Inside Slant | Notes and Quotes | Strategy and Personnel
Coach Mike Martz is adamant that the club's special teams will improve, despite the numerous problems that occurred in San Francisco in the season opener.

"Oh, I'm very confident. This is going to work fine," he said. "This guy that is coaching the special teams (Bob Ligashesky) is outstanding. He is very superior, and I really, truly mean that. This guy is special. We have some young guys that need to step up that haven't. We trusted them in a vital role and they didn't play well. We will replace them with some veterans if we have to. But that is their role. That is their job. I don't care who is coaching or what team they are on. They have to step up and make plays."
Asked about rookies adjusting to regular-season intensity, Martz said, "They get sunburned on the roof of their mouth. Even for guys that have been playing in the league for a long time, when you get out of the preseason and you play that first game, especially a division game, that has a lot of chemistry to it, there is a lot of electricity in the air. It's fast, it's really fast, and they have to get used to it."
PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES
--RT Rex Tucker injured his calf against San Francisco and will be out an undetermined amount of time. Tucker was wearing a boot in practice Wednesday, and could miss a few weeks.
--OL Blaine Saipaia is expected to be the starter Sunday at right tackle against Arizona, replacing an injured Rex Tucker. Saipaia started seven games at the position last season (including two playoff games).
--G Claude Terrell was inactive for his first NFL game Sunday, but could be in uniform this week because of the injury suffered by OT Rex Tucker.
--CB Terry Fair has been running and is getting closer to playing as he recovers from a neck injury.
--CB Chris Johnson is expected to remain as the team's kickoff returner, despite averaging only 13.8 yards a return in the opener against the ***** and stepping out of bounds at the 1-yard line on the first play of the game.
GAME PLAN: Offensively, the Rams will try to run the ball better than they did against San Francisco and build a lead so they don't have to call 65 pass plays.
On defense, after stopping the ***** ground game, the Rams will try to do the same against Arizona, which struggled running in the opener against the Giants
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Rams DLE Leonard Little vs. Cardinals RT Oliver Ross - Little had two sacks and a forced fumble against the ***** and is looking to keep those happening after a statistically subpar year in 2004.
Rams RT Blaine Saipaia vs. Cardinals DLE Chike Okeafor - Assuming Saipaia gets the start at right tackle, he will have to handle the non-stop motor of Okeafor. That's a matchup the ornery Saipaia should be OK with. However, the Cardinals could flip-flop their ends and have Bertrand Berry play some on the left side. That would be a challenge for Saipaia.
INJURY IMPACT: RT Rex Tucker will be out at least one game and maybe more after suffering a calf injury against the *****. ... CB Terry Fair remains sidelined by neck pain. ... WR Kevin Curtis slightly injured his ankle in last Sunday's game against San Francisco, but has been practicing this week and is not expected to be affected in this week's game against Arizona.