St. Louis Conference Calls

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Transcripts of conference calls with the Rams' Jim Haslett and Torry Holt on Wednesday afternoon:    

INTERIM HEAD COACH JIM HASLETT

On the season and his transition to head coach…

It's kind of middle of the road, to be honest with you. We've won a couple games, we've lost a couple games. I thought we played well enough in New England to win the game, but we didn't. Last week we didn't play well at all.

There were a couple of ups and downs in the last month, but we're like everybody else. We've got a bunch of injuries and things we have to deal with, just like every other team in the league. It really hasn't been that big of a transition. More than anything to me, it's just getting familiar with the guys on the offensive side and the people in the building. That's about it.

On RB Steven Jackson's health…

He did not practice today and he's going to be day-to-day. The message I got after dealing with Steven for the last two weeks, because again, I don't know him that well, I'm just kind of getting a feel for him, is that for him to play in one of these games he's going to have to practice one day like he's playing the game and go full speed so I can see it.

We kind of tippytoed around this issue last week because we wanted him to play. He told us Sunday he was ready to go and then obviously he wasn't ready to go. We're not going make that mistake again. We're going to make sure that when he's full-go and 100 percent, then he'll play.

On winning back-to-back after changing head coaches…

We made some adjustments and we did some things to try to make it easier on us. Myself, and the position I was in doing it before, is a little bit easier than a guy that has never done this or has never been in this position. That's probably the easiest way to describe that.

On if it's easier for him to morph back into a head coach's mentality since he was a head coach at New Orleans…

Yes, I would probably say that. I did it for six years straight, so I struggled a little bit going back to being a coordinator, and actually liked it because you're more involved in football-football. Again, this was an easy transition. There are some things you forget. I've said it before, I'm not really crazy about the circumstances, I would love to have another opportunity to be a head coach, but I wasn't really looking at these circumstances to be one.

On DT Kris Jenkins…

He's a guy we tried to trade for last year before the Jets got him. I love the guy. From what I've seen on film, I think he's one of the best players, or at least most dominant guy that I've seen on film this year, in the National Football League. I see a guy with great quickness and he's powerful and playing hard — the same things he did at Carolina, but I see it on a consistent basis. I think the guy is one of the most dominant guys in the league at this point.

On if he has experience playing against Jenkins…

Remember, during the six years at New Orleans we played him twice a year. I saw the guy beat us up for 12 games. I know what the kid can do. I think he's in a great situation there being a nose in a 3-4. Even on a pass-rush situation when he's a 3-technique or he's on a guard, he's very dominant right now. I love the guy. I thought at one time that line they had in Carolina with him, [Julius] Peppers and [Mike] Rucker, and they brought Al Wallace and all those guys off the bench, that was the best group in the NFL.

On QB Brett Favre…

I'm kind of biased on him. He's a guy that if people ask you, "If you ever started a football team with anybody that ever played the game, who would it be?" I would say Brett Favre. To me, he's probably the greatest quarterback that has ever played the game. If he isn't the greatest, then he's at least the most competitive.

I love the guy. I've always watched him. I remember when he was in Atlanta for a preseason game, watching him I said, "Gosh, this guy is unbelievable." He can throw the ball, he's active, he stays alive, he can run, and then you add the size and the competitiveness on top. I don't know if it gets much better than that.

On if Favre throws the deep ball as well as he used to since he has mainly thrown checkdown passes…

I hope he keeps doing that [laughing]. No, he can make all the throws. When he was in Green Bay, he used to come out and practice throwing it sideways. We used to watch him like "Oh my gosh, the guy is practicing being in distress." He's unbelievable.

When I was in Pittsburgh playing him one time in Green Bay, we were chasing him, he stopped and threw one underhand for about 40 yards and a reception. I was like "Oh my gosh." The guy still has it. To me, I have so much admiration for the guy. I'm going on and on here, but I think he's a great quarterback.

WR TORRY HOLT

On the difference between Scott Linehan and interim head coach Jim Haslett…

The biggest difference is his experience. He has been a head coach before. Jim Haslett goes from what he did in New Orleans with the Katrina effect and keeping those guys poised and excited about going out to play a game of football.

For him to step in and take over Coach Linehan's job, once they released Coach Linehan, I wouldn't say was easy but not as tough as what he has dealt with before. The biggest thing that he brought to the table was his experience.

On not being pleased with his role this season…

I mentioned that last week. I don't have any more comments about that. I said what I said last week so I am going to let that go and move forward this week with a new week, going to come out and practice, perform and get out there on Sunday and help our football team win ballgames. I have no further comments about that from last week.

On CB Darrelle Revis…

He's another one of the young corners that I like. I watched him a lot when he was coming out of college at Pittsburgh. He's a hell of an athlete. He's very strong, very skilled and very quick. He's a tremendous competitor on the outside that tackles. He will defend you one-on-one. He'll play zone well. He can also blitz. He can do a lot of things.

We really have our hands full with Revis — not only Revis, but the entire secondary. They do a very good job of executing their scheme on the back end. It's going to be challenging. I look forward to going against these guys. I look forward to going against every secondary, every corner, every Sunday. Revis is a guy that will pose some problems, but you just have to maintain, hang in there and stay true to what you do on the outside and hopefully you can get some wins against them.

On what the were Rams expecting going into this season…

We expected, as far as our record indicates, to be more ahead of the game than where we are. We expected to play a lot better than what we've done up to this point. We had a lot of high expectations coming into training camp. We thought that we did a good job of making that happen throughout the course of training camp.

It hasn't quite carried over, as much as we'd like it to, throughout the course of the regular season. We still have eight games left, so we have an opportunity to get things turned around and get our expectations back up to where we had when we first started the season.

On fellow North Carolina State alum WR Jerricho Cotchery…

I know Jerricho very well and I followed his career from when he was at N.C. State to now with the Jets. He is having an outstanding career. He's just scratching the surface. No knock on Jerricho. I say that because he has so much room and so many more plays to make. He's going to continue to make so many more plays for the Jets.

I'm looking forward to watching him and hopefully they will continue to give him the ball more and allow him to do the things he can do as far as helping that football team. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jerricho and his wife Mercedes and their little daughter. My hat goes off to Jerricho. Much love and much respect.

On if the Rams can upset the Jets…

You can't sleep on any football team in the National Football League nowadays. It can happen to anybody. Your bubble can get burst any Sunday. I don't think Coach Mangini will allow those guys to come in and lay down. I don't think their leaders on that football team will let those guys come in and lay down. They'll come out fired up at home.

They came out with a big win against Buffalo. Coming back home to their home fans, against a 2-6 St. Louis Rams football team coming in, I'm pretty sure they feel they should win this ballgame. A lot of skeptics and critics out there feel they should win this ballgame. I feel like that's their approach they will take. They will come out, be fired up, play physical and play their style of football.

We as a football team, as far as the Rams, have to step up and match their energy for four quarters, execute and stay to our game plan and hopefully get out of there with a win.

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