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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Pyatt Hoping to Make Plays

    Tuesday, August 8, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    As Brad Pyatt shopped for a new team during the offseason, he took an unconventional approach to his free-agent status.

    Most free agents search the league for the best financial offer. But, because of injury issues, Pyatt knew the dollar amount had a certain ceiling. Moving past money issues, most players look for the place that will provide them the best opportunity as far as playing time.

    In other words, the place where the competition for a starting spot isn’t as great. Pyatt found that in Pittsburgh, where the defending Super Bowl champions had just waved goodbye to receiver and returner Antwaan Randle-El. Lucky for Pyatt, he is also a receiver/returner and the Steelers offered him a two-year contract.

    It was a done deal as Pyatt decided to sign with…St. Louis?

    “I always like being in a position that’s hard,” Pyatt said. “It’s how I have always been, I like going through the hard times to get where you want to be. I like learning from the best. I don’t mind being in the position where I am behind some of the best. So I took the opportunity to come here.”

    Pyatt signed a one-year contract with the Rams on April 6 with the hopes of giving the return game a boost and chipping in every once in a while at wide receiver. The decision to choose St. Louis over Pittsburgh was a curious one considering the team’s depth at wide receiver.

    For the past four or five years, the receiver position has been the toughest nut to crack for a young player hoping to make the Rams. The likes of Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis, Shaun McDonald and Dane Looker have entrenched themselves on the team’s depth chart.

    The Rams also added Marques Hagans in the fifth-round of the draft in hopes that he could take over the return job and make it as a receiver. That leaves Pyatt fighting an uphill battle to land a roster spot.

    While most receivers would look at the loaded depth chart and run away, Pyatt looks at the presence of the likes of Holt and Bruce as a way to help him become a better player.

    “The game just seems slow to them,” Pyatt said. “They are just comfortable out there, they work hard. If you ever watch Isaac and Torry, they have a routine every day they stay in.

    “I have learned from them. Usually when it gets tough about this time, you want to go home and take a nap, but they get in the weight room and get some extra whatever it is. You learn from those guys, they set the bar and the example and it’s easy to learn from them.”

    Pyatt is entering his fourth season in the league after three years in Indianapolis. He became accustomed to learning from star receivers while with the Colts where Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne have become one of the standards for top receiving combinations.

    Pyatt’s time in Indianapolis was marred by injuries. He injured his neck in a collision in 2003 after returning 19 kicks as a rookie, including a 90-yarder against Tampa Bay on Oct. 6.

    In 2004, Pyatt had 10 returns for an average of 23 yards before injuring his shoulder. He missed all of last year on the injured reserve list before signing with St. Louis.

    “That’s been my drawback,” Pyatt said. “When I have been in there I have been able to make plays, but I always can’t get over that injury bug. I’m hoping this year is one of those years that I can make plays and stay healthy.”

    Pyatt has shown an ability to make plays during training camp. He possesses blazing speed and estimates his 40-yard dash time to be somewhere between 4.2 and 4.4 seconds. He caught a 46-yard touchdown pass in the team’s scrimmage and has the ability to break long returns on special teams.

    For now, Pyatt isn’t sure when his opportunity will come or how many chances he will get in the preseason, he just knows to take advantage when they come along.

    “This league is all about opportunity,” Pyatt said. “When you get your chance, you have to make plays.”

    BUTLER BATTLING INJURY: Just when cornerback Jerametrius Butler appears to be back from the injuries of his past, he shows up at practice with no pads and works on the sideline.

    Butler, who missed last season after knee surgery returned to the field in the offseason but was forced to miss more time because of a hamstring injury. It appeared Butler was over that injury as training camp opened, but he has been put on the shelf once again because of an aggravation to the hamstring. He missed Monday evening’s practice and did little to nothing Tuesday afternoon.

    “Yesterday he aggravated it a little bit,” coach Scott Linehan said. “He pushed it a little bit more than normal. We are just keeping an eye on him a little bit.”

    RUSHING RUSSELL: Diminutive running back Fred Russell might not have the size of the other running backs competing for a spot on the team’s final roster, but he has made an impression on the coaching staff in recent weeks.

    Russell spent a week on Miami’s practice squad last year after signing with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent. The Rams signed him on Jan. 6 and allocated him to the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe.

    Now, he finds himself in a competition with the likes of Moe Williams, Antoine Bagwell and John David Washington for a spot on the roster.

    “He’s got a knack,” Linehan said. “He’s good when he has the ball in his hands. He’s a very good runner. Little guys like that tend to be, potentially, a liability in pass protection but that’s nothing that he will be able to correct today. His size can be an issue but I think we use it as a strength. He’s a very good one-back runner. It’s hard to find him back there so he slips and finds holds that bigger backs don’t normally find. He just has a good knack there and he’s certainly made some noise around here as far as getting yards as a back that’s going to be competing for a spot somewhere down the line.”

    RAM BITS: The Rams made a roster move Tuesday, releasing tackle Jason Hilliard and adding offensive lineman Adam Haayer… If there was any doubt the Rams are ready to play someone else, it was erased in Monday evening’s practice. After Tye Hill and Dwaine Carpenter got into it during the afternoon practice, Richie Incognito and Dwight Anderson squared off and Alex Barron and Anthony Hargrove had a brief dustup…There are still plenty of tickets left for Thursday night’s game against Indianapolis…


  2. #2
    Return To Glory's Avatar
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    Re: Pyatt Hoping to Make Plays

    thats great, I hope Pyatt can come in and compete for the KR job, Maybe he and marques willwin a spot




  3. #3
    evil disco man's Avatar
    evil disco man is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Pyatt Hoping to Make Plays

    Richie Incognito and Dwight Anderson squared off
    Step down, Dwight. I know you're confident, and I like that, but you don't want to mess with this beast. :confused:
    Last edited by evil disco man; -08-08-2006 at 10:53 PM.

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Pyatt Hoping to Make Plays

    Richie Incognito and Dwight Anderson squared off.
    No kidding, EDM. SOMEONE THROW IN THE TOWEL!

    Anderson: 5-10, 185 // Incognito: 6-3, 310.

    That mistake on Dwight's part may keep him from making the team ... still nursing his TC war wounds in December.

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Pyatt Hoping to Make Plays

    On Marques Hagans. From the Rams Official site.

    What scouts say: Two-year starter at quarterback who played multitide of roles throughout Virginia career...durable athlete who never missed playing time due to injuries...good quickness and work ethic...very elusive.
    We've known about this since he, Hagans, arrived. Very versatile*, quick and wormy, necessary traits on kick returns. I suppose this gives him the edge over Pyatt.


    *. - Question is, "Jack of all trades, Master of...???"

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