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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Dec. 04 2008
    If all goes as planned, the Rams on Sunday will start their third different
    middle linebacker in as many weeks.

    Chris Draft returned to practice Wednesday, just a month after breaking a bone
    is his foot, and worked at the inside position with the first team. Normally,
    that's Will Witherspoon's spot, but he's dealing with injuries to both
    shoulders and was limited to passing situations Sunday in a 16-12 loss to Miami.

    Rookie David Vobora manned the middle against the Dolphins and collected 10
    tackles in his first NFL start. Now, it's Draft's turn. "If he feels that he's
    ready to go, then he'll be the (starter) this week" at Arizona, coach Jim
    Haslett said.

    Noting that Draft is back about two weeks earlier than expected, Haslett added,
    "It shows you the character you have on the team with some of the players. Now,
    it's not equating into wins enough, but it does show you at the end of the year
    when you're evaluating your football team what kind of guys you want to have on
    your team. Those are the kind of guys you like to have."

    Draft has played all three linebacker positions during his 10-year career. He
    was stationed in the middle frequently with Carolina in 2005 and '06 before
    joining the Rams last year as a free agent.

    "It's not about what position," said Draft, 5-feet-11 and 236 pounds. "I'm not
    really worried about that as much as just really getting a feel for where I'm
    at."

    Draft's injury didn't require surgery, and he started running on the side last
    week. He reported no ill effects after practice Wednesday. "I'm not going to
    jump out and say, 'Oh, man, it feels so great!' he said. "But I definitely felt
    good running around today. ... Tomorrow, I'll be able to test that thing again
    and really feel good about it."

    Rookie Chris Chamberlain took some snaps with the first team at strongside
    linebacker. "You'll see him on the field" vs. the Cardinals, Haslett said. "We
    want to get a look at him before the season's out."

    HILL SLOW TO RECOVER

    Haslett's exasperation was obvious recently when he was asked when cornerback
    Tye Hill, out since suffering a knee injury in Week 4, might get back on the
    field. "I don't know what the time frame is on him," Haslett replied. "It's
    been a long time already."

    Nobody realizes that more than Hill, who has missed eight games this year after
    being limited to eight last season because of injuries. "Two years like this
    ... what can you say? At least I can say I made it to the league," Hill said.

    That he did, and as the Rams' first-round draft pick (No. 15 overall) in 2006.
    He was hurt Sept. 28 vs. Buffalo and underwent arthroscopic surgery for torn
    cartilage. Hill thought he'd be back about a month ago.

    Instead, he's logging mile after mile running on the sideline during practice.
    "Man, I've probably hit the century mark," he quipped.

    "I give the training staff (credit); we did everything we could do," Hill
    continued. "We finally got the swelling to go down, but it just can't seem to
    turn that corner to really let me get back to being able to play."

    Spending so much time on the sideline has heightened his appreciation for the
    game, Hill stressed. "I remember saying that after last year," he said. "Now, I
    really would appreciate getting back on that field. ... Even with the way
    things have gone this season, I would still love to be out there."

    RAM-BLINGS

    Hill was the only player who didn't practice Wednesday, although several were
    limited. That group included running back Steven Jackson (thigh), Witherspoon
    (shoulders), defensive lineman Victor Adeyanju (neck), plus wideouts Donnie
    Avery (hip) and Keenan Burton (knee). ... Quarterback Marc Bulger was ill but
    participated fully.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Dec. 04 2008
    If all goes as planned, the Rams on Sunday will start their third different
    middle linebacker in as many weeks.

    Noting that Draft is back about two weeks earlier than expected, Haslett added,
    "It shows you the character you have on the team with some of the players.
    The key word here is in the last sentence "some".

    Obviously "some" is not enough!!!

  3. #3
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Rookie David Vobora manned the middle against the Dolphins and collected 10
    tackles in his first NFL start. Now, it's Draft's turn. "If he feels that he's
    ready to go, then he'll be the (starter) this week" at Arizona, coach Jim
    Haslett said.
    Why doesn't Haz just keep Vobora out there? He obviously did a good enough job by collecting 10 tackles in his first start. I don't see any long-term upside of playing Draft especially when this season all but over as far as any meaningful football is concerned.

    Come on Jim play the kids and see what they've got to offer.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  4. #4
    NY RAMFAN's Avatar
    NY RAMFAN is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Nobody realizes that more than Hill, who has missed eight games this year after
    being limited to eight last season because of injuries. "Two years like this
    ... what can you say? At least I can say I made it to the league," Hill said.
    .
    sigh . . .Can we compare Hill's draft with T. Candidate? who was the worst choice?

    And I agree with you, Ramarkable, we should give more field time to Mr. Irrelevant, maybe he turns out not to be as irrelevant...

  5. #5
    ManofGod's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Why doesn't Haz just keep Vobora out there? He obviously did a good enough job by collecting 10 tackles in his first start. I don't see any long-term upside of playing Draft especially when this season all but over as far as any meaningful football is concerned.

    Come on Jim play the kids and see what they've got to offer.

    WHAT SAY YE?
    I agree the kid did a great job last week why not help him build some confidence by keeping him in there?

  6. #6
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    I originally read this thread title as "Rams draft starting middle linebacker" and I got excited/confused.

  7. #7
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    I agree the kid did a great job last week why not help him build some confidence by keeping him in there?
    Confidence: That's the key word, MoG. With Vobora being relegated to the bench again how is he going to build any confidence, let alone consistency or the like. I would like to see Haz start Vobora agin and bring Draft in for relief only. In this way maybe Vobora can develop and build toward the future.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  8. #8
    ManofGod's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Confidence: That's the key word, MoG. With Vobora being relegated to the bench again how is he going to build any confidence, let alone consistency or the like. I would like to see Haz start Vobora agin and bring Draft in for relief only. In this way maybe Vobora can develop and build toward the future.

    WHAT SAY YE?
    I agree fam, but again this is the Rams we sadly we make some of the worst talent moves/drafts/free agent signings in the NFL...a close third behind the Raiders & Detroit

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    Ben56 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Why doesn't Haz just keep Vobora out there? He obviously did a good enough job by collecting 10 tackles in his first start. I don't see any long-term upside of playing Draft especially when this season all but over as far as any meaningful football is concerned.

    Come on Jim play the kids and see what they've got to offer.

    WHAT SAY YE?

    Uhh. . . maybe because once again the opposition ran all over us and counting on a 7th round pick to turn that around is betting on a real long shot.

    I also find it amusing that Hazlett seems so confident that Draft will make a big difference. He might I suppose, but its not like he was helping the Rams D shut down the run when he was healthy.

  10. #10
    eric2810's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Chris Draft moves in as starting linebacker

    Draft, including Chavous and others, are ageing players on the defense I wanted to see replace this off-season with some young talent or free agents. We got to let go of these guys and build this defense for the future.
    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    He obviously did a good enough job by collecting 10 tackles in his first start.
    WHAT SAY YE?

    Wait a second. Where'd you get 10 tackles from? According to NFL.com he had 4 and an assist. Although tackles don't tell the whole story, I'll say he had an average game.
    Last edited by eric2810; -12-07-2008 at 04:10 AM.

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