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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Laurinaitis' learning curve

    By BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    06/07/2009

    It's not that rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis is uncommunicative. He just prefers to let others do the talking for now.

    "I feel like when guys come in and they start being vocal without proving themselves, that's where they can get on the bad side of people," said Laurinaitis, the Rams' second-round draft choice (No. 35 overall). "I think you need to just be quiet and learn. These guys have been here for a while, so soak it up.

    "And when you put pads on and you're able to play a game, go out there and just let your actions speak. And then we'll see what happens."
    So, you won't hear Laurinaitis grumbling about being denied first-team reps during practices this spring. Coach Steve Spagnuolo, who also has kept the first-round pick, tackle Jason Smith, on the second unit, stressed that promotions must be merited. "Guys definitely have to earn their way," said Laurinaitis, a 6-foot-2, 244-pound middle linebacker, at minicamp. "When I went to Ohio State, I knew as a freshman I was going to be quiet and just kind of learn from the guys that had been there. And when you have a chance to play, you let your leadership start on the field."

    The players won't don full pads until training camp, which starts in late July. So, any true evaluations are on hold until then, defensive coordinator Ken Flajole explained.

    "It's a little premature, but I've been happy with James," Flajole said. "It seems like he's a very bright young man, has a passion for the game — all the qualities that we look for. So far, so good."

    With the opening of the regular season still three months off, Laurinaitis figures he has plenty of time to prove his value and nail down a first-team job.

    "Everyone on this team wants to start; that's just common sense. And that's obviously my goal," he said. "I have all the faith in the coaches that they're going to put who they think should be starting on the field."

    STANLEY AWAITS CHANCE

    Wide receiver Derek Stanley, who will get the first shot at winning the returner's job, hasn't been able to show off for the new coaches as he recovers from end-of-season knee surgery. Stanley has increased his participation at practice, but hasn't been permitted to join team drills.

    "We don't want to do anything with him throughout these OTAs," Spagnuolo said. "The hope is that as soon as we open up training camp, he'll be full-go."

    RAM-BLINGS

    Wide receiver Keenan Burton (hamstring) and defensive lineman Kirston Pittman (heel) remain sidelined. ... The team will be back on the practice fields Tuesday for the resumption of organized team activities. They continue through June 17 at Rams Park.


  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Laurinaitis' learning curve

    Laurinaitis is a throwback, a football player, period. I just can't wait to see what this guy does on the field, because IMO it's going to be exciting.

  3. #3
    TekeRam's Avatar
    TekeRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Laurinaitis' learning curve

    That, and he's exactly what we need back there in the LB corps. A sure drag down, aware as hell guy who can cover and plug the run with equal ability. I have no doubt in my mind he'll start from day one.

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    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Laurinaitis' learning curve

    I love his attitude I think the Rams made the right pick there.
    :ramlogo:

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