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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Leonard is turning heads at Rams training camp.

    Rams’ draft pick off to strong start
    Running back from Rutgers is making a good first impression with versatility and hustle
    By The Associated Press

    August 2, 2007 | 12:42 a.m. CST

    ST. LOUIS — If St. Louis rookie running back Brian Leonard ever needs a favor, he knows where to turn.

    While finishing a stellar college career at Rutgers University, Leonard became acquainted with actor James Gandolfini, a Rutgers graduate who attends three or four games a year.

    “I saw him a bunch of times,” Leonard said. “He even came out to our (dormitory) and said hello. He’s really into Rutgers football.”

    Gandolfini, better known for his role as Tony Soprano, may soon be into St. Louis Rams football, as well.

    Leonard, the Rams’ second-round draft choice this spring, has been impressive during the first week of training camp. He sparkled as a member of the second team during a workout Wednesday afternoon, so much so that he was promoted to the first team for several plays during 11-on-11 drills.

    Leonard’s hustle and intensity have caught the eye of coach Scott Linehan, who considers him a jack-of-all trades.

    The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Leonard ran for 2,779 yards and caught 207 passes in his four years at Rutgers. He is considered a solid blocker and Linehan has used him on special teams in practice. Listed as the No. 2 fullback and No. 2 running back on the current depth chart, Leonard will likely see plenty of action in preseason play.

    “He wears a lot of hats and he wears them well,” Linehan said. “He can run the ball downhill, he can block, he’s a great pass protector on third down, and he has excellent hands.”

    Leonard, the 52nd overall pick in the NFL draft, knows it is his versatility that will get him time on the field. With Steven Jackson entrenched as the No. 1 running back and Madison Hedgecock holding down the fullback spot, Leonard could play a key role spelling both regulars.

    “I can do a little bit of everything,” Leonard said. “I think the coaches are seeing that.”

    Leonard shrugged and said it doesn’t matter when asked which position he would prefer to play.

    “Honestly, I just want to get out on the field,” he said. “Fullback or running back, I’ll be happy at either.”

    Leonard made a diving catch Wednesday and broke a 15-yard run up the middle during drills.

    So far he has adapted well to the speed of the NFL game. He says he has received a lot of help from Jackson, who has been serving as a mentor.

    “Steven has always been there for me,” Leonard said. “I’m always learning things.”

    Leonard exploded onto the college scene in 2003, when he was named Big East Conference Freshman of The Year after leading the Scarlet Knights with 880 yards rushing. He was moved to the more traditional fullback role by his senior season and helped in the resurgence of the Rutgers program.

    Now, Leonard feels he is ready to make an impact at a higher level.

    “All he needs right now is experience and that will come,” Linehan said. “(So far) he’s been outstanding.”

  2. #2
    Revelstoke Guest

    Re: Leonard is turning heads at Rams training camp.

    Another guy I can't wait to see under the big lights of the regular season!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Leonard is turning heads at Rams training camp.

    Awesome news! I wonder if he has jumped over anybody at practice yet?

  4. #4
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    Re: Leonard is turning heads at Rams training camp.

    This is by far the best off-season I can remember in recent memory.
    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  5. #5
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    Re: Leonard is turning heads at Rams training camp.

    Being a NJ guy who lives in the backyard of Rutgers, this is not overly surprising. I like the type of players the Rams are starting to bring who have ATTITUDE and TALENT! We will be late in a game needing some tough yardage in the Red Zone and everyone will be keying on Jackson and they will give the ball to Leonard who will blow away any defender who isn't big enough or strong enough because they think theycan arm tackle him. This is NFC East type stuff, but we'll rock and roll through our division and into the playoffs, mark my word! This is going to an awesome year, no one is expecting anything from us, watch out!

    Go Rams!

  6. #6
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    Re: Leonard is turning heads at Rams training camp.

    The offense is going to be impossible to plan for and impossible to stop. I forgot about Leonard since it has been so long since the draft. He will be a nice addition for the offense and special teams.

    That is good to hear that Jackson is acting as a mentor for him.

  7. #7
    Guam rammer's Avatar
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    Re: Leonard is turning heads at Rams training camp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    This is by far the best off-season I can remember in recent memory.
    sounds like everybody's on the same page and that winning attitude is a disease at rams park.

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