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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jacob Bell Insists He's Not Shrinking

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/19/2008

    Jacob Bell insists he's not the incredible shrinking guard. Over the last month or so of this season, there has been much scuttlebutt about Bell's weight being down into the low 280s.

    Because his listed playing weight coming into the NFL was 305 pounds, that would be an alarming loss of more than 20 pounds. Bell attempted to set the record straight in an interview earlier in the week.

    "I came into the league at 305, but that was five years ago," he said. "I had ACL (knee) surgery that offseason. I lost a bunch of weight; I never put it back on. I kind of liked the way I felt a little bit lighter, and I played well at that weight."

    Since his rookie season with the Tennessee Titans in 2004, Bell said he has played at 290 pounds throughout his career. So when he dipped down in the 280s, that represented a loss of only 5 pounds or so — not 20-something pounds.

    So he hasn't lost a ton of weight.

    "Not at all," Bell said. "I'm usually dominating, no matter how big I am."

    He was joking when he said that. Actually, Bell hasn't been dominating as a Ram, although he has played better lately. Slowed by hamstring and foot injuries earlier in the season, Bell hasn't looked like a $36 million man much of the season. That's the total contract value of the six-year free-agent deal he signed with St. Louis last March 4.

    Bell is the first to admit that big expectations come with big bucks in the NFL.

    "Somebody like me, they expect a lot out of me," he said. "There's no room for error. And when you're losing, the spotlight's that much bigger on every one of us. Because you're losing for a reason. You're not losing because of the coaches; you're losing because the players aren't getting the job done."

    The transition from Titan to Ram was tough on Bell at the start of the season.

    "First game of the year, I thought I came out pretty decent — there were a few things I could've gotten better at," Bell said. "But then I had the stupid (hamstring) injury."

    That sidelined him for two games. Bell returned against Buffalo in Game 4 and played well but then suffered a foot injury in Game 5 at Washington, which was Jim Haslett's Rams head-coaching debut.

    "I played all the way up to the (first) San Francisco game with pretty much a bum leg," Bell said. "I was hobbling around. I was out there, but I wasn't playing my best football. ...You want to be healthy. You want to be able to play the way you know you can play."

    Haslett agreed with the notion that Bell's play has improved down the stretch.

    "He's been playing with power," Haslett said. "He's added a couple pounds again. I think he's played really well the last three or four weeks."

    Bell was the team's highest-graded offensive lineman in the Seattle game. But even if tales of Bell's weight loss are the stuff of urban legend, there's no doubt that the Rams want him heavier in 2009.

    "I would like to have him a little bit bigger," Haslett said. "I know at one time, he said he was 300-something. I'd like to get him back up there if we could. I'd like to have a little bit bigger line. But he's a good athlete. He has a good feel for the game. Good pass protector. We'd just like to have a little more, you know, lead behind him."

    Now, there's another reason for Bell to bulk up because the Rams are thinking of trying him at right tackle next season. This may seem like a real-life exercise in fantasy football, but it's not as far-fetched as one might think.

    Bell played a lot of tackle in college at Miami of Ohio and started a few games at right tackle during his first two seasons with Tennessee.

    "The original plan for me was to play left tackle there (at Tennessee)," Bell said.

    But an injury to Titans left guard Zach Piller forced Bell into duty there as a rookie, and that's eventually where he settled in. The Rams have talked to Bell about playing right tackle, and he has no problem with the potential switch.

    "I've had some experience there," Bell said. "I would like it. I think it'd be a challenge. ... It would be something where I may want to bump my weight up — maybe 10, 15 pounds, which is something I can do easily."

    RAM-BLINGS

    The Rams placed wide receiver Derek Stanley (knee) and linebacker Gary Stills (knee) on the injured reserve list. Replacing them on the 53-man roster are defensive tackle Antwon Burton, who was signed off Kansas City's practice squad, and safety David Roach, who was promoted from the Rams' practice squad.


  2. #2
    Mooselini's Avatar
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    Re: Jacob Bell Insists He's Not Shrinking

    I still think he should put on a few more pounds. There are some defensive tackles out there who can throw him into Bulger. He has played better because the line has played better.

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Jacob Bell Insists He's Not Shrinking

    I don't know...

    He looks smaller to me.

    Last edited by AvengerRam; -12-19-2008 at 04:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Jacob Bell Insists He's Not Shrinking

    I'll tell you what's not shrinking- and that's his penalty total. He's trying to keep up with his fellow guard on that front.

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