Even though the Rams are 2-13 and have a shot at getting the top draft pick in next year’s NFL Draft, head coach Steve Spagnuolo is not looking to take it easy against the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
“The same as the other 15,” Spagnuolo said of his approach to the last game. “We’re trying to win a football game — in this particular case, against another good football team.”
Spagnuolo may have some distractions as he prepares for this game. There had been rumors of the Eagles’ interest in bringing him on their staff as the defensive coordinator. He was the Eagles defensive assistant from 1999-2006 before joining the New York Giants the following year and helping them beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
There had also been rumors about the Rams’ potential interest in Jon Gruden as their new head coach. (Those rumors have since been shot down).
“I’m honestly and truly not aware of all the things going on,” Spagnuolo said of the rumors. “I’m smart enough to know things will be said. I can tell you this, we’re living in the now. Let’s focus on the Rams.”
Despite his likelihood of being fired after the game, Spagnuolo said that he wants to the team to end on a good note and a win would do just that for an injury-plagued season for the team. He said he wasn’t being naive in his thinking, but he truly believe the character in the players in the locker room and their desire to play their hearts out.
- QB Sam Bradford will not practice today. If he can’t go on Sunday, Kellen Clemens will the team’s starting quarterback.
- Spagnuolo said he was very happy for LB Larry Grant’s success with the 49ers. Grant was with the Rams before joining the 49ers this offseason.
“I’m happy for Larry. He seems to have found a niche there.”
- Spagnuolo said that he knows John Harbaugh very well from his days in Philadelphia but doesn’t know Jim that well.
- The head coach thinks that even though he has no Rams going to the Pro Bowl, he is optimistic about his alternates making the team when other players bow out. The Rams have defensive end Chris Long, running back Steven Jackson and linebacker James Laurinaitis as NFC alternates.
- Spagnuolo on division competitiveness:
“The division might have had one definition of it a year ago and that has completely changed. There were three teams in the playoff hunt up to last week. This franchise, injuries took its toll and the lockout (hurt). I think all four teams have enough there. All four teams are being built the right way where I think the division is going to be very competitive.”