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For One Weekend, Football Isn't Spagnuolo's Focus

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  • For One Weekend, Football Isn't Spagnuolo's Focus

    11.04.2009 2:25 pm
    For one weekend, football isn’t Spagnuolo’s focus
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    Don’t be surprised if you see Steve and Maria Spagnuolo this weekend at your favorite restaurant, the zoo or the neighborhood movie theater. The St. Louis Rams’ head coach is planning some local R&R this weekend with his team on its bye week.

    “My wife and I would like to stay here and enjoy St. Louis. You don’t get to do that during the season,” Spagnuolo said. “So we’ll be in town. I’m sure we’ll find some places to eat and just relax a little bit.”

    The break comes at a welcome time for the coaches as well as the players, he added.

    “I think in this league, it’s tough to go 16 weeks as a player, and probably as a coach,” Spagnuolo said. “This business is a grind, it’s non-stop, 24-7. Whether you’re actually involved in this building or not, it’s always on your mind. So, I do think (the bye week is) a good thing. It’s a healthy thing.”

    Notes & quotes:

    *After about a 90-minute practice Wednesday, the players were treated to a barbecue lunch, then were dismissed until Monday. Spagnuolo said he told them to “travel safe and be good.”

    *WR/KR Danny Amendola, who sustained a concussion on a vicious hit Sunday, passed his neuro exam but didn’t practice Wednesday. G Jacob Bell, who also had a concussion but passed his test Tuesday, returned to practice. Also, DE C.J. Ah You (ankle) was a full participant.

    *K Josh Brown is the NFC’s special-teams player of the week. Brown kicked a 41-yard field goal, two PATs and threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to TE Daniel Fells on a fake FG in the 17-10 victory in Detroit that snapped the Rams’ 17-game skid.

    All for now…

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  • 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...
    -11-04-2009, 12:18 AM
  • 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, 08:53 PM
  • HUbison
    After first practice, Spagnuolo says he now feels like coach of the St. Louis Rams
    by HUbison
    After first practice, Spagnuolo says he now feels like coach of the St. Louis Rams
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    Steve Spagnuolo adjourned his first practice — a 90-minute workout on the outdoor fields at Rams Park — Thursday afternoon and said that he finally felt like the head coach of the Rams. “I’d say that’s a pretty accurate statement, because this is what we do as coaches, this is what we enjoy doing,” Spagnuolo said. “So it was great to be out here and be with the players.”

    Spagnuolo reported that all 64 players on the roster were in attendance and that wide receiver Derek Stanley, who is coming off knee surgery, was the only one who couldn’t do at least some of the drills. The main purpose of the three-day minicamp is to “evaluate the talent, learn how to practice and go over the basic fundamentals,” Spagnuolo said.

    “What we’re trying to do is make our practices efficient, uptempo,” he explained. “We would like to not condition after practice; we would like to condition in the practice. I thought they did a really good job of that today for the first day, I really did.”

    Another practice was scheduled for this afternoon.

    All for now . . . more later.
    -04-02-2009, 01:30 PM
  • BM_Face
    No practice due to swine flu concerns
    by BM_Face
    St. Louis Rams cancel practice due to confirmed cases of swine flu
    By R.B. Fallstrom (CP) – 1 hour ago

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams cancelled practice Thursday due to an undisclosed number of swine flu cases on the team, just three days before a home game against the Houston Texans.

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo would not say how many players had the illness but said five or six players had flulike symptoms, and added that other players had reported symptoms the last few weeks. He anticipated the Rams would return to practice on Friday with a workout that will incorporate some of the elements missed on Thursday.

    "It's really more of a precaution than anything," Spagnuolo said. "We're checking everybody, we're just being careful."

    Players were seen driving away from Rams Park shortly before noon after consulting with medical staff. Team spokesman Ted Crews said many players received medication before leaving.

    "If there was one (player), we'd have to be careful because these guys are around each other all the time," Spagnuolo said. "I think it was the right thing to do."

    Two players, quarterback Kyle Boller and centre Jason Brown, missed practice Wednesday and Spagnuolo said both players had flulike symptoms. Spagnuolo first reported Brown's illness on Monday, but Brown was back with the team Thursday and had been expected to practice before the team decided to send players home.

    Spagnuolo said he didn't know whether Boller had been at Rams Park on Thursday. He was short on specifics regarding other affected players, saying "all the names are running together."

    "I don't want to throw out a name and be wrong," Spagnuolo said. "The important thing is we don't want anybody else to get sick. The important thing is to handle it right, send everybody home."

    Coaches and staff had the option of leaving Rams Park, but the parking lot was filled with vehicles Thursday afternoon.

    Spagnuolo said the Rams became aware of the situation about 8:30 or 9 a.m., then held a team meeting after consulting with medical personnel and deciding on a course of action.

    "There was no panic here," Spagnuolo said. "We took our time."
    The Rams (1-12) host the Texans (6-7) this Sunday. Spagnuolo thought it a stretch that the game might be jeopardized.

    "Don't send me down that direction," he said. "I'm very hopeful that by tomorrow, even if there's a couple of guys that have to be away from it, that we've taken the right steps and we'll be OK."

    In early October, Texans rookie tight end Anthony Hill was hospitalized with swine flu in the first confirmed case in an NFL player this season. Other players around the league were also sidelined with flulike symptoms.
    The Texans...
    -12-17-2009, 04:56 PM
  • eldfan
    Jackson, 3 others stay home with illness
    by eldfan
    Jackson, 3 others stay home with illness
    BY JIM THOMAS [email protected] > 314-340-8197


    12/19/2009

    One day after canceling practice because of confirmed cases of swine flu, the Rams were back on the field Friday. But they were minus four players — including running back Steven Jackson — who were at home with what coach Steve Spagnuolo called illness or flu-like symptoms.

    Also missing Friday's practice were quarterback Kyle Boller, defensive tackle Darell Scott and wide receiver Brandon Gibson.

    Spagnuolo didn't provide any more details on the players' illnesses.

    "Some guys that are a little worse than others, you need to shut 'em down," Spagnuolo said. "There's coaches probably battling a cough and a sneeze, just like we all do. But whatever the doctors and trainers say, we just go that way."

    Scott and Gibson are starters. And with Marc Bulger still sidelined with a fractured shin bone, Boller was in line to start this Sunday against the Houston Texans.

    But Spagnuolo stopped short of saying the four had swine flu.

    "I'm not being the doctor — not at all," he said.

    Spagnuolo said he didn't know how many confirmed cases of swine flu the team had.

    "It's flu season," he said. "All the coaches are working, I can tell you that."

    Besides, he indicated that results for some players tested for swine flu might not be in yet.

    "To my knowledge, it takes three to four days," Spagnuolo said. "You don't go over and just draw blood and know."

    Besides the four players who missed practice entirely because of illness, four others were listed as limited participation Friday with illness: tight end Billy Bajema, center Jason Brown, tight end Daniel Fells and running back Samkon Gado.

    "They were just 'down' a little bit, the energy wasn't up there, so we didn't put them through the whole (practice)," Spagnuolo said.

    So far, Brown remains the team's only confirmed case of swine flu.

    "That's what the doctor labeled it: swine flu," Brown said Friday. "I had a cough on Saturday evening that makes me believe that I picked up something on the flight down to Tennessee."

    During the game against the Titans, Brown said, "I felt horrible. Like crap. I felt like passing out. It attacks you very hard and fast. But luckily there are antiviral medications that they have to help you get back on your feet very fast."

    Players were given Tamiflu, a prescription flu medicine, to help combat illness, including swine flu.

    "My mother, of course, she's calling up saying make sure you drink the teas and the soups and what-not," Brown said. "I'm sorry, but none of...
    -12-19-2009, 06:54 AM
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