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  1. #1
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    Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    06/11/2010

    Ten years in the trenches of the NFL have taken their toll, new Rams defensive tackle Chris Hovan conceded. "I'm not walking right anymore," he said.

    His enthusiasm hasn't suffered similarly, though. "I'm still blessed to be playing football," he said. "I do still have a passion for this game, and I have two or three years left in this old body."

    The 6-foot-2, 296-pound Hovan, 32, signed a free-agent deal with the Rams and reported to the practice field Thursday for the start of a three-day minicamp.

    Originally a first-round choice by Minnesota (No. 25 overall), Hovan spent the last five seasons with Tampa Bay. He became expendable when the Buccaneers took defensive tackles Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and Brian Price of UCLA with their first two draft picks in April


    "That's just the nature of the business," Hovan said. "I didn't take any offense to it; it's not personal. One door closes, and I'm just grateful that another door opened here in St. Louis."

    Hovan joins a defensive line that now features a couple of more veterans to mix in with a group of youngsters. Earlier during free agency, the Rams brought in tackle Fred Robbins, 33. He also was drafted by the Vikings in 2000 (second round, No. 55 overall).

    "That has been a little bit by design," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I think on most of these successful teams in this league, usually at every position they have somebody with some experience, a leader, a good example. We've got that kind of filtered in now."

    Hovan might have as big an impact in the locker room as he will on the field, Spagnuolo noted. "He's played a lot of football. He's a tough nut," Spagnuolo said.

    No matter what role the Rams carve out for him, Hovan vowed that he'd embrace it.

    "Whatever Coach Spagnuolo asks of me, I'm there to do," he said. "If it's a role player, that's fine. How many reps doesn't really matter to me. Whatever situation that he calls upon, I'll be there for Coach."

    Hovan, a former Boston College All-American who has started 149 of 156 games in the NFL, had opportunities with other teams after his release. He called the Rams "the best fit for me," largely because of their approach on defense.

    "Last year I didn't have my best year," he acknowledged. "I played a two-gap defense, and I played a little bit heavier. That's not my style. I'm a 300- to 305-pound guy, and I get up the field.

    "I think this defense suits me a little bit better. It's an attacking defense, relentless pursuit. I think once I get acclimated to what we're doing, I'll be more comfortable and ready to make some plays."

    The Rams will play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 24, and Hovan already is looking forward to the chance to silence his critics.

    "Of course. I'm not going to lie to you and say no," he said. "But at the same time, you can't listen to what everybody says. You have to be focused and look ahead at what you can do. ...

    "I can't thank the Buccaneers enough for everything they've done for me, and before, the Vikings. Now I owe it to the Rams organization to do everything for them."

    RAM-BLINGS

    Tackle Jason Smith, who left practice early Tuesday with a toe injury, was back at the morning workout Thursday. But he felt irritation in the toe afterward and was sent for an MRI exam. The results were not immediately available. ... Minicamp will resume with two more practices today, then wrap up with a single workout Saturday morning.


  2. #2
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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    I wasn't really thrilled that this article started off withe quote, "I'm not walking right anymore." but, I like the guys attitude. He seems to have a chip on his shoulder and sounds like he enjoys getting to the passer. Like I stated in previous threads I'm not exactly thrilled with the development of most of your young DT's. Hopefully this guy come in and add a good veteran presence.

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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    Too bad his play has extremely deteriorated. Not looking for much from him.

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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    Tx - just curious. Why do you say that?

    Do (have) you watched him and /or Tampa that much, or are you just figuring since they let him go, he must be washed up?. IDK - to me, with the addition of two pretty much sure fire draftees, he became understandably expendable, but I don't automatically conclude from that that he cannot contribute, especially at his salary, and as (probably) a rotational type player.

    Cheer up - y'all are about to join the Pac 10.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    Hard to know what to expect from Hovan .. Was he playing hurt last year? Was he healthy? Has father time simply eroded his skills? One thing I think is fair to say: Spags and Billy are better equipped to determine what Hovan has left than any of us fans. I doubt they would have brought him in if they felt he had nothing to offer but "locker room presence." Chris will have to earn a spot on the roster just like anyone else, and maybe he will, and maybe he won't. No sense beating the guy up until he's had his chance. I have no idea what to expect from Hovan, but I'm willing to waive judgment until he's had the opportunity to show what he can do, or can't do ..

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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Tx - just curious. Why do you say that?

    Do (have) you watched him and /or Tampa that much, or are you just figuring since they let him go, he must be washed up?. IDK - to me, with the addition of two pretty much sure fire draftees, he became understandably expendable, but I don't automatically conclude from that that he cannot contribute, especially at his salary, and as (probably) a rotational type player.

    Cheer up - y'all are about to join the Pac 10.
    Yea, I've watched him. His stats have really dropped off and a friend of mine who is a Bucs fan said good riddance. He was a MONSTER when he played for the Vikings but since then he's just taking up a spot.

    Can he have a rebirth? I hope so. However, I wouldn't count on it.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    I think the question, then, becomes whether or not he needs to have a rebirth in order to be an improvement over guys like Gary Gibson or Leger Douzable. Hovan may be only a shell of what he used to be, but that shell may still offer more than some of these young guys fighting for roster spots.
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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Yea, I've watched him. His stats have really dropped off and a friend of mine who is a Bucs fan said good riddance. He was a MONSTER when he played for the Vikings but since then he's just taking up a spot.

    Can he have a rebirth? I hope so. However, I wouldn't count on it.
    Fair 'nuff. I know the name, but really haven't watched him.

    (You a longhorn fan, and if so, what do you think about the Pac 10 rumor?)
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Chris Hovan adds experience to Rams defense ..

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Fair 'nuff. I know the name, but really haven't watched him.

    (You a longhorn fan, and if so, what do you think about the Pac 10 rumor?)
    I went to school at Memphis (yes, I watched Isaac play there. Torched Ole Miss one year), but I am a Longhorn football fan. Not a rumor. It's solid. Love the thought of playing the likes of UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Washington instead of Nebraska, Kansas State, Missouri.

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