Jim Zorn spoke with the media today. Here is the Q&A transcript:
Coache's Corner: Zorn and Blache Q & A
On the health of the team:
"I think everyone is pretty good. We held Chris Samuels out for just a few plays today just to give him a little breather on his knee. Anthony Montgomery was limited today. He has a little patella tendonitis that flared up on him. Other than that, we worked through practice pretty well."
On finding ways to get wide receiver Santana Moss the ball in order to counter double teams:
"That is our aim to find ways to do that. I wouldn't put out there what I am going to do. Part of getting all of these guys open is trying to get them in better positions and try to compete for single coverage. Sometimes we get it and sometimes we don't. We did it last game too. We just didn't get that particular thing to happen."
On the possibility of calling more deep passing routes since the Rams defensive line is not the caliber of the Giants defensive line:
"They have Leonard Little and Chris Long and they have some high motor guys inside too. I wouldn't say just based on the front four a team throws deep or doesn't throw deep. We threw deep against the Giants and they bailed out and they were deeper than what we could get."
On the willingness to call more deep routes against the Rams:
"I think it is just the same. We have our throws we are going to try and accomplish but I wouldn't say I am considering the d-lines in how deep I am going to throw."
On his impressions of wide receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas against the Giants after watching the film:
"I want to get them both involved. I think Malcolm was probably a little more involved. They are doing a better job of knowing where to line up. We had a couple of little glitches but not bad. I think they really improved. I am excited the direction they are going and as we get them the ball I expect them to be very effective."
On if Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas were open during the Giants game when he looked at the film:
"One time Jason [Campbell] could have thrown to Malcolm [Kelly]. Other than that he was getting the ball out and it happened to be to Antwaan [Randle El]."
On if he foresees wide receiver Antwaan Randle El continuing to be productive as a slot receiver:
"I think it was exactly what we talked about. We have got four guys that can get the ball and a fifth young guy coming on. I think it turned out to be that way. Teams have to decide what they are going to do with Antwaan. Maybe they will single him up; maybe they will double him but that leaves someone else afforded the opportunity to catch the ball."
On why some quarterbacks seem to get more comfortable running a shotgun, no-huddle offense:
"Some of it is zone coverage. We are just beating zone coverage and when they blitz the quarterback has a little more of a comfort zone because there is space. He can set quicker; he can get the ball out. Those are the things. There is probably less sacks and maybe a higher completion percentage. Some of those drives are based on longer yardage situations and more zone drops. When a team fire-zones and you pick it up, you give that quarterback a chance to set, step and throw."
On what he has learned about defensive coordinator Greg Blache in the past year:
"He is very experienced. He has excellent ideas. He plays a very sound defensive philosophy. He doesn't panic and acts medium. He may be in your face but he really is an under control type of coach."
On Greg Blache appearing under control on the sidelines on game days:
"That is the whole idea. I think our defensive players know when he is ticked off and when he is not. He picks his times. Those are the things I learn from him as well-stay cool."
On seeing this game as an opportunity to open up the playbook:
"We are just hoping to progress. That is what I really want. I want to win, score points, defend and play good special teams. I want to progress our program to where we develop a real consistency and a real fight from the first play to the last. Every game is going to be different. We are not playing a college team that we should definitely dominate. This is an NFL team and every game is hard to win."
Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache
On if he rotated the defensive tackles during the Giants game more than anticipated:
"No, it was about what we thought it would be in the first ball game. In the first ball game, the speed picks up so much more than it ever was in the preseason. The intensity level is up much higher so you expect to play guys. The excitement of the first game, the speed of the first game and the guys are antsy before they go and they are running since early in the morning, so it was about what we expected."
On if he is encouraged about the run defense from what he saw in the Giants game:
"We lost. At the end of the day that is the bottom line. There were some good things we did. There were some poor things we did. Some of the short yardage stuff was a couple of the good things we did. The third and longs and the missed tackles were the poor things we did. Whenever you play a ball game, there is rarely a ball game that you come out of that you did everything right or you did everything wrong. You usually have a blend of each. When you play 70 snaps, you are going to have some good ones and some bad ones. In that ball game, we had enough bad snaps to lose the football game to a good football team and our goal is to not have that amount of mistakes. In every ball game there are some things that encourage you and some things that discourage you. The fact that we did not tackle as well as we should have and we gave up some plays that we should have made that is discouraging. At the end of the day, the average wasn't bad but there were runs that created field position that helped put points on the scoreboard."
On the biggest offensive challenge the Rams present:
"Their talent is at the running back spot and the quarterback spot. They have one of the best backs in the business. The guy at Minnesota is off the chart. I put [Steven] Jackson just right underneath him. He is big, strong and fast and he can go the distance every time he touches the football. If the hole is not there inside, he will bounce it outside. He can catch passes out of the backfield. I think this guy is a home run hitting type of back. They have a quarterback who has been to the Pro Bowl. They have two fast guys at the wide receiver position that run a sub-4.4 and that is going to create some problems and challenges for us this weekend. This football team beat us here last year. We were [4-1] and they came in and beat us in our house. We should remember that and recognize that, we can't just assume this game is going to be easier than the Giants game was last week because it is not. Different problems but at the same time problems just the same."
On showing the defense the film on Rams running back Steven Jackson from three years ago:
"We have not shown it to them but we have talked to them and addressed it. You do not have time to go that far back on things. If guys fit where they are supposed to fit, they recognize it and realize it. He did enough things last week. If you watch the tape from last week, you will know what he is capable of doing. He had some great runs last week. He had two called back because of holding penalties but you see the ability, speed and power on the tape. We don't have to go back to see how good this guy is."
On the defenses mentality this week:
"I think our guys are very proud players and very professional players and they were disappointed in their performances from time to time. Nobody stunk up the joint all day. The guys took turns having plays. When you play that way against a good football team, you have a chance to win it but you also have a chance to lose it because of how the ball bounces. We didn't make plays when we had chances. We let them fumble the football on an exchange for 5 yards, a missed interception. We missed some opportunities to make plays. When that happens you are going to have some issues. We will come back and play hard. We are going home and we are coming off a disappointing loss. I think the guys will compete. I like my people. My opinion hasn't changed. I didn't know exactly how they were going to drive it. It is kind of like driving a new car. You know it is a nice car but you don't know exactly how it is going to handle. We just had to found out last week how those guys were going to drive and they drive pretty well."
On figuring out how to coach this group of defensive players:
"Every football team is different. That is what I talked to you about all offseason. Everybody said well because you added Albert [Haynesworth] or you added this guy you are automatically going to be this or that. You are not. Whenever you put different ingredients in, things are going to be different. It is going to be a little different chemistry. It is going to be a little different from what you can or can't do. As you go through a football game, you start to get a feel for it and you learn from it and you go from there."
On linebacker/defensive end Brian Orakpo in coverage during the Giants game:
"He had no issues in coverage. The thing that happened to Brian that happens to all rookies in the first ball game is that the speed of the game is 10 times more than you ever imagined. You play in the preseason, you say I can play in the this league but on Sunday of the opener the intensity and speed is at a whole different dimension that he has ever dreamed of before in his life. He is nervous and antsy but I thought for a rookie it is good he got it out of the way. He will play better this week but at the same time he wasn't bad last week. He played better before but in the first ball game you compensate for that. You know that is going to happen. That is part of his maturity process that is part of him becoming a great pro. I think Brian is going to have a great rookie season and like I said he will be better this week because he has been baptized through fire."
On safety Reed Doughty being back to full speed following the injuries last season:
"Reed is better than he has ever been. His back is better. His speed is better. His feet are better and he is more athletic. Reed is playing as good of football as he has ever played since we have had him. I think you will see more and more of him every week. The surgery he had really freed him up to become a much better football player."
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