(from Rams PR):

(Opening statement)

“There is nothing real new as far as injuries, except for (Dominique) Thompson. He’s still questionable. We’ll decide tomorrow if Dominique will be able to play.”

(On if the team has decided on the roster move)

“(Dave) Pearson will be waived injured. It wasn’t as serious so we’ll certainly make sure that everything is taken care of, but he’ll be officially off our roster as of 3 p.m. today.”

(On if the starters will play against Kansas City)

“I haven’t decided. I don’t know how much we’re going to play them. I want everybody preparing for the game.”

(On DL Adam Carriker’s transition to the middle)

“Excellent – probably one of the best parts of this entire preseason. Once we put the pads on, he’s really improved and sewn up the middle of our defense, at the defensive tackle spots, particularly at nose. He’s seen three different schemes in the first three games where you have to get that background a little bit and understand what people are trying to do to you inside, if you haven’t played in there. He’s really played well.”

(On how Carriker has handled the pressure of becoming a starter)

“He’s handled it great. Being a No. 1 pick it comes with the territory. He’s come in, played and listened and has done his talking with his play and hard work. He just has to figure out that he has to get the snaps under his belt.”

(On his outlook for the next round of roster cuts)

“It’s very difficult. You start talking about either-or now because there are some interesting competitions that hopefully will be decided between now and the end of the game tomorrow night.”

(On if WR Dante Hall is meeting his expectations)

“Yes. It’s second nature for him. He plays returner like a centerfielder. He catches the ball square to the coverage teams. He understands that is No. 1 job is to field the football in great position so that he can use his talents and return the ball. We wanted to get some early returns the other night. They only punted once. They punted over his head. The other two, they kicked off with the wind and it kicked it over his head. Two of the kickoff returns that he’s had he’s caught, hit and timed very well. He hit north and south and that’s what we need.”

(On if Hall’s performance as a kick returner is automatic)

“Not automatic. You get different groups in there – maybe a different guy here and a different guy there. Once we get in the season or our 53 settled, you know exactly who’s going to be your wedge and who’s going to be off returner.”

(On how difficult it is to possibly lose some of the talented, young receivers)

“That’s the tough part. That’s the gamble. Ultimately, we’ll probably going to have to expose a player that we may want to keep on the practice squad, but maybe aren’t going to be able to. That’s the reality of what happens and everybody’s going to be doing the same thing come Saturday and Sunday with these guys that are really good, young players, but people didn’t have room because of the depth you have.”

(On how younger players can change his mind about belonging on the final 53-man roster)

“Playing good on Thursday night – that’s really the only thing that they can control. They can’t do it in practice. Practice is over officially. The competition of the daily practices is over. Their last job interview is the Kansas City game. I told them today, ‘what you need to be is the tie-breaker by how you play. If there is a tie than you break it because you played so well you have to stay.’ That’s really what happens in certain cases.”

(On if he personally informs each player that is cut)

“Yes. I have a face-to-face meeting with every player that is released. I think it’s only fair to them that they understand why and what the reasoning was. I just think that’s part of it and part of it is, they’ve put in a lot of hard work for us. We’ve evaluated them and they need to know that they’ve been fairly evaluated. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to agree, none of them agree. At least they know and know what they need to work on.”

(On players competing against veterans for a roster spot)

“A great example is our kicker, (Kevin) Lovell. He comes here knowing that it’s pretty much a long shot, but he knows that he’s going to get a lot of opportunities. If he doesn’t make it here other teams are going to be looking at him.”

(On how CB Fakhir Brown has handled preparing for this season)

“He’s been good. He’s been out here practicing hard every day. He’s played a lot and played well. It’s a hard situation, but it’s the reality that we’re in and we’ve dealt with it and planned for it. At least we know to plan for it and he can ready himself for what he has to do to be ready after four games.”

(On the tightest competition for the 53-man roster)

“It’s fairly tight as to who is going to be – who are six active linebackers will be on game day. I think we have a pretty good idea of one through five, but that sixth player. Who is that guy going to be? The other would be the sixth receiver. We have a pretty veteran group, but we’re looking for a guy that’s going to be somebody we can call on or count on. What that means in the first game? I don’t know that that means a person’s going to be actively playing, but you know how things work. You have to have a guy ready to step in and play. We have a defensive end battle that’s getting real interesting. We have two guys that bring different things to the table and play pretty well all camp. I don’t know what we’re going to do offensive line –wise. How many we’re going to carry – if we’re going to carry nine. Someone who plays well enough, we may consider carrying another one. If someone doesn’t play well enough obviously that effects what you do with your roster. There are different things you can do with your roster now as far as – if you carry some here then you carry practice squads in other spots. Just to make sure you have your best 53 on the field.”

(On what the Governor’s Cup means to him)

“Because it’s preseason that’s why it’s probably played down some. It’s a very good competition. We’re cross-state rivals. I saw that when we played in preseason last year and the regular season. It’s a game they didn’t play every year in the regular season so we kept it going in the preseason. It promotes football in the state of Missouri. Hopefully the best team wins. We’d like to get that thing back.”

(On CBs Josh Lay and Darius Vinnett)

“Lay’s improved. Vinnett made a great play tackling a guy as a safety on the kickoff return last week. Yesterday he made a great interception in practice. What he lacks in size he makes up for in speed and heart. He’s probably made a pretty big impression on somehow having a Rams uniform in one way or another. I think this game’s real big for both those guys.”

(On what making a touchdown-saving tackle, as Vinnett did against Oakland, does for a player fighting for a roster spot)

“You love it. You don’t forget those plays. Those are plays that change the game potentially. It didn’t in that case, but potentially that saves the game. They go down, it looks like they’re going to score on the return, we stop them and they actually turn the ball over on downs. That would be a pretty big momentum swing. It just goes to show you that’s why you play with such great effort.”

(On CB Ron Bartell)

“He had his best game last week. Really from the first game to the third game had his best game and felt the most comfortable there. We’re still asking a lot of him. He slides in there to nickel in nickel situations. He has a lot more background in the last year there. I’ve been real pleased with his progress.”

(On if he’d consider RB Brian Leonard as a slot receiver in the future)

“Maybe as a space player some. He’s really a guy that can move out in space. He’ll (be in) the same role we’ve seen him play – backup at tailback, play some at fullback. He’ll play more fullback once we’re short numbers, anyways, just because that’s his natural position. Then he has a nice ability to catch the ball if you run the right type of routes with him.”