Tuesday Linehan Press Conference

Rams Head Coach Scott Linehan talked about how much Trent Green will play Thursday, if he thinks Steven Jackson will be ready for Philadelphia, and on the roster cuts made today.

Head Coach Scott Linehan
August 26, 2008

(Opening remarks)
"Basically today was our largest probably work day of the week. We are basically playing a game after five days rest which gets a little tricky. We got a lot a lot done in the last two days and we have a lot to do tomorrow. We will travel on Thursday, game day, which is a little bit of a change but it has been done before here. It is a short trip, so it enables us to get a little bit more work done here at home."

(On how WR Drew Bennett performed before his injury)
 "I thought he was having a real solid camp. Again, he has had a little bit of a setback here at the end of training camp but I don't think it is going to be serious; it wasn't more than a strain. He did pull his groin basically the week before our last game and re-aggravated it in the game Saturday. But he has been playing very well, playing extremely hard and unfortunately he has had a little temporary setback but he will be back on the field here by next week, I would think."

(On his concerns with the number of drops Drew Bennett's has had so far)
"Well no receiver is going to be satisfied if they don't catch balls that they feel they can catch, which is good. He is holding himself accountable to a very high standard and he will play very good football for us and has performed well for us in practice. Again, that's not excuse or reason for anything. It is just, he expects a lot more of himself and because of that he will get better."

(On if there is any reason for traveling the same day to Kansas City)
"Just to try to get more done here. Really you kind of loose a day if you travel on a short week, if you could help it on Wednesday. This makes sense. It is our last road trip in preseason and it is just across state."

(On if tomorrow's practice will be a walk through)
"It is going to be mostly walk through. It is going to be 24 hours before the game. We will try to get a little more done because of the short week. But we have set it up so we can get a little more meeting time and then get on the field for a little more than what we would normally do before a game."

(On if this game is a rivalry game with the Kansas City Chiefs)
"Of course, cross-state rivals, it is the Governor's Cup. It is important, we probably hear and see a lot of each other. We had some basic plans to begin with, to even work with each other when we were considering one of the sites closer to their training camp site in Wisconsin. So all those would have been and made a lot of sense for interest and things like that. I think both teams probably follow each other a little bit because we are so close to each other.

(On how long QB Trent Green will play this Thursday)
"Right now, my plan is to actually start Trent so that he can get prepared for a game as if he were the starter, which obviously means not planning on playing (QB) Marc (Bulger). Marc has a lot of snaps in preseason; a lot more than he's had at this point. Felt really comfortable with his 45 or whatever, 42 snaps I guess he had last week. Trent has really had limited work and I think could use some time out there on the field."

(On if the first-team offensive line will be playing with QB Trent Green this Thursday)
"Some. I don't know, haven't decided on anyone else, but I have decided on Trent. As we get closer to the game we'll figure it out, but everybody's going so everyone is going to be there and be ready to play and prepare to play because it's our next game on our schedule."

(On if RB Steven Jackson will play this Thursday)
"No, he's got an exempt status and that gets us, right now with him staying on that, we're right at the 75; it counts. Pretty much haven't ruled it out, but his likelihood's low right now that he would play."

(On if he is satisfied with how RB Steven Jackson has been practicing so far)
"I'm happy he's here. He's doing well. He's had really a hard, hard four or five days. I mean we've put him through a lot work, mentally and physically and conditioning which he expected and was very willing to do certainly. I'm pleased with where he's at. He was really sharp today and I was happy to see that because you always worry about having a little rust on you if you haven't been out there in a while."

(On if he is concerned about RB Steven Jackson being ready for Philadelphia)
"No, no. We're playing Kansas City right now; we're getting ready for that game. And then he's got another work day tomorrow and then he'll another one the day after that."

(On if he isn't concerned at all about any running plays not being ready for Philadelphia)
"We have our sight set on Thursday night. That's really the next stop for us. We have a lot of things we have been doing through training camp though that are for the preparation for our season, but with this short of a week our focus has been on Kansas City."

(On his thoughts about the small roster cut that took place today)
"It makes sense to me that we keep this many people here, but that's the rules and that's what we do. And we had to get down to 75 and so did 31 other teams so it really doesn't matter what I think basically."

(On if he met personally with each guy that was released today)
"Yeah, I met with them. And sometimes it's easier than others depending on the timing of things when you're in two-a-days. But for these final cuts, it's important that those guys know that we appreciate their efforts. They've been here, most of them, really from OTAs all the way through Concordia and back here. It's a lot of hard work and they need to know it did not go unnoticed. Again I was one of those guys. I appreciated having the coach that cut me telling me in person, so I try to do that."

(On what he is looking for when making the final cuts)
"Consistent performance. Everybody's been trying extremely hard; the effort's all been there. I think they all get that part. I think that part now is showing that from the time they've gotten here to this time now if they've gotten better everyday and shown it on the field gives them the best shot. Everybody is chasing that (LB) Quinton Culberson type of dream. There's guys that have done it and they've done it because they've come out and really, when the lights go on, they make plays and that's kind of what we're looking for and following up on a lot of good things that have happened out here on the practice field, those all count, but when you play the game something about that has a little extra meaning."

(On if everyone on the roster still has a chance to make the team even with an injury)
"It's never too late. Injuries slow you down, but they don't eliminate you. It might give someone else an opportunity, but you are looking for any opportunity and you have to take advantage of it and if it means one game. I've been through instances where, it wasn't me, but the coach told the player that he had to play well or he wasn't going to make the team. He was a veteran, like an eight or nine year veteran who had actually played in Super Bowls with a different team then here. That was a Super Bowl that game. I think he ended up with eight or nine catches and a couple touchdowns. It's amazing what making the team and making a living will do for the motivation of a guy. All these guys out here have been working hard. We certainly have a lot to gain by moving forward and improving and I'm excited for Thursday night."

(On which of the starters will not play on Thursday)
"I don't know right now. There are some who are going to be because of injury. We have some guys who are slowed, like "Spoon" (LB Will Witherspoon) for example. He has a pretty sore groin. The likelihood of him playing is low. We have the other guys who are still coming back from injury, although they are getting close to going full speed, are probably not quite ready, Fakhir (Brown) and even O.J. (Atogwe) and some of these other guys. We haven't decided. There will be some ‘1s' that play. I don't know how many yet, because we're getting to that point and meeting on those things. We're preparing for a lot of those bubble guys, as you call them, to get a lot of reps in this game."

(On if there a few roster spots that are still undetermined)
"There always are. You never know what could happen. You are also looking at guys that even if they didn't make your team, whether you want them back on your practice squad or somewhere down the road you're looking for guys that can fit what you do if you need to call upon them. You guys were all here last year. We were working a lot of guys during the season that we didn't know a whole lot about. It's nice to know about them, they've been in your system and those kind of things. That's what I tell these guys, even guys that get released, that they need to stay in shape and don't be surprised if we call back, because they have a really good idea of what we're doing and we'd rather go that direction than someone who maybe doesn't have a background in what we're doing."

(On releasing some WRs that have a lot of upside)
"That's probably one of our best depth spots. It's going to be our hardest decision on those guys at the end of the roster. We're going to have to ultimately cut some good players that we're really high on. That's a good problem to have, but it's also tough. That's definitely a position for sure."

(On this being a very big game for QBs Brock Berlin and Bruce Gradkowski)
"This is a big game for them. Even before Bruce got here and for Brock, the whole offseason and the whole thing, it's been important for our number three quarterback position and the progress from that position. We've felt very good about both of their progress and I think the competition has really raised their level of play."

(On C Brett Romberg being closer to being able to play)
"He's closer. I know it feels better. The extreme pain he gets from that, he has a crack in his snap hand by his index finger, more up on the hand part. The less it hurts the better. I think he's another guy, too, that Thursday is a real question for him to be able to play, but he'd be closer to being ready for the opener."

(On QB Trent Green needing less work given his history with quarterbacks coach Terry Shea and offensive coordinator Al Saunders)
"You guys have been here for every practice. He takes all the reps with the second unit. He took some even in Concordia with the first unit, but this gives him a chance in a game to go out and find his rhythm, too, so he's not going into the season, if we ever call upon him or needed to call upon him, cold without reps. He needs to get out, too. We can't assume, just because he's a vet who knows the system, that he can just go out there and turn it on, although I would bet on him more than a lot of guys. He needs to go out and play and get his snaps in."

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