Head Coach Scott Linehan

September 5, 2006



(Opening Statement)

“In transition to our weekly schedule, today was a Wednesday-type practice. We got a lot of work done. It’s a little bit of a change because we don’t have the bodies. A lot of guys went from not being scout team guys to figuring out they have to wear a lot of hats in one practice. We’ll get better. I didn’t think our look was as good as it needed to be, but I predict we’ll have a better look tomorrow in practice. Other than that, I feel that we got a lot of things accomplished. Obviously, there have been a couple of moves on our roster. Yesterday was a gameplan day, so I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of you. We released WR Marques Hagans yesterday. Hopefully he clears and we’re able to re-sign him today on the practice squad, but there’s a 24-hour period there that has to be done. Also, the signing of J.R. Reed who has been a real gifted kick returner in this league. (Reed is) coming back from an offseason injury a year ago. He missed last year and this year he went through the entire training camp with Philadelphia and was in their last cut, but came and worked out for us and did a nice job. A couple of different changes there, but we’re getting closer and closer to what will be our 53 going into Sunday’s game.”



(On J.R. Reed being the immediate kick returner)

“I think so. We’re working kick returns primarily tomorrow and then we’ll work it Thursday and Friday as well. Today was a punt return day. He’s acclimated himself a little bit with some of the other teams. He plays on some of the other teams as a gunner and some other things. He worked some of that today while he was learning the schemes that we’re going to run. He’ll start that way.”



(On getting medical assurances that Reed could still perform)

“We did a pretty extensive physical on it. It was an odd injury. He had some nerve damage to his leg and an area in his foot. He has a custom brace that allows him to have that foot the way it needs to be so he can run on it. He came in and did a very lengthy workout on it as well. He has every reason in the world not to pass the physical, but there’s something about his will, desire, and want to that impressed all of us. I know it was tough for Philadelphia and I think it’s to our advantage because we were looking for someone who had been able to do that. I think he’s certainly got it inside of him to overcome any questions we might have. He looked pretty good; he worked out pretty good for us.”



(On Reed’s role as a safety)

“Right now he’s going to have to back up now. He’s an emergency safety. He’ll know a lot of the schemes because he’s an experienced player. But that’s what he’s going to have to do until he catches up.”



(On having to prepare for three running backs)

“We’re just going to prepare for all three. You kind of have to in openers anyway. I think very rarely do you go into an opener and just one back’s the primary ball carrier. You’re going to see at least two. We’ll see all three of theirs. That’s just the situation we’re in and we’ll prepare for all of them.”



(On looking forward to utilize more offensive strategy because preseason is over)

“I’m looking forward to playing the regular season. Preseason is a very distant memory for me.”



(On anticipation of opening the season as a head coach)

“It’s not my anticipation. It’s our anticipation because we’ve been at this thing for a long time as a team. 25 offseason practices and a very grueling preseason camp. We did a lot of hitting, a lot of pads, and a lot of physical work. The payoff is to get in and play this game on the 10th and I think the team’s really been looking forward to it.”



(On RB Stephen Davis’ role in Sunday’s game)

“He’s going to play. He has catching up to do because he missed training camp. He’s an experienced veteran and he has to work himself into shape. We’ll play him as needed. He’ll be available to play for us and we’ll know a lot of things he feels comfortable doing as far as the run game and the protection.”



(On the luxury of having RBs Steven Jackson and Stephen Davis)

“It’s intriguing to have two really good proven backs. I like the mix of those two plus Tony (Fisher) on third down. They certainly have different styles, which is a good compliment. I think you like to have guys that aren’t the exact same style of back. I think Tony (Fisher) does a good job of coming in and mixing in with some of the third down stuff we plan on doing. They’ll all be used in that situation as well.”



(On the team’s progress through preseason)

“I think our entire team improved. We’re going to find out here soon. We’ve really spent a lot of time on our ability to stop the run. A lot of it is technique things we had to sure up. I think we’re going to be a better tackling team. I think our secondary has totally bought into being a part of that. It’s not just on the d-line or linebackers; I think the entire team has to tackle better. We work tackling everyday. I think all those things will improve, it’s how much that I’ll find out here shortly, but I think we’re in much better shape.”



(On the Rams’ depth)

“We’ll have a pretty good idea on Friday about who’s going to be inactive. I think our depth’s better. We’ve worked to improve it everyday. Today, our depth at receiver wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but hopefully we could bring a receiver back and our roster could change five hours from now. As far as our first and second units, I think we’re pretty well-set there.”



(On the new policy for media watching practice)

“It’s nothing personal. I think it’s more-so that you are able to keep a lot of the things that you’re doing, not necessarily confidential, but there’s a lot of things in practice that you try to keep (private). I know none of you (would), but it’s really more people outside the organization, but you never really know what eyes are watching. We instituted the exact same policy in Minnesota. It was a little more extensive in Miami. I hope none of you take it personal. It’s just what we’re used to doing.”



(On today’s practice being different than preseason practices)

“Everything was game plan. We worked all of our specific first, second down runs, our first, second down passing game. It’s quite a bit of our third down…we start our third down game planning on Wednesday as opposed to waiting. Some teams may wait a little later, but we start working our third downs as well. Probably 15 of 20 of the plays you’re going to see in the first half game got worked out here today.”



(On being comfortable with using rookie Joe Klopfenstein as a starter at tight end)

“Rookies are a concern just because they haven’t had the playing time under their belt. Joe’s just played the most consistent over time. He’s certainly going to go through some growing pains. Rookies are rookies. He’s shown us a lot of maturity. He’s a guy what has shown that he’s ready to go out there and play. We played him a lot more in the preseason than some and we’re just going to have to hang in there with him. We’re going to have to have a plan where we take a little bit of the pressure off of him so he’s not having to play every snap because we haven’t seen him go through a game yet.”



(On CB Tye Hill’s improvements since the spring)

“He’s become a lot more of a confident player. He showed me in the last couple of games that he’s a real willing tackler which people are going to run at a corner that’s not necessarily got the stature or size. You’re going to get tested there, so he’s got to show that he’s willing to come up and do it. I really think he stepped up in that regard, and I think he stepped up in his ability to cover and his ball skills—he’s got his hands on more balls. I know he didn’t have any in the preseason, as far as interceptions, but he certainly has made a lot of strides out here at practice as far as getting hands on balls and actually catching them. He’s improved everyday.”



(On the Broncos’ running backs being dangerous)

“I think they’re all dangerous. That system is built for the style of running backs they have. They’ve proven that whoever’s back there is going to be productive, so we’re worried about all of them.”



(On preparing for the Broncos defense and blocking)

“I think they’re offense is the toughest. They’re blocking schemes are certainly a lot of zone and things like that, but they do such a good job of keeping it off balance. They run it, they run it, then they run the bootlegs and play action passes. They’ve got a nice mix. I think coach Shanahan is an unbelievable offensive coach and obviously at head coach he’s pretty impressive too, but he really does a good job of keeping you off balance. That’s the biggest thing. They’re run blocking certainly is pretty good, but I really think they set up a lot of things with their play actions.”



(On WR Torry Holt and WR Isaac Bruce being 100 percent)

“Yeah they are. They’re ready to go. We’re going through a pretty extensive practice out here today without the bodies that we had out here before. It’s a pretty good test for them to get through the reps we go through on a normal Wednesday and Thursday practice schedule, but it’ll be good. We’ll certainly be a team that can stay in there, stay with it, and be in good shape, hopefully, through an entire game.”



(On his philosophy of going and getting players to improve the practice squad)

“I think we have. I’m not sure we’re a whole lot different from a lot of teams as I look at them but we’ve certainly worked on upgrading our roster. We’ve built, for example…the addition of Adam Goldberg is somebody who has played quite a bit. I think he had 80 percent playing time last year…started in 12 or 13 games for Minnesota…played when I was there as a young free agent and really developed, so he’s a guy that is an ascending young player that can potentially be a starter one day with good strides. That’s just an example. I think this is the kind of year when you have that opportunity because those guys weren’t available five days ago. If you don’t, if you sit back and wait, you’ll end up with out having any chance to hopefully upgrade. I think that’s pretty much it. We’ll be aggressive in that area as long as we feel it’s the right thing to do from a personnel standpoint and we all agree on it.”



(On being surprised if the 53-man roster changes again)

“No, it’s just…don’t be surprised because you don’t know. I’m certainly hoping that by the end of the day we’re able to bring Marques Hagans back. I think you risk that when you put a guy out there like that with a waiver like we had, but he’s certainly a guy who I know has a great future. He just needs more time on the job. Those are the kinds of things you just don’t know until it’s done. There’s no guarantees.”



(On any similarities between how this team prepares to attack Denver and how Miami did last year)

“It’s different. We played them in the heat. That was an advantage for us in Miami, it ended up being an advantage for us as we thought it would be. It’s two different teams, two different years. I think we’re just approaching it as we would in the opener. We know quite a bit about them and I think they know some about us so we’re certainly a different team then the two teams that played each other last year when I was down in Miami.”



(On how much of the playbook has not been worked yet)

“I think we’ve worked a lot of our concepts. I don’t think when you go into a preseason game I don’t know how much you’re going to be able to get done. You’re playing three groups over the course of four quarters and I think everyone keeps it somewhat vanilla, but I don’t think we were…being a new staff, I think there were a lot of things we wanted to hold, and work in practice and wait. We’re not waiting for the game to use it. We’ve been working on a lot of things really since the offseason program, getting ready for this game. Hopefully it will pay off because we’ve had quite a bit of time until then to get ready for our opener and some of the first teams on our schedule, which is what you’ve got to do. When you’re a new staff, you’ve got to utilize that, somewhat, to your advantage if you can.”



(On RB Stephen Davis being able to get into football shape without playing in a game or practicing)

“It’s hard. That’s why he’s going to have to work himself into it. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, you’re ready to go.’ I think it’s important that we take that into consideration while we go. He’s still a ways away, as far as his football shape, and we’ve got to monitor that.”



CB Tye Hill

Tuesday, September 05, 2006



(On it taking a long time for this week to come)

“Most definitely. I’ve missed it so much. I feel like I haven’t been here in like a year and I still haven’t played in a game yet. It can’t come at a better time. I feel real confident and comfortable in the defense now and I think I’m ready to go out there and play.”



(On preparing for teams to come at him as a result of being a rookie)

“Like I said, just being confident and comfortable in my assignments. Knowing what I’ve got to do. Once I can do that, all I can do is just play football then. Just staying alive every play, that’s what I’ve got to do.”



(On confidence being the most important thing to have as a rookie)

“Most definitely. Maybe 100 percent…I would say 95 because confidence and being able to play, you know have the skills. Everybody here has the skills, so I would say confidence is a big thing, because once you lose that confidence, a lot of bad things can start happening. That’s the thing I’ve got to learn, not letting one play get me down and just be upset because I may have let someone catch the ball but I may have made the tackle. That’s the thing, being a cornerback, you think if someone catches the ball, you know you don’t want that to happen, but in the NFL, you’re going to have guys playing at the same level you are and you’ve just got to stop them.”



DT La’Roi Glover

Tuesday, September 05, 2006



(On things changing personally for him the week of the opener)

“I think so. Number one, we’re playing, probably, the whole game. You won’t be sitting out the second half or anything like that. This could really set us up for our big picture. We can have some success against these guys, get back into the confidence that we’ve got after that and try and put some wins together.”



(On if the rookies come to him for advice)

“No, they haven’t come yet, but I’m sure they will come with questions, and the only thing I can tell them is ‘Don’t be the guy. Don’t be they guy that cost us the game. Don’t be the guy that keeps us on the field by some stupid penalty or something like that. Don’t be the guy. Just do your job. Have confidence and don’t be the guy.’”



(On stopping the run on Sunday)

“It’s kind of been an 11-man effort. Their scheme…they rotate a lot of different backs. Plummer’s playing well. They’ve got two pretty darn good receivers. They’ve got a few young tight ends in there as well. It’s going to be a total team effort to try to contain…you can’t stop them. You can hope to contain them, and that’s what we’re going to try and focus on, trying to contain them and put them in a third, or second and long situations.”



(On feeling prepared for the regular season)

“Preseasons are preseasons. I think it’s an opportunity for us to get our feet wet a little bit but this is the real deal, lets make no mistakes about it. This is what it’s all about. Opening day, opening week against a very good ball club, a playoff team last year. We’ll get a chance to see what we’re made of.”



S J.R. Reed

September 5, 2006



(On how he deals with the nerve injury)

“I wear a brace. It supports my ankle.”



(On his damaged nerve)

“It’s not all bad. I don’t need it. The nerve is unnecessary at this point. I got hurt and I waited a year and it didn’t come back as much as I wanted it too, so I found a brace that helped relieve that.”



(On an ankle brace helping with an injury behind the knee)

“The nerve behind the knee gives you foot drop and the brace just helps stabilize when I cut and stuff like that. “



(On how he suffered the injury)

“I was jumping a fence and didn’t make it. It was a wrought-iron fence with the spikes on it and I fell backwards on it. I was hanging on the fence upside down and it stretched the nerve to where I couldn’t lift my foot.”



(On first receiving the news of the severity of his injury)

“They told me I’d never play again. They told me I was done. At first I believed them. It wasn’t until two weeks before mini-camp this year that I told them to give me a shot because I had a brace and that they wouldn’t even notice that I was hurt. So I went out there and Andy Reid gave me a shot to show them what I could do. He said I looked good, so I went to training camp, I was back, and now I’m here.”



(On pain after practice and after games)

“Besides the normal pain everybody goes through, but yeah, other than that.”



(On the doctor who helped design his brace)

“He’s kind of the pioneer of it. It’s the only one that’s been produced. They gave me a walking brace. I took that one and said we have to work this out and do something. We found a way. We made it a better material, we cut it, and it’s nothing like any other brace. I kept telling them that I need this, I need this. I’m personal friends with him now and I pretty much go back there whenever I need it to be tweaked.”



(On the damaged nerve)

“It regenerates, but it’s not fast enough for me. I have to work; I have to pay the bills, so I had to find another way. I wasn’t going to just sit on the sideline and wait for it to come back.”



(On using the brace when he’s not playing)

“I walk with a little limp when I don’t (wear the brace). I run better than I walk.”



(On dealing with the news that his NFL career could be over)

“It was the worst year of my life. I played in the Super Bowl then I went to the Daytona 500 two days later. Then I drove to Tampa and the next day I got hurt. I was on top of the world then I went into depression. I thought I was done. I went back to school and got my degree. Then I had to work my way back up. Everybody told me that I couldn’t do it, so I couldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”



(On feeling like he’s as good a return man as he was in college)

“I’m better than I was in college. I know a lot more. In college, I was just using sheer talent, but now I added some knowledge to it. We’ll see what happens when I get out there on Sunday.”



DE Leonard Little

September 5, 2006



(On dealing with cut blocks)

“You can’t think about it. It’s one thing you can’t think about. You just have to react to whatever they give you. If they cut us and we don’t get up, the next time we have to play the cut-block. We can’t go out there thinking about getting cut-blocked. We just have to go out there and play the game.”



(On preseason records being an indicator of the upcoming season)

You can’t worry about preseason. Preseason is a time for us to get better as a team. I think in some areas we did get better, especially on defense. You have to leave the preseason behind you. It’s the regular season now and everything counts. We did get better at some things defensively in the preseason that we weren’t good at last year.”



(On hopes for this season)

“We’ll see. We haven’t played our first game yet. We have a big test Sunday, with Denver coming in here with their great running game and great quarterback. We have a great challenge coming in Sunday and it’s going to be a test.”



(On the game vs. the Broncos in 2000)

“We didn’t play well defensively, and obviously they didn’t play well defensively. It was basically which offense was going to score the most points. To our credit, we scored the most points that year and came out with the victory, but we have to play better defensively this year than we did back then.



(On the defensive improvements this year)

“We got better with the offseason acquisitions. With La’Roi (Glover), Will (Witherspoon), Corey (Chavous), Fahkir Brown. We got a lot better by getting those guys in. They’re veterans, they’re great players and those are the type of players we need on this defense.”