Rams Head Coach Scott Linehan

(On injuries)
“Andy McCollum has a left knee issue that doesn’t look very good. We will get the MRI, check it tomorrow and update you. Jimmy Kennedy had a fracture to his hand; he was able to play with it. We will evaluate that for next week. Those are the two significant injuries, other than that we came out pretty healthy.”

(On game)
“I couldn’t be more proud of our football team. There are no such things as style points in winning and sometimes we get caught up in that. I think these were some pretty interesting style points in how we won today, with the way our defense came out and pretty much dominated the game. When they had to dig down, they stopped them and got turnovers and gave us great field position. Offensively, we didn’t take that good of an advantage of it, but we are going to figure it out. It is one of those things that you can make too big of a point of it. We probably worked our red zone offense five times as much as I normally would this week. That is not what today is all about, today is about this new team, players, and staff alike and support people that work for the team are off to a great start. That is all it is, it is one game. We have a 24-hour rule: enjoy it for 24 hours and move on to next week. I am very happy for everyone in this organization.”

(On the work of the defensive coordinator)
“It was pretty impressive, I would credit the entire defensive staff and the players as well. Jim (Haslett) did a great job of preparing and we have a great defensive staff that has worked well together for years. Our defensive players have embraced everything we are doing. Half the battle is believing, and it paid dividends today. Just like anything else we have to back it up next week with a better effort. I will say it every week, there are key elements to this game there are stats with meaning and the number one stat is who takes care of the ball and who doesn’t. We were able to take care of the ball today and I was very happy about that.”

(On special teams)
“I now understand why they call Jeff Wilkins ‘Money’. We made him kick six field goals and he only missed one of them because we kept backing him up or else he would have made all seven. That is impressive. Our coverage teams were outstanding, and we could see that during the preseason, as we became a better coverage team. The play I will always remember is J.R. Reed returning that kick and then just willing himself into 15 more yards during the kick return. It is 10 percent technique and 90 percent desire. I think our special teams were pretty special today. “
Game Notes

WR Isaac Bruce made five receptions to total 818 career receptions, passing Henry Ellard (814) and Shannon Sharpe (815) for 11th place on the NFL’s all-time reception list.

Bruce had 64 yards receiving (12,342), passing WR Jimmy Smith (12,287) for 11th on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list.

QB Marc Bulger made 18 completions, putting him over the 1,000-completion mark (1,005).

K Jeff Wilkins made six field goals, the most in Rams history, tied for the most of his career and tied for second most in NFL history. He broke Bob Waterfield’s record of five field goals in one game, set in 1951.

Wilkins’ 18 points in the game, gave him 1,013 points as a Ram, the first player in Rams’ history to surpass the 1,000 point mark.

DE Leonard Litte had 2.0 sacks against Denver, his 13th career multi-sack game. He also had one forced fumble, the 24th of his career.

CB Fakhir Brown made his first-career sack and his fourth career interception.

Rookie CB Tye Hill made his first-career interception.

S Corey Chavous made is 20th career interception

---players after the game

K Jeff Wilkins

(On hoping for seven FGs)
“I’m still ticked off at myself for earlier. I should have had seven, so it’s on me.”

(On the miss)
“I thought I hit it good. Then when I looked up it and thought, ‘You got to be kidding me.’ It was coming in, but I left it out too far, I’ll have to go back and look at it.”

(On looking for six FGs)
“I always try to predict for myself to try and get ready, but six wasn’t anywhere near the prediction this week, but I’ll take it. I love the opportunity.”

(On good special teams play)
“Kickoff coverage was great. All I remember was seeing the ball at the 20-yard line almost every time. They were tackling great. We had a good kickoff return at the beginning of the second half. Matt Turk was punting great. And of course I didn’t have to make any tackles, which is a good thing.”

(On how he is feeling)
“I’ve been feeling really good this training camp. The coaches have allowed me get ready and my leg feels good. Right now it’s a little sore but it’s a good sore. I’ll just throw some ice on it and I’ll be ready to go again.”

(On the offense scoring a touchdown)
“I think so. They were close several times. It will start clicking soon and my numbers will start going down, so I better enjoy this while it happens.”
RB Steven Jackson

(On rushing for over 100 yards against the best run defense of 2005)
“My offensive line stuck with me. A couple of times in the game they got the best of us in some drives. Hats of to Coach Linehan and the offensive coordinator. They stuck with the run. That’s something we’re not used to around here.”

(On the Broncos making adjustments that slowed Jackson down early in the second half)
“Like you said, they’re the best run defense in the league, so they’re going to change some things at halftime and make some corrections. Hats off to our coaching staff. It was a chess match out there. They did some things to confuse us, we changed some things around and got the best of them.”

(On red zone struggles)
“It’s still a new offense for us and they were pretty stingy out there. Both defenses did a stellar job out there. It was our defense that won the game, but there’s no such thing as an ugly win, so we’re pretty happy about how it turned out. Of course we would have liked to get a touchdown. We’re going to do some things and change some things around.”

(On not trying to score on their last possession)
“It was a respect thing. Coach Linehan’s a stand-up guy. By him taking a knee, we weren’t trying to rub anything in. It was a great game and we want to keep people safe and healthy, and that’s what we did.”

(On the Broncos red zone defense)
“In my opinion I think they just showed up in the red zone. They got stingy, brought some pressure, and sometimes we just didn’t make the plays when we had the chance to. That’s week one. You have to get those jitters out.”
QB Marc Bulger

(On the new offense)
“It’s nice, I took less hits. We did some wrong things, we’re working on it, we’ll get there and we’re still putting some stuff in. But, I was proud of the way we played the last couple of minutes, we needed first downs. We knew we were going to run the ball. They knew we were going to run the ball. The last couple of years we haven’t been able to finish a game. And to finish it like that is a testament to our offensive line.

“I almost feel like I’m playing in a different division. Growing up I always referred to Steelers games and this game reminded me of that – field position, taking care of the ball and punting. I’m used to winging before. You know if it didn’t work today we might be sitting here saying something different. I like it. If we can protect the ball and our defense can keep making huge plays, we’ll be in good shape.

“There’s a different way we’re going to approach the offense. It’s going to be careful, safe, er on the side of caution and hopefully it will work.”

(On the defense)
“I look back three years ago and they led the league in takeaways. I certainly put them in some bad positions that year and they bailed me out. You need special teams, you need defense, you need offense to be a contender in this league. We don’t want to get overly excited, it’s one game, but just for Coach (Scott) Linehan’s sake I think we’re going to be better well rounded this year than we have in the past.”

(On Jeff Wilkins)
“It weird you kind of expect it from him. You don’t want to start expecting it from guys, but he’s been doing it for so long. If it’s 50 yards, he’s in the dome, it’s good.”
DE Leonard Little

(On being upset, even after a win)
Of course I am, because nobody on this planet gave us a chance to win this game, but we as a defense had to come together today and show people that we are going to be a defensive team that’s going to have to be reckoned with this year. With the personnel we have and the aggressive nature of this defense, we’re going to have to be a defense that people look at this year.”

(On negative opinions of the Rams’ defense)
“I read a couple of things in Sports Illustrated and stuff like that. It really got me going and it’s going to keep me going the rest of the year just to try to prove people wrong and try to prove critics wrong (and let them know) that we can play defense around here. We showed people today that we can.”

(On trying to calm the team down after he forced the fumble)
“I was saying that it was going to be a long game. I told people to calm down and that it was only a sack and a forced fumble. It’s going to be a long game. It was only the first quarter. I knew we had a lot of football to play. I just wanted to get my mind together and go back and play the next series.”

(On his feelings after the game)
“I’m still upset in a way because we gave up three long runs. That’s not typical of us. We don’t like giving up big plays on defense, but that happens. We have to go look at the film and see what happened on those plays. I know we’re a better defense than that, to give those guys three long runs, even though they are a good rushing team. We shouldn’t have given them three long runs.”

RB Steven Jackson
(On rushing for over 100 yards against the best run defense of 2005)
“My offensive line stuck with me. A couple of times in the game they got the best of us in some drives. Hats of to Coach Linehan and the offensive coordinator. They stuck with the run. That’s something we’re not used to around here.”

(On the Broncos making adjustments that slowed Jackson down early in the second half)
“Like you said, they’re the best run defense in the league, so they’re going to change some things at halftime and make some corrections. Hats off to our coaching staff. It was a chess match out there. They did some things to confuse us, we changed some things around and got the best of them.”

(On red zone struggles)
“It’s still a new offense for us and they were pretty stingy out there. Both defenses did a stellar job out there. It was our defense that won the game, but there’s no such thing as an ugly win, so we’re pretty happy about how it turned out. Of course we would have liked to get a touchdown. We’re going to do some things and change some things around.”

(On not trying to score on their last possession)
“It was a respect thing. Coach Linehan’s a stand-up guy. By him taking a knee, we weren’t trying to rub anything in. It was a great game and we want to keep people safe and healthy, and that’s what we did.”

(On the Broncos red zone defense)
“In my opinion I think they just showed up in the red zone. They got stingy, brought some pressure, and sometimes we just didn’t make the plays when we had the chance to. That’s week one. You have to get those jitters out.”
S Corey Chavous

(On the game)
“It was a good win. You just need to keep it in context and move on to next week.”

(On the Rams defense and turnovers)
“We forced some turnovers and that’s something we talked about doing. We wanted to come out and do that. We had some plays that we wish we could have had back too. We’re excited to come out and get an opening victory, but we have some things we have to improve on.”

(On responding to Denver’s big plays)
“Sometimes you have to think how they’re thinking. They get a big run, maybe they’ll run it again, but maybe they’re going to set up the play action. As a defense we’re just trying to communicate and talk. There were several players that came up big on defense in timely situations.”

(On his interception)
“We were having a good time, we were trying to have fun, that’s something we talked about. But, we have to give credit to the defensive front, the linebackers, they really played well in terms of putting some heat on the quarterback. We were trying to make him feel claustrophobic in the pocket. That’s something Coach (Brian) Baker talks about, Coach (Jim) Haslett, Coach (Rick) Venturi, everybody. So, those were things we were thinking about going into the game.”

“Basically, they were in a slot format and I was reading him (QB Jake Plummer) and trying to make him think I was going to do something else. He kind of bit for it and it was an opportunity to help out my corners.”

(On the great start for the defense)
“It’s just the first week. I think it’s good that we came out and played well at times. I emphasize that, because there were times we should have done things a little better and we’ll try to improve on those this week. The defense will definitely try to come out and improve for the game next week.”
CB Tye Hill

(On the Victory)
“It feels great. Getting the win and an interception in the first game is like a storybook beginning. It’s something you dream about.”

(on being aggressive)
“It is all about the way prepared. We worked really hard going back to camp and all the way back to mini-camp, we were preparing for this game. We came in with a great game-plan and executed what we needed to do.”

(On interceptions)
“It got fun for me real quick with a quick pick and I was telling myself, ‘Ok, I’m feeling it now.’ That was the feeling I was searching for all last year. Just to be here and to be a part of something special is great.”

(On his interception)
“I was looking at the quarterback and I was thinking, ‘He isn’t about to throw this is he?’ Before I knew, he was throwing it. I just tried to beat Rod (Smith) back to the ball and I did. If I would have stayed back a little I would have had a touchdown. I’m just happy to get an interception so I don’t have to wait around for it. To get one right of the bat is nice but I hope there are many more to come.”

(On when he caught it)
“Actually, I was thinking touchdown. Afterwards, thinking about it, I calmed myself back down and realized there were still three quarters left and I had to keep playing.”

(On what the performance says about the defense)
“It says a lot about us. It says a lot about our personality, the way we are going to play. We have great chemistry here with the personnel brought in. I think we are going to come out and play hard every Sunday.”