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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Carriker comfortable in starting role

    Top draft pick is playing nose tackle

    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat

    ST. LOUIS --
    Things are happening fast for St. Louis Rams rookie Adam Carriker, who found himself among the starters on the defensive line during the team's minicamp this week.

    Five weeks after being taken with the 13th overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, Carriker was lining up with Leonard Little, La'Roi Glover and James Hall to form the front four on the Rams' starting defense.

    "It was a little bit surprising," Carriker said. "I still have a long way to go. There's still training camp, there's still preseason games.

    "Right now, I have a job, and it's my job to hold onto it. I'm a little surprised, but now that I've been blessed with that, I plan to keep it."

    Carriker is working at the less-than-glamorous nose tackle position. The nose tackle's primary function is to tie up two opposing blockers to free up the linebackers to make tackles.

    He said the Rams discussed playing nose tackle with him before the draft.

    "Two weeks before the draft they brought me in for a visit and they asked me about it," Carriker said. "They wanted to see what I thought about it. I'm like, 'Anyway I can help the team, that's fine with me.' I'm happy. It's all fine with me."

    The Rams had talked about letting Carriker get his feet wet at the more familiar three-technique position before moving to nose tackle. But the trade of nose tackle Jimmy Kennedy to the Denver Broncos last week has sped up Carriker's learning curve.

    Carriker said he didn't know Kennedy had been traded until his wife told him.

    "Friday morning I woke up and my wife is like, 'Jimmy Kennedy? Isn't he the other nose guard?"' Carriker said. "I'm like, 'Yeah.' She said, 'He got traded."'

    Carriker said Kennedy treated him well during their short time together.

    "Jimmy was a great guy," Carriker said. "He was great to me. He was helping me, he was teaching me stuff. I wish him nothing but the best."

    Rams coach Scott Linehan has been impressed with Carriker, who registered 134 tackles, 20 1/2 sacks and 41 tackles for a loss in four seasons at the University of Nebraska.

    "He's just old school," Linehan said. "He comes to work, he doesn't say anything, and he always does his best.

    "He does things with great effort and pride, and that's what you want any player to do, let alone a rookie. He has that right mindset. He's going to be a pretty special player."

    Little said that Carriker has the tools to be successful in the NFL.

    "He's a big, strong guy," Little said. "He knows how to use his hands, but he has to work on a little bit of technique stuff.

    "He should be fine because he comes from a good program and we have a great coach in Coach (Brian) Baker."

    Carriker admitted feeling a little extra pressure playing on a defensive line that features three veterans with a combined 27 seasons of NFL experience.

    "When I first started, I was like, 'I'm the rookie. I have to learn this whole defense. I have to catch up,"' Carriker said. "Playing with the one's now, I feel that even more to be honest with you.

    "I want to hold that spot now. I'm in that spot, and I want to keep it."

    Carriker weighed 296 pounds at the NFL combine in late February, but he weighed in at 312 pounds for the minicamp.

    Carriker bulked up to help him handle those double teams at nose tackle.

    "I've just gradually put on weight," Carriker said. "Right after the combine, I wanted to put on a little bit of weight because I knew I was going to be a 3-4 end or an inside guy somewhere, depending on who took me.

    "As soon as I found out the Rams took me and they wanted me to play nose guard, I tried to get up to 305 by the time I got here. I put on about five pounds in the last month that I've been here."

    Carriker said 310 pounds was his optimal weight.

    "I can carry it well, and I can still play fast," Carriker said. "It's not going to fatigue me and bog me down."

    Mentally, Carriker feels like he has a basic grasp of the Rams' defense.

    "Its a pretty big playbook, and I think they've thrown most of it at us so far," Carriker said. "For now, it's trying to retain, study and get everything down so when I'm out on the field, I know what I have to do and I can just react."


  2. #2
    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    "Jimmy was a great guy," Carriker said. "He was great to me. He was helping me, he was teaching me stuff."
    Uh-uh, guys we've got a problem. Hope Carriker didn't listen to closely to Ol' Jimmy's advice, or we're done for. :x

    Other than that, it's great to hear that he put on a little bit of weight, as long as it doesn't slow him down (as he says it doesn't) it can only help him working in the middle.

  3. #3
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is online now Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    Uh-uh, guys we've got a problem. Hope Carriker didn't listen to closely to Ol' Jimmy's advice, or we're done for. :x

    Other than that, it's great to hear that he put on a little bit of weight, as long as it doesn't slow him down (as he says it doesn't) it can only help him working in the middle.
    I'm sure that Jimmy told Adam: " Do as I say -- not as I do" You know, Jimmy being a good guy and all ...

  4. #4
    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    He just said he was teaching him stuff, not that he was actually learning anything

  5. #5
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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    Maybe he was learning not what to do as a nose tackle? You know, like only attack one blocker and not wrestle them down so that the 'backers can make the play.

    It seems he learned Kennedy's love for food too. Hopefully he's done filling out unless it's pure muscle and less fat from here on out. I'd have no problem with him being 350-even 400 pounds if he picks up the center and tosses him into the QB. Would that count as a sack for the center or Carriker?

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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    'Anyway I can help the team, that's fine with me.' I'm happy. It's all fine with me."
    How can anyone not love this kid? He says he's a team player.....then he goes on the field and acts like a team player. I haven't been this excited about a draft pick since..........well, maybe ever.
    "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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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    How can anyone not love this kid? He says he's a team player.....then he goes on the field and acts like a team player. I haven't been this excited about a draft pick since..........well, maybe ever.
    Since Jimmy Kennedy?

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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    Some of the things legative things written about Kennedy and Carriker during their rookie offseason and training camp (so far):

    Kennedy: Soft, needs to improve his strength and conditioning, sitting out practice, position coach yelling at him.

    Carriker: <crickets>

    This isn't the same stuff we've been hearing, and this isn't the same excitment.

    This is 24 Carriker Gold delerium. So far, I think he deserves it.
    Semper Fi!

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Carriker comfortable in starting role

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    This is 24 Carriker Gold delirium. So far, I think he deserves it.

    Nice! :r ---GO CARRIKER!

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