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  1. #46
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    The more I read, the more excited I'm getting about Laurinitis. I was expecting to have him taken earlier, but he fell in our laps. I really hope that Spags coaches him right and he turns out to be a great line backer. I'm excited to see him in the Horns!

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  2. #47
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Can't wait for this team to gel.

  3. #48
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Finally, the Rams have a legit MLB along with a free agent safety. Now lets see what the Rams can do when they've actually got some thumpers on the field...

    Go Rams

  4. #49
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    Re: Why MLB Laurinitias over MLB Mauluaga?

    Amen! Why do fans always think that somehow they know something about a player when a coach like Spag lives, eats and breathes football his whole adult life??? Cracks me up!

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Why? Because thats what billy d and spags thought was best for the Rams. Same thing as why smith over monroe. Trust in the front office and spags, they know better than the fans. This is a PERFECT pick for us. Ramming speed welcome to the son of the animal.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

  5. #50
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    I absolutely love this pick. Looks like our starting linebackers will be Witherspoon, Laurinaitis, and Draft or another drafted linebacker (possibly even Tinoisamoa although it depends on what the coaches see in him).

  6. #51
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Laurinaitis was a 3 year starter at Ohio State, one of the top programs in one of the top conferences in the country.

    What did he do in those three years?

    39 games
    366 tackles

    That's over 9 tackles per game.

  7. #52
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Devaney REALLY wanted Laurinaitis
    By Jeff Gordon
    04.25.2009 7:44 pm

    There was no secret that Billy Devaney coveted Ohio State middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.

    As the first round wound down and Laurinaitis was still on the board, he tried to trade up to get him. Nothing materialized, so he sat back and hoped for the best.

    Laurinaitis knew the Rams wanted him. St. Louis was the first team to bring him in him for a visit.

    His agent, Tom Condon, advised him that a trade was possibility. And if Laurinaitis fell into the second round, he knew the Rams wouldnít let him pass.

    And the Rams managed to get him without giving up anything extra. ďSome of the best trades are the ones you donít make,Ē Devaney said.

    What did he want him so badly?

    ďHe has the size (244 pounds) weíre looking for,Ē Devaney said. ďHe loves football.

    ďWe talked about getting bigger. He adds size to our linebacker corps.

    ďHeís been a tackling machine. He can play all three downs. Heíll be a core special teams player.Ē
    Charcter and his ability to play all 3 downs is what really caught the Rams eye IMO. He is going to be the starting MLB from day 1 and IMO he will be in the race for defensive rookie of the year. Put him in the middle next to spoon on the weakside along with the 3 guys we could have on the strong side in Draft, Pisa, and Culberson and the LB core looks way better than it has in years.

  8. #53
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    MLB Laurinaitis a strong pick in second round
    By Roger Hensley
    04.25.2009 7:33 pm


    JIM THOMAS
    When North Carolina receiver Hakeem Nicks went off the board late in the first round, the teamís hopes of landing a wideout in Round 2 were scuttled. Although not a thumper, Laurinaitis is a nice consolation prize for a defense that needs all the help it can get.

    .
    I was hoping for Hakeem Nicks here to but we needed a MLB nice pick here.
    :ramlogo:

  9. #54
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    LB James Laurinaitis
    April 25, 2009

    (On how it feels to be a Ram)

    ďItís a little bit surreal right now. Iím just happy to say Iím finally in the NFL.Ē


    (On if he has any regrets going to school for his senior year since he was projected to go in the first round of last yearís NFL Draft)

    ďNo, not at all. I got to experience so many great things this year as a senior. Being a part of the first Ohio State team to beat Michigan five times in a row and Senior Day and being a two-time captain. Just things that I wouldnít have been able to accomplish if I would have left early. To me itís always been more about relationships and experiences and I donít regret it at all.Ē


    (On why he wanted to be a Ram so bad)

    ďItís awesome; itís a great feeling. Just because I know a few guys on the team, Larry Grant, was a guy I played with at Ohio State. Chris Long, I met Chris on the whole award tour last year and what a good guy that kid is. And both called me already and are excited and I think we have a great future. I think we chance to turn things around and be able to do some good things in that conference.Ē


    (On where he sees himself fitting in the Rams defense)

    ďI havenít even thought about that. Iíll hopefully go in and contribute in any way possible really. Whether itís special teams, starting, whatever it is I donít know. Iím just in such a whirlwind right now that I havenít even thought about that yet. But Iíll play wherever they want me to and contribute the best way that I can.Ē


    (On what goes through his mind when other teams that have shown interest in him make another selection)

    ďYou canít take anything personal I say. But the first thing that goes through your mind is that whatever happens, happens and itís gonna all work out in the end. Itís mostly about what you do once you get picked and not, you know, this whole process a lot of guys get picked early and then they are out of the league four or five years later, so you have to be able to set new goals and have dreams and really work hard to accomplish those things. Thatís what Iím trying to do and itíll be exciting to have a new fresh start here in St. Louis.Ē


    (On if he thinks the middle linebacker position is his best position and where heís most comfortable)

    ďYeah, I love playing the middle. I think middle is a thing I succeed at pretty regularly and itís just where Iíve been comfortable the last three years. Unfortunately, at Ohio State Iíve taken some ďWillĒ as well because thereís a lot of defenses where the Mike-backer is actually more at the Will-backer, so Iíve been able to play a little bit of both. But like you said, Iíve played ďMikeĒ and Iím used to it and if thatís where Coach wants to put me then thatís where Iíll be absolutely happy to play.Ē


    (On if he thinks there is a better opportunity to play middle linebacker with the Rams that there might have been with another team)

    ďI donít know if I would say that. I think on every team thereís going to be competition and thereís going to be battles for every rookie that comes in, so Iím not going to say that thereís a better opportunity. I know St. Louis has guys that are veterans and are great football players, so Iím not going to say that I have a better opportunity. Iím just excited to go work and get to know my new teammates and coaches and all that and hopefully try to fit in well.Ē


    (On how he describes the physical part of his game)

    ďI think physically Iím a guy thatís able to make plays. I play within the system, Iím very disciplined. At Ohio State we had a system where we did a lot of zone pressuring, a lot of side-to-side lateral movement stuff and thatís the way I kind of play and Iím not going to have my own agenda, Iím going to play with whatever coach tells me to do. I think Iím going to be able to make a lot of plays, I think Iím a three-down linebacker, I can play all three downs and I can cover the pass well and Iím excited to show everybody really what I can do.Ē


    (On if he had an idea that the Rams where targeting him)

    ďYeah, I had an idea that St. Louis wanted me pretty bad. As the Draft was kind of unfolding and I saw myself still there and Rey (Maualuga) still there, I was thinking to myself that the closer I got the bigger the opportunity there was for me to land in St. Louis, so I was definitely excited. I thought that they really wanted to grab me and Iím happy that it was able to work out.Ē


    (On what he thinks he needs to work on and become an NFL caliber linebacker)

    ďI think thereís a lot of things that all rookies need to work on. First, learn the whole system. I definitely like to consider myself a student of the game and I have that perfectionist mentality where I donít want to ever think that Iím good enough or Iíve made it. So, I think mostly things just to work on are to just to understand the game of football more. I think sometimes people focus on the little physical things when really the mental part of the game can take you so far.Ē


    (On how he got the feeling the Rams where interested in him)

    ďThe first workout I did with a team was with St. Louis and so I knew that they were interested right away. And my agent Tom Condon had kind of been telling me that they had a dire need for a middle linebacker and they were looking at one good. So if I was still around late in the first round, they were looking at a trade in or possible if I slid, be expected to be snatched up by St. Louis.Ē


    (On if he had a chance to spend time with Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo during the process)

    ďYeah, definitely, like you said Coach is known for his defense. Iím just excited to see what kind of player I can become in his scheme and see what we can do as a team. We have some good pieces in there and hopefully weíre able to turn this thing around and win some good games.Ē


    (On if he has any knowledge of St. Louis)

    ďSt. Louis knowledge, not really. One thing I know about St. Louis is, obviously, the Rams, Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues; being a hockey guy growing up. And Nelly, I guess you can say Nelly. He made St. Louis popular. But thereís really not that much I know about St. Louis. I guess when I think about it I think of obviously the Rams and the history there. But besides that Iím excited to obviously find out more and move there as soon as possible.Ē

  10. #55
    MoonJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Why MLB Laurinitias over MLB Mauluaga?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadesofgrey View Post
    Amen! Why do fans always think that somehow they know something about a player when a coach like Spag lives, eats and breathes football his whole adult life??? Cracks me up!
    I'll be the first to admit I am not draftnik or a expert of any kind. I'm just happy we didn't take a tight end or a quarterback that we want to make a receiver!
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

  11. #56
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Ask the experts
    Which prospect's slide out of Round One was most surprising?
    By PFW staff
    April 25, 2009

    With Round One in the books, three PFW editors gave their take on the most surprising name not to be called in the first 32 picks. Here are three of the most surprising omissions:

    Ohio State LB James Laurinaitis (selected 35th overall by St. Louis)

    Executive editor Dan Arkush: I suspect more than a few teams might have wrestled with the prospect of drafting Ohio State ILB James Laurinaitis, the son of a professional wrestler, in the first round. It was hardly a surprise that, after going unclaimed in the first 32 picks, Laurinaitis was quickly gobbled up three picks into the second round by a Rams team that really should benefit from his solid playmaking presence. In my mind, Laurinaitis performed well enough on film ó he was the Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker in 2007 for a good reason ó to at least warrant a first-round selection in the final third of Round One. In the mold of Lofa Tatupu, Laurinaitis' collegiate exploits speak volumes. Not only was he a dedicated, nonstop grinder on the field for the Buckeyes, at this year's Combine, he came across as one of the most "together" invites to Indy. A much better fit in the middle of the Rams' defense than Will Witherspoon, he shapes up as a second-round steal with first-round ability.

  12. #57
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    WOW. As Moose said above, the more I read, the more excited I'm getting about Laurinaitis! I think this hard nose FOOTBALL PLAYER has exactly the same value in round 2 as Smith has in round1. Top notch selection.

    Do not agree then with my friend Jim Thomas saying Laurinaitis is a "nice consolation prize".


    PS: I like Laurinaitis as much as I hate seeing Michael Irvin's face around here (I know, I know, necessary evil).
    Last edited by RealRam; -04-26-2009 at 02:46 AM. Reason: Tpyo

  13. #58
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    I think Laurinitias will be a great lb. This is a great pick because he will play extremely hard and wont do anything stupid off the field. He is a perfect fit for what Spags and Devaney want

  14. #59
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    For those who wanted Rey Maualuga instead, I offer you this from SI.com's draft blog.

    If teams simply drafted on talent alone, Rey Maualuga would have gone in the first round. He probably would have been the first of the celebrated USC linebacker trio to get selected. As it was, not only was he the last to be selected, he also fell all the way to the second round before Cincinnati picked him and reunited him with former Trojan teammate Keith Rivers.

    The problem with Maulauga is that as much of a wrecking ball as he is on the field, he's a bit of a space cadet. I'm not just talking off the field, where he reportedly scored a 15 on the Wonderlic and didn't know who Vice President Joe Biden was, but on it as well. No one frustrated USC coaches more than Maualuga. He looked like he was running around with his head cut off and looking to hit anything that moved. The more tape pro coaches watched on Maualuga, the more times they probably saw him being saved by his teammates on missed assignments.

    Huge hits might make for great highlights in college but if you can't play within the confines of a structured defense in the NFL, you might end up on the other end of those highlights.
    --Arash Markazi (Follow on Twitter.)
    Arash Markazi, according to his Wikipedia bio, was raised in Los Angeles, attended USC, and wrote a regular column for the Daily Trojan. So I think his analysis of Maualuga might carry some weight.

    This seems to echo a Pro Football Weekly tidbit from the 15th where one NFL scout was quoted as saying, ďIf you watched (USC LB Brian) Cushing at his pro day, he opened up the wrong way twice in drills. He did the same thing once at the Combine. Heís a meathead. Rey Maualuga is going to need some reps, too. It wonít be instant for him. The safest linebacker of that group is Clay Matthews.Ē

    Also recall this Pro Football Weekly article regarding Maualuga from earlier in the month...

    PFW: Maualuga's bust factor scares NFL teams

    And perhaps his slip into the second round and the Rams' decisions to pass on him becomes a bit more understandable. Personally, I'm pretty pumped by the decision to take Laurinaitis in that spot!

  15. #60
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: With the 35th overall pick, the Rams select James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

    Rams get the linebacker they wanted in draft
    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Apr. 26 2009

    Had James Laurinaitis skipped his senior year at Ohio State to enter the 2008
    NFL draft, he almost surely would've been a first-round pick. Possibly even a
    top-10 selection.

    But Laurinaitis opted to finish his college career, and on Saturday the
    6-foot-2, 244-pound inside linebacker became the Rams' second-round selection,
    No. 35 overall.

    Although he probably forfeited a tidy sum of money by waiting, Laurinaitis
    insisted that he harbored no second thoughts about his decision.

    "I got to experience so many great things as a senior: Being part of the first
    Ohio State team to beat Michigan five times in a row, Senior Day, being a
    two-time captain ... just things that I wouldn't have been able to accomplish
    if I left early," he said. "To me, it's always been more about relationships
    and experiences. I don't regret it at all."

    Along the way, Laurinaitis completed his degree in communications, posting a
    3.28 grade-point average that earned him Big Ten Conference academic honors.

    It wasn't the first time Laurinaitis passed up a tempting opportunity. In
    addition to his football exploits, he was a star hockey player at Plymouth High
    in Wayzata, Minn., and was projected as a second- or third-round NFL draft pick.

    But Laurinaitis wanted to pursue football, and he became a two-time
    All-American at Ohio State. Falling into the second round Saturday didn't
    bother him, Laurinaitis said.

    "My thinking was, whatever happens, happens, and it's going to all work out in
    the end. It's mostly about what you do once you get picked," he added. "You see
    a lot of guys get picked early and then they're out of the league in four or
    five years. You've got to be able to set new goals and have dreams and really
    work hard to accomplish those things."

    Laurinaitis, 22, was the fourth linebacker drafted, but the first true inside
    linebacker. He played in the middle almost exclusively for the Buckeyes, which
    made him particularly attractive to the Rams.

    New coach Steve Spagnuolo has indicated a desire to move Will Witherspoon
    outside, his usual spot during four seasons with Carolina before signing with
    the Rams as a free agent in 2006.

    Although Witherspoon was effective inside, the Rams haven't had a prototype
    middle linebacker since London Fletcher left in 2002 as a free agent.

    Laurinaitis, a legitimate three-down defender with good speed and range, could
    slide directly into that role, although Spagnuolo isn't handing out first-team
    jobs just yet. "He is a middle linebacker; that's where he'll line up,"
    Spagnuolo said. "But we've got a good group of linebackers, and we'll get them
    out there, get to work this weekend (at rookie minicamp) and see how it all
    shakes out."

    That's fine with Laurinaitis, who said he hadn't had time anyway to contemplate
    his immediate responsibilities.

    "I'm just so in a whirlwind right now I haven't even thought about that," he
    said. "But I'll play wherever they want me to and contribute the best way I can
    ... whether it's special teams, starting, whatever it is."

    He can count on the special-teams duty. And he figures to get every opportunity
    to nail down a starting spot as Spagnuolo, a former defensive coordinator of
    the New York Giants, goes about rebuilding that unit.

    "I had a good idea that St. Louis wanted me pretty bad," said Laurinaitis,
    noting that the Rams were the first team to work him out. "As the draft was
    unfolding ... I figured there was a good opportunity for me to land in St.
    Louis."

    Seeking to assure that, the Rams scrambled as the first round wound down,
    trying to make a trade up so that they could secure Laurinaitis.

    "There were four or five picks left in the first round, and James was kind of
    sticking out there for us," Devaney said. "We were hoping that was going to be
    the guy, and we started getting a little nervous. We started making some phone
    calls ... and fortunately, nothing materialized. So we kind of just rolled the
    dice and sweated it out."

    After a pause, Devaney added, "Some of the best trades are the ones you don't
    make."

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