St. Louis Rams Coach Steve Spagnuolo
Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
â€œWe come off a rough game this past week, but one thing is that that the next week is another week in the NFL. Weâ€™re going to focus on our next opponent the New Orleans Saints and weâ€™re looking forward to it.â€
Do you have any updated news on Sam Bradford?
â€œNo. When I say itâ€™s day to day, you may think thatâ€™s coach lingo. Thatâ€™s legitimately what it is. Heâ€™s just in the middle of his rehab. Until the trainers feel that he can practice getting on his toes and dropping back, we wonâ€™t do that until we get the green light.â€
Were you a little bit surprised about how the Saints played against Indianapolis on Sunday night?
â€œAbsolutely nothing surprises me about the New Orleans Saints. Sean (Payton) does a great job. I give a shout out to Sean where I hope heâ€™s feeling better, but I donâ€™t want him feeling so good that heâ€™s able to have the team play like that. Is there any way we can do that? I have a great deal of respect for what they do down there. Theyâ€™re an explosive offense. They know what to do defensively and theyâ€™ve been doing it for a long time. They have good players.â€
You talked about poor tackling at Dallas, but for a defensive coach yourself how frustrated are you that the defense is languishing?
â€œItâ€™s very frustrating. What magnifies all of that is there are two runs, one which goes for 91 because of a missed tackle and one that goes for 43. You canâ€™t really say that they donâ€™t count. Theyâ€™re in there, recognized it. I think that our guys will respond to fixing it. I have not to that point felt like that was an issue with our football team. I donâ€™t think anybody did. But Dallas certainly made us miss tackles or we made ourselves miss them one or the other. What weâ€™re doing this week is working on getting that corrected.â€
As a coach, how do you get your team to focus on that itâ€™s a different game every week?
â€œWeâ€™ve functioned that way since the beginning and again, whether we were 6-0 or 0-6 on this particular Wednesday morning, the job today would be the same. Every team in the NFL as a head coach, every coach, every player is feeling the same thing today as far as no matter what your record is. The games are played and done. Thereâ€™s nothing you can do about it. All you can do is look toward the next one and the next one for us happens to be the New Orleans Saintsâ€
How is defending Darren Sproles different from defending Reggie Bush?
â€œItâ€™s probably very similar in that theyâ€™re both explosive guys. Theyâ€™re both wide receivers and both running backs. When you construct your defense and that particular person goes into the game, you have to decide how youâ€™re going to handle them. Youâ€™re obviously trying your best as a defensive coach to avoid getting into a mismatch situation. Thatâ€™s what the New Orleans Saints have always exploited in their offenses, ways to get mismatches with certain people. We try to not let that happen. I donâ€™t know what a good matchup is against Darren Sproles. Heâ€™s an electrifying football player and a challenge to cover. Weâ€™ll have to be smart in what we do.â€
Is it a similar issue to what the tight end causes?
â€œYes. Heâ€™sâ€™ pretty exceptional. Heâ€™s 6-5 or 6-6 with a 35 or 36 vertical. Heâ€™s a long way up there even before he jumps off the ground. I remember him coming out and always thought he had potential. Obviously thatâ€™s showing right now. Drew Brees has a lot of targets, but thatâ€™s one of his favorites. Heâ€™s coming through. He has great hands, which probably comes from his basketball skills. We have a great deal of respect for him. Heâ€™s another weapon, one of many that they have that we need to be very concerned about.â€
Being 0-6 with the World Series in town, do you think youâ€™re having to do more cheerleading than you expected as a pro coach and how is the mood in the Rams locker room?
â€œI think thatâ€™s a good thing. We look at that as a positive. Our football team supports the St. Louis Cardinals. Iâ€™m a friend of Tony LaRussa. Iâ€™m wishing them all the best, wishing they get this next one and bring it to a seventh game, but that doesnâ€™t have an effect on us. When weâ€™re coming in this building, weâ€™re working. Weâ€™re working in the walls of this building. Itâ€™s that way whether thereâ€™s the World Series or not. It is how we have functioned. Most of your good teams do. We like to consider ourselves a good football team. Our record doesnâ€™t reflect that. Certainly in this league itâ€™s all about results. We havenâ€™t had the ones we particularly planned on, but we function properly, which is focus on what weâ€™re doing here and focusing on the next game.â€
Are you glad this game is at home rather than the road?
â€œI think that always helps. Our fans get behind us and our football team. Weâ€™ve been down there. We were down there last year. Weâ€™ll play a game in our dome in St. Louis this coming Sunday.â€
Have you ever been taken down like Coach Payton did in Tampa?
â€œActually I coached in NFL Europe and had that happen one time. Lucky for me it didnâ€™t result in any ligament damage. But, I had the biggest bruise on my foot. Itâ€™s one of those things where you donâ€™t see them coming. Thatâ€™s usually how it happens. I saw the one that happened to Sean. That was real quick and brutal. Heâ€™s a tough nut and is bouncing back. Heâ€™ll be alight.â€
Youâ€™re not going to be able to shake hands with him after the game because heâ€™ll be coaching upstairs. Will you get to visit with him beforehand?
â€œSean and I are good friends. Weâ€™ve texted back and forth at times. I donâ€™t know. I certainly understand that situation and know heâ€™s going to be in the box. Iâ€™ll do an air handshake from ground level to box.â€
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