ST. LOUIS — Robert Quinn led the NFC and set a St. Louis Rams record with 19 sacks last season. He has yet to get his first one of 2014, and he's never taken down Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, either.
The defensive end would like to end both those streaks on Sunday when the Cowboys (1-1) visit the Rams (1-1). This will be the third time in the last four seasons the two teams have met.
"He's kind of slippery," Quinn said about Romo on Friday after practice at Rams Park. "I don't know if he gets enough credit for that. He definitely can make things happen when he gets out of the pocket. I've got to find that fine line and just get him down.
"I've had him wrapped up a few times, but he's so elusive. We have another shot come Sunday, and, hopefully, we can get back there multiple times."
Romo has been sacked seven times in the first two games this season.
Last week, Quinn agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $65.5 million that will keep him a Ram until 2019. The deal averages $14.2 million a season and gives him $41.2 million in guaranteed money.
"It's an honor for the Rams to do that for me," Quinn said as teammate Chris Long sat nearby using his phone to make the sound of a cash register. "At the end of the day, my family is taken care of. You play this sport for the love of the game, but you want to be able to take care of your family when you're doing it."
He earned the money. Quinn, a first-round pick at No. 14 in 2011, was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 2013 while recording 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles.
In his tenure in St. Louis, Quinn has developed into one of the NFL's top defenders.
While he is still in search of his first sack of the season, he has been credited by coaches with four quarterback pressures and six quarterback hits in two games. Quinn also has two tackles for loss in the run game.
Coach Jeff Fisher said is not worried about Quinn getting sacks and creating havoc.
"We're just two games into it and you know, obviously, the offenses are very much aware of his ability," Fisher said. "The ball's coming out quick. He's played well against the run. He's been putting good pressure on the passer. He just hasn't gotten there yet with the ball in the hand. I expect him to have an outstanding year."
Quinn is looking to build off his breakout year in 2013 when he set the franchise record for sacks, topping Kevin Carter's 17 in the Super Bowl-winning 1999 season. Quinn had at least one sack in 11 of 16 games last season. He had five multi-sack games, including three in which he recorded three sacks.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams notes opposing offenses have been doing a few things so far to try and keep Quinn at bay.
"Teams are doing some chips or extra protections. They always know where he's at," Williams said. "We just need to get into some situations where we can turn him loose at little bit more, too. But he's had a lot of impact on plays. He's sped their process up before the ball is ever snapped because they do know where he's at.
"I'll tell you this, he's done a great job against the run. He's done some really, really good jobs in the run game and it's been kind of silent. He's a really good football player. He affects the passing game even when he's not sacking the quarterback."
That's the mark of a talented athlete.
"He does things I can't coach," Williams said. "I'm glad he's on our side."
It's just a matter of time before he puts a quarterback on the turf given his track record. Quinn is not worried.
"It's only two games in. I need to get on my high horse and quit playing around," Quinn said, laughing. "You slowly chip away and once you get the first one, it seems like a million more will come right after. I'll keep going out there and working my craft and try to make something happen."
NOTES: QB Shaun Hill (thigh), WR Tavon Austin (knee), TE Cory Harkey (knee) were limited in practice. All three are listed as questionable. Fisher said it will be a "game time decision" on Hill or Austin Davis at quarterback. ... DE Chris Long (ankle) has a long cast on his left leg almost to the knee after having surgery. He is riding a four-wheel scooter to get around the locker room and his home.
All content copyright ©2014 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.