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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    McMichael happy to be able to contribute again ..

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/13/2009

    During a seemingly innocent passing drill at the Rams' recent minicamp, tight end Randy McMichael got his legs tangled with the defender's and fell awkwardly to the turf.

    "That scared me a lot," said McMichael, who rose slowly and spent a few minutes on the sideline gathering himself before returning to the field. "I woke up (the next) morning a little sore, but it's nothing that's going to keep me down."

    After two years of discontent, McMichael is tired of being down. "You really take (success) for granted until you don't have it," he said. "I'm just glad to be back out here with these guys."

    A prolific pass-catcher in Miami, where he averaged 56 receptions and 619 yards over five seasons, McMichael spent the bulk of his first year with the Rams blocking because of injuries to the offensive line. He finished with just 39 catches and 429 yards in 2007 after arriving here as a free agent.

    He was on pace last year to reprise his Dolphins numbers when he suffered a broken bone in his lower right leg in Week 4 vs. Buffalo. McMichael, who never had missed a game in the NFL, was in tears after being told that his season was over.

    "I was trying to do something that no tight end has ever done — play in every game," he said. "Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be that way. But I can start a new streak."

    A healthy McMichael figures to be a key component in the West Coast-style offense that new coordinator Pat Shurmur is installing, first-year coach Steve Spagnuolo pointed out.

    "The defense has to be concerned about the tight end, or else there are so many other things you can do to take away the wideouts," the former New York Giants defensive coordinator said. "So, having a tight end that can stretch the field vertically, I think it's huge."

    McMichael recalled a conversation he had a few years ago with Tony Gonzalez, then the Kansas City Chiefs' tight end. "He said, 'The West Coast offense is probably the best offense a tight end can be in,'" McMichael said. "I didn't really realize that until I got here and saw what Coach Shurmur is putting in.

    "There are so many throws underneath. Everybody knows the West Coast offense is, get the ball out of (the quarterback's) hands fast and get the ball to your playmakers and let them do what they do. I'm just really excited to be a part of it."

    After the releases of Torry Holt and Drew Bennett, the Rams' corps of wide receivers is young and largely inexperienced. That means that McMichael could be an even more frequent target for quarterback Marc Bulger.

    "We noticed the difference when he went out" last year, Bulger said. "But he's back, and he's hungry. And Daniel Fells is also playing lights-out. I think we'll have a couple of tight ends that can do some things."

    The hardest part after the injury was "just not being around the guys," McMichael said. Sundays, he added, were particularly difficult.

    "You look from the sideline and you see plays that probably could be made and how you could help the team," he said. "I think that was probably the most frustrating thing."

    His leg bothered him a bit during the club's first minicamp, in early April. But now, "the leg's fine, a hundred percent," McMichael reported. "No swelling, no pain when you wake up in the morning."

    Which means, he explained, that he can finally put 2008 behind him and focus on re-establishing himself in 2009.

    "I think I have to prove myself to myself," he said. "I don't really worry about what anybody else says. I'm my harshest critic. Nobody pushes me harder than I push myself.

    "I'm just really glad to be a part of this football team, and I'm looking forward to doing some good things here."


  2. #2
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: McMichael happy to be able to contribute again ..

    First off. Good for McMichael. always liked the guy when he was with the Fins and was excited the Rams grabbed him. he can do so much better than what's he's accomplished with the Rams. let's hope he isn't slowed by lingering leg issues.

    Second. So Fells is getting some love from Bulger? that may help explain why Gordo was recently hinting that Klop may not make the cut to 53.

    I still find it hard to believe though, that the Rams would go into the season with only 3 TE's. As i learn more about the WC offense, there's many double te sets and te plays to go around. With Bajema mainly for blocking... that only leaves Fells and McMichael on the roster if Klop gets cut. Unless Klop loses the 4th spot to Eric Butler (a young player lovingly described as a "camp body"), that is. And if that's the case? then wow; Linny's 2nd rounder couldn't even make the team?

    if that happens, and the dude can't even earn a 3rd or 4th string spot... then maybe i'll have to finally end my holdout and cross over to the 'Klop is a 2nd round bust' camp. I don't think it will happen, and I'm rooting for him to step up... but if it does- that's sad.

    i'll be interested to see how this position shakes out in training camp.

    go rams

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Re: McMichael happy to be able to contribute again ..

    I've been waiting for McMichael to show us what he's made of. Hopefully he's not another Drew Bennett!

  4. #4
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: McMichael happy to be able to contribute again ..

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    I've been waiting for McMichael to show us what he's made of. Hopefully he's not another Drew Bennett!
    he`s already proven himself above Drew Bennett in my eyes...his 1st year he was used primarily as a blocking TE due to the nightmare that was the O-line..(no fault of his) last year he looked good till injury cut him out of the picture (no fault of his)...also after breaking his leg he actually carried on playing for a lil while longer in that Bills game....Bennett it seems to me cried out of the battle when he broke a bone in his foot that wasnt deemed season ending at the time but he still managed to stretch it out...im no doctor and maybe it was worse than first thought but ive had this nagging thought that a player with more will to succeed would have come back early and that was why he was cut for such a minimal financial gain.

  5. #5
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    Re: McMichael happy to be able to contribute again ..

    i agree Ramblin. I think Bennet was a choice pick because ooOOoo He did Good when he was with the titans, and Hes 6'5. WoW big reciever, but i think like someone said before somewhere in the threads. That What they did in the past doesnt mean they will do it now.

    to me just another Linecrap Fau paux.

  6. #6
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    Re: McMichael happy to be able to contribute again ..

    Love the passionm Yeah I think in the 4 games last year he outplayed bennitt, manwhat a bust. I think mcmicheal is one of the few that could be looking at a pro bowl season this year.. If his contract is up soon we should resign him now.

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