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  1. #1
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    Chavous Helps Rams Through Tough Times

    Saturday, November 3, 2007
    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    For all that Corey Chavous has accomplished on a football field whether it be the hundreds of tackles or couple dozen interceptions he’s accumulated, the thing that sets him apart and makes him the most universally loved and respected teammate in the game is his undying, relentless leadership.

    It’s not the kind of leadership that would have him on top of a chair screaming at the top of his lungs or the type in which he would grab a teammate by the facemask and yell in his face.

    Make no mistake, Chavous leads by more than example. But what makes Chavous the type of person that makes his teammates not only want to be better football players but better men is the way he goes about leading them on and off the field.

    “I’ve been around Corey for five of his 10 years in the league,” Rams coach Scott Linehan said. “And one of the big reasons – not the only one, obviously – but one of the big reasons he’s here is so that he can show people how to be a professional.”

    Try finding a player in the league with a more spotless reputation than Chavous and you are almost certain to come up empty. Being a professional has been ingrained in Chavous from a young age.

    When Chavous was making his decision about what college to attend, he considered offers from a variety of schools. But when it came down to it, Chavous knew he wanted to be somewhere he could combine football with a great education.

    Chavous chose Vanderbilt, knowing that the football program wasn’t the best but also knowing that when he left he’d be a better man for having been there and the football would take care of itself.

    Education has always been important to Chavous and not just in the sense of getting a degree. Everything Chavous loves, he attacks with an insatiable appetite to learn and better himself.

    Football was no exception. As the nephew of former Denver Bronco Barney Chavous and cousin of former NFL defensive back Fred Vinson, Chavous’ love of football is his greatest passion.

    It is that passion that has Chavous relentlessly and endlessly breaking down game film to analyze what he can do better and how he can go about playing an opponent.

    Teammate and close friend Torry Holt says Chavous’ passion for football is unmatched.

    “He really really loves every aspect, every realm of the game of football,” Holt said. “And he exudes that on a day to day basis whether it’s in his training, whether it’s in his film preparation, it really shows up in the way he plays out there on the football field. He’s a guy that has a tremendous passion for the game of football.”

    The studious Chavous has a contagious effect on his teammates. Young safety Oshiomogho Atogwe credits Chavous with helping him develop into one of the league’s ascending defensive backs.

    And Chavous doesn’t discriminate when it comes to helping his teammates. On a regular basis, Chavous invites teammates young and old, offense or defense, to his house with nary a concern for background and with football as the foundation for every relationship.

    “You can learn a lot from Corey,” Holt said. “He’s a team oriented guy. He loves getting the team together and getting everybody involved and the opportunity to know one another. He believes that is something that will propel you on Sundays, especially in the fourth quarter because you know what that guy is all about and you know that he will dig deep down inside to make that extra push to win the ball game. Being a leader, I have learned a lot from Corey on how to lead.”

    During those visits, Chavous will cook for his teammates and they will break down game film or relax and watch a basketball game. Many veterans are hesitant to work with younger players, but not Chavous.

    “It’s crazy,” second-year receiver Marques Hagans said. “He can tell you things when we are on offense that he sees on defense that helps us out more than what people on offense might see. It’s good to have a guy like that always around and willing to help. He takes young guys in and always teaches them how to be a professional on the football field. It definitely helps a young guy like me.”

    For all of his leadership abilities, Chavous has become an easy and popular choice for team captain from the moment he signed his contract with the Rams before the 2006 season.

    But Chavous learned a long time ago that being a leader and being a captain aren’t the same. The first time Chavous was chosen as a captain in Minnesota, he says he wasn’t sure what to do.

    Vikings defensive coordinator Willie Shaw gave Chavous an important piece of advice that stays with the strong safety today.

    “I take it very seriously but I don’t change because of it,” Chavous said. “I tried to be a captain and I don’t think you can do that. The best thing you can do is to just be yourself. I just try to do that.”

    Corey being Corey has been beneficial to everyone in St. Louis, but make no mistake the addition of Chavous wasn’t solely based on his ability to be a positive influence in the locker room.

    Chavous went to the Pro Bowl in 2003 when he racked up eight interceptions and 108 tackles for the Vikings. While most first time Pro Bowlers go to Hawaii to enjoy the sun and the beach, Chavous put in the time to study his opponent and it paid off with an interception of Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning in the game.

    Now in his second season in St. Louis, things haven’t come easy for Chavous. After a particularly rough start to the season, Chavous called himself out for performing below the standard he has set for himself.

    In week four against Dallas, Chavous suffered a pectoral injury that kept him out for two games. For a fierce competitor such as Chavous, those two weeks were long. Even in street clothes, Chavous found a way to make use of his time on the sideline.

    “It’s one of those things where you try to stay involved, try to stay in the game, take the mental reps and play each snap as if you were out there,” Chavous said. “You are not going to be able to offer that much that the coaches aren’t telling the guys, but maybe there’s something you can give them as teammates that will help a little bit.”

    In that vein, Chavous spent part of the time charting plays. At one point, he was on the sideline pointing out various coverages the Ravens and Cardinals were using to Hagans, Holt and quarterback Gus Frerotte.

    “I think you just stay in it,” Chavous said. “I haven’t approached the games any differently in terms of my preparation so I can always communicate with everybody on the sidelines during the games and during the week. We talk through situations and some of the stuff that people at your position might go through. Those things are always part of it.”

    When football is done, Chavous has a good idea of what he wants to do. He could easily become a coach or go in front of the camera as an analyst because of his vast knowledge of the game.

    One of Chavous’ favorite hobbies is breaking down college game tape and evaluating collegiate talent that will be entering the NFL Draft. That has landed Chavous a couple of gigs as a draft guru for NFL Network and ESPN.

    The always humble Chavous could do without the makeup and flashing lights in his face on television, though. He aspires to work in television, but would just as soon do it behind the camera as in front of it.

    Regardless of his next endeavor outside of football – Chavous still has plenty of that left in him, also – Chavous will continue to take his leadership role seriously and players of every age and position will continue to come to him for advice.

    “He has a broad range of intelligence in all types of aspects of life whether it is on the field or off the field,” Hagans said. “A lot of guys come to him because he is so intelligent. Then he really takes pride and studies his craft, his position and every position on the field. He’s a guy you can go to and seek advice. He’s like a guru. It seems like he just always has the answers.”

  2. #2
    moloch41 Guest

    Re: Chavous Helps Rams Through Tough Times

    Too bad he can't lead them on the field with his play- our secondary stinks. We need someone who can pick off a pass- not just a Rah-Rah guy. He's just past his prime is all.

  3. #3
    Bar-bq's Avatar
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    Re: Chavous Helps Rams Through Tough Times

    Quote Originally Posted by moloch41 View Post
    Too bad he can't lead them on the field with his play- our secondary stinks. We need someone who can pick off a pass- not just a Rah-Rah guy. He's just past his prime is all.
    Righteo. I won't beat the old dead horse, but the basic premise of the dead horse is that our secondary stinks because our pass rush is so weak. Improve the pass rush, and you have a bona fide star secondary.

    That said, Chavous has been wearing down, I agree, and should be let go this offseason.

  4. #4
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Chavous Helps Rams Through Tough Times

    we have the foundation of a decent secondary, but we just arent getting anywhere near the QB

  5. #5
    ramsfan81 Guest

    Re: Chavous Helps Rams Through Tough Times

    Maybe he can help by making a tackle instead or taking a wrong angle and just falling down Remember the game against the ***** on the frank gore game winning touchdown thats all im saying

  6. #6
    moloch41 Guest

    Re: Chavous Helps Rams Through Tough Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsfan81 View Post
    Maybe he can help by making a tackle instead or taking a wrong angle and just falling down Remember the game against the ***** on the frank gore game winning touchdown thats all im saying

    He was just doing his best Adam Archuleta immitation there...

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