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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    Friday, July 1, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    As the Rams set out on their annual rookie mini-camp at the end of April, the team’s youngest players got a chance to bond on and off the field. Well, most of them anyway. Fullback Madison Hedge**** was somewhat of a loner on the field, spending the majority of his time with running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery.

    And that’s how most of the time went, with Montgomery and Hedge**** getting to know each other. Hedge**** spent more time with the tackling dummies, working on his blocking than chatting it up with his fellow rookies.

    That isn’t much of a surprise, though, because Hedge**** seems to be the quiet, unassuming type that doesn’t bother anyone. Of course, that all changes when he lands between the white lines.

    There isn’t much to dislike about a 6-foot-3, 265 pound fullback with bad intentions on the field and the desire to learn on the field. That combination has coach Mike Martz intrigued with the possibilities of the seventh-round choice.

    “He is a big hammer, a big lead blocker,” Martz said. “He fits into what we do in terms of running the football. He has nice soft hands and is a good receiver. These guys are so hard to find.”

    The stories of Hedge****’s ferocity on the field have reached almost urban legend status at North Carolina, where he spent time at fullback, defensive end and on special teams.

    One tall tale had Hedge**** breaking an opponent’s helmet. Hedge**** is quick to point out that he didn’t break the helmet, but he did bend a facemask. Even when Hedge**** does recall one of his favorite hits, he still refuses to puff out his chest.

    “Against Florida State, I had an iso(lation) block and I just came in the hole and hit the linebacker,” Hedge**** said. “He just fell on his back.”

    Well, did the opponent say anything? What did Hedge**** say after the hit?

    “There wasn’t nothing for him to say,” Hedge**** said. “I probably said a few things.”

    A few things seem about right for the man with a chance to be Steven Jackson’s lead blocker in 2005. Hedge**** prefers to let his play do most of the talking and he hopes that his performance will be loquacious enough to steal the starting fullback job from incumbent Joey Goodspeed.

    That will be a tall order considering the depth of what a fullback in the Rams’ offense must know.

    “There is so much for the fullback position to know,” coach Martz said. “Other than the quarterback position, it’s probably the most complicated and involved position we have.”

    The fullbacks in this offense are an important piece. At any given time, that player must know a variety of protection schemes in the passing game, a few receiving routes, all of the running plays and his target on each and occasionally which hole to hit on a goal line or short-yardage carry.

    Since the Rams like to use multiple receiver formations, the fullback is often responsible for blocking a blitzing linebacker or safety well enough to give quarterback Marc Bulger time to find one of his many targets.

    For a player such as Hedge****, who spent time at a few positions, the adjustment to the offense won’t be easy. That’s why that time spent alone with Montgomery at the rookie mini-camp could come in handy when training camp starts on July 28.

    “It’s definitely an advantage to come in here for me as a rookie and get that (work),” Hedge**** said. “I knew there weren’t a lot of people coming in (at the position). I just want to learn all of the basics first and build on that.”

    Hedge****’s early tutoring sessions with Montgomery appeared to pay off at the veteran mini-camp, as he continued to show that he is a serious threat to Goodspeed. He displayed the type of intensity and blocking ability that many would expect, but was a pleasant surprise with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

    In the worst case scenario, Hedge**** will probably find himself on special teams. At 6’3 and a chiseled 265 pounds, Hedge**** possesses good speed and the desire to make him a serious threat to make big plays in kick coverages.
    Ultimately, though, Hedge**** hopes that his bread and butter will be bending facemasks in front of Jackson.

    “I take pride in that,” Hedge**** said. “That’s what I get paid to do so you have to take pride in it. It is a lost art. It can be a fun thing to have a tailback run for 100 yards, that’s what I take pride in, that’s where I get my glory.”

    The Rams’ recent history of fullbacks has been rather good. Dating to the likes of Robert Holcombe and James Hodgins, Rams’ fullbacks have gained cult-like status for their blue-collar efforts and hard-hitting ways. However, those types of players seem to be fading from the league.

    “It’s a dying breed, but it’s never going to be extinct,” Hedge**** said.

    At least not as long as guys like Hedge**** are around.


  2. #2
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    Hedge**** What a funny name? I Didn't think folks used astericks in their names but hey if he can bend a few face masks who cares?

  3. #3
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    “I take pride in that,” Hedge**** said. “That’s what I get paid to do so you have to take pride in it. It is a lost art. It can be a fun thing to have a tailback run for 100 yards, that’s what I take pride in, that’s where I get my glory.”
    The more I read about this kid, the more I like him. I mean, read that quote! You don't hear guys saying that anymore! Could you imagine one of those prima donnas out there that gets all the press saying something like that? Take Moss for instance. He hears that there's an off chance T.O. may come their way, and his first response is to secure his own stats. That makes me want to puke. I couldn't be happier that we've got a kid who sees his greatest accomplishment as helping the team. Yes, our FB has to have his head on straight, but if he has enough discipline to spend extra time with his position coach instead of goofing off with teammates, then I'd say he is well on his way to a full-time spot.

    I'm rooting for him. That settles it, I'm going to the mall to find a Hedge**** jersey.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  4. #4
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    I like Joey, but this kid just impresses the heck outta' me. Goodspeed has been a solid member of the team, but...... I'm impressed by Hedgec0ck. Hope we keep him around.


    Hate the **** thing. We're all adults, right?


    Hooah


    Win, Lose or Draw... Rams for Life!
    :football:

  5. #5
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    I too am a big, early fan of Hedgehung. Cant wait to see him in training camp. Could be the replacement for The Hammer that we have been missing for a couple of years.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  6. #6
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    Thank goodness that filter spared my eyes. Let's see how it works on some variations of the Madison's surname.

    Hedgeschlong
    Hedgedong
    Hedge*****
    Hedgedinky
    Hedgeerection
    Hedgeskinflute
    Hedgehammer

  7. #7
    radjohns's Avatar
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    The only word that got filtered was p e n i s. Again, thank goodness because that word is so offensive. Frankly, that is why I always change clothes in the dark.

  8. #8
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    why does hedge**** get filtered, that's retarded. just for that i'm going to get a hedge**** jersey and wear it at city hall.

  9. #9
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    Re: Hedge**** Lets Hits Do the Talking

    The filter is probably set to * c o c k * so it will filter anything with those four letters. Not to many ways to get around it. I say remove that filter and just ban anyone that uses it in a derogatory manner.
    This space for rent...

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