Green Making Move
Saturday, August 27, 2005
By Nick Wagoner
As training camp opened this year, one position where everyone knew there would be a new starter was the defensive end spot opposite Leonard Little.
That idea hasn’t changed, but the player filling that position just might have. With the regular season set to open on Sept. 11 against San Francisco, the starter at the position appears to be in limbo.
Second-year end Anthony Hargrove was the assumed favorite coming into camp after he finished the year as the starter in place of Bryce Fisher. After Fisher left for a free agent deal in Seattle, Hargrove was the logical choice. But it is a free agent signing of their own that has the Rams excited about the mounting competition at the position.
Brandon Green signed with St. Louis on May 6 with little to no fanfare. After all, he had hardly played with Jacksonville because of a series of leg injuries. Now, Green finds himself lining up with the first-team defense against the likes of Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace.
“That’s definitely a challenge,” Green said. “If he doesn’t get you better, I don’t know if anybody will. The tempo picks up and you know that you really need to pick up your game or you won’t be there for long.”
Hargrove has never had a problem with tempo or intensity. He and Pace have had some epic battles during one-on-one pass rush drills. In fact, Hargrove thinks his abundant energy might be what is holding him back right now.
“Maybe that’s what I need,” Hargrove said. “Slow it down so that maybe I see the whole picture instead of half the picture. And then just go from there.”
Hargrove is generally playing at warp speed all the time, a trait that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but can lead to some difficult situations. Take for instance the fight with rookie tackle Alex Barron that nearly escalated into an all-out melee.
Hargrove’s relentless pursuit and hustle on the field in practice haven’t necessarily translated to the field in games. In the first pair of preseason games, Hargrove has just one tackle in each game and has yet to get a sack.
“I thought I did all right, but obviously it wasn’t enough,” Hargrove said. “So now I am just trying to get back to what they want me to be.
“Sometimes you have to calm down a little bit, hone in on what you’re supposed to do and play ball.”
That has been exactly what Green has done throughout camp and during the preseason games. After recovering from a patella injury that limited his opportunity with Jacksonville, Green has made the most of his newest chance in St. Louis.
Green, who has juvenile diabetes and checks his blood-sugar level about 20 times on an average day, has performed well in both preseason games.
“That’s what I came here for,” Green said. “Whenever they put me out there I just want to play hard and so whether it’s going from the start or getting to sub in or whatever I am just going to play hard whenever I am out there and see where it takes me.”
Green had a sack in each of the preseason games and was particularly disruptive against Chicago when he had a sack and forced an intentional grounding penalty.
Coach Mike Martz said that Green has been on of the most pleasant surprises of camp.
“This is a guy that we brought in (and) he’s got a lot of injuries in his career,” Martz said. “He is what you are looking for in a competitor. He has got a high motor, which you need obviously to play for Bill (Kollar). He’s a little more athletic than what we thought. This is a terrific get for us. He has had a great camp.”
After adding his second sack against the Chargers, Green entered Wednesday’s practice with the news from the coaching staff that he would be getting his first chance to run with the top unit.
“They just told me ‘Hey Brandon, you are going in with the first group today,’ so that’s what I did and I have been there and plan on staying there until they pull me out,” Green said.
It remains to be seen whether Green will get the starting nod against the Lions on Monday night and even Green has no idea if he will, but he is keeping the same level-headed approach he had when camp started.
“They didn’t really talk about it,” Green said. “They just told me to go in there so I went. It’s pretty much day to day all the time so you just go from there and play with that.”
Re: Green Making Move
They're trying to motivate Hargrove. He's the one they're hoping will step up. Unfortunately, Hargrove doesn't produce (and I've BEEN saying this). Hargrove seemingly didn't have a problem with his play, which is very curious considering he was playing against 3rd stringers, in some instances, and wasn't getting to the ball. This is like a sickness on our DEF LINE -
4 out of the 5, with Little being the exception, just don't show up on Sundays AND there seems to be no deadline or Urgency.
A career of complacency. D. Lewis has certainly made a career out of it.
All the Big contracts and early draft choices and yet we get 1 sack a year from these FOUR Def line that were highly regarded coming out of college.
D. Lewis, Pickett, Kennedy, and Hargrove - 4 sacks a year COMBINED !!