Bulger, Long, & Stills Press Conferences

Rams QB Marc Bulger, DE Chris Long, and newcomer LB Gary Stills talked after practice Wednesday about going into the season.

Rams QB Marc Bulger
September 03, 2008

(On having LB Gary Stills on the team)
"We are excited to have Gary on the team. I played with him two years at West Virginia , Anthony (Becht) did and he is two years before Marc's (Magro) time so I think he will be good not only on special teams but I think he will be able to help us on third downs too."

(On how he feels going into the season)
"I feel alright, it has been along time coming but we know it is going to be a tough environment but it is a great way to test us from the get-go. We will see where we are at but I think we are ready."

(On how he feels about the team's health)
"I feel great. I know that we are a little beat up at some other positions but I think Big O (Orlando Pace)has been looking good. He has been coming back these past two weeks from that little injury. I know I feel good, Steven (Jackson) looks pretty good, I know a couple receivers are a little banged up right now but besides that I think we are in good health."

(On how the offensive line looks so far)
"You don't want to speak to soon but I think those guys have done a great job. Just the fact that they've been getting a chance to work together and build as a unit, I think they've grown since the spring and my fingers are crossed but I think they can be a special unit. I know we said that about our whole offense last year before the first game but everything is great going into the first game. We have to see, but were optimistic about it."

(On the continuity of the offensive line)
"You know we lost Mark Setterstorm so that hurts our depth a little bit but our core five guys, besides Brett (Romberg), Nick (Leckey) has stepped in and done a great job so I think we have to solid centers right now which is a good thing but the rest of the guys, Richie (Incognito) and Alex (Barron), Big O and Jacob (Bell) have been playing for five months now and you would like to say five or six years but for us five or six months around here seems like that so it has been nice."

(On if being sacked less than 30 times is a goal for the season)
"We hope so, if it is 30 or more (sacks) and we are winning a lot of games, then so be it. But we are going to try to get the running game going, try to get the quick passes and we are going to certainly take our shots. It is up to me to get rid of the ball but that seems like a realistic goal right now."

(On preparing for Philadelphia's defense)
"It is tough to say because you know they have a defensive coordinator that has been there for a long time now, not to say we know everything they do but they do a ton of things. Just like Coach Haslett, you have to prepare for everything so if it is during the year you get to see everything and have to prepare for everything so you get real nervous about it but right now you don't know what to expect. So again we have prepared for everything but there is not that anticipation that they have four of five new ones, we think they will have new blitzes but we haven't seen them so it is kind of, just go out and play and stick to your rules. Sometimes I think if we had too much film we would over game plan but since we have to go off last year and the first half of this year it is kind of a crap shoot. I guess if you just stick to your rules…"

(On being concerned with Asanti Samuel)
"Not necessarily with a team like Philly. They have (Lito) Shepard and all those other guys so, I know he is on the right corner most of the time but like I said you never know they might have a new game plan and we just have to play it by ear, and stick to our rules. We know he is a good player we can't let him take over by doing something stupid. But he is one of those guys and (Brain) Dawkins and they have a lot of good players over there that we have to be aware of. It is not going to be an easy task."

(On if it has helped him practicing against defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's defense)
"It doesn't hurt. It's been difficult installing a new offense with Coach Haslett's defense all spring, but like you said, I think it's going to pay off this first game, but there's so many different variables with their defense and the personnel and such is an issue too that they're not a huge defense but they're quick and they work great as a unit since their coordinator has been there forever and it's a system that hasn't gone out of place and the personnel was changed, but their system remains the same and real successful."

(On how he is progressing in his adaptation to offensive coordinator Al Saunders offense)
"It's been fun. The last two weeks it's certainly grown more. During camp we were kind of in our base offense, which was still large volumes, but I think the younger guys felt a little shocked about how much actual game planning we do and I had to learn like 20-30 new plays just this week and for those guys who are trying to just get the base stuff; it just keeps growing. As far as the offense this week, we're putting in things this week that we're going to use for a week from now, but he wants to rep it, so then next week it's not going to go down it's only going to increase. They have to stay on top of things; you can't get complacent with this offense. It's great for a quarterback because we always want different options."

(On how much of this offense the offensive line has a grasp of)
"For them it's more protection than runs. We have our core runs in, when we add plays in its more passes than runs. For them it's more of just working together. On paper it all looks good you're going to hit the tackle and get up to the Mike linebacker and it looks good on paper, but it is who you work with. Those centers and guards passing guys over and the tackle and the guard and the tackle and tight end it's just a feel thing. If you watch New England or those lines that have been together for awhile they can do it kind of non-chalantly because they've been together for so long. It's just a matter of them getting experience, I think they know their assignments, but just on paper and doing it in the game it's kind of different."

(On what kind of season QB Marc Bulger needs to have for the Rams to be successful)
"Just playing well. I can't go out and think I have to win every game. It's a matter of RB Steven (Jackson) and our play makers making the plays for us. Me getting the ball in their hand and putting us in good run situations with a lot of different checks to runs, just checking the ball down when I have to and being consistent that's the most important thing. Just being consistent, I can't be up and down. They have to know what they are getting from me and manage the game well and I think that we have enough playmakers that we'll be okay."

(On the status of WR Donnie Avery)
"You have to ask him. I think from a mental stand point he's getting there. He can't go in and play every position like a (WR) Dane Looker could, but I think if he's healthy, like I said you have to ask him, he could definitely help us. He's physically gifted enough where he can go in there and make plays without 100 percent knowing what he's doing. He's progressed as well as a rookie could."

(On RB Steven Jackson)
"He looks good. I think being in the game and getting beat up I think it's going to be difficult for him, but getting Pitt (RB Antonio Pittman) and (RB) (Brian) Leonard and Trav (RB Travis Minor) and all those guys at work I don't think that he's going to have to be in every play and carry the ball 40 times this game. I say that, but you never know, but I think that we're deep at that position where he can run the ball twice maybe come out, and then come back in. We have enough confidence in those other guys." 

 

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Rams DE Chris Long
September 3, 2008

(On this year's defense vs. years past)
"I have heard much about the defenses in the past. I just know this year and we plan on stopping the run, we stopped the run pretty well in a couple of games in the preseason. We want to make sure that the first game was just a one-time thing and get back to doing what we are doing. I think we had a positive preseason as a defense but we are just scratching the surface of what we can do."

(On if he is excited about the regular season)
"I am very excited, I have to keep calm throughout the week but once I get back out on the east coast, in Philly, I feel, I am pretty sure it is going to really feel like game day is coming so."

(On if it is tough staying calm throughout the week)
"No because it is so early in the week. If I didn't stay calm right now then I would be out of gas by Saturday, mentally. I will be kind of pumped up probably until the morning of the game, I just have it bottled up."

 

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Rams LB Gary Stills
September 3, 2008

(On if will be able to adapt to the Rams system quickly)
"On I've been in the league for a while so the terminology is just different. You get the feel of it pretty quick."

(On when he got into town)
"I got in Tuesday night. No actually Monday night, I flew from Baltimore. I still live in Kansas City, because I played there for a while and drove up Monday night and came in Tuesday morning."

(On the drive from Kansas City)
"Three hours, but it was at night so I was a little like, ‘Oh, god.'"

(On how he views his role on the team)
"I see myself as that guy to bring intensity and leadership. As of about two to three years ago, I've started to peak and I'm starting show young guys how to play the position. Some guys, the young guys, just go out there and run around and big plays are made. So now it's like, this is what you're doing this situation. This is you handle this block. This is how you diagnose this return. It's about diagnosing returns then going out and covering it, not just running down there."

(On where he gets the intensity to play kickoff coverage)
"Most of that is not going down there and knocking some guy's head off, it's getting to the returner. You may run into a situation where a lot of young guys get hurt shoulders, get stingers, concussions because they are just running down there. They don't really know what's going on. When you realize know what's going on, you can play that to your advantage and you really don't have to make too much contact with the blocker, you make the contact with the ball carrier. That's the guy you need to get down."

(On how he managed to make 44 special teams tackles in one year)
"I went down there to make plays, running down, I studied a lot of film on my opponent. I knew where he was going to be at before he got there. Last year, they started doubling me. I got 26 (special teams tackles) last year, but they started doubling me, but I still made a lot of plays."

(On getting double-teamed as a coverage player)
"A wide receiver gets double-teamed but coverage guys, if it's a guy such as myself, you have to double me. I will take one guy and take him where I want him to go. You have to double me and initially try to stop me. Eighty percent of the time, I'll beat a double team. I know that's being cocky, but I'm confident I can beat a double team."

(On if it is his experience, his intensity, or his film watching that helps him)
"It's all that. We played the Rams a couple of weeks ago and I studied them too. I got their technique down. The Eagles, I am pretty much familiar with them, not because I've played them a lot but because when you look at other teams who have played them. I look at everybody when I look at film."

(On having respect in the locker room)
"I've been to the Pro Bowl. I have been a Pro Bowl alternate four times. I'm leading the NFL in tackles. It is a respect factor. I am coming in and hope they respect me more as a man before anything. As a player, I'm going to be the guy to help them and lead the way."

(On if other teams were interested in him after he was released from Baltimore)
"I don't know, because as soon as I hit the market, I got a call about four to five hours later from Coach Linehan. I was in Kansas City, relaxing, and he called me right when I was about to go to my mom's house."

(On how he became a special teams specialist)
"When you realize that this is your livelihood, you have to take it very importantly. I got an ultimatum in 2001, in Kansas City; we don't want you to play linebacker, we don't want you to play defense, if you don't play special teams, you have to go. I said, ‘okay, this is what I love to do.' It wasn't about my livelihood, I didn't even know what that meant at that time. I just went down there and made all of the plays and after a while, you realize that as a special teams player, you're on the bubble every year, that it's important. If I'm on the bubble and I'm always going to be that 52nd or 53rd guy on the team, I'm going to take that slot."

(On who gave him the ultimatum)
"Frank Gaines, the (Chiefs) special teams coach told me, ‘Gary, they don't want you to play linebacker, they don't want you to play defense, so you know what, you're playing special teams and you have to do that.' So, I went and did it."

(On the young movement in the NFL among a lot of teams)
"I saw it last year. I just saw it just a couple of days ago. When I was in Kansas City, Coach Herm Edwards kind of weeded the old guys out, that's why we have (QB) Trent Green here, I'm here, and a lot of other guys that were with Kansas City are gone. You just hope that teams like the Rams want experience and appreciate experience, not just a bunch of one, or two, or three year old guys in the league."

(On being reunited with Dante Hall)
"I'm excited, because I feel like playing with him, I can be who I was. He's one of those guys who I played with and my career started with. He's a guy who is going to make things happen. He can run down the field for touchdowns. I can go down the field and block for him. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off on that end and I can go down and make all of the plays on special teams."

 


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