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  1. #1
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Looker's Role Expanding Again

    Looker's Role Expanding Again
    Wednesday, December 28, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Dane Looker is used to doing thankless jobs. As the team’s fifth receiver, Looker is asked to come in and get the occasional first down. He also serves as the team’s place holder on kicks and participates in kickoff coverage.

    Now, he has added another job title to his resume: punt returner.

    “I enjoy it, I do,” Looker said. “It’s not a job that’s real sought after. It’s not one of those jobs that…it’s kind of like holding. You usually only get a lot of coverage when you mess up. Anytime I get a chance to touch the ball, I’ll take the opportunity.”

    It hasn’t taken much for Looker to relearn how to return punts. His experience before the past two weeks was limited to a short stint as the team’s returner in 2003. He had two attempts for 47 yards that season with a long of 44 yards.

    Without the breakaway speed of a Jerome Mathis or the video game moves of Dante Hall, Looker knows his limitations and that has helped him adjust to his newest role.

    “Get it and go,” Looker said. “I know my strengths. I’m going to get that ball and as (coach Bob) Lig(ashesky) says, ‘Chase the green grass’ and I try to make as little moves as I can. Make one move and go.”

    So far, that philosophy has helped boost an ailing return game. That isn’t to say Looker has made a case for the Pro Bowl in the past two weeks, but he has showed a penchant for taking the ball up the field, something that his predecessors have lacked.

    “He’s doing very well,” interim coach Joe Vitt said. “He’s had the best returns of the year so far. That’s the best way to do it. Catch the ball and get up the field.”

    Looker has eight returns for 69 yards, an average of 8.6 yards per attempt. Mixed in those eight attempts is a long of 17 yards. The list of predecessors for Looker includes the likes of David Allen, Shaun McDonald and Terry Fair. That group combined posted 78 yards on 18 returns, an average of 4.3 yards per return.

    Clearly, Looker has been an improvement, proving his value to the Rams even further.

    “I think it was process of elimination,” Looker said. “Some guys went down so I was on the backburner all year. I told coach Vitt earlier in the season that I would like to do it. He gave me a chance to do it. After we lost David then it just gave me the opportunity.”

    And like every other opportunity he has been given in his NFL career, Looker is making the most of it.

    “I think the last two weeks we have had a real good scheme in and the guys have been blocking real well,” the always-humble Looker said. “I’ll just (continue to) look for the green grass and chase it as hard as I can.”

    ROSTER MOVEMENT: The Rams made another roster move Wednesday, bringing their injured reserve total to an even 10 and adding a familiar face at safety.

    Rookie Jerome Carter was placed on injured reserve after dealing all season with an ankle injury. In his place, the Rams signed Dwaine Carpenter, a safety who spent two seasons with the *****.

    “I saw him play last year in San Francisco as a safety,” Vitt said. “He’s a bigger guy who has got some range. He struggled a bit in man coverage in San Francisco last year. His big thing really is special teams play so that’s why we will give him a look.”

    Carpenter played in 15 games in each of his first two seasons before playing two this year. In those 32 games, Carpenter has 67 tackles with a pair of sacks and an interception.

    Carter played in 13 games with a pair of starts. He had 40 tackles with a pair of passes defended while apparently playing on a bad ankle all year.

    “Jerome Carter has had this foot (injury) the whole year,” Vitt said. “It’s getting worse so we put him down so we can look at another young guy.”

    GRASS IS GREENER: Defensive end Brandon Green has known he could play in the NFL for a long time. But he never really got a chance to show it in his first two seasons in the league because of injuries.

    “He had the knee injury before he came here,” Vitt said. “He’s a powerful guy for his size and he’s helped himself this year he really has. He’s helped himself.”

    Green has played in all 15 games this year with a start mixed in. He has 30 tackles with three sacks and a forced fumble backing up Anthony Hargrove at end. Green is finally healthy and seems to have found a home in St. Louis.

    “I don’t think there’s any question,” Vitt said. “He has been very very productive for us. He started a lot of games for us. He’s a versatile guy that can rush the passer, for his size he can play the run fairly well. He runs hard to the football. He knows what he is doing. He’s been quite a surprise.”

    INJURY REPORT: Last week, many thought Vitt was joking when he said the Rams needed to fumigate their meeting rooms because of the rash of illnesses that have hit the team. It’s apparent now that he wasn’t joking as the injury report is full of sick Rams again, including starting quarterback Jamie Martin.

    “He’s throwing up,” Vitt said. “Same thing with Brian Howard, who is really sick. Claude Terrell is really sick. These guys are all throwing up. Brian Howard is at the hospital right now getting IVs so we have to just wait and see.”

    Martin and Howard missed parts of Wednesday’s practice and are listed as probable. Martin took most of the reps in the first part of practice, but left because of the illness about halfway through. Running back Marshall Faulk (knee) and Jackson (hip) are also probable.

    Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring/shoulder), defensive tackle Damione Lewis (knee) and Looker (knee) are questionable.

    Saint Louis
    of Los Angeles

  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Looker's Role Expanding Again

    Guest Starring on E.R. this week.............the St. Louis Rams!

  3. #3
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    Re: Looker's Role Expanding Again

    Why do they list Damione Lewis as "Questionable"? They could have asked any one of us here at ClanRam about him and we'd all say he's been "Questionable".

  4. #4
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    Re: Looker's Role Expanding Again

    This team looks like it needs it's own MASH unit.

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey


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