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Rams Q-and-A: Bulger, Holt, Little
Steven Jackson bumps Torry Holt after scoring a TD in the November game vs. Seattle.
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger discussed his team -– and what it must do against the Falcons -– during a news conference at Rams Park.
Here are some highlights:
On the earlier loss at Atlanta:
“They brought a lot of pressure, I remember that much. They did a real good job up front disrupting our timing. They did a real good job against the run. Obviously Michael Vick did what he wanted. We were in the game up there until the end of the third quarter, but they kind of took over and dominated halfway through the (fourth) quarter.”
On the Falcons defense:
“They have good players. Their linebackers come downhill. You’re not going to be able to hold the ball long. We beat the same team two years ago thirtysomething whatever to nothing. You have to give some credit to the new coaching staff that came in. Those guys play hard, they know what they are doing, they are very disciplined. They don’t take any plays off.”
On why the Rams offense is playing better:
“I think we're just scoring more points. The reason for that is, I don't know. We've been moving the ball all year. We've been getting a lot of yards, but we fizzled out in the red zone, or there have been turnovers, or we just haven't scored points. But now, to start putting the ball in the end zone, I think that's the main difference.
“They won’t confuse you. They pretty much line up and say these four guys are going to beat your five blockers. They’ve done a great job.”
On the progress being made by young receivers Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald:
“That's real evident on film. Watching from our first game against them, Shaun and Kevin really weren't a factor then. Now that we have four go-to guys, it's going to be a nice luxury. It will maybe take some pressure off, we can throw quicker routes, and maybe spread their defense out a little more.”
On why receiver Torry Holt keeps getting better:
“He's always had the physical talent to get things done, but now he just understands why we are doing things more. You are not in the quarterback meetings being a receiver, so they don't hear everything that Coach Martz is explaining to us, and why we are doing certain routes.
"But now that he's been in it four, five, six years, he's starting to understand why just from the experience of running each play, and hearing Coach maybe tell me about it. So he's starting to understand why he's doing things, therefore, if he needs to cut his route short, or maybe take it a yard or two deeper, he's doing those little things that are helping.”
On his chemistry with Holt:
“You can always get better. On certain routes, I know if he’s going to cut it short. We can pretty much do it on our own. I know what angles he is taking. Like the second or third play of the game last week, when we hit the long one. A lot of timing and a lot of practice to know what angle he’s going to come out.”
On his current confidence level:
“It's probably been the same all this year. It's definitely better than last year. Not that I wasn't confident, but now knowing what I know, is so much greater than last year. You hate to say you're overconfident, but I just feel very confident in everything that I am doing with protections, and with this offense.”
On his ability to lead comeback victories:
“I just treat it like every other situation. I’m not going to throw risky balls when I don’t have to. At the same time, I’m aggressive. I don’t have to change once we get into two-minute mode. I throw the ball downfield all game. It’s not like the final two minutes I have to change my whole approach. I can just stay the same and sometimes defenses get into a mode when they just try to not to give up a big play. It’s easier to attack teams then, maybe.”
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The following quotes from Rams wide receiver Torry Holt and defensive end Leonard Little were compiled by the Rams' public-relations staff from press conferences:
On how this game is different than the last time they played Atlanta:
HOLT: "We're winning. That's one of the biggest things. We're winning football games. We're winning tough football games. The confidence level that we have right now as a football team is really good for us. That's something that's totally different from week two.
"Talking to some of the defensive guys, the early part of the season, when we played them, they were still trying to understand the scheme of things. Offensively, we weren't quite where we are right now with some of the younger guys. Obviously with Kevin (Curtis), Shaun (McDonald), Steven (Jackson), and the tight ends stepping up and making plays. I think those are the differences now instead of in week two."
On Atlanta's defense:
HOLT: "We know going against Atlanta, we are going to be challenged. The coordinator that they have was with Green Bay last year, and he liked to do different things against us. But, the way we are playing right now, as receivers, is very good for this football team. We are making plays down the football field, we are making plays across the middle, we are taking some short passes, and we're getting some good runs after the catch.
"Not only are they going to challenge us, but we are going to challenge them as well. Coach will do some things as far as matchups, and putting us in some situations where we can get some one-on-ones. We feel very strongly about our one-on-one matchups, it's going to come down to us winning those. If our offensive line is doing their job, and blocking and protecting like they've been doing the last three weeks, then we feel like the sky is the limit for this offensive team."
On the team's confidence:
HOLT: "Yeah, we haven't been this confident in awhile. We went 8-8, and a couple of weeks during the season we were confident, and then you lose a couple and it waivers. I think these last three weeks have been very big for us, confidence-wise. I would say this is the most confident we have been since the last Super Bowl run.
"This is a great time to be confident, this is a great time to have that momentum, and this is a great time to be playing well. So hopefully we can continue to stay that way. Hopefully we can continue to build on that, and see where we go."
On what the difference is playing with confidence:
HOLT: "When you're not as confident, you are always second-guessing yourself. But when you're confident, you are just going out there and allowing things to happen. If it doesn't work out, you still feel confident enough that you can overcome it, and good things will happen throughout the course of the game. That's the biggest difference I think in having confidence and not having confidence."
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On what's different between the Rams now and the team that played Atlanta in Week 2:
LITTLE: "I think the defense is playing a lot better. The second week of the season, we didn't know what we were doing out there. We were just learning the defense. Now, I think we have this defense down, and we know what we are doing on every play. As far as the whole team goes, we have a little bit of confidence coming in because we've won three games in a row, and we've played pretty well on both sides of the ball."
On Atlanta's offense in their first meeting:
LITTLE: "They didn't run too many plays on us. The plays they ran, they ran them to perfection. The run plays, the pass plays, were the same plays they ran all game. They didn't really surprise us with anything. They just made plays, and we didn't make enough plays to win the game."
On Falcons QB Michael Vick:
LITTLE: "It's like watching him on TV, but putting it on fast forward. He's one of the fastest people I've ever seen in my life, out there on the field. As far as going by people, the athleticism, he's one of the best."
On if it helps to have played Atlanta earlier in the year:
LITTLE: "We do feel a little more comfortable because we played them earlier this season. We need to do the things that we didn't do last time against them. We feel a little more comfortable, but it's hard to get comfortable against a guy like that (Vick), because he brings so much to the game. But we should be a little more comfortable than the first time we played them."
Does Vick causes problems for speed rushers like himself?
LITTLE: "He poses problems for everybody on defense. Once a defense breaks down, he takes off running and you never know where he's going to end up. It might be a five-yard gain, a 10-yard gain, or a touchdown. He poses a problem for the defense as a whole."
On what the Rams defense has to do to stop Atlanta:
LITTLE: "We have to shut down the run, because they had 200-something yards against us last time. So our main focus is to stop the run and go from there."
On trying to contain Vick:
LITTLE: We have to force him to become a pocket passer. We can't have him out of the pocket, throwing the ball on the run, or even take off running. Most teams try to do that, but most teams haven't been successful. We need to try and do that."