Fullback wants his career to be a hit
By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Saturday, Apr. 30 2005

Perhaps reluctantly, Rams rookie fullback Madison Hedge**** set the record
straight: He acknowledged that the tale about him breaking his helmet on one of
his many ferocious hits in college was a myth.

With a sly grin, Hedge**** added: "But I bent one." Yours or his? "Mine - my
facemask," he said. "Maybe his, too, I don't know. I didn't ask him."

To enhance Hedge****'s chances of landing a job in the NFL, his coach at North
Carolina, former Rams assistant John Bunting, helped put together a film
history of his most jarring collisions. "I'll send that tape off and just say,
'Watch this guy,'" Bunting told local reporters.

The Rams drafted Hedge****, 6-foot-3 and 266 pounds, in the seventh round, the
251st of 255 overall selections. He will contend with incumbent Joey Goodspeed
for the lone fullback spot on the roster.

Given Hedge****'s impressive showing this weekend at rookie minicamp, it could
be a heated competition. Rams coach Mike Martz has been effusive in his praise
of Hedge****, who also starred on special teams at North Carolina.

"He's really a powerful blocker out of the backfield," Martz said. "Some guys
have a knack for that, and ... he does. A lot of guys that are big like that,
they run in there and they hit you, but they don't get much movement because
they're not a leverage player like he is.

"It's so hard to find guys like him, good lead blockers that can get through
traffic and get on guys without getting off-balance. They're unusual guys, and
I think we might have one here."

Some regard lead blocking as grunt work. Not Hedge****. "I take pride in that;
it's a lost art," he said. "It can be a fun thing. You see that tailback run
for 100 yards, that's where I get my glory."

That, and adding to his personal highlight reel. Told that he seemed like
someone who simply enjoys knocking opponents around, Hedge**** smiled again and
said, "That's a fair assessment."

Quarterback admits his arm is sore

Harvard's Ryan Fitzpatrick, the only quarterback in camp, acknowledged Saturday
that after four practices, his right arm was "a little tired. But it'll
definitely hold up. I've just got to fight through the soreness."

That's OK with Martz, who enjoys putting his QBs through demanding workouts.

"If his elbow's at his knee when he leaves here, that's just about right,"
Martz said. Fitzpatrick, 6-2 and 221 pounds, also was a seventh-round pick, one
spot ahead of Hedge**** at No. 250 overall.


Saturday's morning practice was held outside. The afternoon workout was moved
back inside. ... More meetings and a final workout are scheduled for Sunday,
then the rookies and players with first-year designations will be sent home.
The entire squad will convene for minicamp June 3-5 at Rams Park.