Just a programming note, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider is scheduled to talk to reporters at the podium here on Friday morning, so we’ll get the Seahawks’ perspective on the upcoming draft at that time.
St. Louis head coach Steve Spagnuolo would not divulge what his team’s specific needs are for this year’s draft – although he admitted continuing to improve the offensive and defensive lines and finding more playmakers for quarterback Sam Bradford are high on the priority list.
The third-year head coach said it’s nice not to be drafting in the top five for the first time in three seasons. The Rams selected first overall last season, and No. 2 overall in 2009. St. Louis has the No. 14 overall pick this year.
“I live being there than sitting at the top all the time,” Spagnuolo said. “For two straight years it was one and two, so this is a little different dynamic. But it’s kind of exciting and fun, too, because you don’t really know how it lays out until actually that day.”
And Spagnuolo said his team is ready to build off of last year’s 7-9 run, missing out on the playoffs with a loss to Seattle at Qwest Field in the season finale.
“I think our confidence grew, and certainly the expectations are going to be higher,” he said. “What I’m real excited about is there’s a tremendous hunger there – you get a taste of it a little bit.
“I said to the team in our last meeting that I felt like – and you can spin it any way you want – that we played in two playoff games last year. The San Francisco game in Game 15 was a must-win, and then certainly in Seattle was a must-win. And we won one of them and lost one. And so there’s some experience there, and there’s a lot of hunger.”
Spagnuolo says he does not expect the looming lockout to affect the offensive installation and developing relationship new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Bradford.
“We don’t really have any worries about that,” Spagnuolo said. “We’re doing things as a normal offseason. We’re all hopeful and thinking optimistically things will be cleared up, and we’ll have a normal offseason and go to work.
“If that doesn’t happen, we’ll deal with the situation however it is. … Scheming and coaching and really important and teaching, but you know what, it’s not rocket science. It still comes back to throwing the football, catching the ball, running it and tackling people.”
Spagnuolo also was asked about how McDaniels would use running back Steven Jackson, and was he concerned with the offense taking on more of a pass-happy approach because of his background in New England.
“I think Josh gets tagged that way because he’s had some pretty good quarterbacks that he’s worked with, and certainly they throw the ball well,” Spagnuolo said. “And he’s shown that he can do that. But with a guy like Steven, he certainly a guy that we like to get the football to, so we’ll find ways to get it to him, and let our playmakers make plays.”