– Rams HC Steve Spagnuolo just wrapped up his Monday afternoon news conference and he already seems focused in on Seattle though he also acknowledged how excited he is about the challenge.
– As you loyal readers know, the “Wrapping Up” blog is usually intended to put the finishing touches on the game that just happened. There will be some of that today but let’s face it, it’s all about this week for the Rams. If you’re a fan, you have to be excited about what this week will bring.
– Before we dive into that, let’s run through the (short) injury list for the week.
– TE Michael Hoomanawanui is going to work to get back this week. Spagnuolo said the Rams were “hopeful” he’d be able to return to action but there was no guarantee. He will work with head athletic trainer Reggie Scott on Wednesday and then the Rams hope to have him back in the mix in time for Thursday’s practice.
– CB Jerome Murphy has a broken left pinkie but is expected to be OK to simply wrap it up and play this week against the Seahawks.
– DE Chris Long made it through the game on his bruised thigh just fine and should be ready to go for a full week of practice though it’s possible he could take it easy for safety’s sake.
– DE Eugene Sims had his injured knee examined further and it was revealed to be just a bruise. He should also be OK moving forward.
– Other than that, the Rams will have their full complement of players for the biggest game of the season.
– Now, the last time the Rams won a playoff game, they did it in Seattle at the end of the 2004 season. They went to Qwest Field and knocked off the Seahawks in the wild card round. This week, they’ll have to do the same if they want to make it to that round.
– Coincidentally, that was also the last time the Rams won in Seattle. Let’s hope it’s a good omen for the Rams.
– For those that like history of that sort, it’s also interesting that the last time the Rams had to win a game in the last week to get into the playoffs, it was that season against the Jets in the final week. The date of that game? Jan. 2, 2005. The date of this week’s game? Jan. 2, 2011.
– On Monday, Spagnuolo discussed the primetime game and gave his usual, stoic answer about it not mattering when or where the game is because it’s all the same sport…
“Primetime? We’ll be lining up and playing the game between the white lines and away we go. I guess the lights will be on instead of the sun so I don’t think that will make any difference. We’re always ready.”
– The Rams will not be adjusting their travel schedule at all. They will travel on Saturday afternoon to Seattle and get in around the same time they normally would. The only change is a little different game day because of the wait for the game. But other than that, it will be business as usual.
– Spagnuolo said things won’t change much even on game day, too. They might do a little something Sunday morning for a few minutes but he doesn’t want to stray from what has worked this season.
– One thing Spagnuolo did address Monday was the so called “conservative approach” of the offense at the end of the game and after jumping out to a lead. Spagnuolo said he often dictates the way that goes and he says the approach is based on the game and its ebb and flow. It just so happened that in Sunday’s game, he believed in his defense and its ability to get the job done.
“There may be another game going forward here where we’ll do it differently. That’s all on me. I’ll take the full “blame” if there is blame when you put it that way.”
– A couple of quick notes from the coaches’ evaluation of film…
– DE James Hall was credited with two sacks after getting 1.5 in yesterday’s breakdown. That brings his total to 10.5 for the year.
– The other two sacks were credited to Fred Robbins and Long, respectively.
– Sims was credited with the safety.
– Across the board, the defensive line had one of its best performances of the season. Everyone graded out extremely well and there were no miscues of any type. A big, big day from that group.
– That’s all for today. Plenty of coverage to come this week as the Rams prepare for the showdown in Seattle.
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