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Thread: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    By Joe Lyons

    Alex Carrington seemed to be on the verge of a breakout season with the Buffalo Bills last year when a torn quadriceps tendon ended his campaign after just three games.

    “As soon as it happened, I was like, ‘No, not right now,’’’ the 26-year-old defensive lineman said. “I was right in stride. At that point, I had not been that clear in my career. Everything was clicking together for me and then it just went out on me.

    “I was pretty upset for 15, maybe 20 minutes, but then I realized you can’t do anything but get better from there. You can’t get unhurt by being sad about it, so I had my surgery and started my rehab and focused on staying positive.’’

    While the season-ending injury closed out Carrington’s four-year stay in Buffalo, it has led to an opportunity with the Rams, who signed him to a one-year deal in late March. The 6-foot-5, 301-pound Carrington also drew interest from Oakland, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

    So why St. Louis?

    “Just the environment, really,’’ he said, talking after a recent OTA workout at Rams Park. “I had a real good visit and heard a lot of good things about coach (Jeff) Fisher, (defensive line) coach (Mike) Waufle and (defensive coordinator) coach (Gregg) Williams.

    “I think I’ll be a good fit for what they’re trying to do here. I know they play good, attacking defense, and I want to be part of it.’’

    Waufle said that Carrington has been on his radar since the Arkansas State product came into the league as Buffalo’s third-round draft pick in 2010.

    “I watch everybody in the league, but he caught my eye the first day of the Senior Bowl practices that year,’’ the coach recalled. “When I saw the list of free agents, there were some other so-called big-name guys, but Alex, because of his size, speed and athletic ability, was the guy I thought would be a great match for us.

    “We definitely feel like he can help us.’’

    Already one of the league’s top units, ranking third behind Carolina (60) and Buffalo (57) with 53 sacks in 2013, the Rams return Pro Bowler Robert Quinn as well as Chris Long, Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford, William Hayes and Eugene Sims from their regular defensive-line rotation. In addition to Carrington, the Rams also picked up talented and highly productive Aaron Donald of Pitt with the 13th pick of the NFL draft.

    “You can never have too many defensive linemen,’’ Waufle stressed. “In my mind, everybody’s a starter, so I don’t get too caught up in all that. It’s not about who comes out of the tunnel with the smoke, it’s who’s on the field making plays. And if you look at the number of plays, we’re usually pretty balanced. I’ve always liked playing a lot of guys because they all feel like they’re a part of it and contributing. It becomes a brotherhood of men and once you get that, you’re able to weed out the selfishness.

    “It’s a highly competitive unit — we’ve set the bar high and our guys really work hard — and, because of the way we’ve set it up, there’s no reason for anybody to go at less than 100 percent at all times.’’

    Some would shy away from joining a unit as strong and deep as the Rams’ defensive line, but Carrington is looking forward to the challenge.

    “I was part of a good line in Buffalo and there are a lot of talented people here; why wouldn’t you want to be around talented people?’’ he said. “I think the competition helps step my game up and helps me learn some things.’’

    Carrington credited the Rams training staff as he continues to work back to full strength. But Waufle said the team is taking a conservative approach.

    “I’m sure he could do more, but there’s no reason to push a guy coming off an injury, especially in June,’’ the coach said.

    Carrington, who played everywhere from nose tackle to outside linebacker in Buffalo, will focus on defensive tackle with the Rams. He takes special pride in his ability to shut down the run game and to help collapse the pocket on pass plays.

    “You take care of business on first and second down, you can eat on third down,’’ said Carrington, who has also blocked six kicks in his NFL career. “I’m just about 100 percent and things are still slow, football-wise. I just have to get back in the rhythm and knock some of the rust off.

    “I’ve played mostly read-schemes in the past, but here, it’s go all the time. ... It’s kind of exciting for me to play a style of football that is so conducive to production.’’


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    demiurge is offline Registered User
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    Re: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    Man, I am psyched about our depth this year. Carrington and Paul are a HUGE upgrade talent wise from our backup DTs last year.

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    Re: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    Quote Originally Posted by demiurge View Post
    Man, I am psyched about our depth this year. Carrington and Paul are a HUGE upgrade talent wise from our backup DTs last year.
    which Paul are you referring to?
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    Re: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    Two reactions to this...

    1) Am I mistaken, or is this an article about the Rams' DL that doesn't even mention Michael Sam? A month ago, some people thought we'd never see the light.

    2) Barring injury to someone in front of him, if Carrington gets more than 300 defensive snaps this season, I'll be surprised. Carrington's opportunities will be limited not only because he's the 4th DT, but also by being on a team that likes to rotate DEs to the inside on passing downs. Maybe we'll see less of that with improved DT depth.
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    Re: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post

    .... Carrington's opportunities will be limited not only because he's the 4th DT, but also by being on a team that likes to rotate DEs to the inside on passing downs. Maybe we'll see less of that with improved DT depth.
    That's where Donald comes in so I think we will see less of it... I think fewer DE's will be rotated to the interior once he gets up to speed. As for Carrington... I foresee a straight up 2nd stringer to relieve Brockers when he gets winded; and for DL on opponent field goals and goal line stands.
    RealRam and Nick like this.

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    Re: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    which Paul are you referring to?
    Sorry, brain fart, meant Aaron Donald. My brain cross referenced Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad. I think its because I have a fervent belief that Aaron Donald will be referring to many OLmen in the league as 'biatches.'
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    Re: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    Quote Originally Posted by Demiurge View Post
    Man, I am psyched about our depth this year. Carrington ... a HUGE upgrade talent wise from our backup DTs last year.
    Excellent depth so far. I'm very excited as well and hope AC recovers from his injury to return as close to 100% as he can.



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    Re: Carrington adds to interior depth on Rams defensive line

    I think Carrington could be a quiet surprise for us this year. If we didn't add Donald, I would have been excited to see him in the #3 role. I think he has that kind of talent.

    As it stands, he's going to be excellent in rotation for us.
    KoaKoi and Randart like this.

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