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  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    Last year we saw Richie Incognito finally get his chance to perform and it was worth the wait. Here are a few Rams that currently are in the wings waiting for their chance. Whit the 07 draft upon us we all read everything about the current prospect and get excited. Lets look back at what they where saying about the 06 players on our current roster. Will one of these guys deliver?


    Jon Alston never really had a chance to play, due to school he came in late and really never got on the field.

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer
    At first glance, everything about Jon Alston screams football player. At 6 foot and 221 chiseled pounds, Alston has the complete physical package to succeed in the NFL.
    On further inspection, Alston clearly has the intelligence to make the transition from college to the NFL. At Stanford, Alston earned a degree in public policy and spent time as an intern in the bio-medical research field.
    Based on those credentials, Alston would seem to be one of the most NFL-ready of the Rams’ drafted prospects. So, why, then is Alston behind the curve for the first time in a long time?
    “Jon is behind because of him not being here the whole offseason,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. “That’s going to be hard for him to make it up. Being a linebacker and missing three months and 25 practices, is hard. I think in the long run Jon is going to be a good player.”
    Through no fault of his own, Alston was forced to miss almost all of the team’s offseason program. After the Rams drafted him in the third round, Alston arrived in St. Louis for the team’s rookie minicamp, but departed soon after to complete school.
    NFL rules stipulate that players must have completed their final semesters before participating in team activities. Stanford is on a trimester system, meaning its school year lasts longer than other schools. Alston returned to Palo Alto with a playbook and desire to learn, but it didn’t take long to realize that the time missed would leave him lagging behind.

    “It does make a difference," Alston said. “I didn't realize it would make as much of a difference as it has. It’s really important actually because those OTA’s, and stuff like that, they are really like spring ball for college.”
    Alston didn’t return to St. Louis until June 15, nearly the same time that organized team activities ended. By the time he returned, all that remained was a week of conditioning and workouts.
    It was hardly enough time for Alston to play catch up. When Alston arrived back in St. Louis for the start of training camp, he had plenty of work to do to catch up.
    Helping him in his adjustment is the presence of free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. Like Alston, the Rams drafted Atogwe in the third round out of Stanford last season and he went through a similar experience.
    At Stanford, Alston was used primarily as a situational pass rusher. He played some linebacker and safety, but he spent most of his time near the line of scrimmage with the simple goal of chasing down the quarterback and the ball.
    Alston was considered a ‘tweener in the NFL because of his size, but Haslett views him as the perfect fit to be used in a number of roles for the Rams sometime in the not-so-distant future.
    One position Alston continues to work in that could eventually be his ideal spot is the “buck” end spot. When the Rams go to their multiple looks and use elements of a 3-4 defense, one player can be seen lining up near the line of scrimmage, as a linebacker of even as a back end defensive back. That buck end spot might be difficult for anyone to handle, but eventually it could be the perfect spot for Alston.
    “It’s kind of a hybrid linebacker/defensive end that moves around,” Haslett said. “He can either rush, drop into coverage. He has to be fairly smart because he has to do a number of different things. He could play end, he could play linebacker, he could drop into the middle of the field and deep third. It depends on the call. It’s a multiple position guy that in a 3-4 or odd man look he could be an outside linebacker, a free safety and also rush.”
    Of course, because of his steep learning curve Alston probably won’t get many opportunities to make a difference on the defense this season.
    In the normal 4-3 set, Alston is currently a backup at weak side linebacker behind Pisa Tinoisamoa and Dexter Coakley. Will Witherspoon is the starter in the middle with Brandon Chillar and Raonall Smith on the strong side. Alston’s spot seems secure and it’s likely the Rams will keep seven linebackers. That leaves the backup middle linebacker job in question in what should come down to a battle between Jamal Brooks and rookie Tim McGarigle for the job.
    Alston is fully aware that his time missed probably cost him a chance to be a serious contributor on defense this year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help in other areas.
    “I don’t know if he’ll help us this year as a defensive player, but I think he’ll help us on teams,” Haslett said. “I think Jon will be a teams player and if we need him in a pinch – we’ll teach him a bunch of positions too – he can be a buck end, dime position. He has a lot on his plate. He’s very intelligent and he’ll pick it up in time.”
    In the meantime, Alston has no problems doing what he’s doing and attempting to learn the intricacies of special teams in the NFL. There’s no doubt it has been somewhat frustrating for Alston to be behind – at times he has been so frustrated with himself he could be seen slamming his helmet during practice – but he is settling in and will probably be contributing sooner than later in some form or another.
    “It started off rough, but it’s getting a little bit better,” Alston said. “My biggest disappointment, personally, is I haven't progressed as fast as I want to on special teams. I take a lot of pride in it. Until I get to the point where I am most comfortable, I won’t be satisfied.
    “I’m working on it. I’m pretty much a work in progress.”

    Wroten, we all know his story had some issue and fell in the draft, saw some limited time. We all know it takes a couple of years to play DT in the NFL.


    Bios courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com
    OVERVIEW
    Anytime a defensive lineman consistently gets moving quickly at the snap, he can get into the backfield to disrupt and make plays. Wroten has the quick feet, playing speed and closing burst to chase down plays in pursuit, and to close quickly on the quarterback when he gets through the line of scrimmage on pass rush. He has the natural strength to be a force at the point of attack. He can hold his ground against double-team run blocks, split the block and make the play. Overall, Wroten probably will be a good starting defensive tackle in the NFL who can do a good job as the under tackle in a 4-3 defense or as an end in a 3-4 defense. He can stack the point of attack against the run, can chase down running backs on outside runs, and can get into the backfield to pressure the quarterback.
    Wroten is a very good athlete who consistently gets off the ball very quickly and can shoot into gaps to get backfield penetration. He has the playing speed and closing burst to chase down plays in backside pursuit. When he bends his knees and plays with leverage, he has the natural strength to stack the point of attack, and can shed and make plays on inside runs. Additionally, he shows the strength to jolt an offensive lineman and drive him backward into the quarterback's lap when he bull rushes aggressively.
    Wroten is a very good athlete with all the physical tools you could ask for in a defensive tackle. His very quick feet combine with his instincts to help him burst off the ball right at the snap consistently. His quick feet and agility help him to plant a foot, change directions and burst in the other direction to finish plays he gets close to. He accelerates to full speed fast and has the playing speed to chase down plays from behind. He has the natural flexibility to play low and with leverage at the point of attack.
    He has been a tough football player during his two years at LSU and has consistently played with a tough and aggressive demeanor. He is a consistently productive player who has shown a knack for focusing better on the most important downs. He stays low, bursts off the ball and disrupts/makes plays in the backfield before they get started. The key for Wroten's production is playing low and using his hands aggressively. He is a competitive team player who always gives a good effort and consistently hustles and chases hard after the ball from snap to whistle. When he does not make a play, it is not due to a lack of hustle; he never quits on a play.
    Bios courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com
    Adeyanju did play more then expected due to the unexplained action of Hargove. He played well at times, but mot a force when it comes to pressure.

    Bios courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com OVERVIEW
    Adeyanjj has all the athletic tools to be very productive in all areas. He has the height, long arms and frame that are ideal for a defensive end. He has the natural flexibility to bend his knees, sink his hips and take on run blocks with leverage -- he gets good arm extension, holds his ground, strings out the outside run, sheds and makes tackles. He consistently contains the backside play and then runs fast down the line of scrimmage to make plays in backside pursuit.
    Adeyanju is a very good athlete with the quick feet and playing speed to consistently chase down ball carriers. He shows smartness maintaining backside responsibility on runs away -- he checks for cut-backs or trick plays before bursting down the line of scrimmage. When he gets close to the ball/quarterback, he has an explosive closing burst to finish plays. He shows good instincts and athleticism sniffing out screen passes -- he gets outside quickly to disrupt the pass. He is smooth dropping off the ball in short-area zone coverage and really looks very good "peeling" off his pass rush to cover the running back out of the backfield in tight man-to-man.
    Adeyanju is a very good athlete and his athleticism is what enables him to be a productive college defensive end. He has very quick feet and has shown the ability to accelerate to full speed fast and has the playing speed to chase plays down in pursuit. His quick feet also show up in his ability to burst off blocks and close on the quarterback/ball quickly to make the hit/tackle. His combination of very quick feet, very good agility and balance help him to change directions very quickly -- he can "Peel" off his pass rush, change directions and turn and run with the running back down the field in man-to-man coverage. He has the natural flexibility to play with leverage vs. the offensive tackle's run blocks -- he can sink his hips, get his hands on the offensive tackle quickly, hold his ground, shed his block and make the tackle.
    Adeyanju has shown toughness fighting through pain to stay in the starting lineup and has shown the ability to step up and make the big play vs. the run, He gives a good effort vs. the run and does a good job of making play on runs at him and on runs away -- he is also good at maintaining backside contain and then chasing down plays in pursuit. He is a competitive team player -- gives a good effort and consistently will hustle and chase after ball carriers in pursuit.

    Byrd, did not play much, but when he did he got the most out of it. Has some off field issues.

    Bios courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com
    STRONG POINTS
    He is a smooth and fluid athlete who consistently plays to the limits of his ability. He runs good routes and sells fakes well to turn a defender a little bit in the wrong direction. He has very good hands and does a very good job of reaching out and catching the ball away from his body. He can twist his body to adjust to off-target passes consistently. He runs aggressively and strong after the catch, which helps him to consistently keep his feet against hard hits, breaks tackles and drags tacklers for extra yards; he consistently gains yards after contact. He does a good job of blocking with bent knees and good position, and it helps him to consistently seal his man out of the play. He does a good job of staying over his feet and under control to block well on passes.
    COMPETITIVENESS
    Byrd is a tough tight end who has consistently shown toughness catching passes in traffic. He can catch the ball right before getting hit hard and hold onto it consistently. Although he's not an explosive, big-play receiver, he has shown the ability to make the important catch on short passes. He consistently ran strong and gained yards after contact. His overall production has been solid and consistent while at USC. He runs smooth and sharp routes, uses his hands very well to push a defender and get a little bit of space, and catches the ball consistently well with a defender on his back. He is not a physically dominant blocker, but he gets onto his man quickly, keeps his feet churning and usually can eliminate his man from the play. He is a team player who always runs very hard with the ball after the catch, drags tacklers for extra yards and breaks tackles. He never quits fighting for extra yards or to block his man out of play.
    Bios courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com
    Last edited by Rambos; -03-23-2007 at 03:42 PM.


  2. #2
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    If VA and Wroten step up this season the line will be very disruptive.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  3. #3
    marccat's Avatar
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    Re: Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    I love Wroten and feel he will play huge and soon. Convinced he'll prove critics wrong and yeah disrupt!

  4. #4
    andy82's Avatar
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    Re: Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    I'd love to see Wroten getting a few starts next season, seeing as he couldn't be any worse than "Super" Jimmy Kennedy

  5. #5
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    Alston should get plenty of reps in summer workouts this offseason. Then we should be able to make an evaluation.

  6. #6
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    Rambos, nice piece. very informative. i noticed that whoever wrote these pieces repeated them over and over, sometimes just saying the same things. but they were interesting, and on paper, or computer screen, it looks as if the coach did well in his drafting . let's hope that going into a second full preseason, and off season workouts , that these paper tigers become field LIONS. great post. and we need more like this. NOT THESE WHAT IF'S , like what if the rams did this and got this guy and traded for him we would win the superbowl , kind of crap we see to much of. great job. keep it up pal.

  7. #7
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    You all know damn well, that if you see a DIAMOND in a pile of stones , you can't take your eye's off it, and your heart skips a beat. Marshall Faulk wasthat diamond when he was on the field. but one of the things that i might miss most besides his playing and all out athletics, was if you watched him on the sidelines, he was a total riot. he laughed and joked while he taught other players the game. we might not know and understand from a team point of view, but i'm sure alot of the teammates were very sad that their friend won't be next to them anymore.

  8. #8
    marccat's Avatar
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    Re: Current Rams waiting in the wings.

    its what this games about ,givin it up for the team and makin damn sure when you hit the showers you brought nada in with ya! Marshall was team player deluxe and by God -Linehan will get some more of that, out of these guys too! YA feel me?

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