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    Linehan & Devaney Pre-Draft Press Conference

    Head Coach Scott Linehan & Executive Vice President of Player Personnel
    Billy Devaney Pre-Draft Press Conference

    April 24, 2008

    (On if there have been any trade talks with other teams)

    Billy Devaney: Actually, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on today.
    We’re very indicative of what 31 other teams are doing. This is kind of
    the last ‘work’ day. Friday, the day before the draft, everybody gets
    away and gathers their thoughts. There’s not a whole lot happening the
    day before. That’s what we’re doing right now – finishing the process
    that started a long time ago. I feel very strongly that it’s been a
    complete and thorough process. We’re getting to the critical point.
    We’re not quite there yet, but we’re close. I would expect in the next
    48 hours that we’ll get to that point.

    (On when the team actually decides on who the pick will be)

    BD: I think kind of the way we left it is ‘get away from it tomorrow.’
    Everybody’s just going to be on there own. I don’t even know if we’ll
    come in tomorrow quite frankly. We’ll put all our thoughts together,
    everything we’ve been talking about, for what seems like forever now and
    probably talk about it late tomorrow night sometime and see where we’re

    (On how a consensus is achieved when choosing the pick)

    Scott Linehan: Well, I don’t think anybody’s really any different. I’ve
    been in, this will be the fourth different setup, but generally the
    board’s stacked. It’s set. There are a lot of things that happen. My
    first year as a head coach here we traded our pick. We were pretty
    prepared regardless of whether we could or couldn’t. We were going to
    pick a player and then with about four minutes to go when we were on the
    clock there was a trade made. We’re just ready for those scenarios. I
    think right now it’s pretty much you just kind of count where you are in
    the draft and you know what pool you’re probably going to be picking
    from and we’ve pretty much decided that if nothing were to change we’ve
    got a game plan.

    (On if the team will pick based on the draft board in the first round)

    BD: That depends. The way it’s shaping up, and we’re not kidding
    anybody, this process started a long time ago and there are thousands of
    names going back to September and through the course of the year you
    whittle that down and eliminate people and you meet and you start
    stacking people into rounds and then start narrowing that down and who
    fits your needs and hopefully you get to the point that you have a
    couple of players that are graded close enough that you can take a
    specific player that fills a need. I think we’ve been fortunate, and you
    know the players involved that we’ve been talking about, I think that’s
    definitely the case. They are high rated players, they’re all lumped
    together, they’re very close, and at the end of the day or at the end of
    the night tomorrow night we just have to come to a conclusion which guy
    fits for us.

    (On if the three players that the media thinks that the Rams are
    interested in are closely rated)

    DB: Absolutely. That’s why we’re still talking about them. If there was
    a gap between one guy and the other two then he would have been
    eliminated already. That’s why all three are right there clumped

    (On if the decision is still based on a consensus opinion)

    DB: That’s how we’re going to arrive at the pick. Absolutely.

    SL: You guys know how it has worked here and it’s always been a team
    effort. I think the great thing about how we involve everyone in the
    whole picture when you start going with the scout as well and the
    coaches and everybody that has done all this hard work up until now, all
    the real hard work has been put in and I think the draft is the fun part
    for all of us. Obviously that is where you see the work executed. I
    think the fun part about it is the scenarios that can happen and I think
    the Rams have been as active in being on the phones as anyone. We’ll
    listen to anybody about anything. The bad thing is that we end up with
    really great draft picks this year, but the great thing about it is that
    we have great choices and they’re going to be outstanding football
    players for us for the years to come. I think the momentum of all of our
    goals for next year can really get jump started with a great draft and
    we really feel comfortable with obviously not trading this pick at No.
    2, and No. 33 and so on.

    (On if the team is actively looking for trade offers for the first-round

    No. Like we said, it sounds like a broken record, but any of those three
    guys that we have been zeroing in on we’d be thrilled and it would take
    something really exciting to get us off of that. We’re not being active
    looking to trade out of there. If something presents itself and we think
    it makes us a better team and we have good options to move back then we
    would think about it, but right now we’re excited about those three

    (On if the team is allowed to negotiated with potential selections since
    Miami signed Jake Long as the No. 1 selection)

    SL: No, that has been decided. Basically we’re on the clock and we’re
    No. 2 and there are no negotiations or anything at all.

    (On if the team is comfortable with the medical status of LSU DT Glenn

    BD: We cross-check with other teams. We had Dorsey in about a week ago
    and we had him checked one last time. We were at his pro day and we met
    with three or four trainers and doctors down in Baton Rouge and they
    presented all these tests that had been performed by a variety of
    experts around the country. We’ve exhausted everything and the guy
    played every game last year. We’ve completely signed off that he’s
    healthy and it’s not a concern.

    (On what the team likes about Dorsey, Virginia DE Chris Long and Ohio
    State DE Vernon Gholston)

    SL: They’re all great players. Honestly, I don’t mean to generalize too
    much, but they’re all very effective at the positions they play and are
    a handful for the opposing team to block whether it’s Dorsey at tackle
    or the other guys at end. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

    BD: That’s why we’re still talking about them. There are strengths and
    weaknesses to each. Character-wise, and this is what makes it great,
    they are off the chart in a positive way, all three of those guys. You
    can’t go wrong character-wise. As players, all three of them bring
    different things to the table. We’re trying to figure out just which
    fits best with what we’re looking for at this point. Like Scott said, we
    feel like we can’t go wrong. We’re going to get a great player and a
    great guy that is great for our organization.

    (On if the team would have made a decision on a pick already if they had
    been able to negotiate with potential selections)

    BD: No. It kind of makes it academic that we were told that we couldn’t
    because we’re not even at that point. We wouldn’t have been near
    starting negotiations, because, like I said, we haven’t figured out
    which way we’re going yet.

    (On where DL Adam Carriker will line up for the majority of plays next

    SL: His versatility probably creates some confusion for the whole
    process. Adam is a great football player. For him to from playing
    college defensive end to playing nose guard last year, and playing very
    well, says pretty much all that you need to say about Adam. Adam, across
    the line, can play really good defense for us. I don’t know that nose is
    his natural position, but he played very well for us and our run defense
    really did show great improvement from the year before, because he
    really added to what we were missing on the inside. The guy was an
    all-American defensive end so he could play out there and we wouldn’t
    have any problem with him playing some end as well. I think you’re going
    to see him playing across the board. I think tackle is really his best
    position, but there’s no reason he can’t play anywhere on our line to be
    honest with you.

    (On if Linehan likes not having to worry about as many scenarios because
    the team is picking high in the draft)

    SL: It makes it a lot easier. We can count to two and now we’re just
    counting to one. It gives us a lot of time to discuss the pluses and
    minuses of the guys we’re looking at now.

    (On if there are groups of people advocating for different players as
    the team’s selection)

    BD: No. I think what’s made it really enjoyable is that there are
    personalities here, but at the end of the day people state and make
    their evaluation, but they always end it with ‘whatever you guys think
    is the best player that helps us the most I’m comfortable with that.’
    That’s not always the case in places that I’ve been. It does make it
    difficult and that’s not the case here – be in scouts, position coaches,
    coordinators or what have you. Of course there are going to be
    differences in the way people see players but since we started this it’s
    always been at the end of the day whatever you think is best just get
    the best player.

    (On what happens if there is a difference opinion among the decision

    DB: I’ll give an example. Obviously so much speculation is spent on the
    first round pick, but we’ve been spending a lot of time and having
    differences about fourth and fifth round guys also. I got with the
    scouts yesterday and we said there are two guys that we are kind of off
    on – and we’re talking about maybe fourth round guys. I said, ‘the
    coaches see it this way let’s go back and look at these guys again.’ We
    divided up into groups so it was more objective and we met at the end of
    the day and quite honestly we said ‘We can see what they’re saying. For
    these reasons we can alter it. If it came down to these two then we
    should go with the way the coaches had them ranked.’

    (On if those discussions are limited to players that are ranked very
    close to each other)

    BD: Ideally you stick to the board. In this case there was a sizeable
    gap, but there was a difference of opinion. That’s why for the most part
    we’ve been in agreement. There haven’t been many of those discussions
    where we’ve said we better go back and lot at this player because we’re
    way off on this guy. There have been one or two guys where there have
    been a sizeable gap and we’ve had to go back and redo.

    (On if having Jake Long off the board has helped in the decision making
    process or if there is still confusion)

    SL: I wouldn’t call it confusion. That’s just how the draft works. I
    think being at 11 or 15, that’s a problem because you don’t know which
    guys are going to come up. Wouldn’t you love to know that whoever you’re
    picking is going to be a great player. I’m not sure you can say that
    about mid-round guys. And I’m sure there have been top-round draft picks
    that haven’t panned out based on expectations. I think this is kind of
    an unusual year, because like Billy said, these guys carry the traits
    that we’re looking for regardless of the position. Then they bring that
    intangible factor in there and you say ‘this is really what we need.’ To
    be honest with you, there’s no downside with whoever we pick.

    (On if some players have been removed from the draft board due to
    character concerns)

    BD: It’s more than four. I promise.

    (On if Arkansas RB Darren McFadden is also a possible selection at No.

    BD: We’ve talked about McFadden as part of one of the hundreds of
    scenarios that we’ve laid out if certain things happened. Is he a
    candidate if we stay at two, if we go back to five or seven and he’s
    still there? That’s all I can tell you. He’s been talked about and he’s
    still very highly rated on our board.

    (On if the later starting time to the draft on Saturday gives the team
    more time to discuss trade options)

    BD: It means you can go for a longer run in the morning and not worry
    about getting back for the draft.

    (On if defensive philosophy dictates who is selected)

    SL: I can answer that really easily. Obviously the tackle fits 4-3 as a
    three-technique. He’s a great player there. And the other two guys are
    defensive ends in our mind. I’m sure they could play in a 3-4, both
    kids, and I’m sure Dorsey could be a heck of a nose guard in a 3-4 or a
    five-technique. You could make that assessment if you were a 3-4 team.
    In our case, all three of them fit our defense. That actually probably
    adds to why they’re all still in the mix.

    (On if there is any interest in trading some of the team’s picks away
    for future draft picks)

    BD: No, not for futures. We want players now. They’re right towards the
    top in every round and we expect a good player to be there in the second
    round. The third-round pick is the start of the second day now and as a
    rule after the first day of the draft teams go back and look at their
    boards and they start looking and there are some guys on the board where
    they say ‘this our last chance to get a tackle’ or ‘this is our last
    chance to get a receiver’ so guys kind of get pushed up. We’ll get a lot
    of phone calls for that third-round pick just for that reason.

    (On how deep this draft is as far as players picked in the third and
    fourth rounds that could be starters)

    SL: Some of those guys could be starters and some of them are a ways
    away. It just kind of depends on the position.

    BD: I’m pointing the finger at personnel people. I hear ‘Our first-round
    pick has to come in and start. Our second-round pick, we want starters.’
    It’s hard to start in this league when you’re a rookie. First-round
    guys, wherever you’re drafted, this is hard. To say that in the fourth
    or fifth round realistically that you’re going to come away with a
    starter is really stretching it. If you get your first-round pick on the
    field and he’s starting that’s great. If you get your second-round pick
    and he’s starting you’re doing pretty good.

    (On if the team is looking for a quarterback in this draft and when they
    may draft one)

    SL: Yeah, and maybe it’s just because of my background, but it’s really
    something that you’d like to do. We’re very comfortable with our
    quarterback situation. Getting a young guy that you could develop is
    always part of it. It’s really difficult though because there’s less of
    them than there are of others. Regardless of whether we drafted one or
    signed a free agent that could be competing with Brock (Berlin), that
    would be fine too. I would be fine with either scenario. I’ve always got
    my eye on some guys personally and we’ve got some really good
    quarterback evaluations within our staff and personnel department. We
    were just talking about maybe we need to go hit the arena league circuit
    and drum up another Kurt Warner somewhere. You never know.

  2. #2
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Linehan & Devaney Pre-Draft Press Conference

    They obviously know that Carriker was best where he was selected to play for the majority of the season, where Dorsey will play in the NFL. I think this will make the Rams think twice about getting him, Carriker can play along the line, but is best where he was appointed to last season.

    Character, I say Chris Long. I have seen interviews with Chris Long a the past few days, and his character impresses me all the time.

    In the end, it will be a tough decision. Only saturday will tell...

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