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Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo Q & A

    <span style="">                   
            <span style="">Q: Do you feel your win last week is the start of something good for you guys?</span>                  

A: "I got my legs back. The rest was good and the time was great. The players appreciated it. I know I did. It's beautiful in St. Louis. It still is now. There are a couple of different ways to look at it. We were fortunate enough to win in Detroit. It was good to have two weeks. Now of course, being coaches like we are, now I'm worried that we lost a little momentum, that we got away, so I'm trying to gain that back. I know we have a tremendous challenge ahead of us playing the Saints. It was a good thing to have the bye week. I think it's a good thing the NFL does."

Q: From a momentum standpoint, do you like the timing of this matchup?

A: "I don't know if there's a good time to play the New Orleans Saints this year to be quite honest with you. We have tremendous respect for them. I think Sean (Payton) does a great job and they're better than good. They're really good. It's evident by their record, how they play and what they do. It's a credit to the whole coaching staff and players down there. We don't worry about when games fall on the schedule. We just go play them. We consider it a great challenge, but we know its' exactly that, a great challenge to play the Saints."

Q: Is this the type of game that seems to get the attention of your team?

A: "I guess you'd have to ask them. I'd like to think they approach every game the same way. That's just me talking. I guess it's natural and human nature that when you're going against the best and you want to eventually be the best or prove you can play at that level, I guess you get the juices flowing a little bit. I'm sure the Saints and Sean face that every week, because of who they are and what they do. They've met every challenge along the way so far, so they're doing something right."

Q: What have you guys improved on?

A: "I go back to the other things sometimes that you can't measure. I like the way the team's coming together. I like how they hung together. It was not easy going through the first half of the season and there's tremendous leadership in the locker room. They guys have embraced what we're doing. They've hung in there. They could have easily gone the other way. I think it's a credit to the players in the locker room more than anything, so we're going to roll with that a little bit. We're going to chip away a little bit. There are things we have to get better at. We looked at it real closely in the bye week, self-scouted as coaches. Hopefully there are some things we can make improvements in areas where we've been weak and hopefully we can stay strong where we're strong."

Q: As a defensive coach , the Saints the first five weeks kind of blew everyone away,  and then the last three weeks they've kind of struggled a little bit. What have you seen out of them lately that makes you think why they struggled a little bit?

A: "I don't know. I beg to differ. I haven't seen them struggle, at all. Maybe it was because they were playing so good early. That's a while back now. They have so many ways to get the ball to so many people. Sean (Payton) knows exactly how to do that. He's always been able to attack defenses where they're weak. We're aware of that. He has a lot of weapons to do it with. The quarterback makes everything go. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I don't see them faltering at all. I see them having gained momentum and winning a lot of football games. There are a lot of different ways to win in this league and none of them are easy and they've found a way to win eight of them."

Q: When you were with the Eagles, you played the Rams when they were coming off their most prolific season and I recall the defense played pretty well that day. A lot of people are comparing the Saints to those Rams. Can you compare and contrast?

A: "It's an interesting question you pose. They both put up points and are both productive in the run and the pass. Both have good backs. It always starts with the quarterback, very, very similar. I'm trying to remember, Ernie Conwell…Jeremy Shockey I have a lot of respect for him from (our days together in) New York. There are a lot of similarities. They might do it a little bit differently, but the result's the same, which is very, very effective."

Q: When you look at the Saints defense and their leading the league in takeaways, what kind of ball hawking skills do you see?

A: "Gregg (Williams) does a great job there. He has wherever he's been. He gets guys to play fast. That's our attempt here. I think anytime you get guys doing that, it lends yourself to creating turnovers. When you add Darren Sharper who is a ball hawk, has a knack for the ball, he has his whole career, now all of a sudden the totals and takeaways go way up. I think it's a credit to what the staff's doing in getting guys to play fast. They're flying all over the place. They don't slow down to hit. They don't slow down to snatch a ball out of the air. They're very confident in what they're doing, so that's only after eight games of working with Gregg's system. What they're doing, they're right on target and they have the right people to do it."

Q: It seems like you're getting Steven Jackson going again. Is he coming along again?

A: "He got himself in great shape. It all begins in the off-season. He did that. He committed to getting his body right. We knock on wood. Hopefully he stays that way, but he feels fresh right now and hopefully we can take advantage of that. He's a key to a lot of what we do. Marc (Bulger) does a nice job of spreading the ball around and I think that helps Steven a little bit. Steven has a great offensive line in front of him or an offensive line that's coming together, I should say. (We are) A little bit young in some areas. They like blocking for him and I know Steve likes running the football."

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