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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Archuleta keeps going forward at top speed

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Aug. 27 2004


    Rams strong safety Adam Archuleta watched forlornly from the middle of the
    field on Jan. 10 as the No. 89 on the back of Carolina wideout Steve Smith
    streaked toward the end zone.

    Just like that, the season was over, snuffed by the Panthers' 29-23
    double-overtime victory at Edward Jones Dome in the second round of the
    playoffs. It wasn't supposed to happen that way.

    The Rams were the NFC West champions, and their 12-4 record included an 8-0
    sweep at the Dome that extended their home winning streak to 14 games. They
    were favored over the Panthers, yet their hopes of reaching a third Super Bowl
    in five years were quashed by the 69-yard pass play - quarterback Jake Delhomme
    to Smith - that split the Rams defense and fractured their psyche.

    That vision lingered, Archuleta acknowledged. But not for long.

    "You can't dwell on stuff," he said. "Every time something bad happens in your
    life, you've got to look at it, examine it, figure out why it happened, how you
    can change it, and then you've got to move on with your life. Because no
    progress is made by looking at the past."

    Such has been the mantra for Archuleta since he joined the Arizona State squad
    as a walk-on, developed into a two-time All-Pacific 10 Conference linebacker,
    and became the Rams' first-round draft choice (No. 20 overall) in 2001: No
    looking back, no second-guessing, no regrets.

    "There are very few things in life that get me down," said Archuleta. "I've
    been blessed to be able to have that attitude throughout life. ... You've just
    got to live, wake up every day and do what you feel like, and let the chips
    fall where they may."

    As low key as Archuleta seems - and truly is, according to close pal Rich
    Coady, a fellow Rams safety - away from the game, his on-field demeanor
    provides a direct contrast. He flies to the ball with vengeance and hits with
    ferocity.

    "It's an explosion," said free safety Aeneas Williams, a future Hall of Famer
    who is heading into his 14th NFL season. "He gets to the ball fast, he plays in
    space well, and he's a very good blitzer. He's a tackling machine as well."

    Archuleta maintains his physical skills through an unusual workout regimen -
    developed by fellow Chandler, Ariz., resident Jay Schroeder - that he's been
    following for nearly a decade. The routine, designed to control muscle response
    and increase explosiveness, has helped the 215-pound Archuleta add about 40
    pounds of muscle to his 6-foot frame, increase his bench press to more than 500
    pounds, and lower his 40-yard time to just under 4.4 seconds from 4.9.

    "That's what got me here, and as long as I'm playing in the NFL, that's what
    I'm going to be doing," Archuleta said. "I don't think there's any other way to
    work out. I'd regress as a player if I didn't."

    Archuleta, who has started 41 of the 42 games in which he's appeared over three
    seasons, collected 81 tackles as a rookie, a team-high 149 in 2002 and 101 last
    year, when he missed three games with an ankle injury. "He's doing nothing but
    continually getting better," Williams said. "His potential is off the charts."

    Individual progress is high on Archuleta's list of priorities. "You just want
    to keep advancing your game," he said. "You never want to be the same, you
    don't want to be complacent. Whatever you've been able to do in the past, you
    try to build on that and just expand yourself as a player."

    Part of that process encompasses his increasing role as a leader on a defensive
    unit that is under new leadership, with Larry Marmie having succeeded Lovie
    Smith as coordinator. "That's a responsibility of mine, and that's my role on
    this team," Archuleta said. "It's something that I'll progress into as the
    season goes on and as my career goes on."


    A walk-on success

    As an All-Valley linebacker and running back at Chandler High, Archuleta
    expected to have a nice assortment of college offers from which to choose.
    Instead, he had none.

    "At the time, I was shocked. It was a letdown," he said. "But that was just the
    path that I had to take. As I look back on it, that made me a better football
    player. It's allowed me to welcome adversity in my life and not to shy away
    from it, and understand that if things don't work out in your favor, you've got
    to have the perseverance and the vision to fight through it."

    Archuleta could have gone to a small school, or even junior college. He chose
    to walk on at Arizona State, just down the road in Tempe. Now well into his
    work with Schroeder, Archuleta used a redshirt season to create enough of an
    impression to earn a scholarship. He played in every game the next year and was
    a starter his last three seasons.

    "I was actually blessed to be a walk-on," he said. "It made me have that focus,
    and it really tested my fortitude, to see if I could really go through it and
    see if I had what it takes to get to this level. A lot of character
    development, a lot of development as a player, work ethic, discipline -
    everything that has to go into it - helped me become the player that I am
    today."


    Brains and brawn

    That player, according to Coady, is one who deftly applies his obvious physical
    ability with a cerebral dexterity that might not be so evident to casual
    observers.

    "He's very intelligent out there," Coady said. "He understands the game of
    football, understands the defense. A lot of guys really home in on their
    specific position, but he can tell you where all 11 people are supposed to be
    on every play."

    That skill jumped out quickly at coach Mike Martz. "We've thrown him into a
    role since he was a rookie, in terms of leadership and making plays and being
    an impact player, that's way too much to ask of any rookie," Martz explained.
    "But we did that with him, and he responded very well. . . . . The passion and
    the love for playing this game and his competitiveness is just hard to find. As
    good as everybody else is in the National Football League, guys like Adam are
    just truly unique."

    Individually, the next step is a Pro Bowl spot. But more important, Archuleta
    emphasized, is advancing as a team so that he never again has to witness
    another gut-wrenching scene like the one in January at the dome.

    "That game is an example of how difficult it is in the NFL to go all the way,"
    he said. The Rams have such promise again this year, he said.

    "We have the makings of a great football team," Archuleta said. "We've got to
    let the personality of our team develop throughout the season, but you look at
    it on paper, we're where we want to be."


  2. #2
    adarian_too's Avatar
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    Re: Archuleta keeps going forward at top speed

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Aug. 27 2004

    Archuleta maintains his physical skills through an unusual workout regimen -
    developed by fellow Chandler, Ariz., resident Jay Schroeder - that he's been
    following for nearly a decade. The routine, designed to control muscle response and increase explosiveness....

    "That's what got me here, and as long as I'm playing in the NFL, that's what I'm going to be doing," Archuleta said. "I don't think there's any other way to work out. I'd regress as a player if I didn't."
    I'd be curious to know what tempted the FO to use a draft pick on Arch in the 1st place. The routine he follows sounds like some of the commonest sense to come along in some time.

  3. #3
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    Re: Archuleta keeps going forward at top speed

    When ESPN did their draft pick analysis and showed the video on him, he became my favorite Ram and he's done nothing to change that. He's a beast. You're right adarian, there should be more people doing that.
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    Re: Archuleta keeps going forward at top speed

    With as much as he has played at the line, I wonder if it wouldn't serve him to add another 20-30LBs and move permanently up to Linebacker.

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    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Archuleta keeps going forward at top speed

    I know I've posted this before, but Archuleta is already bulked up. If he didn't do those crazy workouts, he'd be like 175lbs. (what is he at, 215lbs I think?) I just don't think there's any way he could get to 235+ lbs.

    But the way some of our LB's play, let's just put him there anyway!

  6. #6
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    Re: Archuleta keeps going forward at top speed

    Quote Originally Posted by sbramfan
    I know I've posted this before, but Archuleta is already bulked up. If he didn't do those crazy workouts, he'd be like 175lbs. (what is he at, 215lbs I think?) I just don't think there's any way he could get to 235+ lbs.

    But the way some of our LB's play, let's just put him there anyway!
    Well, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this year is when he starts reminding people of Ronnie Lott.

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