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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    BY JIM THOMAS • Thursday, September 23, 2010 12:05 am


    When the squad convened at Rams Park for the start of training camp, Brandon Gibson and Mardy Gilyard figured to be key components in the Rams' passing game in 2010.

    Two games into the season, Gilyard has been on the field for only a handful of plays at wide receiver. More surprisingly, Gibson hasn't even seen the field — he was on the pregame inactive list for the Arizona and Oakland games.

    That could change this week against Washington. To a large degree, Rams wideouts struggled to get separation against the Raiders' secondary. In a 16-14 defeat, Rams wide receivers caught only seven passes for 67 yards. So coach Steve Spagnuolo and his offensive coaches are searching for answers.

    "We have to find ways to get the ball to our wideouts and playmakers," Spagnuolo said.

    The Rams could be down one starter against Washington, with Laurent Robinson seeing limited action in practice Wednesday with a nagging foot injury. The injury is not related to the ankle surgery that Robinson had last season.

    "It's not the ankle, but his foot has been sore," Spagnuolo said. "He's been fighting that. It's kind of been on and off."

    The lack of playing time is easier to explain for Gilyard than for Gibson. Because the University of Cincinnati's graduating class didn't complete its school year until early June, NFL rules prohibited Gilyard from participating with the Rams until then (other than the post-draft rookie minicamp). He also missed more than a week of time in training camp because of a wrist injury and an illness.

    Gilyard, who caught 168 passes for 2,467 yards and 22 touchdowns over his last two college seasons, is eager to contribute in the pros.

    "Of course," he said. "And that's just the competitor in me. I want to get on the field more."

    Gilyard was so eager that he asked special teams coordinator Tom McMahon if he could do more on special teams. Gilyard ended up working as a gunner on kickoff coverage and handled kickoff returns against Oakland.

    As for more work at wide receiver, Gilyard concedes he's raw and has a lot to learn. But he's also confident that he can succeed at this level.

    "I have no shadow of doubt in my mind, just with my work ethic and my mindset coming into every day at practice," Gilyard said. "I'm trying to work hard. I'm trying to do everything the coaches want. I'm trying to finish. I'm trying to soak everything in that I can with the playbook. I'm trying to make less and less mistakes each day, and not (repeat) the mistakes I made the prior day."

    Gibson's situation is a little harder to explain. After being acquired in the Will Witherspoon trade with Philadelphia last October, Gibson caught 34 passes for 348 yards and one TD. Not that those are Jerry Rice numbers, but in little more than half a season Gibson finished second on the team in reception yards and tied for fourth in receptions.

    A nagging hamstring injury, which first flared up way back in the spring, set Gibson back on the depth chart. After sitting out the first two preseason games, he was a factor against New England and Baltimore, with eight catches for 90 yards and two scores.

    But the Rams dressed only four wideouts in the season opener against Arizona; they dressed five against Oakland, but undrafted rookie Dominique Curry dressed ahead of Gibson because of his value on special teams.

    Gibson has a lot of confidence in his ability, some might say too much confidence for someone still trying to establish himself in the NFL, so it stung not to be dressed against the Cardinals and Raiders. He wasn't happy about it but has uttered no public complaints.

    "The fact that I wasn't playing, it was a little frustrating just because I was coming from last year starting," Gibson said.

    He started four games in 2009.

    "I'm here to do whatever the team needs," Gibson added. "If I'm up one week and I'm not up the next week, then I'll deal with it. It's a business and I understand it."

    Gibson said Wednesday that he's trying to get up to speed on special teams.

    "I try to work on it every day and be the best special teams player I can be," Gibson said. "My biggest thing is just trying to go out there and do whatever the team needs. If they ask me to play special teams, then that's what I'll do."

    Two games into the season, Mark Clayton and Danny Amendola are the only wide receivers who really have separated themselves from the pack in what is an evenly matched unit. There are no Pro Bowlers entrenched here, as was the case for most of the past decade with Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. So it's definitely not too late for Gilyard and Gibson to get into the mix.

    On Wednesday, Spagnuolo indicated there will be more playing time for Gilyard.

    "He'll get involved," Spagnuolo said. "He's done a nice job on special teams."

    When asked about Gibson earlier in the week, Spagnuolo wasn't as definitive.

    "We've got to have guys up there that can play special teams, and right now, he's been working at that," Spagnuolo said. "He lost a lot of training camp. But he'll be patient, and we'll see when his time comes."


  2. #2
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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    It sounds to me like Gibson got a big head and walked into training camp expecting to be the starter. Spags decided to deflate him a little bit. Still I would like to see what he can do with Bradford throwing to him.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    I know gilyard wants to see the field but I definitely don't wanna see him as a gunner. He got up last week holding his arm and i knew at that point that was bad position to play.

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    UK Ramfan 83 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Sounds like Gibson may have a touch of the 'Ryan Mcneil' about him...

    (For those who can't remember as far back as the late 90's Mcneil (Rams CB) was often cited amongst players and reporters as thinking higher of himself than....err.....his team and his general ability.)

    (Wow....am I really that old?)..... What next, reviews on the J.T. Thomas ejection at Candlestick park where (Quoting Pat Sumerall - "Now that's a fight!!) he and a 9'rs CB went all UFC on each other and both got ejaculated! ........Happy Days!

    That said though, we need some swagger and confidence, and I think Clayton and Gibson would be a good combo, with Danny boy in the slot.
    Last edited by UK Ramfan 83; -09-23-2010 at 02:13 PM.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    If Gilyard can stretch the field, get deep, I think Gilyard, Clayton with Amendola in the slot would be good. Get Gibson in as a reserve or on 4 WR sets........LOL.
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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Quote Originally Posted by UK Ramfan 83 View Post
    That said though, we need some swagger and confidence, and I think Clayton and Gibson would be a good combo, with Danny boy in the slot.
    I agree. I'm all for a receiver with a little swagger, if that's the case here. He just might be able to back it up if he gets the chance. It's not like Gibson is all over the front pages or on the internet with derisive or stupid comments about not getting PT. Let's see, special teams help as opposed to receiver help? I think it's fairly obvious where the need is.

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    I think there are signs that Spags & co are too one-track in their motivational approach as well as strategic. Maybe what Gibson needs is to be thrown a bone, not chained in the doghouse.Give him a chance to contribute -and we know he can- as a WR, then maybe he'll pull up his socks on STs. It's a poor leader/teacher who obstinately sticks to one way of unlocking potential.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    I think there are signs that Spags & co are too one-track in their motivational approach as well as strategic. Maybe what Gibson needs is to be thrown a bone, not chained in the doghouse.Give him a chance to contribute -and we know he can- as a WR, then maybe he'll pull up his socks on STs. It's a poor leader/teacher who obstinately sticks to one way of unlocking potential.
    I truly doubt spags would hold a wr out because he isnt up to snuff on special teams, it has got to be another reason.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    All this talk about our WR core makes me want a good TE to help with the situation.

    Our TE situation is in disarray.

    Get Gilyard in the game more. He is the closest thing we have to a playmaker right now..

  10. #10
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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    All this talk about our WR core makes me want a good TE to help with the situation.

    Our TE situation is in disarray.

    Get Gilyard in the game more. He is the closest thing we have to a playmaker right now..
    Just read on a local site that the reason Gilyard isn't seeing more playing time is he hasn't learned enough of the playbook yet.
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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Gilyard needs to hurry up and learn the playbook. He is going to be our secret weapon for 1 game at least. Then the NFL will know about him and his speed.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    I don't get Spags. "Special teams" must be a euphemism for something else like bad attitude, lazy, cocky, etc. The special teams excuse doesn't wash. Our coverage has been pretty good without Gibson and Gilyard, so why is this a prerequisite to getting on the field. We need receiving threats to help the run game. Get these guys out there.

    I'm beginning to believe that Spags has a dog house and once a player is in it, good luck getting out. As Azul said, not all players respond favorably to the same leadership style. Some need a kick in the butt, and some need positive encouragement. The trick is knowing who needs what and give it to them when needed.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Quote Originally Posted by makersncoke View Post
    Just read on a local site that the reason Gilyard isn't seeing more playing time is he hasn't learned enough of the playbook yet.
    Good Lord, is he an idiot or something? Clayton was in and contributing in less than a week. Also, given what we have seen out of Shurmur, the offense can't be that complex.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Good Lord, is he an idiot or something? Clayton was in and contributing in less than a week. Also, given what we have seen out of Shurmur, the offense can't be that complex.
    My first thought was what was his Wonderlic score. This is a rediculous situation. Just so I understand, Gilyard is on the active list, but can't play because he doesn't know the playbook, while Gibson, who knows the playbook, is on the inactive list because he's not an adequate special teams player. Is that about right??? I'm sorry, but I'm just not getting the trade off here.

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    Re: Gilyard, Gibson push for playing time ..

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Good Lord, is he an idiot or something? Clayton was in and contributing in less than a week. Also, given what we have seen out of Shurmur, the offense can't be that complex.
    I know, it's pretty sad when you think about it. Check out ksdk.com, that's where I read the story.
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