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  1. #1
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    Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Heading in to April’s NFL Draft, running back Keith Toston had plenty of hope that he’d be drafted.

    While Toston wasn’t certain of his status, he’d been told he’d likely land somewhere in the middle rounds after a strong senior season at Oklahoma State.

    When that didn’t come to fruition, Toston began sifting through his options for the place that could potentially provide him the best chance to land on a roster. That search ended in St. Louis, as Toston signed a free agent contract with the Rams on April 25.

    “I was told I’d be a fifth round pick,” Toston said. “I had several teams talking to me while the draft was going on. It ended up not working out the way I wanted it to but I have a great chance here so I am trying to take it and run with it.”

    In what figures to be one of the more interesting position battles when training camp opens at the end of the month, Toston likely will be one of a handful of running backs competing for a presumed two spots behind starter Steven Jackson.

    The Rams were unable to add any other backs during the offseason and have Kenneth Darby and Chris Ogbonnaya in place already behind Jackson. With Jackson nursing a back injury during the offseason program, Toston was able to get plenty of opportunities to make an impression, though he was asked to do it without the use of pads.

    Still, by the time the offseason program was complete, Toston was certain that he had made the right choice for his career.

    “I had several (teams) that I felt like I would fit in real well with,” Toston said. “I spoke with coach (Sylvester) Croom several times on draft day and prior to that I had spoke with him a lot of times so I had a good feel for him. I felt this was my best opportunity to make the 53 man roster and try to help this ballclub out.”

    Adjusting to the rigors of the NFL isn’t easy for any rookie coming into a new situation. He must learn a new system and adjust to the speed of the game all while trying to fit into a new locker room.

    The hardest part of the process according to Toston is learning the nuances of a new offense.

    “It’s a learning experience,” Toston said. “Terminology is totally different and the competition is a little higher out here. You have to try to learn as much as you can but still move full speed when you are out there on the field. They have gone pretty good. It’s tough getting in and learning all the plays and everything but I feel that I am doing fairly well.”
    Toston estimated that he spent about 15 hours out of every day either in a meeting, on the practice field, in the weight room or studying in his room. That extra study time is divvied up between retaining the information that’s already been grasped and trying to embrace anything new that has been thrown out him.

    Of course, the real test comes when the actual football is being played.

    “(It’s) translating it,” Toston said. “When you go through plays in your head in the playbook, the pages aren’t moving. You get out here and everything is different. You get different looks but you have to take what you learned and make it work out here on the field.”

    Making it work for Toston would be finding a way to reasonably re-create what he did in his senior year with the Cowboys.

    Toston spent much of his college career in a platoon system in Stillwater but injuries created plenty of chances for Toston in 2010 and he took full advantage.

    By the end of the season, Toston had earned first team All Big 12 Conference honors in posting 1,218 yards and 11 touchdowns to go with 25 catches for 261 yards.

    For those that haven’t seen his hard charging style, there’s little doubt Toston will be able to better show his wares once he’s able to put on the pads.

    “I am not a pad skelly (shells) type of player,” Toston said. “The best of me will show when we put some pads on and I get to be aggressive and show my strengths. I work hard. Anytime I run the ball, it’s hard for one guy to bring me down. It’s just a mindset. Same thing when I am pass blocking and special teams as well.”

    Before departing to head back to Stillwater, Toston made it a point to say he’ll be spending much of his time before camp staying in his playbook. He’s been training with former Cowboys and their strength and conditioning staff so he’ll come to camp in shape and ready to compete.

    And with no guarantees about his future, Toston is just happy to have an opportunity.
    “The type of guy I am, I am just thankful for a shot,” Toston said. “With this shot, I am going to do the best I can and help this team out.”

  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    I feel like the back-up RB position is our weakest area on the team. One of these guys needs to step-up and prove that the are worthy of spelling SJ.

    It would be nice to have a one-two punch like alot the teams in the NFL are going to now.

  3. #3
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    Re: Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    It'll be interesting when the pads go on. Hope the kid will step up as Darby and Ogbannaya don't seem to have much in the tank.

    Any news on the Unga workout at BYU?

  4. #4
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
    It'll be interesting when the pads go on. Hope the kid will step up as Darby and Ogbannaya don't seem to have much in the tank.

    Any news on the Unga workout at BYU?
    i fail to see how you figure ogbonnaya doesn't have much in the tank based off of the 11 total carries he got last season...

  5. #5
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    Re: Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    When was the last sleeper we've acquired? London Fletcher, Kurt Warner? I have high hopes for Toston to at least lighten SJ's back.

  6. #6
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    Re: Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    Ogbonnaya had a good game against Arizona last year and impressed some people. He may just need a shot.

  7. #7
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    Re: Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    I like Ogbonnaya. He did good last year vs the Cardinals when Jackson wasn't playing.

  8. #8
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    Re: Player Profile: Keith Toston ..

    I actually think ogbonnaya showed some promise in the carries he did have. He really should talk to faulk if he can and get some tips he seems like that type of runner. I would say take tips from sj39 but I think he has a different run style than those two. Because in all honesty I LOVE faulk and what he did here but when sj39 came around he picked up faulks running style and it didn't suit him. Both beyond great runners they just do it differently.

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