Thursday, September 9, 2004

QB Marc Bulger

(On opening weekend)
Its always a lot more exciting when it counts, and especially when you know you have a good team. So were excited in here. Arizona, obviously, spent their whole offseason game planning for us, and likewise. So its anybodys game, this first game, because you dont know what people are going to do. Its exciting. Im probably just as excited as everyone else in here. Its not a playoff game, but it counts. They all count from here on in. You only have 16 opportunities, and I think we understand, and I understand the magnitude of each game.

(On how much of the offense was held back in the preseason)
Our game plans are pretty minimal in the preseason. Our main thing is game planning. We dont do any of that in the preseason, so now Coach Martz can get real creative and we can start to find different ways to get the ball to different guys. Thats whats fun about this offense.

(On preparing for the Cardinals)
In the NFL, week to week, every defense is so different that guys that have played before and been around, its all a refresher. But its tough, because its the first game of the year and you dont really have film.

(On having OT Orlando Pace back)
Its good to have Orlando back. It was weird going into the huddle and not seeing him in there. It would be like going in there and not seeing Marshall (Faulk), Isaac (Bruce), or Torry (Holt), guys you just assume that would be in there. So having him at practice on Monday was good. You never worry about Orlando, hes going to do his job. He came back in good shape. And I think that is why (the holdout situation) was not an issue, with the players at least. We werent worried that when he came back he would be in shape. It feels more natural with him in there. No disrespect to the other guys, but its just his position with the Rams.

(On his confidence)
Last year I had the same approach (as this year). I play the way I do regardless of the play before, the series before, or the season before. Im not going to change that. Its nice to have the whole preseason, but I never change the way I play.

DT Tyoka Jackson

(On defensive coordinator Larry Marmie coaching against his former team)
This is our first game, so its a big game for our whole team. He hasnt brought anything personal into it. Hes a Ram. I dont think hes even worried about all of the subplots. In the first game, you have so much excitement that we have enough motivation. We are just so focused on trying to get a win against Arizona, get off to a 1-0 start, and defend our home turf, that we have enough things to be motivated by. Knowing coach Marmie, its not even about him. Hes so unselfish that he just wants to get a win for the Rams.

(On if coach Marmies familiarity with the Arizona defensive players will help the Rams)
You can always say that those thing might help you, but at the end of the day, the game is going to come down to the guys on the field. We can talk about a lot of things in the meeting room, but in terms of execution and winning the game, especially up front in the trenches, its going to come down to man versus man.

(On how the defensive line has developed)
I think weve played well. I think our young players have gotten better through camp. And thats what camp is for, for the young players to get those reps, and get them ready to roll. They have gotten better. With football, its an ongoing thing. You are never really there. Ten years in the league and Im not there. Im still trying to figure out how I can get better and how I can beat the guy in front of me.

RB Steven Jackson

(On what to take away from the preseason)
The preseason is a confidence builder. It lets you know that you are capable of playing on this level. Now, you have to respond to the ones, the big guys. Once you get out there, you just have to play the game of football. The preseason lets you know where you are at, how you are coming along, and how you are progressing. I think I did a pretty good job there. Now, I just need to get out there, learn from Marshall (Faulk), and see what he has done to separate himself from other backs.

(On his pass protection and blitz pickup)
Its coming along pretty well. All you can do is ask questions, and take the repetitions you get in practice and learn from them. By me doing that, and having the chance to sit down with Marshall, Im going to learn pretty fast.

(On if he felt he was ready, physically, to enter the NFL)
I think it was a given. Im coming into the National Football League as one of the bigger backs, so its an attitude thing. I was confident that physically I could play at this level.

DE Leonard Little

(On opening day)
I think this whole team is excited. A lot of people are counting us out this year, saying that we wont be as good as last year, but this team has a lot to prove and hopefully we can do that Sunday.

(On the defensive line)
We feel pretty good. We have a nice rotation going on. I think with the guys we have, well be able to play well and get the win.

(On Arizonas offensive line)
They are real good. They always have big guys over there, guys like Leonard Davis. We are going to have to use our speed and quickness to our advantage.

(On how happy he is that the preseason is over)
It feels great. We are playing for something now. We are playing for wins and want to do our best. Im glad we have preseason over with and we can get down to business.

(On defensive coordinator Larry Marmie coaching against his former team)
Hes a real laid back coach, so hes not really fired up or anything. Hes just trying to get us ready. He knows that this is a real important game for us, being the first game of the season.

(On what the defense needs to improve on)
I think our run defense needs to be more consistent. There were times when we played Green Bay, and held him to 37 total yards. And then the next week well give up 125 yards to somebody. We just have to be more consistent in the run game and that would help us out.

WR Isaac Bruce

(On playing the Cardinals)
Its time to get it going. A division rival, Im looking forward to the challenge. Im hoping that we can set the tone for the season. I think we go in looking at the personnel they have this year, the coaching staff, the new players they got through free agent acquisitions, and that type stuff. We want to make sure they dont surprise us, and not taking them lightly.

(On how the officiating crews called pass interference in the preseason)
(I noticed) just a little. I think they called it a couple times when we were playing. They seem pretty serious about it, but this is the regular season now so we are going to have to pay attention to how the game is being called. (The five-yard contact rule) has been in the rule book, so well just see if they enforce it now.