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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Vitt Speaks! Fitzpatrick stays as starting QB

    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS
    12/13/2005

    Interim Rams coach Joe Vitt says he will stick with rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick until Marc Bulger is good to go again.

    But, yes, the youngster has a LOT of work to do after his ugly five-interception performance at Minnesota. “It’s tough to win a football game when you throw five interceptions,” Vitt said.

    “He is going to have to take his time. He has a good pocket, it’s a firm pocket. Knowing when to step up, get that hitch out, lead the receiver. I think pre-snap reads will be critical for him, where he is going to go with the ball . . . when it’s not there, check it to the back.

    “These are learning experiences for him right now, but it is expensive to the football team. So he has to continue to work.”

    Vitt doesn’t worry about that loss getting to Fitzpatrick.

    “That game is over, that’s history,” Vitt said. “He’s got to learn from it and move on. As an interim head coach, there are lots of things I worry about, things that I can control, I’m always thinking about. I’ll say this again, I don’t worry about him.

    “I think he’s tough, he’s mentally tough. He’s going to work hard to prepare himself. His teammates still believe in him. He’d like a couple of those throws back. But I don’t worry about him.”

    Here were some other thoughts from Vitt:

    On all the dropped passes by Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis and Co.: “It’s timing, it really is, especially on the deep ins and the deep outs. Where is the ball going to be? Some of Fitz’s balls yesterday, some were on the back shoulder. Believe me, Torry and Isaac are doing everything they can to help Fitz. Same with Kevin.”

    On the need to run the ball more: “Forty-five throws for Ryan is still too much. By halftime, because we were involved in two two-minute drills, it got out of balance there a little bit. It was 19-14, something like that, at the half . . . Then it became a two-score game. In retrospect, probably still try to run it a little bit more.

    “We had good field position second half offensively. Just try to pound it down there. I let that get away from me a little bit. I was probably a better first-half coach than second half. I’ve just got to keep my disciplined in the second half.

    “We have to try to stay balanced.”

    On Steven Jackson missing the hole on the failed fourth-and-two play: “There was a lane there. Steven has to hit it. Steven knows it. I think this, I think Steven is the kind of guy, the more you give him the ball, the more he gets into the rhythm. We just have to get him the ball more.

    “I thought Madison (Hedgecock) did a real good job on the lead block. Madison continues to get better. I think that Madison is a younger type of Moose Johnston. He’s opening up same lanes for Steven. Steven has to get confidence in that. It was there.”

    On using Marshall Faulk more: “I thought we have a good quads package for him, had a good trap package. He’s a pro. He wants to play. He wants to compete, he wants to contribute. The more touches we can get him, the better.”

    On the quality of the team’s tackling: “I thought we improved our tackling defensively, except for two series . . . I thought we played better fundamentally on defense. We got lined up quicker. There was improvement. It’s not good enough. There was improvement.”

    On the play of linebacker Brandon Chillar, filling in for the injured Dexter Coakley: “Pretty good. That was a big step for him yesterday. We put him into some positions that we haven’t done all year long, putting him on the line of scrimmage on the tight end, something he does better than Dexter. I thought he did a good job in the running game. I thought he did a good job managing our dogs and blitzes. I thought he was well-prepared for the game. I wasn’t surprised because he had a good work of practice.”

    On the play of the offensive line: “I thought our offensive line really did a good job protecting the quarterback yesterday. I thought our protections were sound. I thought we gave Ryan a firm pocket. They competed, they battled.

    “We knew it was going to be tough in the running game, but there were some creases there. We got positive yards. Only two tackles for losses yesterday on offense. That was a plus.”

    On the failure to sack Brad Johnson: “We were coming scot-free and he’s a veteran quarterback. On his third step, he is getting the ball out, he’s not going to take a sack, he’s not really going to throw the interception. He’s going to get rid of the ball. He’s not a quarterback that’s going to take negative yards.

    “The pressure package was excellent. We put him on the ground something like 18 times. So that was good. That was encouraging. We obviously disrupted his rhythm. I thought we disrupted the rhythm of the offense, except for two series. That was something we could probably build off of.”

    On his belief that the team played hard: “It shouldn’t be surprising to anybody the effort this team gives. I thought we had a great week of preparation. I thought our players’ intent was great. We went up there to win a football game. Our football team was heartbroken it didn’t get done. It is what it is. The effort is going to be there, that’s just who they are.”

    On his coaching philosophy now that the Rams are officially out of the playoff hunt: “We have one goal, and that’s to win football games. That’s our only goal. In practice, our goal is ongoing skill development. Every player to get better every single day.

    “There’s two types of players in the National Football League, those that are getting better and those that are getting worse. The ones that are getting better, they are ascending players. They maximize their earning power. Those that are getting worse, are descending players. A descending player, if he doesn’t try to get better, it could be catastrophic for his career and his earning power.

    “We’re going to work every single day. The practice structure is not going to change. The weightlifting structure is not going to change. The fine system is still in place. The accountability factor is still there.”


  2. #2
    CanadianRam!'s Avatar
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    Re: Vitt Speaks! Fitzpatrick stays as starting QB

    well mayb one more game for fitz
    then we can tryout smoker

  3. #3
    Rampage39's Avatar
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    Re: Vitt Speaks! Fitzpatrick stays as starting QB

    great another game with harvard at the helm.
    i rather see martin in the game, may not have a ton of arm strength but atleast he is accurate with his throws. hes also 3-0 as a starter. i know all you want to lose out but how would the players feel if we finished 5-11 or 6-10. a better record would help lure free agents and increase confidence going into next year which may help this team more rather than a higher draft pick.
    Last edited by Rampage39; -12-13-2005 at 12:18 AM.

  4. #4
    tim
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    Re: Vitt Speaks! Fitzpatrick stays as starting QB

    well since we're out of the playoff hunt i see no reason to not play the kid the rest of the season. nothing can be better for him than playing experience, especially in a situation where realistically there is not a ton of pressure.

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