my kids and just work out some things that needed to be worked out.”



    (On the Eagles still being a close possibility before he signed with the Rams)

    “They were at the end, but I told her (my wife) that St. Louis was somewhere I wanted to go and she’s behind me 100 percent and it’s good that I can have people that are behind me 100 percent no matter what decision I make.”



    (On telling his wife that he wanted to continue to play football)

    “I had to sell her on the fact that I wanted to play football. I didn’t have to sell her on St. Louis. She came here a couple of years ago and she liked it and she’s pretty familiar with the area. The thing is (I need to) go out there and have fun and do whatever I can to help the team when, and that’s my goal.”



    (On why St. Louis is a good fit for him)

    “I’ve been in a similar system before early in my career. The Rams running game is similar to what I had back in 1999. It’s a great fit for me. It’s downhill running, play action pass and you have some receivers here that can get open and open up the running game.”



    (On being surprised upon being released by Carolina)

    “It wasn’t a shock. I’d seen the situation they were going in and I had some great years. They took it upon themselves and really believed in me and that’s all you can ask for—somebody that believes in you and gives you the opportunity to come in and help their team win. That’s what I did. I have no regrets. They have a great coaching staff here and a great owner and I really appreciate them bringing me in. Now it’s something new and I’m ready to get where I need to be and help the Rams.”



    (On his last surgery)

    “2004.”



    (On it being a micro fracture surgery)

    “If that’s what you call it. I hear everybody say micro fracture, if that’s what you call it, but I don’t know what it’s called.”



    (On the condition of his knee)

    “It’s fine. I have good days and bad days, but I have a lot more good days. Like I tell everybody, I’ve got a high power in heaven, that’s a good Lord.”



    (On the change from being a number one back to a number two)

    “It’s not difficult at all. Like I tell everybody, I’ve got more years behind me than I have in front of me, and if I can find the opportunity to help a young guy like Steven Jackson with his ability and his mindset, I’ll be willing to do that. Coach Linehan gave me an opportunity and I’m going to make the best of my opportunity. I’m going to do what I can to help the team win and help him also.”



    (On his workout earlier this afternoon)

    “I was running a little bit. You don’t get in football shape until you actually go out there and play the game. All offseason you get yourself prepared to get in shape for football. So that’s what I’ve been doing, I’ve been working out and now it’s time to speed it up and get myself prepared to play the game.”



    (On if he’s going to be ready for Denver)

    “Hopefully. I’ve just got to go out there and show them I can do it.”



    (On having a nose for the end zone)

    “I always will. You’ve got to make the best of your opportunities. The guys upfront contribute a lot to that and hopefully we’ll have the same success here.”


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan--Sept. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Linehan
    (On why it took so long to sign RB Stephen Davis)

    “...and he’s at the point where he wants to go with what he feels is the best spot for him."
    AKA, where the best money is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Linehan
    (On how the signing of Davis effects running back spots)

    “It’s going to affect it. We’ll make a decision tonight as a staff. I certainly think Tony ran the ball very well for us when he was in there yesterday. I think he showed some improvement from how he played initially as far as a runner in the second and third game. He played much better, I think, in this one. It’s going to factor in early in the year with who’s really the two going into the first game. Hopefully Stephen is going to look good in practice and look ready to go. We’ve still got to get him in shape, he’s got to work himself into shape. I think he’s in pretty good condition, but football shape and condition are two different things. That will factor into what we do in the first game or two of the season for sure.”
    Absolutely no mention of Moe. Telling.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Linehan
    (On Davis’ running style)

    “Steven’s going to carry the load, Jackson I mean, and then if we need a change of pace or if we need to get the ball going north and south and get those hard four or five yard gains then I think Stephen Davis is the perfect complement to that.”
    Most people seem to view Jackson as a north-south runner in his own right, but perhaps Linehan views him as more of a total package ball carrier.

    I think too often fans think of Jackson simply as a power back when really he's got some underrated speed as well. But I think Jackson's the kind of runner that needs a bit of room to gain that speed, and IMO more often than not he hasn't had that behind our line.

    The fact that Linehan is bringing a north-south runner into the fold and labeling him as the change of pace 'back seems to tell us quite a bit about how Linehan envisions Jackson as a runner.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Linehan
    (On RB Stephen Davis)

    “I think he embraces the idea of being the compliment to Steven (Jackson). There was probably more said about being a mentor, but I don’t know if these guys are really mentors to each other, they’re co-workers.”
    Nice to hear the mentor line.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Linehan
    (On RB Fred Russell)

    “He showed a couple of things on special teams. He had a couple of return opportunities and did okay on those. He went down on a couple of punts as a gunner and that shows that he wants to find a way to make this team. He’s one of those guys that are on the bubble right now, but if we could figure out a way to get him on this team I’d like to try to do it. But we haven’t made a final decision on Fred yet.”
    Did okay? Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Linehan probably would like to keep Russell as many fans would. I'm just not sure where you find the spot for him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Davis
    (On the change from being a number one back to a number two)

    “...and if I can find the opportunity to help a young guy like Steven Jackson with his ability and his mindset, I’ll be willing to do that.”
    Great to hear.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Head Coach Scott Linehan--Sept. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Linehan
    (On making a decision on a primary kick returner)

    “We’re going to utilize Kevin at times. We’re also going to look at some options…we haven’t decided what we’re going to do with where we’re at with Marques and some of the other options of guys who have returned here before. We’re looking at some of the options we might have with some of our running backs for a possible secondary guy that can fit in back there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Linehan
    (On RB Fred Russell)

    “He showed a couple of things on special teams. He had a couple of return opportunities and did okay on those. He went down on a couple of punts as a gunner and that shows that he wants to find a way to make this team. He’s one of those guys that are on the bubble right now, but if we could figure out a way to get him on this team I’d like to try to do it. But we haven’t made a final decision on Fred yet.”
    These statements will keep us guessing untill tomorrow. Linehan specifically mentions Hagans when addressing the kick return options, but also makes a specific point that the final decision on Russell is still open. Like Nick pointed out, describing Russell's returns as "okay" could be just a little telling. Don't know what I missed because I thought he was by far the most dynamic returner.

    We'll see.

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