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A conversation with Adam Archuleta

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  • A conversation with Adam Archuleta

    A tired Adam Archuleta of the St. Louis Rams joined NFL Total Access via Rams cam and spoke with host Rich Eisen about the early morning practices the Rams are conducting in camp and who the team is looking toward to step it up this season. NFL Total Access airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET/PT (aired July 30, 2004).

    Eisen: After a highly dramatic end to their 2003 season, the 2004 Rams' season is getting underway, right now, in Macomb, Illinois, where the St. Louis Rams are taking part in training camp in Western Illinois University. And, joining us right now on Rams' Training Cam, is Adam Archuleta, the safety of the St. Louis Rams. How are you doing, Adam?

    Archuleta: I'm doing OK. Not bad, not bad.

    Eisen: You're a little tired, I hear. You're a little tired right now?

    Archuleta: (Laughs) I'm a little bit fatigued. I've only been going at this for three days now, so I've got to figure out how to adjust my life around football instead of eating and sleeping.

    Eisen: Are you getting up earlier than you have been in the last few weeks?

    Archuleta: Yeah, I guess so. We get up now about 6:30 a.m. I'm used to getting up around 8:30 or 9 during the summer, and getting to my workout by 9:30. So it's a bit of an attitude adjustment.

    Eisen: What are they doing at 6 in the morning over there?

    Archuleta: They came up with the bright idea to move practices, so that's just when I have to wake up. I guess I could wake up a little later, but then I'd be late to practice and they want us on the field by 7:50. So I'm going to do what they tell me.

    Eisen: Seven-five-oh? 7:50? That's when you get there?

    Archuleta: Yeah.

    Eisen: At least you're getting that adjustment right now. And who are rooming with out there in Western Illinois?

    Archuleta: They do a good job. They actually let us have our rooms to ourselves. It's a small dorm room, and if you don't want the dorm room beds, then you can rent one. I have a nice queen-size mattress in my room to myself. So I'm living in the lap of luxury here.

    Eisen: (laughing) You are living large, Adam. Living large. Worthy of guy who led all defensive backs in the league last year with five picks. To what do you owe that? Is it just good fortune, in a way, or how did you get five picks last year?

    Archuleta: Picks? Five sacks!

    Eisen: Sacks?! Oh man, I blew that one.

    Archuleta: We've got to get the research department on it.

    Eisen: No, it's not the research department, it's my bad. So those sort of accommodations are worthy of a guy who led all defensive backs in sacks last year with five sacks. To what do you owe that, Adam?

    Archuleta: I think the coaching staff obviously used my strengths in the game planning. Coach Lovie Smith did a good job of moving me around and allowed me to really get involved. And anytime he had a new blitz drawn up, he allowed me to run it. It's just kind of been my deal ever since I was in college. I've always been a good blitzer and I've enjoyed it -- it's a mentality. Run downs, pass downs -- they want some extra pressure, and they're going to call my number.

    Eisen: Well, Lovie Smith, obviously, now gone. He's with the Chicago Bears. Larry Marmie is your new defensive coordinator. What sorts of adjustments are you making in terms of that right now?

    Archuleta: We're still trying to get a feel for each other. We're putting in the basics. Pretty much it's the same defense. There's a little bit of a terminology difference and schematics. The way we make our adjustments is a little different so we're putting in the basics now, and I'm sure as we get going through camp we're going to get a better feel for each other. And when we start game planning, obviously, we'll see exactly what kind of tricks (Marmie) has up his sleeve.

    Eisen: A lot of adjustments on the defensive line to talk about, what with Grant Wistrom now being in Seattle and, of course, Leonard Little. Very few people really know what the future holds for this guy. How are you guys approaching that?

    Archuleta: Just as any team does in any given year, you have holes to fill. It's unfortunate we had to lose a guy like Grant (in terms of) what he brought and what he meant to this organization. So it's the nature of the game now and that's something we have to deal with. And we do have guys that are going to step up and that are happy to take his place. As far as Leonard goes, we plan on him being here. He's a vital piece of our defense. We don't know what the future is going to hold, but we've got to go in there and expect guys to step up and contribute just like they've done in the past.

    Eisen: Adam, how long did it take for you to get over that double-overtime loss in the playoffs last year?

    Archuleta: That was a tough one. That was one of the most physical, emotionally draining games that I've been a part of in my entire life. We really felt like we had a good chance to win it. And for it to go down like that, in such dramatic fashion, on the last play, 60, 80 yards -- whatever it was -- it was a tough one to swallow. It takes a couple months; you keep thinking about it. You watch these teams continue through the playoffs while you're sitting at home. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but you've got to realize that every year there's going to be 31 disappointed football teams and you've just got to do what you can in the offseason and training camp to prepare to go all the way the next year.

    Eisen: Now, Adam, you are a guy who was a Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year at linebacker at Arizona State, then converted to safety when you made the pros. That is the exact story of Pat Tillman. You played with Pat. I believe you crossed paths for one year. Did you get to know Pat at all?

    Archuleta: Yeah, I had the opportunity. I redshirted and Pat was there. And when I was a freshman, I played just special teams. Pat was still there. So I got to spend a couple of years with him. I wasn't one of his good buddies, his inner-circle guys, but just being around him and seeing the type of example that he set, and just listening to the stories, and how he conducted his life and his priorities, was just a great example. And he was a great inspiration for me and my success, and what I've been able to do on the football field.

    Eisen: Well, you're definitely on the road to some further success this year, and good luck to you. And, Adam, get some rest, will you please?

    Archuleta: Absolutely, I appreciate it.

    Eisen: Adam Archuleta, the hard-hitting safety of the St. Louis Rams, joining us on Rams training cam.

  • #2
    Re: A conversation with Adam Archuleta

    We seem to be getting more quotes and comments form the players this year. I like it.
    Eisen: (laughing) You are living large, Adam. Living large. Worthy of guy who led all defensive backs in the league last year with five picks. To what do you owe that? Is it just good fortune, in a way, or how did you get five picks last year?
    Silly reporters. They should check the stats out before talking. I'll bet Archuleta was laughing at him and also wishing he had 5 picks last year.
    Archuleta: I think the coaching staff obviously used my strengths in the game planning. Coach Lovie Smith did a good job of moving me around and allowed me to really get involved. And anytime he had a new blitz drawn up, he allowed me to run it. It's just kind of been my deal ever since I was in college. I've always been a good blitzer and I've enjoyed it -- it's a mentality. Run downs, pass downs -- they want some extra pressure, and they're going to call my number.
    Archuleta does have the right attitude to blitz and I like the guys that bring the blitz. It's hard to tell with the name and all, I know. :redface:

    I am ready for some football.


    • #3
      Re: A conversation with Adam Archuleta

      Man, did anyone else find this a very amaturish report? :rolleyes:

      Keeping the Rams Nation Talking


      • #4
        Re: A conversation with Adam Archuleta

        Originally posted by RamDez
        Man, did anyone else find this a very amaturish report?

        Yes ... but I rarely find much to hail in any sports journalism ... so the lack of depth wasn't very surprising.

        What I would have been interested in was a follow-up to the unique type of training scheme that Arch had pursued previously. I used that last year to pimp Arch's prospects for pro-bowl/hall-of-fame status. I'd be curious to know if he is still vigorously pursuing that training regime ... or if he thinks that it paid its dividends early on and now has no more value ... that might have been a question or two that Eisen could have asked about instead of migrating to what Arch knew of Tillman ...


        Related Topics


        • RamWraith
          Rams' Archuleta played part of year with herniated disc
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Friday, Feb. 18 2005

          Adam Archuleta got some jarring news when he visited a back specialist in San
          Francisco in late January. Namely, that he had played at least part of the 2004
          season with a herniated disc in his back.

          At least that was the diagnosis of Jeff Saal, a nationally recognized expert in
          non-surgical treatment for back injuries.
          Archuleta's reaction was part disappointment.

          "I'm dealing with kind of a career (threatening) deal," Archuleta said. "A
          back, if not taken care of, can cause serious problems. I'm kind of scared. But
          at the same time, I'm kind of amazed that I was actually able to play strong
          safety with this type of deal going on."
          For that reason, Archuleta's reaction was also part relief.

          "I (thought), 'Well at least I'm not crazy,'" Archuleta said. "I know it wasn't
          just a figment of my imagination all season. In a way, it made me feel better
          about what I was going through."
          Initial test results, done early in the 2004 season, showed that Archuleta had
          a bulging disc in the back. While nothing to laugh at, a bulging disc isn't as
          serious as a herniated disc.
          "At the time, I was told that it was not a big deal," Archuleta said. "That it
          was a typical football player's back. That I had the same thing that Marshall
          (Faulk) had. The same thing that Torry (Holt) had. The same thing that Rich
          (Coady) had. So I asked those guys how they were feeling. And they were like,
          Because they still were playing, Archuleta figured he should do the same.

          "I was still able to go out there and play, albeit not at the level that I or
          anybody else expected me to play at," Archuleta said.
          As a result, Archuleta probably hurt his reputation as a player. He was limited
          to nickel and dime back duty in October games in San Francisco and Seattle, but
          otherwise kept playing.
          "It was a weird and bad situation to be in," Archuleta said. "You feel like you
          have an obligation to your team, and your teammates. And at what point, when
          you're not 100 percent, do you say, 'I can't play?' I've never been faced with
          that in my career."
          It is now clear, according to Saal's evaluation, that Archuleta's back
          deteriorated as the season progressed. Archuleta has been undergoing treatment
          from Saal, who is based at Stanford University Hospital, since shortly after
          the Rams' playoff loss to Atlanta.
          Archuleta received an epidural shot of medication on Feb. 2, and received
          another epidural on Wednesday.
          "Adam's made tremendous strides over the last couple weeks," said...
          -02-19-2005, 06:34 AM
        • Nick
          Healthier Archuleta joins camp, gets ready to move to free safety
          by Nick
          Healthier Archuleta joins camp, gets ready to move to free safety
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Friday, Jul. 29 2005

          It's a long way to opening day, but Rams safety Adam Archuleta is taking his
          first steps back onto the field after a disappointing, injury-marred 2004

          After four seasons in the league and 55 starts, it's almost as if Archuleta has
          to prove himself again as a player.

          "Absolutely," Archuleta said. "I have to prove myself to me, to my teammates
          and everybody. ... I had a down year last year. There were a lot of things
          going on - on and off the field. So I have a pretty fresh attitude, and I feel
          good physically. I think this is going to be a great year."

          It could be just that, but only if Archuleta's balky back cooperates. He was
          slowed most of the 2004 season by a back injury that was diagnosed as a
          herniated disc at the end of the campaign. It showed in his play. Archuleta
          lacked his usual pop and missed more than his share of tackles.

          After consulting with specialists, Archuleta opted against offseason surgery,
          instead trying to heal the back through rest, treatment and exercise. He was
          cleared to practice with the team during the full-squad minicamp in June, but
          those were non-contact sessions without full pads.

          As of Thursday, Archuleta was in training camp, so the intensity has been
          turned up several notches. The team was in full pads Thursday and Friday
          morning. Archuleta has been taking his regular turn in practice, except for the
          morning 9-on-7 run defense periods, when the opportunity for jarring contact is

          "I'm moving around pretty good," Archuleta said after Friday morning's workout.
          "I'm a little stiff here and there, but it feels pretty good. I'm not worried
          about it by any means.

          "Obviously, being out on the field and practicing during two-a-days, it's a big
          burden. I seem to be reacting pretty well with it. It's a lot of different
          movements, and I'm using a lot of different muscles that I haven't used - that
          you can't use during the rehab process. So all those things are getting

          As far as sitting out the potential contact in the 9-on-7 drills, Archuleta
          said: "I'm not trying to prove anything right now as far as that's concerned.
          ... It makes no sense for me to go in there and possibly have a setback at this

          The goal is to be ready Sept. 11, when the Rams open the regular season at San

          Defensive coordinator Larry Marmie said the Rams gradually will ease Archuleta
          back into contact work.

          -07-30-2005, 12:44 AM
        • RamWraith
          Archuleta gets some relief from back pain
          by RamWraith
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Wednesday, Jan. 05 2005

          When Rams strong safety Adam Archuleta awoke one morning at training camp with
          "a little back twinge," he thought little of it.

          "I tend to overlook little injuries," Archuleta said. "They've always just kind
          of gone away and taken care of themselves. But this time, it just kept getting

          An MRI after the regular-season opener against Arizona disclosed a bulging
          disc. Archuleta missed two starts in early October and only recently, after
          treatment by a back specialist, has he experienced a measure of relief.

          "I've had to pretty much grind it out throughout the year," said Archuleta, a
          6-foot, 223-pound fourth-year pro from Arizona State. "It's been manageable,
          and I've been able to play and get through it. It's starting to feel better."

          Archuleta, whose game features high-speed collisions, acknowledged that the
          injury has restricted him. "I think it's evident that I haven't been as
          physical," said Archuleta, 27. "Due to not being able to work out throughout
          the season and my body just kind of going a little bit downhill and not having
          that explosion and that pop, I've got to say that it's been a factor."

          Coach Mike Martz suspected early that Archuleta had a problem. "When you see
          Adam kind of shy away a little bit, there's something wrong," Martz said.
          "Physically, he was all locked up back there."

          Still, Archuleta ranks second on the team in tackles, with 123 (linebacker Pisa
          Tinoisamoa has 145) heading into Saturday's first-round playoff game at
          Seattle. That's Archuleta's second-highest total, only 26 off his career high.

          He said he felt he could've had a much better season, though, had he sought a
          medical remedy sooner. "It's kind of my fault for not really taking care of it
          when it first started acting up. I really didn't say much about it, and I kind
          of let it get out of control," Archuleta said. "It was like, 'Oh, I've got a
          little back twinge. It'll be all right. It's me, I'm indestructible. ...'

          "It's frustrating, just because I have an obligation to my teammates. When I
          don't bring that intimidating, physical presence to the defense, I feel like I
          let everybody down. It's hard to look at the guys in the eye."

          With a firm jaw, he promised that he'd be hale and hearty come the start of the
          2005 season. Surgery won't be necessary, but he said he vowed to get plenty of
          rest and rehabilitation during the offseason.

          "Trust me, this won't happen again," Archuleta said. "I've learned a...
          -01-06-2005, 06:28 AM
        • RamWraith
          Archuleta Hoping to Get Back to Form
          by RamWraith
          Tuesday, May 17, 2005

          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          Adam Archuleta’s back was in such bad shape last season that he couldn’t do simple, everyday tasks. Simple activities such as touching his toes were every bit as difficult as making an open field tackle on a running back.

          Those struggles led to one of the most difficult years of Archuleta’s young career. In spite of the herniated disc in his back, Archuleta still played in all 16 games, finishing with 123 tackles, a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Still, it was clear that he wasn’t at his best for most of last year.

          “It was pretty much a nightmare during the season,” Archuleta said. “I really probably had no business being out there, but that's in the past. When you play a whole season and you can't bend over and touch your knees, it's a big deal. Definitely, I'm much, much better off. I couldn't even tie my shoes during the season. If I could get through that, I can get through anything.”

          The effort to get through the injury has been a difficult process. Archuleta had earned a reputation as a feared hitter with big-play ability during his first three seasons. Whether that reputation was deserved or not, Archuleta was unable to live up to it.

          Archuleta returned to St. Louis this week for organized team activities, which moved full speed Tuesday. The offseason has been a difficult one, but not nearly as difficult as last season.

          With a strict regiment of working out and seeing a therapist in Los Angeles almost every weekend, Archuleta is already feeling better.

          ``Let's put it this way: Compared to where I was during the season, I'm about 6,000 percent better,'' Archuleta said. “All I know is I feel good. I am getting better a lot faster than I normally would have.”

          Helping Archuleta get better is a team of about four or five people that specialize in something different. Every morning, Archuleta goes and does a workout. After that, the day’s activities depend on which day it is.

          Some days, Archuleta sees a soft tissue therapist, other days it is a Pilates instructor and still others find Archuleta spending time with a physical therapist. On the weekends, Archuleta has been shuttling from his home in Arizona to Los Angeles to see the back therapist.

          Archuleta estimates that he is slightly ahead of schedule and credits the therapists in California for helping to speed up the process. Even the one-hour flights from Arizona to Los Angeles would seem to be a hindrance to a bad back, but Archuleta said the positives of the therapy outweigh the negatives.

          “It’s only an hour flight, it’s like sitting in traffic, so it’s not really a big deal,” Archuleta said.

          Whether Archuleta was not at his best last season because of the injury or not, he probably should be commended for attempting to...
          -05-18-2005, 06:13 AM
        • RamWraith
          Doesn't sound like Archuleta liked us :-(
          by RamWraith
          For Redskins' Archuleta, An Imposing Body of Work

          The Washington Post
          By Jason La Canfora
          June 18, 2006 Adam is a very special individual because he has used all the tools that God gave him The truck rolled down a quiet residential street, while Adam Archuleta clung to a jury-rigged handle affixed to its rear, running for dear life to keep up. Of all the crazy things Archuleta's trainer, Jay Schroeder, had concocted in the name of improving his fitness, this was surely the most bizarre. But Archuleta, then a wide-eyed teenager, went along willingly.

          These were the early days of the Archuleta-Schroeder relationship. Archuleta was a junior at Chandler High School in Arizona. That he would soon dominate the Pacific-10 as a linebacker at Arizona State, then get drafted 20th overall by the St. Louis Rams, convert to a defensive back and become the highest-paid safety in NFL history when the Washington Redskins signed him in March was unimaginable at the time.

          To Archuleta, Schroeder and his unconventional tactics provided his best -- if not only -- chance of playing pro football, so he turned over his mind, body and soul to the trainer. No task was refused, no command ignored, even when it came to running 100-yard bursts while clenching a moving automobile for up to a half-mile at a time.

          "From Day One, Jay has had me do some wild stuff," said Archuleta, who signed a six-year, $30 million contract with Washington. "And from Day One, for whatever reason, I did everything he told me to, when he told me to do it, in the way he told me to do it. There was complete faith and trust in what he was saying, and I don't think there was ever a point where I doubted anything. It was always, 'Okay, cool, whatever I have to do. Sometimes it kind of looks crazy, but let's do it.' "

          Twelve years after his relationship with Schroeder began, Archuleta, 28, is the newest cog in Redskins assistant head coach Gregg Williams's defense. He is tough, yet unassuming off the field. He has the skills to attack the football, and with the study habits and smarts to master Williams's playbook.

          One of Williams's sons is a devotee of Archuleta's workout video, "Freak of Training," and spoke about the safety's prowess to his father for years. Archuleta, meantime, was tired of playing for St. Louis, a finesse, offense-oriented franchise, a close friend said. He wanted a new team that stressed defense.

          "He kind of has a chip on his shoulder coming in here," Williams said. "I love those guys. Those are the kinds of guys that are easy to coach because there's an automatic match for a blend. The mentality that he's been raised on in his offseason program, the toughness of his trainer, and the toughness of paying the price in peace so you don't bleed as much in war, he sees that's already a unified part of our defense, so it was...
          -06-19-2006, 05:27 AM