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  1. #1
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    Vitt's Press Conference

    Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt

    Press Conference

    Monday, November 28, 2005



    (Opening statement)

    “We met with the players this morning and one of the first things our coaches and our players wanted to do is recognize the accomplishments of Isaac Bruce. With his catches yesterday he went over the 12,000-yard mark. I believe he has <65> yards more to go to get into the top 10 , to surpass Charlie Joiner, a Hall of Famer. With his 795 receptions, I think he was 24 more to go to surpass Steve Largent . Just a phenomenal career for Isaac Bruce. It’s special for me because I was with him 10 years ago in L.A. when we drafted him. He’s a better person than he is a player. If you look at the play made yesterday when we had a turnover, and he strips the ball-carrier. We regain possession and score. That’s just the kind of guy he is. So we wanted to congratulate him this morning, our players and our coaches did.



    “Other than that, I kind of feel the same as I did last night. It was a story of two halves. We were ugly in the first half, and battled back in the second half and made plays when we had to make them. Our guys played smart and hard for the whole second half. The margin of error was very, very little, so we got back into it. And my hat’s off to the guys. They played to the very end and some good things happened for them. I was happy for them that they got the win.”



    (On whether he expected QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to play as well as he did)

    “I’ll tell you, Mike said this in training camp. Mike thought this was the best young prospect that he’s ever had. And that’s a big statement coming from Mike Martz, you know. He ran the scout team quarterback for us for the last 10 weeks, and you see his arm strength and you see his mobility. very, very smart individual, does a good job with presence in the huddle. So I don’t think anybody on our football team was surprised. In this league you have to bring the next guy on, and he did a great job for us.”



    (On whether the offense had to be pared down when Fitzpatrick entered the game)

    “No. We run what we run, and he ran the whole offense.”



    (On how well Fitzpatrick connected with WRs Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce after never having been in a huddle with them before)

    “Football players make football plays, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is obviously a good football player. We know about Torry and Ike . You run the routes. If you know what to do with the quarterback and where to go with the ball, those guys will be there. And that’s what happens yesterday.”



    (On whether seeing Fitzpatrick scrambling made him nervous)

    “I think that’s what he does best. When the protection starts to break down he’s not giving up on the play. He’s trying to make the impromptu play. I think what’s impressive about him is when it breaks down he knows where people are and where to go with the ball.”



    (On whether Fitzpatrick performance means that he will get the next start)

    “I’m not here to discuss that right now. He’ll wait and see.”



    (On QB Jamie Martin’s injury status)

    “Jamie is at an ophthalmologist right now. It’s his right eye. So we’ll have to wait and evaluate that.”



    (On T Orlando Pace’s injury status)

    “Orlando is getting an MRI right now. We’ll see how that comes out.”

    (On whether a situation where there is no other option is the best situation for starting an upcoming rookie quarterback)

    “You know, I don’t know. I think if he’s our next available quarterback and it’s his turn to play, he has to learn the plays and we have to go win. I’m not that deep of a thinker. I really don’t know. He’s obviously prepared to play the other day. He had a good week of practice last week, and he went in and did what he prepared for.”



    (On how much help veterans like Holt and Bruce are to a young quarterback)

    “What do you think? These guys are potential Hall of Famers, who run meticulous routes, love to play, they are going to finish every route, they are going to stay alive. If that doesn’t excite you as a young quarterback, I don’t know what would.”



    (On whether Fitzpatrick’s performance at Houston factors in to the starting quarterback)

    “What did I just say to you? We’re not going to talk about that right now.”



    (On K Jeff Wilkin’s performance at Houston)

    “We talked about that this morning too . Somebody asked me in the press conference last night, have I ever seen a quarterback in 27 years perform like Fitz did yesterday. And I thought Kelly Stouffer may have back in Seattle in <1988>. But Wilkins is the best kicker I have ever been around. You talk about a gamer now. hits the 47-yarder, it’s like he’s hitting an eight-iron, poof, gone. comes back, we get the onsides kick, perfection. They had no chance, they really don’t. Then comes back against the best kickoff return guy in the league and it out the back of the end zone. Huge. Just a consummate professional. The tougher the situation, the more he enjoys it. His teammate have great respect for him. He’s the best. He really is. He’s the best.”



    (On whether there is something special that makes his onsides kicks more successful)

    “You have to hit the top of the ball so that it hits first and rolls and spirals, and it gets some height on it. It’s not easy to do. It’s an art.”



    (On whether it is unique to have a marquee receiver on the ‘hands’ teams)

    “Torry Holt is not Terrell Owens. It’s not the hands unit; it’s the onsides kick unit. He’s on our hands unit also, but that’s Torry. Put your best players out there. The game is on the line; he wants to be out there.”



    (On whether CB Chris Johnson benefits in the long-run from being targeted like he was at Houston)

    “I think it did a little bit in the second half. Give the kid credit. He came back and competed in the second half and was better in the second half than he was in first half. Was it good enough? We’ll see, we’ll see. We made some big mistakes in the first half. Then he’s offsides on a kickoff team we recover a fumble. The kid went out in the second half and competed. He’s going to have to set his jaw and come back and practice. And he’s going to have to grow up quick, and he’s going to have to get better quick because they’re not postponing any games.”



    (On what made the difference for the defense as a whole in the second half)

    “I think technique. I think technique and getting lined up. I hear this all the time about, boy we made great second-half adjustments. I hear it all through the league. And I look at the film and see them playing the same front, the same coverage, but they played better. We played Cover One, we played Cover Two, we played Cover Three, we played Cover Four. 31 other teams do that. When you’re competing in the National Football League, you have to out-technique your opponent and you have to execute better than your opponent. And that’s what we did in the second half. There was no magical formula. was no great chalk talk at the half. We just played better technique and out-executed them.”



    (On whether there is a reason the team out-performed Houston in the second half)

    “If there was, I’d bottle and sell it. Why things happened that didn’t in the first half yesterday is mind-boggling. It’s ugly; it’s really ugly, but to our players’ credit, they came back and cleaned it up in the second half and came back under adverse circumstances and got the win.”



    (On whether pride was a factor in the comeback)

    “I think it always does, it always does. This is a game of pride, it’s a game of poise, it’s a game of preparation. If you have those combinations in combination with some skilled athletes and athleticism, now you have a chance.”



    (On how T Alex Baron played having to switch from right tackle to left tackle)

    “He really did well. He really did well. He’s a better run-blocker than I think I ever game him credit for, looking at some college film of him last year. He’s nasty. He has athleticism. He has length. He wants to play. He takes practice very, very seriously. He has a chance to really be special.”



    (On the performance of T Rex Tucker)

    “This was tough for him now. He threw him out there at right tackle, and he’s had limited snaps out there. He competed. He struggled at times, but he’s a tough guy that is accountable. What he lacks sometimes in athleticism and knowledge he makes up in toughness.”





    (On LB Pisa Tinoisamoa and his interception against the Texans)

    “I don’t know if it was the high point of his season, but I think Pisa has really played well and at a high level all year long. I made this statement to some people yesterday; I think he’s clearly one of the top 15 or 20 linebackers in the National Football league. He’s one of those guys that can combine it all. He’s a three-down player who can cover man-to-man, he’s a good zone-dropper, and he’s a good blitzer. He has great zone awareness. He has big play ability. He’s gained weight now. He’s up to 230 pounds, so he could really, if he wanted to, play all three positions, sam, mike or will. He’s our signal caller. He’s really a bright, young individual. So, it was good for our football team to have him do that yesterday.”



    (On starting LB Trev Faulk instead of LB Chris Claiborne)

    “ just production. Technically, he has to work on some technique things now. He has to play with a better pad level and better footwork. We got more production out of that position yesterday. We haven’t shut the door on Chris. Chris is going to get more work next week. At this point, when we played yesterday, we’re going to do whatever we can to put our best 11 players on both sides of the ball out there. We’re going to judge that on how they do in practice. If you perform well in practice, then you’re going to get the chance to play. If not, it’s the next guy’s turn.”



    (On the blitz protection against the Texans)

    “We blew two protections, and the other one, the quarterback held the ball too long. In this league, you have three, five and seven-step drops, and when your back foot hits the line, the ball has to be gone. Most people in the National Football League in 3.2 to 3.4 seconds, the ball has to be off. If not, then you’re toying with danger. So, it was a combination of both.”



    (On C Andy McCollum)

    “I think the center on your football team is the heart and soul of your football team. He’s going to handle the ball every time, just like the quarterback. He’s going to set all the protections. He’s going to set all the line slants. He’s going to make sure that you have the right combination of blocks. He has to be durable for the fact that he can block a four-man front, or like yesterday, block a nose who set up on him all day long. It was Seth Payne, who’s a good player. Andy just doesn’t miss any games, very rarely misses a mental assignment. He’s here every day working to get better. Good football player.”



    (On what the win does for the players psychologically)

    “I don’t know. We won the game. I guess against all odds in the second half, the guys kept battling. It goes to show that if you play for 60 minutes and play the echo of the whistle on every play, you have faith in one another and a strong belief system, anything’s possible. I’m happier for our staff and our football players, because we had a good week of practice last week, and I don’t know how many good practices we were still going to have if we didn’t have some success to show for it. We keep preaching what you’re doing; practice is what’s going to happen in the game. It’s been an amazing group of athletes who have stuck together through all this. To be down 24-3 at the half and come back to do what they did, it’s a great tribute to them.”



    (On S Adam Archuleta, CB DeJuan Groce and G/T Blaine Saipaia)

    “Groce should be okay, Saipaia should be okay. They both had some more testing done today. We’ll see about Arch . He went to see a specialist in L.A. on Friday. We’re just kind of in a holding pattern with all three guys. We’re hoping all three guys will be okay, but we’ll have to wait and see until we get the results back.”





    (On the referees’ discussion of WR Kevin Curtis’ touchdown in overtime)

    “I still haven’t had a ruling on any of that. When Kevin caught the ball, the first thing I did when I saw him break the second line of defense is I looked back and I saw no flags. I don’t know what the discussion was. We’re all just kind of mingling out there waiting to see what the final verdict was. They said it was a touchdown, and it sounded good to me. I was just getting off the field, so I don’t know what the discussion was. Trev Faulk was over by the discussion, and he said there was some discussion that we had an illegal formation. We went back and checked today, and we were legal in everything that we did. We saw no flags, so I really don’t know what the discussion was.”



    (On if no flag is thrown, can the referees still call an infraction)

    “Not to my knowledge, a flag has to be thrown on the infraction.”



    (On QB Jamie Martin)
    “He’s seeing an opthomologist this afternoon, and we’ll see where that takes us.”



    (On if he’s not given a medical ok if the Rams would add another quarterback)

    “That’s hypothetical right now. Let’s get through today and see where we stand with him, and we’ll evaluate it tomorrow.”



    (On the composure of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick)

    “You’re with this kid in training camp. You’re with this kid in the mini-camp. Mike has made the statement this is the only quarterback he’s coached that he hasn’t gotten mad at. He just does not make mistakes. He has poise and presence, and the game is not too big for him. He desperately wants to play, and then is given the chance. I said yesterday, I think he’s the type of guy that plays better than he practices. There were a lot of great quarterbacks in our league that were like that, Joe Montana being one of them. I think he’s the type of guy that when he gets into the game, everything goes in slow motion for him. He sees the game clock. He knows when to put the guys in motion. He breaks the huddle, and he has poise getting a pre-snap read. He drops back and puts the ball where it needs to be put. His throws are accurate. They’re online with great anticipation. He’s a special guy. He really is.”



    (On if it was bothering Head Coach Mike Martz to not pick Fitzpatrick until the seventh round)
    “Mike slots these guys pretty well, but I know Mike liked him all along and rightfully so.”



    (On Martz’s opinion of Fitzpatrick’s play)

    “He called me today and was all excited. He really was. He was very, very proud. A proud father, you know?”



    (On who received game balls)
    “I gave one to Bill Kollar because it was his birthday. Then we gave one to Isaac for breaking that record. We gave one to Wilkie , and we gave one to Fitz .”



    (On having WRs Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce healthy)

    “Those guys are special guys, and they’re getting healthier and healthier. They’re getting their timing down in practice. They’re taking their full compliment of practice reps, which is critical. So, hopefully we can stay healthy, continue to grow and see where this takes us.”



    (On if he thought about putting RB Marshall Faulk in with Fitzpatrick because of Faulk’s experience)

    “Marshall played when was in there, but we didn’t change the structure of our packages. We didn’t change the structure of our play calling. The guys are given a playbook every week, and they know the plays that are up, they know the routes that are up and everybody is responsible to know them. You never know when your number is going to be called. Fitz is a smart guy. I think you need more than a valid fishing license to get into Harvard. He takes his job very, very seriously and studies hard, prepares well, so most of the time, good things happen. But no, that was never a thought.”



    (On RB David Allen being inactive)
    “This was something we had to make a decision Friday afternoon on. We thought on Thursday and Friday that Orlando would be better than he was. We knew he was going to try to go, but in the end we did the right thing, because we started to get some injuries on the offensive line and had to start getting some people in there. So, we’ll evaluate that this week just like we did last week.”


  2. #2
    bruce_wannabe Guest

    Re: Vitt's Press Conference

    well lets hope that fitzpatrick starts this weekend

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Vitt's Press Conference

    (On starting LB Trev Faulk instead of LB Chris Claiborne)

    “Just production. Technically, he has to work on some technique things now. He has to play with a better pad level and better footwork. We got more production out of that position yesterday. We haven’t shut the door on Chris. Chris is going to get more work next week. At this point, when we played yesterday, we’re going to do whatever we can to put our best 11 players on both sides of the ball out there. We’re going to judge that on how they do in practice. If you perform well in practice, then you’re going to get the chance to play. If not, it’s the next guy’s turn.”
    Interesting, especially since The Sporting News is reporting that "the Rams signed Claiborne largely on Vitt's recommendation." But if Faulk is doing better, then give him the start.


    (On if it was bothering Head Coach Mike Martz to not pick Fitzpatrick until the seventh round)

    “Mike slots these guys pretty well, but I know Mike liked him all along and rightfully so.”

    (On Martz’s opinion of Fitzpatrick’s play)

    “He called me today and was all excited. He really was. He was very, very proud. A proud father, you know?”
    Okay, in the back of my mind, why am I reminded of Mike Holmgren and Matt Hasselbeck?

    Hasselbeck was drafted by Green Bay in the sixth round in 1998 when Holmgren was still the coach. Holmgren left for Seattle after that season, but traded for Hasselbeck two years later.

    If Martz does leave the Rams, why do these comments make me wonder if he'd do what Holmgren did and try to trade for the back-up QB he liked when with his previous team?
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  4. #4
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Vitt's Press Conference

    I think he was 24 more to go to surpass Steve Largent
    I bet there's a whole lot of broken leg prayers coming out of the Emerald City about now.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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