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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Rams' Avery gets back up to speed
    BY JIM THOMAS


    One of the criticisms of the Rams' draft was that they didn't select a speedster at wide receiver, someone who could stretch secondaries and keep defenses from ganging up on Steven Jackson.

    But a familiar and occasionally maligned name from the recent past, Donnie Avery, still could fill that bill.

    Avery says he's "a good 92-93 percent" recovered from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The injury, which occurred in the Rams' Aug. 26 preseason game in New England, cost him the entire 2010 season.

    For most of this lockout-marred offseason, Avery has been rehabbing and training in his hometown of Houston, working with a strength coach and a track coach.

    "Just trying to get back up to speed," he said. "Because you know with injuries like this, a lot of guys, they lose their quick-twitch muscles."

    And Avery has had more quick-twitch than all but a select few human beings. His speed has been his greatest asset.

    "Last week, I clocked a 4.34," Avery said after Wednesday's player-organized Rams practice at Lindenwood University.

    That's nearly one-tenth of a second off Avery's personal best in the 40-yard dash 4.27 seconds but still a sizzling time. Since he's not 100 percent healthy, the NFL lockout actually has been a positive for Avery.

    "It's been a great thing for me," Avery laughed. "I didn't want to miss OTAs, but the lockout is postponing them so it's given me more time to be healthy."

    In normal times, the Rams would be in the third week of the spring practices, also known as organized team activities, and Avery might have been tempted to rush back into action. But with the lockout he has been able to ease back in, minimizing the possibility of setbacks.

    He was part of the Houston workouts prior to the draft that involved Sam Bradford and many of the team's receivers, and is taking part in the Lindenwood sessions. But these workouts are shorter and more relaxed than minicamps, and Avery can go at his own pace.

    Besides working to get his knee right, Avery has changed his diet.

    "I slimmed down a little bit," Avery said. "I got up to 203 (pounds) but I didn't feel comfortable with it. So right now I'm like 190, 191. It's like 3.8 percent body fat. For dinner (Tuesday) night, I had 4.2 ounces of fish, 2.2 cups of brown rice, and a cup of green beans. So it's training right, eating a lot of proteins, and just working on my speed."

    With a new offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels and a new scheme, the Rams drafted two wide receivers last month in Austin Pettis and Greg Salas. But Avery said he didn't have much of a reaction either way when the picks were made.

    "Coach Spags (Steve Spagnuolo), he reiterates every year coming into training camp that he's going to make competition at all positions," Avery said. "To me it's just competition, and at the end of day just let your talents and your gifts separate you from the rest."

    Avery, despite a career of peaks and valleys punctuated by injury, definitely feels he has a lot more to give as a player.

    "I feel like since I've been in the league, I haven't had the opportunity to show more than 60 or 70 percent of what I can do," he said. "And I don't know why people think I'm injury prone. If you look at the stats and the games, I probably was nicked up but I still played."

    The first wideout taken in the 2008 draft, Avery missed the first game of his rookie year with a sprained right knee, but then played in 31 consecutive games in '08 and '09. His numbers were decent: he averaged 50 catches for 631 yards and four touchdowns in those two seasons.

    "Last year was my first legitimate year hurt," Avery said. "So I just want to clear that up with everybody. I'm not an injury-prone guy."

    Avery has a point when it comes to the regular season. But he just can't seem to get through August intact. As a rookie, Avery missed about half of training camp and two preseason games with a stress fracture of the pelvic bone.

    In 2009, he missed all but a handful of plays in the preseason after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot during a team scrimmage at Lindenwood.

    Last preseason, he suffered the torn ACL after falling hard to the turf trying to run down a deep pass from Bradford late in the first half against the Patriots. Avery had flashed some of his old playmaking form in that game, including a 32-yard catch that set up the Rams' first touchdown.

    "It was really devastating because my mind was right, my body felt great," Avery said. "It was just a freak of nature that it happened. I just rewind the time sometimes, go back and look at that film and just figure out how could I have gone up with the ball better or landed better or something.

    "God just said, 'OK, this is something where you sit out for the year. Rest, get your mind right, and just be back strong next year.'"

    Which is exactly what Avery has in mind for 2011.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Donnie is sounding and acting perfectly this offseason. He and Onobun are working out down in Houston and I would think that he's been in contact with Sam a lot as well regarding the new offense. I don't know if he was at the team workouts; I hope he was, but with him not being fully back, I could understand maybe not being there.

    He's the fastest guy on the roster, and is definitely in line to be our #2 guy outside if he heal up and win the spot. Clayton, so long as he heals up as well and gets re-signed should be the primary.
    I believe!

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Donnie is sounding and acting perfectly this offseason. He and Onobun are working out down in Houston and I would think that he's been in contact with Sam a lot as well regarding the new offense. I don't know if he was at the team workouts; I hope he was, but with him not being fully back, I could understand maybe not being there.
    I agree that Avery is doing all the right things. No substitute for desire and dedication. Looks like he has indeed been a part of the workouts, which he could have easily rationalized skipping, but he didn't. I love his attitude. This is a man looking to be on the 2011 Rams.

    He was part of the Houston workouts prior to the draft that involved Sam Bradford and many of the team's receivers, and is taking part in the Lindenwood sessions. But these workouts are shorter and more relaxed than minicamps, and Avery can go at his own pace.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Anybody else mouth water when u read he is back at 4.3 speed. I remember 09 when we had no qb he showed promise I can't imagine what he will do with a second year Sammy b.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Good to see him back to his speed, I hope he's learned to catch consistently as well.

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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    We going to have a hell of competetion for WR come when this lock out ends. Contrary to the negative rep I've gotten from my comments about Mardy Gilyard not going to make this team, his lack of job knowledge, and now it seems his lack of enthusiasim to be with everyone in STL to workout in the off-season. Consider him not a waste of talent but a waste of will. I'm not a sour apple that always says or thinks negative things, but can not say MR. Gilyard is not and HAS NOT taken EVERY oppurtunity to help himself... must be a learning disability right?..... NOT

    and for our sake and Mardy's sake I pray that I am wrong, and if I was to bet on this, I'd say I wasn't.
    Last edited by ZiaRam; -05-26-2011 at 08:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiaRam View Post
    We going to have a hell of competetion for WR come when this lock out ends. Contrary to the negative rep I've gotten from my comments about Mardy Gilyard not going to make this team, his lack of job knowledge, and now it seems his lack of enthusiasim to be with everyone in STL to workout in the off-season. Consider him not a waste of talent but a waste of will. I'm not a sour apple that always says or thinks negative things, but can not say MR. Gilyard is not and HAS NOT taken EVERY oppurtunity to help himself... must be a learning disability right?..... NOT
    Good points. Where's Mardy?? He just does not seem like a guy that wants to play in the NFL. His career is on the line and he's nowhere to be found. I might be wrong, but I have not heard anything about his participation in any of the player workouts. Any reports to the contrary?

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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    I would rather have a backup long snapper than Gilyard.

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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Good points. Where's Mardy?? He just does not seem like a guy that wants to play in the NFL. His career is on the line and he's nowhere to be found. I might be wrong, but I have not heard anything about his participation in any of the player workouts. Any reports to the contrary?
    Well one consideration may be that he is still rehabbing from his wrist surgery. It is probable that even if he did attend the practice sessions in all likelihood he would not be in any condition to catch passes.

    I hope that he has a valid excuse for not attending and is not just lounging around in Florida doing the beach bum routine.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Well one consideration may be that he is still rehabbing from his wrist surgery. It is probable that even if he did attend the practice sessions in all likelihood he would not be in any condition to catch passes.

    I hope that he has a valid excuse for not attending and is not just lounging around in Florida doing the beach bum routine.

    WHAT SAY YE?
    We're getting a bit off topic, but here is what Tony Softi had to say on Gilyard (no mention of any injury problems), who will probably never be mistaken for Donnie Avery:

    Then you have Rams wide receiver Mardy Gilyard. the team's fourth-round pick in 2010 and veteran offensive lineman John Greco; players that are on the bubble and may clearly struggle to make the 2011 roster. Somehow, they haven't been able to find their way to St. Louis and were not in attendance for the week of team training sessions at Lindenwood University.

  11. #11
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Avery is coming along quite nicely because he is a true professional. In the same vein this lockout is helping DX even more, with his extensive knee injuries. Clayton also will benefit with this unusual scenario hopefully.? The writing is on the wall for Mardy G. Greco's progress is very disappointing to say the least. It doesnt look like he is in the Rams plans as a starter. Im not too sure what will become of Mr Greco. Probably another wasted pick by the old regime.?
    I HOPE HE PROVES EVERYONE WRONG BECAUSE THE RAMS NEED HIM BADLY AT A POSITON OF GREAT NEED. ( GUARD )
    PLEASE, PLEASE NO MORE MR GOLDBERG BEING THROWN AROUND LIKE A BIG RAG DOLL.
    Last edited by GROUND DOG 39; -05-27-2011 at 08:07 AM.

  12. #12
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Avery gets back up to speed

    Looks like maybe Gilyard had an excuse for missing some practice time, although I think he still could have attended something. From Mike Sando's blog:

    Tony Softli of 101ESPN St. Louis offers thoughts on the Rams' recently concluded player-organized workout sessions. Also: "Mardy Gilyard was a no-show. It is my understanding from a source he had a close friend pass away and decided to attend the services."

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