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News » Incognito tries to clear the air

Incognito tries to clear the air

Incognito tries to clear the air
It wasn't exactly an apology, or even a recantation. Perhaps it qualified as a clarification.

Whatever you call it, guard Richie Incognito sought to clear the air with Rams fans after criticizing them Thursday for not knowing "how to cheer" or "when to cheer," while also welcoming supporters of the Chicago Bears to town.

On Friday, after inviting reporters to "come hither" to his locker area at Rams Park, Incognito insisted that he "was not trying to take a shot at Rams fans. That's the last thing I'm trying to do."

Incognito spoke after getting a visit from coach Jim Haslett, who vigorously defended the team's supporters.

"I remember when I came here (as coach of the New Orleans Saints ) how hard it was to play because of the fans," Haslett said. "I know how hard it is to play here when (the Rams are) playing well and the place is rocking."

Asked whether Incognito's comments were ill-timed, considering the Rams' 2-8 record, Haslett replied, "I think it's bad to say when you're 8-2, to be honest with you. These fans are awesome. I love the city. I like the fans here. They'll support this team.

"Obviously, I'd be disappointed, too, if we were 2-8. I'd have a hard time coming out and watching us also probably. That's just the way it is."

The front office also disavowed Incognito's original remarks. "Obviously, we've enjoyed tremendous support from our fans since we've been here," Rams executive vice president Bob Wallace said. "We think they're some of the best fans in the NFL."

Incognito, a third-round draft choice in 2005 out of Nebraska, explained Friday that he thrives in a boisterous game-day environment and that the large number of Bears fans expected to invade the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday will help to provide that.

"There's going to be a lot of them, they get excited for their Football team, they get excited to come to the game," Incognito said. "So, in turn, them coming to the game brings a Football atmosphere that I'm used to, and that gets me excited ... to go out there and get a win and keep them quiet."

Incognito stressed that he's passionate about his vocation and that he would like the fans to share in his enthusiasm.

"We have not been good this year; I'll be the first to say it," he conceded. "But you know what? I'm here thick and thin. I'm going to play my heart out no matter what our record is. I leave everything I have on that field ...

"I just look forward to every Sunday waking up and doing the thing I love, going out and playing Football. I just want people to enjoy the product we put on the field and get excited about what we're doing. I want everybody involved in what we're doing, because I'm excited about what we're doing.

"So, hopefully feed off me and get excited about Rams Football."

Veteran wide receiver Torry Holt noted that there's one sure way to pump up the fans. "If you want the crowd to be involved, if you want them to be excited," Holt said, "then we as a Football team have to give them something to be excited about."


Derek Stanley reported Friday that his ankle "feels great" and that he'll return kickoffs and punts vs. Chicago. Dane Looker took over the punt-return duties and Travis Minor brought back kicks Sunday in San Francisco. ... Haslett was 3-1 vs. the Bears as head coach of the Saints.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 22, 2008

Adam Goldberg Name: Adam Goldberg
Position: OT
Age: 27
Experience: 6 years
College: Wyoming
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