A: Good morning guys. St. Louis Rams week and we are excited about getting started and trying to improve and get better. The Rams played the Eagles in the opener in a very physical game, without a doubt. Both teams rushed the ball very well. Eventually, of course, Michael Vick took off and made the 97 yards and McCoy had 122 yards against them. Really McCoy's run was a long run towards the end of the game. It was a very physical game and both teams got after the quarterback with five and three sacks. They played a very physical game and we played a very physical game and now we are excited about getting ready for Monday night.
Q: How is Nicks?
A: He won't practice today but he is making pretty good progress. Q: What is the injury?
Q: What did the tests show?
A: It was a bone bruise.
Q: How long do you think he will be out?
A: I have no idea. We will just go day by day.
Q: What about Tuck and Osi?
A: Osi, no, and Justin is going to practice limited today. We are in shells and that's the way he will go.
Q: Do you see Spags bringing an NFC East mentality to that division?
A: I don't know. They are a physical football team. I don't know if it is categorized as NFC East but it looked like an NFC East battle. That type of game.
Q: Do you talk to him?
A: We text at the beginning of the season 'good luck' and naturally we look for each other at the league meetings and in Indianapolis.
Q: Is he the same coach that he was as a defensive coordinator?
A: I am sure he is the head coach, so he has all those hats to wear. No question he has his hands on the defensive side, but I am sure offense as well and special teams as well. They are an aggressive special teams outfit.
Q: What do you miss when Tuck is not in there?
A: Leadership ability. Pass rush. Where do you want me to stop? What do you think we lose? You lose a heck of a football player and the captain of your defensive team.
Q: Does his presence help calm things?
A: Sure, absolutely. You lose Osi, too, if you want me to keep going. Get them out there and you will quickly see and that's not taking anything away from the guys that are playing. They are playing their tails off. Tollefson played well. Trattou came in and gave us some snaps. JPP rose up again when he had to and made a couple sacks. They are playing hard and there is no if, ands or buts about that. You are talking about reinforcements of a very high quality.
Q: Do you think the Rams will run as much without Steven Jackson?
A: Absolutely. 19 for 91 with Cadillac, they are just going to keep on doing what they do very well, or attempt to.
Q: How about Beckum?
A: Beckum is Beckum. He has a hamstring.
Q: How do you get better as a team?
A: Every phase. Stop the big plays, punt the ball better, kick the ball better. Consistently move the ball on offense, move the ball on third down. Make your short yardage runs. There is a lot of ways that we must improve as we go forward and it is going to happen. It is just not there yet but it is going to happen.
Q: How different is Cadillac from Jackson?
A: Much different, but they are both very good football players and very good rushers. Cadillac has gone through some injuries that he was fought his way back from and he looks like the guy of old. Steven Jackson has been at the Pro Bowl level for a long time.
Q: Do you think hey will run the same?
A: Absolutely. It is the same offense.
Q: Do you think they will pass a lot with the Bradford injury?
A: I think you assess all that during the course of the week. They do have an extra day so that is going to help and then they will make their adjustments as it gets closer to game planning. I'm sure they game planned as if he is healthy and then as they get closer, they will make some decisions about what he can and cannot do.
Q: You seem frustrated by Beckum. Can Travis Beckum fight through this injury?
A: Evidentially, it is not that way yet. It hasn't gotten to that point yet. We have had hamstring issues with Travis before. I am not frustrated but expectations are very high. It is very difficult to improve him when he is not practicing.
Q: Do you think Brandon and Ahmad can have the same number of carries?
A: The first thing that has to happen is that we have to get some plays on offense. If you make some third downs, then you have a chance to have some plays and you have a chance to have some continuity. You have a chance to do a lot of different things. I am not going to tell you that it will be this or that. I know in my mind what I am looking for in all the players if they were healthy. How many times I want them to touch the ball. But that is under circumstances where you have some snaps and you are doing some things in the game to keep the ball.
Q: Are you confident in the other wide receivers if Nicks can't go?
A: Dominek has done it before and very well. I would be very high and I think that you can't judge a guy on one game. Victor has to get ready and go play. Jernigan has to get ready and go play and Devin Thomas will have opportunities as well so they have to prepare themselves to go and when the opportunity is there they have to take advantage of it.
Q: What do you lose if Hakeem can't go?
A: You lose a playmaker. You lose a guy who can put the ball in the end zone. You lose a guy who loves the ball coming his way and can make the hard catch, the easy catch and has great confidence. He loves to play and wants to be out there all the time.
Q: How good are the guys at picking up the hot reads?
A: They are starting to get it better. Of course, Mario has had that experience before. You saw what Hixon did the other day, two of his catches were sights and hots. They have to be able to do it all. The quarterback has to get rid of the ball when that happens. When you don't do something to pick it up with your protection call or you can't because there is too many of them and they are going to have one more than you do, the ball has to go somewhere quick.
Q: What do you see out of Bradford?
A: Poise. Toughness, he stays in there and takes a lick. Throws the ball down the field and has a good, strong arm, and will come out of there if he can and knows when to slide.
Q: Is communication an issue with the offensive line?
A: That is part of it but it is also that split second adjustment that has to happen, the cohesive action that has to happen by everybody, not just two guys or not the other guy and so on and so forth.