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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    New tight end waiting for first catch with Rams

    By R.B. FALLSTROM

    ST. LOUIS - Throughout his NFL career, Randy McMichael has been a prolific pass-catching tight end.

    Now, he's a patient one. After two preseason games with his new team, the St. Louis Rams, he's waiting for his first reception.

    "Everybody who knows me knows I'm always open and I always want the ball, but the one thing about it is you've got to wait your turn," McMichael said. "If you get consumed by it, you're not doing your job."

    That's the kind of thing the coaching staff likes to hear from a player they consider an every-down tight end.

    "Randy's going to be a big part of the offense," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. "I think he's going to be very valuable.

    "I can't put a number on the amount of catches, but I know he'll be involved."

    The 6-3, 255-pound McMichael averaged 65 receptions the last three seasons with the Miami Dolphins and is that franchise's career leader in catches by a tight end with 283. He's expected to provide yet another weapon for an offense with high-scoring potential, although St. Louis has struggled thus far in the preseason.

    One of McMichael's big years came in 2005 when Rams coach Scott Linehan was the offensive coordinator at Miami and the former fourth-round pick totaled 62 catches for 582 yards and five touchdowns.

    That chemistry with Linehan was a deciding factor in McMichael signing a three-year free-agent deal with the Rams.

    "That season wasn't fun, but it was fun in that offense," McMichael said. "He did a good job of getting the playmakers the ball."

    Given the circumstances, a two-game drought isn't a big deal. The first-team offense has totaled five series, not a ton of opportunities, although Rams quarterbacks totaled 26 completions to 11 different receivers in Saturday's 30-13 loss to the Chargers.

    The Rams have called plays when McMichael was the primary target, and as the Sept. 9 opener against the Panthers nears he and Marc Bulger are working to get on the same page.

    "Me and Marc, I think we have a great relationship and we're starting to get a feel for each other," McMichael said. "It'll be full go by Carolina."

    McMichael represents a significant upgrade for the Rams, who went with a pair of rookies, second-round pick Joe Klopfenstein and third-rounder Dominique Byrd, last year. Klopfenstein had 20 catches and Byrd, troubled off the field by a charge of assault and armed criminal action and an arrest on suspicion of DUI in a separate case, totaled two receptions in five games.

    The tight end has not been a big part of the Rams' offense for years.

    Brandon Manumaleuna caught 13 passes in 2005 and was traded on the second day of the '06 draft after skipping the team's offseason conditioning program. Ernie Conwell had 30 or more catches three times between 1997-2002, but Klopfenstein's 20-catch total last season is the best since then.

    "I would like to think I'm a lot different than all of those tight ends," McMichael said. "I had one of my most successful seasons in this system, so I'm really not worried about anything right now.

    "I'm just waiting my turn."


  2. #2
    Tony Soprano's Avatar
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    Re: New tight end waiting for first catch with Rams

    .
    I'll be shocked if Klop works out. He can't begin to block and just doesn't look like NFL material. Looks like we whiffed on both Tight Ends in that draft.

    McMichael is needed - and pronto.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: New tight end waiting for first catch with Rams

    "If you get consumed by it [the ball, the ball], you're not doing your job."

    That's the kind of thing the coaching staff likes to hear from a player they consider an every-down tight end.
    And I like to hear too! Look's like Mac will do well.

    Tony, I hope Klop does learn how to block, develop, and become a productive TE with us. I'd like us to have McMichael, Klop, and Walker as the right trio. // Still not sure about Byrd, maybe he'll fly elsewhere.

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    Re: New tight end waiting for first catch with Rams

    Klop was drafted as a starter and was expected to be a pro bowler from the start by some people. Give him time to develop, especially under McMichael. He has the talent, he just needs some time to adjust and to learn how to block too. I'm much more concerned on the Byrd situation, if he can't stay out of trouble.

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