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    Linehan/Jackson Quotes

    Head Coach Scott Linehan
    August 5, 2006

    (On today’s scrimmage) “The best part about today is that, for the most part, everyone is going to come of the field healthy. That’s a big objective as you try to make improvements as a team. We definitely did make improvements. There are some things we need to fix. I think our first units on both sides of the ball did some pretty good things. We’ve got to continue to build on the depth of this team. As you saw, we worked a lot with our second and third groups and some people showed up in there. So, we’ve got to continue to work on the depth as we prepare for our four preseason games, with the first one being the most important.”

    (On RBs Antoine Bagwell and John David Washington) “They’re coming along. They’ve got the typical rookie ups and downs, free agent-type things. They’ve got a couple things they do very well but they’ve got some other limitations that they’ve got to continue to work on. First of all, it’s playing at this level and [getting used to] the speed of this game. I think both of them have improved there and both of them are working very hard. I’m very happy with their attitude, for sure.”

    (On CB Tye Hill being helped off the field) “He had a slight sprain. It happened in the Senior Bowl, he [Hill] said. It was a slight sprain of the AC joint but it wasn’t too bad. He came back in, which was a good sign. Those things are painful, but if you have a bad one they’re real painful and you can’t even move. I think he got it hit right on that AC joint.”

    (On S Jerome Carter being helped off the field) “I think he got the wind knocked out of him. Sometimes when you get that knocked out of you it’s almost like you’re knocked out for a while, until you catch your breath. He’s just fine.”

    (On who stood out in his mind during today’s scrimmage) “I thought a couple of guys. I was happy for Tye [Hill]. He had some things that weren’t going well early and he came out and made a couple plays on the ball down in the red zone. We tested him a couple of times. I wanted to run a couple of things at him and see how he responded; especially after he had given up a couple of things early. I think he responded well, but he did show his youth. First round or not, you’ve got to do everything right all the time. He’s an accountable kid and he came back, showed his competitiveness, and did well. I was happy, for the most part, with how the line played in the running game. I thought we ran the ball pretty decently. It’s generally the offense’s advantage when you’re running the ball and the defense isn’t doing much movement or doing any dog packages. I thought the line, for the most part, did the best job of blocking. We could protect the passer a little bit better, but we’ll work on that.”

    (On RB Moe Williams’ performance) “That’s the type of running style that you’re looking for, when you put Moe in. It’s nothing fancy; he’ll be the first one to tell you. But it’s downhill and it’s effective. You can give Moe the ball and he’s going to get yards, it’s not that you put Moe in and he’s a really good pass protector. He’s very effective that way. I was really happy with that as well.”

    (On RB Tony Fisher’s progression) “I think Fish [Tony Fisher] has really shown that he’s our number two legitimate back right now. Moe will be competing with him. It’s a little bit different, they have different styles. Fish is a younger version than Moe but maybe a different style runner. He [Fisher] certainly brings a lot of things to the table. He wears a lot of hats. He can be your number two back, he can be your third-down back, he can be your first-down back in passing situations. He can go in on all the special teams and excel. He’s excellent in a lot of the perimeter receiver-type things that you do with a running back. He’s got a lot of value in all phases of our offense.”

    (On the quarterbacks and the third string competition) “That’s going to continue to be a really interesting competition. I think the in the preseason games, both of them [Dave Ragone and Ryan Fitzpatrick] will get a lot of snaps. I think they’ll tend to either stay together or one will separate himself as we get into the games. Both are very hard workers and very, very intelligent kids. They’ve got a great relationship together and we’ll just continue to evaluate them and chart them. The bottom line is the production at the end of the day; the plusses and minuses, they are what they are. We’ll make that decision as we go. It’s an ongoing battle and I was happy that both had a couple things go well [today]. I think Ryan worked primarily with the second group but I think you have to mix it up so both of them are working with both groups. I’m very happy with both [players.]”

    (On the production of the tight ends, in particular rookies Jim Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd) “Obviously, that was an objective for the scrimmage for me personally, just because we’re young there. It was nice to see them (Klopfenstein and Byrd) touching balls. Anyone’s who’s watched offenses I’ve been associated with knows that tight ends can be very effective. We started the scrimmage blocking quite a bit and running the ball. They have to know they have two roles. Neither is more important than the other, but we really want to emphasis the run first. It’s a lot easier to get a tight end the ball if the defense is lined up to stop the run than it is if it’s the other way around. I was happy; there were some plays made out there by the tight end group for sure.”

    (On whether or not he likes to see the skirmishes that have taken place in camp) “I like great competitors, period. You’ve got to control your emotions in the heat of battle. It happens, but I think we do a pretty good job. We’ve got some pretty good leaders who show by example that they can play and compete to the whistle, but they don’t cross the line. I think the young players see that and know that’s what’s expected. I think that’s one reason we don’t have things get out of hand, to be honest with you.”

    (On how much the versatility of OL Blaine Saipaia helps him in terms of making the team and climbing the depth chart) “Well, it’s job security the more you can do. I think him not being here was more the concern than his ability to play. He dropped the weight; we asked him to get down to a weight in the mid-320s and he got down there. He had been up there in weight a little bit recovery from some nagging injuries, so he showed the commitment there and he got himself back out here probably four or five days ahead of schedule, which shows me a lot about him. Then he came out and played some guard, played some tackle and all of those things. The more you can do, especially when you’re in the backup role and you’re trying to find your role, the better. When you can play guard and tackle it certainly helps.”

    (On what he wants to improve before the first preseason game) “Our tempo has to be better. We showed that we’re still not in as good of shape as we need to be. We did some extra running; everybody ran extra today. We don’t normally do that on a scrimmage day. It’s usually scrimmage, go take the pads off and take a little break. We did some conditioning because it was obvious to me that we’re still not there for an extended period of time. I think we’re good for four or five plays, but if we get into a drive that’s six or seven plays it starts to show up, so we’ve got to work on conditioning. I think we need to pick up our intensity on both sides of the ball. The first unit has a pretty good idea of tempo we want to play with, but everyone else needs to pick it up a little bit.”

    (On where QB Marc Bulger is in terms of ingesting the new offense) “It’s day-to-day; he gets comfortable, then we throw five more things at him and he’s like, ‘Oh, we’re calling it what? We used to call it this.’ He’s such an even keel guy, he goes with the flow. I have a chat with him everyday about [what we’re doing know and what we’re going to put it]. This is a big camp for him so he can get the comfort level. I’ve certainly noticed in the last week that he’s really getting more comfortable with all the things systematically that are different. You can always go back to some of those standbys, and we will, trust me.”

    (On his tendency to spend time perfecting plays) “If you don’t get the little things right, the big things won’t happen. I say that all the time and it’s not a phrase I coined, but it’s certainly something I believe in. Listening to Troy Aikman the other day talking about going into the Hall of Fame this weekend, he was talking about the difference between the Cowboys’ early Super Bowl teams and their teams at the end part of his career and he said that he felt like his latter teams just didn’t take care of little things like the early teams. I though that was very prophetic, that’s something that we can’t lose sight of. You’ve got to remind yourself, coaches and players alike, when things aren’t going well you’ve got to go back and repeat them.”

    (On the enthusiasm of the crowd) “It was nice. It’s a sign that football season is on its way. It’s here for us, but we’ve got our first game and it will be great to get our first one under our belt in front of our home crowd this Thursday.”

    (On FB Paul Smith working with the first team and whether or not he’s moved ahead of FB Madison Hedgecock) “Paul’s the number one fullback. There’s still very good competition between him and Madison. He has a little more experience there than Madison. Madison is going to continue to work and compete there, but we’re going start working him some not only at fullback, but put him in line. He’s got the size to line up in line like a tight end spot and be more of a move guy, so to speak, more of an H-back type of guy. We’ll experiment with that. We tried it a little bit; I think it didn’t help Madison. He was getting pulled at a bunch of ends with special teams, fullback and tight end. We’ll get to that as soon as we feel he’s back to where he needs to be at fullback.”

    (On what he likes in FB Paul Smith) “Toughness. He comes out everyday and, first of all, he goes about his business and plays football with his pads on. That’s what you want to see in a fullback. A fullback’s role is a thankless job and he comes out everyday and he tries to put it right on the numbers and put a guy on his back. Plus, he has the ability to catch the ball. He runs well enough to be a very, very good special teams player. He excelled in that role for Detroit the last couple of years.”

    (On OL Todd Steussie, who got some work in at guard during the scrimmage) “He’s a swing tackle. We’re always going to try to find a way to get our best five out there if something was to happen, so we gave him some work at guard. He started at right tackle, and then we moved him back over to the left side and gave him some guard work. He’s at that point in his career when he understands that he’s got to get to work there and know that he can be called upon at any time.”

    (On whether or not CB Tye Hill showed him something by returning to the field after being injured) “That was the key. Corners are like quarterbacks in that if they make a mistake, it’s pretty obvious. He came back out and showed the competitor that he is and there’s no back down in him. That’s what you want. You’ve got to have as short of a memory at corner as you do at quarterback if you make a mistake. And he showed me that.”

    (On Tye Hill’s toughness) “I’ve never questioned his toughness or his ability to get back out there. I was happier that it wasn’t anything more serious. He got back out there quick. It wasn’t like he was out for 20 minutes, he was out for about 30 seconds and then got back in there.”

    (On his impressions of the team after the first scrimmage and 10 days of camp) “It’s a work in progress. We’re very happy with our progress. We’re not anywhere near where we need to be to play the Broncos, but we don’t play the Broncos until September 10. We’ve got the Colts this Thursday and we’ve got another two-a-day and some installation and things we’ve got to shore up. We have to continue to work on our conditioning and our discipline on both sides of the ball and get our return specialists ready to go and see that battle unfold in preseason. It’ll be day-to-day. We’re focused now on greatness and bringing the team in and getting that corrected tomorrow.”

    RB Steven Jackson

    (On where he thinks the team is offensively at this time) “I think offensively we’re making great strides and improving our running game. Coach has continued to use Torry [Holt] and the receivers as an explosive package so I think we’re making great strides. On defense, Coach [Jim] Haslett and that staff are really starting to form some continuity of being a tough defense up front.”

    (On Coach Haslett making an impression) “He really has. Playing against him a couple of times over the years, I’ve always respected his defense, but now having him around and seeing him on a daily basis and how he deals with some of the guys on that side of the ball, it’s just big for me to see how aggressive defensive coaches coach the game.”

    (On the action in the first scrimmage of the season) “We’re kind of starting to get those bugs out of us. We haven’t played football since January, since Dallas, so you’ve got to get used to being taken to the ground, protecting the ball, quarterback’s in there getting their reads a lot, kind of similar to live action. Everything kicks up a little bit faster then practice.”

    (On having LG Richie Incognito and LT Orlando Pace on the same side of the O-Line) “It has been a pretty good team over there for us, between the two of them [Incognito and Pace]. But there’s really no difference. I don’t like to favor one side of the offensive line or the other. I just go out and hopefully the guys give me great looks on both sides.”

    (On the Rams opening the scrimmage with four consecutive running plays) “He’s [Head Coach Scott Linehan] making a point for us to run the ball and all of us are getting accustomed to it, something that we’re not used to this year.”

    (On the Rams being more dependent on the run this year) “I wouldn’t say drive the train around here. I think its going to be a 50/50 or 60/40 approach to the game. Some days the running game may not start off how we would like it too. So we’re going to have to use the pass to open up the run. Some guys may approach the game and want to stack eight guys in the box against us. I think he’s [Linehan] just making it a point to speed up the running game to catch up with our passing game.”

    (On the running game) “I didn’t get to carry the ball that much today, but I think Fred Russell, Tony Fisher with his long run looked great. The offensive line, more importantly, looked better than the backs.”

    (On his impressions of teammates that stood out during practice) “I think the second and third offensive line really stepped up and showed their maturity, [with] them being in the playbooks, and making adjustments to different looks.”

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    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan/Jackson Quotes

    I think Fish [Tony Fisher] has really shown that he’s our number two legitimate back right now.
    It has been good to hear that both Fishers (Travis and Tony) have been doing well.

    If you don’t get the little things right, the big things won’t happen. I say that all the time and it’s not a phrase I coined, but it’s certainly something I believe in.
    I like to hear this. We have been kind of sloppy on some of the little things in recent years (i.e. penalties or having to take a timeout because we didn't line up right). We probably won't have the 300 page playbook that we had under Martz, but hopefully we'll have even better execution of the plays we do run.

    It's also nice to hear Jackson talking about his teammates. When asked about the offense, the first thing out of his mouth is how good the receivers are doing. When asked about the running game, he mentions several of the other backs and talks about how well the line is doing. None of these comments sound cocky or egocentric.


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