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:
- The team does not expect defensive lineman C.J. Ah You to be available in the near future following wrist surgery. That leaves a clearer path for rookie first-round choice Robert Quinn to remain active on game days. Quinn had a sack in his debut Monday night.
- Receiver Danny Amendola has improved range of motion in his dislocated elbow and will not practice Wednesday, but the team is considering his status day-to-day. That's an indication Amendola could return sooner rather than later, although it's premature to say he'll be back this week.
- Linebacker Ben Leber (groin) is also day-to-day, while rookie receiver Greg Salas injured his ribs (X-rays were negative).
- Running back Cadillac Williams has a "low-grade" strained hamstring that will require monitoring. That could be a concern depending upon whether Steven Jackson can come back from a quadriceps strain this week. Spagnuolo said he is "hopeful" on Jackson given that Jackson made an effort to be ready Monday night, an indication Jackson is close to returning.
- The Rams limit Danario Alexander's reps in practice to protect Alexander's surgically repaired knee. That can affect how many reps Alexander plays in games as well.
- Spagnuolo thought the Rams' offensive line made strides from Week 1 to Week 2, but the overall offensive timing was still not there consistently enough.