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Alexander Is Seeing More Action For Rams
Alexander is seeing more action for Rams
BY BILL COATS
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 12:25 am
Two months after undergoing a fifth operation on his left knee, Rams wide receiver Danario Alexander is getting a progressively heavier workload.
The former Mizzou record-setter was on the field for 43 of the Rams' 66 plays in Sunday's 25-17 win over San Francisco at the Edward Jones Dome. He responded with a personal-best outing: six catches for 99 yards, including an acrobatic 46-yard grab that set up the Rams' last touchdown.
Alexander's high number of plays had been 30, the previous Sunday vs. Kansas City. The more the better, said Alexander, who stressed that he's now healthy enough for anything the Rams throw at him.
"I want to be in there every play," he said. "I feel like I can play at a high level, and I feel this is a great opportunity to make some plays."
In a strong departure from past starts, Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur went to four-wideout sets from the outset. He deployed a quartet of wideouts on eight of the first 10 plays, and about 20 times overall.
"We've always had that (possibility). Some games you think it's better than others; you pick and choose," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "We're not going to line up in that on every play for 70 straight plays. But it's a good changeup ... a good tempo setter. It worked out pretty good in this game."
The Rams are 4-3 in the games in which Alexander has appeared. They're 3-0 in the contests in which he's played a significant role. Still, Spagnuolo doesn't want to overdo it with the 6-foot-5, 215-pound rookie.
"There's a thought process to that," Spagnuolo explained. "Again, there are other things to consider with Danario in terms of health. ... Sometimes with all these guys, because we're got some competitors here, you have to protect them from themselves. So we're going to be careful."
Alexander, who has 17 catches for 292 yards and a team-high 17.2-yard average per reception, understands. To a point.
"I just go out and work every week," he said. "The coaches do a good job of trying to come up with different plays. They were being kind of cautious with me, giving 20-30 plays. ... It felt good to get out there, play in and play out" vs. the *****.
PRO BOWL VOTING
The results of the voting for the Pro Bowl will be made public today. Running back Steven Jackson, whose 1,196 rushing yards rank third in the NFC, figures to have the best chance among the Rams of receiving an invitation to the league's all-star game.
Linebacker James Laurinaitis, defensive ends James Hall and Chris Long, and punter Donnie Jones probably are deserving of consideration, too.
Hall had two sacks Sunday, stripping the ball away both times. His season sacks total has reached 10½, one shy of the career high — established in 2004 with Detroit — for the 11-year veteran who never has appeared in a playoff game.
That will change if the Rams win Sunday in Seattle and clinch the NFC West title. "It's pretty simple," Hall said. "It's in our hands. How bad do we want it?"
Cornerback Jerome Murphy broke a pinky finger Sunday. "We think he'll be able to just wrap it up and play with it, but we'll have to see," Spagnuolo said. "I told him he still has nine fingers. He's a tough guy. He played with it yesterday."
Defensive end Eugene Sims left the game after a knee-to-knee collision but returned. Further examination revealed only a bruise.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who has missed four games with a high-ankle sprain, again will try to get back on the field this week.
"Now, we're going to have to tread lightly here," Spagnuolo said. "He'll probably work mostly with Reggie (Scott, head trainer) on Wednesday. We'll see where he is and if we can get him in practice Thursday, we'll do that."
Mike Singletary, fired shortly after the *****' loss to the Rams, is the fourth NFL coach to be let go during this season. Denver's Josh McDaniels, Dallas' Wade Phillips and Minnesota's Brad Childress preceded Singletary.
"When that happens, in this profession we all feel for each other," Spagnuolo said. "But I know one thing: Mike's a good character man and a good coach, and I know he'll land on his feet."
Former Rams wide receiver Torry Holt will join former "Greatest Show on Turf" teammates Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner and Trent Green as analysts for the NFL Network. Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowler, will make his debut at 6 tonight on the network's Pro Bowl selection show. ... Laurinaitis registered a team-high seven tackles Sunday, according to the coaches' film review. Hall had six.
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Re: Alexander Is Seeing More Action For Rams
It's hard to get ahead of yourself when there's so much to come this season (hopefully!) but the promise for next season is so exciting.
If we can get Avery and Clayton fit, you add that to Alexander and Amendola and all of a sudden the WR corps looks a heck of a lot more healthy. You could put Gibson in there as a number six and then aim to pick up a proper threat in FA...that's a good six to choose from there.
I'm not going to focus on other areas of the team and what we may be able to do there - I just see that we've been horribly short at WR for much of this season and find it so exciting to think about what we might be looking at next year.
DX, if we can get the kid fit and healthy, could be a massive pickup for us.
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