St. Louis An avalanche of little things have added up to the big hole the winless St. Louis Rams are in. That was the message players got from an agitated coach Scott Linehan at the end of practice on Thursday.
The Rams were supposed to be a contender in the NFC West in Linehan's second season after going 8-8 last year but have been dragged down by injuries and crucial breakdowns. They're tied for the franchise's worst start, and Linehan allowed the frustration to show while stalking around during the post-practice huddle.
"He was just doing what a coach does," wide receiver Isaac Bruce said. "Sometimes you have to reprimand. Guys have to be held accountable, and we need to be self-motivators."
The rant, inaudible to media perhaps 50 yards away, came a day after several players were buoyed by the return of stars Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson and Bruce to practice. Bulger will start Sunday at Seattle after missing two games with two broken ribs, and Bruce is back after missing two games with a hamstring injury, although Jackson likely will need another week for a partially torn groin.
The Rams got another player back on Thursday, with center Brett Romberg determined to shake off a sprained ankle with an attitude Linehan could appreciate.
"Even the day I did it, I said there's no way I'm going to be missing a game," Romberg said. "I don't care how bad it is. I've got to find a way."