We talked to St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo this morning. And the second-year head coach is not into introspection in how his team has arrived from 1-15 a year ago to possibly finishing 8-8 and in the playoffs for the first time since 2004 if they win at Seattle on Sunday.
He’s more focused on preparing for Seattle.
“I learned in this business that win or lose on Sunday, certainly from the players’ perspective and the coaches, one Monday afternoon rolls around the challenge of the job going forward is the same,” he said. “Nobody waits for you to celebrate a win. Nobody waits for you if you’re pouting about a loss. So I really haven’t (thought about his team’s turnaround). There will be time for that. Hopefully it’s down the road here. Right now, I don’t mean to sound redundant, but it is all focused on this one game.”
Listen to a snippet of our conversation with Spagnuolo here.
[wpaudio url="http://blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/files/2010/12/SpagnuoloonRams.mp3" text=MP3: Steve Spanuolo audio"]
However, Spagnuolo did discuss a few things about his team, including the evolution of his rookie quarterback, Sam Bradford.
“He is a fierce competitor,” he said. “I think the players have rallied around him. They have confidence in him, that’s what you need in your football team. You want people confident in your quarterback because he’s the guy who touches the ball every play.
“It’s been a great, natural process, and really all the credit goes to Sam for the way he’s kind of handled it right from the beginning.”
Spagnuolo also said that Bradford has been part of helping to improve the receiver play from a young group that has no little known guys like Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and Laurent Robinson.
He said moving the game to prime time won’t change his team’s approach.
“We’re going to approach the same way we did last week,” Spagnuolo said. “We’re all fully aware that it’s a must-win game, and we’re going to go out there and try to win it. We had the same, really the identical situation last week. We had a must-win game. It was against an NFC West opponent, and luckily for us we won it. And we’re going to try and do the same thing again this week.”
“I think it’s reward for both teams, so we kind of acknowledge it and move on,” Spagnuolo said. “When it’s all said and done, the game is played between the white lines, so we’ll kind of focus more on the opponent we’re playing.”
Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst? Spagnuolo said he’s preparing for the system, and that his team has faced similar scenarios in preparing for San Francisco and Kansas City the past two weeks, with both teams having some uncertainty as to who would start at quarterback.
“You really have to defend the system,” he said. “Seattle’s got some good coaches. They know what they’re doing. They’re committed to what they do. They’ve got two good quarterbacks, a talented tight end, some wide receivers that can make some plays and hurt you deep.
“And we have a tremendous amount of respect for Matt Hasselbeck, but I think if Charlie Whitehurst gets in there, he’s every bit as effective as Matt.”