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    Post-Game Quotes from the Rams and the Falcons

    Reaction from players and coaches after the Rams (3-9) 28-16 victory over the Falcons (3-9) at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    (On injuries)
    “We had a couple of injuries, I am not sure exactly how serious they are yet. WR Brandon Williams had a right ankle sprain, he tried to go but he was unable to finish. We made some adjustments in our return game. RB Brian Leonard got hurt on the second to the last series, it was his left ankle. I don’t know what that means for next week, we will determine that at least by Tuesday.”

    (On player milestones)
    “When the players hit these monuments I just like to point them out. WR Isaac Bruce’s yardage put him at fifth all-time in the NFL. That is something that we all can be proud of. People have followed him around here for years and for this football team to be part of that is something special. DT La’Roi Glover has made his 81st sack, which is seventh amongst active and 40th overall. That is really a big deal. WR Torry Holt got his 70th touchdown and QB Gus Frerotte threw his the 100th touchdown pass of his career. ”

    (On game)
    “We had some turnovers in the second half that made the game tougher than we wanted it to be, but having enough points on the board to finish the game is something that we just haven’t been able to do. Winning three of the last four and gaining some momentum with how we are playing, when a lot of people thought we weren’t playing for much, I think shows a lot about the heart and character of this team.”

    (On win)
    “It has been a long season for a number of reasons and we have to defend our home turf. For me I really felt that as a home team the fans and the team really stepped up when we needed to. We made the most of the crowd noise in the second half, making some plays on defense, and the play at the end of the game.”

    (On QB Gus Frerotte’s performance)
    “Quarterbacks will always take a lot of heat when things don’t go well, and in last week’s game Gus accepted that. Being the stand up competitor that he is, I can respect that more than his right arm. By the way Gus came out and competed he really gave us a spark. He really only had two bad throws in the second half, which were critical errors.”

    (On punts during the second half)
    “I would rather punt than turn the ball over. At the end of the day we have to win the football game and trust me we put a lot of time into working on our second half. It is a matter of execution in all areas. We have to execute more.”

    RB Steven Jackson

    (On what best describes the win)
    “I think it was just an all-out team win. We started off fast and in the second half, once again, we kind of stalled out, but this time I think the offense really came together and put it on ourselves to finish the game and have no excuses.”

    (On his 50-yard, fourth quarter touchdown run)
    “All game long, Atlanta was really packing the box, making sure they took a lot of our run reads away from us and put a lot of pressure on Gus to get the ball out of his hands fast. On that last run I think we caught them being overly aggressive. Most of the time they had a guy watching for the backside cut. They got a little greedy out there and we were able to take advantage of it…I just had to outrun them.”

    (On how relieving it was to have some open space on his touchdown run)
    “It was definitely a relief because the guys were really battling out there. We had some ugly yardage and for us to finally get a big hole on the last play really showed that guys were not quitting.”

    LB Will Witherspoon

    (On the differences between Falcons quarterbacks Chris Redman and Joey Harrington)
    “I think he tried a few different things. He tried the quick, short passes to keep the pressure off. They ended up getting downfield. We had a couple plays where we missed some tackles and they just ended up getting some points out of it.”

    (On Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett taking a more aggressive approach since the bye week)
    “It’s always part of his plan. Haslett likes to bring some pressure on guys if the situation calls for it. It just gives us a better opportunity to do a lot of things out there and really put pressure not only on the quarterback, but on there system – trying to figure out how they attack us.”

    S Oshiomogho Atogwe

    (On the defense’s play)
    “That is our job, to defend what the offense is doing. We try to contribute in the best way possible. We can do that by getting turnovers and stopping the offense. We are just excited for the win and we will continue to work.”

    (On his interception late in the game)
    “It is always a great feeling. It is a feeling of excitement. When you play against good quarterbacks, interceptions are hard to come by. We are thankful for it (the win) and we will continue to work.”

    (On the pressure the defense put on the quarterback)
    “Coach (Jim) Haslett called an excellent game as far as the blitzes we were running. We had a lot of help from our front four and our linebackers putting pressure on the quarterback. I just saw that a lot of the balls that (Joey) Harrington was throwing were high and going wide. That is because of the pressure the linebackers and front four were putting on him.”

    (On his man-on-man coverage today)
    “We knew going into the game that it was going to be a game over man-to-man (coverage) because we matched up well against them. Coach (Haslett) told us earlier in the week that was what he was going to call. We rose to the occasion and played our hearts out.”

    WR Torry Holt

    (On the offense being in sync today)
    “I thought the whole unit did a great job today. The offensive line did a great job protecting and giving us some time to read things out and then on the perimeter we did a good job of executing our routes and getting open. There was some cohesiveness I guess between myself and Gus (Frerotte) and the other guys. I’m glad we got on today.”

    (On QB Gus Frerotte coming out very sharp early in the game)
    “Yeah it was good to see. He had a great week of practice. Gus has been in this offense for a while so he understands the structure of the offense where things are supposed to go, where guys are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there. I think he wanted to come out today and prove himself with the disappointing finish last week and I thought he did a very good job of doing that along with the rest of this football team.”

    (On if the receivers are more in-sync with QB Gus Frerotte now that they have spent more time playing with him)
    “I would say that today it was just one of those days where we were in rhythm. We were more in-sync with him today which I thought was great. I thought all week in practice set a good tone for us. It was just one of those days where we were hitting it and hitting it early.”

    (On winning three of the last four games)
    “This is how we wanted to play early and get wins like this early. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for us. Coach has been stressing to us to finish out these last eight games to the best of our ability and guys are hanging in there and fighting. We are still having our moments where we get kind of lackadaisical. But that is something that as an offense we have to improve on. We still have some games left to improve on that. I would say we are going to enjoy the win but the biggest thing that I want us to work on when we go back next week is finishing. Coming out the second half and finishing ball games like we did today at the end, we finished.”

    LB Chris Draft

    (On blitzing the Falcons)
    “It is always a lot of fun doing that. It is great to get after people and put some licks on them. That’s what you want to do. As a defense there isn’t anything better than that.”

    (On getting to the quarterback)
    “We are trying to get after him and keep pressure on him. One of the things is that we have had guys that have gotten hurt, but because of the way (Brandon) Chillar and Will (Witherspoon) have played we have been able to overcome that. We just have to keep getting after them.”

    (On the Rams’ having veteran linebackers)
    “That is what you want on a team. Not just the linebackers, you want a group of veterans that really understand the game. Then you want some young guys, and teams that do well have that good mix. I think the record doesn’t show it with us this year, but I think you guys (reporters) coming into the locker room can really feel that there is a closeness with us that really helped us get through all those tough times. I have definitely been on teams where had we had as much adversity as we had through those first eight games, we would have been turning on each other. Everybody stayed together and that is why we have had a chance to win three of the last four games.”

    QB Gus Frerotte

    (On if it is gratifying to get a win after last week)
    “Yeah I think getting a win just feels good. After everything we have been through all year, it was really a team win. We had turnovers and our defense got it right back for us. We weren’t running the ball real well at certain points of the game. It was just a great team win. Everybody had a part in it. It was just real nice to go out and get a victory at home.”

    (On being in a rhythm with the wide receivers and if it is a product of spending time with first team reps in practice)
    “Yeah, that really helps getting snaps with them. You can study the game plan and you can watch film and all that, but when you do it in practice you get much more rhythm. Our line played great as well. I didn’t really get a lot of pressure when I was throwing the ball. They had a few times when I had to get rid of it but for the most part they did an outstanding job today.”

    (On the touchdown to WR Isaac Bruce)
    “We made a sideline adjustment. I asked the coach, “what if they give us an all out blitz here and I’m hot?” He said, “just tell Isaac to run a little ‘sluggo’ route.” I told Isaac that and sure enough they brought it. I held it as long as I could until Lawyer (Milloy) got to me and Ike just made a good play by flipping his hips and making a great catch.”

    (On the connection with WR Torry Holt)
    “Teams have been pressing us a little bit and it has been great to throw the ball down the field and let those guys just run. We ran some ‘fade’ routes and some ‘nine’ routes and the guys came through and played a great game today.”

    (On getting a home win)
    “It was very nice to get a home win. You should win most of your games at home and we haven’t had that luxury this year and it was nice to get one at home.”

    (On what they were doing to take the run away)
    “Obviously they were putting eight guys in the box, they were stacking the box. They weren’t going to let Steven (Jackson) run wild, and a lot of teams do that to us. They are going to try make us beat them with the pass. DeAngelo Hall is a great player and they had a couple of kids that we kind of attacked on the other side and it worked out really well for us.”

    (On throwing accurate passes in the first half)
    “It is just one of those things. You get in the zone. The line was protecting great and when you get time to throw it and you get time to see the field most guys in this league can be pretty accurate.”

    Head Coach Bobby Petrino

    (On today’s game)
    “Well I like what I saw in the second half. I think that was the most competitive and had all three phases playing together and really fighting to come back and try to win a game. I told the team that I don’t believe you can spot somebody 21 points. We didn’t do a good job and that is my responsibility of getting ready for the game and taking the field the way you are supposed to take the field and being effective early. We made the quarterback change in the fourth quarter because I felt like Joey (Harrington) was being ineffective. Chris (Redman) came in and threw the ball around, hit hands, got us into a position where we had an opportunity to win the game and then we just came up on the short end.”

    (On if he was surprised on the Rams’ performance)
    “Yeah, I was surprised how well they moved the ball and you got to give credit to (Gus) Frerotte. He was very accurate, hit hands. We were worried going in about the receivers and the running back but I felt like we would do a better job early against them defensively. Offensively, we stuttered early and then we got into position where we would move the ball, get down to about the 35, 40-yard line and not be able to do it again. I thought there was a few things there that we just missed.”

    (On what he said at half time)
    “Well I think the biggest thing at half time that we talked about was competing and playing with great effort and playing fast. I thought some of our guys defensively really did a good job of leading. Lawyer Milloy, (Keith) Brooking, and (DeAngelo) Hall, those guys really got them where they were competing. Of course, when Chris (Redman) came in and we moved the ball, the energy in all phases went up.”

    (On QB Chris Redman)
    “Yeah, he was very accurate and he was hitting hands. He was taking what the defense gave him so when they were rolling the coverage one way he knew where to go and put the ball in the guys’ hands. We have a couple of nice big plays out of Jerious (Norwood) and were able to score quickly and got in the position to win it and I wish we would have gotten the touchdown on the fourth down.”

    (On what he looks for in a team)
    “We are looking for guys that want to hang in there and be professional, work hard, compete hard and stay together and keep a positive attitude. I think that is the biggest thing, we have got to keep a positive attitude. It certainly hasn’t been easy but we have got to keep working at it.”

    QB Chris Redman

    (On his connection with WR Roddy White)
    “Roddy runs great routes. I looked off his and when I came back there he was. Roddy had a great game. It is really easy throwing it to a guy like that. He makes separation and can catch. I just threw it out there. I think any of our guys could have gone out there and made those throws. He is great receiver and is having a great year.”

    (On the game today)
    “We are more worried about ourselves, more than them. We want to go out and play good football. We knew we are a good team, we just have to learn how to finish games. I am proud of the fact that everyone stayed in there and hung in and didn’t give up and played a hard game.”

    (On the interception in the fourth quarter)
    “It was a play that we talked about on the sidelines. I threw it a little early and tried to put some air under it. The safety just sat back on it and I guess he was reading my eyes. I may have looked at it too long, but I just put it out there and tried to make a play. Unfortunately, they made the big play. But like I said, everyone played real hard and I definitely appreciate that.”

    (On coming into the game substituting for QB Joey Harrington)
    “It feels good to be able to get back out there. It has been a long time since I was in the game atmosphere. I had to get some of the rust off, I guess. Unfortunately, we came up a bit short today.”

    (On the quarterback relationship on the team)
    “It has been good to be around guys like Joey (Harrington) and Byron (Leftwich) to help me out and keep me fresh in the game. Obviously, too, Coach Petrino and the rest of the offense, they keep it fresh for me. It felt good to be back out there and I just wanted to contribute any way that I could.”

    QB Joey Harrington

    (On the play of the offense at the start of the game)
    “We were hitting and moving the ball a little bit, but it seemed like we’d get four or five plays and then we’d bog down. I don’t have an explanation for it.”

    (On whether it seemed like the rest on the team was mentally in it when down by 21 points)
    “You saw us play, you can see that everyone was sticking with us. Like I continually say, week after week, we never give up. That is why I love playing for this team. It was a situation where we got down early and had to fight to get back. It is a tough position to play from.”

    (On the change to QB Chris Redman)
    “I have had to deal with that before. (Coach Petrino) said that I missed a couple of passes and that he was putting Chris (Redman) in. Obviously, I wasn’t happy, but I am part of this team. I was excited for Chris to get a chance to play and he showed that he is a good player.”

    (On the cooperation between the quarterbacks on the Falcons)
    “It is a great quarterback room to be involved with. We are constantly rooting for each other. It is a difficult situation because everybody wants to be out there playing, but I think Chris showed everyone that he is a heck of a player, himself. I am happy that he was able to show that. It is a bit difficult, but you need to put your own emotions aside and realize that this is one of your friends that is doing a great job out there.”

    CB DeAngelo Hall

    (On the Falcons loss)
    “To tell you the truth I don’t know what happen. We felt good coming in. We had, I felt like a pretty good game plan. I don’t know if we came out flat or what. Early in the game we knew they were going to run double moves. I was suckered into a double move early. You can prepare all week but still, sometimes some things look different than what you prepared for. The coaches told me all week, double move, double move but, actually seeing them run it felt a little different than it did all week in practice. That’s how they were able to get me the first play of the game. I felt coming in that we could play well.”

    (On providing leadership during a tough season)
    “I wanted to tell a story (at halftime) about a game when I was in high school. We were the best team in the state by far. We went to a game and should have won the state championship, but we got down 21-zip before you knew it. It was 21-zip at halftime and we came out, we still lost that game, but we fought and came back and lost by one point. The field goal kicker just hooked the extra point and we lost the game. We fought, we fought and I told this story to a couple of guys (at halftime). I didn’t tell the whole team because I just didn’t feel like it was appropriate. I wanted to see these guys fight and we fought. But like coach said, anytime you spot a team 21 points it’s hard to come back from that.”

    (On the future)
    “I don’t know how to quit. I’ll fight on one leg. I’ll fight until you kick me out. I don’t know how to quit, so I hope they feel the same way. We have a great group of guys. Obviously, we know in the offseason there’s going to be some changes. But we can’t think about that, we can’t worry about that. All we can affect is what we do and how we do it. We have to keep coming out, preparing and playing as hard as we can.”

    LB Keith Brooking

    (On the Falcons loss)
    “It has nothing to do with our energy, enthusiasm or guys willing to go out there and lay it on the line. It’s about mental breakdowns, not playing the right techniques, not getting enough rushes on the quarterback, there’s a lot of things that go in it. But, it didn’t have anything to do with our enthusiasm or energy.”

    (On the Rams first possessions and scores)
    “From what I remembered it was big plays when they scored. They weren’t pounding us, just big plays in the passing game. We weren’t getting a rush on the quarterback. We weren’t getting enough depth on our linebackers and we kind of had some break down in coverage.”

    (On facing Gus Frerotte)
    “It’s a concept offense. They run the same plays, the same patterns. It’s based off of timing. The quarterback, no matter who’s in there, they’re on the same page with Bruce and Holt. A lot of the time they’re throwing the ball, before they’re out of their breaks. There’s a lot of double moves and it’s all based on timing. It’s really not a different look.”

    (On the Rams choice to throw the ball)
    “They tried to run the ball, but they couldn’t. Obviously, they had to go to something else and the passing game was working. They kept trying to run the ball on every series and we were doing a pretty good job of stuffing it and they were making plays in the passing game in the first half. So, obviously they were going to stick with what they were having success with.”

    (On slowing the Rams in the 2nd half)
    “I guess you can find a silver lining in anything, but we lost. We didn’t make the plays in the end that we had to make.”

    RB Warrick Dunn

    (On what went wrong)
    “I think everyone is just puzzled. I know we are as players as to why we cannot just come out here and play well, especially when you the time off and extra time to prepare. It is a little frustrating and mind-boggling. Really, you don’t know what to do to fix it. This is week 12, 13 really, and we are still dealing with things that you deal with at the beginning of the season. We have to figure some things out to play better, definitely early. We played better in the second half, but you can’t wait 30 minutes, when you give a team that kind of lead. You can’t spot a team 21 points and come back and beat them. That is tough to do.”

    (On the offensive line)
    “We have had a lot of injuries. I think a lot of guys have stepped in there and played well and tried to be the best players they can be. We are just not executing and today is an example of that. They had me bottled up so I couldn’t do anything from my first carry to my last. This was just one of those days for me where it just wasn’t Warrick’s day. It is like that for a lot of guys offensively and we able to make plays in the second half and turn it around. We made some plays in the passing game and gave us a chance to win the game.”

    (On the switch to QB Mark Redman in the fourth quarter)
    “It was definitely a spark. He came in and he was calm and he understands what we are doing. He seems to fit well. He is still learning but I thought he executed well and came in and made some big throws with poise. I think we started feeding off of that. I hope we can take that into next week and feed off of what we did in the fourth quarter.”

    TE Alge Crumpler

    (On the early deficit)
    “We came out and spotted that team. We can’t afford to spot anybody. We have not put up enough points in any game. They had a nice long drive to start the game offensively and got their confidence going and that is the way things went.”

    (On the Falcons organization speech regarding players playing for their jobs)
    “At some point, but I don’t know if it was last week or the week before. I understand how it is. We are all playing for our future and we will see what happens. This organization is going to find out what works. Whatever that formula is, so be it. We are going to be successful at some point. Right now, we are just having a bad year.”

    (On the feeling in the locker room)
    “Everything is a factor right now. It hurts really badly. Regardless of the situation, we would all feel so much better if we win the game. This is a game we should have won and so goes our season. It’s been like that all year, but we have to keep working and keep fighting. At the end of the day I have to do whatever I can to go from there.”

    (On the energy in the fourth quarter)
    “That was as energized as we have been all season. Maybe not the first quarter, but in that fourth quarter there was a spark and we had some fight and that’s good. I’ve always stressed that we make sure we can compete.”

    (On the lack of offense)
    “The toughest thing with our team is that we have never been able to score points. When you go up against a team who can score points, it is very hard to come back from a 21 point deficit.”

    (On the Rams performance)
    “We knew what kind of game it was going to be. We have played against these guys a long time and watching the last couple games on film, dialing the blitzes up. It was all about us handling that pressure. We had some plays to attack that pressure and I had a couple of plays where I did everything I could to get the ball downfield, but the defender was there face guarding me. There is nothing I can do about it. You hope for a pass interference, but if it is a ‘bang bang’ play, it is an officials’ judgment call.”

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    Re: Post-Game Quotes from the Rams and the Falcons

    (On his 50-yard, fourth quarter touchdown run)
    “All game long, Atlanta was really packing the box, making sure they took a lot of our run reads away from us and put a lot of pressure on Gus to get the ball out of his hands fast. On that last run I think we caught them being overly aggressive. Most of the time they had a guy watching for the backside cut. They got a little greedy out there and we were able to take advantage of it…I just had to outrun them.”
    I believe Mr. Jackson may want to go back and watch film on that play. There was a little more than just him "outrunning them" to make that play. The Falcons DID have a defender guarding the cutback, but Klop got to him to seal the end. It wasn't the prettiest block, but it was effective enough to spring Jackson.

    It was a great run, SJ.....but you might want to give a little nod to Klop for sealing off the backside defender.

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    Re: Post-Game Quotes from the Rams and the Falcons

    Quote Originally Posted by Torry Holt
    Coach has been stressing to us to finish out these last eight games to the best of our ability and guys are hanging in there and fighting. We are still having our moments where we get kind of lackadaisical. But that is something that as an offense we have to improve on. We still have some games left to improve on that.
    Hmmm. That's an interesting statement.


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