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  1. #1
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    Opponent, not job, has Linehan's focus

    By Jeff Gordon
    Monday, Dec. 10 2007

    Scott Linehan appreciates the support he gets from team president John Shaw.
    Naturally, he was happy to receive a vote of confidence from his boss during
    this difficult 3-10 season.

    But Linehan insists he doesn’t dwell on what will happen beyond Week 17 of this

    “I haven’t really thought about my job status much more than the questions I’ve
    been asked,” Linehan said during his Monday news conference. “It comes with the
    territory when you haven’t had a winning season. My focus has been, as always,
    the next opponent in this week. Last week it was Cincinnati, this week it’s
    Green Bay. I can’t really comment on anything other than what I can control.

    “It’s important to know that you have support. In my view I would address any
    of those kinds of things as the season comes to a close. At this point it’s not
    my issue. My issue is trying to get our fourth win. That’s where my mind is.”

    Linehan speaks with Shaw regularly, after games and/or on the day after games.

    “I talk to him every week,” Linehan said. “He’s very supportive. He
    understands. He goes through the game and goes through each week. I also
    understand that this isn’t where we wanted to be. It’s not the record we
    intended on having. The focus is to improve in the season’s end and continue to
    get better in certain areas. We’re trying to get a lot of things done.”

    There has been a bit of discussion about what needs to be done for the 2008

    “He wants me thinking about some of the things we want to get done,” Linehan
    said. “That’s part of my position . . . We’ll have a year-end meeting in the
    second week of January and go through those potential adjustments. I’m sure we’
    ll talk about everything, from players to coaching and personnel.”

    Here were some other highlights of the media session:


    On the status of quarterback Marc Bulger: “We will evaluate our quarterback
    situation as we go through the week. By the end of the week we will announce a
    starter. Right now it is unclear on the availability of Marc. Gus (Frerotte) is
    a little better. We won’t know anything until we get through the week of

    On Bulger’s concussion: “I am at the point now where there are no more tests to
    be done. The neuro-psych tests have been completed. It is now about how he
    feels. I think it is all going to be based on my interaction with him and his
    interaction with the doctor. If there is any kind of symptoms towards a
    concussion or something that is a residual from what he had then it is going to
    put some doubt as to whether he is going to be able to play. I am going to
    evaluate it as the week goes on. Based on what happened last week I think we
    have to be ready to make a decision or have an idea of what we are going to do
    Sunday based on how he feels during Wednesday’s practice.”

    On Frerotte’s shoulder injury: “He threw a little bit this morning. He did it
    with the trainers. He felt pretty good. He didn’t throw much, other than some
    intermediate routes – nothing real hard. He feels confident that he should be
    able to get a certain amount of work in this week. We’ll see how he gets
    through Wednesday.”

    On his play-calling for Brock Berlin: “I think the biggest thing was that I
    wanted to do things that I knew Brock would be comfortable with. I thought
    Brock did an outstanding job of executing what we asked him to do. It changed
    somewhat but some of it was due to the conditions, some of it had to do with
    the situation we were in with a new quarterback taking very few reps and those
    kinds of things. We were still able to protect the quarterback for the most
    part. If things go our way there at the end we might have a chance to drive
    down and win the game in the fourth quarter. I think in the situation that we
    had, if you said going into the game that you could have the ball for the last
    drive and have a chance to win the game based on what happened during the week,
    I think that is a pretty good situation to be in. I applaud Brock’s performance
    and I think he really showed well for himself without ever playing a snap in
    this league and playing the way he did.”

    On Marques Hagans’ struggle returning kicks: “It was his first live action as a
    returner. The difference is as a returner you have guys coming at you
    full-speed from all angles. It looked like the ball was decently secured on the
    first fumble, but he just didn’t have it tucked away high and tight enough.
    That’s what you have to do. You have to have that thing tucked away because if
    you get hit from the side, that ball is going to come out. The second one, the
    guy hung the ball up there and we basically had single press on the flyers on
    that play. In that situation, you have to wait for the next one. Being that it
    was a challenged play by that flyer, I think the best bet for him would be to
    just go ahead and fair catch that ball. It’s easy to look back on it now. You
    live and learn.”


    On his team’s poor rushing defense: “Basically, we didn’t execute very well,
    especially against that last drive. And we didn’t tackle very well. We missed
    15 tackles in the game, that’s more than we missed the last seven games
    (combined). It was execution, No. 1, and No. 2 was missed tackles. Not a very
    good combination.

    “We’re playing a lot of two-deep coverage, seven guys in the box. If they are
    going to run the ball some on us, we’ll give up the run as long as we don’t
    give up a lot of deep balls, because they have a lot of good receivers. Down
    the stretch, we weren’t playing seven-man boxes, we were playing eight-man
    fronts. We didn’t execute very well, we missed a bunch of tackles. We had more
    than enough guys in the box to stop the run and we didn’t execute. That was

    “We were overrunning everything, for whatever reasons. Will (Witherspoon) over
    ran a couple of plays. Chris (Draft) didn’t get over the top once. Chris Draft
    played an excellent game except for one play and the one play really hurt us.

    “They ran the power game at us, which they haven’t shown a lot of. Probably
    different reasons, because of the weather, because of the (Rams) blitzing and
    all that. We hadn’t seen it in a while. We didn’t really practice it a lot
    because we didn’t think we were going to get it, to be honest with out. They
    had been spreading you out and throwing the ball a lot.

    “You should be able to tackle. We were just out of control. We missed way too
    many tackles.”

    On the play of defensive tackle Adam Carriker: “He played mostly at nose. I don’
    t think his fundamentals and techniques were very good. He got high, got in a
    wide base. He’s a tall guy, so he has to use his leverage as much as he can. He
    didn’t play as good as he played the last five or six games.”

    On the play of the secondary: “We did OK. We gave up one big pass, the
    52-yarder. This team throws more deep balls than anybody we’ve played up to
    this point. Everything else they reduced to short underneath routes. I thought
    the secondary played fine.”

    On the play of cornerback Ron Bartell: “He was like the rest of the team. He
    played well in areas and not so well in some other areas. He had two, three
    plays I thought he could have played better. The one bubble screen, I thought
    he should have made the tackle. The guy makes an interception, almost had
    another one, had a great play on a coverage where he stripped the ball from a
    guy, got a forced fumble. Ronnie is the kind of guy, he and O.J. (Atogwe) are
    real good playmakers. They strip the ball, they have a great knack for taking
    the ball away.”

    On the play of cornerback Fakhir Brown: “He’s not a flashy guy. He doesn’t say
    much. You saw him score the touchdown. I don’t know what he did with the ball,
    I think he put it down on the ground and went back. He’s kind of a quiet guy.
    He just does a good job, he does his job. I think he is a heck of a football
    player. He is faster than anybody thinks. This guy is really fast. He is big,
    he can tackle. He’s got great cover skills. The thing he has really improved on
    is his ball skills.”

    On the play of cornerback Jonathan Wade: “I thought Jon played well. Tackled
    well. Against pretty good receivers, I thought he played pretty well.”

    On facing Brett Favre: “He doesn’t change much. I always think he is the
    greatest quarterback that ever played. That’s my assessment from playing
    against him all those years. I know that’s saying a lot because there are a lot
    of great quarterbacks. He is the best competitor I’ve ever seen. He has the
    strongest arm, the guy still doesn’t get sacked. He makes unbelievable throws.
    I admire the guy just watching him.”


    On the play of fill-in quarterback Brock Berlin: “We had some difficulties
    yesterday. I don’t know if it’s all on Brock Berlin. I don’t know if it was all
    based on the quarterback change. Certainly that didn’t help the fact he was
    unable to get any reps on Wednesday or Thursday. That didn’t help his cause at
    all. The elements had something to do with the performance and what he was able
    to do.

    “We had a couple of situations in the second quarter that really would have
    helped us offensively. We had two situations, one on the 29-yard line where we
    had an exchange in the backfield, we had an assignment error, we allowed a
    blitzing safety to come off the edge. That resulted in a fumble. And we had a
    missed field goal after we had a first-down call where we had two holdings on a
    play that backed us and made it a little more difficult field goal. On both of
    those series, if we score, it’s a different football game.

    “I don’t think Brock Berlin is the total reason we failed to score . . . he did
    a good job managing the game. I’m sure he would say he could have played better
    and we expect him to play better if he gets another opportunity again to play.”

    On Bulger: “He came up today and said that he is feeling better. We’re
    optimistic about that. He’s ready to give it a try again on Wednesday.”

    On getting hurt by Cincinnati’s safety blitzes: “We had assignment errors on
    two different plays. One up front and one in the backfield.”

    On receiver Torry Holt’s big year: “He is a warrior, obviously, to have the
    season he’s having and to not be as healthy as he’s been in the past. He’s
    shown tremendous courage. He’s played, he’s played a lot more snaps obviously
    than he would like to play or we would like to play him. That’s based out of
    necessity right now. And again, he’s playing at a high level. He’s just a great
    pro, a great receiver.”

  2. #2
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Opponent, not job, has Linehan's focus

    I find some of these recent quotes by management,players and coaches to be funny in the sense that what do you think they are going to say,everyone is saying the right things, do you think that Linehan would come out and say "yes guys I am worried about my job and my main focus this week is on how we can win so the Rams bring me back next season,its all about me keeping my job" I would hope that we can all see what some of these stories mean-nothing.

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