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Hall strives to live up to his own standards ..
Hall strives to live up to his own standards
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
MEQUON, Wis. ó Before Dante Hall arrived last year, the Rams hadn't scored on a punt return since 2002, when Dre' Bly scampered 78 yards against San Francisco.
The regular season was only four weeks old when Hall, one of the most prolific return men in NFL history, topped that, dashing 85 yards to the end zone with a punt vs. Dallas. But that was the highlight of an injury-plagued season that has Hall itching for redemption in 2008.
"I pride myself on not missing games," said Hall, who sat out only a few in seven seasons with Kansas City before the Rams acquired him in a trade April 25. He started out well enough, but a high-ankle sprain rendered him inactive for five games before he was placed on injured reserve Dec. 7, ending his season.
Hall, 29, wound up playing in seven games, his lowest total since 2000, when the Chiefs made him a fifth-round draft pick. He averaged 15.1 yards on 19 punt returns, 25.1 yards on 29 kickoff returns and caught five passes for 27 yards as a wide receiver.
For a two-time Pro Bowler used to breaking ankles with his cat-quick darts and cuts, limping on a chronically sore one was a new, and distinctly unwelcome, experience.
"I feel like it was a fluke, but I definitely did some things in the offseason to make sure that injuries don't happen again," Hall said. "I've changed a lot of things as far as my approach, diet and training."
The result, coach Scott Linehan said, is a reloaded special-teams weapon. "Dante had a great, great offseason Ö one of the real bright spots," he said. "He's in really good shape."
Hall ranks second in league history in career return yards (11,541), fifth in returns for TDs (12), and his six kickoff returns for touchdowns are tied for No. 1.
A return to form this year would kick him up the ladder in those categories. "It's a different feeling for me this year, as opposed to last year," he said. "That was definitely not acceptable for my standards."
Defensive lineman Victor Adeyanju returned to St. Louis on Monday morning for surgery on a broken middle finger. Adeyanju, injured in a blocking drill Sunday, is expected to be out two to four weeks.
Linebacker Chris Draft (back) and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring) sat out the afternoon practice. Tight end Anthony Becht (hamstring) left the field early.
Defensive end C.J. Ah You returned after missing a day with a bruised thigh.
SENE IS REPLACED
Tackle Stephen Sene, an undrafted rookie, suffered the ignominy of being released on the practice field. It happened Monday afternoon, just after the Rams received word that their waiver claim on Miami Dolphins tackle Julius Wilson was successful.
Sene received the bad news from personnel chief Billy Devaney, then was driven away on a golf cart.
Wilson should arrive here today. The Dolphins signed the Alabama-Birmingham product as an undrafted rookie last year, but he never got into a regular-season game. A defense lineman, as yet unidentified, also is expected in today.
Cornerback Cortney Grixby, an undrafted rookie from Nebraska, has been added to the roster and participated in Monday afternoon's practice.
RUSH EYEING RAMS?
Could talk-show host Rush Limbaugh become the next owner of the Rams? He told The Associated Press that the thought had crossed his mind. Limbaugh, a Cape Girardeau, Mo., native, said it would be strictly a business decision. "The worst thing that could happen is for a fan to buy the team," he said.
One practice is scheduled for today, beginning at 3:50 p.m. Ö The Mequon forecast is a high of 86 degrees with a 60 percent chance of precipitation.
Re: Hall strives to live up to his own standards ..
Having a healthy Dante' Hall with the fire in his gut is huge. This is the guy that can certainly give us the field position advantage if not change a game
Could we be the high flying RAMS once again?
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