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  1. #1
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    Kicker Josh Brown knows he has big shoes to fill with Rams

    Kicker Josh Brown knows he has big shoes to fill with Rams

    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat


    The recent spate of rain showers in the St. Louis area has made kicker Josh Brown wonder if he's still in Seattle.

    "I'm sick of rain," said Brown, who grew up in Oklahoma and played college football at Nebraska. "That's what happens in the Midwest in April and May. I'm just glad no tornadoes are coming by the motel right now."

    The Rams lured Brown away from the Seahawks with a five-year, $14.2 million contract that makes him the highest paid kicker in the NFL.

    Brown replaces kicker Jeff Wilkins, who announced his retirement this winter after 15 seasons in the NFL, including the last 11 seasons with the Rams.

    "Jeff left a great amount of space to fill," Brown said. "He did a great job for a long time. I just want to concentrate on carrying on what I've already learned and what I've started to accomplish and the reputation I already have. Jeff played here for a long time, and he will be missed, but I'm kind of glad the job is open."

    Coach Scott Linehan said he's happy to have Brown wearing a Rams uniform.

    "It is nice, I can tell you that," Linehan said. "I think this thing about 'Wilky' and what he meant to this team and the whole thing with him retiring with all of the emotions we went through during the off-season was sad.

    "It was really sad to see his career come to an end. To have Josh come in and fill his role is a bittersweet kind of a deal, but it is nice to have Josh here. I'm glad we had a chance to replace Jeff with a guy of his caliber, that's for sure."

    Brown said his No. 1 goal in the Rams' minicamp this weekend is establishing camaraderie with his new teammates.

    "More than anything, it's just getting to know my teammates and getting a good rhythm built up with my snapper and my holders," Brown said. "You want to build some kind of friendships and camaraderie between your players. You want people to learn to trust you. You want them to feel like they are buddies out there next to you."

    Brown said he was looking forward to kicking in the Edward Jones Dome.

    "That probably puts the biggest smile on my face out of this whole thing," Brown said. "It is going to be great being able to concentrate on kicking inside and not having to worry about Mother Nature that much. I can focus in on what I have to do rather than contend with her at the same time."

    Excused absences

    Three players -- safety Todd Johnson, offensive tackle Rob Pettiti and center-guard Dustin Fry -- got permission from Linehan to miss either part or all of the minicamp.

    Johnson has a commitment for a charity event in his native Florida, and he should be back with the team Sunday.

    Pettiti is sidelined with an Achilles injury suffered during the offseason conditioning program. Linehan said it would be six months before Pettiti was cleared for running.

    Fry is getting married this weekend.

    "He actually checked with me in the winter time and this was going to be our rookie minicamp," Linehan said. "I changed it on him, so I guess I allowed him to get married. His wife owes me."

    Fast healer

    Rams defensive tackle Adam Carriker, the team's first-round pick in 2007, is way ahead of schedule in his return from the torn labrum muscle he sufered in the team's season finale against Arizona Cardinals.

    The injury required surgery, yet Carriker was able to participate in the team's minicamp.

    "I think it is amazing how fast he has recovered," Linehan said. "Generally, with an injury like that, it is 4-6 months before you can do anything. I think in this case he could probably be able to play a game if we had to play one. That guy has been busting his butt since the end of the season to get to where he is at. It has really paid off."

    Quick hits

    Rams offensive coordinator Al Saunders wore a T-shirt that read "Offense" on the front side and "Gotta Go to Work" on the back, bringing back the slogan that the team used under Dick Vermeil during the 1999 Super Bowl championship season.

    Saunders also continued his practice of running down the field with the wide receivers during passing drills.

    "I've heard about it," Linehan said of Saunders' hands-on approach to coaching. "It's pretty famous, the lore about Al running down there.

    "I asked him if he was going to still chase the receivers. He said he had been training. He said, 'You'll see.' I was pretty impressed. I don't know how old Al is, but at his age I hope I can run that well."

    For the record, Saunders is 61 years old.

    Rookie wide receiver Donnie Avery, the Rams' second-round draft choice, also was impressed with Saunders.

    "He's pretty fast," said Avery, who has been clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash. "I think he probably has a step on me."

    Keenan Burton wore Wilkins' old No. 14, but you won't be seeing any long field goals from the rookie wide receiver.

    "I might be able to throw 50 (yards), but I don't know if I can kick 50 yards," Burton said.



  2. #2
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    Re: Kicker Josh Brown knows he has big shoes to fill with Rams

    Alright I like Al running down the sidelines with the receivers and being all motivated making up tshirts.

    Offense Gotta Go To Work
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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