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Glover returns home, becomes main attraction
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Friday, Oct. 27 2006
As a youngster in San Diego, La'Roi Glover would join his brother and his
father and often spend Saturday nights in sleeping bags outside Jack Murphy
Stadium, the better to score tickets for the Chargers' game the next day.
"Somehow my father would get some, and the next morning we'd wake up and go
watch some football," Glover said. "From those days on, I really loved the
And he loved the Chargers. "(Dan) Fouts, (Kellen) Winslow, Wes Chandler,
Charlie Joiner," Glover recalled. His favorite, though, was Gary "Big Hands"
Johnson. "He was a defensive tackle there, and a very good one for a long
time," Glover said. "He was a guy I really looked up to."
The stadium has been expanded and refurbished and now is called Qualcomm.
Glover will return there for just the third time in his 11 NFL seasons Sunday,
when the Rams (4-2) square off against the Chargers (4-2).
"You get an opportunity to play in front of your parents, in front of your old
high school coach, your old friends," said Glover, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound
defensive tackle. "That's what makes it special."
Glover's high school coach, Bennie Edens, doesn't plan to attend. But Edens,
who retired in 1997 after 54 years at Point Loma High, will be watching
intently on television. "I still follow him," said Edens, 80.
Under Edens, Glover was a two-way player who also long-snapped and punted. "I
was terrible," he said. "But they needed somebody to do it, so I did it."
Edens coached several future NFL players in football-rich San Diego, and he
ranks Glover among his best. Efforts are under way to retire Glover's No. 76
"For being so talented, he tried very hard," Edens said. "A lot of players with
that kind of talent, they just kind of let it ride. But he was a worker."
After four seasons as a starter at San Diego State, Glover was drafted in the
fifth round in 1996 by Oakland, which cut him in 1997. He spent the next five
seasons in New Orleans, followed by four in Dallas.
Although Glover, 32, had been to six consecutive Pro Bowls, the Cowboys
released him because they didn't feel he was bulky enough to be effective in
their new 3-4 defense. The Rams signed him as a free agent March 7 and
immediately installed him as a starter alongside nose tackle Jimmy Kennedy.
Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was Glover's head coach for two years
with the Saints. Still, Glover acknowledged that he didn't get off to a
scintillating start here.
"The first two or three weeks, for me at least, have always been slow," Glover
said. "I'm starting to feel a little bit more comfortable with the guys around
me, and I'm starting to just forget all the thinking, forget all the
over-analyzing. Just line up, try to whip the guy in front of you and get to
Coach Scott Linehan agreed that Glover's play has been on the upswing.
"I really noticed in the last two games — and especially in the Seattle game
(Oct. 15, before the bye week) — that he's really stepped up his ability to
create a pass rush," Linehan said. "He plays the run very solid, and he's
starting now to really get his sea legs, so to speak, and get that timing down.
"He does everything very, very solid. I think he's just now starting to get a
feel for his game here and fitting in with what we're doing."
Glover has collected 18 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks, boosting his career totals to
488 and 73, respectively. A big outing by Glover would enhance the Rams'
chances vs. the Chargers, who sport the NFL's No. 4 offense.
It also would please his friends and relatives, for whom he's now the one
responsible for tracking down tickets. Paying for them, too.
"Unfortunately, that's part of the deal. You've got to spend the big money,"
Glover said. "I think I'm at about 25 right now."
And really, he doesn't mind. "He's a good man," Edens said. "I'm very proud of
Re: Glover returns home, becomes main attraction
Glover is an outstanding player and a very nice person, I am honored to have him on our team.Built RAM tough