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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    McMichael on the block

    By Bill Coats
    07/29/2007 5:20 pm


    Randy McMichael credits Scott Linehan with turning him into a complete tight end. McMichael was coming off a big 2004 season (73 catches, 791 yards) with Miami when Linehan showed up in ’05 as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator. Linehan told McMichael that he must improve his blocking to stay in the lineup.

    Linehan “really made it a point that if I wanted to play, I was going to have to learn how to block better,” said McMichael, a free-agent pickup in the offseason. “I really worked hard on my blocking, and it’s come to a point now where I take a real pride in it. As much as I love making catches, I love to make a game-breaking block. As much as I hate dropping balls, I hate missing blocks just as much.”

    Linehan called a well-rounded tight end “the ultimate offensive weapon. To have a great running game, the tight end’s got to be blocking. That’s where we start; we want to be able to establish our run. Once we do that, then the passing game comes. It’s in that particular order.”

    ***

    Cornerback Darius Vinnett stands just 5 feet 8, weighs only 170 pounds, and wasn’t even a full-time starter at Arkansas. Yet Vinnett is having one of the strongest camps among the 11 undrafted rookies, all of whom are longshots to land a job here.

    Vinnett, who ran a blazing 4.32 40 at Arkansas’ pro day in March – with Linehan in attendance – has shown good instincts and nice coverage skills.

    “Longshot . . . I guess that’s an accurate term,” Linehan said. “But right now, it’s wide open. We’re going to keep the best 53 players on our roster. There are a few that have probably got locked positions. But we want a guy like that to continue to grow.

    “He probably wasn’t big enough to play full-time when he was in college. But he played good when he was in there, and he’s shown up out here as well.”

    ***

    Notes from Day 3 of training camp:

    >>Running back Rich Alexis, a third-year pro, has ripped off some nice gains. At 6-0 and 234 pounds, Alexis runs hard and is tough to bring down.

    >>Linehan has carved out considerable on-the-field time for new special-teams coach Al Roberts to put his troops through their paces.

    >>Coaches from Southern Illinois-Carbondale and Western Illinois observed the morning practice from the sideline.

    >>Linebacker Quinton Culberson, an undrafted rookie from Mississippi State, is opening eyes. He’s been particularly stout vs. the run.

    >>At 6-4, corner Lenny Walls has good range and is improving his coverage. His hands, though, are suspect.

    >>Linebacker Tim McGarigle (hamstring) is expected to be out for a week, which could damage his chances of making the final cut. McGarigle spent last season on the practice squad.

    >>LG Mark Setterstrom looks as solid as he did late last season, when he earned a starting spot. Some figured he’d face a stiff challenge from Claude Terrell, but Setterstrom clearly has the inside track.

    >>Second-year wideout Marques Hagans had made several nice catches. At this time a year ago, Hagans, a quarterback at Virginia, couldn’t hang on to anything. He was on the practice squad last year.


  2. #2
    mikhal5569's Avatar
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    I was and still am really high on the pick up of McMichael. Out of all of the guy's we picked up in free agentcy, I thought he was the one who went the most over looked. None of this news about his preseason success surprises me, the man is a beast.

  3. #3
    RedArcher7's Avatar
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    I think all this small corner stuff is gonna bite us, Hill is 5'9, this guy's 5'8, Wade's what 5'10? Playing against 6'3 Wide outs and bruising backs might hurt us, not to say we should depend on corners to stop the run. Good news about McMichael, defense doesn't win games, points win games. Can't win if you can't score. The game is scoring more than the other guy.

  4. #4
    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    I think McMicheal was the biggest overall upgrade at a position we had this offseason, maybe tied with Hall if he produces.

    To RedArcher: I agree with the small corner thing, but I don't think you have to worry about Hill. He had major jumping skills and will be something special.

  5. #5
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    We do have some small corners, but we also have some big ones like Bartell and Walls to match up against the larger opposing WRs.

    Im hoping this Vinnett guy can come in every now and then and make a play, just like Corey Ivy did for us a couple of years ago and like he did for the Ravens last year.

  6. #6
    Torry Holt's Avatar
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    The height doesn't matter, the heart and the toughness is more important, look at Antoine Winfield.
    Si vous croyez en vous, que vous avez de la fierté, et que vous ne lâchez jamais, vous serez un gagnant.
    Le prix de la victoire est chère, mais la récompense en vaut la peine.

  7. #7
    z.nrd Guest

    Re: McMichael on the block

    Yeah, McMichael is a great pick-up. The thing that might not get stressed enough, though, is his pass-blocking. Early when he signed RM, Linehan mentioned his pass-blocking. The Rams obviously need to reduce sacks and not all of them go to the OL. The additional blockers---TE, RB, FB (depending on the set)---needed to improve too. RM adds to that. He is a great short to medium route receiver, a good run blocker, and a good pass blocker. All of that helps; he should make a big difference this year.

  8. #8
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    If size were all that mattered at corner we could stick Pisa out there. I personally would rather have the most overall talent than the biggest group. If you win a spot on the team and are 5'7, fine with me.

  9. #9
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    I'm not doubting how good they are. Don't give me the size of the dog crap if Tye Hill get's matched up against Randy Moss or Plexico Burress He''s gonna give up some catches beacuse he can't get as high as those guys. Fitz and Bolden down in Arizona are gonna give him problems. I never said size makes you a good corner. These guys are fast that's why they're on the team right now. If they couldn't run they'd be useless. I hope Bartell improves I think he's gonna have to have a good year being the best corner with size.

  10. #10
    Drew's Avatar
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    Re: McMichael on the block

    the title of this thread made my heart skip a beat...automatically thought he was on the trading block already!

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