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Culberson Has Chance To Be Starting Linebacker ....
Culberson has a chance to be starting linebacker
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, Mar. 26 2008
When last we saw Quinton Culberson, he was hauling down everything wearing red
and white in the Rams' season-ending loss at Arizona. Making his first
regular-season NFL start, Culberson piled up a team-high 14 tackles and forced
a fumble in the 48-19 defeat Dec. 30.
"It was a good experience," Culberson said Tuesday at Rams Park, where the team
kicked off its offseason conditioning program. "It helps me come into this
season with a little more confidence."
Culberson, an undrafted rookie from Mississippi State, figures to compete for
the starting job at strongside linebacker. That position was vacated when
Brandon Chillar signed with the Packers as a free agent.
"I talked to Brandon and he told me he got the two-year deal with Green Bay,
and I was like, 'Ooh, maybe it's my turn,'" Culberson said. "I had a big
The Rams will have to beef up their personnel at linebacker: only five are
under contract. At this point, Culberson and veteran Chris Draft are the
leading contenders to join Will Witherspoon and Pisa Tinoisamoa in the lineup.
If Culberson is able to make the leap, Draft can remain as a valued reserve at
all three linebacker spots, with Tim McGarigle also providing backup.
Culberson was the only one of the Rams' 13 rookie free agents to make the
opening-day roster. He played in 15 games, collecting 16 tackles on defense
and 17 on special teams — the second-most on the squad.
"It hit me after the season: I played my first NFL game, something I always
wanted to do since I was playing football in the backyard," Culberson said.
"And now I have another opportunity."
Just a year removed from a 61-catch, 760-yard season with New England,
free-agent wide receiver Reche Caldwell has agreed to terms with the Rams on a
one-year deal that reportedly is worth $645,000.
The 6-foot, 210-pound Caldwell, 28, is a six-year NFL veteran out of the
University of Florida who was San Diego's second-round draft choice in 2002. He
spent four years with the Chargers, averaging 18.5 catches and 237.5 yards a
He had a career-best season with the Patriots in 2006. But last year he played
in only eight games, catching 15 passes for 141 yards, with Washington.
A whopping 12 players suffered season-ending injuries last year, when the Rams
went 3-13. One who might've joined that list was cornerback Ron Bartell, who
played through the last 10 games with a banged-up right thumb that was repaired
during surgery in early January.
"They took a tendon from my wrist and put it in my thumb," said Bartell, who
was hurt Oct. 14. With a laugh, he added, "That's why I dropped so many
Bartell should be cleared by the time organized team activities begin May 13.
"I've been rehabbing, trying to stay in shape and get ready for next season,"
he said. "I'm rarin' to go."
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Re: Culberson Has Chance To Be Starting Linebacker ....
Good news. I hope what Devaney (and for that matter, Haslett last preseason) sees in him really comes to fruition. He flashed a bit of potential in that Caridnals game. It's good to see us exploring all of our options, rather than spend spend spending on players that won't get us anywhere.
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