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    Howard feels bond with undrafted rookies

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Aug. 10 2005

    That second-year defensive tackle Brian Howard acknowledges a particular
    affinity for Rams rookies Zach Bray, Jeremy Calahan, Jeremy Carter, Clifford
    Dukes, Vontrell Jamison, Dominique Thompson and Duvol Thompson should come as
    no surprise.

    The seven are undrafted free agents battling the odds during training camp in a
    long-shot attempt to win a spot on the 53-man roster. Howard is acutely
    familiar with their situation. "A year ago," he pointed out, "I was that guy."

    Howard showed up at Rams Park in April 2004 toting a slim resume. Not only had
    he never been selected to the All-Big Sky Conference team, he'd never even led
    his team in tackles in any of his four seasons at the University of Idaho.

    But his reps increased when fellow tackle Jimmy Kennedy broke his foot early in
    camp, and Howard impressed the coaches with his effort and passion. When the
    final roster was announced Sept. 5, Howard's name was on it.

    He wound up playing in 15 regular-season games - including one start - and both
    playoff contests, collecting a total of 25 tackles. He celebrated his season by
    having large, colorful tattoos applied to both upper arms, increasing his
    personal collection to five. "Look for some more" in the future, warned Howard,
    who arrived at camp this year a proven veteran instead of an obscure rookie.

    "It's a different feeling, but you're still never comfortable. There are no
    guarantees" in the NFL, said Howard, a 6-foot-4, 278-pound native of Seattle.
    "It's definitely a lot less stress coming into camp, but I'm still as hungry as
    I was last year - even more so."

    But not so preoccupied with his own duties that he can't find time to counsel
    the seven youngsters with whom he shares a bond of sorts.

    "I make sure to give them support, talk to them a lot," said Howard, 23.
    "Because I remember a year ago, it was nice for me to get tips from different
    guys on the team. So, as much as I can do, I'm going to try to help them out,
    too."

    Friday's game will be televised

    They needed a 24-hour extension of the deadline, but Rams officials said
    Wednesday that enough tickets had been sold so that Friday night's preseason
    game against the Chicago Bears at the Edward Jones Dome can be televised
    locally. It will be shown on KTVI (Channel 2) at 7 p.m.

    Normally, a sellout must be achieved 72 hours before kickoff for the blackout
    to be lifted.

    Anderson lands in Carolina

    It didn't take cornerback Dwight Anderson long to find work. Anderson, a
    second-year pro from the University of South Dakota, was claimed off waivers by
    the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, a day after he was released by the Rams.

    "He's excited," Anderson's agent, Ian Greengross, said. "He enjoyed his time in
    St. Louis. He thought he was doing well and certainly would've liked to have
    continued going on. The coach made a decision, now he's on to a new team, and
    he feels he's got a really good chance there."

    Greengross said the Panthers are "very excited to have him. They couldn't
    believe that he was available to them. It's almost like getting an extra draft
    pick."

    Anderson missed curfew Saturday night by 45 minutes and also apparently blew a
    defensive assignment during practice earlier that evening that resulted in a
    touchdown. Asked to explain why Anderson was cut, coach Mike Martz said:
    "That's confidential. That's team policy. We have some rules that were
    affected, and we chose to release him."


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Howard feels bond with undrafted rookies

    "It's a different feeling, but you're still never comfortable. There are no
    guarantees" in the NFL, said Howard, a 6-foot-4, 278-pound native of Seattle.
    "It's definitely a lot less stress coming into camp, but I'm still as hungry as
    I was last year - even more so."
    You just can't help but like a guy like Howard. Hopefully, he can keep developing.
    "That's confidential. That's team policy. We have some rules that were
    affected, and we chose to release him."
    Like I said, we will NEVER know it, but there most definitely is a "rest of the story".
    "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

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