Rams add Pro Bowler Milligan to beef up coverage teams

Safety Hank Milligan
Rams blog: Steve Korte's Ramblings
Led Chargers with 21 special teams tackles in 2005

ST. LOUIS --Safety Hank Milligan, whose special teams play earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl after the 2005 season, was signed by the St. Louis Rams on Monday.

"He was a very good special teams player," Rams coach Scott Linehan said of Milligan. "He could really give us a boost on our coverage teams."

The Rams rank 30th in kickoff coverage and 25th in punt coverage in the NFL.

The Rams released safety Bhawoh Jue to make room on their 53-man roster for Milligan.

Milligan led the San Diego Chargers with 21 special teams tackles in 2005. He was cut by the Chargers on Sept. 2, 2006, and claimed off waivers by the Arizona Cardinals the next day.

Milligan had 22 special teams tackles for the Cardinals last season, but he was released on Aug. 27 during roster cuts.

Milligan worked out for the Rams in late August.

"Going from the Pro Bowl to the streets is kind of hard to cope with," Milligan said. "You come back with a different attitude, a hungry attitude. When you get back on the field, you make sure your presence is felt."

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Milligan actually enjoys the high-impact world of special teams.

"It's a great feeling knowing you are the target or you have to make somebody else the target," Milligan said. "You have to be a head-hunter. You have to have a nasty attitude. You don't try to hurt people, but you make people feel you and know you are there."

Milligan said his hardest hit on special teams came last season against Detroit return specialist Eddie Drummond.

"I knocked him out last year when we played them at Detroit," Milligan said.

Milligan said he's been on the receiving end of his share of punishment on special teams.

"They came after me after the Pro Bowl," Milligan said. "I was a target. You just have get up and keep going and let them know they can't faze you. I expect it and I love it. I love when the other team comes after me because it means somebody else on my team is free and knocking their players out."

Milligan was a sixth-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft out of the University of Houston, where he had 408 career tackles and was a two-time All-Conference USA selection.