Spagnuolo Speaks With Reporters

Steve Spagnuolo

EARTH CITY — St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo met with the media on Tuesday just a few days before training camp, which begins for rookies and select veterans on Thursday and opens with the rest of the squad on Saturday afternoon.

Among the topics the second-year coach discussed the health of standout running back Steven Jackson, the contract status of the team's top two draft picks and the decision to not sign free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Spagnoulo said he met with general manager Billy Devaney and executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff and they discussed the possibility of adding the veteran wide receiver, who spent last season with the Buffalo Bills, but decided against it.

"There were things we had to talk about," Spagnuolo said. "One was about a high-profile football player. We made the decision that we were going to stick to what we have here and we would just move on. We have a lot of respect for that particular player, but it was talked about and we're moving on from that."

The coach gave an update on the team's two unsigned draft picks, quarterback Sam Bradford and offensive lineman Rodger Saffold.

"Sam right now, I talked to Kevin (Demoff) this morning, everything is going good," Spagnuolo said. "It's not done yet. … Rodger Saffold we're very optimistic should be done here hopefully in the next 24-48 hours. We'll keep our fingers crossed that we get those two guys in and we'll be all set and ready to go."

Jackson, who had surgery on a herniated disk in his back in April, is expected to be ready to go for the start of camp on Saturday, though the team will remain cautious with him throughout camp.

"He's somewhat cleared to go," Spagnuolo said. "We want the doctors to look at him one more time. But he feels great. Probably only because it's a back (injury) we'll tread lightly, but I think he'll do most everything."

The coach was asked about the possibility of signing free agent running back Brian Westbrook, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, and bringing back defensive end Leonard Little for another season.

I've talked to Brian," Spagnuolo said. "We have to let that process play itself out. There are decisions on both sides. We're hopeful there, too. We'll see what happens."

The coach said he has not spoken to Little recently.

"But I love Leonard Little," Spagnuolo said. "He is one of my favorite all-time guys here last year. He helped me tremendously. Like all of these roster moves, they are day-by-day. We will keep adjusting. But we did draft a bunch of young guys that we have to find out about that haven't been in pads yet."

One player the Rams will definitely be without for the start of training camp, and the first several weeks of the regular season, will be offensive lineman Mark Setterstrom.

Setterstrom, who is entering his fifth season in the NFL, had surgery in June to repair a damaged triceps muscle. Spagnuolo said the injury and surgery requires a four-to-six month rehabilitation period and that the lineman would be put on the injured reserve list or physically unable to perform list soon.

The coach was asked about his optimism going into training camp.

"I'm always optimistic because each season stands on its own merits," he said. "This is a new year. We have a bunch of new faces. We have some new coaches. We have some new people in this building. We have a bunch of young rookies and some veterans that we added. It's a new optimism. I go into it like that every year." Recommended Stories

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