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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Looker looks for more time at wideout

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Dec. 08 2004

    Last year, wide receiver Dane Looker broke out. Now, he's just out.

    After catching 47 passes for 495 yards and three touchdowns, Looker has tumbled
    to the depths of the depth chart. The emergence of second-year wideouts Kevin
    Curtis and Shaun McDonald, plus a severe ankle injury, have conspired to put a
    crimp in Looker's career climb.

    "I'm frustrated," Looker said. "But that's obviously not my decision whether I
    play or not. I felt that coming off last year, I'd have more of an opportunity
    this year to make some plays. But that's the way it goes. I'll keep going out
    there and do what I can. It's tough to get back in there."

    Looker, 28, appeared in three games with the Rams in 2002, without making a
    reception. A big season in NFL Europe the following spring provided momentum
    heading into training camp last summer, and he played himself into a
    significant role.

    Not only did he finish third on the team in catches and yards, Looker took over
    as the holder for placekicker Jeff Wilkins. Now, that's his only significant
    role. He's caught only 12 passes for 165 yards and hasn't appeared on offense
    since he was injured at Miami on Oct. 24.

    In the last six games, McDonald and Curtis have combined for 37 catches and 456
    yards. As Looker noted wistfully, someone constantly is waiting in the wings in
    the NFL.

    "Always," he said. "Now, I'm that guy again."

    Rams add depth at RB with Cason

    With Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson nursing bruised knees, the Rams were in
    immediate need of backfield help. They found it in Aveion Cason, a fourth-year
    pro who had been out of work for a couple of months since Dallas released him.

    "It was great to get the call," said Cason, a 5-foot-10, 204-pounder who played
    at Illinois State. "Opportunity is knocking at the door, and I'm going to
    answer it. I'm going to go out there and try to make some plays."

    If Cason, 25, sees action Sunday, it probably will be on special teams. Arlen
    Harris could be tapped for running back duty, and Cason likely would replace
    him as the kickoff returner. His career average on 11 attempts in 18.4 yards.

    Cason, whose first name is pronounced A-vee-on, rushed for 220 yards on 40
    carries - including a 63-yard touchdown run - for the Cowboys last year.

    Shoulder slows Grant Williams

    Grant Williams, who has been replaced at right tackle on the first unit by
    Blaine Saipaia, was listed as questionable Wednesday on the first injury report
    of the week with a right shoulder injury that coach Mike Martz indicated could
    be serious.

    "I'm sure he has some sort of rotator cuff issue; that's been his problem,"
    Martz said. "He's lost his strength so that when he sets (to block), he has to
    turn to favor one arm. And that's how he gets beat."

    Quarterback Marc Bulger was listed as doubtful, although Martz has declared him
    out at least until next week. Other questionables were Jackson and cornerback
    DeJuan Groce (knee). Faulk, cornerback Jerametrius Butler (shoulder and knee),
    defensive end Anthony Hargrove (concussion) and left tackle Orlando Pace
    (thigh) were probable.

    Rams honor MICDS coach Holtman

    Ron Holtman, who guided Mary Institute and Country Day School to the Missouri
    Class 3 state championship, was honored Wednesday as the Rams high school coach
    of the year. The Rams donated $2,000 to the MICDS football program, and
    Holtman, who is retiring, was presented with a certificate signed by Martz and
    NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

    Other finalists were Mike Bellers (Summit), Antwyne Golliday (Cahokia), Joe
    Hook (Alton), Art Johanningmeier (Hillsboro), Pat Mahoney (DeSmet), Todd
    Moeller (O'Fallon), Mike Musick (Clayton), Bob Shannon (CBC) and Phil Watson
    (Wesclin).


  2. #2
    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    I've kinda followed Looker's career and he started off well but I think he had several fumbles in the earlier games this season. I think Martz did the right thing in limiting his play time. I remember back when all those fumblers cost us games. Sorry to say it, but Looker got a look and didn't perform well.

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    Yeah, he has had some ball control problems this season. Plus, when a team drafts two young receivers, it's only a matter of time before they push for time in the offense. Looker's days were numbered before he even emerged on the field.
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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    I think if he hadn't of fumbled he would be the #3. I bet fumbling brings back bad memories for Martz. He doesn't seem to tolerate it now. I liked Looker and always wondered why they didn't get him into the mix a season earlier.

  5. #5
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    Quote Originally Posted by coy bacon
    I think if he hadn't of fumbled he would be the #3. I bet fumbling brings back bad memories for Martz. He doesn't seem to tolerate it now. I liked Looker and always wondered why they didn't get him into the mix a season earlier.
    Interestingly enough, Looker has fumbled once on the season while Bruce has fumbled three times. While Martz might not tolerate it from his role players, he seems to be okay with it from his stars. Still, even if the fumbles were a non-factor, I like having McDonald in as the #3 guy at this point.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    I was a big Looker fan last year as well, thought he was a clone of Ricky Proehl. However with the Looker fumble(s), some dropped passes, lack of speed, and inability to contribute to special teams (other than holder), he should be happy he's getting a paycheck. The last thing Looker needs is to be perceived as complaining.

    Simple risk/reward tradeoff. Bruce = moderate risk, big reward. Az = big risk, bigger reward. Looker = moderate risk, not much reward.

    Furrey is on the bubble as well.

  7. #7
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    evil disco man is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    I'd like to see him used more in the red zone, where his (usually) dependable hands can be made use of, but, as everyone else said, those fumbles make it questionable. At least he can still hold the ball for kicks.

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    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    Definitely some drops by looker, plus that costly fumble that are keeping him out of the top 4 spots.

    Macdonald is stepping up huge (although I'm not real big on him for Punt Returns), and Curtis show signs of greatness at times. I think MacDonald is a better bet for consistency, but Curtis sure does have some breakaway speed. (Did we ever try him at KR/PR?)

    I was thinking that Randel El must be getting close to a contract year? I really wanted the Rams to draft him. I'm sure we can't afford him, but he could definitely fill in that punt returner, 3rd receiver roll that Az had.

    I guess MLB takes priority at this point, but a man can dream, can't he?

  9. #9
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    Re: Looker looks for more time at wideout

    Quote Originally Posted by coy bacon
    I've kinda followed Looker's career and he started off well but I think he had several fumbles in the earlier games this season.
    From my vantage point, it seemed the turning point for him came some time mid last season - can't remember the exact game. But he got "clocked" going over the middle for a pass he had to reach for. He dropped that one and ever since he seemed tentative to me ...

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