Injuries nag; Timmerman won't listen
By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Friday, Jan. 14 2005

A few days ago, Rams guard Adam Timmerman learned that a stress fracture is
causing the sharp pain he's been experiencing in his foot.

His reaction? Ho-hum.

"It's just another thing," he said, shrugging. "It seems like I've had a lot of
little things nagging me all year. Some years are like that."

Nevertheless, prying Timmerman away from the action is a virtual impossibility.
Coach Mike Martz can't even persuade him to sit out a practice to rest his
various bumps and bruises.

This season, those have included two banged-up shoulders, at least one of which
will require offseason surgery; a sore knee; a balky hamstring; and, most
recently, the foot injury.

"He just refuses," Martz said. "He gets belligerent and upset. It's a very
emotional thing for him. Everything's kind of built around him in that
offensive line, and if he leaves that hole, even in practice for a minute, he
has a hard time with that. ... He's a rock out there."

Timmerman said: "It's the commitment to the guys around you. And I feel like I
also have to practice to play how I want to play. I have to take those reps to
mentally be ready for what's coming that week, different blitzes and line
stunts and stuff like that."

When Timmerman jogs onto the Georgia Dome FieldTurf tonight for the Rams'
opening series against Atlanta in the NFC semifinals, he will be appearing in
his 177th game in a row (regular season and playoffs), a streak that dates to
his rookie season in 1995.

It also will mark his 20th postseason contest. Wide receiver Jerry Rice holds
the NFL record, with 29.

"Twenty, huh? Not bad, not bad," said Timmerman, 33. "I would've guessed
probably 15 or 16. .. I think there's only been one year we didn't make the
playoffs."

That was two years ago, when the Rams finished 7-9.

Timmerman, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who is in his 10th season, was Green
Bay's sixth-round draft choice in 1995 out of South Dakota State. The 6-foot-4,
310-pound native of Cherokee, Iowa, played in 13 games his rookie season; he
hasn't missed one since.

He has been in the starting lineup every time but once and has blocked for a
trio of league MVPs who have collected the award a total of six times - Packers
quarterback Brett Favre (1995, '96, '97), Rams QB Kurt Warner (1999, 2001) and
Rams running back Marshall Faulk (2000).

After four seasons with the Packers, with whom he played in two Super Bowls,
Timmerman signed with the Rams as a free agent in 1999. He has tacked on two
Super Bowls with them.

"I've probably been spoiled just being on the right teams and being around a
great bunch of guys on both teams," he said.

Could his fifth Super Bowl appearance come Feb. 6 in Jacksonville, Fla.?
Timmerman isn't ruling out the possibility, despite some formidable odds: The
Rams (8-8 in the regular season) made the playoffs as a wild card, Atlanta
(11-5) is the NFC South champion, and the Falcons knocked off the visiting Rams
34-17 on Sept. 19.

"The last few weeks, we've kind of come together as a team, just playing better
ball," he said. "And I think the good thing for this team is, being the
underdog, we're not the hunted. We've been the hunted for so long, people
coming into our place wanting a shot at us.

"This time, Atlanta is the hunted team. I think that does put more pressure on
them than us."

The environment in Week 2, when 65,990 welcomed new coach Jim Mora in his first
home game, caught the Rams off-guard, Timmerman acknowledged.

"The place was rockin'," he said. "We were used to showing up and there being
about 15,000 fans in the Georgia Dome. I'm expecting it to be louder" tonight.

The Falcons soared to the top of the division from the basement; they were 5-11
last season. They had a bye last week and will be playing in only their third
postseason contest since the 1998 season. It won't be "just another game,"
Timmerman emphasized.

"There's just something about it that's different," he said. "The weird thing
about the NFL is, the regular-season games are very intense, so you're like,
'How much more intense could it be?' But it is. People are hitting harder, and
that do-or-die attitude just makes the whole thing a more intense, more
physical game."

And who is more qualified to analyze the postseason atmosphere than Timmerman?

"It's been nice," he said. "It really has been quite a run."