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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Bell could be a QB's best friend

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Mar. 05 2008

    Shortly before Jacob Bell's introductory press conference Tuesday, Billy
    Devaney, the Rams' executive vice president of player personnel, was talking to
    the Rams' newest guard about the demeanor and personality necessary to play
    offensive line in the NFL.

    "I said, 'Jacob, the one thing that jumped out about you that I really liked,
    you've got a little stuff in your neck,'" Devaney said.

    Stuff in your neck?

    "Nastiness," Devaney explained. "He doesn't like to get beat, and if he does
    start losing a man, he'll do whatever he has to do to save a block. ... This
    guy, he's got some nastiness in him. He does not want his man touching the
    quarterback."

    This undoubtedly is music to the ears of Marc Bulger, who was one battered
    quarterback last season.

    "He's going to be Marc Bulger's and Steven Jackson's best friend for a while,"
    coach Scott Linehan said. "And we look forward to some great years."

    At least six of them, anyway. Bell, 27, signed a six-year, $36 million contract
    Tuesday. It includes a $7 million signing bonus, plus guaranteed base salaries
    of $2 million in 2008 and $4 million in 2009. (Bell also will receive base
    salaries of $5 million in 2010 and $6 million annually in 2011, 2012 and 2013.)

    Only left tackle Orlando Pace, who's in the middle of a seven-year, $52.9
    million contract, has signed a bigger deal among Rams offensive linemen in
    franchise history.

    Pace's presence in St. Louis helped pull Bell away from Tennessee in free
    agency.

    "I grew up in Ohio," Bell said. "Ohio State was one of my favorite schools. I
    think every lineman looks up to Orlando as a player. He's a great player, and I
    look forward to playing with him."

    Bell is from Cleveland and played his college ball at Miami (Ohio). Pace is
    from Sandusky, Ohio, and played his college ball at Ohio State.

    Now, Bell will be playing at Pace's side on a retooled offensive line that, at
    the moment, features Pace at left tackle, Bell at left guard, a big question
    mark at center, Richie Incognito at right guard and Alex Barron at right tackle.

    "We have a lot of things we have to address, but our offensive line went
    through a tough season last year with injuries and all kinds of things,"
    Linehan said. "We wanted to at least have a shot at a couple of the top guys
    (in free agency), and Jacob was one of them."

    The other, of course, was guard Alan Faneca, the Pittsburgh Steelers free agent
    whom the Rams could not get to visit Rams Park. He instead signed a five-year,
    $40 million deal with the New York Jets.

    "Probably the best thing about Jacob was wanting to be here," Linehan said.
    "Certainly, it's a big promotion and step up for him at this point in his
    career. But he evaluated this as a place he wanted to be. He wanted to take the
    visit, and then he wanted to sign the contract after he got a chance to
    evaluate that this was a place for him to be. Which is very important to us."

    Both Devaney and Linehan mentioned Bell's versatility as one of his strong
    suits. He has played both guard positions and both tackle spots at various
    times during his four seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

    But you don't spend $36 million for versatility. As Bell mentioned Tuesday, he
    settled in at left guard over his past two seasons with the Titans, and that's
    where his future is with the Rams. Bell takes pride in both his run blocking
    and pass blocking.

    "If you can't do both, you probably won't be around too long," he said.

    He takes offense to the notion that he lacks strength or still needs to add
    strength to his 6-foot-4, 295-pound frame.

    "Last year, I tested out as the second-strongest player on the team," Bell
    said. "My strength has been questioned ... but it's just people making up
    stuff, I think. They want something to write about."

    On videotape, the Rams saw that Bell was able to hold up against some of the
    bigger defensive tackles in the NFL. Which was no big deal to Bell, who exuded
    a quiet confidence Tuesday.

    "I went against Albert Haynesworth every day in practice for four years," Bell
    said. "He helped me become a better player; I helped him become a better
    player. And it kind of transfers over to the game. He's a big boy."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Bell could be a QB's best friend

    Incognito and Bell....THE NASTY BOYS!!!!

    Hopefully some of this attitude can rub off on Alex Barron.

  3. #3
    Ramer's Avatar
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    Re: Bell could be a QB's best friend

    Bell was a great pickup. I think with Pace health and signing Bell, Bulger won't be eating as much dirt this year.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bell could be a QB's best friend

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Incognito and Bell....THE NASTY BOYS!!!!

    Hopefully some of this attitude can rub off on Alex Barron.
    OTHER THAN THE FALSE STARTS ALEX BARRON HAS BEEN A GOOD TACKLE, NOT A GREAT TACKLE BUT A CAPABLE ONE... I REMEMBER HIS FIRST GAME AGAINST THE TITANS AND HE WENT UP AGAINST KYLE VONDENBOSCH AND DEMOLISHED HIM.... BARRON CAN PLAY IN THE NFL, HE CAN BE A PRODUCTIVE PLAYER.

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    Re: Bell could be a QB's best friend

    I only see good things coming from the OL this year.

  6. #6
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    Re: Bell could be a QB's best friend

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce4life View Post
    OTHER THAN THE FALSE STARTS ALEX BARRON HAS BEEN A GOOD TACKLE, NOT A GREAT TACKLE BUT A CAPABLE ONE... I REMEMBER HIS FIRST GAME AGAINST THE TITANS AND HE WENT UP AGAINST KYLE VONDENBOSCH AND DEMOLISHED HIM.... BARRON CAN PLAY IN THE NFL, HE CAN BE A PRODUCTIVE PLAYER.
    I agree, I think if he can cut out the penalties he has a legit shot at being a pro bowl tackle,don't laugh I really think that.

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