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    Alexander battling for wide receiver spot ..

    BY BILL COATS
    Friday, August 19, 2011 12:35 am

    Rams wide receiver Danario Alexander concedes that he didn't get off to the best start at training camp. "I kind of had to get my legs under me," he said.

    Plus, he missed two days of practice last week with fluid on his troublesome left knee, which has been operated on five times. But Alexander is rallying a bit as the Rams wrap up the third week of camp.

    "He's battling," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I give him credit. He works his butt off. He wants to be out there for every rep. Every once in a while we've got to protect him from himself, because he wants to go all the time. We don't want any setbacks.

    "But all in all, I think he's done a nice job."

    Alexander, who owns most of the major receiving records at Mizzou, is immersed in a spirited tussle for one of the six wide receiver jobs available. With 12 contenders in the mix, Alexander realizes that he's not guaranteed a spot.

    "Everybody's fighting for a job. That's part of the NFL, and I'm up for the task," he said. "It's really good competition. It makes us come out here and work hard every day. You want to get quality reps and just try to compete in this offense."

    Because of concerns about his knee, Alexander was passed over in the 2010 draft. The Rams decided to take a chance on him, signing him to a free-agent deal.

    After spending the first five weeks of the season on the practice squad, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Alexander was promoted to the active roster. He produced 20 receptions for 306 yards a team-high 15.3 yards per catch in eight games.

    Alexander provided the Rams with a legitimate downfield threat, something they'd been lacking. According to quarterback Sam Bradford, Alexander is well suited for the offense that new coordinator Josh McDaniels is installing.

    "I think Danario can do a lot of things in this offense," Bradford said. "I think this offense will give him a chance to get down the field, it'll give him a chance to be involved in some deeper intermediate passes, on some in cuts and things like that. And then also in the quick game it'll still allow him to take advantage of the one-on-one coverage with some short fades or things like that.

    "I think it really allows him to do a lot of different things, and they're all things that he does really well."

    Alexander said that he's "confident very confident" that he can thrive in the new system.

    "That's one of the main things about this competition: who out there brings the most to the team? What receivers can do more things than the others?" he said. "I try to bring something different from everybody, with me being a bigger guy and kind of a faster, deep-threat guy."

    After his slow start, Alexander is getting a chance to display those skills. He had five catches for 43 yards Saturday in the Rams' 33-10 preseason win over Indianapolis.

    "I think it's going pretty good. I'm out here just trying to produce," he said. "Coach is doing a good job of kind of keeping my reps down, just to make sure I'm fresh for game days. I'm feeling good, and I'm feeling fast out there. I'm looking forward to this game."

    The Rams meet Tennessee at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome in the second preseason game for both teams.

    Game televised

    The NFL's sellout requirement for Saturday's game has been reached. That means that the contest will be televised locally by KTVI (Ch. 2). Andrew Siciliano will do the play-by-play, with newly inducted Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk serving as the in-booth analyst. Orlando Pace and Channel 2's Maurice Drummond will report from the sideline.

    Vermeil visits

    Former Rams coach Dick Vermeil visited Thursday and was asked by Spagnuolo to address the team at the conclusion of practice.

    "I told them to make sure that they do the best job they can do within the new restrictions of practice," said Vermeil, who is in town to do promotional work for Vermeil Wines. "It's hard to get better working less. So you've got to do a better job in less time than somebody else is doing."

    Vermeil believes that the Rams are on the verge of a breakthrough.

    "They're on the cusp of getting better. How long it takes to get it done, I don't know," he said. "But they're putting a package together nicely."

    Ram-blings

    Although meetings were planned for Thursday afternoon, Spagnuolo gave the players the rest of the day off. There is no practice today.


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    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
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    Re: Alexander battling for wide receiver spot ..

    Im really pulling for this guy.! He flashes more than any other WR on the roster, in my opinion.? His hands are suspect though.! I think its a technique thing, which could be improved if the knees hold up. Seeing as he was having to find his feet early in camp, tells me Tony Softli was probably right, when he said DX was likely to have not been doing much training, during the lockout. ??
    Its extremely early in DX's career, but if I were him, I think I would be doing a lot of work in the gym, just to strengthen his whole physique, mainly for the rigours of the NFL.

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    Re: Alexander battling for wide receiver spot ..

    If DX stays healthy, I've got to believe the Rams will keep him because of his big play ability. Could be a big if thought. I'll bet the Rams keep 7 receivers, and that could help him make the active roster.

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    Re: Alexander battling for wide receiver spot ..

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    If DX stays healthy, I've got to believe the Rams will keep him because of his big play ability. Could be a big if thought. I'll bet the Rams keep 7 receivers, and that could help him make the active roster.
    Assuming we're only having 1 fullback or even consider releasing Brit Miller as well as only having Bradford and Feeley on the active roster at QB, it's possible we can do that.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Alexander battling for wide receiver spot ..

    Well, given the knee issues DX has had (lesser now as a pro, I trust), it would probably be okay to 'battle' for a WR spot than to downright 'struggle'.

    Hopefully those knees will get stronger and more reliable. I don't want to keep thinking they're made of glass of ceramic; or that the wiring, mechanical links and the rest of the parts inside are weak.

    If DX can only surpass this point of uncertainty, he'd be poised to make a run at being a fine long ball threat.

    Best wishes young man.
    Last edited by RealRam; -08-19-2011 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Helmet

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