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  1. #31
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    Positional Preview: Safety
    Friday, July 7, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    After parting ways with Adam Archuleta, who departed for Washington via free agency, the Rams found themselves searching for a veteran leader to provide guidance to the youngsters in their secondary as well as produce on the field.

    Enter Corey Chavous, one of the league’s most studious players. Chavous signed with the Rams soon after hitting the free-agent market and was instantly installed as the starter at strong safety, Archuleta’s former stomping ground.

    While Chavous’ spot seems secure, there is a battle brewing at free safety where second-year players Jerome Carter and Oshiomogho Atogwe are ready to contend for their first starting jobs in the NFL.

    Corey Chavous

    Scouting Report: An outstanding, savvy leader who will gladly serve as a mentor for the young players at the safety position. Very strong in coverage, having played both safety spots and cornerback in his career. Not as strong in the box as a blitzer or against the run, but still plenty capable. Always in position, a true student of the game that devours film. Went to the Pro Bowl in 2003.

    Last Year: Finished his final season in Minnesota with 71 tackles and a pair of interceptions before signing with the Rams as a free agent.

    Outlook: Will start immediately at strong safety and serve as a leader and mentor for the likes of Oshiomogho Atogwe and Jerome Carter.

    Quotable: "It's not like you come here and what you've done comes along with you," Chavous said. "Because to me it doesn't. It's a week-to-week league. If I go out the first game and give up five touchdowns, nobody's going to care that I was the leader, or supposedly, the defensive leader. The bottom line is production, and going out and being consistent. That's how you earn your leadership. You earn your leadership through how you play, how you perform or what you do in the classroom. That's what makes you a leader."

    Oshiomogho Atogwe

    Scouting Report: A smart, fundamentally sound safety who is still learning the nuances of the game. Struggled to learn assignments as a rookie and had his progress stalled because of it, but showed signs of life at the end of the season. A solid tackler with coverage skills and is capable of playing either safety spot.

    Last Year: Played in 13 games, mostly on special teams, for which he recorded seven tackles. Finished with five tackles, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. The interception and fumble recovery came in the finale against Dallas on Jan. 1.

    Outlook: The leader in the clubhouse for the starting job at free safety. Atogwe will battle Carter, among others during training camp for that spot.

    Quotable: “He was a highly rated player,” coach Scott Linehan said. “He's been really working hard in the offseason, preparing for this opportunity, and he hasn't disappointed us. He fits what you're looking for in a safety; he's just green. The only way you're going to solve that problem is to play him.”

    Jerome Carter

    Scouting Report: A hard-nosed, enthusiastic player with a love of the big hit. . Helpful on special teams and willing to stick his nose in the box as a run stopper. Has plenty of potential.

    Last Year: Played in 14 games, starting two and working on special teams in all. Finished with 40 tackles and a pair of passes defended.

    Outlook: Played mostly strong safety as a rookie and is attempting to learn the nuances of the free safety spot. Will be able to bounce back and forth, but should get the chance to compete for a starting spot as the free safety.

    Also expected to compete: Deandre Eiland, Dwaine Carpenter.


  2. #32
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan4ever
    Positional Preview: Safety
    I don't think it really hit me how thin we are at safety until I read this article. The only real proven commodity we have is Chavous. We're pretty much counting on either Atogwe or Carter to develop into a capable starter. Whoever of the two does not win out will likely back up both spots.

    It probably wouldn't be a horrible idea to bring in another veteran back-up who could in an emergency see some time on the field. Some guys I'd not be opposed to the Rams contacting for this role include Keion Carpenter, Ronnie Heard, Ifeanyi Ohalete, Joseph Jefferson, or Jerome Woods. Heck, Lance Schulters is still out there and would be a nice addition, methinks.

  3. #33
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    I have all the confidence in the world in bartell, carter. and atogwe. they all showed promise in the week 17 win over dallas, i just hope that carries over into this year.

  4. #34
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    Quote Originally Posted by rams#1
    I have all the confidence in the world in bartell, carter. and atogwe. they all showed promise in the week 17 win over dallas, i just hope that carries over into this year.
    Thats only 1 game and Dallas didnt play as well as they did before. If they had to win that game to get in the playoffs...... They would of most likely beaten us, but they just thought.... its just a game, it doesnt mean much anymore. So they didnt play their hardest.

  5. #35
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    still, it is a football game. and don't till our d that the game did not matter they played there ***** off in that game.
    Last edited by HUbison; -07-08-2006 at 05:00 PM.

  6. #36
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan4ever
    Thats only 1 game and Dallas didnt play as well as they did before. If they had to win that game to get in the playoffs...... They would of most likely beaten us, but they just thought.... its just a game, it doesnt mean much anymore. So they didnt play their hardest.
    While I do agree that 1 game does not a career make.....there is no, I repeat no, NFL player that sees ANY game as JUST a game.
    "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

  7. #37
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    Positional Preview: Cornerbacks
    Thursday, July 6, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    There were, perhaps, other positions on the Rams that underwent more of a makeover than cornerback during the offseason.

    But as training camp approaches, there will be nary a position that will be as closely watched and scrutinized as corner.

    For the past two seasons, cornerback has been a spot hampered by myriad problems, not the least of which has been an inability to stay healthy by the majority of the players at the position.

    This year’s competition for the top spots is sure to be one of the most heated in training camp. The return of injured former starters Jerametrius Butler and Travis Fisher, the addition of exciting rookie Tye Hill, the continued development of Ron Bartell and the signing of Fakhir Brown should make for excellent training camp battles.

    Jerametrius Butler

    Scouting Report: A strong cover corner who is not afraid to tackle. Butler is willing to help in the run game and is one of the most intelligent corners on the roster. Uses his frame well and has good hands when he gets around the ball. Has struggled with injury problems, but when healthy has been the team’s most consistent corner.

    Last Year: Missed the entire season after suffering a knee injury early in training camp.

    Outlook: Appears to be fully recovered from the knee injury, but tweaked his hamstring in organized team activities. Should be ready to go in time for the start of training camp and will push to reclaim his starting corner position.

    Quotable: “It’s frustrating because I want to get out there,” Butler said. “I want to be out there to make plays. And I have to sit out there watching Torry (Holt) and Isaac (Bruce) making plays and talking noise and doing the thing they want to do. I want to be out there competing against them, getting better. I want to be out there to shut them down.”

    Travis Fisher

    Scouting Report: When healthy one of the speediest corners in the game and one of the fastest players on the team. Has good ball skills and is capable of big plays in the passing game. Injuries have hampered him in each of the past two seasons as he has struggled to regain the form he had in his first couple of years in the league. Still fully capable of being a top cover corner if at full strength.

    Last Year: Played in eight games, finishing with 35 tackles, no interceptions and two forced fumbles before a groin injury forced him to the injured reserve list.

    Outlook: Fisher is healthy and primed for a big season if he can continue to stay in top form. Has been called one of coach Scott Linehan’s most pleasant surprises for his offseason work. Lost about 10 pounds in the offseason and came to the minicamps and Organized Team Activities in great shape. Will contend for a starting spot.

    Quotable: “He’s been playing great,” Linehan said. “I said the first minicamp the guy I came away feeling the best about was how competitive Travis was in one on one and the whole thing. He had the injury and we didn’t know how he’d be able to perform.”

    Ron Bartell

    Scouting Report: A big, imposing defensive back with excellent top-end speed. Capable of playing anywhere in the secondary, but his size makes him tough to beat over the top. A willing, if inconsistent tackler with the ability and willingness to learn and improve. The type of player with tremendous potential should he meet it.

    Last Year: Played in 10 games with 34 tackles, nine passes defended and a pair of forced fumbles as a rookie.

    Outlook: Bartell has worked at corner and free safety during the offseason, essentially splitting time between the positions. Has had to relearn the safety spot, but showed a desire to make himself more versatile. Will compete at both spots and should find himself helping somewhere on the field in 2006.

    Quotable: “They are going to work me at both positions and I’ll end up wherever I can help,” Bartell said. “I have no problem with it. I think it makes me a lot more valuable to play two positions. I think it’s good.”

    Tye Hill

    Scouting Report: As fast and athletic a corner as you will find on the roster. Has world-class speed that allows him to stick to receivers. Didn’t display tremendous play making skills at Clemson, but is always around the ball and working to get better in every facet of the game.

    Last Year: Was a first-team All American at Clemson as a senior with 54 tackles, a sack, five tackles for loss and three interceptions.

    Outlook: Has as good a chance as anyone to get on the field right away assuming he is in camp on time. His speed, coverage skills and willingness to tackle make him one of the frontrunners for a starting position or, at least, a shot at the nickel position.

    Quotable: “He fits right in,” Linehan said. “He’s more and more confident. It’s really interesting when you get confident players around you and you have talent and ability like he does how it can be infectious. I can see the leadership has helped him get past that initial phase.”

    Fakhir Brown

    Scouting Report: Excellent size and athleticism make Brown as physically imposing a corner as there is on the Rams’ roster. Good nose for the ball and a willing tackler. Has battled injury and off the field issues that have kept him from reaching his vast potential. Has blossomed in the past two years when given a chance to play regularly.

    Last Year: Had 31 tackles and six passes defended in 12 games for the New Orleans Saints.

    Outlook: A personal favorite of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett after their time together in New Orleans, Brown is a frontrunner for a starting position after signing a five-year contract in the offseason. Will compete for the job from the first day of camp.

    Quotable: “I am expecting to be a starter,” Brown said. “That’s what I want to be…a starter. I have got big plans for myself.”

    DeJuan Groce

    Scouting Report: An intelligent, crafty corner with solid speed. Has had problems staying healthy, but when healthy has showed signs of play making skills including a spectacular interception at Arizona last season. Better served in the nickel or dime package than on an island, but a suitable replacement should a starter go down.

    Last Year: Played in 15 games with 48 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defended.

    Outlook: Will be in the mix to compete for a cornerback job, likely in the nickel and dime packages.

    Also expected to compete: Dwight Anderson, Kevin Timothee.

    Come back tomorrow for a glance at the safety position.

  8. #38
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    Re: Positional Breakdown Preview: Wagoner

    All the guys with NFL experience didnt have 1 interception except for Groce (2). Butler was injuried, Fisher had Forced fumbles wich are good and Brown had 31 tackles in 12 games...thats like 2 and a half tackles a game and QBs pass like 25-30 times a game

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