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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Groce's knee injury adds to cornerback shortage

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Sep. 19 2004

    ATLANTA - Just two games into the season, the Rams are going through right
    cornerbacks at an alarming rate.

    DeJuan Groce started Sunday against the Falcons but suffered a sprained right
    knee on Atlanta's second possession of the game. He did not return. Groce had
    missed much of the preseason with a sprained left knee.

    "I've got a matching set," Groce joked.

    The latest injury came on run support against the Falcons. "I think I got hit
    in the leg," Groce said. "It buckled in on a run play. I was just coming in on
    a tackle and got hit."

    After the game, coach Mike Martz said, "I don't know how bad it is. But
    obviously, he wasn't able to play with it."

    Groce said no X-rays were taken at the Georgia Dome, but he is expected to
    undergo further examination today in St. Louis.

    Groce was starting at cornerback only because Travis Fisher suffered a broken
    forearm in an exhibition game against Kansas City. Groce was replaced by Kevin
    Garrett, but then Garrett was replaced by undrafted rookie Dwight Anderson in
    the second half.

    Garrett said he wasn't sure why he was replaced.

    "My foot has been kind of bothering me," Garrett said. "I don't know if they
    noticed me limping or not. But I never told them I was hurt. It's something
    that I re-aggravated from the preseason. It's nothing major or anything."

    Anderson held his own, even though Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick went right
    at him with a deep pass to Peerless Price on the Falcons' third offensive play
    of the third quarter.

    Anderson said that prior to the play he "saw Vick in the huddle, laughing,
    smiling at me, looking at me. So I kind of figured he was going to come at me."

    Anderson and Price got their feet tangled on the play, causing Price to tumble.
    The pass fell incomplete but was overthrown too much to be deemed a catchable
    ball and incur a penalty.

    "It was incidental contact - the ref saw it," Anderson said. "So that a good
    'no-call.'"

    Special teams follies

    Steven Jackson replaced Arlen Harris on kickoff returns Sunday, but the Rams
    still couldn't get much going. Jackson averaged only 19.7 yards on three
    returns, and he actually cost the Rams 10 yards for taunting when he tossed the
    ball toward a Falcons player after a fourth-quarter touchback.
    That penalty backed the Rams up to their 10-yard line, and two plays later
    Atlanta's Brady Smith swatted the ball away from Marc Bulger in the end zone
    for a Falcons touchdown.

    In the first quarter, the Rams were fooled by an Atlanta onside kick, even
    though Martz said, "we practiced that and we told them that was coming."

    Furrey sits out game

    Wide receiver Mike Furrey, who had 20 catches in 13 games for the Rams last
    season, was among seven players designated as pregame inactives by the team.
    The others: CB Travis Fisher (forearm); DT Jimmy Kennedy (foot); LB Trev Faulk
    (hamstring); OG Tom Nutten (turf toe); OG Darnell Alford and OG Blaine Saipaia.
    Alford and Saipaia were healthy scratches.

    Challenge is thwarted

    Martz was unsuccessful on another instant replay challenge Sunday, this time
    challenging an Atlanta onside kick that appeared to clearly go the required 10
    yards before being recovered by the Falcons.

    "We had some information that it didn't go 10 yards," Martz said. "I didn't see
    it, so I immediately challenged it, and it was the wrong information."

    When asked where he got the information, Martz said: "It doesn't matter where I
    got it from. It really doesn't


  2. #2
    adarian_too's Avatar
    adarian_too is offline Registered User
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    Re: Groce's knee injury adds to cornerback shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Sep. 19 2004

    Special teams follies

    Steven Jackson replaced Arlen Harris on kickoff returns Sunday.

    In the first quarter, the Rams were fooled by an Atlanta onside kick, even
    though Martz said, "we practiced that and we told them that was coming."

    Martz was unsuccessful on another instant replay challenge Sunday, this time
    challenging an Atlanta onside kick that appeared to clearly go the required 10
    yards before being recovered by the Falcons.

    "We had some information that it didn't go 10 yards," Martz said. "I didn't see
    it, so I immediately challenged it, and it was the wrong information."

    When asked where he got the information, Martz said: "It doesn't matter where I got it from. It really doesn't ...
    What also apparently doesn't matter is the notion that bucking the trend at KR and placing RBs in that role is not a sound strategy. Jackson may have returned kicks as a freshman, but his body has grown and his game isn't suited to open field running unless it is a breakaway. Faulk shouldn't have had to be back there. Candidate and Harris neither.

    As to the wasted Challenge, it's a shame that the ST's return unit was so inept that sMartz felt compelled to grasp at other straws.

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Groce's knee injury adds to cornerback shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by adarian_too
    What also apparently doesn't matter is the notion that bucking the trend at KR and placing RBs in that role is not a sound strategy. Jackson may have returned kicks as a freshman, but his body has grown and his game isn't suited to open field running unless it is a breakaway. Faulk shouldn't have had to be back there. Candidate and Harris neither.
    Agreed. Why they haven't gone with McDonald or Groce or even Garrett, I don't know. I understand what's going on with injuries, but even before that, they stuck with Harris and a combo of Looker/Furrey. We can't expect our offense to drive 80+ yards every possession.
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