Friday, September 9, 2005

Head Coach Mike Martz

(On how he feels about the team heading into the first game)
The speed of practice was outstanding. We have a bunch of guys playing together for the first time, so Im anxious to see how that works out. But I think we will be fine. I think they will go out and compete very well.

(On if he feels the Rams are ready for Sunday)
Oh yes, there is no question we are ready to play. I feel really good about it.

(On his changes against 3-4 and 4-3 defenses)
Well, thats quite a change. You do have to do some things differently against a 3-4 defense. I would suspect that they would go in and out of it and have a 4-3 and a 3-4, so that is just one of those things you have to prepare for.

(On the San Francisco receivers)
I think every receiver in the league creates problems for you. Obviously, they are good players and they have done a great job. Brandon Lloyd had a heck of a year last year. So, they are substantial players.

(On DT Jimmy Kennedys preseason)
He had a very good preseason, particularly in the last two games. I thought he showed up bigger and bigger and we need to have him be that way during the season.

(On Damione Lewis playing status for Sunday)
Im not sure yet. They treated him yesterday for the toe, and we will just have to see how it works out.

(On if the Rams secondary is going to be a problem this season)
Who knows, maybe it is the strength of the team. That is kind of the way it works. When Trent [Green] went down our quarterback position began to strengthen, so who knows? I think it all plays out in time.

(On the importance of having leadership for the young guys)
I think were going to be a really competitive team, and I think when you have really good, young players, which I think we do, and you add that type of experience, guys who have played at a high level and are still there, then when you get into situations that are difficult in the game, they know how to respond. There is a certain sense of leadership and a positive leadership that really comes to the surface, which is really what a team like this needs.

DT Damione Lewis

(On his toe injury)
I feel great. I sprained my big toe Friday, and I took a cortisone shot. It should be well by Sunday.

(On the toe injury being as painful as other injuries)
It is painful. You have to think, when you have 300 lbs. sitting on that one little part of your body, it is painful.

G Adam Timmerman

(On whether he thinks the team is ready going into the season opener)
I think so. I think the teams real confident. Weve had a great camp and good week of practice. I think that coach did a great job of keeping us fresh with the no pads [practices]. We had a little heat out there. Im thinking its going to be a little bit cooler in San Francisco, which will be nice. But, yeah, I think were ready to go. I think that the team is ready for the regular season, and were peaking at the right time, really.

(On any doubts he has going into week one)
I would say that the openers are always tough because of the preparation that is missing. You havent seen a complete game. Especially with a new coach out there in San Francisco, we havent seen their defense prepare over a three or four week period. We have just seen little bits and pieces of their starters in preseason games. So its been tough to prepare from that standpoint. We have to be prepared for weird stuff to happen that we havent seen on film.

(On the confidence of having the same offensive line as in preseason)
I think so. The nice thing is that last two games we really had some good outings and some confidence built, and I definitely think that were going in the right direction heading into the regular season. In the past we may have just had some stumbling, a little bit, going on in the preseason, but I really think that we are heading into the regular season on a better note than we have in the past.

CB DeJuan Groce

(On how he approaches the opener)
I just take all of my learning experiences, especially from last year, and take it like last year. Last year I had to come out and start the first season game. I just have to go out there and play. Ive been doing it all of this time, and I got better during training camp. So Im just going to go out there and do everything that I have learned from Aeneas [Williams], Fish [Travis Fisher], and J.B. [Jerametrius Butler] and take it onto the field.

(On whether the changes in the secondary concerns him)
Its just like when J.B. [Jerametrius Butler] made his transition. When he came out, they moved Aeneas [Williams] to safety. Then he came in and played real well. Im just taking it the same way. My teammates believe in me, and Im out there performing well. I just have to go out there and happen. I have confidence, now that I have been here playing for two years and that confidence just helps you out a lot.

S Adam Archuleta

(On how he feels about how he played against the Chiefs)
This preseason and this offseason have just one big, long progression. It started off about as low as it could get and Ive been gradually building up to playing the way that I want to play. Every week I feel better and better. Its just a matter of continuing in that direction.

(On what he has learned moving between the safety positions)
I just learned how much I like playing that position once I started playing it again. I had played free safety during practice and during training camp. When I had to play strong [safety] against Detroit and Kansas City, I just realized I really, really love playing this position. This is where I belong. Its just fun for me. Im just trying to get my reads back and get back to that playing speed to where I was when I was at the top of my game, getting back to that playing speed and to that physical impact.

(On how he would rate the secondary so far this season)
Low right now, we havent done anything. We are just like anybody else in the NFL. Were trying to establish our identity. We have me and Fish [Travis Fisher] with the only experience back there. This is Hawks [Michael Hawthorne] first year at safety and [DeJuan] Groce has a chance to step up. We have talent; we have ability, but we just have to play together as a unit and play well and play confident and make game changing plays.