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    Players and Coaches Quotes

    Players and Coaches Quotes from Oct. 13
    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt

    (On the releasing of S Michael Hawthorne)

    “Well it was decision that our organization made. I talked to him last night and brought him into the office. I appreciated the hard work that he did right here, and we’re going in a different direction.”

    (On the players adjusting to Coach Martz absence)

    “The players showed up this morning to go to work. We had good installation meetings. We had good walk throughs. We had a good, sharp practice today, and we’re preparing to win.”

    (On whether any rules have been made for Coach Martz about how often he can call Rams Park)

    “There should be, but there isn’t, and he is.”

    (On how much Coach Vitt has heard from Coach Martz’s hospital room)

    “He has no discipline at all.”

    (On how often Coach Martz is calling)

    “He’s just concerned, and he’s just checking in every once in a while.”

    (On whether Coach Vitt expects a call from Coach Martz on Monday night)

    “I expect we’ll probably get a call at halftime. I talked to him. He’s concerned about the football team and everybody around us. We told him, ‘hey, get your treatment, relax, [and] let the doctors get you better.’”

    (On what is planned for the 53rd roster spot)

    “We don’t want to discuss that right now. We have a plan in mind. We’ve discussed it, and we’re going to hold off to see how some of our players, health-wise, are at the end of the week.”

    (On whether this is a ‘circle the wagons’ situation with Coach Martz out and facing the 5-0 Colts)

    “Yeah, there is a lot that goes into it, but I don’t know about that circle the wagons stuff. Hey listen, we’re all paid to get a job done. Let’s show up to work, roll your sleeves up, put your hard hat on, be disciplined, pay attention, do what we’re asking you to do, and it’s going to work. If that’s circling the wagons, then that’s circling the wagons.”

    (On how the defense corrects its mistakes of the last two games)

    “Well, like we’re doing out here, you work hard. Work is going to win and wishing won’t. We have to be more detailed. We have to be more disciplined. We can’t make the mistakes that we’re making. We’re making undisciplined mistakes, and today we took a step right. We took a step forward today.”

    T Alex Barron

    (On Coach Martz having to step away from medical reasons)

    “Coach Martz is pretty sick right now and has a lot of things going on. He had to follow doctor’s orders and do what he had to do.”

    (On how he feels he is progressing)

    “I’m coming along okay, just talking things week-by-week, trying to learn different things. I learn different things every day.”

    (On whether he is excited about playing in a Monday Night Football game)

    “Yeah, it’s going to be pretty exciting. I’ve heard a lot of things about it, and have seen it a few times on TV. It should be pretty nice.”

    (On what he expects from Indianapolis)

    “They’re a pretty good team. They have great players, just like any other team, but you know, we’re just going to study film, get our game plan ready, and get ready for Monday.”

    WR Kevin Curtis

    (On what he expects from Offensive Coordinator Steve Fairchild as a play caller)

    “We’ll see. It tough to say because all I have known in the NFL is Coach Martz calling plays. I think Steve has been with him long enough now to know his philosophies, and he’s taught him a lot about offense. I’m sure that Steve has picked that up and he’s going to try his best to call like he’s learned from Coach Martz.”

    (On how tough he thinks it will be for Coach Martz to not be on the sidelines)

    “It’ll be tough. I know he even wants to be in our meetings right now and putting his input in. I know he’s been on the phone a couple times with Steve [Fairchild] from the hospital. So I think his having to watch the game on TV, you should put a camera on that because that should be something to see.”

    (On whether he thinks Coach Martz might call one of the coaches during the game)

    “You might see Steve [Fairchild] with a cell phone and Mike [Martz] calling the plays from the hospital. But you never know, he’s putting some input in this week, as much as he can. I don’t think he’s had to deal with this in his coaching career, so for as tough as it will be for us without him, it’s going to be even tougher for him to not be there.”

    (On the Colts’ vastly improved defense)

    “Yeah, they have been getting a good pass rush. They don’t do anything fancy, cover-two [like] we ran here with Coach [Lovie] Smith. They are good at what they do, so why change. We have some things up for them, but its pretty much when they play cover-two, its not secret in the NFL, you try to run the ball, but if you can’t run it’s going to be awful tough to get anything done.”

    S Mike Furrey

    (On fixing defensive mistakes)

    “I think the biggest thing we’re working on right now is communication. There are just a little bit of communication errors, where we’re not getting together, and one of the things we’re doing, is doing the opposite. We’ll get that fixed up.”

    (On there is more of a challenge facing the Colts’ offense)

    “I definitely think so, especially with the stage being set on a Monday night game. We’re going to go out there and continue to grow and continue to come together as a defense and start gelling. What better stage to do that than on a Monday night game.”

    (On Head Coach Mike Martz watching the game from a hospital room)

    “When Coach Martz came and talked to us this past weekend, we knew what he was going to do and where he was going. We have all the faith in the doctors and we’re going to let him do his thing. But, from a 53-man roster, every one of us has a responsibility on the football field. Coach Martz doesn’t go out on the field with us and make tackles and throw the ball and stuff like that. We have to continue to believe in the system and believe in what Coach Vitt is going to bring, which he already has, and go out there and execute and do our assignments.”

    DE Tyoka Jackson

    (On what defensive corrections are needed)

    “Play better, don’t try to over-analyze it and don’t panic, but play better. When you have a tackle to make, make it. When you have to beat a block, beat it. When you need to get penetration, get it, and when you need to be in your gap, be where you’re supposed to be and be accountable so that the defense works.”

    (On if he is confident that the defense can work)

    “There is no question. We’ve seen it work. It’s not the scheme. Schemes don’t win football games, players do. It’s not the call. You can’t wait for the perfect call, the perfect scheme, or X’s and O’s. X’s and O’s, chalk-boards have never won a game in the NFL. Players inside the uniform, in the game, thinking in their helmets and beating people with their bodies, that wins football games.”

    (On how the players cope with being without Martz)

    “It’s unprecedented, but what you do is take it upon yourself to do a better job at whatever your job is. Everybody in the building needs to do a better job. If you answer phones, do that better. If you tape ankles or sweep the floor, you do that better, and if your job is to get to the quarterback, you do that better. Everybody does their job better than they’ve ever done it before, and we’ll be fine.”

    Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy

    (On being the only undefeated team in the league right now)

    “I guess it’s a good spot to be in. It’s new for me. I’ve never been in that spot, but our guys have worked hard and hopefully we can continue it for a while.”

    (On the Colts’ defense)

    “I think the defense has caught people by surprise. Number one, people just look at it and say ‘well, it’s pretty much the same group as last year, you really haven’t added a lot. You haven’t gone out and gotten a big name guy other than Corey Simon, who came to us late, but we’re making some improvements every day. Our guys are playing faster because they are a little more comfortable with the system and what we’re doing. They’re just playing hard, and we’ve cut down on the big plays that we gave up last year.”

    (On if his defense is similar to the Cover Two he ran at Tampa Bay)

    “I guess it is. I’ve never really figured out what that is, but we really haven’t changed much from Tampa, or Minnesota or what we did in Pittsburgh. There is a way that I believe in playing defense and our coaches have really done a great job in getting that across to our players. A lot of the things that are in the 1973 Steelers’ playbook are still what we’re doing.”

    (On if the Rams’ offense is the Colts’ biggest test this year)

    “I think it will be, so far. They’re a very talented group, they’re explosive. They have skilled position guys who can go the distance at every position, almost. They’re,I think second in the league in scoring right now, or second in yards and maybe fourth in scoring, and they move the ball on everyone. So, it is definitely going to be a big test.”

    (On what DE Robert Mathis is doing differently this year)

    “Well, he’s not doing a whole lot differently. He’s getting more chances to rush, maybe. He came in, we watched his tape as a college player, and it was as impressive as any tape that I have seen in my coaching career. We drafted him and got him here, and he was doing those things in practice, just playing naturally, but his rookie year, he was kind of afraid to do in the games what he did in practice. He ended up being a good, effective player for us as a rookie, but not really showing what we thought he could do. Last year, he really relaxed and just went out and played and had 10-and-a-half sacks and did some good things for us. I think that confidence has just spilled over, and he’s just really a unique player and he’s just going out and playing his game.”

    (On what kind of a job Defensive Coordinator Ron Meeks has done for the Colts)

    “Ron has done a great job. He’s a very intense guy. He’s very detail-oriented. He has taught the system to these guys, and we have improved every year, and he’s a big reason behind it.”

    (On what kind of a factor Head Coach Mike Martz’s absence will play on Monday night)

    “Mike is a unique coach, and he’s one of the best offensive coaches in the last 30 years in the NFL. So, obviously, that has to hurt you when he’s not there calling the plays. He put the system in place, I’m sure he’s trained these coaches; they have a great staff there. They still have the core players, so they’re going to do what they do. You just can’t take someone that special out of the mix and say it’s not going to affect you, so we know it will a little bit.”

    (On his reaction when he heard about Martz taking a leave of absence)

    “Well, your first concern is for him. I know how coaches are, and anything that is going to knock a coach out of his job for more than a day is serious, and that’s the first thing that goes through your mind, ‘wow, he’s taking a leave of absence, this has to be serious.’ So, you just hope that they can get this cleared up and he gets his health back in order. That’s the number one thing, but Mike is a really good guy, a unique guy and I’m just wishing the best for him.”

    (On if there is any way to change the coaching lifestyle to be healthier)

    “The season is tough, but you have to make yourself aware of it, and you have to slow down when you can. That’s not always possible. We had a stretch, I think we had four games in 18 days last year, and there are times that you are going to be on that merry-go-round, but the times that you can, you have to make yourself get away from it as much as you can, and that’s not always as easy as it sounds.”

    (On where he would rank QB Marc Bulger among the quarterbacks in the league)

    “Marc is getting better every year, and he’s done some amazing things. When I hear Mike talk about him and say that he does this better than Kurt Warner, he does that better than Kurt Warner, that’s the elite category for me, because Warner did so many great things for them and is so tough. He really has timing and he has accuracy, and that’s what you need in that offense, and he’s mastered it very well.”

    (On the Colts’ health and how big of a factor it is in their season so far)

    “We had some injuries in training camp, and it forced us to play some younger guys and some back up guys. When our first-line guys started coming back, we were just a much stronger team. Those guys were fresh, and the experience that our young guys got gave us a lot more depth. So, the injuries hit us at the right time, and we’ve bounced back and we’re fairly healthy right now and we’ve been healthy throughout much of the regular season.”

    (On if the injuries that have happened in Chicago and New York show how tough coaching can be)

    “Well, you’re so dependent on that, and the injuries are quarterbacks to those guys. That is so tough. I don’t care who your second quarterback is, it’s not like your first quarterback. I feel for those guys, but knowing Herman [Edwards] and Lovie [Smith], they’re going to fight their way through it. They’re not going to let their injuries be an excuse and I would be surprised if they’re both not fighting for playoff spots the last week of the year.”

    (On if QB Peyton Manning’s role has changed)

    “No, his role hasn’t really changed. He still directs the offense. He gets us in the right place. He’s taking care of the ball really well, and in many instances is playing better than he’s ever played. His staying healthy is a tribute to our offensive line, but it’s also a tribute to him. He’s a tough guy, much tougher than he gets credit for, and he’s smart. He knows where people are. You’re very seldom going to see freed blitzers get free shots at him. He’s aware of the rush, and he knows it’s his job to get rid of the ball quick so he doesn’t take a lot of unnecessary hits. Now, that being said, you have to be fortunate to play that many straight games, but I think our system and his ability has a lot to do with that.”

    (On if the team has a different confidence when the offense doesn’t have to score a lot)

    “We always think that this is going to be the year, but I think our team does feel better about being able to win a number of ways. I know when I came here, if we only had seven points, or fourteen points at halftime, there was a sense of urgency in the locker room, because they were used to high-scoring games. Now, they do feel much different. If we’re playing well, nobody gets panicked when the score is 10-7, or 13-10 at halftime, and they feel like we’re going to be able to hang in there and win low-scoring games. So, that definitely helps you.”

    (On the impact DT Corey Simon has had)

    “I think Corey has brought a presence to our inside run defense number one. He makes a lot of plays inside if you don’t double-team him, that’s helped our linebackers. Most of all, Corey has brought the patience of a good player, from a good defense, coming over and saying ‘you know what, this defense is pretty good. This is just like Philadelphia. We can go out and win games on defense,’ and the young guys believe in him.”

    (On there being only one unbeaten team five weeks into the season)

    “That is unusual, usually you have to go to week seven, or week eight before you get the last unbeaten team. I think what it tells you is that there are going to be a lot of close games. When you see San Diego go to New England and win on the road, Pittsburgh go to San Diego and win on the road, that’s saying something, that now nobody is immune at home. I think you’re going to see a lot of close games, you’re going to see upsets and you’re going to see teams with a number of losses still have a chance to win their division.”

    (On if he has to tell his players to guard against a let-down because they are favored so much)

    “I do, every week, and it’s been amazing. You rarely see a 10-point, you rarely see a seven-point favorite in the NFL, and we have played a number of games this year where we were 13, 14, or 15 point favorites, and that’s ridiculous in the NFL. You have to go out and play, and every game is tough, and we’ve had those. So, it is something that you remind your team of every week of what you have to do to be successful that week.”

    (On how big of a factor the Rams’ punter change is)

    “It’s a little bit of a factor. I actually know Bryan [Barker] pretty well, he punted for us when I was in Kansas City, which tells you how long he’s been in the league. We’ll go back and research some tape on Bryan, we’ll go back and look at his kicks in the pre-season. It tells you that these guys are coming in here to win this ballgame. They are leaving no stones unturned, and the punting game did hurt them last week. It gave Seattle very good field position, and they made a step to rectify that.”

    Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning

    (On whether he has spoken with this brother Eli about how he beat the Rams)

    “Well, Eli and I often talk. We certainly, if we’re playing similar teams, we will visit a little about personnel and about what happens in the game. I actually do that with a number of quarterbacks, guys that I talk to, guys that I’m friends with, like Jake Delhomme. For example, when I’m talking to him I might get a tidbit about a team or whatnot, but certainly the best way to learn is by watching the film. Eli certainly did play well against those guys. Actually there were a couple of throws that the Rams had pretty good coverage; he really just put it in some good spots, and [Plaxico] Burress made some big plays with the ball.”

    (On how much he enjoys seeing Eli doing better this season)

    “Well, I’m just proud of him because he’s really worked hard. He really committed himself in the offseason to being there and living there year round and really kind of get on the same page with guys like Jeremy Shockey and Plaxico Burress. I can certainly relate, just remembering what it was like my rookie year and kind of the bumps and bruises that you have to go through, and just what it was like that second offseason to really get more comfortable and take that to the field. So it’s still early for him, but I can just tell from watching him. When you watch this game film, you can see how much more comfortable he is. Playing San Francisco last week, playing against Alex Smith, I can relate to what he’s going through too. It’s certainly tough as a rookie, but that is something that you have to go through in order to be a better player.”

    (On whether he has given Eli any solid advice that has been ignored)

    “You know, I really don’t try to preach much to Eli or to any young quarterback. Though I do if somebody has a question for me, I do answer it and try to help them out. Because I was the same way as a young quarterback, any chance I had to talk to other quarterbacks, whether it was an [Troy] Aikman or a [Dan] Marino and pick their brain a little bit. Those guys were very nice to share some wisdom with me. But I don’t go around telling Eli this is how you have to do things. He has his own coaches. I really just enjoy watching him play. I kind of have to follow his whole career through TV or game film. I don’t really ever get to see him play in person. I’m just proud of the way this season started for him.”

    (On whether Payton will be striving for better numbers than Eli had against the Rams)

    “You know, that’s one thing he and I don’t have. He and I have never really competed against each other in anything because he has been five years younger. My older brother, Cooper and I, were the ones that were always competing growing up, playing one-on-one basketball in the backyard. But Eli, the age difference always separated us from being able to play competitively against each other. And being quarterbacks, it’s very much of a support factor. I know how hard it is to be a quarterback, and I’d rather pull for all quarterbacks, to tell you the truth. Obviously, when I’m playing against that person on that Sunday, its competitive, but I hate to see a quarterback get pulled out of a game or get injured or get booed, or whatnot, because I know how tough it is. So Eli and I are very supportive of each other.”

    (On whether anything in the Rams defense have stood out while watching film)

    “Well, it’s a very fast defense, very similar to our defense in that they really preach team speed. I think you have to start up front with Leonard Little, who obviously I’m very familiar with, having to go against him in practice [in college] every single day. He was a guy like Dwight Freeney, right now for me; in college I was always glad he was my teammate in college because he’s a tough player to play against. That’s where the challenge starts, upfront, trying to handle their pass rush. The linebackers are active. [Adam] Archuleta is probably one of the more active safeties in the league. So they certainly give you lots of problems, and they are fast to the football. I think it just comes down to execution.”

    (On whether it is hard to take criticism his offense has fallen off seriously while being undefeated)

    “Yes, pretty much. Our main focus is just on winning every single week. Certainly the games have changed a little bit. Our possessions are shorter now because our defense is doing a good job of keeping them out of the endzone, but they are giving up some longer drives, which is running some clock, and we’re having to go longer drives because of the way defenses are playing us, having to go more 10 and 12 play drives. And we are certainly more than happy to do that. When you have that on both sides, you’re not going to get the 75 plays that you have had in the past. We’re getting 55, 60 plays, so we’re just doing whatever it takes to win. That’s what it has always been about for us. Certainly when you’re playing against the Rams you feel in your mind that you’re going to have to score some points because their offense is so capable.”

    (On whether there is less pressure on the offense with their defense playing better)

    “Well, you know, I think you have to be careful about using either side of the ball as a crutch. For example, in the past few years Coach Dungy always told the defense, don’t count on the offense to go out there and score 35, 42 points a game; let’s hold them to a smaller number of points. And that’s the way I approach the offense, you know, same way. Our job is go out and score more points than them. I think in your mind our defense has to go out thinking, hey our offense may struggle today, but shut them out. The same way offensively; we have to go out there and saying, ‘hey our defense is in for a tough test today, we have to score a lot of points’. And you hope both sides of the ball play well at them same time, but at the same time it’s the same thing we always preach, trying to protect the ball, trying to have fewer penalties, just trying to punch the ball in the endzone once you get down there in the redzone.”

    (On what different schemes he has seen from defenses this year)

    “Well, without getting into too many details, but certainly there have been some defenses in the first few games that have played different styles of defenses than they have normally shown prior to that. A lot more eight-man coverage and dropping some guys and trying to play more pass as opposed to the run, and so what we’ve been doing a good job of is running the football. We have always tried to be a balanced offense around here, and Edgerrin James is doing a great job running the ball. I would say we have seen a little more pass coverage than we have seen in the past.”

    (On whether defenses’ new schemes might be based on the volume of film he is know to watch)

    “Yeah, that certainly is the way football is now. Obviously, the game is more specialized now in 2005 than even it was in 1998, when I first got here. You have guys that just play on certain downs, you have third down packages and special schemes, and that’s why the NFL, it’s the best sport, but it’s very complex and the game has changed. You prepare for what you see on film, but you know once you get out there on Sunday you’re going to have to be prepared to make adjustments on the sideline or even on the field. That’s part football today.”

    (On what the key to starting 118 straight games)

    “Well, I’ve been fortunate obviously. You have to have some good fortune on your side, and certainly I very much have appreciated the protection that I have received form a number of different people, certainly form the offensive linemen to the tight ends and backs. But it’s a lot of want to as well. I hold my teammates very accountable and responsible for being there on Sunday. I hold my self to the same accountability as far as if I want Tarik Glenn, my left tackle, to be there for me on Sunday, I need to be there for him as well. So I’ve always tried to keep myself in really good shape in offseason and tried to keep myself healthy and it’s just about being accountable to your teammates and being there for them every single Sunday.”

    (On whether he thinks fantasy football might be bad for the game)

    “I understand that in some ways, people are watching games because of fantasy football, then that is good for the game. But they have to understand what the priorities are for football teams and for players. I hope people are still watching the game to enjoy the play and enjoy watching a Marvin Harrison run routes or an Edgerrin James run the football, and just to take the time to watch good players playing the game and not flipping over [while the team is] on the goal line just because Marvin Harrison is not in and he’s on your fantasy team. I’m a fan of the game. I enjoy watching football, whether its high school, college or the pros, because I love everything about this game. It’s certainly a very common thing for me when I’m going to airports and what not, they say can I have your autograph and hey you’re my fantasy quarterback, throw a lot of touchdowns this year. You get kind of used to it, but obviously it doesn’t coincide with the same goals you have as a player trying to help your team win games.”

    (On whether Coach Dungy scripts the opening plays as much as some other coaches)

    “It’s pretty wide open. It’s probably pretty similar to the Rams in that there are a ton of plays in every single week and you have to be responsible for all of them. But we do not script. It’s a very flexible offense. You never quite know what’s going to happen until the game gets here. The fact that Tom Moore and I have been together for my entire eight-year career has had a big factor in that. He does give a me a lot of freedom to change plays and call my own plays. Then he supports me on that at the same time. I think that is because of the trust and the respect that he and I have gained for each other over the eight years. Usually a quarterback and a coordinator, if they’re there together for eight years, it’s for good reasons because they are both doing their jobs well.

  2. #2
    sbramfan Guest

    Re: Players and Coaches Quotes

    I don't like that they are being complimentary of the Rams and our defense. There such damn nice guys, that Manning and Dungy.

    I would prefer if they would just say "the rams are terrible in coverage and we are expecting to put up 60 points on their sorry ass secondary."

    We don't need them to sugar coat it. It's going to be a long night, huh?

    Well, I hope it's 60 to 40, so at least our offense gave a show.

  3. #3
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Players and Coaches Quotes

    I wonder if Martz will call the sideline on Monday telling them to challenge a call.

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Players and Coaches Quotes

    ...Play better. When you have a tackle to make, make it. When you have to beat a block, beat it. When you need to get penetration, get it, and when you need to be in your gap, be where you’re supposed to be and be accountable so that the defense works. --Tyoka Jackson
    TJ is a smart man; his leadership is of the essence for this game in particular. :clanram:

    Rams better be taking their Centrum Performance vitamins every day this week. And be listening to Marshall Faulk, Tyoka Jackson, Adam Timmerman, Orlando Pace. Captain Aeneas, is he in synch with the Rams right now?

    GO RAMS!



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