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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams could find return help from north of the border

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Nov. 08 2005

    The Rams' search for kick return help has taken them north of the border. David
    Allen, who spent the last month with Calgary of the Canadian Football League,
    visited Rams Park on Monday and could be signed to a Rams contract as early as
    Wednesday.

    Allen is a native of Euless, Texas, but attended high school in Liberty, Mo. He
    was a record-setting kick returner in college at Kansas State. He returned
    punts for 1,646 yards and seven touchdowns in college, and ranks second in NCAA
    history in career punt return yards.

    Allen, 27, had NFL training camp stints with San Francisco in 2001 and
    Minnesota in 2002, then spent part of the '02 season on Jacksonville's practice
    squad.

    In 2003 and '04, he appeared in 19 games for the Jaguars, returning 52 kickoffs
    for a 20-yard average, and returning 42 punts for an 11.1-yard average. In
    2003, Allen finished fourth in the AFC in punt returns, with a 12-yard average.

    At running back, he carried four times for 8 yards, and caught eight passes for
    68 yards and a TD over those 19 games in Jacksonville. Allen, 5-9 and 195
    pounds, was released by the Jaguars this preseason. He then signed with Calgary
    on Oct. 11. The Stampeders completed the CFL regular season last Sunday with an
    11-7 record, earning a playoff berth.

    The Rams have tried both Shaun McDonald and Terry Fair on punt returns this
    season, but rank last in the NFL with a 3.6-yard average. Chris Johnson and
    Fair have returned kickoffs for the Rams. Thanks in part to a 99-yard TD return
    by Johnson, the Rams rank 19th in kickoff returns.

    The Rams freed up a roster spot for Allen by releasing quarterback Jeff Smoker
    on Tuesday. Smoker, a sixth-round draft pick by the Rams in '04, was released
    at the end of training camp this summer. Following Marc Bulger's shoulder
    injury, Smoker was added to the practice squad Oct. 19, and then promoted to
    the 53-man roster on Oct. 21.


    Wilkins gets $3 million bonus

    Place-kicker Jeff Wilkins' four-year contract extension is worth $6.4 million
    and includes a $3 million signing bonus. Besides the signing bonus, Wilkins
    will earn base salaries of $800,000 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and a $1 million
    base salary in 2009.

    The contract numbers for Wilkins this season, the final year of his old deal,
    remain unchanged: $1.2 million in base salary, plus a bonus of $150,000 if he's
    on the Rams' game-day roster for all 16 regular-season contests. Wilkins signed
    his new contract last week.

    Wilkins' average per year of $1.6 million puts him right around the top 10
    punters and place-kickers in the NFL. In fact, the transition number for
    punters and kickers in 2005 is just under $1.6 million. The transition number
    is the average of the 10 highest-paid players at that position from the
    previous year.


    Ram-blings

    Returning to his hometown of Baltimore over the bye weekend, interim head coach
    Joe Vitt gave a pregame pep talk to his alma mater, Towson University. The
    Towson Tigers responded with a 40-19 victory over Villanova. ... Linebacker
    Quinton Caver, a street free agent who played most recently with the Kansas
    City Chiefs, visited Rams Park on Monday.


  2. #2
    RamJackson39's Avatar
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    Thats an interesting move. I have not been too excited about Johnson's return abilities. Bringing this guy in could really improve our Special Teams and the field position he should bring will help our offense.
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


  3. #3
    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    The Rams have tried both Shaun McDonald and Terry Fair on punt returns this
    season, but rank last in the NFL with a 3.6-yard average. Chris Johnson and
    Fair have returned kickoffs for the Rams. Thanks in part to a 99-yard TD return
    by Johnson, the Rams rank 19th in kickoff returns.

    I thought Fair looks pretty good at both. The 3.6 yard average is for 2 reasons. #1, because it probably was negative until they took MacDonald out of there. #2, because the Rams don't do well in the field position game, so often the punt is a fair catch.

    Chris Johnson hasn't impressed too much, given that he rarely get's past the 20, even though he broke one, so I'm fine with trying someone else. Is Johnson any good at CB? I know he causes a fumble, but is he a valid CB?

    And why did the Jags get rid of this guy?

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    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    He then signed with Calgary
    on Oct. 11. The Stampeders completed the CFL regular season last Sunday with an
    11-7 record, earning a playoff berth.
    he's gonna leave the team when they're going to the playoffs? That's odd.

  5. #5
    Stamps is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    Calgary Stampeders fan here. Fans in Calgary are sad to see Allen go he was really starting to become a big part of our offense even though he only spent four games here. He returned punts and kickoffs and missed field goals for the 4 games and really did not show much (even on the wide field)

    However he was a great reciever out of the backfield and took some pressure of Calgarys main RB Joffrey Reyonolds.

    Bad timing for him to leave as Calgary has the semi final playoff games comming up this Sunday.

    Any other questions you may have about Allen I'll answer.

  6. #6
    Stamps is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    Oh about the contract situation with Calgary. He had some sort of clause with the Stampeders that would allow him to get released out right if an NFL team came calling.

  7. #7
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    thanks for the update mr stamps. fascinating how a former ram is your #1 runner. Sorry to take this guy from you during the playoffs, we wish you the best of luck.

    One interesting side bar on this is that i now have a team to cheer for in the canadian playoffs. Stampede along to victory my friend.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  8. #8
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    The Rams freed up a roster spot for Allen by releasing quarterback Jeff Smoker
    So now we have 5 RB's on the roster. Don't you think that it's a little much?

    I don't know, but maybe we could use another DB instead of a RB.

    As far as weather Allen will do anything to help the return game relies solely on the blocking, and the way we've been playing I just don't think he'll be much of a factor.

    I hope I'm wrong.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  9. #9
    Stamps is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams could find return help from north of the border

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    thanks for the update mr stamps. fascinating how a former ram is your #1 runner. Sorry to take this guy from you during the playoffs, we wish you the best of luck.

    One interesting side bar on this is that i now have a team to cheer for in the canadian playoffs. Stampede along to victory my friend.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    Reynolds has been great!! In his first full season he had 1475 yards!! He's a great power runner.

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