Rams: Spagnuolo Transcript 7/27/09

(Opening Remarks)

“I just wanted a quick opportunity to say hello to everybody and to take any questions you have. As an update, the staff is here, we had a meeting at 11 and they are all fired up to go. The whole organization is excited, it’s that time of year.”

(On what he is thinking now that it is time to start after the tremendous buildup)

“It’s anxiety, it’s excitement, and there are a lot of unknowns. But that is what this thing is about. It’s a process. It’s a fun one, an enjoyable one. We will have some ups and downs. We know that going in, but I think everyone is looking forward to it.”

(On if there is anything to report on the unsigned draft picks)
“Not right now. I didn’t have a chance to check with (Executive Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer) Kevin (Demoff) on the way here, but I know he’s working hard on that.”

(On if it is a concern for him that they are unsigned)

“No, it’s the NFL. That’s about the way that it happens.”

(On what he knew about the personnel and talent level of the Rams coming in to the job)

“Well I know now more than I knew before. I researched it, like I research all teams. We played against them last year, so I had a little bit of an idea, but its tough to really get an idea on the team and its talent until you’re in a situation where you’re around them. And we’ve done that, we just haven’t put the pads on yet.”

(On what WR Ronald Curry brings to the team)

“Some veteran leadership, he’s got some size, he’s a character guy, and I thought that was a good move by (General Manager) Billy (Devaney).”

(On the competition at Wide Receiver)

“They are all battling with each other and that’s how I see it at all the positions. I don’t think that it is any different at wide receiver.”

(On the logic behind wanting to have two-a-days)

“We are scheduled for two-a-days, but at a certain point in training camp, the second practice alters. They won’t be two similar practices, and we will change them after the early part of training camp.”

(On the possibility of injuries with two practices each day)

“Well you’re always concerned about injuries and you’re always balancing that as a head coach. How much do you hit, or how much do you go live? And then try and weigh out if you are going to get hurt by that. I know one thing, that when you get in-season it’s hard to have guys banging around then, and to think that players can get ready with Four live preseason games, I don’t think you can do it like that, so there has got to be some in there.”

(On how he feels his training camp will compare to others around the league in difficulty)

“I don’t know what the other camps will be like except for the two that I’ve been with. This camp may be easier than some other teams, but I don’t know that. My only reason for that statement to the team was that when they got a new staff, there were a lot of unknowns for them, and I don’t want to hit them with any surprises. I just wanted to make sure they were ready for anything. I guess if someone went to all 32 camps they could determine whether ours was tougher. I’m sure some of the players will find it easy and some will find it more difficult.”

(On what kind of tone he wants to set at camp)

“Our practices from the spring were up-tempo and we are going to try to maintain that, we believe in that. But I do think there is going to have to be some live, physical play in order for us to assess the talent we have and make the right decisions. And again, from a coaching standpoint, there is a lot we don’t know about our football team and a lot that the players don’t know about our coaching staff.”

(On if there is still offense and defense that has to be put in)

“I would say the bulk of it is in there. I wouldn’t put a number on it but as we get closer to games we will put specific plays in.”

(On if the Rams need to be tougher this year than last year)

“I’m just worried about this year.”

(On the team’s mental toughness)

“I think the leaders of the team have to instill that or be that. I think it’s a feel, experience that the coaches have had in the league and with other players. But we will find out who is mentally tough and who’s not.”

(On if the players who had offseason surgery will be able to participate)
“We are going to be a little careful with Derek (Stanley), because he really didn’t do any practices. But other than that, I think were going to be ok. I know Keenan Burton didn’t practice towards the end so we will see where he’s at once he gets here.”

(On if all players are required to stay at the hotel)

(On two different reporting dates for players)

“I think I wanted to do it just one day, and what we are calling two rookie practices, some QB’s and Veterans. More than anything it helps the coaches knock the rust off. It gets them a couple practices on the field, and then we get into full swing with the full team.”

(On how many guys will be in training camp)

“I don’t have an exact number.”

(On having trouble sleeping as a head coach)

“When you say that I get very humbled, I’m blessed to be standing here. And right now I really just want to worry about the players and the coaches.”

(On what they can accomplish with just a few guys during the first day of camp)

“The quarterbacks because they get out and throw a little bit. Gives a chance for the rookies to get in here and get settled without getting lost in the shuffle with the veterans.”

(On his first conversation with the team during training camp)

“I think it is important. I have been working on it. I think that it is very important.”

(On if he has seen any players step into leadership roles during the offseason)

“I have but I will not pick out specific guys. I would like to see some more guys step up.”

(On the advantages of training at the Russell Training Center)

“There is a comfort level like with the equipment. Everyone knows how to get around. At a university, there are more logistics involved. Hopefully we’ll pick up where we left off in the spring.”

(On the selected veterans arriving to camp a day earlier)

The league allows you anybody that had an off-season surgery, anybody that finished on IR, any player that does not have an accrued season. Quarterbacks are allowed. That’s who actually qualifies to come. We had two or three guys that could’ve been here that I told them they didn’t have to be.

(On the message to the team)

“That’s me and the team.”

(On the advantages of installing the Astroturf field outside)

We think it’s going to help us. Being here at training camp you’re going to put a lot of wear and tear on the grass fields and what we’ll try to do is rotate certain drills so we can save the grass. With some teams you’re away so wear and tear doesn’t hit your fields at all. I think the AtroTurf will give us an opportunity to save the fields, use it if the fields out here are wet because those get dug up when they’re wet. I think it gives us some flexibility and I think it looks really nice.

(On the importance of the team staying together at the hotel)

There’s tremendous importance. We’ll talk about team chemistry and bonding. It is all about team. The more you get to know each other, let’s face it, the closer you get to each other and the closer you can be. I think when push comes to shove and those hit those situations during the game where you’re going to lay it on the line for your buddy I do think it goes a long way.