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  • St. Louis Rams' Jackson's leadership touches Spagnuolo

    St. Louis Rams' Jackson's leadership touches Spagnuolo
    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/02/2009

    Even with an 0-3 start, Steven Jackson ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yards (288) and fifth in yards from scrimmage (349). But coach Steve Spagnuolo is just as impressed with what he has seen from the Rams running back from a leadership standpoint.

    "I've seen nothing but great things," Spagnuolo said. "I'm going to tell you what, his greatness in that regard — in the leadership regard — is shining right now when it's not the best of times and the results haven't been what we want. ... There was something that he did that just meant the world to me, and I appreciate him and how he is going about things right now."

    Despite some prodding by the media, Spagnuolo wouldn't elaborate. It was later learned that following Sunday's 36-17 loss to Green Bay, Jackson went into the head coach's "office" in the locker room area at the Edward Jones Dome and met with Spagnuolo. Whether it was words of encouragement from Jackson, or a promise that things would get better, Spagnuolo was touched.

    The normally chatty Jackson clammed up when the subject was broached Thursday.

    "It was just something between Coach and myself," Jackson said.

    HOLLIS IS A PANTHER

    Just two days after being released by the Rams, veteran defensive tackle Hollis Thomas has signed with the Carolina Panthers.

    "The Rams said, 'bye,' and you guys said, 'hello.' It's no more cut and dry than that," Thomas told reporters Thursday in Charlotte. "I knew the head coach, Spags, from when I was in Philadelphia, and he said he needed to get some young guys playing and see what they had. So I understood. He said he wished I could have a three-week vacation and come back, but that's not the nature of the business."

    Thomas added, "I was in a situation where I got to go through training camp with St. Louis and see if I could still play a 3-technique. And I really can't. ... Those other guys were quicker than me."

    The 3-technique position requires more quickness and penetration skills than nose tackle, which is where the Panthers need his help. Thomas flashed his trademark humor when asked what he can bring to Carolina.

    "A little levity, a little thickness in the middle," he said. "Everybody wants to be focusing on the other fat guys; they'll focus on the new fat guy. It's like the first day of school. You don't want to wear the wrong outfit because you'll be the object of ridicule for the rest of the year."

    BULGER, SMITH OUT

    Once again, quarterback Marc Bulger (shoulder) and right tackle Jason Smith (knee) did not practice Thursday. Both players did rehab work on the side. Bulger hasn't attempted to throw since suffering the injury last Sunday against Green Bay.

    Kyle Boller will start in Bulger's place against San Francisco, with Adam Goldberg replacing Smith for the second week in a row.

    Left tackle Alex Barron (thigh) and cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh) were limited in practice for the second day in a row Thursday. But Spagnuolo thinks they'll be OK to play against San Francisco.

    "They did like half the stuff today," Spagnuolo said after Thursday's practice. "Alex took a little bit more (reps), I think, than Ron did."

    RAM-BLINGS

    The throwback uniforms the Rams will wear in their Oct. 11 home game against Minnesota arrived Thursday. They are replicas of the jerseys worn by the Super Bowl XXXIV champion Rams, commemorating the 10th anniversary of that 1999 season. ... DT Leger Douzable and LB Dominic Douglas, both promoted from the practice squad Wednesday, say they will dress Sunday against San Francisco.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: St. Louis Rams' Jackson's leadership touches Spagnuolo

    Jackson has outstanding leadership, I almost feel bad for the guy because he's playing with the Rams. If he was on even a half decent team, lol, I think he could be the next best back in the league after ADrian Peterson. He's done so much with a crappy team, keep it up Jaxx, your our only hope lol.

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    • 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
    • r8rh8rmike
      Spagnuolo Puts Blame On Himself
      by r8rh8rmike
      Spagnuolo puts blame on himself
      BY JIM THOMAS
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      08/23/2009

      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.

      SURGERY FOR FOSTER

      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.

      MORE ON INJURIES

      As expected, Spagnuolo said wide receiver Donnie Avery (foot)...
      -08-23-2009, 03:52 PM
    • 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
      St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo Takes Stock Of Team
      by r8rh8rmike
      St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo takes stock of team

      BY BILL COATS
      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
      11/04/2009

      At the halfway mark of the season, the Rams find themselves in last place in the NFC West, last in the NFL in scoring (77 points) and last in the league in points yielded (221).

      But they did hit the midway point — and their bye week — on the heels of their first win in more than a year, a 17-10 triumph Sunday in Detroit. So, coach Steve Spagnuolo's informal "State of the Team" address Tuesday was generally upbeat.

      "There were some struggles; there were some good things," he said. "But we've built something. We talked this morning about the foundation we wanted to build. There's some trust, there's mutual respect, there's unity on the team. I think more than anything, we take that away" from the opening eight games.

      The Rams were blown out five times, crushed 179-33 in those routs. Still, with a couple of breaks they could've pulled out wins at Washington and Jacksonville and stand 3-5 instead of 1-7.

      "It was a rough road, let's face it; we had seven losses," Spagnuolo noted. "But to see what the guys did — and I'm not talking about on the field — what they did as people and what they did together, that probably sticks in my head more than anything."

      And Spagnuolo firmly believes that his group can compete with anyone on the second half of the schedule. That includes unbeaten New Orleans, which visits the Edward Jones Dome on Nov. 15.

      "There's always things to work on; every team goes through that," Spagnuolo said. "But we've got enough talent here, we've got guys that want to work at it, we've got guys that can make plays. We've just got to keep plugging away.

      "We're going to play some good football teams, and hopefully we'll be playing some good football, too."

      NEW CORNERBACK

      In yet another roster move, cornerback Danny Gorrer has been signed off the Saints' practice squad. Wide receiver Tim Carter was released to open a spot for Gorrer on the 53-man roster.

      Gorrer, a 6-foot, 185-pound rookie from Texas A&M, joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent. He was getting ready to leave for the Superdome and Monday night's game against Atlanta when he was rerouted to the airport.

      "I was very surprised. I called my agent to see if they were joking," Gorrer said. "When I got to St. Louis, I caught the second half."

      INJURY UPDATE

      Guard Jacob Bell, who sustained a concussion Sunday, passed his neurological exam Tuesday morning but sat out practice. Spagnuolo said Bell would practice today.

      Wide receiver and returner Danny Amendola, who also suffered a concussion, remained on the sideline Tuesday. He still...
      -11-03-2009, 11:18 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Rams' Spagnuolo Not Second-Guessing Decisions
      by r8rh8rmike
      Rams’ Spagnuolo not second-guessing decisions

      By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
      13 hours, 16 minutes ago

      ST. LOUIS (AP)—A day after a three-point loss to the Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo declined to second-guess decisions that factored into the defeat.

      Spagnuolo said on Monday that he still would have burned more than a half-minute off the clock at the end of the first half and settled for a field goal, and he still would have punted on fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter and counted on a defense that had given up huge chunks of yards on the ground to get the ball back.

      Instead of going for the big plays, the Rams played not to lose.

      Spagnuolo is 10-33 with five games to go in his third season. It’s a challenging stretch that could determine whether he keeps his job.

      The Rams (2-9) are 13-point underdogs at San Francisco this week and, counting the rematch in the season finale against the *****, the next five opponents are a combined 38-17.

      “Do you mean, how do I handle this San Francisco game right here this week?” Spagnuolo said. “You guys know how I’m wired.”

      The coach believes players are still buying in, if a bit beat down.

      “You have to forget about it and move on, but as a competitor they’re going to really get under your skin,” middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “I hate losing, I hate losing, and am never going to get used to losing.

      “Nobody should in this locker room, in this organization.”

      There’s no looking back for Spagnuolo. He wouldn’t have taken a few more shots at the end zone and tried to give the Rams a 14-3 cushion before halftime. He had to be talked into allowing one try before bringing on the field goal unit.

      “It was a conservative approach, no question,” Spagnuolo said. “And you could have gone another way.”

      In this case, Spagnuolo got the sense the offense was reeling. After Brandon Lloyd’s 26-yard reception to the 3 with 43 seconds left in the first half, the Rams went in reverse with a botched play call that resulted in a false-start penalty but easily could have been whistled for delay of game, and Sam Bradford was sacked for a 9-yard loss the next play.

      “Obviously, we put ourselves in a pretty bad situation,” Bradford said.

      Spagnuolo wouldn’t say what happened on the play from the 3, but indicated a lot had gone wrong.

      “There were a lot of things going on,” the coach said. “There were too many issues. We need to get that play off.”

      Spagnuolo also revealed he was thinking field goal right after Lloyd’s catch, going through “what if” scenarios in his mind that only got reinforced after two failures.

      “Do we want to get a touchdown? Yeah,” Spagnuolo said. “I was going to bring it all the way down...
      -11-29-2011, 03:06 PM
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