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Q&A: St. Louis Rams Defensive End Robert Quinn Looks Forward to 2012 – Part 1

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The 2011 NFL season proved to be more difficult than expected for the St. Louis Rams. However, the team had some bright spots. Defensive end Robert Quinn recorded five sacks in limited action for the club and earned more playing time in the second half of the season. I got in touch with Quinn recently, and here is what he had to say about the Rams, his career, and his personal life.

How is your health? In particular, have there been any changes with your brain tumor?

Quinn: No, since I last checked, it's all fine and dandy. I hope it stays that way. I'm looking forward to the new season and having a little bit of fun.

What did you learn about yourself and the NFL in your rookie season?

Quinn: I guess the main point is that I had a bunch of veteran guys like James Hall and Fred Robbins who have been in the league for a while that know how to work all sides. It was a pleasure learning from those two. I really appreciated that.

I guess I learned that I can definitely never take a play off, or it can ugly for you out there. At the end of the day, you always look at it football to football, and that no matter what level you're on that will not change.

What's your offseason program like now? How do you maintain your health?

Well, I try not to get too fat. (laughs) But no, I'm not hitting it extremely hard. My body doesn't require a lot of eating, even though with me being this size it might seem like it. I'm really trying to maintain and stay healthy, and work out any kinks that I have in my body with different doctors, chiropractors, nutritionists, or whoever it may be. I'm trying to work out the kinks and become the best player I can be.

Were you surprised when the Rams drafted you?

I was definitely shocked. Some of the younger guys that I talked to expected that I would be off the board by then, but I kept falling. And after I fell down past a certain team, I didn't know where I would go. Then my phone rang and I saw that St. Louis was calling. To be honest, I didn't expect to be here, but I have no regrets.

Do you think that teams passed on you in the first round because of the tumor?

I heard that the tumor affected some of the teams that made some of those crazy, big old trades, but you can't really knock them for making those trades. Like I said, there are no regrets. You can't change the past, you know? I'm still smiling. It doesn't matter to me. I'm excited to be around.

How have you adjusted to playing in the NFL in comparison with college and high school?

In college with Coach Davis, he kinda ran it like a pro system. He wanted us to study film on our own. He didn't want to force the guys to do it. He wanted us to make the effort. I give a lot of credit to Coach Davis for kinda running it like a pro system. But of course, in the pros you have to study just a tad bit more to get a heads up on your opponent. So you have to be a little more dedicated, but it's your job, so it's not a bad thing.

What is your favorite move or technique that you like to use on offensive linemen when rushing the passer?

On the field, no matter who's out there, I'm always going to try to see if I can run past them. I just like to test them and see what works the best. Hopefully, I get them a little uneasy. Everybody has their own preferences on how they want to attack their opponent. That's kinda my forte.

This might be too early to tell, but how are Coach Fisher and Coach Spagnuolo different?

Well, I haven't spent that much time with Fisher to get a full evaluation. From what I'm hearing, it's just in the way they prepare. This was Coach Spagnuolo's first coaching job, and Fisher's been around for a long time, so there's definitely a difference in experience between the two guys from the head coaching side of it. But like I said, I haven't spent that much time with Coach Fisher yet, but from the short time I've had, it's been a pleasure.

Look for part two of the interview with Robert Quinn on Wednesday, March 28.

Derek Ciapala has been a Rams fan since he was a child and the team was in Los Angeles. His favorite Rams moments include Flipper Anderson's 336-yard receiving night against the Saints in 1989, and their miracle 1999 run to their first Super Bowl victory. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.

Source: Personal Interview

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