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Jokes get old fast for Rams, Chandler
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
Thursday, Dec. 09 2004
Rams coach Mike Martz isn't a big fan of the Chris Chandler age jokes.
"He's not 500 years old," Martz said Wednesday. "I think he's 38. It doesn't
matter how old he is. He can play."
Actually, Chandler is 39. This is his 17th season in the National Football
League. He has played for seven NFL teams, including two stints with the Rams.
On Sunday he makes his 151st NFL start, 154th if you count playoffs, replacing
the injured Marc Bulger against Carolina.
When punter Sean Landeta was released two weeks ago, Chandler became the oldest
player on the Rams' roster. The "old man" jokes only intensified.
"You name it, I get all kinds of things," Chandler said. "We saw Steve Bono
walking off the field Sunday, and Marshall (Faulk) kept asking me if I came in
the league before Steve Bono did."
Bono, now an alumni coordinator for the San Francisco *****, came into the NFL
in 1985, just three seasons before Chandler's rookie season in Indianapolis.
"Actually, nowadays, I laugh at it," Chandler said. "A few years ago, it would
kind of bother me. But being as old as I am, and being in the league as long as
I have been, and playing at the level I'm playing at, I kind of hang my hat on
Despite spending much of his career with lousy teams, Chandler has made two Pro
Bowls and played in a Super Bowl. He has thrown more than 4,000 passes. At this
stage of his football like, he feels that he has nothing to prove. He no longer
worries about stats.
"Now I'm playing to have fun for myself," Chandler said. "But mainly, I'm
playing for all the other guys in this locker room. They're counting on me, and
the only thing I want to do is stand up for those guys."
The Rams certainly need Chandler to stand up and make something happen. Bulger
could miss a couple of games, and the team is in the thick of a playoff race
despite a 6-6 record.
"That's the best thing about it," Chandler said. "We're playing a meaningful
game in December, and there's a lot of teams who aren't. So that's what makes
it a lot more exciting."
Until Bulger went down with a bruised throwing shoulder late in the first
quarter against San Francisco, Chandler hadn't thrown a pass this season. He
served as Jeff Wilkins' holder against New England and Seattle early last month
when Dane Looker was sidelined with a sprained ankle. But that was it for
After three months of serving as the scout team quarterback, running plays of
each week's opponent against the Rams' starting defense, Chandler is now
throwing to Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt in practice. There were some routes
Chandler threw against the ***** that he hadn't thrown since preseason and
training camp. All that has changed this week, his first full week of practice
with the starters.
"It should help a ton," Chandler said. "Mental reps are great, but mental reps
plus the physical part is that much better."
The Rams offense isn't one that can be picked up in a few weeks by a
quarterback. It has its own timing and rhythm. That's one reason why Martz
almost invariably goes with backup quarterbacks he has worked with before.
Although he worked with Chandler before, it was in 1994. So even with all his
experience, Chandler took a while to absorb the system. But he's there now.
"The blitz stuff . . . the hot protections, he understands well enough to where
it doesn't eliminate anything from our packages," Martz said. "There's nothing
in our package right now in our passing game that we wouldn't carry (because of
Chandler). In fact, it's a real heavy game plan this week."
Chandler played for Chicago last season, so he wasn't around for the Rams'
double-overtime playoff loss to Carolina last season. Nor was he in front of
his television set that day.
"I was playing golf all day in the desert," Chandler said. "I didn't see one
snap of it. I heard about it. I heard it was maybe the best playoff game there
Well, maybe not to Rams fans, who would like nothing better than some revenge
"I'm sure everybody has that on their mind," Chandler said. "Not being a part
of the team last year, I can't really speak on that. . . . For our fans it
would be nice to get some, I don't know if revenge is the right word, but kind
of get back at 'em."
NFL experience: 17 years
Ranks fifth among active QBs in career completions, passing yards and TDs, and
sixth in passing attempts.
Has played and started for seven NFL teams.
Re: Jokes get old fast for Rams, ChandlerAfter three months of serving as the scout team quarterbackClannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster
Re: Jokes get old fast for Rams, ChandlerOriginally Posted by YodudeClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!
Re: Jokes get old fast for Rams, ChandlerChandler said. "Not being a part of the team last year, I can't really speak on that. . . . For our fans it would be nice to get some, I don't know if revenge is the right word, but kind of get back at 'em."
Chris Chandler Ranks fifth among active QBs in career completions, passing yards and TDs, and sixth in passing attempts.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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