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    Carriker is set to start in one of the tackle slots

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/18/2007

    With rookie minicamp plus two weeks of organized team activities in the books, the Rams' defensive line is beginning to take shape.

    On Thursday, coach Scott Linehan said he expected James Hall to start opposite Leonard Little at end, with first-round draft choice Adam Carriker at one tackle. The other job is open and depends largely on whether Carriker winds up as the nose or "three-technique" tackle.

    Carriker has been working at both positions, and Linehan said the rookie has shown "a natural feel for playing inside. It's no secret that you're going to see him in the interior of the line by the opening of the season. ... Right now, he's handling both tackle positions with relative ease."

    The top candidates for the final spot in the lineup are Jimmy Kennedy, La'Roi Glover and Claude Wroten.

    Kennedy started all 16 games at nose tackle last year, Glover was the other first-team tackle, and Wroten's role in the rotation increased late in the season.

    Kennedy "has to perform at a high level to be in the ballgame," Linehan said. "He's still penciled in as the starting nose tackle, but it's going to be interesting to see what happens between now and the Carolina game," which opens the regular season Sept. 10.

    The Rams feel that Glover, who is heading into his 12th NFL season, would benefit from fewer snaps. That's where Wroten, a third-round draftee last year, needs to step up.

    "He and Glover are basically going to be playing the three-technique spot, and we want no fall-off when Claude goes in," Linehan said. "He had an excellent offseason, as far as his training and preparation. He understands a lot more what we're trying to get done. And he's had an excellent six practices."

    OQ joins team

    The Rams have signed former University of Miami quarterback Brock Berlin, 25. He had two training-camp stints with the Miami Dolphins, who originally signed him in 2005 as an undrafted free agent, but he's never played in an NFL regular-season game.

    Berlin, 6 feet 1 and 215 pounds, signed with Dallas in April and was released May 10.

    Ram-blings

    Torry Holt, who had knee surgery in the offseason, isn't participating in OTAs, which are voluntary. Neither is fellow wide receiver Isaac Bruce, who prefers to train at his home in Memphis. ... Cornerback Jerametrius Butler didn't take part in the offseason conditioning program and hasn't shown up for OTAs. ... The full-squad minicamp has been moved up a day. It will run June 11-13.


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    Re: Carriker is set to start in one of the tackle slots

    Kennedy "has to perform at a high level to be in the ballgame," Linehan said. "He's still penciled in as the starting nose tackle, but it's going to be interesting to see what happens between now and the Carolina game," which opens the regular season Sept. 10.
    It's now or never, I say never.

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    Re: Carriker is set to start in one of the tackle slots

    My guess is that Kennedy will start the year at NT and by week three Wroten will have taken most of his playing time from him.

    Wroten and Carriker are going to be the DTs this year.

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    Re: Carriker is set to start in one of the tackle slots

    Right now, he's handling both tackle positions with relative ease."
    THIS is why I pushed for Carriker. He can play anywhere on the line. Is he Kennedy's competition, Glover's competition, or Wroten's competition? The anwer is YES.
    "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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