Tinoisamoa's loss will be huge
By Jeff Gordon
STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
Monday, Nov. 26 2007
Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa will miss Sunday’s game – and perhaps the rest
of the season -- with a sprained knee suffered against the Seahawks.
This is a HUGE loss for an already struggling team.
“He’s probably been playing his best football since I’ve been here,” defensive
coordinator Jim Haslett said. “He’s probably playing the best since I’ve seen
him on film. It’s one of those things that’s a shame.
“It’ll hinder us, but that’s the way the National Football League works.”
Defensive end James Hall may also be sidelined after aggravated a high ankle
sprain. And, of course, Leonard is out for the season after undergoing toe
So Haslett can relate to what Scott Linehan and Greg Olson have endured with
the offense. Haslett will have to improvise, moving players and adjusting his
Chris Draft will start in Tinoisamoa’s spot and Tim McGarigle could be active
for the rest of the season.
“Chris will do fine,” Haslett said. “He played there two games for us this year
and did a good job. He played the second half and did a good job.
“He’s tough. He’s good on the run. He knows the game. He’s really instinctive.
He’s good in coverage. He’s a pretty good blitzer. I would say the thing that
he doesn’t have that Pisa has is the great top-end speed. But the guy is smart
enough to make up for it because he knows his limitations.”
Should Hall sit, rookie Adam Carriker would play more defensive end and Trevor
Johnson would move into the active lineup.
“Obviously it’s not your an ideal situation to lose both your top ends and your
“will” linebacker,” Haslett said, “but we’ll figure something out.”
Here are some other highlights from the coaches’ news conference:
On Marc Bulger’s concussion: “He was thoroughly examined by a neurosurgeon and
released. He feels better than he did yesterday. Based on how he feels
tomorrow, we may do the neuro-psych test tomorrow, if he’s not feeling at least
100 percent tomorrow we’ll wait until Wednesday or Thursday to do the
neuro-psych test to clear him for this game. Right now we’re just going to wait
and see tomorrow or possibly until Wednesday for his status for the game. If
everything checks out, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be available this week.”
On whether Alex Barron was to blame for the hit Bulger took: “It wasn’t anyone’
s fault. I’ll take the blame on it. They ran a lot of zero-coverage blitzes on
us the last time . . . They’re bringing one more than we have in the backfield
which can be very effective. We had an opportunity with Isaac (Bruce) the first
game to score over the same type of look. They were a little bit looser in
coverage. It’s one of those things that it’s a little bit of a risk trying to
score and you have to get the ball off a little bit sooner. The timing of the
play was a bit off. I’ll take the blame for the hit. We have to be able to get
that ball off. We’re trying to be aggressive in that situation and it was my
On his team’s consistently poor second half offensive play: “If I could explain
it really well, we wouldn’t be having the discussion and you wouldn’t be asking
me the question. For whatever reason we just haven’t been able to hit on all
cylinders. I’m not going to go through the gamut of excuses with having to make
adjustments and play people in different spots because that’s exactly what it
is. You still have to find a way. I believe there is a way. We’ll continue to
at least try to find solutions as to what ails us in the second half. I could
go on and on as to why, individually by game and all those things, but the
bottom line is it still comes down to executing – myself giving them a good
plan and the players executing and getting it done. We still had our chances
On Hall’s injury: “I love the kid because he wants to play. Rick (Venturi)
calls him Barbaro because he looks like a horse with a broken leg, out there
trying to run around. You give the guy credit, he wants to play. I do think he
needs a week off. He needs to get healthy and get rested. If that’s the case,
will go with Victor (Adeyanju) and Eric Moore or Victor and Trevor and maybe
use Adam some at end.”
On the success of the 3-4 defensive scheme: “You have to give credit to Brandon
(Chillar), he played that stand-up defensive end. Based on the call, he moved
to the right side and played end. He moved around, played coverage. He really
had three sacks; he had one taken away from him because of the offsides
penalty. He beat Walter Jones around the outside one time on rush, which was
impressive. I thought he did a nice job in that package.”
“Also Ron Bartell, he was nickel-slash-“sam” linebacker, a lot of
On the tight pass coverage and near-interceptions: “We were close on a lot.
Corey (Chavous) was close for three or four times and O.J. (Atogwe) was close a
couple times and the corners got close. It would have been nice to get a couple
“The quarterback was getting rid of the ball. You’re timing the quarterback. If
you can get there in 2 ˝ seconds, you’ve got a good chance to get a sack. He
was getting the ball in 1.8, 1.5. We couldn’t get in to rush, the ball was
coming out so fast. He only threw the ball down the field four times. Of his 21
catches, 12 were either ‘hots’ or ‘smokes,’ where he just takes it and throws
it. I have a bad shoulder and I could probably throw those.”
On the play of Will Witherspoon: “He does everything you ask him to do. He’s
really become a good inside linebacker. Last year when he lined up, you worried
about, ‘is he going to get everybody else lined up? Is he going to get himself
lined up? We’re we going to screw up? Just the little things.
“Now he’s a good rusher. He’s our best cover guy. He has great range. He made
some plays yesterday . . . I can’t even describe them. Athletically, he can do
almost anything he wants.”
On who was to blame for the botched snap, Gus Frerotte or Andy McCollum: “They’
re both true professionals, older veterans, you don't expect anything like that
to happen . . . both of those guys. I would think, will take blame for it . . .
it’s hard to pin the blame on any one player.”
On the pass play where Frerotte threw short to Isaac Bruce: “Torry (Holt) is
the first look on that particular play, then we got to (Jackson) on the swing
route. We have Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael on the front side, then he
looks to Isaac as the last read on the play . . . (He) kind of rushed through
his progressions, his feet were off balance and he made a poor throw.”
On Frerotte’s playing overall: “Gus did some good things in there. We didn’t
change a whole lot in what we had in the game plan when Gus went in. We felt
comfortable with him early on. His first play in, you’ll remember, he took a
sack. After that, I thought he responded and played well. It’s unfortunate,
down the stretch there are a couple of plays he wishes he had back.”
On the play of fill-in guard Todd Steussie: “He was a little bit rusty, but for
the most part he played pretty well for his first game back. He’s a seasoned
veteran, he has seen a lot, he understands our system. He still plays at a
higher level than anybody else we have right now at the right guard position,
so he will continue to play there.
“He played so much tackle during the preseason and training camp that he felt a
little bit rusty, but, again, for his first game back, after the injury . . .
we were happy with his play.”
On the inability to convert red-zone opportunities: “It’s discouraging,
obviously. We had two chances there on the 1-yard line to score touchdowns. We
came out with a field goal in the first half and (the fumble) on the final play
of the game. It’s discouraging.
“We felt like we had a good plan going in. We wanted to get Steven the ball. We
felt like we would be stout enough up front to push him. On our first goal-line
play in the first half, we had two guys get beat up front. That pushed us back.
Then we had a little bit of communication on the toss play. That is a great
source of disappointment and frustration.
“A lot of it is attitude down there. You know you’re going to get a stacked
box. You know you have one-on-one match-ups for the most part up front. You
have to hope the plan that you have gives your plays a chance to knock somebody
off the ball and with 39 carrying the ball, we feel pretty good about him. When
you look at his statistics from a year, he was the best in the league there was
in short-yardage situations.”
Re: Tinoisamoa's loss will be huge
Early on??? and.....what about the rest of the game?
Originally Posted by RamWraith
Re: Tinoisamoa's loss will be huge
Pisa's loss will be felt not only on D but on special teams. He's been playing very well in that capacity.
la....Gus is like a woman you look at through beer goggles. Looks great at the beginning of the night, but when the haze wears off it's chew your arm off time.