Rams Add Brown to Guard Mix
Rams Add Brown to Guard Mix
Sunday, July 29, 2007
By Nick Wagoner
With a new coaching staff in place in Arizona and the continued scrutiny placed on the Cardinals’ offensive line, Milford Brown and his linemates knew that somebody was going to be the odd man out when coach Ken Whisenhunt took over.
“I knew somebody had to be the odd man out,” Brown said. “Me and the other linemen we talked about it and we knew somebody had to be the odd man out but everybody thought it would be the other guy.”
Brown suspected he might be the one to go, but could have avoided being released by Arizona had he opted to take a pay cut to stay. When he refused that request, the Cardinals set him free.
Early Sunday morning, Arizona’s loss became the Rams’ gain. Brown, a 6’5, 330 pound guard, signed with St. Louis early Sunday morning after arriving in town in the wee hours.
Brown got to St. Louis Lambert Airport at 1 a.m. and checked into the team hotel at 2:30. He slept for about four hours and showed up at practice in his No. 72 jersey. To make room for Brown, the Rams released little known lineman Chris Messner.
Coach Scott Linehan said the addition of Brown became easy considering his experience in the league and a conversation with former Arizona offensive line coach Steve Loney. Brown started 12 games in each of the past two seasons for Arizona and Houston. He also started both games against the Rams last season.
“He always played in the league and he played as recently as last year against us so we have an evaluation of how he is doing against players we are familiar with,”Rams coach Scott Linehan said. “He is very physical and he kind of has a little mean streak in him too and with that size that is a good combination.”
For now, Brown’s role will likely be limited to working as a backup guard behind starters Mark Setterstrom and Richie Incognito, but Brown said he thinks there is an opportunity to compete for a starting spot with a few breaks in his direction.
Regardless, he hopes to earn a roster spot and be a part of something he hasn’t been able to in his five seasons and 31 games of NFL experience with the Texans and Cardinals.
“I got the phone call I looked at the whole roster and I thought about how we played them last year,” Brown said. “But basically I just want to win. Looking at what they did this offseason, they are trying to win in a hurry and that’s what I want to do.”
BROOKS BACK: Brown wasn’t the only new face in camp on Sunday morning. Linebacker Jamal Brooks was back in a Rams uniform after bouncing on and off the roster a pair of time last season.
Brooks spent part of last season with the Rams, appearing in seven games most of which were on special teams.
He was not brought back in the offseason, but linebacker Kevin McLee left the team for personal reasons and Tim McGarigle is struggling with a hamstring injury. That created an pportunity for Brooks to return.
Brooks said he never thought about just hanging it up even though it would seem to be the easy way out.
“I saw Emmitt Smith get released,” Brooks said. “I have seen Jerry Rice get released. You don’t take it personally. You just don’t take it personal. You just keep going. Hopefully you are good with your money. But for the most part life is life. People get fired every day. This is something you love and you will get another shot if you believe in yourself.”
DRAFT RETURNS: Linehan expected linebacker Chris Draft to return to training camp Sunday afternoon and that was precisely what happened.
While Draft has yet to be cleared to compete on the practice field, he made it back in time for some meetings and can at least continue working on the mental aspect of the game.
“He is getting better,” Linehan said. “I haven’t seen him. He is supposed to be out here this afternoon. It’s good to have him back at least he can start getting the mental part back.”
EARLY IMPRESSION: Undrafted rookie Quinton Culberson won’t show up on many lists of youngsters expected to make an impact this season. In fact, not many people even are aware of who he is.
But just because the common people don’t know who he is doesn’t mean the people that matter didn’t take notice in the past couple of days when Culberson seemed to be all over the field from his backup middle linebacker position.
“He was bringing it yesterday and I noticed it here today,” Linehan said. “I noticed when he puts the pads on; the light comes on with that guy. It’s always good to see guys that are maybe considered long shots come out and start to show up a little bit.”
Don’t expect Culberson’s opportunity to come to an end any time soon, either. With the departure of McLee and McGarigle injury, Culberson should get plenty of repetitions in the coming practices. Should he continue at his current pace and show up on special teams, there’s a strong chance he could compete for one of the final roster spots.
RAM BITS: The offense shined once again in the red zone drills with quarterback Marc Bulger continuing to throw darts to a variety of receivers. Torry Holt, Randy McMichael and Aaron Walker all got into the act…rookie Jonathan Wade continues to get trial by fire as he practices with the first unit regularly and Linehan says he could envision Wade working on defense early in the season…Running back Rich Alexis has made a solid impression on the coaching staff with his slashing style and speed in the early practices.
Re: Rams Add Brown to Guard Mix
Brown is actually a pretty decent run blocker, but he had very little talent helping him out with the Texans, and the Cards O-line was not gelling at all last year.