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Thread: Amendola Answers Adversity

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    Amendola Answers Adversity

    Nick Wagoner

    On the heels of a fumble on the Rams’ first play from scrimmage that was returned for a touchdown and an early 7-0 Redskins lead, receiver Danny Amendola found himself angry.

    “I was really down on myself after the fumble but I learned from it and tried to get better from there,” Amendola said.

    To say that Amendola simply got better from there would be something of a gigantic understatement. With zero hesitation in going right back to Amendola, quarterback Sam Bradford began targeting the diminutive receiver.

    “I mean we came to the sideline and that’s the first thing I said to him,” Bradford said. “I said, ‘I’m coming right back to you.’ Just because he does that, there’s no way that I’m ever going to stop throwing him the ball. When he gets open the way he does and makes plays with the ball in his hand, he’s going to see a lot of targets.”

    In fact, the first play after the touchdown went for 8 yards to Amendola. And that was just the beginning. On that same drive, Amendola caught five passes for 42 yards and he was just getting warmed up.

    By the time the first half alone was finished, Bradford had connected with Amendola 12 times, tying Indianapolis wideout Reggie Wayne for the most receptions in a first half in league history.

    When all was said and done, Amendola had one of the finest days in Rams receiver history, posting 15 catches (on 16 targets) for 160 yards with a touchdown. The 15 receptions tied the franchise record for a game with Isaac Bruce and Flipper Anderson.

    “Yeah, obviously it’s nice to have him back out there on the field,” Bradford said. “He’s a tremendous player. We knew going into this week that we were going to try to get him the ball, just in some of the things we were doing with the game plan. He came out, he played great today. I think it says a lot about him, after the first play he didn’t get down, he came back and had probably one of the best halves I’ve ever seen from a wide receiver.”

    The always humble Amendola was his usual deferential self following his record-setting performance.

    When asked what he thought of his performance, Amendola pointed to the effort of the entire offense.

    “I thought we did a good job as a unit,” Amendola said. “We made a lot of plays. We had a good week of preparation. We were playing a good team and we were excited about it. It’s a big win for the Rams.

    “I didn’t really know how many balls I caught or how good we did. I was just worried about winning and coming out on top and we did.”

    Still, no player better exemplified the fight the Rams showed over and over in Sunday’s win than Amendola. When faced with difficult conditions, the Rams continued to come up with answers.

    In some sense, Amendola bouncing back so voraciously and so quickly set a tone the rest of the team matched.

    “We are going to face adversity every game, no question,” Amendola said. “It’s a matter of how you handle it, how you bounce back and how you play after that. I felt like we kept fighting and that’s why we won.”

    JACKSON INJURED: After a controversial non-touchdown that finished with running back Steven Jackson being penalized 15 yards for spiking the ball after what he thought was a touchdown, Jackson did not return to the game.

    Fisher offered the reason after the game.

    “He had a strained groin,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “It had nothing to do with the spike. That’s what the rumor was around. His groin was real tight and it just didn’t make sense. We just didn’t want to subject him to it. Don’t think he would’ve been 100 percent back in the game and we’ve got two other quality backs, as you can see, that can make plays for us.”

    Jackson suffered a hamstring injury in the home opener last season but offered some hope that this one won’t nag him for too long.

    “In that drive, the last drive I was pretty much in, felt a groin strain, felt that I was going to be able to come back and play in the game,” Jackson said. “As I was standing there on the sideline, it was starting to bother me more and more…we were just real cautious with it and wanted to make sure that we don’t further and make it any worse than what it is. I believe it’s going to be something that I can bounce back fairly fast because it’s not that serious. Just want to be cautious.”

    RUNNING WITH RICHARDSON: Trotting on in Jackson’s stead was rookie running back Daryl Richardson, who got his first extended work in the NFL.

    Richardson more than answered the bell, rushing 15 times for 83 yards with two catches for 19 more yards to put him over 100 total yards in his first real opportunity though he did have a costly fumble late.
    “I thought Daryl did a great job,” Bradford said. “That’s something he’s done from the beginning in training camp. He’s gotten better each week. He grew up a lot today. He had to play a lot in critical situations. Besides the fumble, I thought he did a great job. That’s something you can learn from and I’m positive that he’ll bounce back from that next week and play very well for us.”

    Hammering away with quick, decisive cuts, Richardson helped the Rams running game to 151 yards on 27 carries, an average of 5.6 per attempt. Having the chance to play the majority of the game instead of spot duty helped the rookie find his groove.

    “It’s really good for me,” Richardson said. “I got that opportunity and I just ran with it. I just tried to do what I can do and show the coaches that I can do it. You get that rhythm, you try to get comfortable and when you are in there just go play by play. It’s just football.”

    FLAG FRUSTRATION: In a decidedly chippy game with plenty of pushing and shoving, 18 pieces of laundry hit the field at some point or another and it could have been more.

    Of those 18 flags, six were of the 15-yard variety for unnecessary roughness or unsportsmanlike conduct. It was a long day at the office for the replacement officials trying to keep the game from getting out of hand.

    “You know, I know Mike (Shanahan) was frustrated at times today and I was frustrated at times today,” Fisher said. “Again, I’ve said the same thing I’ve been saying since preseason, these aren’t the regular guys. They’re doing the absolute best they can. It gets frustrating at times, but we’re all dealing with the same set of circumstances across the league.”

    Perhaps no sequence was more head scratching than Jackson’s last snap of the day. He appeared to bull his way in from 1 yard out but after a long delay in which no call was made, Jackson spiked the ball thinking he had a touchdown.

    Instead, a penalty flag came out and the Rams had to settle for a field goal. Asked about the call, Jackson opted for humor.

    “As I mature in my age, I realize that I should have rolled the dice (touchdown dance),” Jackson said, laughing.

    RAM BITS: Left tackle Rodger Saffold got the start only one week after what appeared to be a devastating neck injury. But he didn’t last long; he left the game with a knee injury in the first quarter. Wayne Hunter replaced him…According to unofficial pressbox statistics, linebacker James Laurinaitis led the Rams in tackles with 10…Cornerback Cortland Finnegan’s interception was the 16th of his career and second in as many games…Receiver Brandon Gibson’s 34-yard touchdown catch was his second in as many games and tied his career long scoring grab.


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    Re: Amendola Answers Adversity

    We averaged 5.6 per attempt That's pounding the rock! SJ was killing it before he went out. If we can establish the run, that will make Bradford job really easy as we all seen today.

    “As I mature in my age, I realize that I should have rolled the dice (touchdown dance),” Jackson said, laughing.

    It's all good!
    Last edited by Rambos; -09-16-2012 at 11:54 PM.

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    Re: Amendola Answers Adversity

    The change of pace is working well for us.
    Rambos likes this.

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