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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Pisa Learning fast

    By HAL PILGER
    STAFF WRITER

    MACOMB - St. Louis Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa was a fast learner as a rookie last year.

    "You know, I caught a ride this time," said Tinoisamoa, a second-round draft selection last year who was in such a hurry to get to camp he wound up getting a speeding ticket.

    "If anything, that's what I learned - just ride with someone else," he laughed, noting his trip to Macomb this year with fellow linebackers Robert Thomas and rookie Brandon Chillar proved uneventful.

    Tinoisamoa's rookie season in the NFL, however, was anything but uneventful. He led the Rams in tackles with 121, including two sacks, and had three interceptions, a fumble recovery, four forced fumbles and nine quarterback pressures.

    After spending most of the offseason working out on his own in San Diego, Tinoisamoa says he has much greater personal expectations this year.

    "I expect a lot of change from last year," Tinoisamoa said. "I feel mentally sharper than last year, so from that aspect I think I've become a better player. I think I'm going to contribute to the team a lot more."

    Coaching-wise, Tinoisamoa says he hasn't seen much of a change since defensive coordinator Lovie Smith left to become head coach of the Chicago Bears and Larry Marmie replaced Smith. Marmie, a close friend of head coach Mike Martz, is expected to keep a similar style that emphasizes pursuit.

    "It's not a change because we've still got the same personnel and we've still got the same principles that he (Smith) taught us," Tinoisamoa said. "And we keep that in mind when we play."

    But he said new linebackers coach Joe Vitt, who replaced Bob Babich, is a lot louder.

    "He's very loud, and that's good, because if I don't know what I'm doing, I'm sure that he'll tell me to do it,'' Tinoisamoa said.

    "He brings that enthusiasm to the game. Whenever you're feeling down, he'll make sure that you'll get back up. It's a great addition to our team. I know Joe brings a lot of knowledge to the game."

    Tinoisamoa says he is excited about the prospect of returning to a linebacker corps that has most of the same personnel from last year's 12-4 team.

    "I'm very excited, because I think we've become more aware of each other and we understand each other a lot better," he said. "So I think it's only going to help us a lot more.

    "And I think we're going to need it, especially with the mix-up (personnel changes) in the D-line."

    Tinoisamoa claims to be physically faster than third-year linebacker Tommy Polley but adds, "Mentally, I think his mind process is at a lot faster speed."

    A former standout at Hawaii, Tinoisamoa says he is a lot more relaxed this year.

    "I think it's because I know what I'm doing now," he said. "Last year I was just trying to line up. I was doing everything else right by pursuing to the ball, but as far as getting my job right - being in the right position - I didn't do that very often, not as much as I should have.

    "So I took it on myself to get mentally stronger and try to get my job down. Mentally I wanted to challenge myself and get better in that aspect because I felt like that was my weakness last year.

    "I feel like I did it. We've got to wait until the games come up to see how it all pans out."

    The first preseason game is coming up in a little more than a week, when the Bears play at St. Louis on Aug. 12. And Tinoisamoa is disappointed Bears' Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher, out with a hamstring injury, won't be able to play in it or in their scrimmage this weekend at Macomb.

    "Brian Urlacher's a great linebacker," Tinoisamoa said, noting he thought he might learn something from watching him. "I was anxious to see him live."

    But he agreed probably not all of his teammates shared his disappointment.

    "Not having him out there, I'm sure Torry (Holt, wide receiver) and those guys won't miss him too much," Tinoisamoa said.


  2. #2
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    Re: Pisa Learning fast

    "You know, I caught a ride this time," said Tinoisamoa, a second-round draft selection last year who was in such a hurry to get to camp he wound up getting a speeding ticket.
    lol ... speeding to camp, getting tickets.

    "I think it's because I know what I'm doing now," he said. "Last year I was just trying to line up. I was doing everything else right by pursuing to the ball, but as far as getting my job right - being in the right position - I didn't do that very often, not as much as I should have.
    I like Pisa. He may have been making rookie mistakes, like not being in the right position, but he had plenty of speed and good pursuit ability to make up for these mistakes.

    Pisa :redface: :ramlogo:
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
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    Re: Pisa Learning fast

    Pisa Tinoisamoa is one of my favorite defensive players, and I think he has the skill to be a future Pro Bowler. I love this guy. He's got so much energy and seems really positive. I really think he's going to become the leader on this linebacker group.
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    Re: Pisa Learning fast

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    Pisa Tinoisamoa is one of my favorite defensive players, and I think he has the skill to be a future Pro Bowler. I love this guy. He's got so much energy and seems really positive. I really think he's going to become the leader on this linebacker group.
    Have you ever seen an interview with this guy? He's always smiling, always polite, always real up-beat. How does a guy so nice lay the shots that he does on Sunday afternoons?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  5. #5
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    Re: Pisa Learning fast

    My next jersey birthday present...
    This space for rent...

  6. #6
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    Re: Pisa Learning fast

    Great story...I love Pisa's enthusiasm.

  7. #7
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    Re: Pisa Learning fast

    I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Pisa will have a Pro- Bowl year. I love the guy's attitude. :ramlogo:
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
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  8. #8
    DJRamFan Guest

    Re: Pisa Learning fast

    He seemed to really play well last year and I look for that to continue. He's a stud and is doing great so far.

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