By Bill Coats

Gus Frerotte hadn't been a full-time starter for seven years before Miami coach Nick Saban turned over his offense to him last season. After a 3-7 start, the Dolphins stormed to the finish, winning their final six games and just missing the playoffs.

The thanks that Frerotte received was a shove out the door, as the Dolphins traded for Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington. Frerotte signed with the Rams on March 17. The three-year deal is worth $6.3 million.

He won't start; that job belongs to Marc Bulger. But that's OK with Frerotte, 35, as he begins his 13th NFL season.

"It's real easy this year, just because I know what my role is and I'm not really fighting for anything," he said. "I know the offense, and I'm trying to help everybody understand what it is that Scott wants ... just trying to be kind of a mentor."

Frerotte, who has thrown the Rams' only two touchdown passes and has a glitzy 108.9 passer rating in the preseason, and first-year coach Scott Linehan are back in Miami, where the Rams will play the Dolphins at 6:30 tonight.

Linehan was Saban's offensive coordinator last year after filling the same post in Minnesota the previous three seasons. Frerotte was with the Vikings two of those years, so bringing him here was a no-brainer for Linehan.

"He's a perfect fit for Marc and what we're trying to get done," Linehan said. "It gives Marc someone to bounce some things off."

Conversely, Bulger is tutoring Frerotte on the various nuances of the Rams' receivers, his third set of targets in as many seasons. "These guys are probably better than most that I've thrown to in the last three years," Frerotte said.

The Rams are NFL team No. 7 for the 6-foot-3, 233-pound Frerotte, a Kittanning, Pa., native who played collegiately at Tulsa. He piled up the bulk of his 18,093 passing yards in five seasons with the Washington Redskins. Following were stops in Detroit, Denver, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Miami.

Golden day

The Rams plan to wear their gold pants tonight in Miami. But the white trousers with a gold stripe and blue piping down the side that they paired with their white road jerseys Saturday in Kansas City will return at some point in the regular season.

"I like them," Linehan said. "We wanted something a little different. I remember growing up watching the West Coast version of the Rams in all-white uniforms. I just said that I want to have a combination of our St. Louis Rams colors and the all-white Rams look from years ago and see what it looks like. I thought it looked pretty decent."

The right stuff

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett had been itching for a look at end Leonard Little on the right side, and he got it in Kansas City. Little could get more work there tonight.

"I've been practicing for a long time on that side, so, really, I feel uncomfortable on the left side now," Little said, laughing. "But that's what we're going to be this year. Me and Tony (Hargrove) are going to be all over the place."

Little has been the Rams' starter at left end for the past four years. Hargrove is the other first-team end.


Linebacker Drew Wahlroos has been designated as "waived/injured," and the team is working on an injury settlement with him. Wahlroos had surgery after breaking his right hand Aug. 3. ... The Rams are 2-1 vs. the Dolphins in exhibition contests, but Miami has an 8-2 edge in the regular season.