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Furrey eager to show he can make impact on defense
Wide receiver is moving to free safety
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - When St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz approached wide receiver Mike Furrey about moving to the defensive side of the ball, Furrey immediately embraced the radical proposal.
"Coach Martz came up and mentioned to me if I had every thought about playing free safety," Furrey said. "I didn't even think about it. I just told him right there, 'Let's do it. Whatever it takes to help the team out and contribute, whatever it takes to get on the field on Sundays."'
Furrey was wearing a No. 25 jersey instead of his old No. 82 during the Rams' mandatory minicamp this weekend. He said he's actually enjoyed the challenge of moving to free safety.
"It took me only a couple of days of working out to fall in love with it," Furrey said. "That's what I want to do."
To switch positions, Furrey packed on more than 20 pounds of muscle in the last three months. He now weights 202 pounds compared to 180 pounds last season.
"My wife cooked a lot," Furrey said. "I ate a lot of food ... potatoes, steaks. I just loaded it up three times a day for the last three months. My weight kept going up and up."
Furrey also spent three hours a day in the weight room to make sure that he was adding muscle, not fat.
"The biggest thing was making sure I kept my legs underneath me, and I could still run," Furrey said. "It has been good."
Furrey said he's finished adding weight. He feels like he can be an effective free safety at his current weight, even though he's still a little light for the position by NFL standards.
"(Rams safety Adam) Archuleta can be 215 (pounds), but I don't know if I can carry 215 pounds," Furrey said. "I'll probably stay around 200 or 205 (pounds)."
Furrey caught 20 passes for 189 yards in 2003, but he caught only one pass for eight yards last season as he was passed by both Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald on the Rams' depth chart at wide receiver.
Furrey's biggest contribution last season came on special teams as he tied for second on the team in special teams tackles with 13.
Despite his lack of size, Furrey was a proficient wedge buster on the Rams' punt and kickoff coverage squads.
Martz said Furrey was so valuable on special teams that he started brainstorming for ways to make sure Furrey was among the 45 players that dressed for games.
"He's such an excellent football player, we have to find a way to get him on the field," Martz said.
Martz said Furrey has been a natural at free safety so far.
"He's done a good job," Martz said. "He's getting the calls down. He's doing a lot of things back there that you wouldn't expect a guy who hasn't played back there before to do."
Furrey has a little experience on defense. He was a two-way player -- wide receiver and defensive back -- with the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League in 2003.
Furrey said having played on offense has helped him with learning the defense.
"It helps with being able to read quarterbacks and receivers, and read routes and alignments," Furrey said.
Furrey said the Rams' defensive schemes aren't nearly as complex as their offensive schemes.
"It's not as hard as offense," Furrey said. "They give you a couple of sheets of paper rather than a big bible, like they do on offense.
"On defense, it's more about making sure you're in position and executing when you are in position. At that point, you just become a football player and make plays."
Furrey will have to prove that he can tackle during training camp and the preseason.
"I hope to be a sound tackler," Furrey said. "I know that is something I am going to have to do on a regular basis now, but I am not worried about it. I'm just going to go out and hit somebody and have fun."
Re: Furrey eager to show he can make impact on defense
I Like Him I Hope He Does Well ,we Could Use Him If He Can Learn To Tackle Well.
Re: Furrey eager to show he can make impact on defenseOriginally Posted by jkramsfan