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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Going against the odds;

    By Jerome Hubbard
    Special to Stlouisrams.com

    It is one thing to silence all the doubters but it is another to go against the odds and St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vobora is doing just that. Deemed as “Mr. Irrelevant,” Vobora was the last pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, 252 overall and, according to the history, not supposed to make the team.

    “Mr. Irrelevant” has not made an NFL roster since 2000 but Vobora ended that streak this year when he made the Rams’ final roster. For some that would be an honor or a privilege but for Vobora it was just another stepping stone in a journey that has seen him silence doubters and critics on a consistent basis.

    “My whole career I have been told that I was good but not good enough to play at the next level,” Vobora said. “That was what I heard in middle school, when I played varsity, in college, and now in the pros. I have always had doubters.”

    David Vobora grew up in a football family. His dad played at the University of Oregon. When David was younger, not only did he play linebacker but he also played quarterback and defensive end.

    “I played a diverse number of positions,” Vobora said. “I always played quarterback but they never wanted the quarterback to play defense. In high school, I convinced my coaches to let me play on defense and the varsity coach saw that and gave me an opportunity to play linebacker my junior and senior year.”

    When it was time to choose a college, David did not have a lot of options. He was not offered a scholarship from the state’s Division 1 power houses, Oregon or Oregon State, nor was he offered a scholarship from any other PAC 10 school. But despite the lack of interest, Vobora always wanted to play at the highest level so when the University of Idaho offered him a full scholarship to play football, he jumped at the opportunity.

    “Coming out of high school I had a lot of Division 1AA offers; I went to Idaho and got an opportunity to develop.” Vobora said. “I got an opportunity to play and I made some plays.”

    Vobora’s collegiate career was defined by a series of events. Throughout his time in college, the football team only won nine games, coaches were in and out, and players came and went. One Vobora most remembers and continues to hold close to his heart was the loss of a teammate and friend to gun violence during Vobora’s freshmen year.

    Eric McMillan was a true freshman who played cornerback for the university and, according to Vobora, had a great future. McMillan was a hardt worker and served as a mentor for Vobora when David first came to college but one day after an altercation in a night club, Eric McMillan was shot and killed. Vobora was so shocked and devastated; he contemplated quitting and dropping out of school.

    “I can remember sitting in the dorms and thinking that this isn’t for me,” said Vobora. “I talked to my dad and he told me that all of this is going to work for the good and that I needed to believe in the purpose.”

    Despite the adversity, Vobora went on to become a leader on the football field and although he was not able to play in a Bowl game, he would not change his experience at all.

    “College was tough,” Vobora said. “Going to Idaho was great for me. We had to overcome a lot but it not only made us better football players but better men.”

    David Vobora played in his first NFL regular season game Sunday in Game 9 against the New York Jets. He led the Rams with three special teams tackles.

    “You really have to come ready to work every single day,” Vobora said. “It is tough mentally and physically, but you have to continue to learn and continue to push because it will all work out.”

    Vobora has made the first step in becoming an accomplished NFL player. He looks forward this week when the Rams visit the San Francisco *****.


  2. #2
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Nice "feel good" story. Sounds like a good kid. Let's hope his attitude is contagious.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  3. #3
    Ben56 is offline Registered User
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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    I have nothing against Vobora, but if anyone on this coaching staff thinks he's the answer at LB they are more dellusional than I thought.

    Here's my idea regarding Vobora. Keep him with the team the rest of the season. Get rid of Stills. Yes, he's a good ST player, but Vobora can probably take his place for less money and he's younger and can be with the team next year. Plus, as was said, Vobora is a good story.

    Sign a FA linebacker that can actually play LB. Their arent as many of them as there were early in the season, but there have to be some out there. Start bringing some of the younger one's in for workouts (at the very least they would improve our depth going forward) sign the ones that can tackle and have an attitude. Play the guy and see if he can stop the run (God knows he cant be worse than the LBs we have).

    This season is over in terms of a positive record. All Haslet can do is give the ownership a reason to hire him permanently by turning the teams attitude around. Obviously this is not going to be possible by standing pat.

    Doing something to improve the run D would keep the Rams competitive in more games.

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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Vobora isn't going to make our starting line up with the defense.

    But there is no shame on playing with the special teams. Todd Johnson is a great player on ST and we still root for him. Vobora can take over Stills' place.

  5. #5
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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben56 View Post
    I have nothing against Vobora, but if anyone on this coaching staff thinks he's the answer at LB they are more dellusional than I thought.

    Here's my idea regarding Vobora. Keep him with the team the rest of the season. Get rid of Stills. Yes, he's a good ST player, but Vobora can probably take his place for less money and he's younger and can be with the team next year. Plus, as was said, Vobora is a good story.

    Sign a FA linebacker that can actually play LB. Their arent as many of them as there were early in the season, but there have to be some out there. Start bringing some of the younger one's in for workouts (at the very least they would improve our depth going forward) sign the ones that can tackle and have an attitude. Play the guy and see if he can stop the run (God knows he cant be worse than the LBs we have).

    This season is over in terms of a positive record. All Haslet can do is give the ownership a reason to hire him permanently by turning the teams attitude around. Obviously this is not going to be possible by standing pat.

    Doing something to improve the run D would keep the Rams competitive in more games.

    I don't think anyone mentioned he was the "answer." Just a story about making the team.

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    Ben56 is offline Registered User
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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    I don't think anyone mentioned he was the "answer." Just a story about making the team.
    I didnt say anyone here said he was the answer, but by not making any roster moves to bolster the run D with LBs other than bringing Vobora up from the PS seems to indicate that the staff think that he is the answer.

    Look, at least bring Vobora up and keeping him on the 53 man roster makes sense. He's young, cheap, and who knows he may actually become the best LB on the team. I doubt it, but at least there's a chance. We know what Stills is. He's a 10 year vet, making a 10 year vets salary, and he only plays special teams. He's the kind of player you add/ keep when your an improved special teams unit away from going to the playoffs. If your defense is getting its butt handed too it on a weekly basis, he makes no sense. When Witherspoon went down against the Jets the coach sent Vobora in instead of Stills. If that doesnt say something about the guys abiity to play D I dont know what does.

    I've questioned the Rams moves at LB all season. Why keep McGarigle all the way through camp when he had no chance of actually making the team? Why not find another FA LB in the last weeks of camp or the first few weeks of the season when the D was getting killed? The Rams have essentially been playing the entire season with 4 real LBs on the squad -- Chamberlain and Still are not obviously not considered viable options. Draft -- whose got a few miles on him -- took over when Culberson proved he couldnt handle the starting job. When he got hurt, Vobora was called up. Meaning now, the Rams are playing with 3 viable options at LB -- two who have been starters all year and one lost his staring job after week 2. The other three LBs are two untested rookies and a veteran who can only play specials.

    Cut Stills and find anyone else who can actually play LB. It will be hard, but almost anyone with experience would improve our depth tremendously.

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    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben56 View Post
    I've questioned the Rams moves at LB all season. Why keep McGarigle all the way through camp when he had no chance of actually making the team? Why not find another FA LB in the last weeks of camp or the first few weeks of the season when the D was getting killed?

    Well reasoned post Ben56: but my question is how do you know that McGarigle had "no chance of actually making the team"? I thought that was one of the primary reasons for having a training camp in the first place.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Well reasoned post Ben56: but my question is how do you know that McGarigle had "no chance of actually making the team"? I thought that was one of the primary reasons for having a training camp in the first place.

    WHAT SAY YE?
    McGarigle had been a PS player for two years and the Rams did draft, albeit late, two rookie LBs. They were clearly looking for an upgrade -- at least to the practice squad. Camp is for evaluating talent, but the Rams staff had two years to evaluate McGarigle. They should have gotten rid of him and started brining in FAs the first week of August. In hindsight, Vobora was considered a more vialble option than McGarigle.

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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    This is a great story about Vobora. I personally like the underdog stories.

    This is the time to bring in the unknowns and see what they have if anything.
    At least he can say he was given a chance.

    We have nothing to lose at this point.

  10. #10
    Ben56 is offline Registered User
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    Re: David Vobora taking it to the next level

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    This is a great story about Vobora. I personally like the underdog stories.

    This is the time to bring in the unknowns and see what they have if anything.
    At least he can say he was given a chance.

    We have nothing to lose at this point.
    Yep! I'd work out every FA LB and DL whose ever recorded a tackle in an actual game and sign the ones I figured out could play and get rid of Stills. I'd dump Culberson and Tinoisamoa this offseason, draft a real MLB, move Spoon outside, hope Chamberlain or one of the FA's I signed during this season or the offseason could take over and have an improved linebacking corps by game 1 next season.

    If we can stop the run the team will be competitive and that's a hole hell of a lot more than we can say right now.

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