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  1. #1
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    Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs
    BY BILL COATS | Posted: Monday, August 2, 2010 12:25 am

    Training camp has just begun, but Danny Amendola and rookie Mardy Gilyard already are immersed in two of the most intriguing competitions at Rams Park.

    They're not only trying to earn one of the five or six roster spots available among the 10 wide receivers on hand, they're also striving to nail down the job as the team's top return man. That promises to be a spirited tussle.

    "I think it'll be a good battle; you hope you have that kind of competition every year," special-teams coach Tom McMahon said. "There's no question that both guys deserve the opportunity to be that returner."

    The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Amendola was signed off Philadelphia's practice squad in Week 3 last season. He wound up leading the NFL in kickoff returns (66), kickoff-return yardage (1,618 yards) and total return yards (1,978).

    All three of those marks were franchise records, as was his combined kick and punt returns (97). Overall, Amendola averaged 24.5 yards per kickoff return and 11.6 yards per punt return.

    "I can be a lot better," said Amendola, who spent the 2008 season on Dallas' practice squad before landing with the Eagles. "I can score more touchdowns. I didn't take any back last year. That's the big goal — try to put points on the board."

    Gilyard, 5-11 and 194, took five returns to the end zone during his career at the University of Cincinnati. He averaged 28.6 yards on 93 kickoff returns — that average ranks 12th in NCAA history — and 11.8 yards on 22 punt returns.

    "We know they're both skilled," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "We've got to get Mardy in an NFL game first to see really what we've got. We know what Danny can do."

    Even understanding that there might not be room for both players on the final roster, Amendola insisted that he welcomed the competition.

    "Oh, without a doubt; I love it," he said. "It's what makes everybody better, that pressure for a spot and competing. ... My main goal is to try to find a role on this team and try to fulfill it the best I can."

    optimism on defense

    Despite coming off a season in which the Rams gave up more points (436) than all but one other team, defensive coordinator Ken Flajole is brimming with optimism.

    "We're light-years ahead of where we were at this time last year," Flajole said. "We've got work to do; I can't lie to you. But I really like the way our guys are working, and I like the progress we've made."

    A second year into the new system that came with the new coaching staff, "I notice we play faster and we have a better understanding of the scheme," Flajole said. "There's a lot of work in front of us; we all know that. But we're willing and we're ready."

    The Rams picked up two new starters during free agency in defensive tackle Fred Robbins and linebacker Na'il Diggs. Another free-agent linebacker, Bobby Carpenter, is in contention for a first-team job.

    "I think Billy (Devaney, general manager) and Steve have done a good job of upgrading our roster," Flajole said. "But more than anything, I look at the guys we had with us a year ago. And I just really believe that they have a firmer grasp and they play with more confidence. ...

    "To me, there's been a natural progression from a learning standpoint, and I can see it in the way that they play."

    setterstrom is done for season

    The Rams reached the 80-man training camp roster limit by releasing defensive back Moses Harris and placing offensive lineman Mark Setterstrom on the physically unable to perform/reserve list. Setterstrom, who tore a triceps muscle in spring drills, will miss the entire season.

    RAM-BLINGS

    Guard Mark Lewis left Sunday morning's practice early with an ankle injury. ... Defensive end C.J. Ah You suffered a hamstring injury late in the evening session. ... Defensive tackle Darell Scott (hamstring) and safety Darian Stewart (shoulder) remain sidelined. ... Tackle Jason Smith (toe) and Roger Allen (knee) still are limited to individual drills. ... One practice is scheduled for today, beginning at 2 p.m. All training camp practices are free and open to the public.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Honestly I would rather have Amendola as our return man. He may not be as fast as gilyard but he is extremely smart and very agile(The shallow hook route in which he did a quick spin move away from the cornerback comes to mind). And also lets remember that he is not going to fumble, remember the hit he took during the lions game, probably the hardest hit of the 09 season.

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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    I don't think it's a good thing to lead the NFL in kick-off returns.

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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
    Honestly I would rather have Amendola as our return man. He may not be as fast as gilyard but he is extremely smart and very agile(The shallow hook route in which he did a quick spin move away from the cornerback comes to mind). And also lets remember that he is not going to fumble, remember the hit he took during the lions game, probably the hardest hit of the 09 season.
    I was in the stand for that one and it looked like an extremely hard hit. Everyone in the stadium went quiet.

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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Personally, I think there's room for both these guys on the roster. Return assignment aside, these two are among the top 6 receivers on this team. Have one on punts, the other on KRs.

    I just don't see it as an either/or situation.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Personally, I think there's room for both these guys on the roster. Return assignment aside, these two are among the top 6 receivers on this team. Have one on punts, the other on KRs.

    I just don't see it as an either/or situation.
    I agree this year I think we would keep 6 receivers. Avery, Robinson, Gillyard, Foster, Gibson, Amendola.

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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Personally, I think there's room for both these guys on the roster. Return assignment aside, these two are among the top 6 receivers on this team. Have one on punts, the other on KRs.

    I just don't see it as an either/or situation.
    If the Rams keep six receivers, you may be right. If they only keep five, they may have to make a choice.
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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    If the Rams keep six receivers, you may be right. If they only keep five, they may have to make a choice.
    Agreed, they will have to make a choice.......or several choices rather. At this point, I just see both MG and DA on the good side of those choices.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Pretty sure I heard Spags say at the very end of his last press conference that he hoped the returner competition between these two would continue for the next 5 months which indicates he sees room for both on the team in some capacity.

    If anyone among the WRs from last year should be keeping his bags packed just in case, I'd guess it was Burton. The silence surrounding him so far has been deafening,no?

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    Re: Gilyard, Amendola compete for same jobs

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    Pretty sure I heard Spags say at the very end of his last press conference that he hoped the returner competition between these two would continue for the next 5 months which indicates he sees room for both on the team in some capacity.

    If anyone among the WRs from last year should be keeping his bags packed just in case, I'd guess it was Burton. The silence surrounding him so far has been deafening,no?
    Maybe and maybe not. Apparently Burton's been consistent so far with one camp observer (a fan) posting: "Keenan Burton has been the best WR so far in camp. He catches everything."

    It is way too soon to tell at this point, I imagine we'll get a better idea after a couple of preseason games. Things will get even more interesting if Denario Alexander is added to the mix. Apparently he had a good workout for the Rams this morning ..

    It would be great if we can keep Danny and Mardy both - if one got dinged the other could fill in without missing a beat. Time will tell I guess, but it's encouraging to read Spag's remark about them competing for 5 months.

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