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Thread: Inside Slant
Rams Team Report
He was the second overall pick in the NFL draft, but the education of Chris Long continues.
With the offseason work now complete, Long points toward training camp as a time when he will simply strive to improve. As for the on-field work after being drafted, Long said, “It’s humbling. A lot of it flew by quick. But you see the big picture and you realize it’s a cycle and you’re starting over again.”
Long played in a 3-4 defense in college and also was on the left side. He is now on the right side for the Rams. He is looking forward to the time when he’ll be able to just play rather than having to think.
“You’re always thinking until you get to that point where you know (your assignments) like the back of your hand,” he said. “The sooner the better. But I don’t anticipate getting to the point where (veterans) Leonard Little is or La’Roi Glover is or James Hall is overnight. I’m just going to have to keep working.”
Said coach Scott Linehan, “We’ve thrown a lot at Chris, and that was the objective. He’s seen a lot of offense since he’s been here. Once that starts to click in with him, I know he’s going to really take off.”
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has been impressed and looks forward to the different ways he will able to utilize the rookie.
Said Haslett, “Remember, he was in a 3-4 his whole career (at Virginia), and he’s lining up over a tackle. Now we’re going to have to move him outside and line him up over a tight end and in space. So it’s a little bit of a learning curve. But from what I know of him, and how smart he is … I don’t think it’ll be a big transition going from a 3-4 to a 4-3.”
While it has been said that Long doesn’t have the freakish burst on the edge that someone like Little has, Haslett said he will still be effective. Saying Long is “a slip-and-slide guy. A guy that can turn the corner. He has great vision on the quarterback and can come back inside. He has great moves turning the corner.”
Haslett also notes that his different defensive looks will be able to take advantage of Long’s strengths.
“He can do a lot of different things for you,” Haslett said. “He’s a better fit for teams like us, Baltimore, Pittsburgh. Teams that do a lot of different things than just a straight 4-3 where you’re going to sit there and rush him all day.”
Plus, Haslett said, don’t forget playing the run.
Haslett said, “I think he’s very good in run defense. He does a great job in hand placement and getting off blocks. He looks like his father from that standpoint. You can tell his dad coached him when he was young because he’s got the Howie moves.”
• No one wants to panic, but with five weeks until training camp, running back Steven Jackson still doesn’t have an agent. Jackson is entering the final year of his contract, and the Rams have been hopeful of getting a new deal signed in time for camp.
However, Jackson doesn’t have an agent because Gary Uberstine dropped him as a client about 4-6 weeks ago. It’s odd for an agent to set loose a high-profile player, but Uberstine isn’t talking about why he did it.
He did tell SportsBusiness Journal, “I assume there will be no shortage of interested agents. He is a phenomenal ballplayer and should be the highest-paid running back in the league. I don’t have any bad feelings.”
• Coach Scott Linehan has a soft spot for wide receiver Dane Looker, who like the head coach is from the state of Washington and endeared himself even more last season by coming back in a game against Dallas with a horrible thigh bruise that was bleeding on the inside.
However, Looker could have a tough summer because of the competition at his position. He won’t be holding for kicker Josh Brown as he did for the retired Jeff Wilkins, and Linehan told Looker he has to make the team as a receiver and on special teams.
Other receivers include Torry Holt, Drew Bennett, Reche Caldwell, Dante Hall, Derek Stanley, Marques Hagans and rookies Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton.
Looker elicited cheers from his teammates at the end of the last OTA practice of the spring when he placed a chip shot within five feet of a makeshift pin on the practice field. That meant afternoon meetings were canceled.
Asked later if he was nervous, Looker admitted, “A little bit. I play so much, I had to hit a good shot.”
Said Linehan, “I think Dane could probably play professional golf. Whatever he picks up, Dane’s good at. He just has a knack.”
Quote To Note: “Coach Saunders is a motivational speaker if I’ve ever seen one. He makes you come in and work hard. While you’re here, those five hours or six hours or 10 hours, however long you’re here, you’re here to work and get your job done. While you’re here, it’s 100 percent totally focused on football.” - C Brett Romberg on new offensive coordinator Al Saunders.
Strategy And Personnel
Franchise Player: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
• RB Rich Alexis (not tendered as ERFA).
• C/G Andy McCollum (not tendered as UFA).
• S Hanik Milligan (not tendered as UFA).
• LB Raonall Smith (not tendered as UFA).
• T/G Todd Steussie (not tendered as UFA).
• TE Aaron Walker (not tendered as UFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED
• OT John Greco (3/65): $1.799M/3 yrs, $643,900 SB; 2008 cap: $509,633.
• OG Roy Schuening (5/157): $1.283M/3 yrs, $128,000 SB; 2008 cap: $337,667.
• G Jacob Bell: UFA Titans; $36M/6 yrs, $7M SB/$6M base salaries guaranteed 08-09; 2008 cap: $3.167M.
• TE Anthony Becht: UFA Buccaneers; $2M/2 yrs, $270,000 SB; 2008 cap: $865,000.
• K Josh Brown: UFA Seahawks; $14.2M/5 yrs, $4M SB; 2008 cap: $1.8M.
• WR Reche Caldwell: UFA Redskins; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.
• QB Bruce Gradkowski: WAIVERS Buccaneers.
• QB Trent Green: FA Dolphins; $8.9M/3 yrs, $2.1 SB/$900,000 reporting bonus; 2008 cap: $2.6M.
• CB David Macklin: UFA Redskins; $770,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.
• S Jerome Carter: Not tendered as RFA; $520,000/1 yr, no SB; 2008 cap: $445,000.
• T/G Adam Goldberg: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.
• OT Brandon Gorin: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.
• DE James Hall: FA; had been released by Rams; 2 yrs, $3M/2 yrs, $700,000 SB.
• RB Travis Minor: Potential UFA; $755,000/1 yr, $20,000 SB.
• S Oshiomogho Atogwe: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.
• C Brett Romberg: UFA; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB; 2008 cap: $485,000.
• G Milford Brown: UFA Panthers; $5.5M/2 yrs, $1M SB.
• WR Isaac Bruce (released).
• TE Dominique Byrd (released).
• LB Brandon Chillar: UFA Packers; $5.4M/2 yrs, $550,000 SB/$1M RB.
• QB Gus Frerotte (released).
• DE Trevor Johnson: Not tendered as RFA/Chiefs; terms unknown.
• PK Jeff Wilkins (retired).
Re: Inside Slant
Dane Looker isn't going to be the holder for Josh Brown? Looker is done!
Question is....who is going to be the holder?
-06-20-2008 #3Registered User
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- Jul 2007
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Re: Inside Slant
most teams have either the punter or one of the backup qb's work as the holder. wilkins had looker for so long, that they didn't want to mess with a good thing. Josh Brown will be starting new with whoever holds for him, so it's wide open for him.
Unless Linny (or Saunders) wants a trick play threat, my bet is on donnie jones to be the holder. he's the other spec'l teamer and Rams have him locked up for 3 or 4 more years. I just don't see Trent Green being asked to fill that role, but it's possible.
-06-20-2008 #4Mooselini Guest
Re: Inside Slant
I don't know if I'd count Looker out just yet. He's not one-dimensional, and with Saunders and Ellard calling the shots, he may just turn out to be a decent weapon this season.
Re: Inside Slant
If we are lucky Dane Looker make be Mike Furrey, but thats wishful thinking. I think Gradkowski will be the holder
Re: Inside Slant
One does question how many times they can recycle the same old quotes into new articles
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