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  1. #1
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Fox Sports Rams Reports

    After franchising LT Orlando Pace for the third straight offseason, the club could be losing its patience with the perennial Pro Bowl left tackle. Pace is currently eating up more than $8.4 million of cap space as the team's franchise player. That cap count could be cut nearly in half if Pace were signed to a long-term deal, which would free up money to address needs at linebacker or the offensive line. If the club makes no headway in signing Pace before the negotiating blackout period begins in mid-March, don't be surprised if the team starts shopping Pace in a trade. Complicating matters is the fact that Pace is currently without an agent. . . .

    The Rams have followed the lead of several other teams in hiring an assistant (Charles Bankins) to work with new special teams coach Bob Ligashesky. Having an extra coach to work on special teams is a sign that the Rams may finally be getting serious about improving this unit. The Rams are hoping youth and energy will compensate for a lack of coaching experience here. Ligashesky is 42, and although he has extensive college coaching experience, he has been in the NFL only one season. The only NFL experience for Bankins, 33, has been as a special teams intern in training camp with Jacksonville (2004) and Green Bay (2002). But it will be hard to take the Rams' special teams seriously until the team makes a commitment to improving their coverage units with players willing to break a wedge and run down a return man. Linebackers often are a key to good special teams play, so the test will be how the Rams try to shore up an obviously depleted position. . . .


    Vowing to work on his ball skills in coverage, Adam Archuleta has no qualms about switching to free safety from strong safety. The real question about his status in 2005 might be how his bad back responds to offseason treatment. Recent tests on the West Coast revealed that Archuleta finished the season with a herniated disc in his back. Archuleta is avoiding surgery through epidural shots and an extensive rehab program. But how the back holds up over the course of a season remains to be seen.


    DRAFT BUZZ: Even with the club expected to make an early strike in free agency for a linebacker, particularly a middle linebacker, the position remains a high priority for the club in the draft. At the moment, the only frontline LBs on the roster are Robert Thomas, who's expected to switch from the middle to the weak side, and Brandon Chillar, who has a chance to earn the starting job at strong side in his second NFL season. So the Rams need bodies -- bodies who can contribute right away. It wouldn't be surprising if the team took two linebackers with their four first-day picks. A speed and pursuit player such as Tennessee's Kevin Burnett could be someone the Rams consider taking at No. 19 overall in the first round to compete with Thomas on the weak side. Speedy, aggressive Robert McCune of Louisville could be a run-stopping option at middle linebacker in the third round.

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Fox Sports Rams Reports

    Speedy, aggressive Robert McCune of Louisville could be a run-stopping option at middle linebacker in the third round.
    I'm just glad somebody else thinks McCune would be a good 3rd rounder. I was starting to think I was all alone on this one.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  3. #3
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    Re: Fox Sports Rams Reports

    Let's highlight the key words in this article:

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    After franchising LT Orlando Pace for the third straight offseason, the club could be losing its patience with the perennial Pro Bowl left tackle. Pace is currently eating up more than $8.4 million of cap space as the team's franchise player. That cap count could be cut nearly in half if Pace were signed to a long-term deal, which would free up money to address needs at linebacker or the offensive line. If the club makes no headway in signing Pace before the negotiating blackout period begins in mid-March, don't be surprised if the team starts shopping Pace in a trade. Complicating matters is the fact that Pace is currently without an agent. . . .

    The Rams have followed the lead of several other teams in hiring an assistant (Charles Bankins) to work with new special teams coach Bob Ligashesky. Having an extra coach to work on special teams is a sign that the Rams may finally be getting serious about improving this unit. The Rams are hoping youth and energy will compensate for a lack of coaching experience here. Ligashesky is 42, and although he has extensive college coaching experience, he has been in the NFL only one season. The only NFL experience for Bankins, 33, has been as a special teams intern in training camp with Jacksonville (2004) and Green Bay (2002). But it will be hard to take the Rams' special teams seriously until the team makes a commitment to improving their coverage units with players willing to break a wedge and run down a return man. Linebackers often are a key to good special teams play, so the test will be how the Rams try to shore up an obviously depleted position. . . .


    Vowing to work on his ball skills in coverage, Adam Archuleta has no qualms about switching to free safety from strong safety. The real question about his status in 2005 might be how his bad back responds to offseason treatment. Recent tests on the West Coast revealed that Archuleta finished the season with a herniated disc in his back. Archuleta is avoiding surgery through epidural shots and an extensive rehab program. But how the back holds up over the course of a season remains to be seen.


    DRAFT BUZZ: Even with the club expected to make an early strike in free agency for a linebacker, particularly a middle linebacker, the position remains a high priority for the club in the draft. At the moment, the only frontline LBs on the roster are Robert Thomas, who's expected to switch from the middle to the weak side, and Brandon Chillar, who has a chance to earn the starting job at strong side in his second NFL season. So the Rams need bodies -- bodies who can contribute right away. It wouldn't be surprising if the team took two linebackers with their four first-day picks. A speed and pursuit player such as Tennessee's Kevin Burnett could be someone the Rams consider taking at No. 19 overall in the first round to compete with Thomas on the weak side. Speedy, aggressive Robert McCune of Louisville could be a run-stopping option at middle linebacker in the third round.
    It must suck being a sportswriter in the offseason who has to fill an article with 2 or 3 facts and multiple assumptions, speculations, and prognostications.

  4. #4
    general counsel Guest

    Re: Fox Sports Rams Reports

    Clearly, the reporting is pontificating on a plethora of possible permutations for Pace.

    general counsel

  5. #5
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Fox Sports Rams Reports

    I was thinking exactly the same thing GC. :redface:

    I really hope the Rams sign more than one linebacker. I don't think, Thomas, Pierce (who apparently they're really high on) and Chillar will be any better than what we had last year.

  6. #6
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Fox Sports Rams Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    I'm just glad somebody else thinks McCune would be a good 3rd rounder. I was starting to think I was all alone on this one.
    I think he'd be a good pick, but I question whether it'd be in the third round.
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