Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Glenrothes, SCOTLAND
    Posts
    9,965
    Rep Power
    20

    Talking Fisher has lead in battle to replace Wistrom

    Fisher has lead in battle to replace Wistrom
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 21 2004

    Grant Wistrom was a five-year starter for the Rams at right defensive end. A
    hustler. A hard-nosed player. And later in his tenure in St. Louis, a locker
    room leader. But whatever mourning period there was following his free-agent
    departure to Seattle has long since passed.

    "That's the way it works," defensive captain Tyoka Jackson said. "No one's
    sitting around saying, 'Oh, Grant's gone.' He was a great player. Great locker
    room guy. Great friend. But he's on the wrong side of the ball now."

    As for replacements, Jackson says, "We've got some guys. People may not know
    who they are, but we've got some guys."

    At the moment, Bryce Fisher and Erik Flowers are the top two ends on the right
    side. Both were washouts in Buffalo - the team that originally drafted them -
    but both appear intent on making the most of the opportunity in St. Louis.

    Talented but raw rookie Anthony Hargrove eventually could work himself back
    into the picture at right end. But for now, the team has been looking at him at
    defensive tackle.

    For all of his contributions in St. Louis, Wistrom was never an elite pass
    rusher. He had superior speed and effort, but not much in the way of moves.
    Fisher and Flowers have the potential - repeat, potential - to be at least as
    productive. They combined for three sacks in the preseason opener against
    Chicago - one by Fisher and two by Flowers off the bench.

    "Bryce has got real good instincts," defensive line coach Bill Kollar said. "He
    plays with pretty good strength most of the time; plays with leverage so he's
    able to end up hanging in there against the bigger players."

    Fisher isn't as fast as Wistrom but has a good short burst. And like Wistrom,
    effort has never been a problem.

    "That's how I made it into the league," Fisher said. "And that's how I plan on
    staying in the league, just by being that guy that keeps on hustling."

    Claimed off waivers from Buffalo just before the start of the '02 season,
    Fisher appeared in only four games for the Rams that year. But he talked his
    way onto special teams last season, including coverage units - which aren't
    normally the domain of defensive linemen. That got Fisher on the field on game
    day, and eventually got him in the defensive line rotation. He finished with 47
    tackles and three sacks.

    "Last year, I was really focusing on being the very best special teams player I
    could, and then trying to get as many reps on defense as I could," Fisher said.
    "It kind of worked out where as the year went on, I got more and more reps on
    defense."

    This year he has loftier goals. He entered training camp as the starting right
    end, and so far, has held on to the job.

    "I'm getting some hard competition from Tony (Hargrove) and from Erik Flowers,"
    Fisher said. "It's important for me to keep on improving every day.

    "I need to work on a more consistent pass rush. I'm playing the run pretty
    good, but I've got to work on being more consistent in the pass rush, working
    on getting to the quarterback every play."

    As for Flowers, his performance against the Bears may have been one reason the
    Rams decided to try Hargrove inside. After recording one sack, Flowers was
    squashed by the Bears' 370-pound offensive tackle, Aaron Gibson, and
    temporarily left the game.

    "It was painful," Flowers said. "All I remember is trying to turn the corner
    and he fell on me. I just folded, like you fold a sheet of paper. It was
    unbelievable. It knocked the wind out of me. I couldn't catch my breath and
    panicked a little bit."

    Not only did Flowers return later in the game, he registered another sack. "I
    have some God-given talent, and I'm just trying to get the most out of it,"
    Flowers said.

    Kollar and the Rams have taken notice. Flowers got some work with the first
    unit earlier this week. Although listed at 273 pounds on the team roster,
    Flowers' playing weight is around 255. So far, he has shown himself to be
    strong enough to play the run, but speed - as in speed rusher - is his game.

    "He's been doing a good job," Kollar said. "He is definitely in contention
    there to push for a starting position, or definitely end up being a backup."

    But with three preseason games still to be played, the right end situation
    remains in flux. Hargrove could end up moving back to end. Veteran Sean Moran
    could make a move. And, of course, injuries could change the picture.

    "Right now, it's still pretty far up in the air," Kollar said. "But no matter
    how it ends up working out - what player, or how many players - I definitely
    think we should be pretty productive at the right end position."



  2. #2
    JellyOpal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Macomb, IL home of Rams summer training camp
    Age
    53
    Posts
    53
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Fisher has lead in battle to replace Wistrom

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez
    But whatever mourning period there was following his free-agent departure to Seattle has long since passed.

    For all of his contributions in St. Louis, Wistrom was never an elite pass
    rusher. He had superior speed and effort, but not much in the way of moves.
    First off, the mourning period isn't over for all of us. Second, Wistrom didn't have much chance to become an elite anything because teams recognized the threat he posed early on and double-teamed him. The "effort" was all he needed to throw a QB off his game. That's hard to measure in the stats. They don't keep track of "scares".

    As for his replacement, they both show signs of being able to fill his shoes (and big shoes they are to fill). So having either as starter and either as backup would be fine with me. I think they both see they've been given a second chance and won't squander that away on complacency.

Similar Threads

  1. A Different Kind of Captain
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -02-18-2005, 09:46 AM
  2. The Complete Book of SpiralHorns IV: Legion Eternal
    By AvengerRam in forum SpiralHorn Book 4
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -01-19-2005, 03:13 PM
  3. The Complete Book of SpiralHorns IV: Legion Eternal
    By AvengerRam in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -01-19-2005, 03:13 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: -10-07-2004, 02:19 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: -07-31-2004, 07:02 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •