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  1. #1
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    Vitt's Monday Press Conference

    Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt

    (Opening statement)

    “I don’t feel any different than I did after the game last night. We let a great opportunity to win a football game get away with 1:30 left to go in the third quarter. It was a 10-7 game, we miss a tackle on a bootleg that should be a 4-yard gain, it goes for 33 yards, we give up a long third-down pass play for 35 yards and we have the guy triple teamed. You can’t win that way. Too many missed tackles on defense. The first half we go 28 plays and give up 100 yards, and then we have three plays that we give up, I think, 126 yards. Same plays, same guys playing the play. It’s about execution. So we’ll go back to work on Wednesday and find a way to get this thing done.”

    (On LB Dexter Coakley status and whether he has had surgery)

    “Not yet. I’m going to give him a call this afternoon. It’s going to be up to him when he gets it done, but it has to be in the next couple days. He’s going to have to get a plate put in his leg, and that stay in for, I think, three months and it comes out. And he had the dislocated ankle also. So it has to be done fairly quickly. Sooner than later.”

    (On whether he was able to talk to Coakley today)

    “No, I talked to him last night for a long period of time. His wife, I think, is due back in today, so they are trying to get some things squared away. But we’re sure going to miss his leadership. [He is a] character man.”

    (On how tough it is for a coach to see something like that happen to one of his players)

    “You know, the only thing I told him is that I’d do everything I could humanly possible to make sure that wasn’t his last snap yesterday. I’ll do everything I can to try to help him do whatever he wants with his career. Hopefully we’ll be together somewhere. [He is a] special guy, special guy.”

    (On whether he thinks the players will take the same approach as he does for the rest of the season)

    “They don’t have a choice. This is not a democracy now. There is only one way to play this game. There is only one way to practice this game. If they don’t want to do that, if anyone doesn’t want to do it, well then we’ll put the next guy in. I mean, that’s the way it is. I’ve said this before, the game has been too good to me, and it’s been too good to our coaches. We’re going to do it the right way and play it the right way or the next guy plays. And that’s fair, and that’s right. The great thing about this business now is, you know, we’re two games under .500, [with] four games to go. We’re all being evaluated, coaches, players, administrators. We’re all being evaluated. And I think your true character is going to be exposed in tough times, and they are tough right now. So it’s time to put up or shut up. What you do speaks so well; there is no need to hear what you have to say. Let’s go to work.”

    (On whether he thinks the players feel that way also)

    “I didn’t put it up to a vote today. I didn’t put it up to a vote. Maybe they ought to start worrying how I feel. My feelings are hurt.”

    (On whether he thinks the team has been too democratic in the past)

    “What, when I became interim head coach? Was it too much of a democracy? We didn’t vote on anything as far as I know. There was nothing put to a vote. Players play and coaches coach. And that’s the only kind of football I have ever been around. Now we’re all held accountable, all at the end of the day, held accountable. Everything is taped, everything is replayed, it’s in print. So be it.”

    (On whether QB Marc Bulger will be able to play)

    “No, he’s not going to be ready this week.”

    (On whether Bulger will be able to play in the future)

    “At some point, I’m sure.”

    (On whether he is committed to going with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick until Bulger is ready)

    “That’s hypothetical right now. Let’s get Marc healthy. Let’s see where Fitz goes. Hey, he has a long way. We have to help Fitz out. We went in to that game, by halftime we’re asking Fitz to win it for us because we couldn’t run the ball and we couldn’t execute. We did nothing to help that kid yesterday. Unless we balance our attack out and unless we get more technically sound, we’re not going to give that kid a chance. What, 49 yards rushing? Come on. We didn’t do anything to help that kid. I don’t care, you could put the second-coming of Joe Montana back there or Johnny Unitas or whoever you want, when you get those kind of numbers and protections the way they were, there’s no chance.”

    (On whether it makes sense to give Fitzpatrick game experience at this point in the season)

    “What we’re going to do [is] we’re going to do everything we can and we’re going to put the best players on the field available to us, to give us the best chance to win. That’s what we’re going to do, and we’re here to win football games. It’s always been my opinion that I don’t think any player should ever lose his job through injury. And Marc Bulger has done great things for us. [He is] a great character individual, cares, prepares hard. And as soon as Marc is ready to go, Marc will go.”

    (On whether Fitzpatrick will be the quarterback until Bulger is ready)

    “Yeah.”

    (On what he saw on tape about the running problems)

    “About our running game? The numbers don’t lie. The numbers don’t lie. We have five linemen that have to block four down linemen. We have a tight end and a back that have a responsibility for two or three linebackers. We have to get a hat on a hat; we have to sustain blocks; we have to create running lanes, and take it from there. Now, they are allowed to put an extra guy in the paint. They are allowed to do that. Well, it’s up to us to have a number count and either go with a check with me and get out of the play, or make sure we run away from it. It’s not universally new to do that. We have to run the ball better. He have to. We have to balance our attack. We have to play in a special way right now because of the personnel we have, or we’re not going to have a chance…we’re not going to have a chance. We can’t go into a football game asking Fitz to throw the ball 50 times a game and let him win it for us. We can’t do it. We have to run the football.”

    (On if he was disappointed with the way Washington physically took the game to the Rams)

    “I think with 1:30 left to go in the game, it’s a manageable game. They’re breaking plays, and they’re breaking runs that we have defended three or four of the same runs out of the same three or four defenses, and all of a sudden we have a breakdown and there is a long run. You have to understand the nature of the defense. The defensive line has gap responsibilities. Linebackers play behind the line. If a back gets past the line, then the linebackers make the tackle. If the back gets past the linebackers, we have a position called safety. That’s a safety valve. That’s from the end zone to where the line of scrimmage is. It has to go past three people to get to the goal line. All of a sudden now, if we get it past the second level, we’re seeing 40, 50, 60-yard runs. We’re allowed to play with 11 people too. We have to tackle. This is a great time right now, because all of a sudden when things like that start to happen, it’s this. Players and coaches are notorious, they can smell the house burning before the match is even lit. Believe me. We have to tackle. We have to get off blocks. That’s what it’s all about.”

    (On if the Rams are running out of options for the secondary)

    “Oh, we’ve run out of options. We’re playing everybody we have right now. We have no options. We’re putting the best players we have available to us on the field right now.”

    (On how the Rams tackle better)

    “Let me tell you something, how many guys in here have played football? If you’re a defensive player, you start to play defensive football because you like contact and you like to tackle. It’s the staple of our sport on defense, and if you can’t tackle, you have to go find another profession. You really do. We work on it every day in practice, and with the preseason we’re at, what, game 16 now, and we’re missing tackles face up on somebody? We’re looking them right in the eye and they’re either running over us or running around us. If you can’t tackle, you can’t play. The next guy has to come on. All of a sudden now, ‘oh geez, that’s a bad call by [defensive coordinator] Larry Marmie. Oh geez, that’s a bad technique by [secondary coach] Kurt Schottenheimer. Make the play, make the tackle. Are you going to back up for your paycheck today? What are you going to do? You get paid to do a job, go do the job.”

    (On the players wanting to make the tackle)

    “You’ll have to ask them. I don’t think it’s a lack of courage. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence. Maybe I should pat them on the butt a little more, blow on their ear, make them feel better about themselves, get that air hose out and pump them up. Make the tackle. We’re not splitting the atom in this business. We’re not finding a cure for cancer. The guy with the ball, you want to tackle, and when you get two hands on him, bring him to the ground. Don’t let him run through you, don’t let him run around you, bring him to the ground.”

    (On if Fitzpatrick has enough of a grasp of the offense for the checks)

    “Well, we’ll see. Obviously, he’s working very hard right now to grasp a lot of this stuff. We have some thoughts since early this morning about how we maybe want to attack Minnesota, what we want to do. We’ll try to unfold some of these things as the week goes on. You don’t have to read all of our mail right now, but we’re trying to get some things going.”

    (On if he admires Fitzpatrick’s play against the Redskins)

    “I have no problem with the way he played, I really don’t. I think we have to help him.”

    (On LB Chris Claiborne)

    “I thought he had his best day yesterday. When we went back and looked at the tape, he was getting off blocks, showed some range. It was his most productive day. He did a good job in the zone drops. He did a good job of coming up in the zone drops and making plays on the ball carrier. He did a good job.”

    (On why Claiborne did not start against the Redskins and against the Texans)

    “We were just giving him a little wake up call, that’s all. Trev [Faulk] came in to work yesterday and was sick. He played a lot of special teams, was dehydrated the whole game, so Chris had to go, and he made the most of the opportunity. He responded like a man, and I was proud of him.”

    (On if RB Marshall Faulk getting more touches would help the running game)

    “Not unless he has wings and can fly. There has to be a running lane. There has to be somewhere to run the football, and if there is, Steven [Jackson] will find it. There was no running lane yesterday, none.”

    (On if RB Steven Jackson is frustrated)

    “You’ll have to ask him that. I didn’t have office hours today.”

    (On how he is keeping his own sanity while being the interim head coach)

    “I get to spend a lot of time with you guys every day, it’s wonderful for me. It keeps me centered, focused. I’m okay, you’re okay.”

    (On if he has the luxury of pulling guys out with the injuries)

    “Absolutely, sure we do. We’re going to put the best 11 out there on both sides of the ball. You know what happens now too, you have to be careful. All of a sudden, we lose a game yesterday the way we lost it, a 10-7 game with 1:30 left to go in the third quarter. Not everything is wrong, not everything. There are a lot of guys out there busting their ass making some plays on both sides of the ball. A lot of guys are out there coaching their butts off to try to get these guys better too, so not everything is wrong. We keep having the same mistakes over and over again week after week. We have been curtailed a little bit because of injuries, but I’m not going to tell you at any time that injuries are an excuse for failure or for losing, because they’re not. If a guy plays bad, I don’t think he gives his money back, does he? I didn’t play too good this week, here take that, I don’t want that. You’re getting paid to do a job, do the job.”

    (On S Adam Archuleta and CB Travis Fisher)

    “Fisher is getting reevaluated today, and I would suspect that Arch[uleta] is going to be okay. It was nip and tuck yesterday at game time to activate Arch or deactivate him. He wanted to go, but he didn’t feel very good on Friday. On Wednesday and Thursday, he got through practice, but wasn’t his normal self. He was slow to react to things. I think I said this to you guys yesterday, to activate him and put him in to play and something happen to him, I’d never forgive myself. He should be better this week, he’s itching to play.”

    (On if he’s convinced that the players are being coached to the best of the coaching staff’s ability)

    “Yeah, I believe that, and let me say this to you too. We’re all in this together, and after a certain amount of time, if the same mistakes are being made over and over again, by either the same player or the same unit, either we’re accepting it, or we’re coaching it. That’s all there is to it. If we’re not doing those two things and it keeps occurring, we have to make a change. Now, as you said over there, there is only a certain pool of players that we can pick from because of the injury situation, but there’ll be a due date. This too shall pass. We’re going to find a way to get the best 11 guys on both sides of the ball. I firmly believe that, and we’re all being evaluated. You either thrive on that, you enjoy that, or you don’t. If you don’t, then you’re in the wrong business.”


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Vitt's Monday Press Conference

    Classic press conference, it sounds like. Some stuff I'd like to point out...


    (On how tough it is for a coach to see something like that happen to one of his players)

    “You know, the only thing I told him is that I’d do everything I could humanly possible to make sure that wasn’t his last snap yesterday. I’ll do everything I can to try to help him do whatever he wants with his career. Hopefully we’ll be together somewhere. [He is a] special guy, special guy.”
    Wow, makes you wonder if Coakley's time in St. Louis really is done.


    (On whether he is committed to going with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick until Bulger is ready)

    “That’s hypothetical right now."

    (On whether Fitzpatrick will be the quarterback until Bulger is ready)

    “Yeah.”
    Heh, so he dodges the question the first time it's asked, but then answers it the second time.


    (On what he saw on tape about the running problems)

    “About our running game? The numbers don’t lie. The numbers don’t lie. We have five linemen that have to block four down linemen. We have a tight end and a back that have a responsibility for two or three linebackers. We have to get a hat on a hat; we have to sustain blocks; we have to create running lanes, and take it from there. Now, they are allowed to put an extra guy in the paint. They are allowed to do that. Well, it’s up to us to have a number count and either go with a check with me and get out of the play, or make sure we run away from it. It’s not universally new to do that. We have to run the ball better. He have to. We have to balance our attack. We have to play in a special way right now because of the personnel we have, or we’re not going to have a chance…we’re not going to have a chance. We can’t go into a football game asking Fitz to throw the ball 50 times a game and let him win it for us. We can’t do it. We have to run the football.”
    Thank you, Joe Vitt, for singling out the BLOCKING.


    (On how the Rams tackle better)

    “Let me tell you something, how many guys in here have played football? If you’re a defensive player, you start to play defensive football because you like contact and you like to tackle. It’s the staple of our sport on defense, and if you can’t tackle, you have to go find another profession. You really do. We work on it every day in practice, and with the preseason we’re at, what, game 16 now, and we’re missing tackles face up on somebody? We’re looking them right in the eye and they’re either running over us or running around us. If you can’t tackle, you can’t play. The next guy has to come on. All of a sudden now, ‘oh geez, that’s a bad call by [defensive coordinator] Larry Marmie. Oh geez, that’s a bad technique by [secondary coach] Kurt Schottenheimer. Make the play, make the tackle. Are you going to back up for your paycheck today? What are you going to do? You get paid to do a job, go do the job.”

    (On the players wanting to make the tackle)

    “You’ll have to ask them. I don’t think it’s a lack of courage. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence. Maybe I should pat them on the butt a little more, blow on their ear, make them feel better about themselves, get that air hose out and pump them up. Make the tackle. We’re not splitting the atom in this business. We’re not finding a cure for cancer. The guy with the ball, you want to tackle, and when you get two hands on him, bring him to the ground. Don’t let him run through you, don’t let him run around you, bring him to the ground.”
    Love the attitude, but it's not producing results thus far.


    (On if RB Marshall Faulk getting more touches would help the running game)

    “Not unless he has wings and can fly. There has to be a running lane. There has to be somewhere to run the football, and if there is, Steven [Jackson] will find it. There was no running lane yesterday, none.”
    THANK YOU JOE VITT FOR SINGLING OUT THE BLOCKING!!!
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  3. #3
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Vitt's Monday Press Conference

    It all basically boils down to POOR COACHING !

    How can this line look good one week and the next it can't block?
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is online now Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Vitt's Monday Press Conference

    Is it me, or does it seem that Vitt really dislikes the press conference part of the interim head coach job?

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