Here is a transcript of what Rams Head Coach Jim Haslett had to say today at Rams Park....
"I'll give you a quick injury update. (DE) Victor Adeyanju has a neck, but he practiced today. (G) Richie Incognito has an ankle and (CB) Fakhir Brown hurt his ankle, both during the game and they didn't practice today, they should be okay this week. Leonard with his hamstring was limited. Then (WR) Torry (Holt) we just gave the day off. Besides that (LB) (Gary) Stills we're going to wait and see on him this week. (K) Josh Brown he'll kick Friday."
(On LB Gary Stills injury)
"See how his knee is. He had it drained yesterday, had an MRI, got a bunch of bone spurs and fragments and stuff floating around in there. He'll have to have surgery at the end of the year, but he's kind of like (DE) La'Roi (Glover), he'll kind of fight through it, so we'll see how he is. If he practices Friday, he'll go on Sunday."
(On WR Dane Looker's kicking in practice)
"Yeah, he did alright. I told him, I said, "At that 43-range we might have him do it instead of (K) Josh (Brown). That's a joke."
(On WR Dane Looker's athletic ability)
"He's a good athlete. Good golfer, you saw him kicking field goals, he did a nice job. He can punt. He's a really exceptional athlete."
(On if there's a chance WR Dane Looker will kick on Sunday)
"No, we're just resting him (Josh Brown) until Friday. He's going to kick Friday."
(On if he thinks there's a good chance to win this weekend going against a 2-11 team)
"They have a lot of similarities to us, injury wise and they have different things going on. They played really well last week against New England. Actually, they should have beaten them and Seneca did a nice job of moving the ball, he was 20-28 or 22-28. He took off, ran well, the running game was pretty efficient and their line played well. On defense, they were in a different boat last week they did a lot of blitzing, so we'll have to get ready for all that stuff. It'll be a good competitive game. I would like to think we can go into most games and have a chance to win, but we'll just see how it plays out."
(On how involved he gets in the offense and what would he like to change)
"Well, to be quite honest with you, I don't get involved at all. I sit in the run game meeting that's about it. I don't know the verbiage. I'm just being honest with you, when you take over in the middle of the season to sit there and learn the whole offense it's almost impossible still trying to keep involved in special teams and defense. I'm really not involved at all."
(On if gives suggestions to the offense)
"I can't make suggestions because I don't know the terminology. I'm starting to understand the run game, I know a little bit about the passing game and it just takes time. It's not like when you have a whole offseason and you just hired somebody or your with somebody you can learn the verbiage, you spend time. You go through OTAs and mini-camps and then you can sit there and you can suggest if you want or you can game plan with the offense if you want to. What I did with coach McCarthy when I was with him in New Orleans we would just sit down him and I and we would do third down because I would say this is what hurts corners, this is what hurts cover two, this is what defenses don't like, so that I don't do that right now. I don't do any of that."
(On if he had an offseason to learn the offense he would be more involved)
"Yeah, I would be involved in all three phases if I had the whole offseason. We would spend time and I'd understand exactly what I'm looking for. As the head coach, I would something done a certain way, to be honest with you, I'm more of a downhill runner, power game, big guys up front trying to maul you, run the ball and build everything off the running game. Whatever philosophy you use, that's what I would like."
(On if RB Steven Jackson's injury is more than a thigh strain)
"We're living in the past now. I thought he looked good today at practice. It's terminology, however the doctors term it. They call it a thigh strain and that's what it is. You're going to have to ask the doctors on that one."
(On if he's talked to S Corey Chavous)
"Yeah, I talked to Corey. We had a great discussion yesterday about 45 minutes. First of all, the guy's a great guy, a team player, always will be. Before I even got it out of my mouth, he told me what I was going to tell him. I appreciate it, if I was going to have a guy that I was going to build I would say follow that guy around that's the guy I want you to be like. He studies, he prepares, he knows the opponent, he spends time watching film. He actually is the reason; I think, (Oshiomogho) 'O.J.' (Atogwe) kind of took off because him and O.J. sit beside each other. He taught O.J. how to study, how to take notes, how to prepare to play. Then, obviously, O.J.'s athleticism's taken him to where he is now, but he, I think single-handedly, is the reason why O.J.'s ready to play games because of Corey and probably the whole defensive backfield."
(On why they decided to start S Todd Johnson)
"We made the change for a couple of reasons, but the main reason I'd like to see Todd Johnson I think he deserves, the one guy on our team that really hasn't had the chance to go out there and show himself. When he gets in there he plays pretty well. Last year, he played in the Baltimore game. We held Baltimore to 46-yards or something rushing, whatever it was, we did a nice job in the run game with O.J. down in the box and Todd in space. I think with those two you have the ability to play left and right, play strong open, weak tight because they both a pretty good handle on what you want."
(On what S Todd Johnson will bring to the game)
"Well, I don't know, we're going to find out. That's why we're going to give him the opportunity. Todd's a really smart guy, he's a good football player, he can tackle, he started a number of games in this league in Chicago and did a good job. He's a good team's player so we're going to limit him a little bit in the team's area. I think he'll bring a calmness to the defense and he'll be effective in his own way, he's not going to be flashy, he's not a flashy type of guy. He's the kind of guy that gets out there and gets the job done."
(On if it's tough to not start S Corey Chavous because he has a strong presence in the locker room
"He's your team captain, voted by the players, so it is, it does. This is a move we talked about a couple weeks ago and we thought no it's not the right time; he's well-respected in the locker room and he's well-respected by the coaches. I love the guy, I mean, like I said, I didn't even get it out my mouth yet and he was telling me what I was going to say and understood and he said I'm here to do whatever you want. I'm going to play (special) teams that's how I made my living early in my career. Then we talked about our football team and after that we just talked about what he thought we needed in the future. I'll let him tell you that but he said... "This is not your team, this is what you had in New Orleans and I know what you're trying to build." And we kind of just talked about that. But he's a great guy and if something happens, he'll be ready to step in and play and we won't miss a beat."
(On if he thinks S Corey Chavous would make a good coach)
"I think Corey could coach, I think he could be in personnel because the man studies more film than anybody. He knows players he does all that scouting in the offseason. I think he can go a number of different avenues. Now, does he want to spend the time in coaching, I don't know. We talked about that yesterday, you know, maybe coming back as a backup, 'Jimmy Spencer' type guy who was a coach/player for Denver for a number of years and then he got into coaching, finally got out playing, went into coaching. I think he's going to leave his options open. I do think the guy loves football, he loves the game. And if I know Corey, he'll want to stay playing."
(On if he grades players differently at this point in the season)
"We grade them all the same, it doesn't make a difference. Either you're playing hard, you're not playing hard, you're doing the techniques right, you're not doing them right, you get a grade on your assignment, your execution and then obviously if you make a play or you don't make a play. So, there's four things that go into it."
(On hoe he would describe Seattle Head Coach Mike Holmgren)
"Mike as a coach is probably one of the all-time best coaches record wise that's ever coached in the game. I love the guy. The guy's consistently the same guy, consistently the same offense for a long period of time with a championship ring. (He's) very demanding, especially on his quarterbacks, very efficient, they're precise in what they do, they run a fast-tempo offense, they amass different ways to get to different plays, but they've always done a good job. Everywhere he's been, he's done a good job even back to the San Francisco days. I have a lot of respect for Mike. I like Mike I think personally he's one of the better guys in the league. (He's) real Christian off the field and just a heck of a football coach."
(On if evaluating players at the end of the season when contracts are the line is different than at the beginning of the season when things are up in the air)
"We weigh them the same, I think you should play no matter what. You have 16 games in this league, if you're lucky, not too many guys are, to play 10 years in the league, you think about this, your lucky, there's not too many of them, you get only 160 games in your whole career where baseball gets 162 a year. So, if your lucky, now most guys get three and a half, three years, so your talking about 48, 50 games and their out of football. So, you should take every single game, every single play and you should try to do the best you can with that because it's not going to last long and you don't get many games. I break it down into that area. Why grade them differently from game 1 to game 16? They're all the same. You either play hard; do what you're supposed to do from game 1. Obviously, you hope they improve and they get better as the season wears on and they don't make the same mistakes and they're still playing their buts off and they're still doing the right things and they're executing on the guys that make the plays. At the end, it's all about making plays, so you're going to have to go through all 16 games. When you sign a free agent, you don't just say, "Well, let's look at his last game." You look at all 16 games. If you're going to give somebody $30 million or $20 million you're going to look at every single game, every play he's played. The team's that shorten themselves look at two or three games and then go, well, that's not the guy I saw on film. Well, that's your own fault for not studying him."
(On if CB Tye Hill was surprised when he was put on IR)
"No, we talked about it the last couple weeks. I told him if we could find somebody that was on another practice squad or somebody that we thought could come in and help us in the future or next year, we would probably put him on IR. Actually, we kind of hindered. We tried to sign three or four guys off the practice squad and the agents wouldn't let them come here because of the unknown in the future."
(On why CB Tye Hill's injury isn't improving)
"I don't know, he doesn't know. He's frustrated and he's upset about it. We're going to rest him this month, not do anything, get another MRI and hopefully give him some time off and hopefully he's better. Tye in his first year and half, you guys forget, was a pretty good football player, three interceptions, a lot of break-ups his rookie year. Playing really well into second year and then he get the wrist (injury). He broke his wrist in the Atlanta game making a great play actually to win the game for us and then he kind of got beat up and he's been hurt ever since, so it's really not fair. The guy's a good football player; he's just going through this injury bug right now."
(On if it's tough to salvage a young player's confidence when they deal with injuries early in their career and if CB Tye Hill's confidence is salvageable)
"Well, yeah, he's salvageable, corner's are always like that. His confidence is really shot now. But I'll tell you one thing it'll make him do, I think when you miss this much time it makes you appreciate the game and appreciate what you don't have. Then, when you come back you come back and play for it a little bit more because you know it can end at any time and you just went through it and you missed a game. I was talking to him today about how he misses the game and I said, "Well, this will make you appreciate it a little bit more. Maybe you'll work a little bit harder and do some things right and then it can end at any time." I think the guys that do get hurt and they do miss some time, I think they appreciate the game a little bit more."
(On if it's a tough lesson for guys with injuries to learn)
"Yeah, it's a hard lesson. I get guys that call me everyday. I have a guy that calls me about three times a week and wants an opportunity, he says, "I know I screwed up when I had you before." I kept telling him, "You have to cut this out," I'm not going to tell you what, but he never cut it out and he was out of football, good football player, but probably will never have an opportunity to play again."
(On if the rookies have hit a 'rookie wall')
"I think they're kind of past it now. I think they've kind of passed it this week or last week they were coming out of it. But, yeah, I sensed that. I thought (WR) Donnie (Avery) kind of ran into it. He started out with the hip and then missing camp and then all the sudden he's jolted into starting and then he's kind of been up and down. Then, he had a couple good games and then you could see he was tired, started to wear out, but you see him coming back again."
(On if he thinks WR Donnie Avery has been defended differently after having a couple good games)
"No, not necessarily. It's about the same. He just, I think young receivers, there's not too many receivers that come in their rookie year and make a great impact. There's very few. The first round picks, I can't off the top of my head it's hard to even think of any, besides Randy Moss. There's not too many that make that immediate impact. I was watching (WR) Santonio Holmes the other day from Pittsburgh and this is late in his second year and he's starting to come on now. I think it does take some time with the young receivers."
(On what the Rams can learn from other teams that have turned their teams around in the offseason)
"You study the teams that made great jumps. Just off the top of my head, Atlanta, the New York Jets and Miami and really Carolina. Carolina added a couple offensive linemen, they drafted a kid from Pitt, I don't know to pronounce it, (T Jeff Otah), they traded their first round pick next year to get him in the first round and then all the sudden they have him and (T Jordan) Gross, they have (T Travelle) Wharton, they have (C) Ryan Kalil. They're solidifying the offensive line. They get a running backing in the Draft and all the sudden they're going to win, 11, 12 games. So, I think it can be done. You have to have a plan. You have to know what you're doing, you have to really implement that plan and I know I've talked to (Rams Executive Vice President/Player Personnel) Billy (Devaney) every day and discussed it and he's got a great plan and he knows what this team needs to be fixed and we'll see if we have the opportunity to do it. But, just take those four teams and you can get a sense of where I was going with it; how they fixed it."
(On the difference between having LB Pisa Tinoisamoa healthy compared to not being healthy)
"You shouldn't have brought that up. We were just talking about that today. That's a guy we always worried about because not a big in stature guy, you know, about staying healthy. He's so fast he gets a little bit out of control, but he's done a great job this year of keeping his hips down when he's tackling, bringing his arms when he's tackling, not using his shoulders where he can injure his shoulders. He's one of those guys, you kind of go through a string and I think he went two and half years of being injured and getting nicked and this year he's actually worked on his shoulders, he's done a good job of lifting in the offseason and he's cleaned up all his technique to keep him healthy. Sometimes that happens in this league. My first year back when I was playing, which was a long time ago, my first five years I never had injury. My last five years, it was broken finger this, it was something every day, so you just kind of go through those things."