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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    End Is Near For 21 Players

    End is near for 21

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/03/2009

    In terms of roster moves, what took place Tuesday at Rams Park was mere appetizer. The main course is at hand, and it's never a pleasant time of year for players or coaches in the National Football League.

    Teams must be down to the regular-season roster limit of 53 players by 3 p.m. local time Saturday. In St. Louis, that means 21 of the 74 players currently on the Rams' roster will be out of jobs. For some, tonight's preseason finale against Kansas City at the Edward Jones Dome will be the last game of their careers.

    "Let's face it, you're talking about lives and jobs," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It's not going to be a very enjoyable thing to do. But it's a necessary thing in the league."

    Spagnuolo hopes to personally inform every player who is being released.

    "Now sometimes, when there's a lot of guys rolling out there, you don't get to everybody," Spagnuolo said. "But I'd like to be able to do that. ... Or somebody from the organization. I think that's the right way to do it."

    The final say on the 53-man roster belongs to Spagnuolo. But he will get plenty of input from general manager Billy Devaney, the coaching staff and the scouting department.

    "We use all our resources," Spagnuolo said. "And then we'll sit down and make a hard decision on which ways we will go. If we get down to where we can't (decide), maybe we go back to the scouts and back to the coaches and say, 'Just give us a little bit more on this and that.' "

    Obviously, performance in preseason games is a major determining factor for less-established players competing for roster spots. But Spagnuolo says he's factoring in everything. How a player practices. Does he pay attention in the meeting room? Does he sneak out of the weight room early?

    All of that tells him something about a player, and could tip a close decision one way or another.

    With a new coaching staff, lots of new players, and a cleansing throughout the organization, Spagnuolo has told players that Rams Park is the land of opportunity. Jobs are there for the taking. But the window of opportunity is closing, making these tense times for players on the fringe of the roster.

    "I was talking to my roommate (Phil Trautwein), who is a rookie," running back Samkon Gado said. "And I just told him if you're going to play in this league, you've got to be prepared to be cut. I've been cut I think six or seven times in five years. It's just the nature of the beast.

    "You do the best that you can. And a lot of times, it's not really up to you. It's not really how well you played or how poorly you played. It's just there's not a need for you. So I think the best thing to do is just continue working hard. There's going to be someone out there who has a need for you, and I think I'm a wonderful example of that."

    Gado, 26, had three 100-yard rushing games for Green Bay as a rookie in 2005 but has since bounced around to Houston, Miami and now St. Louis. But the Rams have a dire need for backup help at running back behind Steven Jackson this season. Although Gado is taking nothing for granted, it looks as if he has secured a spot on the final roster.

    Others may not be so fortunate. Take Kenneth Darby, for example. He entered training camp as the solid favorite for the No. 2 running back job. But he has gained a modest 52 yards on 17 carries in preseason games and has been slowed lately by a sprained knee.

    "I just take care of my job on the field and let God take care of the rest," Darby said. "As far as the No. 2 spot, I don't even think about that anymore."

    But with Gado, Antonio Pittman and rookie Chris Ogbonnaya all enjoying more productive preseasons to date, should Darby be worried about just making the club?

    "I don't even let it cross my mind at all," he said. "If I start thinking like that, I'm going to be thinking about a whole lot more stuff. So I just need to take one step at a time, and keep doing what I have to do out here on the field."

    But for many, doing their job or doing their best won't be enough. They will get that phone call or that tap on the shoulder sometime this weekend.

    "You can't avoid what's coming," Gado said. "So if it's coming your way, just take it like a man."


  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: End Is Near For 21

    I read this and thought of Atogwe and freaked out. Whewh!

  3. #3
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    Re: End Is Near For 21

    So did I on Atogwe.

    I hated that article. Typical junk from the Post with virtually nothing in the information department.

  4. #4
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    Re: End Is Near For 21

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    So did I on Atogwe.

    I hated that article. Typical junk from the Post with virtually nothing in the information department.
    I know, what the hell? We know roster cuts are coming. I was hoping for some info on who's "on the bubble" so to speak

  5. #5
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    Re: End Is Near For 21

    We all thought it was Atogwe. I didn't want to open the thread at first!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  6. #6
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: End Is Near For 21 Players

    There! I usually post articles with the original title intact, but in the interest of preventing any coronaries, I've amended it to include "players".

  7. #7
    maineram's Avatar
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    Re: End Is Near For 21 Players

    Ya, he sucks let's go with Roach !!!!!!

    Maineram -
    and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !

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