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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Martz taking no chances with starters

    Martz taking no chances with starters
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat

    ST. LOUIS - Even with the Governor's Cup trophy at stake, the St. Louis Rams' preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at 7 p.m. today at the Edward Jones Dome will be the NFL equivalent of a junior varsity game.

    Don't expect either team to play its starters much more than a series or two.

    "We're going to protect our starters in this last preseason game," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "You have to. Only a fool wouldn't do that."

    The Rams' starting offensive line might see a little more action than the rest of the starters because Martz wants to give the unit, which was missing right guard Adam Timmerman and left guard Tom Nutten for the first two preseason games, some more time to jell.

    "To some extent, they still need to play a little bit," Martz said. "Our offensive lineman still haven't played long enough together to start the season. Adam still needs to play a good quarter probably."

    Rams right tackle Ryan Tucker, who played left guard throughout his previous six seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, was planning to play as much as the coaching staff allows.

    "I expect to play as long as possible," Tucker said. "If it's less, that's great. I'm preparing myself to play the whole game."

    Martz said the Rams will use the game to take a long look at some of the players trying to make the team's final 53-man roster.

    All NFL teams must trim their rosters from 65 players to 53 players by 3 p.m. Sunday.

    "This is a great opportunity for some of these guys who will make this team, and some that will not, to expose themselves to the whole National Football League, to have an opportunity to play, and fill out a resume, if you will," Martz said. "It's very important for these guys to play and play well."

    Some of the players in the spotlight will be tight end Jerome Collins, quarterback Jeff Smoker, running backs Arlen Harris and Aveion Cason, fullback Morgan Hedgecock, wide receiver Jeremy Carter and safeties Michael Stone and Oshiomogho Atogwe.

    The Rams (2-1) had their dress rehearsal for their Sept. 11 season opener against the San Francisco ***** on Monday night as they beat the Lions 37-13.

    The Rams had only two days of practice to get ready for their game against the Chiefs.

    "It is tough," Martz said. "They originally had this (game) as a Thursday game, can you imagine that? I think playing a Monday night game in the third preseason game is very difficult to do. You're at risk in that last game. You have fatigued guys, so you have to protect your starters."

    Martz said the Rams studied no game film of the Chiefs to get ready for the game.

    "We did nothing for Kansas City, nothing," Martz said. "So whatever happens, happens out there."

    Tucker said the short preparation time was no big deal.

    "In Chicago, we played in a couple of Thanksgiving games where we played on Sunday and then we had to play on Thursday," Tucker said. "It's been done. Guys have done it around the league."

    For Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, the game marks his third back in St. Louis since coaching the 1999 Rams to the franchise's only Super Bowl championship.

    Vermeil said the Rams have only 12 players still on their roster that played for him, including wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

    "I didn't bring Isaac there, but the rest of them I brought there," Vermeil said. "I look forward to seeing them, watching them play, hoping they stay healthy."

    Vermeil said he's been impressed after watching film of the Rams' first three preseason games.

    "I think it's the best team Mike's had since his Super Bowl team (in 2001)," Vermeil said. "First off, I think their defense has improved. They just look like they have more good players. Just watching them play against Detroit, they can't play much better or much harder."

    The Chiefs will be without starting quarterback Trent Green, who had to exit his team's preseason game against Seattle last week after experiencing numbness in his left leg and his foot. On Tuesday, Green had a stent placed in his lower leg and has begun taking blood thinners to alleviate what is thought to be a circulation problem.

    Green's backup, Todd Collins, is sidelined with a hand injury, leaving journeyman Jonathan Quinn as the team's starting quarterback. Collins was out of football until getting a call from the Chiefs two weeks ago.

    The Chiefs are 0-3 this season, but they've won the Governor's Cup three years running


  2. #2
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Martz taking no chances with starters

    This is great news. I'd rather not play the starters at all and get beat 56-10 rather than risk injury to any starters in this game.

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Martz taking no chances with starters

    Quote Originally Posted by ZigZagRam
    This is great news. I'd rather not play the starters at all and get beat 56-10 rather than risk injury to any starters in this game.
    I agree. We put the team to the test against Detroit, now it's time to protect the starters and prepare to invade and conquer 3Com.

  4. #4
    STLRAMSFAN Guest

    Re: Martz taking no chances with starters

    It will be great resting them and what better team to start the season against then the SF *****. That should be a great game to work some things out and try different combos at FS. If we play the way we are capable of our starters might get to rest in the 4th. But if we have problems beating SF it will be a long season.
    Last edited by STLRAMSFAN; -09-02-2005 at 06:58 PM.

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