Steve Spagnuolo's Interview with Rome

Attention hungry Rams fans -- head coach Steve Spagnuolo spoke with Jim Rome today, covering a variety of topics from his thoughts on how to bring along a rookie QB, the Alex Barron trade, and what they thought about Mardy Gilyard's reaction to losing his scholarship.  I know the off-season is a tough time to get news on your team so I'll recap a few of his thoughts for the faithful at Turf Show Times.

Usually the coach is fairly guarded and doesn't give up much information, but there are some interesting insights here to their thinking.  You can see some reasoning behind picking Bradford in particular over, say, Jimmy Clausen.  

On whether they think they have a franchise QB, or if its one of those things where you never really know:
We don’t want to make any predictions but we’re certainly hopeful. He’s confident and likable. We couldn't find anyone to say anything negative about him and we think he's a real solid guy.  He seems like a thinker and a listener, not a knee jerk reaction kind of guy, and what that says to us is poise. We feel like he'll have poise in the huddle even when things aren't going right.

On how to bring along a young QB: do you throw him in right off the bat, or keep him on the sidelines for a while?
Well, I think what Andy Reid did with Donovan McNabb was just genius. But there’s more than one way to do it and that’s not the only model. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan proved you can come in and get your team to the playoffs. Peyton Manning really struggled his first year. Maybe those struggles helped him later on. There’s a lot of ways to do it, and when he comes in for next Tuesday’s camp to work with veterans we’ll have a better idea of what we have.

About the Mardy Gilyard story,  how he lost his scholarship and what happened afterward:
Mardy had a choice to make. Does he go back to Florida? Does he try to get reinstated in his school and stay with his team? I'm not saying anything people don't already know, but he worked a number of jobs and even lived in his car to save on expenses.  To us that just shouted out "perseverance". And you have to have that coming in, especially in their first year, you know its a big jump to this level.  Mardy has a certain confidence about him and what he did shouted out that he wants it, he’s hungry and is willing to persevere during tough times. He’s going to need that in the NFL. 

On the Alex Barron trade, he was pretty brief.  Not surprising, he certainly doesn't want to get into negativity on a player in public:
Well, there’s a lot of layers there. We wanted to move Smith to left tackle, and he should fare well there, and Barron wanted to play left tackle as well.

On whether Jason Smith is ready to play LT:
We expected him to make this move. We believe in versatility and there’s benefits to having played both sides. Now, there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve.  He played some reps at LT but not as many as he needed

On how they handled the adversity of losing so much last year: 
We played every game to win it, and I think the pains made us hungrier.  One thing I learned from Andy was you have to stay the same, whether you win or lose you need to stay consistant.  So no matter what happens on Sunday, it's the same job on Wednesday, we're going to practice the same way whether we win or lose. And credit those guys for doing it that way. We did have a lot of injuries and our young guys got some expereince, so there's always a positive or a silver lining you can take from it.

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