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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
On Kroenke's postgame Spagnuolo chats

By Mike Sando

Team owner Stan Kroenke was the first person I saw upon entering the St. Louis Rams' locker room Monday night. He stood near one of the main entrances.

The Rams had returned from the field following their 28-16 road defeat to the New York Giants. Rules require teams to open their locker rooms to reporters following a 10-minute cooling-off period, but in this case, the locker room remained closed for an extended period without the head coach emerging for his scheduled news conference.

Why the delay? Kroenke, who took over last year as majority owner after years in a minority role, sometimes meets with coach Steve Spagnuolo following games.

"I do deeply apologize for being late at the postgame conferences," Spagnuolo told reporters in St. Louis on Tuesday. "I want you to know that it is not out of any disrespect. ... I have visited a couple times with Mr. Kroenke and I value that time. He’s great. I appreciate him coming in and talking to us and myself and that’s kind of what’s happened, but we’ll get that squared away and I promise you that we’ll take care of you like we should."

I pass along this information as a window into the often vague coach-owner dynamics. Kroenke doesn't reveal much about himself publicly and isn't one to comment on day-to-day team operations. That he would meet with the team and head coach following games shows a level of engagement we might not normally know about.

A few more Rams-related notes from Spagnuolo's day-after game media session: