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New St. Louis Rams take crash course
New St. Louis Rams take crash course
BY BILL COATS
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Along with a scattering of his football gear, also sitting in front of Paris Lenon's locker after practice Wednesday at Rams Park was a large, blue, unpacked suitcase. It even had an airline bag tag attached, with "STL" stamped as the destination.
"It's been a little bit of a whirlwind, getting here and getting a lot of information this morning and just trying to put it all together in my head," Lenon said. "But I'm glad to be here, and I'm ready to get going."
Lenon, a linebacker signed late Tuesday afternoon, hustled to town and practiced with his new teammates Wednesday. So did the Rams' other Tuesday signee, wide receiver Ruvell Martin.
To clear roster spots, the club released linebacker Quinton Culberson and tackle Eric Young.
Whether either or both of the newcomers can absorb enough to gain a spot among the 45 active players Sunday in Washington is questionable. "That's the challenge; we've only got so many days to get them ready," coach Steve Spagnuolo said.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Martin, 27, has at least one advantage: Coordinator Pat Shurmur's offense is similar to the one in Green Bay. Martin was one of the Packers' final cuts.
"It's a lot of the same stuff, but there's different words to it," said Martin, whose first name is pronounced roo-VELL. "Probably one of the most confusing parts is, some words are the same and some words are different. I can't completely erase that in my mind.
"It's not too bad, though. I felt like I got the hang of everything out there (at practice), so we'll see tomorrow."
Martin, a fourth-year pro, had 52 catches for 749 yards and six touchdowns in three seasons with the Packers. Of the four other Rams wideouts on the 53-man roster, only Donnie Avery has more receptions (59). None has more yards or TDs.
"He's a big guy. We'll see how quick he can pick (the offense) up," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "It's just nice to have another body out there for those guys to rest their legs a little bit between reps."
The 6-2, 235-pound Lenon, 31, had started 59 consecutive games for Detroit before signing a free-agent deal with New England in the offseason. The Patriots let him go in the last round of cuts.
"Each situation's different," Lenon said, shrugging. "Right now, I'm just trying to learn as much as I can as quick as I can, and be able to get out there and apply it on the field."
The Rams' home opener Sept. 27 vs. Green Bay is virtually guaranteed to sell out; if it does, it will be televised locally.
Just under 1,000 tickets remain, and those were held back for late sales — hopefully to Rams fans rather than Packers followers, said Kevin Demoff, the team's executive vice president of football operations.
Only six regular-season home games have failed to sell out since the Rams moved here in 1995. But all six have occurred in the last 17 contests.
Despite suffering a bruised knee Sunday at Seattle, rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis was back on the practice field Wednesday and took part in all the drills.
Safety Craig Dahl (hamstring) and guard John Greco (wrist) were limited to individual work. Greco, who was hurt Sept. 3 in the final preseason game and underwent surgery, said he hopes to be ready for the Packers game.
Laurinaitis' 14 tackles vs. the Seahawks was the fourth-highest total leaguewide in Week 1. Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, a former Ram, led the way with 18 against the New York Giants. ... This week's captains are Bulger (offense), end James Hall (defense) and punter Donnie Jones (special teams).
Re: New St. Louis Rams take crash course
Great to hear that Laurinaitis is back completely. We'll need him to seal up the run against Portis and the Skins.
I wonder if Dahl's injury is the reason Roach is still on the team? Maybe he'll be let go when Dahl fully returns.
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