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Head Coach Scott Linehan--Saturday, September 2

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  • Head Coach Scott Linehan--Saturday, September 2

    The Quote Sheet - Saturday

    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    (Opening Statement) “We’re in September, you can tell. The weather’s
    changed a bit. I’m sure we’re due some warmer days still, I haven’t
    been through a calendar year in St. Louis, but it’s a pretty nice day.
    Down to 53, so if you have any questions on that certainly ask me.
    Some tough decisions. Probably since my time here, that was probably
    my toughest night. They were all tough, but last night, went round and
    round on a couple, but you’ve got to make decisions, live with them and
    move on. I’m very happy with the group we have. I think we’ve got a
    very good roster. I’m pleased with the fact that we’re very healthy
    going into the first game. Now we’ve just got to go and put out a
    great effort here starting September 10th.”

    (On why QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was chosen over QB Dave Ragone) “I think
    Fitz [Patrick] having some extra time certainly gave him an advantage.
    He played well in practice and most of the preseason. I don’t think
    either one had their best night Thursday night, but it’s like I told
    Dave this morning when I met with him. Not one game made the decision
    for me or for anybody. He worked an uphill battle, and improved, and
    did well, and better every game he played until the last one. I said
    ‘You should have no regrets.’ He’ll have feelers from other people.
    He’s certainly someone who’s been here that is now familiar with what
    we’re doing, so I told him I wouldn’t forget about him. I go a long
    way back with him now and that was a tough one. I’ve done it…I left
    before his senior year when I was coaching him in college, and then I
    had to talk to him about this deal today, which was certainly not

    (On depth being the reason CB DeJuan Groce was cut) “No question. We’
    ve added some real quality depth to our secondary. We needed to. The
    battles were very good there. DeJuan did a nice job for us. I think
    he had an interception early in the preseason, I think I might have
    even been the Indianapolis game, but he did a nice job for us. Had a
    little set back with the hamstring injury, and that held him back
    some. It didn’t allow him to stay in that mode he was in as far as
    competing, but that was another tough one. It hampered him being able
    to help possibly making the team as a specialist because he was never
    100 percent healthy after he got that hamstring injury in training

    (On if the hamstring injury was what kept Groce out) “The hip flexor,
    and then his hamstring was bothering him this last week, so he was
    having some problems with both. He went as much as he could but it
    didn’t get any better. He did everything he could to get in there and
    play Thursday night but he just wasn’t ready so we kept him out.”

    (On CB Ron Bartell) “Ron had a tough transition. He’s in between. He
    played corner, we moved him to safety, then we started getting a few
    injuries or nicked up a bit, we moved him back to corner. He did it
    and never once blinked. He didn’t complain about it. He just did it
    and improved, improved at both. Where I noticed Ronnie more than
    anything is that I think he started showing up on special teams with
    making some nice plays and tackles on special teams. He’s one of those
    guys who’s got the physical characteristics you’re looking for and he’s
    certainly got the personality you’re looking for when it comes to a guy
    that’ll do whatever. He just improved little-by-little each day and I
    think that shows his upside ability. I’m very excited about his

    (On the decision to cut RB Fred Russell) “It was tough. Like I said,
    they all were tough. The signing of Stephen [Davis] certainly gives us
    a number two-type running back which is not a knock against [Tony] Fish
    [er] or Moe [Williams] or Freddy [Russell] or anybody, but he’s a
    proven player who’s done it, and did it last year. If he hadn’t
    probably had a problem with his knee, he wouldn’t be on our team. He’d
    still be at Carolina. They moved on, went to the younger players, and
    Stephen went through the disappointment of not being able to stay some
    place that he’d been for a while, but I think this is a new life for
    Stephen. It certainly is for us, to have a veteran player like that
    that’s going to be a great compliment to Steven Jackson. I’m really
    excited that we’ve got Stephen now.”

    (On his impressions of Davis from today’s practice) “He looked good.
    The first time we actually handed him the ball in team, he hit up in
    there so he ran up on everybody’s legs, and I was like ‘Wow, who was
    that?’ For a second I had to say ‘Who was that,’ and I turned around
    and I looked and it was Stephen. He came back and kind of tapped me
    and said ‘I’m back.’ It was fun. I know he’s real excited to be here
    and he’s a great addition to our team.”

    (On what LB Jamal Brooks and S Dwaine Carpenter brought to the table)
    “First of all, they improved their position. I think both were looked
    at as guys that if they made our team, they were going to really help
    special teams, which they do, and will have big roles there. I think
    Carpenter did a nice job at safety. Had a couple of good solid games,
    and a really solid camp. He makes his presence known on our special
    teams and is a big ranging-type safety that you’re looking for to give
    us good depth there. Jamal Brooks was a guy, I call him old school, he’
    s kind of one of those guys who plays with a sprained toe and doesn’t
    complain about it. He goes out there…you can’t tell the difference
    whether it’s pads or shorts. The guy plays at the same speed, running
    into everybody. He just played really good middle linebacker. He’s
    tough against the run, he’s a real heavy player, he’s proof that if you
    stick with it, don’t get frustrated, and you just take advantage of the
    opportunities you get, you’re bound to stick with somebody. He’s one
    of those guys, and he’s certainly earned his spot.”

    (On Brooks making the team because he played with an injury) “No
    question. If he didn’t feel he could play with it or if he wasn’t
    cleared to play with it, we’re not going to play a player. It’s one of
    those things that you can play as long as you can stand the pain. He
    never once…I never really knew until I’d seen him limp a little bit. I
    knew he had to be hurt because this guy never complains. Then it was
    getting kind of down towards the end and the day before we left for
    Miami he was running down full speed on that kickoff and I know he wasn’
    t healthy yet. He was doing whatever he could. It was that important
    to him to do whatever he could to make this football team, and those
    are the kind of guys we want on this team.”

    (On LB Tim McGarigle having a good camp) “No question. I met with Tim
    this morning. I’m crossing my fingers that we get him back on our
    practice squad. He’s certainly a guy who’s got a great future in this
    league. I told him this morning, ‘I hope you understand you’ve hit a
    position where we’ve provided better depth there and you and Jamal
    [Brooks] really battled it out to the end.’ I think there’s very few
    things that separate them. I think more than anything, it might be
    just a little bit more experience, but I think Tim has a great future
    in this league. I’m hoping he will still continue to be a Ram for us.”

    (On anyone making the team based on Thursday’s game) “I think Jamal is
    a good example. He gave up a couple of things because he was playing
    all over the place, but just the fact that we had Ronnie [Bartell]
    playing safety and moving to corner…he’s still going out making tackles
    on special teams and handling it, never once complaining about it,
    never once made an excuse, over came a penalty and just hung in there.
    I think a guy like Bartell’s a great example of a guy who just shows he’
    s going to persevere and he has that want to and has a great attitude,
    has a short memory, one of those kinds of guys. I think he’s certainly
    was one. I could name a number of guys, but I think those guys are
    good examples.”

    (On it being difficult to choose WR Marques Hagans over WR Dominique
    Thompson) “Oh yeah…I mean here’s two quality guys. I think in a lot of
    ways to be honest with you, I think Dominique, in a lot of ways, is a
    receiver. He is one of those guys that Henry [Ellard] spent countless
    hours working with and Dominique working with Henry to become a guy
    that we felt confident with, where as Marques, he’s not yet. He hasn’t
    had the time on the job. He’s got a great upside, but I think that was
    the toughest part. I think that’s another person I hope is still in a
    Rams uniform. You put those guys out there, certainly, you gamble that
    they could be picked up by somebody, but I’ve talked to both of them at
    length about coming back and being ready because they’re one injury or
    roster change from being away from being back on the 53-man roster.”

    (On Hagans' return ability helping secure his spot) “Yeah, and he’s
    going to have to continue to work there. He hasn’t proved that he’s
    going to be the returner next Sunday. That certainly has a lot to do
    with it.”

    (On the consideration of carrying four running backs until Stephen
    Davis gets into shape) “Yeah, but our plan, after we looked into it…and
    Paul’s done it. Paul Smith really can be the fourth emergency back.
    The problem is that Paul and Madison [Hedgecock] are both really big
    parts of our special teams, so if you carry the fourth back…it was
    certainly considered, but then you have to loose a fullback or a tight
    end. At the end, it all adds up to the number we had planned from the
    start, and it’s never perfect, but right now it’s the best 53 to get
    ourselves ready for next Sunday.”

    (On the 2006 Rams draft class) “I think the draft class is solid. I
    felt that way and I think some of them still have a long way to go.
    The fact that you’re drafted doesn’t guarantee you a spot, it certainly
    helps you though. You earn that right too. You’re a good enough
    player to be drafted where you were and I think that they all, for the
    most part, haven’t disappointed us that way. I think the biggest thing
    now and it’s still going to be proved over time I think these players
    all have great attitudes, the character of the group’s excellent, and I
    think all of them want to improve everyday and that’s really what we’re
    looking for. I think ultimately, a couple of years down the road we’ll
    be able to evaluate this class.”

    (On G Tony Palmer being released today) “He had a good camp. He’s
    another guy that will hopefully be in a Rams uniform come Tuesday. We’
    d love to have him back. When you release players you’re putting them
    out there, but he’s a guy that I think is going to develop into a real
    fine offensive guard in the NFL.”

    (On gauging how much the defensive additions will mean to the Rams
    during the Broncos game) “The great thing about it is that a lot of the
    additions are veterans. They know what Denver does and exactly what
    they’re going to do. They all play them and we got a little bit of an
    idea of how it would be when we played Houston in the preseason. We
    put a lot of time into that preseason game to ready ourselves some. We
    know what’s coming. They’re going to come downhill at us. Have that
    zone block scheme, run those nakeds and bootlegs, try to get themselves
    a lead so they can run it and run the play action game. I think what’s
    good is that our players do know. They know the league. We’re not
    necessarily in the same division, but I think very few people don’t
    understand what Mike Shanahan and the Broncos are trying to do. That
    helps that we have those veterans that have been there.”

    (On kickoff and punt returner situations) “I feel pretty good about
    Mac (WR Shaun McDonald) at punt return. Kickoff, we’re certainly going
    to use Kevin (Curtis). Now with the addition of Stephen (Davis), my
    whole time I’ve been possibly thinking about using Tony Fisher there.
    It’s going to be a different style. I told him you’ve got to return a
    kick like you’d run a run. You need to have an idea of where we want to
    be when we start that drive. You’ll end up getting probably some more
    yards, but he’s not going to try to do anything extraordinary. He’s
    going to get us that return hopefully. We’re going to continue to look
    at guys. I went around the room and I threw out names. There were
    some eyebrows raised at some of the names I threw out there, but you
    never know. Guys turn into pretty decent returners that you never
    really give a chance. We’ll still look for guys. If we can make our
    team better by adding a kickoff returner 15 minutes from now, we
    certainly would look into it. We would certainly entertain it.”

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan--Sept. 1
    by RamWraith
    (Opening statement)

    “I think you’ve got the release there. I just want to make an announcement that we’ve agreed to terms and signed Stephen Davis to our team. He’s obviously a proven back in this league as a starter, and as a number two, he compliments what we’re trying to get done in our running game. Steven Jackson is our starter, and will be, and has no impact on that for any reason other than it gives us depth and somebody who has really complimented and gotten to that part of his career where he can really compliment Steven and our efforts to improve our ability to be an effective running team this year. I’m very happy to say that we’re able to get it done, it took us a while, but sometimes you’ve got to be patient with these things and it worked out. We also had some initial cuts, we’re not completely to the 50-man roster yet. We broke them up into two groups so that I could meet with each player individually and we’ll have another set tomorrow morning that I’ll meet with after we decide who the final will be. We should have all those names there on your list as far as the initial cuts from our team which was trimmed down to 75 going into last weeks game. We’re coming out of the game fairly healthy. Obviously we didn’t play a lot of our starters in the game. Some of the guys that played were vying for spots and solidified themselves on this team by their play yesterday. Some guys took a step up from where they were on this team too which factored in big in filling out the rest of our roster.”

    (On why it took so long to sign RB Stephen Davis)

    “I think there was a little negotiation. He had some other options. He had Philly and he had other feelers out there and he’s at the point where he wants to go with what he feels is the best spot for him. You’d have to ask him the specifics around that. We had a good feel for him here. I think he’s going to fit our running game and the style we’re planning on running, and he has good familiarity with a lot of the terminology and the way we run the ball, which is pretty similar to what he did at Carolina and pretty close to what he was doing even going back to Washington. I think he’ll have good carry over there.”

    (On the condition of Davis’ playing shape)

    “We’re going to have to work him into shape. He’s going to have a real good workout with Dana and Brad today. Certainly, he isn’t going to have the ability to go back and say he got it done in training camp but I think he’s at the point in his career where a training camp can be kind of hard on a guy that is just, I don’t know how many months he is, out of micro fracture surgery, but I think he understands he’s not at the beginning of his career. He’s certainly towards the tail end. The one thing I got from his workout was that he looked very good. He looked very agile. I didn’t see any signs of a problem or any limping or anything like that. He...
    -09-01-2006, 08:20 PM
  • RamWraith
    Words from the coach
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    July 28, 2006

    (On training camp thus far)

    “Unfortunately we had to practice our emergency ‘go inside routine’, so we didn’t get to use the lights. They look nice, though. We’ll see if they work. Just a little wrap up: We talked yesterday after the first practice. We were a little flat, but we picked it up a great deal as far as our intensity and attention to detail. Our players certainly understand what we are asking and respond. Nobody’s backed down a bit. You could see the heat wear them down a bit today, but nobody ever really turned it in, which is what you’re looking for at this time of the year. I was relatively pleased the last two practices with where we’re headed.”

    (On how players are dealing with the heat, in particular needing IVs)

    “It’s not unusual. The heat index has been worse; it was worse last week. We checked it and knew it was safe to be out here. We script in a break, but we actually took two and got some wet towels. I think Jimmy (Kennedy) went in with some cramping. It’s not unusual for big guys. He’s doing an excellent job. He has his weight right where we asked him to be. He’s got a little ways to go before the start of the season. We haven’t had that many IVs; we’ll probably have few today, though. An afternoon practice in the heat usually gets them pretty good.”

    (On the status of the number three spot on the depth chart at QB)

    “It’s still early. Obviously, Ryan (Fitzpatrick) has an edge because he’s been here with the terminology we’re using and had reps with the centers. Dave (Ragone) has had a couple of quarterback exchange issues, but that happens when a guy hasn’t been taking snaps from somebody, especially competitive snaps. Some of those things will hamper Dave over Fitz. We were talking about it as coaches and that’s going to be a really interesting battle because both of them bring certain levels of talent that you really like. The intangible qualities of Fitz are great, plus he has the ability to move and run. My background with Dave, I know what kind of a competitor he is and his talent will continue to show more and more as he gets more comfortable with what we’re doing. There are a lot of similar things we did with him in college, but the terminology is quite different for him. So basically, he’s learning everything new until he gets that down. It’ll be a lot of fun watching those two guys compete.”

    (On the effects of today’s practice on the TE battle)

    “I think the two rookies (Dominique Byrd and Jim Klopfenstein) have made a lot of improvement from the first practice. Both last night and today, I’ve noticed them more. We’re still light years away in the run game and if you want to be able to run the football in this league, your tight ends have to block. If your tight ends don’t block, you’re...
    -07-28-2006, 08:56 PM
  • RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan September 5, 2006
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    September 5, 2006

    (Opening Statement)

    “In transition to our weekly schedule, today was a Wednesday-type practice. We got a lot of work done. It’s a little bit of a change because we don’t have the bodies. A lot of guys went from not being scout team guys to figuring out they have to wear a lot of hats in one practice. We’ll get better. I didn’t think our look was as good as it needed to be, but I predict we’ll have a better look tomorrow in practice. Other than that, I feel that we got a lot of things accomplished. Obviously, there have been a couple of moves on our roster. Yesterday was a gameplan day, so I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of you. We released WR Marques Hagans yesterday. Hopefully he clears and we’re able to re-sign him today on the practice squad, but there’s a 24-hour period there that has to be done. Also, the signing of J.R. Reed who has been a real gifted kick returner in this league. (Reed is) coming back from an offseason injury a year ago. He missed last year and this year he went through the entire training camp with Philadelphia and was in their last cut, but came and worked out for us and did a nice job. A couple of different changes there, but we’re getting closer and closer to what will be our 53 going into Sunday’s game.”

    (On J.R. Reed being the immediate kick returner)

    “I think so. We’re working kick returns primarily tomorrow and then we’ll work it Thursday and Friday as well. Today was a punt return day. He’s acclimated himself a little bit with some of the other teams. He plays on some of the other teams as a gunner and some other things. He worked some of that today while he was learning the schemes that we’re going to run. He’ll start that way.”

    (On getting medical assurances that Reed could still perform)

    “We did a pretty extensive physical on it. It was an odd injury. He had some nerve damage to his leg and an area in his foot. He has a custom brace that allows him to have that foot the way it needs to be so he can run on it. He came in and did a very lengthy workout on it as well. He has every reason in the world not to pass the physical, but there’s something about his will, desire, and want to that impressed all of us. I know it was tough for Philadelphia and I think it’s to our advantage because we were looking for someone who had been able to do that. I think he’s certainly got it inside of him to overcome any questions we might have. He looked pretty good; he worked out pretty good for us.”

    (On Reed’s role as a safety)

    “Right now he’s going to have to back up now. He’s an emergency safety. He’ll know a lot of the schemes because he’s an experienced player. But that’s what he’s going to have to do until he catches up.”

    (On having to prepare for three...
    -09-05-2006, 07:24 PM
  • RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan August 2, 2006
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    August 2, 2006

    (On today’s practice)

    “We worked some situations today, some goal line, short yardage, continuing to work our blitz on both sides of the ball and continue to hone in on situations. We’re getting there. It’s the dog days, particularly now. We’re almost there. You get through this week and then you actually have a game in sight. But right now we’re still plugging away and I think we made some improvement this morning.”

    (On reminding players to keep the tempo up during practice)

    “That’s what you have to do. The body starts to shut down. They’re friendly reminders, that’s a good way of putting it.”

    (On his expectations for RB Steven Jackson)

    “The expectation for him is like all of the players: To give their best and improve everyday. I think Steven’s done a great job of accepting what we’re doing as far as our attitude and our philosophy. He’s certainly going to benefit from practicing the way we are and committing to the things we’re committing to. He’s running that ball downhill. We know he can get to the edge, and that’s going to be a big part of what he does. We’re going to hit that thing inside, and be able to get it outside as well. He’s doing a great job of really working on that part of his game.”

    (On LT Orlando Pace)

    “We have the obvious special players on this team that have played at a high level for a number of years Orlando’s certainly one of them. If you were going to make one of those LTs, he’s what you’re looking for. And he does a great job. He obviously had the child the other day, but he’s been out here grinding with everybody and doesn’t miss any reps. He certainly does things you can’t coach, but he’s also a very coachable player who takes pride in his technique. It’s a luxury for us because the young guys can watch how he goes about his business.”

    (On the backup RB situation)

    “Obviously, Tony Fisher is doing a great job there. One announcement is that we’ve agreed to terms with Moe Williams, who played for me when I was in Minnesota and played last year there, got hurt and actually went on IR and recovered from a knee surgery in the offseason. We brought him in twice. The first physical was incomplete so we brought him in again and he cleared that physical. We met with him yesterday and we came to terms today. He should be here by tonight or tomorrow. He’ll be ready to go. What Moe brings is somebody that is familiar to our system, but a veteran who has played in a role as a backup and as a three. So, between Mo and Tony Fisher we’ve got guys that are handling the same thing. Mo was a real strong special teams player as well. We’re just strengthening our team because we add a real quality back-up running back that has played very well in this system...
    -08-02-2006, 07:42 PM
  • RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan--Thursday, September 7
    by RamWraith
    The Quote Sheet - Thursday

    (Opening Statement) “We were going to work two Friday-type practices. Today was our first one. We pushed it a little harder than a normal Friday with the reps and things we worked and some of our situations. We had to look at a couple more things, but we got done what we set out to get done today.”

    (On the objective for special teams today) “We worked the punt teams today. Tomorrow we’ll work the kick and kick returns so we basically worked the big four. Normally on a Friday we work all four phases, but since we had the extra day we went back to punts and punt returns. Tomorrow will be mostly kick returns because we’ve got the new player. One thing about J.R. is that he’s on all those teams too so he’s got to get all that work as well.”

    (On being more focused now that cuts have been made) “No question. Now you can truly work on the game plan and put guys where you want them to be and things like that. We can just get ready for the games and really build on your plan with tendencies and what you want to try to get done.”

    (On the state of readiness of the special teams) “I really think we’re ready because I’m really happy with where our specialists are. I think Matt [Turk] kicked the ball extremely well in preseason and we’ve got Jeff [Wilkins] coming in and having a good game last Thursday night. I feel good because you get a start there. As far as the teams, we weren’t particularly sharp early in preseason. I think we really made progress on how we covered and those kinds of things in the last two preseason games. I’m pleased with that progress. There’s certainly going to be a pretty good bench mark to find out in the first game to see where we’re at. I feel much better about it now than when we started training camp.”

    (On waiting to see if the return guys develop) “That’s our biggest question mark. Mac [Shaun McDonald] will be back there on the punts and J.R. [Reed] will be back there on the returns. We’ll still have Kevin [Curtis] available and we’ve worked a little bit with a couple of other guys. That’s kind of how we’re going to start and we’ll go from there.”

    (On worrying about doing too much of the other coaches work this week) “If we plan on doing that I’d better do a good job of letting everybody do their jobs. That’s why we all have roles so that would be a pretty big mistake. My role is no different than everybody else’s role. I’ve got to prepare myself to make sure I’m up to speed as to what we have to get done from my point for sure.”

    (On not doing too much changing at the last minute and making sure everyone is up to speed) “I’ll always resist that and would never take offense to someone bringing it up that it’s a little close to the game to be making changes. I’m pretty big on ‘nothing gets changed after Thursday’ anyway, so hopefully I would never do that...
    -09-07-2006, 07:23 PM