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  1. #1
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    Big C gets Big chance

    Big C Gets Big Chance
    Sunday, July 31, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer
    For the better part of last season, the left guard position was a revolving door for the Rams. At various points, Chris Dishman, Tom Nutten and Larry Turner started next to Orlando Pace.
    After a variety of offseason moves, it came as no surprise Sunday that there was a new face starting at left guard. But it might not be who most people think.
    “Right now our starting left guard is Claude (Terrell),” coach Mike Martz said. “That’s his unless somebody beats him out. We are not handing anything to anybody.”
    Terrell, who was a fourth-round choice in April’s NFL Draft and goes by the nickname “Big C,” started camp behind veteran Rex Tucker on the depth chart.
    “I’m in there with the ones,” Terrell said. “I feel like I am holding my own. I am just trying to uphold my end of the bargain because the older guys count on me not to make any mistakes.
    “That kind of took me by surprise. But that was my whole goal coming into camp, do something to catch coach’s eye. I must have done that in the first couple days.”
    Of course there are no guarantees that Terrell will be able to hold on to the job. It was about this same time last year that Tony Newson was working with the top linebackers. He never started a regular season game and is no longer with the team.
    Tucker was the early favorite to land the starting spot in camp after spending six injury-plagued seasons with the Bears. In the time that Tucker was healthy enough to play, though, he was one of the better guards in the NFC. In 2001, Tucker was so good that he earned recognition as a Pro Bowl alternate.
    It seemed that he was a sure thing to earn the job assuming only that he can remain healthy when he arrived at Rams’ training camp on Wednesday. That isn’t to say that Tucker couldn’t earn the job back, but it has been a rough start for the brother of Ryan Tucker.
    “He has been struggling,” Martz said. “I thought he did a real nice job this morning but up until today he has been struggling. He is trying to learn our system obviously. I think our practices are different than what he is used to.”
    Terrell is no veteran of training camp either, but it would be hard to tell from watching him in the early going. He hasn’t exactly been dominant, but he has at the least held his own.
    In one-on-one pass rush drills, Terrell has gone up against most of the defensive tackles. After struggling against the likes of Damione Lewis on the first day, Terrell has bounced back.
    More important than the one-on-one drills, though, has been Terrell’s performance in the nine-on-seven and team drills. Flanked by Pace and McCollum, Terrell has done a solid job, particularly with his run blocking. That early performance has been enough to earn Terrell some notice from the coaching staff.
    Of course, it’s easy to notice someone when he is 6-feet-2, 345 pounds, but Terrell earned recognition for more than his girth.
    “He’s just such a physical presence inside,” Martz said. “He has been very successful in nine on seven and his weakness as you would imagine is pass protection. He is that violent, physical guy inside that you have to have. (As a) 340-pound guard, you have to mix it up.”
    Terrell is certainly not afraid to mix it up. He started all four years at New Mexico, earning all Mountain West Conference lineman honors unanimously as a senior in 2004.
    In addition to his considerable size, Terrell brings a level of intelligence to the line. He carried a 3.8 GPA in high school and wrote a column “Inside the Trenches with Big C” for a New Mexico fan website. Although Terrell is no longer writing the column, he still loves to be in the trenches.
    “You got to have some bulk in there pushing on them big guys,” Terrell said. “We have a lot of big interior tackles on the schedule so you have got to have some mass down there in the trenches.
    “It’s brutal down there, but it’s fun because you get to try to dominate the man in front of you and that’ what it’s all about just out there competing and being physical.”
    For as long as Terrell can continue to do that better than his competition, he should be able to stay in the trenches.

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  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Big C gets Big chance

    That isn’t to say that Tucker couldn’t earn the job back, but it has been a rough start for the brother of Ryan Tucker.
    “He has been struggling,” Martz said. “I thought he did a real nice job this morning but up until today he has been struggling. He is trying to learn our system obviously. I think our practices are different than what he is used to.”
    Hopefully, this is not another Ex-Bear Chris Chandler type situation, where he can't let go of what he did elsewhere to learn what he needs to know here.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Big C gets Big chance

    I believe that this can be a very good thing if you look at it in the right light. Claude will be focusing on a single position and will add a great deal to our run game. Since Rex is so injury prone we won't have to worry about him getting hurt and messing up the chemistry of the o-line. He will also give us a very good back-up to both gaurd positions, which I doubt Claude would be able to do since he is a rookie and it is hard enough for a rookie to get used to the NFL and learn one position, where Rex is already ajusted and can learn two positions much easier than Claude.

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    Re: Big C gets Big chance

    I can understand why Martz put Big C in the starting lineup.......... heck he can bench press Rex Tucker.LOL
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

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    Re: Big C gets Big chance

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    Hopefully, this is not another Ex-Bear Chris Chandler type situation, where he can't let go of what he did elsewhere to learn what he needs to know here.
    I would hope it is nothing like that.

    It is hard for me to imagine Rex being defiant about the Rams system. If I'm not mistaken it seems Rex played under several different systems while he was with the bears.

    He has spent most of his NFL career on the injury list.

    Maybe Rex is just a bad FA signing? It is not like he would be the first.

    Speaking of Chandler, not to mention Kyle Turley, who better to use as a recent example of FA signings gone bad?

    The thing that gripes me most, about the Chandler affair, and what many Rams fans seem to forget, is that Martz wanted Chandler.

    Chandler could not help the fact that he was washed-up, but Martz sure as hell could have helped himself to another FA QB.

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