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Thread: Brockers expects quick transition ..

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    Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Steve Holley
    Sports Correspondent
    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Michael Brockers needed only one season as a starter on the defensive line at LSU before becoming a first-round selection in this year's NFL draft. Now Brockers, a former LSU defensive tackle entering his rookie season in the NFL, expects to make a quick transition at the next level with a defensive unit looking to rebuild after finishing 22nd in the league in total defense a season ago.

    Brockers was selected 14th overall in the first-round of the 2012 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams this past April after playing two seasons at LSU.

    The Houston, Texas, native started all 14 games at defensive tackle for the Tigers last season and finished with 54 tackles, two sacks, and 10 tackles for a loss.

    "(The Rams) have a 4-3 attack like I played with at LSU. I feel it's going to be good and that I fit in comfortable," said Brockers, who attended the Pro Football Combine Camp at Nicholls State's John L. Guidry Stadium on Saturday.

    Despite LSU losing to Alabama in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans, Brockers ended his collegiate career on a high note, finishing with a career-high seven tackles in the game.

    Brockers said his decision to enter the draft was primarily due to family matters.

    "Playing with the guys I came in (to LSU) with, we wanted to win a championship," Brockers said. "It made the decision (to go pro) very difficult, but I had to be able to go and choose what was best for me and my family."

    Brockers' decision to choose LSU over scholarship offers from Texas A&M and Texas Tech coming out of high school had a lot to do with the Tigers' history and reputation, and their style of play in the SEC, he said.

    "Mostly it had to do with watching their defense," he said. "Just the tradition, it was LSU in general. I was an LSU fan when I was in 8th grade, so I wanted to go to LSU if they offered me a scholarship. Luckily, they did."

    The expectation level with Brockers' current team is going to be a bit different — at least in the beginning — from his college team.

    At LSU, Brockers played in front of sellout crowds of over 92,000 every home game and on teams that were expected to compete for championships most every year.

    With the Rams, he'll be playing for a team that had the NFL's second lowest attendance total a season ago and who hasn't reached the playoffs since the 2004 season.

    None of that deters Brockers, who said his expectations with the Rams are as high as they were at LSU.

    "They say it's different and the stadium (Edward Jones Dome) is not as big, but they talk about how St. Louis Rams fans get rowdy," Brockers said. "As far as expectations, I'm going to go into the season wanting to go to the playoffs and the Super Bowl every year. That's how I am. I can't look at it any other way."

    Brockers admitted there was added pressure going to a rebuilding team like the Rams instead of a perennial Super Bowl contender like the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers, but added that he feels up to the task.

    "I feel a little pressure, but I have to step up to the plate and step up to the challenge and overcome it," he said. "Hopefully we get a playoff berth with this team."

    Brockers will also be making the transition to a new coach this season. Veteran coach Jeff Fisher spent 17 seasons with Tennessee Titans (and formerly the Houston Oilers) before the two sides parted ways after the 2010 season.

    Brockers offered nothing but praise for Fisher, who was hired by the Rams in January after the club fired Steve Spagnuolo, now the Saints' defensive coordinator.

    "He's a real player's coach," Brockers said. "When you hear guys talk about that, sometimes you don't really understand what that is. He was a player, so he understands what the players go through and that's a big thing. That's why players love him."

    The Rams and Fisher showed interest in Brockers in part because of his experience in the 4-3 defense, and Brockers said he wasn't surprised when St. Louis made him their first overall pick after trading down with the Dallas Cowboys from the sixth overall spot.

    Dallas then used the No. 6 pick to draft Brockers' LSU teammate, defensive back Morris Claiborne.

    "I wouldn't say I was surprised because (Rams defensive line coach Coach Mike Waufle) said that I was his guy and if I was available they were going to take me," Brockers said.

    Brockers' agent, Albert Elias, helped put on the combine camp at Nicholls State last week and said Brockers' discipline and upside impressed the Rams.

    "He's a very quiet leader that leads by example," Elias said. "He was just a redshirt sophomore (last year). He's got some growing to do with maturity, but he's making good decisions in terms of how he devotes his time off the field to football. He's got so many positives that I've never seen at that level."

    Brockers will report to Rams camp on July 24, with the team's first preseason game scheduled for Aug. 12 against the Indianapolis Colts.

    Taking the field for the first time in a Rams uniform will be a big step toward getting some initial jitters of playing in the NFL out of the way, he said.

    "Playing in the NFL with guys you've been watching on TV so long, after that first initial contact, I think I'll be good," Brockers said.

    Performance-wise, Brockers said he has at least one individual goal in mind for his rookie season.

    "I'd love to get rookie Defensive Player of the Year," he said. "I don't want to put any stats out there, but I want to be very productive."


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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    I love this kid. Brockers is the rookie I'm most confident about. He's got a great attitude, a great work ethic, and the determination to realize his enormous potential. And if there was ever an example of a 4 pillars guy, it's Michael Brockers.

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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Jesus christ... Enough with the 4 pillars. You win with talent not pillars. Pillars cant run, block, catch, or tackle.

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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastcat View Post
    Jesus christ... Enough with the 4 pillars. You win with talent not pillars. Pillars cant run, block, catch, or tackle.
    Just because YOU don't want to focus on 4 pillars and you have some aversion to 4 pillars....doesn't mean that 4 pillars isn't a valuable asset when COUPLED with talent. 4 pillars is still a valid trait to pursue and when 4 pillars is actually attached to a guy and all talent is equal with a non-4 pillars guy...I will take the 4 pillars every day..... and so you were saying...oh yeah...that's right...enough with the 4 pillars...
    Steve

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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    I love this kid. Brockers is the rookie I'm most confident about. He's got a great attitude, a great work ethic, and the determination to realize his enormous potential. And if there was ever an example of a 4 pillars guy, it's Michael Brockers.
    Oh jeez, Mike; I wonder how long it will take for someone w/o a concept of what 4 pillars actually is, to add to the thread with a benighted comment.
    Jesus christ... Enough with the 4 pillars. You win with talent not pillars. Pillars cant run, block, catch, or tackle.
    Whoops. Too late.
    "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: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastcat View Post
    Jesus christ... Enough with the 4 pillars. You win with talent not pillars. Pillars cant run, block, catch, or tackle.
    If you hate the idea that much, then don't stir debate by responding to it.

    Back to the subject at hand...

    Brockers is still young and doesn't have a lot of experience, so I would expect a bit of a learning curve, and that he most likely won't start producing regularly til late in the year. Still, that kind of work ethic is infectious. Hopefully with him, Long, and Quinn on the line, we'll finally have not just a solid D line, but one that is among the better in the league.

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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fastcat View Post
    Jesus christ... Enough with the 4 pillars. You win with talent not pillars. Pillars cant run, block, catch, or tackle.
    Where did I say you need to be a 4 pillars guy to succeed?? My point was that Brockers is a model citizen, with a solid morale compass, in ADDITION to his talent and ability. Do have something against guys that do the right things and stay out of trouble? Maybe you should go back and re-read the first line in my post where I make the case that he has the attitude, work ethic and determination to succeed.

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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    I was basically saying the 4 pillar ship has sailed, and I hate to see the last rregimes concepts translated to the new. And its a good concept, it just didnt work. And yes i would take a 4 pillars guy over the latter if talent was equal. In 3 seasons, off the top of my head we picked up only 3 or 4 players that are, i guess 4 pillar guys that can actually play. Sam, amendola, jl, and fill in the blank

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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    And its a good concept, it just didnt work.
    4 Pillars works just fine. It was reported the other day that over the past several years, the Rams had the fewest legal run-ins of any team in the NFL. They are obviously good citizens. The problem was that the individuals implementing it were also responsible for finding talent as well. That.....they sucked at.
    "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: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    4 Pillars works just fine. It was reported the other day that over the past several years, the Rams had the fewest legal run-ins of any team in the NFL. They are obviously good citizens. The problem was that the individuals implementing it were also responsible for finding talent as well. That.....they sucked at.
    That and making game plans that actually made sense. I strongly approve of the four pillars approach, but coupled with better talent and better coaching.

    Tony La Russa of the Cardinals (somewhat) weighed in on the subject, although more in terms of building a good lockerroom. He said it is ok to add problem guys, but only after you've established a good strong clubhouse with good character players. At that point, the problem guys are less likely to cause problems, and more likely to conform to the locker room to fit in. So, a semi-successful manager agrees with the approach of building the locker room.

    And bringing this allllll back to Brockers. He sounds like he will not only be a great guy for the locker room, but a great talent on the field. What more can you ask for? The addition of Brockers might help the Rams absorb a semi-troubled player at another position that needs a talent upgrade.

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    Re: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Tony La Russa of the Cardinals (somewhat) weighed in on the subject, although more in terms of building a good lockerroom. He said it is ok to add problem guys, but only after you've established a good strong clubhouse with good character players. At that point, the problem guys are less likely to cause problems, and more likely to conform to the locker room to fit in. So, a semi-successful manager agrees with the approach of building the locker room.
    Not to get off-topic, but.......

    Tony LaRussa.......semi-successful??
    "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: Brockers expects quick transition ..

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Not to get off-topic, but.......

    Tony LaRussa.......semi-successful??
    This is why there is a need for sarcasm font. Some people rally against the four pillars as the shining example of how not to built a team. Yet Tony La Russa believed in a very similar concept, and had tremendous success. The four pillars wasn't the problem, it was, as has been discussed, the lack of talent identification and poor coaching, not the collection of high character players.
    HUbison likes this.

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