Palmer gets in the game
By Kathleen Nelson
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Editor's note: The Post-Dispatch chronicled the journey of Tony Palmer, a guard from Missouri, from the draft to the final cut. The following is the epilogue to his story.
Tony Palmer left St. Louis with little time for goodbyes. This weekend, he'll have a chance to say hello when he faces his campmates Sunday in Green Bay.
From May through August, Palmer tried earning a job at guard for the Rams. He fell just short. The Rams included him in their final round of cuts but crossed their fingers that he would clear waivers so they could sign him to the practice squad.
The Green Bay Packers had other ideas and signed him to their active roster.
"We really liked Tony before the draft," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "We brought him in on a pre-draft visit. During his visit, he really grew on us. We had him targeted on our board. When he became available, it was a no-brainer to put him on our 53. He's a very powerful man. I liked everything about him. I liked him on film, particularly in the run block and his pass protection."
Palmer had four months to learn the Rams' playbook. He was handed Green Bay's offensive scheme just six days before the season opener.
"I wouldn't say it was overwhelming, because it goes with the profession, but I have been doing a lot of studying," Palmer said. He added that the transition had been pretty smooth because "both teams have the same atmosphere, real family-oriented. The Rams had more older guys on the team. Here, there are a lot of younger guys.
The move was a windfall for Palmer. As a member of the Rams' practice squad, he would have made about $80,000. He'll make three times that much on the Packers' roster.
More important, he has earned a chance to play. Palmer was inactive for the season opener but played in the Packers' second and third games. He played a couple of snaps at right guard against New Orleans and has been on special teams in both games.