James Laurinaitis Asserts The Rams Must Stop The Giants Run Game, States Ohio State Had Open Door Policy While Defending Jim TresselSeptember 19, 2011 – 10:40 am by Steven Cuce
In a Monday Night football matchup that headlines two head coaches, Tom Coughlin and Steve Spagnuolo, that once worked together in New York, the St.Louis Rams travel to East Rutherford to take on the Giants. Both teams are looking to notch their first win of the season after having rough season openers. The Rams struggled to defend Michael Vick last week while seeing Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Ron Bartell, and Danny Amendola go down with injuries. The Giants have been the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to starters going down for season ending injuries this season as they dropped last week’s game against division rival Washington on the road.
James Laurinaitis knows the Giants offense will look to get back to basics and run the football with Hakeem Nicks banged up. There’s no guarantee of how well the Rams offense will play with nerve damage in Sam Bradford’s finger along with Steven Jackson’s most likely being out. Tonight’s game is shaping out to be a low scoring affair with a player like James Laurinaitis looking to be a difference maker for the Rams defense.
James Laurinaitis joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to discuss trying to game plan against Michael Vick last week, the St.Louis Rams defense game planning against the New York Giants offense this week, his take on Sam Bradford having what it takes to be an elite quarterback in the NFL, being embarrassed about what has taken place at his alma mater, Ohio State, and being pissed at Ohio State players for blowing up the Ohio State football program.
On trying to game plan against Michael Vick last week:
“It was like a track meet trying to chase around Michael Vick. I tell you what that guy is one of a kind. He’s extremely talented and a totally different football team and a totally different mindset. The Eagles are a lot of…deep shots they want you to fight that and New York is built for power and they look to do double moves off their play action. We gotta be ready.”
When you watched the tape of Giants-Redskins and see that the Giants offense didn’t score in the second half, what do you guys think you need to focus on defensively?
“We have a feeling right now that the Giants are basically telling their players they gotta get back to what they do and that’s run the football. What we saw on film was that they gotta away from it in the second half [against the Washington Redskins]. When you look at the Giants historically and see what Tom Coughlin likes to do and they do over there. They are built for power. They are built for a power running game. They got two great backs in Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. They have two big tight-ends. I played against Jake Ballard in college. We were on the same team at Ohio State. We played together every day at practice and he is a 6’6”, 270-pound, tight-end. They are built to do that and they are built to do play action and really let the passing game come off their running game. We know that they are thinking we need to get back to running the football and get that established on Monday to start the football game, so hopefully we are prepared for it.”
Give me your impressions of your quarterback Sam Bradford? Do you think he has what it takes to be an elite quarterback in the NFL?
“Oh absolutely. Sam is special. The thing about Sam is that he has all the physical tools for a quarterback that you could probably tell off watching film. The thing that I think will get him to the next level is just his work ethic. Sam is a competitor at whatever he does and no amount of money, no amount of success, no amount of fame, nothing like that will ever keep him from being the best quarterback to ever play the game. I say that because he could be the guy in ping pong and if someone says he is better than him he is going to play until he beats him and he is going to be proud of it. He’s this guy that has this attitude that whatever he does he is going to be the best at it. When your quarterback is that way I think it trickles down to everyone else on the team. It’s exciting to see that out of him. He’s still that way. He’s very demanding out of his receivers. The older he gets the more demanding he is going to get out of everyone else around him and I think that’s what you need out of the quarterback position.”
Are you embarrassed to see the things that are going on at your alma mater, Ohio State?
“I wouldn’t say embarrassed. I guess I would say just kind of disappointed at the fact that the old Ohio State coach, Jim Tressel, is getting bashed for what he did. He made a mistake and he admitted to it. The coach is a great man.”
Are you essentially pissed at the Ohio State players for blowing the Ohio State program up the way they did?
“It’s hard. I wouldn’t say I’m upset. They know the decision has been made. I am friends with a lot of them. I know a lot of them. Devier Posey was there when I was there. Boom Herron was there after I was there. These are good kids that just made bad decisions. Overall, they had to make the decision that was right for their family, I think Boom Herron is exactly right. You can’t watch over everyone as a football coach. You can’t have 90-plus players on a football squad and around campus at Ohio State University. How are you going to be able to watch all of them? Trust me Jim Tressel put us through enough of those compliance meetings. I swear if I had to sit through one more of those compliance meetings. We had a huge rule book and unbelievable open door policy. I could walk in and be like ‘Hey I am thinking about going here and here? Can I do this?’ They would get back to you if you could or not. The thing is the players have to be able to use it. Coach can’t force them to use it. I think everyone knows college football has shades of grey with a lot of that stuff.”