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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    First catch is a memorable one for Stanley

    It goes for an 80-yard touchdown
    BY ROD KLOECKNER - News-Democrat

    ST. LOUIS -- Derek Stanley's first catch in the National Football League was going to be memorable no matter what the situation.

    A two-yard curl. A 10-yard grab across the middle. An 18-yard down and out. The length didn't matter to the St. Louis Rams' wide receiver, who nearly set a record with his first catch Sunday.

    Stanley made a spectacular grab of an underthrown ball by quarterback Marc Bulger and turned it into an 80-yard touchdown in the Rams 34-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome.

    "Not bad at all," Stanley said. "I obviously wish we would have won the game, but any way to help the team. It was great for me. Finally got that out of the way and can focus on other little things I can do to help the team."

    Running step for step with Arizona cornerback Eric Green down the left sideline, Stanley reached behind Green to catch Bulger's home-run ball, plucking it off Green's back with his left hand.

    Keeping his balance, Stanley turned and sprinted into the end zone, giving the Rams a 7-0 lead at the 4:34 mark of the first quarter.

    "I kind of cradled it a little bit and make a nice catch and put some points on the board for the team," Stanley said. "I'm glad the coaches trusted in me to make a big play."

    It was the first career catch for Stanley, who was recently promoted from the Rams' practice squad. It also was the second-longest first catch in NFL history, topped only by an 81-yard reception by Pittsburgh's Chris Hope on Dec. 28, 2003.

    "You always envision yourself having big games, but it never happens that way," Stanley said. "You couldn't ask for a better way to get my first catch."

    Stanley -- who said he had about 100 text messages from friends and family on his cell phone after the game -- credited rookie receiver Donnie Avery for helping make the play possible.

    Avery was lined up on the opposite side of Stanley, and both receivers were running "99," or deep routes.

    "It kind of looked like they had their safety coverage rolled around to Donnie with the success that he's had in recent weeks," Stanley said. "I had one-on-one coverage on my side, Marc put it up for me and I was able to make a play and get a score."

    The play was signature moment for Stanley, who was the first player to be drafted out of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, an NCAA Division III school that won the national championship in 2007.

    Stanley played football and ran track and Wisconsin-Whitewater, once catching a 92-yard TD bomb against Lakeland his senior year.

    Stanley was drafted in the seventh round (249th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft. Stanley spent most of last year on the Rams' practice squad. He appeared in three games, returning 20 kicks for 509 yards.

    This year, he spent the first four games on the practice squad before he was assigned to the active roster on Oct. 10. The Rams waived safety Brannon Condren to make room for Stanley. Stanley suffered a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 19 when he collided with Dallas safety Keith Davis on a kickoff return. Stanley was unconscious for about 20 seconds on the field.

    He's healthy now and one of several young Rams receivers making big plays.

    "That was a hell of a catch," said Rams offensive lineman Richie Incognito. "The young guys are stepping up and making plays, and that's all you can ask out of those guys.

    "They're making big plays on the ball. They're throwing it up there and they are coming back on the ball. It keeps us competitive."

    Stanley was commissioned to return punts and kickoffs in the second half after Dante Hall suffered a sprained ankle. Stanley returned two punts for 26 yards (13-yard average), and two kickoffs for 41 yards (20.5-yard average).


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: First catch is a memorable one for Stanley

    He [Stanley] is healthy now and one of several young Rams receivers making big plays.

    "That was a hell of a catch," said Rams offensive lineman Richie Incognito. "The young guys are stepping up and making plays, and that's all you can ask out of those guys.

    "They're making big plays on the ball. They're throwing it up there and they are coming back on the ball. It keeps us competitive."
    Boy, as a fan you wouldn't know that the Rams lost so badly yesterday by reading some of the upbeat and positive things this article has to say about Stanley! 'Would even seem as though we had a productive offense Vs AZ.

    I've been rooting for Derek since last year and still believe he might develop into a good, reliable WR for us.

    But, alas, OLinemen, that was 1 play. We need C O N S I S T E N C Y. ...Ah, do we ever!
    Last edited by RealRam; -11-03-2008 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Content

  3. #3
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    Re: First catch is a memorable one for Stanley

    It was a bright spot in the game. Good job for the rookie.

    I hope he is excited about being a return guy.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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