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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Tinoisamoa's loss will be huge

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Monday, Nov. 26 2007

    COACHES SPEAK

    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
    surgery.

    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
    schemes.

    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:

    LINEHAN

    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
    decision.”

    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
    though.”

    HASLETT

    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
    responsibilities.”

    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
    more.

    “The quarterback was getting rid of the ball. You’re timing the quarterback. If
    you can get there in 2 ½ 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.”

    OLSON:

    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.”


  2. #2
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    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Tinoisamoa's loss will be huge

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Monday, Nov. 26 2007

    COACHES SPEAK


    OLSON:

    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.
    Early on??? and.....what about the rest of the game?

  3. #3
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    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.

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