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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Defense benefits from Fisher's progress at end position

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Sep. 17 2004

    If Bryce Fisher's second game as the Rams' first-team right defensive end is as
    good as his first, Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick might have to be at his
    elusive best to keep No. 94 away Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

    Fisher was designated the team's defensive player of the week after collecting
    10 tackles and a sack for a 16-yard loss in the season-opening 17-10 victory
    over Arizona. "Bryce has made significant progress," coach Mike Martz said.
    "When you look back to where he was last year and where he is right now ... I
    think that part of it is obvious."

    After free agent Grant Wistrom grabbed Seattle's whopping offer in the
    offseason, the competition for his right end spot seemed to be wide open. In
    addition to Fisher, Erik Flowers and Sean Moran figured to have a shot. And
    when third-round draft pick Anthony Hargrove stole the show at rookie minicamp,
    he shoved himself into the mix, too.

    But Fisher, 27, was atop the depth chart when training camp opened July 27, and
    he's stayed there. The 6-foot-3, 272-pound Air Force Academy graduate was
    pleased, but hardly overwhelmed, with his play against the Cardinals.

    "I think I did some good things, and there were some plays that I didn't do as
    well on," he said. "But I think I did OK for my first game on opening day."

    Fisher was Buffalo's seventh-round draft choice in 1999, but he had a two-year
    active-duty commitment to the Air Force to fulfill before beginning his NFL
    career. He played in 13 games with the Bills in 2001, then was waived in '02.
    The Rams claimed him, and he played in 20 games, with one start, over the past
    two seasons.

    Backing up Wistrom and left end Leonard Little was taxing because the two
    positions are "completely different," Fisher explained. "I had a hard time
    remembering who I was. Now, I just have to concentrate on being a good right
    end. That's my goal."

    Fisher said his style differs significantly from Little's. "He's a speed
    rusher, up the field, around the corner. I'm more of a hands, bull-rush kind of
    guy," Fisher said. More like Wistrom, he noted.

    "What Grant brought to this team was a lot of intensity, a lot of effort; he
    chased all over the field," Fisher said. "He really set an example as to how to
    work. And I'm trying to raise my game to that level."

    Wait ends for Newson

    After a strange few weeks, during which he went from deep reserve to starter to
    being cut, linebacker Tony Newson will suit up Sunday for his first "real" NFL
    game in two years.

    "It's still fresh: '02 in Oakland," Newson said, recalling the most recent of
    his two regular-season appearances with Kansas City. The Chiefs released Newson
    after the 2003 preseason, and he was out of football until he signed with the
    Rams as a free agent March 15.

    Now, he calls himself "a seasoned rookie. I'm still a real young cat, and I've
    got a lot of learning to do." Newson figures to get most of his work Sunday on
    special teams, but as one of just five healthy linebackers, he could get a few
    plays on defense, too.

    "I'm pretty excited to be on an active roster and get a chance to actually
    play," Newson said. But not too excited. "No, because if I get too excited, I
    might tire myself out. I just need to stay focused."

    Tinoisamoa is ready

    Despite dislocating his right shoulder last Sunday, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa
    practiced all week and is excited to go against Vick. Sort of.

    "I don't know if it's 'excited,'" Tinoisamoa said, laughing. "When you put on
    the film ... Vick is all over the place. He's got so much speed, and he's such
    a gifted and talented athlete."

    Tinoisamoa will wear a harness in an effort to keep his shoulder in place.
    "They say it could pop out again, but ... pop it right back in, tape it up, rub
    some dirt on it and get back out there and play," he said. "That's what I plan
    on doing, honestly."

    Quick hits

    Third-team quarterback Jeff Smoker spent the week portraying Vick on the scout
    team. "I did everything but throw lefthanded," said Smoker, a rookie from
    Michigan State. "I ran the nakeds and bootlegs. He's got a big, strong arm, so
    I was trying to throw as hard as possible all the time."

    Smoker acknowledged, though, that he couldn't quite emulate Vick's speed. Asked
    how his 40-yard dash time would compare with Vick's, Smoker said, "A couple of
    10ths behind." With a roll of the eyes, he added, "That's putting it mildly."

    After a 24-hour hiatus, rookie safety Jason Shivers is back with the Rams.
    Shivers, the team's fifth-round draft choice out of Arizona State, was released
    Thursday to make room on the roster for Newson.

    Shivers cleared waivers and was re-signed Friday afternoon. He has been placed
    on the practice squad


  2. #2
    AugustaRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Defense benefits from Fisher's progress at end position

    OOppss! He's BBAAAACCKKKK!!

    May he is not a "tool" after all!

    PS -I am glad he's back - a real physical force. Now he has the time to get his mental side of the game in order.

  3. #3
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Defense benefits from Fisher's progress at end position

    Fisher was designated the team's defensive player of the week after collecting 10 tackles and a sack for a 16-yard loss
    What is lost in that outstanding, Wistrom-forgetting, performance from Fisher is that he did it against 1 of the 2 best O-lineman West of the Mississippi...Leonard Davis. The 'cons have exactly zero O-lineman that match Leonard Davis and should know so this weekend. If Fisher can display the same effort as last week, he should control the left side of the 'cons line. Remember that Vick is left-handed so their best protection will be on Little's side anyway. Fisher will look strong on Sunday, but he won't duplicate his double digit tackle effort, simply because the plays will roll away from Fisher. What? Am I suggesting that the plays will move towards pro-bowler Leonard Little? Yes...they have too. The left side of the 'cons O-line will not handle Fisher and Lewis/Pickett (whichever the strong side is).

    They're coming to you Leonard...hold your ground and get a piece of theirs.
    They're going away from you Bryce...get your track shoes on and get across that line.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Defense benefits from Fisher's progress at end position

    After a 24-hour hiatus, rookie safety Jason Shivers is back with the Rams.
    Good. If he can get his head on straight, I still think this kid can be a player. But if he can't pick up the mental game, cut bait.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  5. #5
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    Re: Defense benefits from Fisher's progress at end position

    Did Wistrom even play for the Seahawks last week? I'll be interested to know who ends the year with better stats between the two.

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