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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback
    R.B. FALLSTROM
    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - Bad memories of a failed quarterback who wore No. 9 influenced St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz to change the number of his backup.

    Suddenly, Jeff Smoker, who wore No. 9 in college and in his rookie NFL season, has No. 15 on his back.

    The reason: Every time Martz looked at Smoker he saw the ghost of Joe Germaine, who was supposed to be the backup before getting cut in 2001. Martz remembered a couple of college quarterbacks who wore that number being failures, too.

    "It was a conflict of interest with somebody, so we changed it," Smoker said. "Somebody would rather I have a different number, so I changed it."

    Actually, Smoker had nothing to do with it. Martz has been trying to get Smoker, a sixth-round pick last year out of Michigan State, to change numbers for about a year and he did it by executive order before Saturday's minicamp practice.

    "I kind of just kept putting it off, and I kind of showed up this morning and that number was in my locker," Smoker said. "So, I guess I'll be 15."

    -----

    ON THE DEFENSIVE: Mike Furrey, a backup wide receiver last year, has moved to safety in an effort to get on the field more. Last year, he played in only half of the 16 regular-season games.

    Martz suggested Furrey change positions a couple of weeks before the draft in April, and it didn't take Furrey long to respond.

    "He was trying to find a way to get me on the field because of my special teams play and he said 'Why don't you think about it?'" Furrey said. "I just told him right there, 'Let's do it.' Whatever it takes to help the team out, whatever it takes to get out there on Sundays."

    Furrey has added 20 pounds to what had been a somewhat slight frame. He checked in at 202 pounds for the minicamp.

    "My wife cooked a lot and I ate a lot of food. Potatoes, steaks," Furrey said. "I just loaded it up three times a day probably for the last three months."

    So far, Martz has been impressed with the results. The Rams were short at safety last year, although they drafted Oshiomogho Atogwe in the third round and signed veterans Michael Stone and Michael Hawthorne.

    "He's doing a lot of things that a guy that hasn't played over there, you just wouldn't expect him to do," Martz said. "He's prepared very well and it looks like he's been doing it his whole career."

    -----

    BANGED UP: Anthony Hargrove, who'll take over the starting right defensive end job this fall, missed Saturday's practice with a bone bruise on his right knee. But the Rams and Hargrove expect him to be healthy for organized team activities next week.

    "There's nothing serious," Martz said. "We're fortunate."

    Hargrove said he was hurt backpedaling in a defensive drill in the second of two workouts on Friday.

    "I came out too fast and the knee kind of got twisted up," Hargrove said. "I'm good, though. I've just got to let it rest a little bit and I'll be back full strength."

    Cornerback Travis Fisher also was out Saturday with a mild hip flexor strain.

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  2. #2
    Chiledog's Avatar
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    Great! Smoker has to change numbers because we have a superstitious head coach. Next we'll hear about him asking to borrow Georgia's tarot cards to decide who his staring lineup will be.
    "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie', until you can find a rock." Will Rogers

  3. #3
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiledog
    Great! Smoker has to change numbers because we have a superstitious head coach. Next we'll hear about him asking to borrow Georgia's tarot cards to decide who his staring lineup will be.
    This has me scratching my head too.

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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    While he's at it, he'd better change Barron's number from #70. The struggles of John St. Clair are still very fresh in our minds.
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    That's why we have a Rams Jerseys Remembered thread in here!

    We'll wait until these players actually play this year to see if there will be any changes in their jersey number. I'm still wondering if Furrey, playing DB, will have a number other than 82.

  6. #6
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    Things that make you go hmm?

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    Things that make you go hmm? --r8rh8rmike
    Huh? No comprendo... :bored:

  8. #8
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    That's why we have a Rams Jerseys Remembered thread in here!

    We'll wait until these players actually play this year to see if there will be any changes in their jersey number. I'm still wondering if Furrey, playing DB, will have a number other than 82.
    I thought I read in an article that he's wearing #25.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam
    Huh? No comprendo... :bored:
    Well, sometimes someone poses a question, says or does something that is a bit off the wall or a little hard to understand and all you can do is shrug your shoulders, scratch your head and say, hmm. The concept was made famous in a song by C&C Music Factory, "Things That Make You Go Hmm".

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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    "I kind of just kept putting it off, and I kind of showed up this morning and that number was in my locker," Smoker said. "So, I guess I'll be 15."
    Guess so!

    Hey, I'd rather be reminded of Vince Ferragamo than Joe Germaine, any day of the week.





    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    While he's at it, he'd better change Barron's number from #70. The struggles of John St. Clair are still very fresh in our minds.
    Yeah but(no pun intended) Martz always like St. Clair.

    Last we heard, "he finally gets it".



    :redface:

  11. #11
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    If Martz Is Going To Mandate Players Numbers Maybe We As Fans Should Mandate That He Wear A Dick Vermeil Mask At Every Game So We Can Win Another Super Bowl.

  12. #12
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    Re: Martz mandates number switch for backup quarterback

    The most important thing i read out of all of this is the good news that travis fisher is actually in camp. Also, i heard the hargrove rumour on another board and didnt post it because it was unconfirmed and fuzzy, but i have been a nervous wreck about it for 24 hours (i didnt even email my buddy jkrams about it) and am incredibly relieved that it doesnt appear serious. Now, if we can just get medical clearance on Ike's heart, all will be well. The Barron thing is a non-issue at this point to me. Any expectation that he would come in day 1 and look like irv pankey was way out of line.

    The vermeil mask is an interesting thought john, but wont it get wet if mike cries like uncle dickie used to do?

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

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