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  1. #1
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    Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Even before Drew Bennett suffered a foot injury that could keep him out upwards of a month, teams with the Rams on their schedule had already made Torry Holt their primary target to stop in the passing game.

    Time and again in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia, the Eagles threw bracket coverages, double and even triple teams at Holt. That limited him to one catch for 9 yards and he didn’t get many more opportunities.

    With Bennett out this week, the Rams are looking for another wide out to emerge as the guy who can take some of that heat off of Holt and help the offense find a rhythm in the passing game.

    The question then becomes which player will be the one to step forward and carry that mantle?

    Dane Looker is the veteran with the knowledge to play all of the receiver spots and move the chains. Dante Hall and newly signed Eddie Kennison have the experience in offensive coordinator Al Saunders’ system. And rookies Keenan Burton and Donnie Avery have the speed and skill to give the offense the missing dimension of home run ability.

    Of that group, Looker, Hall and Kennison have the best resumes but it’s Avery and Burton that can inject youth and enthusiasm into the offense.

    As it stands, Looker seems the most poised to fill in for Bennett in the starting lineup. First and foremost, Looker is probably the healthiest of the group and has the ability to fit in at any of the receiver positions. He also has spent plenty of time in the offense.

    With that in mind, expect to see plenty of him this week against the Giants.

    “Dane’s reliability and his knowledge of the offense and his flexibility, being able to do pretty much anything gives him an edge on some of the other guys as far as being able to go in there and handle everything you throw at him especially the verbiage and alignments and everything that we do,” coach Scott Linehan said. “So that’s where Dane can really help us.”

    Looker got a lot of work against the Eagles as did Hall. Hall works mostly out of the slot and the Rams have put in plays to try to get him the ball in open space. However, he is not necessarily the type of player who can be used as an every down receiver.

    With that in mind, expect to see plenty of Burton, who made an immediate impression in training camp and has done nothing but impress the coaching staff and teammates since.

    Burton played just eight plays on offense against Philadelphia and the closest he came to making a catch was when he knocked down the Eagles’ Hail Mary as a defender on the final play of the first half.

    Although it wasn’t the big debut he hoped, Burton did get a chance to adjust to the speed and athleticism of his opponents. That could serve him well as his role is expected to expand this week.

    In fact, Saunders has said he would have liked to get Burton in more against Philadelphia and will make it a point of emphasis to get him involved this week.

    “It’s not as much as being fast as knowing what you have to do,” Burton said. “The mental is different. You can try to prepare for something all week then Sunday is something totally different than what you’re prepared for. As a rookie, I have to learn to adjust to it, pick up on it and understand how they are trying to play me, how they are trying to play Torry and help the team the best way possible.”

    Burton showed he’s ready to contribute in the third preseason game against San Diego when he made a few acrobatic catches, including one in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.

    It remains to be seen if those flashes of greatness will carry over to the real games but Linehan likes what he’s seen to this point.

    “What I’ve seen so far is excellent,” Linehan said. “He gives you size and speed that we really need on the outside at this point. He brings that young element that we’ve been wanting around here for awhile. He showed it one of the preseason games and we’d like to have more of that to be honest with you.”

    As for Avery, his progress has been slowed by a pelvic bone injury and a knee injury. The pelvic bone injury kept him out of most of training camp and the sprained knee kept him out of the season opener.

    Avery is wearing a brace this week but has cut it loose in practice Wednesday and Thursday and could figure into the mix against the Giants. He’s listed as limited participation but there’s a chance he could play.

    “I have to go out there and see if my brain matches my body,” Avery said. “Knowing I couldn’t contribute was tough on me, but I still have to be there mentally and I have to be a team player too and try and cheer the guys on.”

    The other option to bolster the passing game comes in the form of Kennison, who signed with the Rams on Tuesday for his second stint in St. Louis.

    Kennison is intimately familiar with Saunders’ offense after working with him in Kansas City for five years. But Kennison hasn’t played meaningful snaps since the 2007 season opener and it remains to be seen if he can be in shape to play in time for Sunday.

    Most likely, if Kennison can play he will work as a No. 3 or 4 type of receiver at the Z position with snaps limited to the 20 range.

    “He has a background certainly here before but at Kansas City playing for coach (Al) Saunders as a receiver there and has a familiarity with the system we are now running so it gives us some depth,” Linehan said. “It does not eliminate our young players from the mix for sure. It is more insurance and hopefully it will give us depth for game day more than anything.”


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Forget about Kennison and Looker get the kids out there. I want to see Burton and Avery on the field. Throw something at the Giants that they are not expecting....BURTON and AVERY.

    Just one mans opinion.

    GO RAMS!!!!

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    I could not agree more. This is a prime opportunity for them to get game experience, and I think they (Burton for sure) played well enough in the pre-season to at least give them a shot. What do they have to loose.

    Dont' go around it, RAM IT!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Jeez. It shows that Linehan doesn't have faith in the kids. The kids who deserve a chance to play. Look at what the results were when both kids played in the same game. We had a good week for Bulger in the preseason. I know 90% of the board is gonna attack this statement with "It's only preseason" blah blah. But I'm more than sure that they can accomplish more than Hall and Looker.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Forget about Kennison and Looker get the kids out there. I want to see Burton and Avery on the field. Throw something at the Giants that they are not expecting....BURTON and AVERY.

    Just one mans opinion.

    GO RAMS!!!!
    These guys actually carried us during preseason. Give em a chance and we shal see. " Rams hope to help holt" makes him sound like a madicaid recipient.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    It still hurts so much that we lost Bruce for nothing and have... Bennett (shudders) as a number 2. Then we go out they jump ahead of all kinds of great WR's in the draft who have already showed they can produce to grab Avery and Burton i think was a steal but then Losehan can't get it into his mind to throw them out there. Holt is "triple teamed" he's great but no-one is that great, except maybe Larry Fitz.

    Get the kids in the game!
    Fire LOSEHAN.
    Go RAMS!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    "In fact, Saunders has said he would have liked to get Burton in more against Philadelphia and will make it a point of emphasis to get him involved this week."

    I would like to see Burton get a chance to shine.
    :ramlogo:

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    Jeez. It shows that Linehan doesn't have faith in the kids. The kids who deserve a chance to play. Look at what the results were when both kids played in the same game. We had a good week for Bulger in the preseason. I know 90% of the board is gonna attack this statement with "It's only preseason" blah blah. But I'm more than sure that they can accomplish more than Hall and Looker.
    Mooselini how the hell do you know that. First of all how do you know 2 unproven rookies would accomplish more than 2 veterans who know the speed of the game and are more familiar with the system. And second of all how do you know that Linehan has no faith in the rookies. You have no idea. Quit acting as though these 100% unfounded opinions are facts. You have done this very frequently since you joined these boards and I would think by now you would understand that nothing in this league is as guaranteed as you make it out to be.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Quote Originally Posted by cfh128 View Post
    Mooselini how the hell do you know that. First of all how do you know 2 unproven rookies would accomplish more than 2 veterans who know the speed of the game and are more familiar with the system. And second of all how do you know that Linehan has no faith in the rookies. You have no idea. Quit acting as though these 100% unfounded opinions are facts. You have done this very frequently since you joined these boards and I would think by now you would understand that nothing in this league is as guaranteed as you make it out to be.
    I understand your logic. However going that far was a little unneccessary. =/

    One thing I can tell you, is that when we played the Ravens, Burton caught the very first touchdown for the first string players. Something that we hadn't done for three preseasons. To me, that kind of shows what Burton has in store. I'm sure you will most likely disagree that Burton has shown promise because of one touchdown.

    But lets also look at the fact that he had the second most receiving yards in the preseason for the Rams (for 83 yards on six receptions). There is only one player who has more yards and catches, and that is Dane Looker. However, Dane looker had many more passes thrown his way.

    Avery, was the fourth leader in yards for the Rams during preseason.

    Yes, I KNOW that these are only preseason statistics. However, not giving these kids a chance to play is flat out stupid.

    Dane Looker has been a Ram for eight years. What has he done for the Rams? Nothing against Looker, I've always enjoyed his presence on the field. However, he's been Wilkins' kick holder. Anything after that, he hasn't been more than a #4 receiver. The Rams organization is stupid and keep releasing players that we could've still used on our squad (Bruce and Curtis). For tomorrow, we are left with Holt, Looker, Avery, Burton, Hall and the new addition Kennison.

    And Kennison brings my point to this argument. Linehan doesn't trust the young receivers or Dane Looker. He brings in a 35 year old receiver to fill in for Bennett. We have four receivers behind Bennett, and they bring in someone else to "help." If Kennison shuts me up, then I will take defeat in this debate we are having. But until it happens, I think that Linehan doesn't want to trust these kids to show what they have.

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    I can only hope Linehans thinking on this matter is that Bulger needs all the help he can get on the field and putting a veteran in the line-up as opposed to a rookie would help. I agree that I think Burton and Avery should be given a chance and that Eddie was sort of a knee jerk reaction to the Bennett situation. Really Linehan is between a rock and hard place on this one (although he got himself there), if he played the rookies and we loose then we as fans would say that we don't have any recievers that can get open. But by not playing them we say he has no faith in them. Bottom line is if this team were 1-0 and would have won in convincing fashion in Philly this would be a non-issue.

    Don't go around it RAM IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. #11
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Hall & looker don't scare anyone thats 100%!!!
    Put the kids in!

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams Hope to Help Holt

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDYRAM View Post
    Hall & looker don't scare anyone thats 100%!!!
    Put the kids in!
    WHO said The kids are alright?!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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