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    J-Mac, Flajoles, McMahon Post Practice Comments 8/16 ..

    Rams Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels- Post Practice
    August 16, 2011

    (On difficulty deciding which receivers will make the team)
    “I hope that it is difficult because it means that we have a lot of guys that are going out there and trying to perform and do their jobs. We’ve got a lot of guys that are moving in and out of different spots right now, and we’ve still got a long way to go, and a lot of things to do, and a lot of things to evaluate, and that will ultimately be someone else’s decision. (Coach) Spags and Billy (Devaney) will do a great job I’m sure of making sure that we have the right fit there. We are just going to continue to coach the guys, move them around and see what they can do. A big thing for our receivers is they have to be flexible, because we don’t ask them just to do one thing. The more they can do, the better off they are going to be.”

    (On how the players are adapting to him and his system)
    “I think we are having a lot of fun, and that is something that I don’t think you hear a lot in training camp. I think our guys are really enjoying getting into the system. Again, there are a lot of things that they know, and there are some things they are learning, and we try to feed them a little bit everyday that is a little new. That is exciting, it’s challenging. They have a great attitude. We love the way they are working for us, and every day we come out and we make a little bit of stride here and there.”

    (On if there is more to come)
    “Not really. After the first couple of weeks of training camp, you really have the base of your foundation in. There are some things you certainly want to introduce and continue to introduce as you go through the month of August. I think the general concepts of our protections and our run game and the formations, and the kind of things that we do, they have heard them. Whether we have mastered them by now is a different story, but that is what we are out here working hard to do.”

    (On RB Keith Toston’s performance vs. Colts)
    “He did a good job with his opportunities. I think our backfield situation is very competitive. The guys have been working real hard to carve out different roles for themselves. Keith certainly did a nice job running the football. He also did a great job in the kicking game in terms of what he did and produced for Tom (McMahon). That is a big factor and we are real excited that he could contribute like that.”

    (On enjoying watching only the offense and not the entire field)
    “Yes. It’s been great. The group of guys and the coaching staff have made this transition for me unbelievable. I really enjoy working here. I really enjoy the city, and I love the guys that I have to come to work with everyday. Focusing on the offense, trying to get better on that side of the ball, coaching the quarterbacks is something that I really love to do and it makes every day a great day for me.”

    (On where QB Sam Bradford is in mastering the offense)
    “He’s doing very well. I wouldn’t say that anybody could master something in the National Football League this quickly. I think the big thing with Sam is that whatever you give him, the first thing is that he wants to master it. That is half the battle. Then he works so hard to try to do it perfectly the first time. Some of those things are harder to do than others. Then the next day, he comes out and it’s fixed, and it’s right. That’s very impressive. I think as long as you have that mindset with your quarterback and he wants to work that way to be great, I think you eventually hope that you get there. I think that he has really done a nice job with all of the things we have given him to do in training camp.”

    (On if he has seen anything that has surprised him about Bradford)
    “I don’t think that I have seen anything that has surprised me. I got to see the first time the other night in the stadium, his passion, his fire, on game day. It was a preseason contest and it was a regular season mood for all of us. It was a little bit of a different deal. He showed that fire and leadership. He is a little bit of a quiet guy in terms of some of the things that he does in the meetings or what have you, but in the locker room, on the field, on the sidelines, very vocal, very excitable. Again, he is so driven to be great that it is fun to be around.”

    (On whose decision it was for Bradford to finish his last drive vs. Colts)
    “They were going to come out, when he (Coach Spagnuolo) said they were going to come out. I think any group that was on the field for a drive would want to finish the drive. I was proud of that group, they did a nice job of getting it down in there and running it in, which we want to make a real strong focus on. That was exciting for them to have an opportunity to put that last touchdown on the board on a drive that started backed up a little bit.”

    (On the most challenging thing in his transition)
    “This has been great for me. Football, we are blessed to have an opportunity to work in this profession every day. Challenging is going to be getting ready for every game against every great opponent with great players and great coaches. That is the challenge in it. I think coming out here and trying to do our job the best we can and working with the players and the staff we have here and the organization, that to me is great fun and I hope that we continue to have that attitude as we push through training camp.”

    (On why he values interchangeability among the receivers)
    “We want to try to do what we should do each week based the opponent that we play. That may change. We may end up having more guys in the slot formation one week and the next week we don’t lineup in slot formation at all, because that is not really how to beat that team. Our guys, everyday are getting better at that and they are understanding they may not be in the same position. It’s not something that we are trying to trick them. We tell them what they are going to do, we tell them how we are going to use them, and they just have to be flexible so that we can try to attack and put stress on the defense the best we can.”

    (On Harvey Dahl’s attitude being infectious)
    “Yes. It’s very infectious. He has been a tremendous addition for our room, the offensive line – his toughness, his attitude. The guy’s just a man’s man and he been nothing but what we hoped we were getting when we signed him. He has really made a big impact there. He’s a strong leader on offense and has been a great influence on some of the younger linemen and we are really pleased to have him in there.”

    Defensive Coordinator Ken Flajole
    – Post Practice
    August 16, 2011

    (On his thoughts overall on the preseason game)
    “We had some bright spots and had some things we need to work on. Encouraged by some of the draft choices that we acquired. We have a lot of work to do though.”

    (On DE Robert Quinn at this stage)
    “He did some nice things and had some nice rushes. Again there’s a lot of little technique things that he’s got to learn to play. He hasn’t played football, as we all know, in a couple years so he’s knocking the rust off. His natural athletic ability played out on tape. I mean he’s a good chase, bend guy on the edge and I’m glad we got him”.

    (On CB Al Harris’ role on the team)
    “Al came in and played a little bit on base for us, just a few snaps. Again he can add some help for us in our nickel package.”

    (On what DT Gary Gibson brings to the team)
    “He’s a good veteran leader, a solid performer and just a good solid player for us. Again he gives us depth and a potential starter at tackle. It’s good we have competition at a lot of positions and that has bode well for us in training camp.”

    (On how much better he thinks they are at linebacker)
    “I think we’re better at a lot of positions and linebacker is certainly one of them. We’ve got more depth there and the backups are pushing the starters. The starters are feeling it and it’s making the starters better. When we’ve got that type of competition at all these positions on our side of the ball, it’s going to raise our level of play. (General Manager) Billy (Devaney) and (Head Coach) Steve (Spagnuolo) have done a nice job getting guys in here. Whether it’s through the draft or free agency, that gives us a chance to build some quality depth and become starters or if there not, be great backups.”

    (On CB Harris being a mentor for the younger players)
    “Well he brings a veteran swagger to the room there’s no doubt. He’s been around the block a few times. Not many things surprise him when he sees it on tape. He’s got a very workman-like attitude and shows the young guys this is how you prepare in the National Football League. This is how you practice, this is how you take care of your body during the year. So he’s been a great mentor for the guys.”

    (On what a new coordinator such as Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels can do to establish a relationship with the guys)
    “I just think, just making sure that you’re thorough in what you do. I think people respect if you’re confident in what you do. I know the players on offense respect Josh because he’s confident in what he does. And you’re prepared…and when you get guys in position to play and do what they do best. I think people respect that because they know you’ve got their best interest at heart and you’ve got the team at heart. It gives you a chance…if you’re technique is sound, I think for the veteran guys it can extend their career.”

    (On how tough it’s been integrating the new free agents in on defense)
    “Well it’s changed our installation a little bit. It’s forced us to maybe be…I won’t say water it down but spend more time with each call from practice-to-practice instead of getting real aggressive with our installation. We do have some new guys that are with us that are coming from different systems. They’ve taken hold of it. And we’ve taken good use of the walkthroughs that we get in the morning time for us to be able to spend a little more mental time, kind of having a meeting on the field so to speak. So it’s helped us in that respect.”

    (On if it’s easier on the defensive linemen to learn the defense)
    “Well if you asked them they would tell you, ‘No’. They probably have more to think about. It’s probably a little bit easier. There’s not quite as many adjustments as the back-end people.”

    (On how he evaluates all the players in a short amount of time)
    “Well we’ve got to make sure that we allocate our time in the upcoming preseason games adequately, so that we make sure we get a chance to make sure we get a good evaluation of all the guys that are new to us. Either they’re draft choices or they’re free agents…we’ve got a lot of tough decisions when we finally get down to a 53-man roster. It’ll be tough but we want to make sure that those guys have had a fair chance and we’ve done a thorough evaluation on them.”

    (On if he thought the front office was going to be this active in getting free agents and what his reaction was)
    “Well, I waved my pom-poms and said, ‘Thanks a bunch!.’ I cheered Billy (Devaney) on and said, ‘Let’s go!’(laughs). It was great and you just never know how this thing plays out. I know it probably looked like we were slow playing it, there at the beginning. As it turned out we ended up getting some guys that can help us, so that’s good for the Rams.”

    Special Team’s Coordinator Tom McMahon – Post Practice
    August 16, 2011

    (On what he sees in WR Mardy Gilyard in the return game)
    “I just wanted to see consistency, the biggest thing. I think the other thing he showed us was courage. He caught some balls in traffic. He did a nice job. He had the muff on the kickoff return and he’ll fix that, but he’s been more consistent this fall and I look forward to keep working with him.”

    (On if Gilyard is a gunner)
    “He is, we didn’t put him at gunner this weekend, trying to take a look at some other guys. We felt like Mardy did a great job for us a year ago. So we’re trying to see some other guys and he will play gunner for us though. He’ll play corner also.”

    (On if he will want to see RB Jerious Norwood in kickoff returns)
    “We’ll make that decision as we go along. That’s going to be more of where the knee is like you’re saying and we’ll go from there.”

    (On if putting Norwood at the number one spot on kickoff coverage is testing his toughness)
    “No, with our fives… on our football team if you look back to last year (CB) Jerome Murphy played the five for us and the biggest thing we’re trying to get is speed at the five spot, and they can avoid wedges. They can go around.”

    (On K Josh Brown and how helps the team with kicking a 60 yard field goal)
    “I think it helps a lot. He’s had a great camp. He’s been very consistent. (P) Donnie (Jones) and the snappers have done a great job with him in being consistent. He’s going to be just fine. It’s going to help him.”

    (On alternating the snappers)
    “Every other play, so every other punt we switched them, every other field goal…”

    (On which long snapper he likes)
    “I like both guys. I’m not really going to speculate on which guy I like, which guy I don’t like and point out different things. They’re both working their tails off.”

    (On what he likes from LS Jake McQuaide)
    “The biggest thing was coming out was mentally he is very, very mature. Very mature as a football player and he’s shown that here.”

    (On what he thinks of the coverage units form in the game Saturday)
    “We need to improve. Our spacing distribution on the punt was a concern. We’ve got to get more spacing. From the kickoff coverage standpoint we only missed two tackles that led to extra yards and we’ve got to get that cleaned up.”

    (On what he thinks is the best things to do to establish his relationship with the players)
    “I think the biggest thing you have to do is you have to go out to practice every day and they’ve got to hear your voice. They’ve got to hear your voice in the meetings, and what you preach, they go out and do, and eventually they see success and it works out for them.”

    (On if it’s a battle to evaluate players)
    “I think it’s every year. In this league you got so many guys coming in and out…that are different from year to year. I think every single one of us, in my opinion…”

    (On if it’s a headache to try and work in all the players and how he does it)
    “The biggest thing is you have to go rep by rep and see who hasn’t played yet. Cross one guy off and get the next guy in. Our biggest belief is they deserve an opportunity to play. If they’re out here practicing, because we’ve got to get them out there on the field and see what they can do for us as an organization cause we’re going to find find some great ones…We owe it to them. Every single guy is going to get reps. In the last game there was really only one guy and it was due to an injury he couldn’t get out there. We’re going to keep trying to do that. They deserve that.”

    (On if it’s hard on him not having the mini-camps)
    “No, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think so. I think that every single one of us is in the same situation. It’s no different than the kickoff coverage changes. Every one of us all across the league, we don’t have any more time than any other guy. You just have to change really the process of the evaluation. How you speed it up or do you take certain things and condense them into one. That’s kind of what we’re doing. Trying to shorten it up a little bit”

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: J-Mac, Flajoles, McMahon Post Practice Comments 8/16 ..

    What a thankless job Flajole has; no matter how great his actual influence, anything good this defense does is going to be largely attributed to Spags.

    Interesting how McD went out of his way to make clear that he wasn't making final personnel decisions.

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    Re: J-Mac, Flajoles, McMahon Post Practice Comments 8/16 ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    What a thankless job Flajole has; no matter how great his actual influence, anything good this defense does is going to be largely attributed to Spags.

    Interesting how McD went out of his way to make clear that he wasn't making final personnel decisions.
    It's more than likely he recognizes the opportunity he has here with the Rams, the chance to coach up Sam Bradford and a flock of young receivers. Clearly the Rams are a team on the rise. After taking his lumps in Denver, surely J-Mac knows he must be the "good soldier" to redeem his image as far as NFL owners are concerned. If he can keep his nose clean (no drama, no pr gaffs etc.) while drastically improving our offense, there is no doubt Spags and Billy will give him a solid referral the next time a HC job becomes available to him.

    One thing I am really curious about though is: When J-Mac did become available after his stint in Denver, (considering the selection of Kendricks, Pettis and Salas), I can't help but wonder if the Rams sweetened the deal by promising J-Mac an opportunity have strong input regarding the choice of targets for Sam ..

    Exactly how much influence did they promise him.? In other words, I doubt they gave him carte blanche in rounds 2, 3, and 4. More likely, if there weren't any players Billy & Spags considered far too good to pass up (say on defense, or the O-line), did J-Mac get to choose his toys at that point? If I had to bet, I think I'd bet yes ..

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    Re: J-Mac, Flajoles, McMahon Post Practice Comments 8/16 ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom McMahon
    “He is, we didn’t put him at gunner this weekend, trying to take a look at some other guys. We felt like Mardy did a great job for us a year ago. So we’re trying to see some other guys and he will play gunner for us though. He’ll play corner also.”
    He'll play corner also? Is there a special teams "corner" position? Obviously he's not talking about CB.

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