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  • Spagnuolo Speaks!

    Spagnuolo Speaks
    Posted Tue, February 16, 2010 05:12
    by Nick Wagoner

    - Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo spoke to the media today for the first time since the end of the season. During the course of the conversation, he hit on a variety of topics including free agency, the combine, potential free agent signees and draft picks, injured players and their recoveries and gave his thoughts on the newest additions to his staff.

    - Of course, one hot topic around the team right now is what the quarterback situation will look like heading into 2010. This is what Spagnuolo had to say about any decisions on that front...

    "There is still a long ways to go here," Spagnuolo said. "This is all in layers. Free agency, draft and what happens afterward. To make any rash decisions, no we wouldn’t do that. But I will say what I said before: good, bad or indifferent, in playing three quarterbacks last year it gave us a pretty good feel of what all three of them can do. So that’s a bonus. This time last year when I was standing here, I didn’t know a lot about them. So it’s good to have a comfort level of who we have and where we are going.

    "I see all the scenarios. I have said this before, I have a great deal of respect for Marc (Bulger) and I think he is a good football player and a competitor. He grabs me all the time on the sideline with suggestions. I think a lot of Marc as I did Kyle (Boller) and certainly Keith (Null) getting in there and playing a few games, it helps us."

    - Spagnuolo said he has talked to Bulger recently but like with most players at this time of year, he said those conversations are mostly just to catch up and talk about what's going on rather than football. Something more concrete should crystallize in the coming weeks before free agency.

    - Speaking of free agency, Spagnuolo was asked directly about a pair of free agents already on the market whom he already knows.

    - The Giants released linebacker Antonio Pierce last week after an injury-plagued season. Spagnuolo had Pierce in New York and has a good relationship with him.

    "I haven’t talked to Antonio," Spagnuolo said. "When I saw it the other day, I meant to text him. I didn’t get a chance to do that but I will because Antonio is a close friend of mine and when you get in this business the players become close friends. I think the world of him. I know he had the injury last year. I was sorry to see that but I will have to visit with him."

    That doesn't necessarily mean the Rams are interested in signing Pierce but Spagnuolo's relationship indicated it's something that would be discussed. One obstacle is Pierce's position. He plays middle linebacker and the Rams already have one in James Laurinaitis. That leaves a question of whether Pierce could handle an outside position or if he'd handle a backup role if the Rams chose to pursue him.

    "I guess all those situations are possible," Spagnuolo said. "I think the health of the player is the most important thing first."

    - The other player Spagnuolo knows who recently came available is receiver Donte Stallworth. Stallworth played for the Eagles when Spagnuolo was in Philadelphia. Stallworth is on the free agent market after getting his release from Cleveland.

    "I was with Donte in Philadelphia," Spagnuolo said. "I think he’s a heck of a football player. I know that he has just become available so we are looking at everybody. I happen to know Donta personally and kind of like him. That’s going back a while, now."

    - In a more general sense, Spagnuolo also addressed the free agent market and the strong possibility that it will be watered down by the uncapped year.

    "The numbers are a lot less going into free agency," Spagnuolo said. "I am not talking about our players, I’m talking about other players that we could add. It’s just slim, numbers wise. That will make it a little bit more challenging. It is the same for every team so all 31 other teams are going through the same thing. Whatever the landscape, whatever phase you are in this thing, you just deal with it and you move on. It doesn’t do any good to hope it changes because if it doesn’t you have got to have a plan for it."

    - As usual, Spagnuolo also sees a bright side to free agency: the opportunity to retain the free agents on his own roster.

    "It allows you to keep players that normally might have gone out there so there’s two ways to look at it," Spagnuolo said. "Certainly the pool is less of guys you might have wanted to go grab but guys you want to keep in the fold here, it gives you an avenue to do that."

    - Spagnuolo will head to Indianapolis a week from tomorrow with the Rams contingent for the scouting combine. He says he has just begun the process of looking at tape of college players as he and the coaches just put the finishing touches on the film of the free agents.

    As for highly rated Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Spagnuolo said he is just starting to get to see him on tape.

    "Not as much as I have wanted to," Spagnuolo said. "We just finished yesterday was the film on the free agents. Now we are just starting to dig into the college guys. I have seen clips of him here and there and he is an impressive football player but to say I have sat there and studied him I can’t do that."

    - On the injury front, Spagnuolo says all of the players working back from various ailments are coming along just fine. Specifically, he said cornerback Bradley Fletcher is coming perhaps ahead of schedule and looks to be doing well. Chris Massey, C.J. Ah You, Keenan Burton, Eric Bassey and Adam Carriker are also coming along just fine.

    - Among some of the players who have had surgery after the season, Spagnuolo said cornerback Ron Bartell (bursa sac/elbow) and John Greco (thumb) are doing fine after some minor procedures.

    - That's it for today. Be sure to keep an eye on this space in the next week or so as I will once again be providing quick updates with tidbits from Lucas Oil Stadium.

  • #2
    Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

    No mention of Laurent Robinson's progress concerns me.


    • #3
      Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

      Originally posted by Fortuninerhater
      No mention of Laurent Robinson's progress concerns me.
      Little inside info, LR started running last week. At least according to his college quarterback's cousin.

      -lol sounds crazy typing it, but former Illinois State QB Luke Drone is a bit of a legend in little ol Mt. Carmel, Illinois.

      I did find it interesting no mentioning of him though...


      • #4
        Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

        Good news about Fletcher though! Hope to see him in camp and turning heads.


        • #5
          Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

          Originally posted by shower beers
          Good news about Fletcher though! Hope to see him in camp and turning heads.
          I am also excited to see Fletcher next year. Maybe with some softer Turf he may not bend his knee the wrong way. My leg started hurting when i saw him land on the ground that play.


          • #6
            Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

            Not sure i like his comments on Stallworth, because it seems tha Rams could be interested. But i dont want him on this team. It has nothing to do with his conviction, however, as it wouldnt be right to support Leonard Little and be against signing Stallworth for the same reason. But i dont think he offers anything more than we already have at the WR position, and adding him could ruin the development of younger WRs with more potential


            • #7
              Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

              lol sounds crazy typing it, but former Illinois State QB Luke Drone is a bit of a legend in little ol Mt. Carmel, Illinois.

              Hey!!! Thats where I'm


              • #8
                Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

                Originally posted by tomahawk247
                Not sure i like his comments on Stallworth, because it seems tha Rams could be interested. But i dont want him on this team. It has nothing to do with his conviction, however, as it wouldnt be right to support Leonard Little and be against signing Stallworth for the same reason. But i dont think he offers anything more than we already have at the WR position, and adding him could ruin the development of younger WRs with more potential
                News today is that Stallworth has signed with the Ravens, so you're safe there.


                • #9
                  Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

                  Originally posted by Battering_RAMS
                  Hey!!! Thats where I'm
                  And I've been there several times. Weird world.

                  edit: Spags certainly does keep things close to the vest. Good thing IMO.


                  • #10
                    Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

                    I really like Fletcher's progression through the season until he got hurt. Hope he comes back and starts for us. He certainly looked good out there.

                    As for the QB, I'm intrigued in what is going to happen


                    • #11
                      Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

                      Originally posted by Fortuninerhater
                      No mention of Laurent Robinson's progress concerns me.
                      Exactly what I was thinking anyone care to fill us in on his status?


                      • #12
                        Re: Spagnuolo Speaks!

                        Originally posted by Nick
                        News today is that Stallworth has signed with the Ravens, so you're safe there.
                        Yep thats good to hear!


                        Related Topics


                        • RamWraith
                          Spagnuolo has thrown himself into his work
                          by RamWraith
                          Evaluating players is a top priority for new coach of Rams
                          BY STEVE KORTE - News-Democrat

                          ST. LOUIS -- Having filled out his coaching staff, new St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has turned his attention to evaluating players in preparation for pending free agency and the 2009 NFL Draft in late April.

                          "The main issue was getting the staff together, and now I have to put my arms around a lot of other things and just kind of chip away as you go," Spagnuolo said. "There is so many elements -- free agency, college draft picks, trying to get your schemes together, learning the people in the building. I'm trying to meet face-to-face with everybody in the building. I'm trying to make sure my wife doesn't leave me."

                          Spagnuolo's wife, Maria, also has been busy searching for a home in St. Louis.

                          Spagnuolo admitted that the task of familiarizing himself with the 52 players on the Rams' roster as well as the hundreds of players who could become available when free agency starts Feb. 27 was daunting.

                          "A good overwhelming, one of those overwhelmings that you want to have happen to you," Spagnuolo said.

                          Spagnuolo has been with the Rams for 3 1/2 weeks. He said he has looked at a lot of film, but "not enough, in my opinion" to make some of the personnel decisions that the Rams need to make.

                          Spagnuolo said he'll turn to General Manager Billy Devaney to help him with those decisions.

                          "I think we're going to have to rely heavily on Billy," Spagnuolo said. "He's been here for a year. And the (three assistant) coaches that we retained, who have a feel (for the personnel).

                          "Because you can only see so much on film. But we'll use any and all of the resources that we have to get a bead on who we think can help us going forward."

                          The Rams have some tough decisions on the horizon. They're only $14 million under the salary cap for 2009, and if they end up placing the franchise tag on free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, it'll eat up $6.34 million or almost half of that cap space.

                          The Rams could clear a big chunk of cap space for free agency by cutting ties with two long-time fixtures, wide receiver Torry Holt or left tackle Orlando Pace. Holt counts $10.2 million against the salary cap, while Pace counts about $9 million.

                          Spagnuolo said he, Devaney and newly hired salary cap specialist Kevin Demoff were still formulating a plan for free agency.

                          "Don't have a clue on that right now," Spagnuolo said when asked how active the Rams would be in free agency. "When Kevin and myself and Billy get together and start to formulate a game plan, I'll have a better idea on that."

                          Spagnuolo said several players who are spending the offseason in St. Louis have come to Rams Park to meet him, including...
                          -02-14-2009, 04:04 AM
                        • Bralidore(RAMMODE)
                          Spagnuolo Sees Different Senior Bowl
                          by Bralidore(RAMMODE)
                          Wednesday, January 27, 2010
                          By Nick Wagoner
                          Senior Writer
                          MOBILE, Ala. – Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo has been coaching in the NFL for 11 years. Of the many things that profession entails for the majority of coaches, one is an annual trip here for Senior Bowl week.
                          That trip can only be skipped by a select few, those fortunate enough to have helped lead their teams to the final weekend or two of the NFL playoffs. Those are the coaches playing for championships and they gladly miss out on the opportunity to come to Ladd-Peebles Stadium to try to find the guys who could help them someday skip said event.
                          Before traveling down here this week, Spagnuolo reflected on this very idea and came to the conclusion that he has been quite blessed in his coaching career.
                          “I have been very, very lucky in this league,” Spagnuolo said. “This is year 11 for me and this is only I want to say like the fourth time I have been here because I have been lucky enough to be on teams that were in the playoffs.”
                          Obviously, Spagnuolo and the Rams weren’t so fortunate this season but that doesn’t mean he’s upset about coming to Mobile to get acquainted with some of the players in this year’s draft class.
                          Last week, Spagnuolo hit the one-year mark of his tenure as the head coach of the Rams. A lot has changed in that time.
                          At last year’s Senior Bowl, Spagnuolo was holed up in a room at the Renaissance Battle House Hotel interviewing candidates for various spots on his coaching staff. He attended no practices and got no feel for any of the players in attendance at last year’s game.
                          This year, Spagnuolo has had to, in some ways, re-learn the Senior Bowl process.
                          In the early days of the week, Spagnuolo sat anonymously with the NFL masses in the stands next to General Manager Billy Devaney. There, Spagnuolo picked Devaney’s brain about the players on the field in an effort to get to know some of them.
                          After a couple of days of that, Spagnuolo spent Wednesday morning standing on the sideline with Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin and his trusty pencil and notebook in hand.
                          “I was picking his brain a little bit about his first couple of years and time as a defensive coordinator so we shared some thoughts there but we both stood there and said ‘You do realize we keep moving with the defensive guys,’” Spagnuolo said, laughing. “We do have our eyes on everyone, though.”
                          Although the Spagnuolo and his staff were offered the opportunity to be one of the coaching staffs here this week, the invitation was declined. Detroit is coaching the North team while Miami is coaching the South squad.
                          Spagnuolo said he put a lot of thought into the decision but ultimately didn’t feel like the time was right for his staff to take on the task.
                          “I just felt like this year it was more advantageous for...
                          -01-27-2010, 06:44 PM
                        • RamWraith
                          Rams minicamp with a plan
                          by RamWraith
                          BY Jim Thomas
                          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                          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
                        • r8rh8rmike
                          Poor Tackling Concerns Spagnuolo
                          by r8rh8rmike
                          Poor tackling concerns Spagnuolo

                          BY BILL COATS
                          August 23, 2010

                          As coach Steve Spagnuolo put it Sunday, a day after the Rams evened their preseason record at 1-1 by edging the Browns 19-17, "A win is a win." But the victory had its blemishes, Spagnuolo pointed out.

                          "It's not all pretty," he said. "So there are things we've got to work on."

                          Perhaps topping that list is tackling. The Rams whiffed on a bunch of them in the steady rain in Cleveland.

                          "I did not like overall the way we tackled," Spagnuolo said. "Way too many missed tackles. And that can't happen. It doesn't matter what the elements are or what the field's like. Guys have got to make those tackles. …

                          "I think the guys know exactly what the issues were, because we talk about it all the time. We're high on our tackles."

                          After watching the game film, Spagnuolo put together a clip of five or six tackles that he said were executed perfectly. He plans to highlight those when he meets with his defense today.

                          "I'm going to show them those first and say, 'Hey, let's just do this all the time,'" Spagnuolo said. "I don't think this is a major, major issue, because we have some prideful guys. We're doing things the right way; we've just got to do it all the time."
                          -08-23-2010, 10:42 AM
                        • RamWraith
                          Spagnuolo's Staff Hard at Work
                          by RamWraith
                          Thursday, February 12, 2009

                          By Nick Wagoner
                          Senior Writer

                          In the whirlwind days that followed his hiring as Rams head coach on Jan. 19, Steve Spagnuolo and daylight became strangers.

                          Even in Mobile, Ala., site of the annual Senior Bowl, Spagnuolo rarely ventured outside of his room at the Renaissance Battle House. When he did, it was to travel the few steps upstairs to meet with general manager Billy Devaney or a quick meeting with a friend in the lobby.

                          But the opportunity to go out and study college prospects never came close to fruition, never mind the chance to get a breath of fresh air or step out for lunch.

                          “The only time I walked out of the room was either to walk down to Billy’s room, which was on the next floor up, and the last night I walked down to the lobby to see somebody,” Spagnuolo said. “That was it. That was an interesting, wonderful experience. But I like to go down there and see guys I haven’t seen all year. I didn’t get a chance to do that.”

                          Instead, Spagnuolo holed up in his room and began piecing together a coaching staff. Over the next three and a half weeks, Spagnuolo rarely came up for air as the search for coaches continued.

                          Finally, on Monday, Spagnuolo announced the hiring of the final three coaches on his staff, bringing the total to 19 assistants and completing the long and arduous process of putting a staff together.

                          Thursday afternoon, Spagnuolo finally emerged from his Russell Training Center office with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, defensive coordinator Ken Flajole and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon in tow.

                          Needless to say, the completion of the staff is a weight off the shoulders of Spagnuolo, who throughout the process made it a point to be deliberate with his hires so as to do all possible diligence on potential candidates.

                          “What month are we in? It’s February, right?” Spagnuolo said, laughing.

                          For a first time head coach, the business of finding 19 coaches who fit the bill of what you are looking for is difficult enough without the added pressure to come in terms of building a 53-man roster.

                          Spagnuolo was quick to acknowledge the relief he had in completing his first major task as a head coach.

                          “It’s been a good overwhelming,” Spagnuolo said. “One of those overwhelmings you want to have happen to you.”

                          When Spagnuolo set out to put a staff in place, he did so with a few ideas for how he wanted it done.

                          At the top of the list was finding coaches who fit into the ethos of what Spagnuolo is installing in St. Louis. That included finding coaches he believed could relate to the players and teach them on a daily basis as well as guys with strong character.

                          “The whole model was to get great teachers with high character and the only way to really know how somebody...
                          -02-13-2009, 04:23 AM