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St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo: Time to focus on 2009

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  • St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo: Time to focus on 2009

    St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo: Time to focus on 2009
    By Bill Coats

    Defiant as he attempted to swat aside comparisons to the hapless Rams squads of the recent past, coach Steve Spagnuolo insisted Monday that "the 2009 Rams stand on their own."

    "It has nothing to do with teams coming forward or any teams going backward," he said. "It's all just about the 2009 Rams, and we lost a football game. We lost one football game."

    Still, that one loss a 28-0 flop Sunday at Seattle bore strong resemblance to the lopsided pratfalls of the past two seasons, when the Rams mustered a mere five wins in 32 outings. Those 27 losses included opening-day drubbings by Carolina (27-13 in 2007) and at Philadelphia (38-3 last year).

    Just as they'd done so many times before, the Rams piled up undisciplined penalties and egregious errors. Although the Seahawks produced decisive statistical margins, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe maintained that mainly the Rams beat themselves.

    "I take my hat off to Seattle; they're a talented team," he said. "They gave us some challenges, but I think a lot of it was self-inflicted."

    No matter the root cause, no matter how much the '09 opener looked like the same ol', same ol' ... it's just not the same, asserted defensive end Leonard Little. He's in his 12th season with the Rams, easily the longest tenure among them.

    "It's a totally different team, a totally different coaching staff ... everything's totally different," Little said. "It's a new year."

    Added Atogwe: "We definitely can't go, 'Oh, here we go again.' If you do that, you have a defeatist mind-set and you won't have the capability of winning anyway. ...

    "Regardless of what people want to believe, this is a whole new season. A lot of other teams lost their first game, and we're just 0-1 like they are."


    Contrite on Sunday after drawing 35 yards' worth of penalties, including two personal fouls, guard Richie Incognito didn't change his tune Monday.

    "Just a bonehead play and me being selfish," he said. "I let my emotions get away from me. ... It's squarely set on my shoulders as something that I have to overcome to help this team get better."

    Also echoing his day-old comments, Spagnuolo said he was fully supportive of Incognito. But he wavered a bit when asked how much more he would tolerate.

    "I don't know; we'll deal with it as we go," Spagnuolo said. "Sometimes I can be real patient, and sometimes I can be real impatient."


    At least the Rams escaped Qwest Field without any serious injuries. Rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis bruised his left knee, but he was able to work out Monday.

    "I did a little running to kind of get the blood pumping," Laurinaitis said. "I'll just keep icing it the rest of the day and then tomorrow, and be ready to go at practice Wednesday."


    Three other Rams rookies also made their regular-season debut: tackle Jason Smith, cornerback Bradley Fletcher and defensive tackle Darell Scott. So did one "sophomore."

    Cornerback Justin King, a fourth-round draft pick in 2008, missed the entire season after suffering a toe injury in the preseason. He served as the Rams' nickel back vs. the Seahawks.

    When the '08 season began, King was in the early stages of his recovery from surgery. "I could barely walk last year on opening day," he said. "Now I've come full circle and I'm playing and competing, just like I'd always dreamed of."


    Laurinaitis collected a team-high 14 tackles, according to the coaches' film review. Atogwe had 11 stops, plus an interception. ... Former Giants wide receiver David Tyree is expected to visit Rams Park today.

  • #2
    Re: St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo: Time to focus on 2009

    Don't you love how Spags can say one thing, and the writer then interjects his own contrary spin?

    Hmmmm.... who's opinion do I care about?

    Let me give you a hint....

    His name rhymes with "ragblolo."


    • #3
      Re: St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo: Time to focus on 2009

      Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
      Hmmmm.... who's opinion do I care about?
      That should be "whose" opinion, but you knew that.

      Journalists exist to make stories out of nothing these days; if you think that the media's bad in the USA, try living in England. The best way of dealing with them is by simply ignoring them.