Head Coach Scott Linehan

August 17, 2006

(On injured players going into the Houston game)

“No real change from the last time I talked. I think Madison’s ankle is not improving really well. He’s doubtful; I doubt very much he has any opportunity to play this week. Paul is doing better. He did a little bit today and hopefully we will be able to get some snaps out of him. Our fullback position is a little dinged up. Leonard , we held (out of practice) today, and Orlando we held (out of practice) today. It will be a game day decision on Orlando. I think Leonard will be fine with the reps we plan on using with the first unit. Jamal Brooks still has a real bad toe. He will probably be able to play fine on it but it’s just too swollen right now to get anything done today. Kevin Timothee has an ankle (problem). He should be available to play in the second half.

(On the tempo and overall nature of today’s practice)

“What we did today was more like a Friday than anything we’ve done up to this point. Our tempo was much better than it was last week; although we practiced the day before the game last week so I’m sure that had more to do with us being slowed down a bit. I think our tempo was much better. On a Friday practice, you want to be crisp and clean and not a lot of repeats, which is what we got today.”

(On DE Leonard Little’s injury)

“It’s a quad (injury). It’s just a strained quad. As hard as we’ve been going, he’s still got a little swelling in there. He actually looked better than he did the day before yesterday. We’re just keeping him out so it doesn’t continue to be a lingering thing.”

(On RB Madison Hedgecock’s injury)

“It can be categorized as a high ankle sprain but I don’t know to what degree. It could be a two to six-week injury. It just depends on how it rehabs.”

(On G Claude Terrell’s injury)

“He got a second opinion two days ago on the wrist. I’ve yet to hear anything on that. It actually slipped my mind to be honest with you.”

(On considering keeping Little out against Houston)

“The biggest thing is that we don’t want to put anybody in harm’s way if they’re not healthy enough to play a game, for sure. We’re starting to get in that mode where you have to make decisions on gameday. We’ll certainly make that decision pretty much by tomorrow, but for sure on the morning of the game.”

(On the policy of not allowing the coordinators to talk to media until today)

“They have a job to do. We’ve done two-a-day’s, they’ve got a schedule they’ve got to run…right now we’re going to watch film, so everybody’s going to have to wait for that. It’s just a hard schedule and all those things. I just feel it’s important, especially early in any kind of a program, that there’s one messenger. Not because those guys aren’t competent and wouldn’t be able to give you the information you need, but that’s a big part of my job description and I feel it’s the role that I undertake. There’s going to be times, and they will, during the season on Mondays where they can talk a little bit about the game, what happened in the game.”

(On today being an appropriate day for the coordinators to talk)

“Our schedule’s a little lighter today. We don’t have any morning meetings tomorrow. Normally on a one-a-day practice we’ve got to get ready for night meetings because we’ve got two the next day, so it fits better with the schedule.”

(On achieving the objectives set for training camp)

“I think we’ve hardened and toughened ourselves to be game-ready, the team, both physically and mentally. We got a lot of conditioning in. I thought we were in great shape to start camp but we conditioned during this camp and while we practiced, and I think the players embraced that. We got a lot of things in systems wise, and were able to execute, for the most part, a lot of things now, a lot better than when we introduced them in the offseason. We put this in the offseason and basically what you do is you hone in on the details during training camp when you have pads on so you see actually how it works…if you’re hitting the right fits on defense and if you’re blocking and finishing blocks offensively, I think that’s pretty much the questions we had to answer at this point.”

(On if he liked training in this facility)

“No doubt. One of the things is you saw the first week we had planned two night practices that never got off the ground outside because of bad weather. If we wouldn’t have gone indoors we wouldn’t have been able to get those…and those were big practices. You don’t want to have to go into a gymnasium of cancel a night practice that is planned because of weather. For the most part the weather cooperated after that. We had a lot of heat early, it subsided a little bit, but it was nice and warm for the most part for conditioning. I think we were able to give the players a little break from the heat with the night practices. I thought it worked real well. I think we put a great product out there. I think maybe even we’ll get a few more people to come out and watch when they get an opportunity to come out and watch from the sidelines. That’ll be the thing that I think will improve as we go.”

(On being surprised by the low fan turnout on open practice days)

“I think they’re going to sit back and wait. It’s human nature. It’s not our focus. Our focus isn’t about that right now. I want it to be available. I certainly want our fans to know that we encourage it and that’s why we have it here in St. Louis. We understand that sometimes it takes time to show that we’re getting back on the right track and I’m not concerned about that right now at all.”

(On what he hopes to get out of the second game)

“Carry over from the first. I don’t want to go into…all of a sudden we think we’ve got it figured out. I think everyday we do this we want to improve in some way, but they need to handle the little things, little details of the game. The game management situations, whether it be a coach or a player. How we tackle, how we secure the ball, all the things we talk about you hear me tell them until I’m blue in the face about it. I think those are always going to be things that we’re going to want to get out of it. You certainly want to evaluate further the players who are trying to make this squad.”

(On whether the starters are going to play more in the second game)

“A little bit. I don’t know what that number is, but we certainly have that planned. We might not have a couple of those guys out there, but I think they might get a little bit more time.”

(On the quarterback rotation being the same as the first game)

“I think we might rotate it a little differently. It will be similar as far as playing time, but try to put them in different situations than they played last game.”

(On seeing similarities between Head Coach Gary Kubiak’s Texans and his previous Broncos team in the season opener)

“We’ve talked about that, but they aren’t going to do anything different than what they’ve always done in preseason at Denver. It’s going to be pretty vanilla on their side and it’s not like we’re going to do any multiple things on our side. Although we’re working some things defensively a little bit because that is our defense. I think it’s just playing football, two teams playing football. I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to affect us for our opener. It will be pretty much the same system, which will be good to see how we respond to it.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

(On the transition from head coach to defensive coordinator)

“It’s been fine. I’m enjoying myself. I enjoy being around the players and obviously the coaches. Scott did a great job of hiring the coaching staff on both sides of the ball and special teams. It’s been good. It’s more than I expected, I can say that. I thought I might struggle a little bit with it because I haven’t done it in six years, but being around Willy Robinson, Rick Venturi, and Joe Baker, guys that I’ve had before, make it an easy transition for me. I think they’re a great bunch of coaches. I think that when we compete against this type of offense, it’ll make this defense better because they’re so explosive. So, I think the whole gamut has been good from my standpoint.”

(On feeling re-energized as a result of making the switch to coordinator)

“Actually, it has been refreshing. To be honest, not dealing with the media on a day-to-day basis and being able to focus on football has been good for me. I’ll say this about this football team: I don’t think there aren’t a lot of issues and problems that Scott has to deal with. I know it’s easier said than done because there are a lot of hidden things and he’s handled them very well. Scott’s very intelligent and he thinks about things before he reacts. It’s been good and I enjoy watching him work.”

(On Scott Linehan getting coaching advice from him)

“That’s something you have to ask him. I probably talk too much, but that’s something you have to ask Scott. I think because he’s new at it, he asks opinions of certain guys, like myself, Rick Venturi, and guys that have been around. That’s not uncommon because I did it when I was a head coach. I think you learn on your way. I learned from Art Shell, Chuck Knox, Jim Mora, and Bill Cowher. You pick things up as you go, obviously, that’s kind of the learning process. I think he’s done a heck of a job during the short time he’s been in the league of learning the structure of the program; I think he’s done excellent.”

(On Linehan’s first year as a head coach compared to his first year as a head coach)

“I think its two different types of teams. We took over a team that was 3-13 and they struggled for about four or five years. This team actually has some pretty good parts in place. He’s going to run the offense. I didn’t really run the defense when I was down there , I kind of oversaw everything. He relies on me, Rick, Willy, and those guys to run the defense more than I probably did. From that standpoint it’s a little different. He’s got a lot on his plate, being the offensive coordinator and being the head coach, but I think he’s handled it very well up to this point.”

(On the state of the defense in general)

“We’re still in the learning phase. I think we played pretty well against Indianapolis. That’s a heck of an offense, no matter who they have in the game. We screwed up the one coverage in Cover 2, beside that, they really didn’t do much against us. That was part of the way we stopped the run. I think a bigger test is this week. Houston’s got a good football team and Gary Kubiak has done a good job to turn them around, just from what I saw on film. I think they had 183 yards rushing on 41 attempts. This will be a good test to see if we can stop the run. It’s also a good test because it’s the same type of offense we’re going to see when we face Denver. So where are we defensively? I thought we had a pretty good outing, we didn’t have a lot of mental mistakes during the game, we tackled well; I think we had four missed tackles, all in the fourth quarter. Those things are all positive, but that’s something that we have to keep building on. We have to keep working on that and make sure we do tackle. But again, I think this week will give us a better test of where we are because this team will try to come out and run the ball on us and that’s the number one thing, I want to make sure we do a good job of stopping the run.”

(On the defense’s identity)

“I think their identity will come into place in the next couple of weeks. That’s something that we talked about in the off season. We’ve got to build an identity. What are we? What kind of team are we going to be? Are we going to be an up the field run-around team that can only play with a lead? Or can you stick in there when someone’s going to try to grind it on you? That’s what we’re going to find out here in the next couple of weeks. I like what I’ve seen so far. I think they’re a bunch of tough minded individuals, they’re smart. Obviously, we know we’re fast. We threw a lot at them. We got a lot of defense in; we’re going into the game with 64 blitzes and they handled them extremely well. We were pulling them out of a hat last week. I think that’s what we are. I want to find out what we’re going to do when teams are going to pound the ball on us. I think we’ll at least have an idea this week.”

Rams Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson

(On progress of QB Marc Bulger)

“We are happy right now. We are real excited right now. We think Marc has done well throughout the preseason. We thought he did well when he finished out the OTAs. We thought that he was right on schedule and he’s been on schedule, where we thought that he would be, right down through training camp.”

(On what has impressed him)

“So many things to be honest with you. His anticipation, timing, accuracy and decision making throughout camp has been outstanding.”

(On transition from position coach to coordinator)

“You probably have to ask Scott (Linehan) about that, but I feel it’s has gone smooth. I’ve been cautiously optimistic about the whole transition and it’s been good. I’m surrounded by very good assistant football coaches. I think that Scott has put together a great staff on both sides of the ball, but I am real happy with the way the offensive staff has come together.”

(On design of having balanced offense against the Colts)

“We came out and we said that we wanted to establish an identity as a football team. Part of it was coming out and establishing a mindset that we are going to run the football. You saw the opening play of the game, we are going to run the football and set a tempo here and we felt like we did that, established a running game. To be honest with you, at the end of the game, we had no idea that was where the statistics were at, so it really was a coincidence.”

(On the progress of the tight ends)

“They are still young. There are some growing pains there. It’s not from lack of effort, they are just young players right now and they have to get better. They understand that and they know that.”

(On game-planning with Coach Linehan)

“We spend some time together before just in conversation, so I think philosophically a lot of our thought and ideas on the calling of the game, aggressiveness and down-field passing, I think we grew up under the same tutelage in the coaches that we coached for in college. We are starting to find out more about one another, specifically I am starting to find out more about what Scott wants from me. I think that it has been good. I have enjoyed the role that I have right now, and given more responsibility as we go along, but it’s going fine right now.”

(On how the play calling works on gameday)

“Scott’s calling the game right now. We talk about, before we go into the game, what are things that we are looking for, things that we want to try to expose against the defense. We have a pretty good plan as we go into it, and we try to stick with that plan. There are certain things that we talk about, for instance, down-and-distance situations, on plays that we like to see called and get called. As the game goes along and he hasn’t hit on a call, I’ll just remind him of that and we’ll talk about plays between series. Obviously, he is having to manage the whole game now, so we don’t have a lot of time between series to talk. As an offensive staff we talk and kind of gather ideas about the plan that we have started as we went into the game. Briefly, we will get with Scott right before the offense takes the field, and say these are the things that we talked about and here is what we have in thoughts for the upcoming series in regards to plays, and give him a list of plays to choose from. He’ll choose some of those or if he has different thoughts, he make pick some different plays.”

(On the plan for this Saturday against the Texans)

“It won’t be exactly the same. We will try to get the starters a little bit more work, the ones and twos a little bit more work, but we plan on finishing the game with the threes and fours. Again, we’re happy with the process with how it went last game. We are happy with the fact that we didn’t have a lot of pre-snap penalties. Obviously, that has been an emphasis for us throughout camp. We want the game to be very clean in terms of execution right now, so that is what we are looking for in this game.”