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    Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo – Pre-Training Camp Press Conference

    Tuesday, July 27 2010 @ 10:57 PM CDT
    Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo – Pre-Training Camp Press Conference,

    Contributed by: Shaky

    “Let me hit you with a couple of things. I appreciate everybody being here. It’s great to be back. I don’t know when it was I got back but we had a great time, (wife) Maria and I, on vacation. There was a good stretch where I got to be with my wife 24/7, which is a great thing. The tough part is when you go back to work here, you’re so excited about the football season, but you’re wife has to go from 24/7 with the husband to the complete opposite. But she’s doing good. I don’t know she might be (ready to be rid of me), you’ll have to ask her that question.

    “I’ve seen a number of players. The guys are excited, cranked up, and ready to go. It’s just a good time of the year and all the anticipation, so that part’s fun. I do want to say this: I’ve got to applaud the people in our building over the summer. The summer’s a break for the coaches and players, but there’s people in here continuing to work, marketing, ticketing, that do a tremendous job. (Executive Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer) Kevin (Demoff) and his staff and (Executive Vice President of Marking & Sales) Bob Reif and a bunch of guys and gals here that really do a great job. Sometimes you feel guilty being on vacation when you know everybody’s back here working hard, but I think we’ll catch up on that with a little bit of work coming up here.

    Let me give you a quick, I know injuries from where we finished up back there in the spring I want to feed you. The tough one right now is (G) Mark Setterstrom to be quite honest with you. Mark did have surgery on that triceps. We’re going to have to make a roster move or decision here. It’ll either be IR (Reserve-Injured) or it’ll be PUP (Physically Unable to Perform). We’ll probably make a decision on that today sometime. I’ll have that forthcoming, but I have talked to Mark. I’ll give you the list of the rest of these guys, so kind of bear with me. (G) Roger Allen, (S) O.J. Atogwe, (TE) Danny Fells, (CB Bradley) Fletcher, (RB) Steven Jackson, (OT) Jason Smith, (G) Jacob Bell, (LS) Chris Massey and (OT) Roger Saffold are all guys that were not practicing in the spring. Right now, assuming that they pass a physical, and they haven’t seen the doctors and whatnot, they all should be a go. I talked to (Head Athletic Trainer) Reggie (Scott) this morning. They’re all doing really good. Now, some of them will be limited, but all of those guys will be practicing, which is a good sign. I think Reggie and his group did a great, tremendous job in the offseason here, this break. These guys were in here working. Their teammates were ever working out and they were here really working and rehabbing. I thought Reggie and his crew did a great job.

    A couple other things. You all saw the situation that (CB) Jerome Murphy had. We’ve been in constant contact with him. (Director of Security) Steve Miller has, I have not spoken with him yet. It’s being taken care of. It happened and he’s going through the proper channels and process that you do in that. Nobody’s going to keep him (out of training camp) if he’s okay.

    No real significant roster moves right now. Like we do every year, Kevin, (General Manager) Billy (Devaney) and I get in yesterday morning, a lot of discussion about everything. Different things that could happen, different scenarios. What you’ve got remember is throughout the summer, when we have this so-called break, the personnel departments in the league are always working. The landscape of the NFL changes and bounces and changes, so there were things that we had to talk about. One was about a high-profile football player. We made the decision that we were going to stick with what we have here and just move on. A lot of respect to that particular player, but it was talked about and we’re moving on from that.

    The other thing, like I say, we kicked the tires on a lot of different people. There were a lot of discussions about other things. Things we could do and not do, and we decided to not do a bunch of things.

    The contract updates, which I know you guys are going to ask about, (QB) Sam (Bradford) right now, I talked to Kevin this morning. Everything’s going good. It’s not done yet, but he’s very hopeful. Roger Saffold, we’re very optimistic, should be done here hopefully in the next 24-48 hours. We’ll keep our fingers crossed to get those two guys in. Then we’d be all set and ready to go.”

    (On if Steven Jackson will be physically limited when camp starts)

    “He’s somewhat cleared to go. We want the doctors to look at him one more time, but he feels great. Probably, only because it’s a back, we’ll tread lightly. But I think he’ll do most everything.”

    (On if he expects Jackson’s preseason routine to differ much from what it’s been in the past)

    “I don’t think that will change. We want to get him ready. He wants to go, and he wants to be ready. We’ll have him ready for the opening game, but if you’re talking about the pre-season game, we’ll be smart about it.”

    (On Mark Setterstrom’s surgery)

    “It was June 23. It’s a four-to-six month rehab, so that’s where you’ve got to try to decide and that’s the hard part. It’s tough”

    (On tweaking the way training camp will be run this year)

    “What you’ll notice right off the bat, last year we pretty much did two practices every day. Now one might have been a special teams or what we call a 10-10-10. This year will be pretty much a two-one/two-one. I think we’ve all seen that the second practice on the two-a-day is really a night practice. A couple reasons for that: the heat, and I also think you give an opportunity for the fans locally with working schedules and whatnot an opportunity to get over here. Hopefully people will come. There’ll be some other tweaks with the practice schedule itself, but not too much.”

    (On the fewer amount of two a days this camp)

    “No, couple things with that. I’ve done last year’s schedule and I’ve also done this one. Tt wasn’t too much. I’ll give you one of the main reasons: when you do two-a-days, you can’t really have either of those practices be too long. And I think that the players, I think when all of a sudden you get to the game and you’re in uniform for three and a half hours and you’re not used to that. Now, were not going to practice one a day for three and half hours, but I do think the one a day will give us an opportunity to practice longer. It also gave, if you look at the schedule, between every practice, there’s two meals and a long stretch of recovery time. So it really works out well.”

    (On scheduling later practice so that there is a longer time between them on two-a-days)

    “That and the hopes that it makes it a little easier for people to get to. That gives you that stretch.”

    (On not going after a higher profile free agent, particularly at wide receiver)

    “Well, I think there’s a lot of guys out there that are going to be battling for… I want to say we kept five wide receivers last year. We feel like we’ve got some… there’s going to be some tough decisions to make there at wide receiver. Any time you’ve got competition I think it elevates the play of that particular position, so that’s one of the main reasons.”

    (On character being a factor in Terrell Owens not fitting with the Rams)

    “I don’t know that. We took everything into play and then came up with a decision. I really want to talk about the 2010 Rams here. That’s what I really want to talk about.”

    (On how series the Rams were about Owens)

    “I’m not going to put it into a category. We sat down and talked about it. We went about it the right way and the decision was made.”

    (On the importance of getting Bradford into camp as early as possible)

    “Really important. I think you’ve listened to Sam. I think he’s publically said he wants to be in here. But this is part of, especially being the first pick overall, this is part of it and were hopeful.”

    (On how much it would hurt Bradford if he missed even two days of camp)

    “We wouldn’t be able to play the season. (joking) You’re talking to a coach! Of course every day! No, however it happens and when he gets in here we’ll deal with it. Would we like to have him for those three rookie practices? Yeah. Certainly for when the veterans get here.”

    (On opening camp with A.J. Feeley as the starter)

    “Yes, just like I stated all last spring, if we played today - I’m sticking with it - if we played today A.J. would be the guy.”

    (On if RB Brian Westbrook is still a candidate to join the team)

    “Again, Billy does a great job with his staff. We’re still looking at that. I’ve talked to Brian, but we have to let that process play itself out. I mean, there’s decisions on both sides and were hopeful there, too. We’ll see what happens. “

    (On the possibility of DE Leonard Little returning)

    “No. You know, I have not spoken to Leonard in a little bit now, but I love Leonard Little. He’s one of my all time favorite guys here. Last year (he) helped me tremendously. But we’ll keep in touch. You know, again, like all these rosters move day by day you keep adjusting, and we did draft a bunch of young guys that we need to find out about that haven’t even been in pads yet, so we’ll let that one play out”

    (On how Murphy’s situation came about)

    “Yeah, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have that information and I have not talked to Jerome. Now he’s going to be here tomorrow so I just figured I’d wait. I don’t know enough about the process and I wouldn’t use the words taken care of. I guess if I did, because I don’t know what that means. I’m just going to let him tell me when he gets here tomorrow.”

    (On full contact periods in practice)

    “There will be some of that in there. We’ll pick and choose. It’s funny, I banged my head against the wall in the offseason when I was putting the whole practice schedule together. You walk that fine line. You want your team to be tough, you want to be able to tackle, you want to be able to block and do all those things, and I don’t think you just flip a switch and do it on game day. So you’ve got to work on it. Okay, so if you work on it too much and you get guys banged up and you don’t have a team, that’s not good either. But they will be in there. I think this team, all these guys… I remember the feedback from last year. These guys like it. Now they don’t want to do it every day, every period, but I mean, it’s football. I hope they like it. If they don’t, we’re in trouble.”

    (On the first days of camp being formatted differently this year)

    “Yeah, it’s a little different because it’s one on Saturday. We’ll go two Sunday, one on Monday, so it is a little bit different.”

    (On using a different practice schedule this year because he feels players understand his program)

    “Not so much. Really going to this schedule was really more of the two things we talked about: the time in between, the one long practice to get used to having the pads on and playing the game that long. I think that’ll help us in the long run.”

    (On what position he believes has the chance to be most improved)

    “You know I want to say hopefully all of them. I don’t know if I can pick one out. I know you guys think I’m ducking it. I don’t know that. I really don’t. I think you all do a good job. You know our team pretty well. You can probably sit there and look and come up with one yourselves and might have three different views. I’m hoping they all compete. We’ve been trying to create competition at all these spots. That’s been kind of the main focus. I think Billy and his staff have done that. I think our coaches have done that and I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

    (On what he knows as a head coach now that he didn’t know last year)

    “This morning when I met with the staff, I made this comment, and it’s a true one. I learned as a head coach that eventually the head coach finds out about everything. Now I might not find out about it when it happens or when it just happened, but when it’s all said and done, the head coach finds out about everything. So I learned that. I don’t know. I learned that the players are the most important people, which I kind of already knew going in, but know it even more now. And I still believe that if you can get a bunch of guys to buy in as one and everybody heads in the same direction and nobody cares who gets the credit, you have a chance to be a pretty good football team.”

    (On how much optimism he has for this season)

    “Well, I’m always optimistic because each season stands on its own merits. This is a new year. We’ve got a bunch of new faces. We’ve got some new coaches, we’ve got some new people in this building. We’ve got some players that are new. We’ve got some young rookies, some veterans that we added. It’s a new optimism. I go in it like that every year.”

    (One whether he’s tweaked his coaching style this season)

    “I guess we do that every year. Yeah. I’ve read a number of books. I’ve read a bunch of notes. I mean I self-evaluated myself. I had all the coaches evaluate me in January and February, so I re-read those notes. But I’m always trying to do that. I don’t know if I’m doing a good job.”

    (On how honest his coaches can be when evaluating their head coach)

    “There were some good ones. I told them to be honest. Well, what I do is, there are no names on it. And I do that on purpose because I want honest feedback. And the guys were good about it.

    (On one thing he picked up from the critiques)

    “My biggest fault? I don’t handle the media very well. That was the worst one. (joking)”

    (On what Bradford has to do to become the starting quarterback)

    “You know, no different than any other position. Be better than the guys at his spot, and you become the starter. That’s kind of a slam dunk. Let’s not forget about Keith Null. He played some games for us last year, and I think he’s come a long way, now. You’re talking about a guy that didn’t take a snap from under center in all of his college career, and he’s doing it now. And Keith’s a hell of a guy. If you beat out the guys at your position, you end up being the starter.”

    (On how he avoids outside pressure on making a decision)

    “Don’t read the paper, don’t listen to the radio, don’t watch TV.”

    (On whether he would put a number on how many wins the Rams will have this season)

    “No number. You know I’m not doing that. You wanted me to say ‘I’m not going there.’ I’m not going there.”

    (On how sure he is that this year’s team is better than last year’s team)

    “You know I don’t make those kinds of bold statements. But in my mind, if I based it on what’s been going on here for the last six, seven months, I’ve got to be pretty optimistic and confident that it’s going to be better.”

    (On what books he’s read about coaching this offseason)

    “I always try to read a Tom Landry book, so I had another book of his. It was a small book, so I loved it. I’m not a big reader. But it was all about character. And then there was an AFCA book that I bought, it’s a Coaches’ Association book. I can’t remember the title, it was something like, ‘Be The Coach You Always Wanted to Be’ or ‘Be a better coach.’ And there were some really good step-by-steps in there. I pulled out and I shared one with the staff this morning. Just beg, borrow, and steal. Get anything I can. I’ve got nothing creative or original.”

    (On where he went on vacation)

    “I’d better not say that because then my wife will probably say, ‘You’re telling everybody where we go.’ It was family, and we went overseas. I did actually get there. I didn’t do, what’s that thing you get on where you can talk to each other but you see? (Skype). Yeah, I didn’t get on that. We were there together.”

    (On if he did anything football-related during vacation)

    “Yeah, I’ll tell you what the best thing about the vacation was: I couldn’t get my cell phone to work overseas. Now it frustrated me at the beginning. But you know what I learned? The world of football and the Rams, everything functions fine without me. You know, 12 days, no phone calls, no nothing. It was good. At the end of it, I was actually glad it happened because I couldn’t use the Blackberry, it wouldn’t work. I couldn’t get anything.”

    (On whether all coaches participated in evaluations of each other)

    “Oh yeah, it was all cross. Yep. It was a real good exercise that we did back at the end of… well the middle of January.”

    (On his general goals coming out of camp)

    “We were talking about them this morning. As always, in training camp, we started with the fundamentals, you know, building the foundation there. The timing, the execution, and the scheme. Instilling toughness in the football team, and I think the last one was building unity and trust, and I’m talking about coaches, players, everything. So if we come out and get high grades on all those, then we’ll feel pretty good.”

  2. #2
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    Re: Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo – Pre-Training Camp Press Conference

    Quote Originally Posted by Spags
    (On how he avoids outside pressure on making a decision)

    “Don’t read the paper, don’t listen to the radio, don’t watch TV.”
    So what Coach is saying is that his players SHOULD read ClanRam!

    Couldn't agree more, Coach! We got ya, brotha!

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    Re: Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo – Pre-Training Camp Press Conference

    Well at least he's reading books by Tom Landry and not Scott Linehan!

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    Re: Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo – Pre-Training Camp Press Conference

    "'s football, I hope they like it. If they don't we're in trouble."

    We'll likely see this quote again.
    Look away. I'm hideous. __ Cozmo Kramer

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