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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Former Illini player Miller steps in at fullback ..

    BY BILL COATS Thursday, December 2, 2010 12:20 am

    With Michael Hoomanawanui getting increased work in the backfield in recent weeks, the Rams decided to leave fullback Mike Karney off their 45-man active roster for last Sunday's game at Denver.

    That plan backfired, though, when Hoomanawanui left in the first half with sprained right ankle. That shoved Brit Miller, who had appeared only on special teams, into the action on offense.

    "It was real simple; they kept it pretty bare for me, which was good," said Miller, who was in for about 10 plays at fullback. "We did a lot of short-yardage goal line, which I'm a part of every week. But some of those other plays, I hadn't repped (in practice).

    "I know how important that is, so I'm just trying to get those in this week and be ready to go this weekend."

    The 6-foot-1, 250-pound Miller, a native of Decatur, Ill., was a linebacker at the University of Illinois. He started for three years and led the Big Ten Conference with 11 tackles a game as a senior in 2008.

    Still, he always knew that his value in the NFL would be judged by his play on special teams. San Francisco signed him as an undrafted rookie last year, and Miller recorded six special-teams tackles in five games.

    He was waived by the *****, and the Rams picked him up Sept. 14. After spending four weeks on the practice squad, Miller was promoted to the 53-man roster. He plays on all "big four" special-teams units: kickoff return and coverage, and punt return and coverage.

    In six games, Miller has nine special-teams tackles, the fifth-best total on the club. "He's been a real key special-teams guy, a real core guy," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "That's how he's earned his way."

    "I love (special teams)," Miller said. "I think it's the purest form of football, as far as running, hitting, tackling, blocking. The simplest parts of football, but at the fastest levels."

    It takes a particular mind-set, he added.

    "You can't be scared," he explained. "One time I asked my dad, 'Did you ever think I was going to be good at football?' And he was like, 'Brit, sometimes guys slow down before contact. You never did.'

    "And I think that's something you've got to have if you're going to play special teams. You've got to look for that contact, because it's going to be there, whether you want it or not."

    Fullback, however, is another prospect. Still, Miller found himself surprisingly composed when tossed onto the field vs. the Broncos.

    "I thought I would be more nervous," he said. "There were a couple of things that just kind of settled me down a little bit. And being out there with the guys, they know I know my stuff."


    After his first game with the Rams, Oct. 17 vs. San Diego, rookie wide receiver Danario Alexander experienced soreness in his balky left knee. Not so this time.

    Alexander returned Sunday in Denver — four weeks after the fifth operation on the knee — and caught four passes for a team-high 95 yards in the 36-33 victory over the Broncos. He was a full participant Wednesday when the team returned to the practice field.

    The knee "responded pretty good," Alexander said. "I came out today in practice, running around, and everything felt great."

    Cornerback Justin King, who suffered a mild sprain of his right shoulder against the Broncos, also practiced without limitations. "I just have to be careful with it. Everything's good," King said.

    Only defensive tackle Darell Scott (foot) was limited.


    Kurt Warner, who quarterbacked the Rams and the Cardinals to Super Bowls, will be the color analyst for Fox's telecast of Sunday's game at Arizona. ... The Cardinals have won their last eight meetings with the Rams, evening the overall series at 31-31-2.

  2. #2
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    Re: Former Illini player Miller steps in at fullback ..

    So why was karney out in the first place? I must've missed it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Former Illini player Miller steps in at fullback ..

    Quote Originally Posted by schut39 View Post
    So why was karney out in the first place? I must've missed it.
    He was Inactive, not sure why.

  4. #4
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    Re: Former Illini player Miller steps in at fullback ..

    I suspect his play is lacking and Karney's time here is done.

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