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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/26/2010

    In a way, it almost seems unfair.

    Keith Null was the Rams' starting quarterback for the last four games of the 2009 season. The two players ahead of him on the depth chart for most of the season, Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, no longer are with the team.

    And yet as organized team activities continue at Rams Park, Null is in exactly the same situation that he was last spring: fighting to land the No. 3 QB job.

    "Wherever I end up by the season, I trust the coaches enough to put me in the right position," said Null, a sixth-round draft pick last year from NCAA Division II West Texas A&M.


    Null beat out Brock Berlin to make the 53-man roster as a rookie. Null dressed as the No. 3 quarterback until injuries felled Bulger and then Boller.

    That thrust Null into the lineup Dec. 13 at Tennessee for an NFL debut that was short on personal highlights. Null did throw a touchdown pass, an 11-yard toss to tight end Randy McMichael. But Null also was intercepted five times in a 47-7 thumping.

    The Rams were outscored 122-36 and went 0-4 with Null as the starter, wrapping up their franchise-worst 1-15 season. Null completed 73 of 119 passes (61.3 percent) for 566 yards and three touchdowns, with nine interceptions. His passer rating was a woeful 49.9.

    "I definitely wish I could get another chance to get back in and sort of redeem myself," Null said. "I don't think that I played as good as I could have."

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo agreed. "He had some ups and downs, like you would think in a rookie," Spagnuolo said. "Here's a guy that probably didn't expect to play at all, and we had the injury situation. He made some good plays, and he made some bad ones. I know it wasn't probably as good as he wanted it to go overall.

    "But I do think the reps he got were invaluable."

    Again, coach and player were in agreement.

    "These OTAs, as far as knowing the plays and calling the plays in the huddle, it's way easier than it was last year at this time," Null said. "Having one year under my belt, and then getting to go in and play four games, I'm taking all that with me ... and using that experience to help me."

    The Rams signed veteran quarterback A.J. Feeley to a free-agent deal in the offseason, then spent the No. 1 overall draft choice on Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford.

    Feeley has been getting all the first-team snaps during OTAs, with Null and Bradford alternating with the second and third units. Ultimately, though, Bradford will be starting and Feeley will be backing him up.

    That means that the 6-foot-4, 219-pound Null, 24, seemingly will have to best rookie free agent Thaddeus Lewis to retain his roster spot.

    Not that Null necessarily sees it that way.

    "Actually, I'm coming out here trying to compete for a job wherever they're giving me the reps," he said. "If that's with the (second team), I'm going to be a No. 2. If it's the ones, I'm going to be trying to get the No. 1 spot.

    "Every single player out here, at every position, they're not only trying to make the team, but they're trying to play."

    Null insisted that he's not intimidated by Bradford, despite their vastly dissimilar draft spots and college pedigrees. "We're in the NFL now; that's how I look at it," Null said. "It doesn't really matter how you got here. We're all equal out on that field."

    Feeley has the current edge because he's spent nearly his entire 10-year career operating an offense similar to the scheme coordinator Pat Shurmur brought from Philadelphia. Though he has a year in the offense, Null is leaning on Feeley to advance his understanding of it.

    "He's just got a whole other mind-set, having been in this offense for so long," Null said. "Just over the last few practices, talking to him ... he's really helped me on figuring out certain plays that I just really didn't understand the concepts. He's put a whole new spin on it for me."

    Any edge that he can garner, Null figures, will help him continue to draw an NFL paycheck.

    "All I can do is come out here and compete, give it my best and do what I can do," he said. "And then let the chips fall where they may."


  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post

    "Here's a guy that probably didn't expect to play at all, ...

    I think John Madden would agree with that assessment.

  3. #3
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    When you think about the issues the offense had last season, Null actually didn't do a lousy job. Seriously, how many offensive starters did we have left out on the field on December 13th? 3? Honestly, I don't think Peyton Manning could have done much better with the team we had left at the end of the season.

    Oh, well, that's overwith. Now we have 2010 to look forward to.

  4. #4
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    I like Null and I like his attitude. Who says he can't be the number two on this roster? It's only A'Jay (get off my team) Freely he's competing against.

  5. #5
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    To be fair, if we're all into this "earn your starting position" bit with Bradford, Null really should have started the offseason workouts as the first team QB. He's proven himself more than Feeley has in the last year.

  6. #6
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    Thaddeus Lewis baby!

  7. #7
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    Week 2, depth chart for the Saint Louis Rams at the QB spot:

    1. Keith Null

    2. "Uncle Sam" Bradford

    3. A. J. Feeley (Released)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    To be fair, if we're all into this "earn your starting position" bit with Bradford, Null really should have started the offseason workouts as the first team QB. He's proven himself more than Feeley has in the last year.
    Clearly the last four words in that sentence are key ..

  9. #9
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    I guess we should ignore Feeley's years of knowledge of this offense for Keith Null's one year and grit for sticking in there for the majority of the beating he took, and give him the starting spot temporarily out of "respect"

  10. #10
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    I guess we should ignore Feeley's years of knowledge of this offense for Keith Null's one year and grit for sticking in there for the majority of the beating he took, and give him the starting spot temporarily out of "respect"
    In this case, knowledge should not trump a complete lack of skill on Feeley's part. If you really want to get down to it, Feeley hasn't demonstrated on field competence with the football since 2006. And Null has had a year to work with the bloody offense, so I don't think he has an OMG! steep learning curve with Shurmur's playbook.

  11. #11
    RockinRam's Avatar
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    If we're going by experience of the offense, then it would go:

    Feeley
    Null
    Bradford


    I'm not a big fan of Feeley, and I feel that he hasn't ever really shown flashes of greatness. But, in technical terms here of experience, Feeley gets the edge.

  12. #12
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    Re: Null continues fight for his QB position with St. Louis Rams

    Who knows, maybe Keith Null will be our franchise quarterback.

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