Hebert adds Cajun spice to minicamp; Bockers impresses ..
BY JIM THOMAS
Sunday, May 13, 2012
The first thing you notice about Louisiana State's T-Bob Hebert is his "rockin'" beard.
"Y'all watch Duck Destiny, the new show on A&E?" Hebert said following Saturday's practice at Rams rookie minicamp. "If you don't, you need to. It's an excellent show. It's some northeast Louisiana guys. They've got some just rockin' (beards)."
Apparently, that's the look Hebert is going for.
"I'm trying to channel like the Vikings, or the Led Zeppelin Immigrant Song," he said.
The second thing you notice is that unusual first name: T-Bob.
"T-Bob actually stands for Petite Bobby," Hebert explained. "Because my real name's Bobby Joseph Hebert the third. And in Cajun tradition, you can just call someone T-Doug, T-Mel."
So somehow, Petite Bobby gets shortened to T-Bob. Hebert is the son of Cajun quarterback Bobby Hebert, one of the most popular players in the history of the New Orleans Saints, whose 14-year professional career also included stints in the old USFL and with the Atlanta Falcons.
Hebert's thick Cajun accent frequently made him difficult to understand by reporters doing interviews. On the other hand, T-Bob has almost no trace of a Cajun accent. Although he was born in New Orleans, he moved at age 4 to Atlanta, where his father finished his playing career, and went to high school there.
T-Bob has been around enough of his family members that he usually has no problem deciphering Cajun accents.
"But I do remember one time, my grandpa told me to getoutdebat," T-Bob recalled. "I said, 'What?' And he kept telling me that. Getoutdebat. So I went to the garage. And I went and grabbed my baseball bat."
"He was telling me to take a bath," T-Bob said.
Hebert is one of two-dozen rookie free agents trying to make the Rams' roster. He played mostly guard at the rookie minicamp, but also has plenty of college experience playing center.
One of punter Johnny Hekker's goals this weekend was to snag an autograph from running back Steven Jackson, who like Hekker is an Oregon State Beaver. Alas, Rams veterans scattered for the weekend after Thursday's offseason conditioning session, so Hekker must wait until the full-squad practice starts Tuesday.
"This is a guy that gives back so much to the program with his time and his money," Hekker said. "It means a lot to us at Oregon State University. He helped fund a new players lounge being built at the football facilities. He's come back and shown his face at some of our games. It means a lot to the coaches and the players, and potential recruits as well."
Hekker has met Jackson during those trips to Oregon State and remembers shaking his hand. He's not sure, however, if Jackson remembers him. But Hekker certainly remembers that handshake.
"It was definitely kind of big impact to see how big his arms are," Hekker said. "They're about as big as my legs. Incredible."
Hekker is 6-foot-5 and 221 pounds.
Wide receiver Chris Givens, the fourth-round pick from Wake Forest, cramped up at the end of Saturday's rookie minicamp practice, but it was nothing serious.
Coach Jeff Fisher said wide receiver Brian Quick, the second-round pick from Appalachian State, 'settled down a little bit" during Saturday's practice and showed improvement from Friday.
Fisher also said he was impressed by the quickness and change-of-direction skills defensive tackle Michael Brockers displayed on the practice field. Brockers is the team's first-round pick from LSU.
Rookie free agent Cory Harkey, a tight end from UCLA, is the son of former major-league pitcher Mike Harkey, who had a 10-year career with the Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers.