The guys who didn't work in practice were T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Madieu Williams. Everybody else participated in practice today. We should be at, or as close to full strength as we've been all year this Sunday
Looking forward to the Rams, obviously they have played winning football as of late. They're back, probably, to where they thought they'd be offensively with the vertical passing game and running the football effectively. Their defense has played well over the last four or five weeks, limiting big plays against themselves. They're going with some young players in the secondary, particularly at corner, and they're doing a good job. They're doing a decent job of rushing the passer and playing well against the run. They've turned the corner, as far as the same guys doing the same things and kind of settling in. You can see that.
Q: Regarding guys settling in, would it be a similar explanation for your own defense?ML:
Oh yeah. I think we've had pretty much the same lineup of players over the last four or five weeks. It makes a big difference, those guys having been together and playing the same spots. And other guys have been able to settle into the special teams. Some of the guys that were having to play an extra 20 snaps of special teams are no longer having to do that. I think that was big, too, early on, when you were having to suit up 45 guys and of that 45, the guys were all starting and playing teams, particularly the defensive players. That falls on their shoulders more. We've been able to get some relief at the linebacker position, obviously, and that has made a big difference.
Q: Do you think that the Rams and the Bengals are similar in that they have not lived up to the expectations?ML:
I haven't followed their story, but what I've seen as of late in watching the tape ... they are doing good things right now. They've got a fine group of receivers, they've got two strong running backs, and Marc Bulger will be back at quarterback. So they've got guys who have played at a very high level in the NFL.
Q: Would you rehash the 2004 draft trade with Rams, when they ended up with Steven Jackson and you got Chris Perry?ML:
It didn't matter. The thing was, we were able to gain a pick, and we had both guys evaluated correctly. Steven has done well there and Chris, when he's been healthy, has done well here.
Q: So, the extra pick turned into Stacy Andrews?ML:
Q: He's done well for you?ML:
Right, exactly, so it was a benefit to us. We couldn't lose on the pick in our opinion.