Thursday Linehan Press Conference

Rams Head Coach Scott Linehan talked Thursday about the status of Donnie Avery, Chris Long playing on the left side, Eddie Kennison, what the team has to do to keep Plaxico Burress in check, and what kind of crowd he is expecting for the home opener.

Head Coach Scott Linehan
September 11, 2008

(On the status of WR Donnie Avery)
"Donnie is good. He was better today than I anticipated him being. He did mostly everything yesterday, I guess a little restriction but he did mostly everything today and that was good to see."

(On DE Chris Long playing on the left side of the defensive line)
"He is doing good. I mean obviously with the injury to (DE0 Leonard (Little) we are kind of tinkering with playing him over there. He is not always going to be over there so my feeling is that is a side that he has played, he played it in college especially when they went into their third down packages a lot, so he looks comfortable there. Really the side he is on is not a big thing to him. As far as (DE) James (Hall), it is natural for him to be on the right. We are still going to play him on both sides."

(On WR Eddie Kennison)
"He looks good. He has a real grasp of the offense because of his background in it, so that makes the learning curve not a factor. He still has to work conditioning wise because he has not had a camp in him at all. At this point he is going to be used in certain roles and at this point it is going to be limited, so he is not going to be as big a factor as if he was playing every down. He has done good. He knows the offense real well."

(On what the team has to do to keep a guy like RB Plaxico Burress in check)
"Put two guys on him, I guess, I don't know. He's real effective in what their doing because they've got that one-two punch and obviously the quarterback is doing as good a job there is in getting him the ball. What you have to do is you've got to get the play defended and if it's caught you have to get it tackled. He has a pretty sneaky run-after-catch ability too, so I think if you can limit it, his run after catch, I think you can be more effective against him."

(On if he remembers where he was on 9/11)
"Yeah, I remember I was sitting doing cards with Art Valero. We were at the University of Louisville getting ready to play the University of Illinois, doing cards and the rest of the staff was meeting on special teams. We had the TV on and they broke the news. I have a really interesting story that I'm not going to bore you guys with about 9/11 that I'll always remember, but I remember that and everybody didn't really believe it at first and then watched the second plane hit live, like people had seen. I remember that very well. Then it was just about calling your family and all that stuff because you knew, basically you knew right then that our country was going to be at war or we were at war."

(On what he means by working on cards)
"Doing the practice cards for the show team. In college you do that during the morning because you practice like we did today in the afternoon, but in the NFL you have to do it the night before because of the schedule, but that's when we did them and I remember it like it was yesterday."

(On if there was much talk about 9/11 among the coaches and players)
"Not a whole lot, I mentioned it to a couple people. It's my mom's birthday for one thing, so I remember that. It's kind of hard to not talk about it, but I think it's probably been talked about quite a bit. Not specifically as a team, but I think everybody has their own experience and can reflect on it."

(On what kind of crowd he is expecting for the home opener)
"I think we'll get a great response, it's our home opener. They saw a couple exciting ball games in our first two preseason games. I would like to think that we're going to get a great crowd because it is our opener, we're honoring our late owner and I think people felt a connection to her for sure here in the city. I'm sure people want to see if we can bounce back from last week. My expectation is it's going to be a great atmosphere."

(On if he gets that sense that the players want to get back on the field and make a statement)
"Yeah, I think so. We'll see on Sunday, but my feeling is they're going to give a great effort."


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