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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams' goal vs. Chiefs: Stay healthy, claim Cup

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    Nothing is so meaningless for many, but so meaningful for the few, as the final game of the preseason.

    Coaches always pull back on playing their starters, not wanting to risk injury so close to the regular season. This is particularly true for the Rams because they will be playing their second game in 96 hours tonight, when they close out the preseason against Kansas City at the Edward Jones Dome.

    "It's tough, coming off a game like that this soon," Martz said.

    According to Martz, it could have been worse.

    "Originally, they had this as a Thursday game," he said. "Can you imagine that? I think playing a Monday night game in the third preseason game is very difficult to do."

    The Rams had only two practices this week, neither of which was in full pads. Thursday's workout lasted only about 70 minutes.

    "You have to take care of them in that respect," Martz said.

    Martz will take the prudent approach into tonight's game with the Chiefs as well. If the starters didn't look so sharp in Monday's 37-13 victory in Detroit, he might be tempted to play them longer.

    But after the Rams' impressive performance at Ford Field, their goal is to play hard tonight, but leave healthy. And then get ready for San Francisco, the Rams' opponent in the regular-season opener Sept. 11.

    "If we had to play our starters, this would be brutal," Martz said. "Fortunately, we don't have to do that. I think we're far enough along as a team right now that we can take a look at all these other guys here.

    "I wouldn't expect that we'd play (the starters) much at all. They'll have to play some, obviously, but not much. We're going to be very selective in terms of who plays."

    The Rams did a fair amount of game-planning for Detroit last week, at least by preseason standards. But that wasn't the case for Kansas City in this extra-short work week.

    "We did nothing for Kansas City," Martz said. "Nothing. So whatever happens, happens. We just hope that (Rams players) can sort things out well enough, and so be it.

    "The Chiefs are enough like us on offense. Their running game's a little different. And defensively, they're a 4-3 defense. So coverages are relatively similar to us."

    With final cuts looming Sunday, the almost-annual Governor's Cup game does have importance to bubble players. Twelve more Rams must be cut to reach the 53-man roster limit, so for some, tonight might be their last crack at NFL football.

    "It's an important game for a lot of guys," Martz said. "They need to kind of define themselves in their role on this team this year. Or whether they'll be on this team."

    Count offensive guard Darnell Alford, running back Aveion Cason, tight end Jerome Collins, cornerback Kevin Garrett, quarterback Jeff Smoker and linebacker Drew Walhroos among those who need to show something tonight.

    Speaking generally, and not about those specific players, Martz said, "It's very important for these guys to play and play well. And that's really kind of what we're banking on."

    Because they won't get much help from the starters in this game. Not even with the "coveted" Governor's Cup at stake.

    "That's big," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said, with a fairly straight face. "I've been around here long enough to realize that's big. When I first got here, I didn't get it. But seriously, there's a lot of people in our area, in St. Louis, who like to stick it to the people in Kansas City. So we need to help those people out."

    Not that Jackson could correctly pick the Cup out of a lineup. Then again, how could he? It has gone to the Chiefs in each of the past three preseason meetings.

    "I have no idea what it looks like," Jackson said. "So if you can help me out with that, that'll give me my visualization for the night."

  2. #2
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Rams' goal vs. Chiefs: Stay healthy, claim Cup

    the score doesnt matter to us, if we keep everyone healthy then we come out winners

  3. #3
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' goal vs. Chiefs: Stay healthy, claim Cup

    Got the game on locally tonight.

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey


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