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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Even preseason feels good to Coakley

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/25/2006

    Quarterback Marc Bulger was bemoaning the length and tedium of the preseason Thursday at Rams Park. "I don't know how I would've played back in the '70s, with six or seven weeks of camp," he said. "Guys are getting bored around here, I'm telling you. I think we're all ready to get Denver in here."

    It's a familiar refrain. "It's the dog days," coach Scott Linehan said. "We're almost there, but we're still plugging away."

    Like his teammates, linebacker Dexter Coakley also is eager for the regular-season opener -- Sept. 10 vs. the Broncos at the Edward Jones Dome -- to arrive. But unlike most of the others, he's having a ball right now.

    "For the first time in my career, I was happy for training camp," said Coakley, a 10th-year pro. "I'm just excited to be on the field after the injury I sustained last year. Just to get back out there and still be competitive and help the team, it feels pretty good."

    After starting all 130 games, regular season and postseason, over eight years with the Dallas Cowboys, Coakley ran out of luck last season, his first with the Rams. He suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle Dec. 4 against Washington.

    A plate and screws were inserted during surgery, and Coakley wondered whether a return to the rigors of the NFL was feasible. "I could've easily said, 'I'm done,'" he said. Instead, Coakley decided to dive into the rigors of rehab.

    "This offseason was tough; it wasn't a cakewalk. And there are still some tough days," he said. "But once I got into my rehab and I started doing the things that I was doing before I had the injury, I felt pretty confident that I could come back."

    Linehan wasn't so sure a couple of months ago, though. "I was worried about him in the spring because he was still limping," Linehan said. "Things didn't

    really get going until the middle of March, when he was cleared to start running. ... He got himself in really good shape and got his legs back underneath him."

    Training camp provided the true barometer, Coakley said. "I wanted to get out there and test myself against the guys that were able-bodied," he said. "I wanted to match up against them and see if I still had it."

    Coakley hasn't missed a play during the preseason. He's working with the second team, backing up Pisa Tinoisamoa at weakside linebacker. Coakley, a three-time Pro Bowler, said the transition from starter to sub has gone without a hitch.

    "It's a new position for me. But I consider myself a true professional, and when my number is called, I'll get in there and make plays and help the ballclub win games," said Coakley, 33. "You're just one play away from being in the game. So I need to be accountable, be one of those guys that can take limited reps (in practice) but when he does get in the game, he's still aware of what's going on and knows how to perform in the defensive scheme."

    Linehan said, "He's a backup that accepts his role (after) being a starter. He's what you're looking for."

    Bulger downplays stats

    According to a formula developed by "ESPN Insider," Bulger is the most accurate passer in the NFL. News of that clearly left him underwhelmed.

    "I heard it. But stats are stats ... whatever," Bulger said. "I know I could be as accurate as anyone else; I don't think there's many above me. But then you can go to arm strength, you can go to other things. Everyone's good at something."

    Ram-blings

    Tackle Orlando Pace (ankle, knee, hip) and defensive end Leonard Little (thigh) took part in all drills during Thursday's 90-minute indoor practice. ... Wide receiver Torry Holt (sternum) remained on the sideline for the fourth day in a row, but Linehan didn't rule him out of Saturday night's Governor's Cup contest in Kansas City.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Even preseason feels good to Coakley

    To tell the truth, I'm surprised Coakley has been able to return from his injury. He's a valuable guy on the team if healthy, even if he's not a starter.

  3. #3
    bruce4life's Avatar
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    Re: Even preseason feels good to Coakley

    i honestly think coakley will play a valuable role for our ballclub this year on special teams and subing in for pisa and chillar/smith...

  4. #4
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Re: Even preseason feels good to Coakley

    I was so disappointed with Coakley last year, hopefully he'll prove himself worthy of being on the roster. I am surprised that he is still here though, so that must be a good sign.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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