Rams Know They Face Big Challenge At Dallas

Friday, September 28th 2007, 2:16 pm
By: News On 6

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Though the Rams are winless and heading to play at undefeated Dallas, St. Louis receiver Torry Holt said the players are not hanging their heads.

``For the most part, everyone has done a good job of staying upbeat,'' Holt said Friday after practice at Rams Park.

``Guys know we're 0-3 and it's not a good feeling. For the most part, I think the atmosphere is really good. Everyone wants to get this thing turned around.''

That won't be easy against the Cowboys, who are undefeated at 3-0 and pose a myriad of problems for the Rams, who started the 2002 campaign 0-5. Dallas is ranked second in the NFL in total offense and averaging 38.7 points a game. The offense averages 146.3 yards rushing a game, while the Rams defense ranks 28th against the run.

Outside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa said it hasn't been easy watching from the sidelines, and he's glad to return to help the Rams stop their slide, after missing the last two games.

Tinoisamoa sustained an ankle injury in the season-opener against Carolina.

``Pisa is 100 percent I would say,'' Rams coach Scott Linehan said. ``He's as close to 100 percent as he's going to get.''

In addition to Tinoisamoa missing time with injuries, the Rams have a long list in the trainer's room. Running back Steven Jackson (groin) and cornerback Tye Hill (back) will not play this week. Offensive guard Richie Incognito (ankle) is doubtful to play. Tackle Todd Steussie broke his foot in the preseason and took an injury settlement. He is ineligible to return until mid-November.

Others who are hurt but will play Sunday include quarterback Marc Bulger (broken ribs), safety Jerome Carter (thigh), defensive end James Hall (pectoral), linebacker Tim McGarigle (groin) and receiver Drew Bennett (quadriceps).

Tinoisamoa admitted the season has not gone well for the Rams, but said it's up to them to fix it.

``No, it's bad. But you can't have that bad attitude about it as far as being negative or going into a panic mode,'' Tinoisamoa said. ``Now, there's a sense of urgency, definitely.

``This will be a good test for us against one of the finer offenses in the league. We'll see if we can really hang.''

The key, several Rams said, is to stay focused _ to play like they practice and believe in what they're doing.

``There's a challenge before us,'' safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said. ``We can't get in a funk about it. We've got to make something happen. That's why you play this game.

``We need a win but I think we need a win every week.''

Linehan said he has used the Rams' situation to build up his team this week. He's not above playing the us-against-the-world card.

``I think it's a motivation. I obviously know were not favored,'' Linehan said. ``I don't even know what the difference is, but the whole idea of taking the situation we're in and taking advantage of it and using it as motivation is a great deal of what we're trying to get done. We know there's probably not a lot of respect there for our football team based on our record and we want to prove anybody that doubts us wrong.'' NOTES: DE Leonard Little, who had 13 sacks last season, is still looking for his first sack this year. ... The Rams are a minus-three in turnovers. Last year after the first three games, St. Louis was plus-7 in turnovers. ... Holt on Dallas receiver Terrell Owens after he catches the football: ``He turns into the Incredible Hulk. It's a treat to watch him on the football field.''