Tuesday Haslett Press Conference

Rams Head Coach Jim Haslett talked Tuesday about his first day as head coach, on letting the media watch practice, on if Marc Bulger will be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, on if there will be more changes in the starting lineup, and updated players' injuries.

Head Coach Jim Haslett
September 30, 2008

(On what he thought about his first day as head coach of the Rams)
"It should be spirited like most first practices. I thought they did a nice job under the circumstances. Guys practiced hard, we tried to keep the intensity up, obviously there is not an opponent to play, so we did competitive (team) against each other, so that made it a little bit faster practice."

(On letting the media watch the practice)
"It is no big deal to me, it is just a couple guys out there watching practice, so it doesn't really make a difference. I think the thing about this football team, I want them to feel good about themselves, I want the city to start to feel good about this team and obviously we have to get some wins, and I want the organization to feel good. If we can get some positive press and you guys like it out there then I am all for it. We have nothing to hide, we are just going to practice hard. Maybe at least, you could see at least how we practice and how we prepare and you could pass that on because we are going to work hard and we are going to practice hard and maybe if you see that then you will relay that to the fans, that will help out a little bit."

(On if QB Marc Bulger will be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season)
" Yeah (QB) Marc (Bulger) is going to be the quarterback and he will be the starting quarterback for the rest of the year unless something happens. I talked to (QB) Mark (Bulger) and (QB) Trent (Green) about it and it is more of a gut feeling on my part. I talked to most of the offensive coaches and everybody involved and I thought Marc would give us the best opportunity to win games for the next three months."

(On if there will be more changes in the starting line up)
"I see most of them staying pat. I see us trying to do things a little bit better in all areas. I think we have some pretty good backups, I don't want to say backups, guys that can play. I thought what we did on defense with (DT) La'Roi (Glover) being with the second group and that really keep him fresh and he did a nice job pass rushing so things like that. We will try to utilize our players the best we can, I talked to the offensive guys about getting our playmakers the ball like (WR) Torry (Holt) and (WR) Donnie (Avery) and (RB) Steven (Jackson), those three in particular. I would like to see Torry touch the ball a little bit more, especially early in the game."

(On T Orlando Pace's and LB Will Witherspoon's injuires)
"Will has a shoulder (injury) and we just have to keep him out until next Wednesday. It's a slight tear in his shoulder, but nothing major. And Orlando's basically the same thing, he's just a little sore and we're going to keep him out until next Wednesday. And then you have the other injuries. We have (WR) Dane (Looker) we held out for precautionary reasons, we'll do the same thing with Dane. And then obviously (CB) Tye (Hill) had surgery on Thursday and (TE) Randy (McMichael) we have to decide what we're going to do with Randy because his injury will probably be a minimum eight weeks and hopefully not longer, but we'll decide here in the next couple days."

(On TE Randy McMichael's injury)
"Randy has a broken tibia and there's some other issues. Normally, it's a six-week injury, but he has a couple other things. We're going to make sure that we take care of him and we don't put him on the field too early. It could be something that we could wait on or it could be that we put him on IR. I want to talk to Randy about it first and see how he feels. It's not a good thing for the team because the guy's a good football player, but it's something we'll deal with."

(On how he will mend things with QB Marc Bulger after his benching)
"I don't think there's any fences to be mended; they need to play better. There's a reason why you get benched and there's a reason why you're out there playing. I think that the players know that they have to be accountable also. Obviously, Scott (Linehan) was held accountable and now I think it's the players' turn to step up and be accountable. Marc understands that and he understands that I have full confidence in that he's going to go out there and do his job and I think he understands what I expect from him."

(On his message to the players today)
"You know what, I'll let you ask them because I don't like to say. But the way the media is nowadays, you ain't hiding anything. So, I'm not trying to hide anything, I never will, but I'll let those guys address that."

(On T Orlando Pace's injury)
"It's his shoulder, overall soreness. It's Tuesday. For guys that have played you understand that sometimes it takes you until Wednesday or Thursday to come around. This is a day off for them really, a normal day off. So, I thought for a group that's sore and it's a day off that they practiced pretty well."

(On TE Joe Klopfenstein becoming active in the offense)
"Here's a kid who started 16 games his rookie year and then he kind of falls off the face of the earth. I told Joe, he needs to get back out there and start playing like the guy we drafted in the second round and be productive and block and run the right routes. I'm expecting Joe to step up to the plate here."

(On playing some of the kids more)
"I think some of the younger guys we have need to step up and play. I don't know if they're kids, but they've been out here long enough and they need to play."

(On if the injury to TE Randy McMichael will take 6-8 weeks to heal or 6-8 weeks until he has finished rehab)
"I don't know because I'm not a doctor. I would say two months off is a long time for any athlete and then the two months off and not running and then you talk about trying to get back in condition and all that. I'm not really sure and I'm not a doctor, but I would say that to me, it would be hard to come back and play."

(On if he got any sleep)
"I got some sleep. I went to bed about 11 (p.m.). I tried to stay up and watch that Steeler game yesterday and got to sleep about 11 (p.m.) and I get up at about 4 (a.m.) everyday to come to work. I can't help that, I just get up."

(On if it was different at practice being the head coach)
"It wasn't much different. I did get lost a couple of times, started walking into the defense room and turned around. I spent time with the offense a little bit, spent time with them on the field. I forgot the whistle, little things like that. It will come, it's not a big deal. It is kind of boring to be honest with you. You kind of stand around and you aren't coaching, coaching. You're not yelling at anybody."

(On if he game-planned for Washington today)
"We haven't. We're going to hold that. We'll do a little bit of it tomorrow, but most of it will be done on Tuesday, the normal day. Try to settle down this week and let everybody get out of here. We'll practice tomorrow and then after that, we'll let everybody get out of here and kind of clean their minds out and be ready to go next week."

(On the coaches leaving as well)

(On how much time CB Tye Hill will miss due to surgery)
"I think Tye is going to be probably three to four games, especially for a corner. Obviously having a bye this week will help. Hopefully we can get him back in three."

(On what his injury is)
"He had a meniscus tear, a big meniscus tear. They went in and cleaned it out. If it was a big defensive lineman or offensive lineman, you could probably get away with a couple of weeks. The guy is a skill guy who uses speed so he'll probably take another week. One thing about Tye, with all the injuries he's had, he's a quick healer for some reason. He'll be back as soon as he can."



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