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  1. #1
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    Garrett is eager to prove he can fill in for Fisher

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Aug. 25 2004

    While cornerback Travis Fisher had surgery on his broken right forearm
    Wednesday, Kevin Garrett was busy trying to show that he is worthy of replacing
    Fisher in the Rams' lineup.

    "I want to do well so I can prove myself and let everybody relax a little bit,
    let them know I'm capable of taking the job," Garrett said before practice at
    Rams Park. Although coach Mike Martz reported that the operation went "very
    well; there wasn't any damage to any of the nerves," Fisher is expected to be
    sidelined three to four months.

    Barring a personnel move, Garrett and DeJuan Groce, when he recovers from a
    strained knee, are the primary candidates to fill Fisher's spot. Both are
    second-year players, the 5-foot-10, 194-pound Garrett from Southern Methodist
    and the 5-10, 192-pound Groce from Nebraska. Groce started one game last year,
    which is one more than Garrett.

    Still, Groce said: "We're real confident. That's what they drafted us for. If
    anybody goes down, we have to be prepared to go in. You've just got to be
    ready. You never know what's going to happen."

    Garrett got the call when Fisher was injured late in the first quarter Monday
    night at Kansas City. Garrett was credited with one tackle in a 24-7 loss that
    dropped the Rams' preseason record to 0-2 heading into Friday night's meeting
    with Washington (2-1) at the Edward Jones Dome.

    "When I found that he'd broken his arm, it got to me that I'd have to go in
    there and step up," Garrett said. "He and (Jerametrius Butler, the other
    first-team corner) had been nursing some hamstring issues during camp, and
    myself and Groce got the chance to get some reps in camp and start in the
    Chicago game (Aug. 12). So that gave me a place to start and see where I was.

    "I feel right now like I'm ready to step in and take over for Fish and
    hopefully do my part."

    Groce ran outside while the team practiced inside Wednesday and said he expects
    to be ready to go soon. "There was always an urgency, because you just want to
    get back. It doesn't feel right, sitting on the sideline and watching your
    teammates out there," he said. "Now, there's more of an urgency."

    Bulger bruises knee

    Quarterback Marc Bulger, who took a shot to his left knee against the Chiefs,
    participated in Wednesday's non-contact practice. He said that "unless I'm told
    otherwise, I anticipate playing" Friday.

    "He's got a little bone bruise in there. It's annnoying, but certainly it's
    nothing that he can't play with," Martz said. "It's nothing really to be
    concerned about other than it's painful and it's aggravating for him."

    Bulger said he was eager to atone for a weak showing in KC, where the
    first-team offense was unproductive during six first-half possessions.

    "We could make a million excuses, but the bottom line is, we're just not
    executing," said Bulger, who went eight for 15, threw an interception that was
    returned for a touchdown and had a 37.4 quarterback rating. "I was embarrassed
    personally."

    Nutten steps up to the first team

    Less than a week after un-retiring and reporting to camp underweight and rusty,
    Tom Nutten was working with the first-team offensive line Wednesday. Nutten
    filled in at right guard for Adam Timmerman, who has a sore shoulder and might
    not play Friday.

    "Tommy took all the reps with the 'ones.' We're getting him ready to play,"
    Martz said. "He's up in weight, and he's gaining his strength back. He feels
    good. I'm anxious to get him in a game and play him a little bit this week."

    Nutten, who is listed at 6-5 and 280, spent five seasons, four as a starter,
    with the Rams before retiring last August.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Garrett is eager to prove he can fill in for Fisher

    I think Garrett gets the nod if only because he's been in practice and has been playing, whereas Groce has been sidelined with an injury. Plus, Garrett looked pretty good on some of the passes against KC.

    As for Bulger, I hope his eagerness translates to results on the field. I'm tempted to believe if the line isn't any better, it's not going to matter. But hopefully he can fix some of the accuracy problems he had on Monday.

    And finally for Nutten, if he's practicing for the ones in Timmerman's spot, that probably means he's got a good shot of starting at left guard for us when the season opens. I feel much better about that right now than I would Dishman or King.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Garrett is eager to prove he can fill in for Fisher

    I agree to give it to Garrett. It's weird, but this move doesn't really have me all that concerned. I think both guys should be OK. They're gonna get beat because they're young, but I like their potential. My problem is that hopefully the play won't get to them as much as it has been the past couple games.
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