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(on whether the practice schedule will be adjusted this week)
Well, we adjusted it last week as well. We tried to push their time clocks closer to kickoff. It will be modified today and tomorrow, no doubt. It was a very physical game, and we’ll do everything we need to do to get them back to that level by Sunday.
(on Zac Stacy’s injury status)
I don’t know if he’ll practice today, but he’s doing fine.
(on what Zac Stacy brings to the Rams’ offense)
Well, he’s been great. I always like to start with how he plays without the football. He’s doing a really good job in pass protection and getting to where he needs to get to as far as the route distribution stuff. He’s got great vision, and he’s a strong inside runner. It’s been a big boost to us.
(on whether this game will be different than others this season given the Titans’ ties)
You know, not necessarily. I think it would be different if we were coming there, but we’ve got a short week and we’ve got to get everybody ready to play. Artis (Twyman) was good to let me know that I think there’s 16 guys left on the roster that were there when I was there. They’ve done a great job with the roster. They’re playing well, and this is just about our team and the matchups and trying to find a way to win.
(on installing his plans with a new team)
Well, it’s been a lot of fun. There were some difficult times here, obviously, for a number of years. Nobody’s lost more games in a five-year span in the history of the NFL than this franchise. We had to come in, and we’ve had to quickly assess personnel and start making changes. We’ve been fortunate, obviously, to acquire the draft choices, and so far, so good. We’re very, very young. It was funny because I was going down the roster prior to addressing the guys on Monday night to try to determine how many guys have played a Monday night game, and I think I was lucky to guess 12. So, they’re a really young football team. Obviously, I was proud of the way they played Monday. The process has been fun, real good locker room. Guys understand it’s OK to have fun and work hard.
(on whether there is a sense of urgency to turn a program around with some other teams having immediate success)
I’m proud of Andy (Reid) and obviously the story at Indianapolis was an incredible story last year, but I’m more concerned with what we’re doing. There’s a sense of urgency to win a football game every week. We have plans in place, and I really appreciate our owner’s vision for what he wants to get accomplished here. He understands where we are and what happened a week ago and was excited about the way that we played. With respect to turning this place around, (it’s) probably not as easy. I’m very proud of the effort we got last year, specifically in the division, but we lost a couple games we could have won. Every year is different.
(on his impressions of Cortland Finnegan)
Well, he started off real fast. He did a real nice job earlier in the year and was real consistent for us. He battled a hamstring late in the season, and we backed down from the starting spot and let him play some nickel. Early this year, our defense struggled as a whole and Cort (Cortland Finnegan) had an issue with the hamstring against the 49ers. Fortunately, he came back Monday night and was able to play in some packages. He feels 100 percent, so we’ll see how he does this week and determine the extent of play time he sees Sunday.
(on Cortland Finnegan’s playing attitude)
He’s not lost that. He’s been great with the young guys. He’s really been an outstanding practice player, and he enjoys his teammates. He gets along very well with them.
(on Jared Cook’s transition with the Rams)
Jared’s (Cook) been good. He started off real well early and then we got in some situations. What happens is — as you guys know — he had 104 yards and a couple of touchdowns against Arizona and people make adjustments. We were forced to go elsewhere with the ball, and we didn’t play well defensively. Jared’s done a nice job in all our packages. I’m pleased with him, and he’s having a lot of fun here.
(on Jared Cook’s production)
Well, we did early. He still has potential. We’ve struggled a little bit as of late offensively, (and) the ball has gone other places. But, again, he’s drawing attention. When he draws attention, the ball goes elsewhere. Two weeks ago at Carolina, the ball was thrown very well for us, and Sam (Bradford) went down. It’s pretty much going outside to the receivers because of the attention he was getting.
(on how the Titans look this year)
Well, I’m very, very impressed with what they’ve done with the offensive line. Both tackles are playing very well, and to shore up the inside the way they did in a short period of time is very impressive. Clearly, it starts there. I’m impressed with the receivers. Nate’s (Washington) still playing at a high level, still runs very well. CJ (Chris Johnson) is CJ. I have a great deal of respect for him because of his ball game. The scheme changes week to week though, offensively, based on the opponent. They’ve attacked three very good defenses very well. I’m very impressed with Jake’s (Locker) return, the way he handled that 49ers defense that we’re very familiar with. On the other side of the ball, obviously Gregg (Williams) has had a tremendous influence on it. He recognizes things, and it presents challenges. Against very solid offenses, (the defense) has played very well.
(on the last time he spoke with Gregg Williams)
Probably sometime last fall. We were prohibited to have contact with him, but we had permission from the commissioner and had a conversation or two.
(on what stands out about a defense influenced by Gregg Williams)
Well, the scheme has changed significantly from last year to this year through our eyes, an offensive perspective. Obviously, I’m familiar with the scheme and recognize what they’re doing, and they’re doing it very well.
(on how much of Mike Heimerdinger he sees in Dowell Loggains)
You know, I think you see a lot of it. Dowell (Loggains) has been creative. There’s been some other things that they’ve been doing. I’m anticipating them with the week off and everybody healing up getting back to hammer time and establish the run, running the football. I think there’s a great deal of influence there from a protection standpoint and such.
(on whether he anticipates reconnecting with Gregg Williams on Sunday)
I would expect to say hello to him. There’s probably some people I will say hello to.
(on Jake Locker’s improvement)
I’ll just speak from the early games where I thought he played pretty well when there was a run game, a serious commitment to the run game with play-action involved. He’s on schedule. I thought the throws, the decisions he made in the 49ers game, the things he was told to do based on coverage concepts (were good). Athletically, he has all the tools. He’s throwing with accuracy, he’s got great vision. His legs I think are a significant concern for our defense because he can extend plays.
(on similarities between Jake Locker and Steve McNair)
I think it’s still kind of early, but I would venture to guess the comparisons are based on his toughness, his arm strength, and his athletic ability.
(on how he thinks Tommy Smith will do as the Titans’ new owner)
Tommy (Smith) for a number of years was very active on a day-to-day basis. He’s a good businessman and outstanding communicator. Obviously, I’ll take a moment to comment on Bud (Adams) — I did last week as well. We wouldn’t be having this conversation today if it weren’t for Bud and the entire family. I know Tommy had some say in the decision there when I was retained as a head coach. I’m very grateful to Tommy, and I think Tommy will do a great job.
(on whether it is more difficult to develop a consistent run game now compared to five or 10 years ago)
I think you’re seeing a different type of run game with the read-option now where we’ve faced it three or four times this year, our commitment to it, that changes things. I’m not saying we’re a pass-happy league, but I’ve always said this: as the temperature changes and the leaves start to change, the run games pick up. So, I would expect run games across the league to pick up now.
(on whether the Rams are a run the ball, stop the run team and whether this is an effective approach)
Well, I think over the course of a year you have to be able to do both. If you look at the teams that are running the ball the most number of times, or from the other perspective, who has the fewest pass attempts, it’s those teams, the Seahawks, the 49ers in our division, I’d say it’s probably going to be the Colts down there—I haven’t checked their stats—those are the teams that are consistently winning, those that are committed to the run.
(on what he did with all his Titans memorabilia)
I’m really not finished unpacking. You get the prize for strangest question.
(on whether people still think of him as a member of the Titans organization)
You come across a lot of fans here that were Titans fans and would make the trip down there every weekend. On occasion someone will slip up and reference the Titans rather than the Rams.
(on where he plans on retiring)
Well, I made the decision and kept the farm out there (in Tennessee). I love Nashville, so when the time comes I’ll make that decision. But, I’m going to hold on to that.
(on his favorite memories with the Titans)
Well, I’d have to say once we got settled — it would have been the first win there against Cincinnati. I’m reminded about that every day. That was a great memory, and of course, everything associated with that year. The playoff opportunities, some of those that were missed. 2000 — even though it was a difficult memory — it was still a great year. Having the opportunity to develop relationships, and maintain relationships for that matter, with former players. Eddie (George), other guys, of course Frank (Wycheck). It was a great run, and I’m forever grateful to the Adams family for that opportunity.
(on reminders of the Rams’ 2000 Super Bowl win against the Titans throughout the team’s facility)
I’ve gotten used to it. It was hard at first with Kevin Dyson reaching out and Mike (Jones) laying on his back and all that stuff. I store it downstairs. It’s been kind of fun getting to know those guys. We’ve opened the door to a lot of the former Rams now. I guess for some reason that door was closed. There’s a great deal of history here. We’ve brought back a lot of former players that had great years here with this organization.
(on the Rams’ defensive line)
Why don’t you ask Russell Wilson. They’re playing very, very well. We’ve got speed, we’re getting consistent inside push. I’m really pleased with (Michael) Brockers. Michael’s coming on (strong). You know, he had that ankle injury most of the year last year. He had a great offseason, and he’s played well inside as has Kendall (Langford). The thing that makes it possible for them, their production, is the fact William (Hayes) can back up Chris (Long). They get along really well as far as subbing for each other, and then you have Eugene (Sims) backs up Robert (Quinn). You’ve got four people rotating to keep fresh. Obviously, it helped us Monday, but realistically, the Seahawks were without both their starting tackles. One would expect if you got them in a drop back situation there would be some pressure.
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