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    helorm341 Guest

    Spags press conference

    (Opening Remarks)

    “It’s been six weeks, so we’ve had a little bit of time between the last time we visited and today. It’s been a great six weeks. I told you we evaluated the team and we started looking at free agents. We’re kind of still in the middle of that. The coaches and scouts went down to the Senior Bowl. The weather was actually great, which was good. I actually spent a day in Miami the Friday before the Super Bowl. (Senior Director of Communications) Ted (Crews) dragged me down there, so I went down there and visited Miami but it was great. As coaches, we always say you don’t want to go to the Super Bowl site unless you’re playing in it and that’s true. You want to be playing in it. It was good to go down there and see people. The NFL having an event like that, is great to be apart of. There have been two new hires within the organization. We hired a wide receivers coach Nolan Cromwell, who name I know a lot of people recognize. He played here for the Rams a little while back. Obviously, we hired an athletic trainer, Reggie Scott, who joined us on Monday. He officially started yesterday, so he’s up and rolling. He has already put his hands on most of the guys here in rehab and that’s a good thing. Next week, we’re rolling into the combine, which is exciting. That brings us right up to the draft and away we go into OTAs, mini camps, etc. You guys all know that the NFL now is all year around, it’s not seasonal. It’s year around, which I think is a great thing. That’s why I’m standing here today to entertain all of the questions that you guys are begging to ask for.”



    (On if there is one main concern that he wants to address whether it be free agency or the NFL draft)

    “Well, we kind of clump those all together. We won’t separate it. We’ll try to make the team better, build the roster, and…we’re not going to focus on one…certainly if we were, we wouldn’t tip our hand anyway. I think as a team, you want to build it. I’ve said this from the beginning that you build from the inside out. You start with the linemen and move your way out. We certainly have our eyeballs on a lot of people. The league is a little different this year with the uncapped season. It kind of limits some of the free agents. There are still enough guys there that we can look at. And certainly with all of the college players going to the combine and coming out, there will be enough draft talk. We’re trying to improve everywhere.”



    (On why he hired Wide Receivers Coach Nolan Cromwell)

    “Well, he’s done this thing for a while, certainly playing in the league and coaching the wide receivers with two different NFL teams. I enjoyed the interaction with Nolan. He’s familiar with the terminology, very easy transition. (President of the Cleveland Browns) Mike Holmgren’s tree, (Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach) Andy Reid, (Offensive Coordinator) Pat Shurmur, all the way through, so that’s a pretty natural transition. He struck me as a teacher and a guy that’s been around it a lot. I think he’ll help our young wide receivers.”



    (On if he is closer on deciding on a quarterback)

    “Not any closer, I’m going to be honest with you. There’s still a long ways to go here. You know this is all in layers, free agency, draft, and what happens afterwards. To make any rash decision now, no we wouldn’t do that. I’ll say what I’ve said before, good, bad, or indifferent, in playing three quarterbacks last year gave us a pretty good feel of what all of them can do. This time last year when I was standing here, I didn’t now a lot about the players here. It’s good to have a comfort level of who we have and where we’re going. We’ll put it all together and make some decisions.”



    (On if he sees the team possibly moving forward with QB Marc Bulger)

    “I see all the scenarios. I’ve said this before; I got a great deal of respect for Marc. I think he’s a good football player. He’s a competitor. I know he’s grabbing me on the sidelines with suggestions all the time and it’s not just quarterbacking play. I think a lot of Marc as I did (QB) Kyle (Boller) and certainly (QB) Keith (Null) getting in there playing a few games. I think that helps him too; helps us.”



    (On if he’s talked with Antonio Pierce)

    “I haven’t talked to Antonio. When I saw it the other day, I meant to text him. I didn’t get to do that, but I will. Antonio is a close friend of mine. You get in this business with players, they become close friends. I think the world of him. I know he had the injury last year, I was sorry to see that. I’ll have to visit with him.”



    (On if Pierce is healthy could he move to outside linebacker or weakside linebacker for the Rams)

    “I guess all of those situations are possible. I think the health of the player is probably the most important thing. I’d check on that.”



    (On if he has had any conversations with Marc Bulger since the end of the season)

    “Yeah, he was here a couple of weeks ago. We just sat down and visited, nothing football wise. I want to say we shared texts a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t remember. I’m getting really good with the texting deal, so I go back and forth with the guys when I can.”



    (On if a player’s future is in question, what kind of football conversation do you have with them)

    “Well, (QB) Marc (Bulger) has a contract. Marc’s on this football team so I talk to Marc like I do everybody else. I talk to him about his family and all of those good things. At this time of year if I talk to a player right now, I try to talk about everything except football. They get enough of that when they come here. There’s a personal side to this too.”



    (On if he has much contact with players at this time of year)

    “This is my feelings, philosophy I try not to “bother them.” I stay away from long phone calls, I do think the text thing is ideal. I can just say, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about you’’ which I have done a number of times, but I don’t like to prod. Those guys need to get away. They hear me seven, eight months straight. When I do contact them this time of year, usually it’s just general, hello, family, those kinds of things.”



    (On some of the prime free agents being restricted and how that affects their personnel needs)

    “The numbers are a lot less going into free agency. I’m not talking about our players; I’m talking about others players that we could add. It’s just slim, numbers wise. That will make it a little bit more challenging. It’s the same for all the other teams, so all 31 teams are going through the same thing. Whatever the landscape is, you just deal with it and you move on. It doesn’t do any good to hope that it changes because if it doesn’t, we have to have a plan for going forward.”



    (On if the restricted free agent market opens up more trade possibilities or discussions)

    “Yeah, maybe discussions but I’m not sure of that. It allows you to “keep” players that normally got out there, so it’s two ways to look at it certainly the pool is less of guys you might have wanted to go grab, but guys that you wanted to keep in the fold here gives you an avenue to do that. So that’s a positive.”



    (On the hiring of Head Trainer Reggie Scott)

    “We went through an extensive interview process, brought some people in, and Reggie kind of surfaced as the guy at the end. He was highly, highly recommended, very qualified. The thing that stuck out were the unsolicited recommendations from players that he had actually worked with, which I think says it all. That’s probably the most important thing in that business.”



    (On how important it is for him to sit down and talk with players at the combine)

    “It is really important. I am a visual guy, so it is always helpful to me if I have sat and visited with somebody for 10, 15 minutes; it helps me in the whole evaluation process. It helps all of us. Now, do you get anything and everything in 15 minutes and can people fool you in 15 minutes? Yeah, they certainly can. It is a beginning of a process and certainly with the picks and where we are at, I may – I didn’t get to do a lot of it last year – get out and travel around to the workouts. I am hoping to do a little more of that this year, so that gives you a second or third time to talk to these guys. The more information you can gather, the theory is, the better decision you are going to make.”



    (On what he wants in his nose tackle and how the player can fit into the defensive scheme)

    “I think I know where you are going with that. I don’t think or look at it that way when we are talking about college defensive linemen to be quite honest with you. We look for good football players. I personally think, to me, if we are just talking about defensive linemen, it is more of a reading tackle or an attacking tackle. We consider ourselves a little bit more attacking and less reading. That nose you are talking about a 3-4, that is more of a reader, yet if you see plays or instances where a defensive lineman comes off the football, you say he can do that. If he can recapture a gap or he can redirect, then I think we can fit him in our type of scheme. There isn’t anyone out there that plays in a college 3-4 or nose tackle position that we would say, ‘No, we can’t use that guy.’ We wouldn’t do that.”



    (On how much footage he has watched of Nebraska’s DT Ndamukong Suh)

    “Not as much as I would have wanted to. What we just finished yesterday was the film on the free agents and now we are just starting to dig into the college guys. I have seen clips of him here and there and he’s an impressive football player, but to say that I have sat there and studied him, I can’t do that.”



    (On if there is an emphasis to bring in a veteran receiver to help the younger receivers on the team)

    “I’d say in any of the positions or in a lot of cases, it is very advantageous to have a veteran in each spot. Sometimes you can do that, sometimes you can’t; the right veteran now. That is where you do the research. Ideally, it would be great to have the hardest working, best professional, Monday to Saturday football player with a lot of experience at every position because then all the guys with the lesser experience can learn. That would be ideal, so we would always try to do that. That would be a goal.”



    (On WR Donte Stallworth)

    “I was with Donte in Philadelphia and I think he is a heck of a football player. I know that he has just become available, so we are looking at everybody. But I happen to know Donte personally and I kind of like him. That is going back a little while now, three or four years ago when he was in Philadelphia.”



    (On what he wants to get out of the combine)

    “Find out where more of the restaurants are. No, probably a lot of the same things (as last year). Where (General Manager) Billy (Devaney) is really helpful is when you sit down – of course all of the players are there together and I can sit with him – and as a guy works out or runs the 40 (yard dash), Billy can stand there and say, “That guy.” He gives me the information. So I am really trying to digest as much information as I can and then as the next few weeks unfold here, it will start to make a little more sense to me. Information gathering is really the best way to say it.”



    (On his thoughts about the new permanent turf in the Edward Jones Dome)

    “I am all for what I think works for our football team. (Rams Executive Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer) Kevin (Demoff) was knee deep in all those discussions. When it was all said and done, he felt that was the best way for us to go. I am all for it. I think you know it is similar to what we have out here at Rams Park and I think that is a pretty big tie in. I don’t think you have to have that, but I think it is good to have it that way. We’ll be curious to see when it is all laid down and get on it. I think it will be fine. The company does a nice job with it. We are looking forward to it. Again, I never sat here and said that the turf was bad for us. Both teams have to play on it.”



    (On if there is an emphasis on the final two days of the combine as opposed to the beginning workouts)

    “Not for me. You just never know how it is going to unfold. I think we would make a mistake to just emphasize two areas and not the whole thing. I think any coach would tell you that. Anybody in NFL personnel is going to tell you they are going to look at the whole thing. A lot of things change.”



    (On if he anticipates meeting with Shahid Khan in the near future)

    “I don’t. There is nothing scheduled. Should things go that way, I am sure of that. I would be happy to.”



    (On if there is a new sense of urgency to win with a new owner coming in)

    “I know for me – the coaches, the players – what we are doing has never changed. We are still doing the same thing. The focus is the same, what we do day-to-day is the same, so it really doesn’t change. I am with you in that it is all about the winning. It doesn’t matter what position you hold here. We all benefit, everybody in this room included. We all benefit when we win.”



    (On if he feels like he is moving the team in the right direction)

    “I hope we are doing that. I felt that either way; I did. I have talked about this before. I know that it was painful last year – certainly painful for me – but I always follow that up with, I think the pains from 2009 will help us in 2010. I still feel that.”



    (On if there are any updates on player injuries or surgeries since the season ended)

    “I wish I would have brought that down. I apologize for that. A lot of these guys are here which is great. (LS) Chris Massey is looking great. I’ll tell you who is looking really great is (CB) Bradley Fletcher which we are encouraged by. (DT) Adam Carriker was in there this morning. He looks like he is going to be fine. He is almost ready to go now. (DE) C.J. Ah You has been great in there. He really has been getting after it, (TE) Eric Bassey, (WR) Keenan Burton. Some of these guys, at one time, we were a little concerned with how long the injury would take (to heal). I just think that they have been working hard at it. I know we had a transition period here. (Assistant Athletic Trainer) James Lomax and (Assistant Athletic Trainer) Tyler Williams were in there working with them and they did a great job and now we that we have Reggie on board, we expect it to keep going that way.”



    (On if there were any surgeries after the season ended)

    “I know (CB) Ron Bartell had a bursa elbow thing that was minor. (G) John Greco – I think this was postseason – I am relying on memory here, had a thumb surgery. He has been fine. He’s out of the cast. (G) Roger Allen you guys remember. He has been in here every day, every week. He’s doing great. He is early in his rehab, so he has a long way to go.”



    (On CB Quincy Butler)

    “He was cleared. He didn’t have any surgery done. By the time we brought the guys...they were gone for two weeks and they came back and got reevaluated, Quincy was cleared at the two-week update.”



    (On C Jason Brown’s knee injury)

    “Yeah, he was fine. No surgery or anything there.”



    (On if he would accept the idea to bring in a young quarterback with no NFL experience to the team and build around him)

    “Yeah, I can envision them all. I hope everybody doesn’t think that I would be opposed to that. No, certainly not. Again, it will come down to – and I know you are talking about the first pick – it will come down to the best guy to take at that position at that particular time. There are still some layers here between now and the day we have to make that decision.”
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