Coach Haslett Press Conference

Rams head coach Jim Haslett talked Monday about player injuries, on how the offensive line played Sunday, on the penalty differential in Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, on Marc Bulger's performance, on if he sends game film into the officials to review after a game, and on what he would like to accomplish with the last nine games of the season.

Head Coach Jim Haslett
October 27, 2008

(Opening remarks)
"(DE) Leonard Little has a strained hamstring and we will see how he goes in practice this week and that will determine whether he will play or not play this week. (DT) Adam's (Carriker) ankle is questionable, probably 50-50. (TE) Joe Klopfenstein tore a ligament in his wrist. He has been playing with it so we will probably put a cast or brace on it and he will continue to play. (CB) Tye Hill should be able to practice this week and we will see how it goes."

(On the status of WR Drew Bennett)
"He is going to start to run this week so we will see how he feels at the end of this week."

(On the status of RB Steven Jackson)
"(RB) Steven (Jackson) should be ready to go this week. He looked good today and he was questionable yesterday and we thought it was best for him to sit out and get him ready for this game."

(On if DE Leonard Little had an MRI today)
"Yes. I don't know how it came out but he seemed upbeat and he worked and felt pretty good today."

(On how the offensive line played yesterday)
"Not as good as we have done in the past. I think we could have done a better job but you have to look at the team we played against. Their front three guys are good football players. Three first-round draft picks that have played a lot of ball and (DE) Richard (Seymour) is as good as it is going to get up front. We did not do as good as we would have liked. We threw for a lot of yards, we had 300 yards throwing, but I thought we could have done better."

(On the penalty differential in Sunday's game against the New England Patriots)
"We did commit some penalties. We were down field early on a punt. We had a holding on a punt return which is a shame because we could have had the ball at the 25 and that was on (LB) Quinton (Culberson) and not (LB) Chris Draft. There were penalties but I thought there should have been some called on the other side. The face mask on (QB) Marc (Bulger) was a penalty and tapping (QB) Marc (Bulger) after he threw it was a penalty. But again they were are subjective judgmental calls, for me to put myself in position to make the calls, your eyes and my eyes may see two different things. They were all subjective and that is kind of how that works."

(On if he was bothered by some of the penalties that were called against the Rams)
"The thing that bothered me more than anything was the special teams calls. We haven't had any all year and then we had the four or five in the game because it kept putting us in a bad position on offense. I was not mad at the refs, I was mad at our football team for getting that many penalties. We try to go into a game and come out with no special teams penalties and we had a year full in one game yesterday."

(On what he thought of QB Marc Bulger's performance)
"I thought Marc played ok. He didn't have a lot of time because it's hard to step at times. Marc will be fine. He has a young group of receivers out there they're kind of learning each other and missed a couple hot reads. We did some things that if we had veterans probably in there that'd been together for awhile that probably wouldn't have happened. We got ourselves in situations where it was third-and-long too many times against that team."

(On why he thinks WR Torry Holt isn't producing more)
"Just because of the coverages more than anything. A lot two-man yesterday or what we call double coverage on a receiver and we have to stay out of those situations where they can do those types of things. But his numbers will come up; they'll jump up. We're doing some different things with him, trying to get the young guys on the field, but his numbers will come up."

(On QB Marc Bulger's interception)
"Yeah, again like I said, we have two young receivers and actually one of the receivers didn't really get an outside release and run it as well as we would have liked, but in that situation too it was what, third-and-15? So, it was either that or take the sack. So, he had to throw it, it wasn't the greatest route and it was an interception. They had three guys over top of two. Let me say this too, the two people that take the most heat on a football team are going to be the head coach and the quarterback and that's the way it's going to be. So, if you lose a game the head coach is to blame and the quarterback is to blame and I don't know if that's necessarily right or true all the time, but it also averts when you win a bunch of games, the head coach gets too much credit and the quarterback gets too much credit. So, that comes with the game and the territory, I think Marc understands that and I surely understand it and that's just the way it is. I don't think Marc was as bad as people want make him out to be because we lost the game, I thought Marc did some good things yesterday."

(On if he sends game film into the officials to review after a game)
"Yeah, we do, we send them in. We have a few today."

(On if the late hit on CB Fakhir Brown was a part of the film they sent in to the officials for review)
"Yeah, that was one. He was in the white, clearly in the white when he got hit."

(On if it is satisfying when the officials agree it was a bad call after they review the film and if it helps anything)
"No, it doesn't help."

(On if there is anything the officials can do after they review the film and see it was a bad call)
"No, just to let them know you know."

(On what a typical response from the officials is after they review film)
"Well, they'll say they actually should have called it this way, they should have called it that way or they disagree with you, say it was called properly. It's actually a good thing, it really is."

(On him being upset with one of the punt spots during yesterday's game)
"I thought we should have had another at least 10 yards. I didn't know if the ref was in the right position to make the call. The ball started tailing at the end and even today I thought we should have had another 10 yards, but again they're all subjective so that's just how it goes."

(On the difference in DE Chris Long's play now from the beginning of the season)
"Nothing, I just think he has confidence in what he's doing. Obviously, a better understanding of the defense that helps and he's playing fast. I thought he played well yesterday, he'll get better too, he had the two sacks. The week before he even played better, he had five quarterback hits, but didn't have a sack. I don't know what his totals are, I think he's at four sacks right now, but he's doing a good job. You can see it, he's got confidence in what he's doing. I can't wait to get him and (DE) Leonard (Little) on field at the same time for a couple games in a row."

(On if he planned on giving RB Antonio Pittman that much time or if he was surprised by his performance)
"Well, yeah, I thought he did a good job. I was concerned during the game, but he held up well and he felt good today and I think it will pay off as we go this year. Obviously, we need to get (RB) Steven (Jackson) back, but get him into the flow of the game. We thought we were going to split between him and (RB) Travis (Minor) and (RB) Ken (Darby) and he was running well and did a good job. He missed some things like you would expect because he's been inactive for so long, but for the most part he did ok."

(On what he would like to accomplish with the last nine games of the season)
"I'd like to win them all. Everybody tries to diagnose the schedule. I think you kind of split the schedule into weeks of four, because you don't know who you're playing and when they're going to get hot and when they are not going to be hot, who's healthy and who's not healthy. I think that all plays into it. The team we're playing this week, that's why I like to look at it one week at a time. The team we're playing this week is a good football team. They have a lot of wins, they are playing well. They are racking up yards and points on offense, have a lot of talent on defense and have a big-time kicker. We have our work cut out for us. The good thing is that it's a division game at home. Obviously, we are going to need our crowd, if we can take advantage of that, because they've had some struggles on the road. I'm excited about playing the game. I'm disappointed we lost yesterday. I thought we played well enough that we could have won the game. We didn't do well enough in the fourth quarter to the win the game, but I'm excited about the opportunity to play this team. I think our players will be ready to play."

(On if the onside kick was a spontaneous decision or if it was an idea he had been holding onto for a while)
"It's something we saw and thought we might have an opportunity to get it. We were just trying to get possession from their team. Obviously, it worked. I didn't think it would work that easy, but it was pretty good. The guys did a pretty good job blocking, ‘Q' (Quinton Culberson) and Corey Chavous and Travis (Minor) had the most difficult part, getting the ball. They executed it very well."

(On beating the Cardinals would put the Rams one game out of first place and on if he knew that going into the season if he would take that)
"I don't know. I'd like to think we were in first place. That's kind of hypothetical, Bill, I don't know the answer to that. I just like the opportunity. I'm glad we're having the opportunity to play some of teams in our division and I think the next five or six weeks will tell us where we're going to be. I told you at the beginning, when I took over, that we'll try to do whatever we have to do to win games. If it's going for it on fourth-and-1s, doing an onside kick, whatever we feel like we have to do to win a game. We felt going up to New England that they are a good football team that plays really well at home. It's been hard to win up there. I think we were seven-point underdogs, whatever that means, so we were just trying to do something to score some points, generate some points. We'll do whatever we have to do. That kind of holds true the rest of the year, so we'll see what happens."

(On if the aggressive strategy in line with going for the 2-point conversion mentality will hold true for the rest of the season)
"Get to know me some time and you'll see. We'll do whatever we have to do to win. If you have a much better team than the team you're playing, which doesn't happen that often in this league, then you probably don't have to be a risk taker. You don't have to do those types of things. You just play a normal game and I don't know if we're at that point right now."

(On the reaction of the team after the loss)
"You guys were in the locker room. They were disappointed. They felt that we could go up there and win this game. We didn't do it and that will be another challenge ahead. Come back Wednesday,  get your head on straight, get ready to go to work and lets load up and see what happens again. We're not going to win them all. We know that. Not too many do in this league. New England did last year, that's why they are such a good football team, but we're not there yet. This will be a good challenge. Guys will come back Wednesday ready to go and we'll compete against this team. The good thing is it's at home and that's the most exciting thing. You get to play at home in front of our crowd and, obviously, we're going to need everybody there and I think they'll help us win this game."

(On if he tells Torry Holt that he is going to try to work on getting him the ball more)
"I talk to all of those guys about those types of things. They know that we're going to try to get guys, who we feel can make plays, the ball. Obviously, he is one of those guys. Steven (Jackson) and Donnie (Avery) and Keenan (Burton), now, we're going to try and get him as many touches as we can."


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