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Singletary's Notebook: Oct. 2



Opening Statements:**"I'm thankful to come to Friday. We've had a good week's work. We started off a little slow, got going on Wednesday. Thursday got better. Today was what we needed to finish the week. I'm very excited about the opportunity at hand. We're not looking so much at St. Louis and their record and all these other things. It's another opportunity for us to get better, another opportunity for a division foe. We know it's going to be a fight. So, for us, we just have to make sure that we stay focused on the opportunity. As far as who's up, who's down, the roster is pretty much how it ended up last week. [RB] Frank Gore will not be up. [S] Reggie Smith will not be up. Outside of that, we've been looking at the receiver position all week. Whether it be Brandon Jones or Jason Hill, either one of those guys could be up or both of them could be up, just depending on the meeting and the conversation that we had about some of the other positions. Everybody else that was banged up is back, moving around well and ready to go."

On whether the team is light on tight ends and running backs:"Not really. I think we're fine. I just think it depends on how you look at it. If you look at it like, 'Well, if this guy gets hurt if that guy gets hurt.' If that's the way you look at it, but I think what's really important is [RB] Glen Coffee is the guy. He's up. The offensive line has to do a great job of blocking for him, keeping people off of him. The next thing is you have [RB] Michael Robinson. Michael will do fine. If he has to play, he'll play. I'm sure he'll play anyways. Outside of that, [FB] Moran Norris, if he has to step in. We could go 12 personnel, whatever that might be. He certainly can run. There are a number of options that we have. As far as the tight end position, Vernon [Davis] and Delanie [Walker], it's kind of been the same as it has been since we've started. We just continue to go forward and go from there. I think we're fine overall."

On whether there will still be a rotation at right tackle:"Yes sir. Probably a little less as we go forward, but right now, just continue to get him in, [T Tony] Pashos, simply because he's a good football player. Anytime we can do that it helps us. I think it makes us better."

On what he means by a little less as the team goes forward:"What I mean by less as we go forward, I think [T Adam] Snyder – what I don't want to do is just keep doing the more, more. I want to settle in on one guy, and I think Snyder is doing a good job. He's working his tail off. He's doing everything he has to do. He got a little banged up this past week, came back. He's doing what he has to do. I think when you get to this point and this time in a season, you want a guy to get the reps that he needs because it helps make him better."

On what the defense must prepare for with Rams RB Steven Jackson:"Last week, you're dealing with a guy who is really unique. Of course, this week you come against a guy like Steven Jackson. He's huge, No. 1. He's just a big guy. And, No. 2, to be such a big guy and to be able to move and have the flexibility that he does and make the cuts that he does is really unique. I think the thing for us is, we have to be disciplined, and you have to set the edges, and everybody has to do their job, and at the same time, you've got everybody running to the football to be around him and try to bring him down because he's a load. That's how I look at it."

On whether he's satisfied with how the team has re-focused this week:"Yes. I think the guys have done as good a job as you can do getting prepared for this week. But, they understand the opportunity at hand. I don't really worry about all the other stuff. We're not ever going to be a team that plays not to lose. We're playing to win. To me, when you're playing to win, there are just a lot of other things that you don't think about. I think that's the most important thing for us to focus on is the opportunity at hand."

On whether the Rams are a physical, blue-collar team:"It's something that I hear all the time. I get a lot of calls and our coaches get a lot of calls about how these guys are playing. That's just – it's all about them. They're the guys that are out there making it happen, and, once again, I consider myself very fortunate. The coaching staff plays a huge part in that and the players' receptiveness in order to go out there and get it done week-in and week-out. We just have to continue to get better and take care of each other and we'll be fine."

On the physical nature that Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo has instilled:"When you think of Spagnuolo coming from Philadelphia and the background that he has there and going to the Giants, that whole division is a physical division. So, you'd expect nothing less than for him to create a team that's a physical team and to come out and hustle to the ball and play hard for four quarters. So, you know you're going to get that."

On how he knows Rams S OJ Atogwe:"Yes I do. I know him because he dates my daughter. … Go ahead. It's not uncomfortable. Go ahead."

On what kind of person he is:"He's a very nice guy. He's a gentleman. He's been to my home, several times. We've had conversations, not about football, but about life. He's a quality individual. That's what I know about him."

On whether he's a good football player:"Yes, good football player."

On whether he presents an extra challenge for QB Shaun Hill:"I think when you're going into football games, I think the most important thing is to make sure that for each player, everybody is focusing on their technique, their detail, doing their jobs and less about the other people. Every team at the NFL level, every team has playmakers back there for the most part. I think if we focus on what we're doing, and it's less about them and what they do, then you can get better. But once you start trying to think about what they're doing, it really takes away from your play- just do what you do. Do your technique and details and you should stay on course."

On the people who called him:"I just feel like I don't want to really call their names simply because I want them to continue to call me and feel comfortable doing so."

On whether it involves any coaches or players:"General Managers and coaches, not players – former players. Some of those former players were my teammates."

On the recent experience of speaking to the Santa Clara women's soccer team:"Man, you guys know everything, wow. Greg had asked me awhile ago if I would consider doing that for him and for what Greg did for us this offseason, coming over here and helping our guys get better. I just told him 'just pick a time'. We went over yesterday and really had a nice chance to visit with them. The whole thing took about 30 minutes to go there and talk about winning, talk about the opportunity that they have to do that. Any chance that I get to do that, primarily in the offseason, it's a great opportunity. I'm just trying to make a difference that's all."

On having to possibly change their game plan pending on who starts at quarterback for the Rams this weekend:"In terms of how we play on the defensive side of the ball? Once again it's kind of tough to tell what they're going to do. You've got a player that's been there for awhile and he does things a certain way. When you get another quarterback, or whatever that might be, you don't know if they're going to say 'you know what, we're going to run our offense, we're going to do what we do or we've got to take the quarterback and make plays around him.' So we don't know that, but it's just important for us, once again, to be prepared for either and know that when we get in the game that anything can happen and that we just have to be prepared for that."

On which of his daughter is dating Ram's defensive back OJ Atogwe:"It's my second oldest daughter. Now you're going to have her, 'Dad!' Her name is Jill."

On where Jill resides:"She was living in Chicago last year. She was in art school at the Chicago, Illinois Institute of Art last year and when she was here she was at Valley Christian, she played volleyball and she had that opportunity, a couple of scholarship offers, nothing big but she was a decent player and she decided 'I'm going to go to art school because that's where my heart is.' But when she got there she realized that she wanted to play volleyball again, and we got a call from a school in downtown San Francisco, which one of the former tight ends here is the Athletic Director, and they offered her a partial scholarship, so the opportunity to come back here was fantastic. So it's been great for us and been great for her."

On how Jill and Atogwe met:"I think he was in Chicago one day at some festival, and she went to church, and she met him there."

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