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  1. #1
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    Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Leckey moves into starting role as Rams center
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat

    ST. LOUIS --
    The St. Louis Rams' depth on the offensive line already is being tested.

    Nick Leckey has moved into a starting role with center Brett Romberg hampered by a broken hand, and rookies John Greco and Roy Schuening now are key backups with Mark Setterstrom and Brandon Gorin out for the season with injuries.

    Rams coach Scott Linehan said Leckey is making a run at the starting job after not even being mentioned as a candidate for that role at the start of training camp.

    Romberg and Richie Incognito were supposed to battle to be the starting center, but Incognito has moved back to right guard where he played last season.

    "Sometimes there's an opportunity that arises because of an injury, but at this point, Nick Leckey has really made a statement for the center position," Linehan said. "There's nothing that Brett did do or didn't do, he just hasn't been able to be as effective because of his hand. Nick has gone in there and played really well."

    As for Greco and Schuening, who were added during the 2008 NFL Draft to lend depth to an offensive line that was riddled with injuries last season, the future is now.

    "There is a reason why they are here, we just are asking them (to be contributors) a little sooner," Linehan said. "It just gives them an opportunity now to get more snaps than what they would have gotten to this point. So in a lot of ways that is good for those two."

    Leckey said he feels better prepared mentally to be a starter now than he did last season when he thrust into starting lineup at right guard for two games due to injuries.

    "I feel that right now my focus is better," Leckey said. "In the past, I dwelled on things too much. I let it linger instead of just looking forward. In the past, maybe I was looking behind me a little bit, which never helps you out."

    Leckey and the rest of the Rams' starting offensive line paved the way for Antonio Pittman and Brian Leonard to rush for 105 yards in the first half of a 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers last Saturday.

    "That always make the o-line happy," Leckey said. "Whenever you rush for over 100 yards on a really good defense, and I know they were missing a bunch of their guy, but anytime you can rush for that many yards, it's always a good thing."

    Leckey said it was sad to see Setterstrom being carted off the field with a fractured knee cap last Saturday in a scene eerily similar to last season when he was carted off with a torn ACL in his knee in Week 3 vs. Tampa Bay.

    "For him to just get off rehabbing and finally have the confidence to stand on his knee, it's heart-breaking to me," Leckey said. "He's such a tremendous player and such a good guy to have around by you in the locker room. Anytime you have one of your fellow o-linemen go down, it's heartbreaking."

    Linehan said Greco, a third-round pick out of the University of Toledo, will work at right guard behind Incognito and right tackle behind Alex Barron. Roy Schuening has been working at left guard behind Jacob Bell.

    "I never played guard until I came here, but I caught on quick," Greco said. "Knowing the tackle spots, you are required to know the guard stuff, too. I know the plays. It's just a little bit different footwork."

    Greco started 49 consecutive games, including 36 at left tackle, for Toledo. Schuening started a school-record 50 games at Oregon State.

    "I'll say it's all luck," Schuening said of his durability. "There were guys who got hurt all around. I was lucky enough not to get hurt. We spent a lot of time in the training room after games just making sure that little soreness didn't turn into something big. I was real lucky that nothing major ever happened to me."

    As the only two rookies among the Rams' offensive linemen, Schuening and Greco have struck up a friendship.

    "Me and John met at the minicamp, and we just clicked right off the bat," Schuening said. "He's such a great guy, a fun guy to be around. Anytime one of us is down and not having a good day, the other guy kind of picks him up. He's doing a great job over on the right side, and it would be great for us someday to be out there starting. Right now, we're learning and doing what we can to help this team win."


  2. #2
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    We just can't catch a break on the offensive line...or rather we're catching all the wrong breaks. How strange that after putting Setterstrom vs. Romberg, then Incognito vs. Romberg, it's going to be Leckey out there starting at center. Still, the biggest concern on the line going into this season might be what is going on with OP. Pace, Bell, Leckey, Incognito, and Barron could still be a pretty good line if Pace returns to form. If he doesn't or we face another string of injuries, it could be a long year.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    WOW! I can't believe the musical chairs are starting allready.

    Sheeeeesssh!

  4. #4
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    .
    What about Dustin Fry from Clemson?

    I've lost track of him. He was our Fifth round pick last year.

    I was uncertain when people automatically expected Pace to come back and play at a high level for the whole season. While that is possible, Pace has been fragile and then some in the last several years. Durability and longevity is a Huge concern, even though most expect him to play pretty well when he can play.

    We need to draft high-quality OL damn near every year. Imagine if we hadn't drafted Greco and Schuening.

    I never thought that Romberg or Setterstrom would make it on the field for a contending team.

  5. #5
    maineram Guest

    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    GO LECKEY, prove the doubters wrong !!!

    Maine -

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Watch the game footage against the Chargers, and watch Leckey, he was moving EVERYONE in front of him. I really impressive performance, IMHO ...

  7. #7
    Josh Guest

    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Dustin Fry Is like in linehan's doghouse i think.. lol I havent heard from him in awhile.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Let the excuse making begin!!
    "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana

  9. #9
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Watch the game footage against the Chargers, and watch Leckey, he was moving EVERYONE in front of him. I really impressive performance, IMHO ...
    And against a 3-4 NT at that. Pretty tough assignment for any Center.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  10. #10
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Watch the game footage against the Chargers, and watch Leckey, he was moving EVERYONE in front of him. I really impressive performance, IMHO ...
    Not to pick or anything, but I read that Jamal Williams-the Pro-Bowl NT-was not on the field against the Rams. If Leckey can block the likes of J. Williams then I will be duly impressed.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  11. #11
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    WOW! I can't believe the musical chairs are starting allready.

    Sheeeeesssh!
    Yes .. Yes .. But look at the bright side of it. Practice makes perfect .. right? We should be in great form by midseason.

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Not to pick or anything, but I read that Jamal Williams-the Pro-Bowl NT-was not on the field against the Rams. If Leckey can block the likes of J. Williams then I will be duly impressed.

    WHAT SAY YE?
    I'd be impressed with ANY Center that could block Williams. And yes, both Williams and Castillo were missing from the lineup, but there are worse 3-4 lines than Olshansky, Bingham, & Cesaire.

    But hey, doing well against a starter and two backups is better than not doing well against a starter and two backups.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  13. #13
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    [Fry] is still a longshot. Here's why: You've got your five starters. Let's assume for the sake of argument that Romberg is the starting center. But Leckey makes the team. Goldberg makes the team. Greco makes the team. That's 8 o-linemen. The Rams probably keep nine. So then it comes down to Fry vs. Schuening. And Schuening, keep in mind, is a Devaney draft pick.
    -- Jim Thomas
    Okay then, okay: Make Romberg the starting center and Leckey a versatile depth man at center and guard. Keep Shuening, guard, for sure.

  14. #14
    Tony Soprano Guest

    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    .
    If Fry has showed them anything, they better put him on the Practice
    squad. If he's eligible according to the rules.


    .

  15. #15
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams injuries have created offensive line moves

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Soprano View Post
    .
    If Fry has showed them anything, they better put him on the Practice squad. If he's eligible according to the rules.
    Good idea Tony. As opposed to last year's zombie OL, we're going to need a STRONG showing by the big men this season to get Saunders' offense functional, productive, and winning.

    No more serious injuries, please. But it would be great to have Fry in PS just in case.

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