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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out

    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    11/17/2004

    Guard Tom Nutten assumed his old position at left guard Sunday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Orlando Pace was to his left, Andy McCollum and Adam Timmerman to his right -– just like during the glory days of the Rams offense.

    “It’s like old times out there,” McCollum said. “It was good to have him there. He did a good job. I think he can be even better this week.”

    Nutten experienced some flashbacks during that victory over the Seattle Seahawks. “It felt strange, but it felt good at the same time,” he said. “It felt natural. There are a lot of emotions out there . . . it felt good.”

    The Rams are glad to hear it, because Nutten is suddenly critical to this team’s quest for another division title.

    Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is clicking these days. Running back Marshall Faulk has the old spring in his step and rookie Steven Jackson adds the power-running component the team has lacked for years.

    Receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce are playing brilliantly this season. Youngsters Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald are developing into significant threats and tight ends Brandon Manumaleuna and Cam Cleeland are factors, too.

    The offense is poised for a big finish this season . . . if the offensive line can somehow hold up. And that’s the big if.


    Who could have foreseen all the calamities that have befallen this unit?

    Would-be starters Dave Wohlabaugh and Kyle Turley are distant memories now, having failed to fully recover from offseason surgery. Promising youngster Scott Tercero just got wiped out by shoulder surgery.

    Poor Chris Dishman just injured his good knee, sidelining him for an indefinite period of time. “I tore my MCL, so we’ll see how long that will take,” Dishman said Wednesday, slowly removing a bulky brace from his left knee.

    He tried to play hurt against the Seahawks, but couldn’t.

    “I braced it up,” Dishman said. “I thought I could do it and I went out and tried to make an adjustment on a linebacker and at that point I knew something was wrong. My knee kind of flopped out to the side and I thought something was not right. It was better for Tommy to go in.”

    Nutten came out of retirement to assist the Rams this season after injuries depleted the offensive line. While he was trying to scrape off his rust and regain his playing strength, he suffered a “turf injury” that hobbled him for a couple of months.

    Now his strength is up and his toe feels great. The chronic elbow injury that prompted his retirement has cleared up and so have his chronic ankle woes.

    “Tom, it was a big key for us to have him there,” Dishman said. “He went in and did a great job. He’s a seven-year guy. He hasn’t been away from the game that long. He was coaching, so the Xs and Os were still there.”

    Nutten is only too happy to put down the clipboard and lend a hand.

    “I didn’t come back here just to be a training dummy,” he said. “That’s what I worked hard for the last 2 ˝ months. I wished it wouldn’t have happened because I didn’t want to see anybody get hurt. All of a sudden we had a couple people go down, Scott with his shoulder, and Dish with his knee. That’s what I’m here for.”


    The nostalgia wave has begun to sweep over the locker room and meeting rooms. The linemen are teasing each other just like they did in the good old days.

    “We always kid Tom,” McCollum said. “When he left, when he was here . . .”

    Why is that?

    “Because he can take it,” McCollum said. “He’s a good guy, he can take it. And, you know, he’s a foreigner.”

    That’s right, Nutten speaks fluent German and he grew up in Quebec.

    “Him and Adam get at it really bad,” McCollum said with a straight face “They get serious. I’ve got to step in and make nice with everybody.”

    The chatter sounds the same as it did a few years ago. But will they look the same as they did during the Super Bowl runs?

    If so, the Rams might do more than just talk about their glory days. They might relive them.


  2. #2
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: 'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out

    I like Nutten. Let's hope he can play like he did back in the day.

  3. #3
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    Re: 'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out

    If he can help open holes in the running game to free up the passing game in Buffalo, I'll take it.

  4. #4
    elAcky Guest

    Re: 'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out

    we can't ignore that its still a short term solution though..

  5. #5
    sbramfan Guest

    Re: 'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out

    It sounds good on paper to say that the offense is playing well, but I can't help but be a little concerned that after putting up a quick 17 on Seattle, the offense squeeked out only 6 more the rest of the game.

    I have never felt that this offense is anywhere near the jugernaut of a few years ago, but Martz and others are talking like it could be as explosive...

    But wouldn't the old team have taken that 17 points in the first quarter and put up 40 by games end?

    Have the Rams even scored 30 this year? I like the way things are progressing on offense, but I think they need to keep the petal to the metal and start putting a higher goal on points per game.

  6. #6
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    Re: 'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out

    Some of you seem to have quickly forgotten how pathetic RT was back in the "good 'ole day" with those 4. If we continue to find out that this is still unbearably true, then I too want to go lay down somewhere and die. I also seem to remember a lot of pressure coming up the middle at the most inopportune times. But, hey, ready or not Old Home Week here we come.

  7. #7
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: 'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out

    we can't ignore that its still a short term solution though..
    Is it? I think Nutten can be a factor for the rest of this year, maybe even next year.

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