12.16.2009 3:01 pm
Spagnuolo won’t go there when subject is Incognito
By Bill Coats
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

One of St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo’s favorite expressions when rebuffing reporters’ questions is, “I’m not going there.” On Wednesday, Spagnuolo wasn’t going there a lot when the subject was temperamental guard Richie Incognito, who was released Tuesday.

Spagnuolo, who made only a brief statement Tuesday through the St. Louis Rams’ media relations department, offered another statement at the start of his post-practice session with the press Wednesday.

“I want everybody to know that I have a tremendous amount of respect for Richie Incognito, and I like him a lot,” Spagnuolo began. “We had a great conversation. The decision was made in the best interest of the football team, and I do think it’s good for both parties. I believe that. I wish him the very best, I really do. I like him a lot.”

Asked several times to elaborate, Spagnuolo wasn’t going there — for the most part, anyway. He did say this when asked how difficult the decision was to jettison Incognito, who was benched after drawing two personal fouls in the first quarter and a half Sunday at Tennessee:

“Very . . . very. I didn’t sleep on Sunday and it took all day Monday,” Spagnuolo said. “None of those decisions are easy, and that one was particularly tough.”

Notes & quotes:

*Rookie QB Keith Null took all the first-team snaps at practice Wednesday because Kyle Boller was out because of illness. Boller also is nursing a thigh injury, and Spagnuolo said no decision has been made on who will start Sunday when the Texans visit the Edward Jones Dome.

*The other starting guard, Jacob Bell, is on injured reserve after tearing a hamstring vs. the Titans. The plan is to start Mark Setterstrom in Bell’s spot at LG and John Greco in place of Incognito at RG. On Wednesday, though, C Jason Brown also was ill, so Setterstrom filled in there, with rookie Roger Allen at LG with the first unit.

*RB Steven Jackson (back), T Jason Smith (concussion), QB Marc Bulger (leg) and DE Leonard Little (knee) also didn’t practice.

*LBs David Vobora (knee ankle), Paris Lenon (hip) and K.C. Asiodu (hip), and DT LaJuan Ramsey (wrist) did limited work.

*The Rams have added C Drew Miller to the practice squad. Miller, a second-year pro out of the University of Florida, was with Jacksonville last year but never got into a game.

*This week’s captains are TE Randy McMichael (offense), end Chris Long (defense) and RB Kenneth Darby (special teams).