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Nail-biting time is here for roster hopefuls
By Bill Coats
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The week of reckoning has arrived for those fringe players seeking a job in the NFL. Five cuts from the 80-man camp roster must be made today, and those won’t be difficult. But by Saturday afternoon, an additional 22 players must be let go to reach the final 53-man roster. That’s when the decisions become really tough.
And that’s also why Thursday night’s final preseason game, vs. the Chiefs, is so important to a number of the candidates for roster spots with the Rams. All want to leave a good last impression and make the coaches’ really sweat out the final cuts.
“Guys that are second- and third-string guys, it’s an opportunity,” said Brock Berlin, who is battling Bruce Gradkowski for the No. 3 quarterback spot. “You don’t know when the next time is you’ll get that chance, so you have to take advantage.”
The Rams figure to have their most difficult time whittling the corps of wide receivers. Ten players have legitimate shots at the six, or possibly seven, openings. With Torry Holt, Drew Bennett, Dante Hall, Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton virtually assured of jobs, that leaves just a spot or two available.
Notes & quotes:
>>The Rams didn’t sign C/G LeCharles Bentley after he took a physical Monday, but they haven’t eliminated that as a possibility down the road. Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowler with the Saints, hasn’t played since 2006 because of a severe knee injury.
>>WR Drew Bennett (hip) should be ready for the regular-season opener, coach Scott Linehan said.
>>Linehan also termed WR Dante Hall’s high ankle sprain as “slight” and said Hall was able to work out on his own Monday. “He was moving around really good,” Linehan said. “It looks favorable for him coming into the opener.”
>>Some of the long-term injured are starting to return. S Oshiomogho Atogwe and TE Anthony Becht, both out since early in training camp with hamstring injuries, participated in team drills Monday. Also, Linehan said CB Fakhir Brown (shoulder) is close to being ready.
>>LG Jacob Bell, a free-agent pickup in the offseason, said it hasn’t been hard to adjust to a new team, and new linemates, after four years with the Titans. “Offensive line is one of those positions where you do pretty much what you’ve always done,” he said. “Some of the terminology changes, but for the most part it’s pretty uniform.”
All for now . . .
Re: Nail-biting time is here for roster hopefulsWR Drew Bennett (hip) should be ready for the regular-season opener, coach Scott Linehan said.WR Drew Bennett (hands) should be ready for the regular-season opener, coach Scott Linehan said.
Re: Nail-biting time is here for roster hopefuls
That's a good one Hub, and even though I love Bennett, he just doesn't seem to have the "killer", go get that ball instinct so far this preseason. Maybe he's saving it up? I hope he's saving it up... Please be saving it up!
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