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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bell Bounces Back

    Bell Bounces Back
    Sunday, August 30, 2009


    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Upon making his return to the football field for the first time since suffering a serious concussion on Aug. 14 against the Jets, Rams guard Jacob Bell wanted to waste no time in checking to see where his head was at – literally and figuratively.

    So it was that Bell stepped on the practice field at the Russell Training Center on Sunday and immediately called upon some of his lesser tenured teammates to knock the rust off quickly.

    “I started out early popping the rookies in individual drills to get my helmet loose and see if the marbles are still loose up there,” Bell said. “It felt pretty good.”

    Bell completed the practice at his usual left guard spot with the first team with no issues and felt fine during the practice as well as after.

    That’s a long way from how the past couple of weeks have been, though.

    The play seemed simple enough, as the Rams called for a power run to the right on the first play of the game in which Bell’s responsibility is to pull out to the right and essentially lead block for the running back.

    Pulling is something Bell has done countless times in his career and he estimates he’s done it at least 200 times in games in his five years in the NFL. For as long as he can remember, Bell has always done it the same way, though, with his head down.

    Despite having many coaches tell him to keep his head up when he pulls, Bell says he’s always been better pulling because he can deliver more of a blow with his head down.

    “What happens when you pull around is if you put your head down, you make yourself vulnerable to any kind of collision like that,” Bell said. “They’ve been telling me since I was a rookie don’t put your head down when you pull. I have had success with it in the past though just popping people.”

    This time, with his head down, Bell was on the receiving end of a vicious helmet to helmet collision with Jets linebacker Bart Scott.

    Two plays later, Bell and the offense came off the field and Bell unknowingly had the first serious concussion of his career.

    “When you do have a concussion, you don’t know you have a concussion,” Bell said. “You feel normal. Like I was talking to everybody on the sidelines but the same questions I am asking them, I am going back five minutes later and asking the same question like Dory from Finding Nemo. You feel normal but on the outside looking in you are messed up.”

    Bell was diagnosed with the concussion almost immediately and taken out of that game soon after the hit.

    And while Bell felt OK soon after the hit, it was what he experienced over the next few days that truly made him realize the severity of the injury.

    Bell struggled to remember even little things about what had happened and couldn’t even remember going to New York, where had traveled just two days earlier. He was sensitive to light and took to wearing sunglasses to avoid direct contact with it.

    “It was very scary,” Bell said. “I didn’t remember anything. I was messed up, man. You get a concussion, it’s like time travel. You see little blips then two days, three days, you start remembering everything.”

    To get back on the field, any player diagnosed with a concussion must pass a series of tests as mandated by the league.

    These “baseline” tests are taken by every player in the league under normal circumstances. The tests are basic knowledge type of things such as recognizing shapes and colors.

    When a player suffers a concussion, he must take the test again and reach his previously set “baseline” before he is cleared to return.

    A couple days after the concussion, Bell took the baseline test and said he knew he wasn’t feeling right though he fared OK on the test.

    After waiting a bit, Bell took it again recently and passed. In the meantime, he spent his time trying to keep his conditioning up with strength coach Rock Gullickson and doing all he can to stay in the game mentally.

    There’s no doubt that he fell behind a bit from the missed time and two missed preseason contests.

    “I need to keep repping things,” Bell said. “I need to get in there, get the play. I’m hoping they let me play this week. I am staying after practice, trying to get the reps. I felt like I was in a great spot before the game, where I needed to be. Two weeks is a setback no matter how you look at it. It’s a repetition game so I am staying after and doing everything I can.”

    Not that there’s ever a good time to have an injury, but Bell is pleased that he at least has this week and another preseason game to get back in the swing of things before the real games begin.

    According to coach Steve Spagnuolo, the plan is to play Bell this week and possibly give him more playing time than the rest of the first unit so he can knock the rust off.

    “That’s the hope,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ll see on the (number of) plays. He would probably need a few more than the rest of the first group.”


  2. #2
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
    RamFan_Til_I_Die is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bell Bounces Back

    I'm glad he's better, but maybe now the dumbazz will keep his frigging head up and realize that he isn't smarted than every coach he's ever had. I wonder what else he does his own way and not the way he's told? Could be why he's struggling with the Rams so far.

  3. #3
    diehard99's Avatar
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    Re: Bell Bounces Back

    "ramfantillidie" - the rams will have a lot of tough desisions to make after this season ends. Do they sign Barron to a high dollar contract only to move him back to RT? Is Bell really the answer at LG? Will they also resign Cogs? The way I see it we already have too much money in our Off. line for the amount of production weve seen. Is Bell really worth 6 million per year? We over paid for Brown, hopefully he's worth it. Can Greco and setterstom do just as good of a job as Cogs and Bell? Smith has got to be our LT for sure, nobody pays a RT that kind of money. Will Barron after signing a big contract really perform well once he's moved back to RT where he probably doesn't want to play at? Goldberg is a backup and should not be considered a starter. Setterstrom will be a FA next year also. Wondering how serious the Rams are about Allen @ LG. RaMS NEED TO BE LOOKING FOR talent that's cheap- at least until you're forced to pay.

  4. #4
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Bell Bounces Back

    If Bell has another injury plagued season with little or no production, will he be on par with Bennett? We were really depending on him to help solidify the OL.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bell Bounces Back

    I still say we should have drafted Duke Robinson. He was falling for quite a bit. First round talent, and he was available when we were picking in the fourth AND fifth round. The kid is a monster guard, 6-5 330lbs. Shame we didn't draft him. If Bell or Cogs didn't pan out, this kid could probably step in.

  6. #6
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bell Bounces Back

    Hmm, so far ... sure, I'd say Bell is an overpaid OL. I suppose all we can hope for is that...

    a) He gets healthy the next couple of weeks;
    b) Is on same page with the rest of the offense (playbook / practise wise);
    c) Goes ALL OUT to perform his best year he's had in his career; key factor in improving our OL.

    Oh, and BTY, how's Bell doing as far as his weight?

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