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  1. #1
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Friday Evening ... Some good info

    Friday Evening
    Friday, February 24, 2006

    INDIANAPOLIS -

    - Friday was a much more interesting day at the combine. First, the big-name quarterbacks (Matt Leinart, Vince Young and Jay Cutler) came through. Then, more top running backs (LenDale White, DeAngelo Williams and Laurence Maroney) and a pair of controversial figures (receiver/Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom and quarterback Marcus Vick) swept through the room. And, oh by the way, new Rams head coach Scott Linehan also stopped by for about an hour.

    - It's good to hear that the Rams want to keep Isaac Bruce and Bruce wants to be kept. I said a few weeks ago that a member of the coaching staff wanted to ensure that Bruce would be retained and it appears his efforts were successful. It appears that negotiations for a contract extension for Bruce have begun in earnest. The best part of that is 1) it will free up some salary cap flexibility to spend money on free agents and 2) it will probably allow Bruce to finish his career a Ram. Bruce is and always has been a Ram. That's the way it should be.

    - Don't get too worked up about anything you hear about who the Rams interview or don't interview at the combine. Linehan made it a point to say that he wants every player at the combine to speak to a member of the Rams staff at some point or another. Yes, the Rams spoke with Vince Young. No, that doesn't mean they want to trade up to get him. It just means they spoke with him. So, it's safe to say the Rams have narrowed the field of potential draftees to around 330. In all seriousness, it's pretty clear what direction the Rams are likely to go in the draft (defense with the possibility of tight end). But we are still about two months away from the draft and a lot will change between now and then.

    - Linehan seems pretty confident that Marshall Faulk will return. It's interesting to note that Faulk's restructured deal was supposed to be a four-year deal, but he said at the time that it was essentially a two-year contract. Next season would be the second year so it stands to reason that he could return for one more go around. None of that is new, but Linehan indicated today that should Faulk return, he will probably have an expanded role. That's something we hadn't heard before.

    - While the needs on defense are glaring, it is pretty widely known that the Rams would like to upgrade at tight end. This is a good draft to do so. Linehan said today that he likes to have a big target, particularly on third down and in the red zone. The Rams haven't been horrible in the red zone, but they certainly could be better. A big target like, say, Vernon Davis would be a huge lift in that area.

    - The final mini-camp schedule should be released soon. No rookie mini-camp, but the team gets an extra workout because it hired a new head coach. The final mini-camp will probably be the second weekend in June.

    - It's still pretty clear that Adam Archuleta is the top priority among their free agents, but it is still unknown the status of Ryan Pickett. From conversations I've had, it seems the Rams might wait to see what Pickett's market is like before progressing on a deal. I believe he is becoming one of the better defensive tackles in the league and can fit in in either a 4-3 or a 3-4.

    - Speaking of which, Linehan confirmed today what has been speculated on for some time. The Rams won't be either a 3-4 team or a 4-3 team...they'll be both. Linehan and Jim Haslett believe the best way to play defense is to be multiple and keep the offense guessing at all times. As an offensive coach, Linehan said that is the toughest type of defense to prepare for. Keeping that in mind, there are some really interesting options as far as "tweeners" who fit the mold of a 4-3 end or a 3-4 linebacker. Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter and North Carolina State end Manny Lawson jump out to me.

    - Good to see old college pal Brad Smith at the combine today. Unfortunately, he came in when Linehan did and I needed to spend some time with the coach. Smith is going to work out as a quarterback and insists on getting a chance there, but he plans on doing whatever it takes to make it in the league. I know that he will make it. He is one of the most genuine, sincere kids you will ever meet. Whether he plays quarterback, receiver or safety at the next level, here's hoping for nothing but the best for a true class act.

    - Jeremy Bloom handled himself well in front of a large media throng today...LenDale White is, in my mind, the second best back in the draft right now...Matt Leinart is polished on and off the field, handling the media like a seasoned vet today...but Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler stole the show. That kid has plenty of swagger and moxie, he should make some team happy...St. Louis' very own Laurence Maroney is having a blast, unfortunately he spent two hours getting MRIs today and won't be able to run until his Pro Day...it's disappointing how few of the top players are going through the workout. I thought after Ronnie Brown solidified himself as the No. 2 player in the draft a year ago that more players would do it...Leinart, Young, White and Maroney can be added to the list of those not working out...Cutler said he will do everything, saying simply "It's just throwing."


  2. #2
    .ramfan.'s Avatar
    .ramfan. is offline Registered User
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    Re: Friday Evening ... Some good info

    On the topic of running backs, durring the combine today the camera focused on RB Maurice Drew. No big deal but he was wearing a hat with the Rams emblem on it. Interesting....

  3. #3
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Friday Evening ... Some good info

    Quote Originally Posted by .ramfan.
    On the topic of running backs, durring the combine today the camera focused on RB Maurice Drew. No big deal but he was wearing a hat with the Rams emblem on it. Interesting....
    Are you serious?

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    Re: Friday Evening ... Some good info

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    Are you serious?
    Yeah, no joke. It was the NFL Network's coverage of the combine and I think Mike Mayock was asked about the class of runningbacks. He began to talk about the top guys at the position then he began to talk about Maurice Drew. The camera focused up on him and he was wearing a black tuke (not really a hat. Not sure about the exact terminology) with Rams emblem on it. I didn't believe it at first but there it was at the side of his hat. He ran one of the fastest times at the 40 yard dash. Looks like a smaller version of Steven Jackson...

  5. #5
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Friday Evening ... Some good info

    Yea I just got done watching it. Wow his lower body is huge.

  6. #6
    Rampage39 Guest

    Re: Friday Evening ... Some good info

    maurice would be a terrific return man.

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