Rams' cornerback Gordy is playing for two

BY KATHLEEN NELSON
Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rams cornerback Josh Gordy could get the chance of a lifetime Sunday, lining up with an NFL defense.

"You imagine yourself making plays. What else does a DB want?" he said.

And what better place than Green Bay, where he toiled as a rookie on special teams last year but never got the chance to take the field with the defense?

Yet Gordy's excitement and anticipation will be tempered by a heavy heart, since one of the people closest to him won't get a chance to see what could be his debut as a pro cornerback. Last week, in the midst of the bye and preparing for the big day, Gordy received word that his grandmother, Lucy Tucker, had died at age 69. He missed practice Wednesday to attend the funeral in Washington County, Ga.

"I just talked to her a couple days earlier," he said. "She called me to wish me good luck. It was good to go back and be around family."

The family will gather again Sunday, huddling around the television in Sandersville, Ga., in the hope of seeing Gordy make his debut on the Rams' defense. Gordy entered the league as an undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan, signed by Jacksonville in May 2010. He then spent 10 weeks on the Packers' practice squad and appeared in two games on special teams in December.

The Rams signed him to their practice squad Sept. 6 after Green Bay released him and promoted him to the active roster two weeks later to take the place of Tim Atchison, placed on injured reserve because of a hamstring strain.

"That shows that the coaches have trust in me," Gordy said, adding that as a member of the active roster, "You've got to start learning more details. You might know the big picture, but when you get to the active roster you have to know the schemes inside out."

Since his promotion, the Rams have lost Bradley Fletcher for the season because of a knee injury, making Gordy's debut Sunday probable and perhaps part of the healing process for his family.

"I have a good opportunity to make a name for myself against a really good team, against my old team. When an opportunity comes, it would be a shame to let it slip away," he said. "You want to play for her. You want to get a chance to do something to honor her."

Miller says he's ready

Wide receiver Nick Miller has received a crash course in the Rams' offense since Monday, when he was signed to take the roster spot vacated by Danny Amendola, lost for the season because of elbow and triceps injuries. Miller spent the first two years of his career with the Oakland Raiders but was released two weeks ago.

"I'm from the West Coast system, but it's like anything else," Miller said. "The more you do it, the more you learn it. I've been in the books, studying."

Working in his favor, though, is that there's no West Coast system for returning punts, a specialty he shares with Amendola.

"That's simple enough," he said. "You learn how they coach and how they want me to return. I have that down. If they need me, I'll be ready. I know it's a numbers game, so we'll see Sunday."

Whether Miller gets the chance to play in Green Bay will depend on injuries and how useful the coaches think he can be, even if that means running a route or two.

"If they need me, they'll dumb it down for me and I'll be ready for whatever they need me to do," he said.

Fix in six

The Rams' 0-4 start left them with many holes to fix through the bye week. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said the only way to know if the players and staff have been successful in the last six practices is to take the field.

"I do think we got a lot of good work done. I like the mindset of the team," he said. "I thought Wednesday was a little sloppy, but we put a little bit of volume in the team and knew that would happen. All in all, today's was really good. Last Tuesday and last Wednesday was really good, Wednesday so-so, Thursday got better. So if I graded them all out I think we got ourselves better. The only way to know that is to take the test. You can do all the studying in the library you want and when you go take the test you have to get the answers right."

INJURY UPDATE

Guard Jacob Bell (hamstring) and tight end Mike Hoomanawanui (concussion) got more reps Friday and were listed as questionable for Sunday. Long snapper Jake McQuaide (illness), defensive tackle Darell Scott (thumb) and defensive end James Hall (back) were listed as probable.

The only player missing Friday was practice squad quarterback Tom Brandstater, injured Thursday when one of his teammates stepped on his foot.