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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Gilyard gives himself tough evaluation ..

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:10 am

    His own worst critic, Rams wide receiver and returner Mardy Gilyard picked apart his performance in Saturday night's preseason opener.

    "I muffed a kick, made a bad decision on another punt return, which I paid for" by getting slammed to the Edward Jones Dome turf, he said. "I didn't field the ball as good as I thought I could've on punt returns. Offensively, I missed a couple of key blocks. I look at all the negatives stuff to fix."

    Funny thing is, coach Steve Spagnuolo thought Gilyard made a move in the right direction during the Rams' 33-10 victory over Indianapolis.

    "He did, especially on special teams," Spagnuolo said. "I think he's much improved from a year ago. Competition will do that sometimes."

    Gilyard picked up 21 yards on two catches, both for first downs. He averaged just 4.8 yards on five punt returns, but he scampered 32 yards with a kickoff to start a series that ended with a Rams touchdown.

    After a rookie year that left much to be desired, Gilyard, a fourth-round draft pick in 2010, is in a 12-man scrap for what probably will be six wideout spots on the 53-man roster.

    The Rams drafted two wide receivers, third-rounder Austin Pettis and fourth-rounder Greg Salas, and signed free agent Mike Sims-Walker. Returning are Danny Amendola, Donnie Avery, Danario Alexander, Dominique Curry and Brandon Gibson. Also in training camp are Jared Jenkins, Greg Mathews and Joe West.

    "At this level, every year there's going to be a new set of guys come in, so you've just got to know you're interviewing every day," Gilyard said. "Your job's on the line every day."

    Hampered all season by a wrist injury that required surgery in the offseason and at times by a balky hamstring, Gilyard played in 11 games last season. He had six catches for 63 yards all in the first six contests and averaged 22.3 yards on 16 kickoff returns.

    "I was brought in to help last year, and personally I don't feel like I helped like I could've," said Gilyard, who admitted that he didn't spend enough time in the playbook and thus had difficulty lining up in the right spots and running the correct routes.

    "So coming in this year, I wanted to do everything in my power to make sure that I can stay consistent and help as much as I can," he said. "Even if it's just lining up right three or four times in a row. Me lining up right and knowing my routes will give our quarterbacks confidence to throw me the ball."

    Laurinaitis is back

    Linebacker James Laurinaitis returned to practice Monday after being sidelined for a few days because of a strained chest muscle.

    "You just have to be careful with strains," he said. "Because you get something tight with too much force on it and resistance, and you're worried about tearing it, and that'd be a nightmare. I'm feeling fine."

    Also back were cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh), defensive end James Hall (hip), tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion), wide receiver Greg Salas (knee) and defensive end Eugene Sims (concussion).

    Donnie Avery (knee), safety Mikail Baker (knee), guard Jacob Bell (knee), defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo (back), running back Jerious Norwood (knee), tight end Fendi Onobun (groin), wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker (groin) and running back Eddie Wide (shoulder) sat out.

    Defensive end George Selvie (back) and tackle Rodger Saffold (back) were limited.

    Quick turnaround

    The Rams had a surprise for cornerback Tae Evans after signing the undrafted rookie from West Texas A&M on Friday: Because of a shortage of secondary personnel, he was going to play the next day against the Colts.

    "It was crazy. I liked it, though. I was excited about it," said Evans, who had spot duty. "I wasn't really nervous, because the vets kind of guided me through the whole thing and told me my plays. It was a good experience."

    Spagnuolo said cornerbacks coach Clayton Lopez "gave him a crash course the night before and the morning of (the game). That's a pretty impressive thing. We'll see where it goes from here, but certainly we're grateful that Tae was able to go in there and do that."


    The Rams brought back Jenkins, an undrafted rookie from Wisconsin-Stevens Point who was with the club for two practices last week, and cut quarterback Taylor Potts, an undrafted rookie from Texas Tech. Linebacker David Vobora, released by the Rams on Friday, is an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers Monday. Today's practice begins at 1:15 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

  2. #2
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Gilyard gives himself tough evaluation ..

    seems atleast he is starting to grow up a little and realizes he has to work hard on his game. it appeared all he worked hard on last pre-season was nicknames for players.
    i`m neither rooting for him or against him tho..may the best players for the team to win,get those 6 or 7 roster spots whoever they may be. at this stage i think it`s fair to say Mardy has a lot to prove if he wants to still be a Ram in 3 weeks time.

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Gilyard gives himself tough evaluation ..

    As someone who has regularly slammed Gilyard, I'll admit I was extremely surprised by his effort in the game against the Colts, especially after being pulled from practive a few days earlier with vision problems. He was asked to do a little of everything, and he looked pretty good doing it. With the injury proned nature of our WR corps, Gilyard has a shot to make the game day roster if he continues to improve throughout the preseason. I love success achieved through struggle, so nothing would please me more than to see Mardy make it.

  4. #4
    Ram Mar Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Gilyard gives himself tough evaluation ..

    Looks like he wont give it up without a fight, his strength is gonna be his Special Teams play over the preseason, if he can excel there, it might be the thing that tips it in his favour.

    Uphill battle he created for himself with his work ethic last year, at least he has a chance to try and redeem himself.

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