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  1. #1
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Bubble players do little with big chance

    Bubble players do little with big chance

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/29/2008

    KANSAS CITY Backup safety Eric Bassey may have earned himself a Rams roster spot by forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff of Thursday's Governor's Cup game at Arrowhead Stadium.

    It was the first takeaway by St. Louis on defense or special teams of the 2008 preseason. Marcus Riley recovered for the Rams deep in Chiefs territory, and Josh Brown quickly put the Rams on top 3-0 with a 35-yard field goal.

    Unfortunately for the visitors from the Gateway City, that was the only highlight until late in the first half.

    Kansas City scored touchdowns on its first three possessions, taking a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter. Even though the Rams regrouped with TDs in the second and fourth quarters, the Chiefs held on for a 21-17 victory.

    With Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder standing in for absent Gov. Matt Blunt, the Cup was presented to Kansas City for the fifth time in seven years. The Rams finished the preseason with a 2-2 record. Next stop, Philadelphia, for the regular-season opener Sept. 7.

    "I feel comfortable with where we're at as a team," coach Scott Linehan said. "I've been very happy with our progress. We had a lot of goals set for this time, you know, prior to the regular season, and we accomplished a whole bunch of them."

    In each of the first three games of this preseason, Linehan played his starters more than he had in the 2006 and '07 exhibition campaigns. But he reverted to past form Thursday.

    Of the 22 projected opening-day starters, only center Nick Leckey saw action. And Leckey probably wouldn't be starting if not for Brett Romberg's broken hand. The opening day starters got some sprints in during pregame warm-ups, before heavy rain and lightning delayed the opening kickoff 1 hours.

    "We played gin rummy," Linehan joked, when asked what the team did during the long weather delay.

    Then, Linehan turned the game over largely to bubble players. Judging by what happened in the opening half, many of them hardly put up a spirited fight for roster spots. Granted, Kansas City came out with its starting units on both sides of the ball. But running back Larry Johnson and tight end Tony Gonzalez the two studs of the Chiefs' offense did not play.

    "We would've liked to have started faster, and not given them the scores," Linehan said. "They sustained some good drives and ran the ball on us. But what I was happy with was we settled down and stopped them. ... I just really liked how our team played from then on."

    The Rams defense was little more than a speed bump for quarterback Brodie Croyle and the Kansas City offense. In two possessions for the KC starters, the Chiefs drove 66 yards for one touchdown, and 56 yards for another. Both times, rookie running back Kolby Smith scored on runs.

    Chiefs coach Herm Edwards sent his second offensive unit out next, but the Rams gave them excellent field position thanks to a lost fumble by running back Travis Minor. It took only two plays, plus a personal foul by bubble safety Jerome Carter for the Chiefs to get back into the end zone. Damon Huard's 11-yard TD pass to Bobby Sippio, who beat bubble corner David Macklin on the play, gave Kansas City a 21-3 lead just 38 seconds into the second quarter. At that point in the game, the Chiefs had outgained the Rams 137 yards to 30.

    Quarterback Trent Green's first preseason start lasted only three plays. "I thought it would be more, but it happens," Green said. "Like I've said all along, I told Coach Linehan, 'As little or as much as you want to play me. I understand it being the preseason. But I also love playing.' "

    After two handoffs to Antonio Pittman, Chiefs defensive tackle Tank Tyler came close to crushing Green on what was supposed to be a quick pass. The awkward toss bounced off Pittman, incomplete, and Linehan decided that was enough for Green.

    Green was replaced on the next offensive series by Brock Berlin. Berlin started slowly, completing only five of his first 10 passes for 36 yards. But he heated up in the two-minute drill, completing eight of 11 passes for 71 yards, including a 20-yard TD pass to Dane Looker with 10 seconds left in the half.

    "It was great to get out there and drive it in and score," said Berlin, who probably clinched the No. 3 job over Bruce Gradkowski with his performance Thursday.

    "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

  2. #2
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    This does not warrant a new thread, and I've said it before, but please, please PLEASE...

    do NOT cut Looker. Proehl was one of the worst cuts (or non re-signs, outside of Fletcher) we ever made.

    I'd like to see a comparison of him and Curtis over those three or four years.

    All Looker does is make plays, doesn't cost much, can do more than one thing, and has a good attitude.

    Sorry. What was I thinking. Of course we'll cut him. (and probably keep that loser Caldwell)
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  3. #3
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    Quote Originally Posted by vegas
    I'd like to see a comparison of him and Curtis over those three or four years.
    A comparison with Looker or Proehl? And which years are you wanting?
    "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

  4. #4
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    All I can say is that this article sucks... Of course our 2nd line is going to suck against their starters. Football games are one in lost in the trenches(read starting offensive and defensive lines vs 2nd stringers), not with skill players. Do you honestly believe our starting line would have been bullied as much as our backups on those first drives? Look what happened when they put in their 2nd string o-line, except for one short drive(31 yards a good chuck of which was due to a personal foul on us) for a score, we held them to 68 yards!

    Jim Thomas, you blow.

  5. #5
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    A comparison with Looker or Proehl? And which years are you wanting?
    Proehl and Curtis- any years they were both in the NFL.

    (Incidentally, Hub, (unless I'm the only one with this new color scheme), you have got to lose the yellow letteringin your sig. Can't see it on the white background)
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  6. #6
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Proehl and Curtis- any years they were both in the NFL.

    (Incidentally, Hub, (unless I'm the only one with this new color scheme), you have got to lose the yellow letteringin your sig. Can't see it on the white background)
    The Rams got Curtis in 2003. He left after '06. During that time....

    Curtis - 136 rec., 1,714 yards, 12 TDs

    During that same time ('03-'06), Proehl was in Carolina ('03-'05) and Indy ('06)

    Proehl - 89 rec., 1,357 yards, 8 TDs

    And here's a little Ricky Proehl trivia (just for grins).......Who is the highest ranked career receptions leader to NOT have a 70 catch season? Ricky Prohel (33rd)
    Who is the highest ranked career receiving yards leader to NOT have a 1000 yard season? Ricky Proehl (46th).
    He wasn't flashy, but the guy got it done for a looooooong time.


    And yea, I know about the sig......my bad. I got to remember to change the color when we go to the Away colors.
    Last edited by HUbison; -08-29-2008 at 02:41 PM.
    "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

  7. #7
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Football games are one in lost in the trenches(read starting offensive and defensive lines vs 2nd stringers), not with skill players.
    I couldn't agree more with your opinion that NFL games are "WON" "and" lost in the trenches.

    Sorry,

    Couldn't resist.

    I think our coaching staff has some very tough decisions on who to keep and who goes.

    I like this kid Lance Ball.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    The bench needs reps I'm sure so I'm not worried. The starters will get up to game speed about the third or fourth game so eveything will be fine by then if no one gets injured by overly physical opponents who surely won't be coached up, diciplined or motivated.

    Rest them. Save them. Coddle them. Fear them. Make them your friends. Don't ever let the millionairs think it's a job. By all means be suprised by injury bugs and rolled eyes and poor performance.

    Same ol, same old? Hope not.
    The break, don't bend offense.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    The Rams defense was little more than a speed bump for quarterback Brodie Croyle and the Kansas City offense. In two possessions for the KC starters, the Chiefs drove 66 yards for one touchdown, and 56 yards for another. Both times, rookie running back Kolby Smith scored on runs.


    Umm, correction, Kolby Smith is not a rookie. He was with KC last year.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bubble players do little with big chance

    Yeah, not a lot of stand outs among our backups in that game. Berlin should have secured his spot on the roster over Gradkowski. Ball made his case, and has maybe a 50-50 shot I would say. Looker looked good again, I've reversed my opinion since training camp I'd like to keep Looker on the team now, he's reliable and always a fighter. Other than that not a lot worth mentioning about that game.

    By the way how long is Romberg expected to be out? It wasn't the whole season like Setterstrom I hope?

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