Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quinn's three sacks earn him title of NFC defensive player of the week

Rams defensive end Robert Quinn tackles Cardinals
quarterback Carson Palmer and forces a fumble in the
Rams' season-opening victory. Quinn was named NFC
defensive player of the week. Photo courtesy of Chris Lee.
Three sacks proved a charm for Rams defensive end Robert Quinn, who was named NFC defensive player of the week Wednesday.

“He had an outstanding game," defensive coordinator Tim Walton said. "He flew around and he had sacks, he had quarterback pressures, quarterback hits. He affected it really good and that’s the strength of our team, those guys up front. But, he did an outstanding job.”

The recognition was reward in itself for Quinn, who wasn't expecting cash, a fabulous gift to come with the honor, much less a new car.

"Are you going to buy me one?" he asked, saying the title came with "nothing that I know of unless they have a surprise for me. I was just told I was the NFC defensive player of the week. I'll add it to my resume, I guess, and move on from it."

Quinn should know. He was named special teams player of the week in 2011, his rookie season, when he blocked a punt in the Rams' victory against New Orleans, one of only two wins for the Rams that year. Quinn brought down Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer three times, forced two fumbles and assisted on two other tackles Sunday in the Rams' 27-24 victory. So, the assistant coaches for this week's opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, wouldn't have to be geniuses at breaking down game film to realize that Quinn deserves extra attention.

Quinn advised thinking through that strategy carefully. He noted that his linemates were instrumental in setting up his sacks and picking up loose fumbles. Double-team Quinn at your own risk, he said.

"If they do that, we have (Michael) Brock, (Kendall) Langford, Chris (Long), (William) Hayes, (Matt) Conrath, (Jermelle) Cujo, (Eugene) Sims," Quinn said. "They've got a lot more to worry about than me. That's what Fish does, builds a great line and defense. You can't just focus on one guy. It will be tough if they focus on me.”

The game versus the Falcons has the potential to get personal because the Rams will be facing their longtime teammate, running back Steven Jackson. After nine seasons with the Rams and eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Jackson signed as a free agent with Atlanta in March. The parting was friendly, and ex-teammates have kept in contact. 

That changes Sunday.

"I texted him, I think it was yesterday, congratulating him on his game and what-not. But I haven't received anything starting today," Quinn said. "When the clock starts, there's no friendship. I love Steven. He's a great guy. But he's not a Ram anymore. He's a Falcon. I'm going to try to play my best game and keep him to minimal yards, but that's going to be tough because he's one of the bigger backs in the league."