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Rams Are Ready: "They've done everything we've asked", Spagnuolo Says

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  • Rams Are Ready: "They've done everything we've asked", Spagnuolo Says

    09.11.2009 2:28 pm
    Rams are ready: “They’ve done everything we’ve asked,” Spagnuolo says
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Some six months after the start of the offseason conditioning program, the St. Louis Rams have arrived at the cusp of their season-opener. A relatively light 90-minute practice wrapped up on-the-field preparations for Sunday’s clash with the Seahawks in Seattle.

    Rookie coach Steve Spagnuolo said his club is ready.

    “They’ve done everything we’ve asked with a lot of enthusiasm,” he said. “There’s no guarantee that pays off in wins, but I’ll tell you what, I’d rather go in feeling that way than the other way.”

    Spagnuolo stressed that the credit for a strong ramp-up to the season should be shared.

    “All the coaches, all the players, the whole organization, everybody in this building I think has prepared really well,” he said. “It’s time to play a game here in 48 hours, and hopefully we’re where we need to be and we can win a football team.”

    Notes & quotes:

    *S Craig Dahl (hamstring) and G John Greco (wrist) won’t play Sunday. LB Larry Grant (knee), who Spagnuolo ruled out earlier in the week, has made a rapid recovery and is listed as “questionable.”

    *QB Marc Bulger took nearly all the first-team snaps and reported no ill effects from his broken right pinky finger. “I asked him how he felt,” Spagnuolo said, “and Marc said, ‘Coach, I’m ready to go.’”

    *Here’s a guess at the Rams inactives for Sunday: Dahl, Greco, Grant, G Roger Allen, T Eric Young, S Anthony Smith, DT LaJuan Ramsey and Keith Null (third quarterback).

    *The Rams (0-8) haven’t beaten the Seahawks since 2004, when they did so three times — twice in the regular season, and then in the playoffs.

    *The Rams haven’t won a season-opener on the road since 2001 (20-17 at Philadelphia).

    All for now . . .

  • #2
    Re: Rams Are Ready: "They've done everything we've asked", Spagnuolo Says

    Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    09.11.2009 2:28 pm
    Rams are ready: “They’ve done everything we’ve asked,” Spagnuolo says
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    *The Rams (0-8) haven’t beaten the Seahawks since 2004, when they did so three times — twice in the regular season, and then in the playoffs.
    Man this got to change we need to break this streak.


    Related Topics


    • Rambos
      Rams' Spagnuolo ready for new challenge
      by Rambos
      ST. LOUIS — New St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo knows the easy part is over.

      "It's nice to be 3-1 after the preseason, but like I told the players last night, the score counted when we played the games," Spagnuolo said Friday, one day after the Rams beat the Kansas City Chiefs 17-9. "It doesn't matter now. We're moving on.

      "I'm perfectly aware that all of this is a honeymoon period. The real challenge is upcoming."

      That challenge begins for St. Louis on Sept. 13, when the Rams open the season in Seattle. The Seahawks have beaten the Rams eight straight times. Then again, a lot of people have beaten the Rams lately, as St. Louis has won just five games the past two seasons.

      No one is expecting Spagnuolo to change that overnight. He does like the way the team's mental approach heading into the season.

      "I think we got a bunch of hungry guys. I think it's good to be hungry. When you get complacent, that's not a good thing. I do think it's a hungry football team. We've talked a lot about it and I think the guy's have embraced it."

      However, plenty of question marks still remain. For instance, who will be under center when the Rams take the field in Seattle. Nine-year veteran Marc Bulger is the starter, but Bulger has been nursing a broken pinkie finger and has not played.

      Bulger says he will be ready to start the season and Spagnuolo is counting on him.

      "If he's ready to go, he goes," Spagnuolo said. "He threw in pregame last night. He felt comfortable throwing. It still comes down to taking the snap."

      Another newcomer to St. Louis, Kyle Boller has started in Bulger's absence.

      Another area of concern is the running game — on both sides of the ball. The Rams allowed more than 150 yards per game on the ground last season, and that area looked suspect during the preseason, particularly against Atlanta, when Falcons starters gouged Rams for two easy scores.

      "We know if we had to pick out one area that we need to improve on both sides, it's in the running game, whether it's running it or stopping the run," Spagnuolo said. "I thought Atlanta came out and really took it to us. I don't think anybody felt great about that. And yet when challenged, the team bounced back against Cincinnati."

      The Rams have yet to make any final roster moves. Spagnuolo said that he expects to make those by midday Saturday, but noted that the coaches were still evaluating players and positions.

      One roster spot that might open up is on the defensive line. Spagnuolo reported Friday that 2007 first-round pick Adam Carriker suffered a "significant" injury to his right shoulder. He expects to have a final determination on Carriker's status Saturday.

      Spagnuolo said the final cuts will be the toughest....
      -09-05-2009, 10:09 AM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Spagnuolo Puts Blame On Himself
      by r8rh8rmike
      Spagnuolo puts blame on himself

      The score was 14-0, Atlanta, before most spectators had a chance to dig into their popcorn Friday at the Edward Jones Dome. For a Rams franchise intent on showing the fan base that things will be different this season, it was the last thing they wanted to happen.

      On Saturday, after reviewing game tape, coach Steve Spagnuolo blamed himself.

      "Personally, I think it's all on the head coach," Spagnuolo said. "The first quarter, I don't think I had the team ready to play. I'm going to take the onus on that. We need to start the game better, especially against a good football team."

      So what can Spagnuolo do differently to make sure his team gets out of the gate quicker?
      "I don't know," he said. "Just like we evaluate the players, I'm going to evaluate myself all the time. I'll sit back this week, and if I think there's something we can do differently in practice we'll do it.

      "If I think there's something we can say or approach (differently) the day before the game, we'll do that. But right now, if the team's not ready early like that, it's on the head coach. So we'll figure out a way."

      Besides being outscored 14-0, the Rams were outgained 147 yards to 56 by Atlanta in the opening quarter. Spagnuolo said it's impossible to gauge whether or not a team is ready to play based on pregame warm-up or really anything else leading up to the game.

      "I've stopped doing that in football," he said. "Sometimes you walk in there and say, 'This team's not ready to play.' And they go out and beat a team by 30 points. That's hard to assess."

      Granted it came once the starters were done for the night and the reserves had taken over, but Spagnuolo was pleased with the fact that the team chipped away at the early deficit and was in position to tie or win the game in the fourth quarter.


      The Rams' draft class of '09 took its first major injury hit, with Spagnuolo announcing Saturday that wide receiver Brooks Foster will be out six to eight weeks following ankle surgery.

      Foster suffered what originally was termed a sprained ankle in the Aug. 14 preseason opener against the New York Jets. But additional testing revealed additional problems, so Foster underwent surgery on Friday.

      The Rams must decide whether to place Foster on the injured reserve list. The fifth-round pick from North Carolina had some good moments on the practice field during training camp as well as in the scrimmage at Lindenwood University. But he had no catches in the Jets' game, and faced an uphill struggle on making the 53-man roster.


      As expected, Spagnuolo said wide receiver Donnie Avery (foot)...
      -08-23-2009, 03:52 PM
    • Rambos
      Rams Coach Steve Spagnuolo Takes Blame For Loss
      by Rambos
      Coach Steve Spagnuolo blamed himself for the St. Louis Rams' ugly first quarter Friday night, saying he was guilty of not having his team ready to play. The Rams (1-1) fell behind 14-0 and could never make up the lost ground as they fell 20-13 to the Atlanta Falcons at the Edward Jones Dome. "I think it's all on the head coach with the first quarter," Spagnuolo said. "I don't think I had the team ready to play in the first quarter. I'm going to take the onus on that. We need to start the game better, especially against a good football team." sked how he was going to make sure the Rams were ready when they travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals on Thursday, Spagnuolo said he didn't know. "I'm going to be evaluating myself all the time," Spagnuolo said, "I'll sit back this week, and if I think there's something we can do differently in practice, we'll do it. "If I think there's something we can say or approach differently the day before the game, we'll do that. But, right now if the team is not ready early like that, it's on the head coach. So we'll figure out a way."

      Source: Belleville News Democrat
      -08-23-2009, 06:25 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Spagnuolo Applauds Rams' Practice Habits
      by r8rh8rmike
      12.02.2009 3:57 pm
      Spagnuolo applauds Rams’ practice habits
      By Bill Coats
      St. Louis Post-Dispatch

      Practice had wrapped up about 15 minutes earlier, but the indoor facility at Rams Park still was crowded with players.

      “Look at them,” St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I mean, practice is over and about half the team’s out there working. I think that says a lot. But I’ll tell you what, that’s typical of this group. They amaze me every week, going through what we’re going through, to come out and practice they way they do.”

      Despite their 1-10 record, dampened further by an dispiriting 27-17 loss to a flagging Seahawks outfit three days earlier at the Edward Jones Dome, Wednesday’s practice was uptempo and upbeat. “They came out with a little bit of energy and practiced pretty good,” Spagnuolo said. “That’s a good thing to start the week.” (There are no practices on Mondays and Tuesdays.)

      Notes & quotes:

      *These players sat out Wednesday: QB Marc Bulger (leg), FB Mike Karney (neck), T Jason Smith (concussion), C Jason Brown (knee) and RB Steven Jackson (back). Spagnuolo said he was optimistic that Brown and Jackson could return Thursday.

      *Smith, who took a blow to the head Nov. 22 vs. the Cardinals and didn’t play vs. the Seahawks, won’t take another follow-up neuro exam “until he feels like he’s completely fine,” Spagnuolo said. “Obviously, he’s still feeling effects of it, so they’re just going to wait.”

      *LB James Laurinaitis has two sore shoulders, but he was a full participant Wednesday. “That’s life as a middle linebacker in the NFL,” Spagnuolo said.

      *G Richie Incognito, who has missed four games with a foot sprain, worked with the first-team offense and said that barring a setback, he expects to play Sunday in Chicago.

      *This week’s captains are QB Kyle Boller (offense), DE Leonard Little (defense) and LB David Vobora (special teams).
      -12-02-2009, 07:53 PM
    • RamWraith
      Rams minicamp with a plan
      by RamWraith
      BY Jim Thomas
      Thursday, Apr. 02 2009
      For Steve Spagnuolo, it's never too early to look for leaders. His first
      minicamp as Rams head coach is as good a time to start as any.

      "We'll try to identify those leaders on our team, and hopefully, they'll step
      to the forefront in those tough times that you know you're going to have — no
      matter what team — in a 16-game season," Spagnuolo said. "I remember vividly
      going through it in Philadelphia. And I remember Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah
      Trotter, Donovan McNabb at a certain point in the season deciding that, 'Hey
      guys.' ... They did little things with the other players. Very unseen things,
      but it made a big difference."

      There certainly is a leadership void to be filled with the 2009 Rams. Veterans
      Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Corey Chavous and Trent Green have been released.
      Other veterans, such as La'Roi Glover and Dane Looker, are free agents who have
      not been re-signed by the club. (The Rams may revisit signing Looker after the

      "I believe that the underlying leaders surface once there's no leadership in
      front of them," Spagnuolo said. "Hopefully, there's some undiscovered secret
      leaders on this roster right now."

      Perhaps it's newly re-signed cornerback Ron Bartell. New center Jason Brown. Or
      safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.

      But over the course of five minicamp practices over the next three days at Rams
      Park, Spagnuolo will be looking for leaders. (The Rams practice twice today,
      twice Friday, and once Saturday.)

      "You'll look to see which guys jump in front (of the lines), which guys are
      encouraging other people," Spagnuolo said. "When I'm sitting in the back of the
      meetings, I'm going to be looking for who's taking notes — actually sitting and
      writing notes. The best players that I've worked with are great note-takers."

      During his decade of coaching in the NFL, Spagnuolo has observed that the
      players who are meticulous in their preparation are the ones who last the
      longest in the league.

      "Because they've figured it out — that it's as much from the chin to the
      hairline as it is anything that they do with their body," Spagnuolo said.

      In trying to foster an atmosphere of togetherness and teamwork, Spagnuolo said
      leadership has to come from several sources.

      "No matter what, it's never going to be about one person," Spagnuolo said.
      "It's always going to be about the makeup of the whole team. Sometimes I think
      we all make mistakes when we focus on one position. We know the glory position
      and the one that's out in the forefront is the quarterback position, but...
      -04-02-2009, 04:12 AM