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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is online now Pro Bowl Ram
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    Rams have a crowd at tight end ..

    BY BILL COATS Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:00 am

    Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and his staff will have some difficult decisions when it comes time to whittle the 80-man training camp roster to the regular-season limit of 53. One of the toughest figures to be at tight end.

    "I was kind of going through that the other morning. Very stiff'' competition, Spagnuolo said. "The young guys are pretty good football players, and we've got three guys that have played in the league a little bit. ... That's a good position to watch."

    Randy McMichael, who led the Rams' tight ends with 34 catches for 332 yards last year, wasn't re-signed. That left Daniel Fells (21 catches, 273 yards) and Billy Bajema (eight catches, 94 yards) as the only holdovers.

    Added in the offseason were Darcy Johnson, a free agent who has been in the NFL for four years, and draft picks Michael Hoomanawanui (fifth round) and Fendi Onobun (sixth).

    Suddenly, it got very crowded at tight end; only three are likely to stick.

    "That's the way it is in the NFL. Every year they're trying to do the best they can to bring in guys that they think can help the team," said Bajema, a sixth-year pro. "We've got, really, five guys that are good players, so there's a lot of competition. It's just a matter of doing everything every day to show what you can do."

    Bajema spent four seasons in San Francisco, where he earned a reputation as a reliable blocker. In 61 games, he caught just seven passes for 88 yards.

    But after signing with the Rams in March 2009, he proved that he has receiving ability, too.

    "He sure does," Spagnuolo said. "I told him not to think (that he was regarded as a blocker only), that we saw him as a tight end. And in this offense, the tight end gets the ball thrown to him."

    When the Rams have thrown the ball to the 6-foot-4, 259-pound Bajema, 27, during training camp, he's generally pulled it down.

    "I think (camp is) going well," said the Oklahoma State product. "It's just a battle to work hard, get better every day, and I feel like I'm improving. I feel like I'm working hard and doing things to help the team. My goal is just to do more of that."

    He also tries to focus on the immediate task at hand and not get caught up worrying about what the other tight ends are doing.

    "I try not to. But you know it's inevitable; everybody on the team can't be around" at the end, Bajema said. "Ninety-five percent of us out here, part of what we're doing in training camp is competing for jobs. There's very few guys that are just set; most guys have to earn it every year.

    "All I can do is go out and play the best I can play, and things will shake out the way they're supposed to."

    INSIDE PRACTICE

    Because of the excessive heat, Spagnuolo had planned to be outside for the first hour of practice Tuesday, then move to the indoor facility at Rams Park for the last 90 minutes.

    But when storms approached shortly after the 2 p.m. start, packing thunder and lightning, the team was ordered inside right away. "I thought it worked out pretty good. We came in and had a pretty good practice," Spagnuolo said.

    TAPE-DELAY OPENER

    Saturday night's preseason opener against Minnesota almost certainly won't be televised live, because there is virtually no chance that it will sell out by the league-mandated deadline of 7 tonight.

    But, noted Rams executive Kevin Demoff, there are no blackouts in the preseason, only tape delays. KTVI (Channel 2) will air the game at 10:30 p.m. Saturday and again at 2 p.m. Sunday.

    RAM-BLINGS

    Rookie defensive end Eugene Sims has been added to the lengthy injury list with a sore hamstring. ... Cornerback Ron Bartell (ankle) and guard/center Hank Fraley (knee) returned to practice for limited duty. ... Two practices are scheduled for today, beginning at 8:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m.


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams have a crowd at tight end ..

    For sure, it's a tough competition among Rams TEs.

    I like a Bajema / Fells / Onobun trio for the 2010 roster.

    And perhaps Hoomanawanui for PS.

  3. #3
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams have a crowd at tight end ..

    We're all interested in the August roster cuts fast approaching. All positions. Right now I'm wondering about our [3] TEs.

    Who are your preferences here?

  4. #4
    RAMarkable is online now Registered User
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    Re: Rams have a crowd at tight end ..

    I'm with you RealRam, my list consists of:

    1.) D. Fells
    2.) B. Bajema
    3.) F. Onobun

    Practice Squad: M. Hoomany

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams have a crowd at tight end ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    We're all interested in the August roster cuts fast approaching. All positions. Right now I'm wondering about our [3] TEs.

    Who are your preferences here?
    I really like Onobun, but hes so raw. Also, I don't believe they will leave him on the PS because someone would steal him in a second.

    I am almost 100% sure Fells makes it. I like Bajema's blocking. Hoomanawanui is an all around tight end. Onobun is all receiving. Overall, I agree with you.

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