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    Rams Loose, Ready For Seattle Game

    Rams loose, ready for Seattle game

    Saturday, January 1, 2011 12:00 am

    A banner hanging high on the east wall of the Rams' indoor practice facility lists the years in which the team was NFC West champion. Asked whether he'd considered adding 2010 this week as a motivator for his team, coach Steve Spagnuolo shook his head.

    "Can't put it up there yet," he said. "Got to win a game."

    Although Spagnuolo likes to make out checklists of achievable goals before games, he's not about to jump the gun on Sunday's 7:30 p.m. contest in Seattle even though the winner will represent the division in the playoffs.

    "This is just me, and this is not 'coach speak,' but I really try not to get a lot of gratification out of having the opportunity," Spagnuolo said. "Because to everybody, to all of us, the organization, the people here, it's about grabbing the prize. And we don't really have anything right now.

    "In that regard, I'd say it's great we have an opportunity in the 16th game. But aside from that, we're just going to try to finish it and get the final deal."

    The Rams are seeking to become just the third 8-8 division champ in NFL history. The Seahawks are trying to become the first-ever 7-9 division winner.

    The stress of the situation apparently didn't surface this week at Rams Park. "I don't think (the players) felt all that. I thought they were pretty normal," Spagnuolo said. "I want them to do that. Stay the same. Nothing changes."

    The Rams are among the league's youngest teams, but their maturity level is high, said 11-year veteran Fred Robbins, a defensive tackle who has been through playoff pushes with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings.

    Robbins emphasized that the players "know what's at stake. They're very mentally focused football-wise focused and hungry."

    Cornerback Ron Bartell said the team's relative youth the Rams average about 25 years of age might actually be a plus. "Because guys will be loose, maybe not realize how big this is," he said. "Maybe it turns out to be a good thing."

    Bartell said the week has flown by; linebacker James Laurinaitis felt just the opposite. He said he was ready to play on Wednesday.

    "Guys are loose, they're confident in our game plan," Laurinaitis said. "It's just one of those exciting games where you're just ready to go out there and play it. I'm sure Seattle feels the same way."

    On Friday after the last regular-season practice of the year, Spagnuolo had some parting advice for his players for avoiding any late tension as the franchise's biggest game in several years approaches.

    "What you've really got to do is, over the next 48 hours, take periods where you just wrap yourself into football," he explained. "Individually as players, they need to sit down and, it's Seattle and it's them and it's what they have to do. Then they back off a little bit, because this can't be a 48-hour stretch they'd get worn out.

    "I believe in that. And when you do that, then you can keep all the other things on the outside."

    In other words, stay focused, remain loose and have fun.

    "I think that's a good way to be," Spagnuolo said. "I've said it before: This team functions better when it enjoys itself, enjoys each other. When it's all said and done, win or lose, that's what it's all about is the relationships. So that part's good."

    Injury report

    Spagnuolo generally opens his post-practice media gathering with an update on injuries. On Friday, he said, "Everybody practiced today. I think that's the first time I've been able to say that."

    Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who has missed four games with a high-ankle sprain, was on the field for the second successive day. "He did pretty good," Spagnuolo said. "He's listed as questionable right now, but at least we got him to that point."

    Cornerback Jerome Murphy has been practicing with a heavy wrap protecting his fractured right pinky finger. He was listed as probable on Friday's injury report.


    Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (strained hip) practiced on Friday but is listed as questionable for Sunday. ... The Rams started Friday's practice outside but hustled to the indoor facility when the warning sirens sounded as storms approached. The league fined ***** defensive tackle Ray McDonald $5,000 for his roughing-the-passer penalty in the first quarter Sunday.

  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Loose, Ready For Seattle Game

    "Guys are loose, they're confident in our game plan," Laurinaitis said. "It's just one of those exciting games where you're just ready to go out there and play it. I'm sure Seattle feels the same way."

    Correction amigo, I respectfully beg to differ. The Rams feel it more.

    Let's go all 'Animal' on the birds and knock their feathers off ... in their field. Alright No. 55, let's do this!

    Click on image to see Laurinaitis right before game tomorrow.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rams Loose, Ready For Seattle Game-carnero5.jpg  
    Last edited by RealRam; -01-02-2011 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Battle Ram

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