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    Rams Notebook: Brockers Breaks Through

    Rams Notebook: Brockers breaks through

    20 hours ago • By Kathleen Nelson knelson@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8233

    Rams fans have been waiting for first-round pick Michael Brockers to have a breakout game. Sunday’s performance should satisfy most of them. Brockers recorded 11 tackles — almost unheard of for a defensive tackle — on 52 plays in the Rams’ 16-13 overtime victory over the San Francisco ***** and was a key cog in limiting ***** running back Frank Gore to 58 yards on 25 carries.

    Brockers stood out on a stop for minus-1 yard against Gore in the third quarter and for hustling downfield to pull down tight end Vernon Davis on a 9-yard gain in overtime.

    “He’s improving,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “He played pretty well last week as well. He played stout, strong, got good pressure, had a nice chase-down tackle. He’s feeling good, and he’s improving.”

    Much was expected of the 6-5, 322-pound Brockers when the Rams made him the 14th overall pick. But his regular-season debut was delayed while he rehabbed a high ankle sprain suffered in the final preseason game. He finally took the field Sept. 30 at home versus Seattle and tweaked the same ankle but missed only a series or two.

    Since then, his playing time and impact have increased steadily. He recorded his first sack Oct. 21 versus Green Bay and had 1˝ sacks in the first game against San Francisco. Last week, he accounted for six tackles in the Rams’ 31-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

    QUINN LIMITED; SIMS STEPS UP

    Defensive end Robert Quinn played just 20 snaps Sunday, a week after suffering a concussion against Arizona. Quinn did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and was limited Friday. Picking up most of the slack was Eugene Sims, who was on the field for 62 plays and contributed five tackles and a sack.

    “We didn’t want Robert, when it was all said and done, to play 40, 50 plays,” Fisher said. “Our plan, particularly because he didn’t practice, was to put him in and play on third down. Of course, that never works. You end up playing a little bit more. But it was fine. He came out of it fine.”

    PHANTOM ROUGHING

    After review of game film, Fisher remained mystified by the roughing-the-passer call assessed to Quinn early in the fourth quarter. When the ***** called timeout after the ensuing play, the video board replayed the supposed infraction repeatedly, then cut to Fisher waving on the sidelines. The automatic first down kept alive a drive that ended with David Akers’ first field goal of the game and a 10-2 lead for San Francisco.

    “I just can’t see anything. That’s the issue. The coaches’ tape doesn’t show anything,” Fisher said. “If somebody out there has a view from right behind the referee, I’d like to see it because you just can’t see any contact there.”

    BROWN SUITS UP

    A day after being promoted from the practice squad, linebacker Sammy Brown played on special teams Sunday. An undrafted rookie out of Houston, Brown was released by the Rams at the end of August, signed with Miami for a week, was released and returned to the Rams in mid-September.

    “What we want to do is give Sammy a chance to contribute on special teams because we were just a little bit light,” Fisher said. “Sammy had been doing a great job as a scout team member working against our group of teams. He can run, he’s athletic, he can tackle, he also has some pass rush ability. We feel like, in a week or so, if we need to put him out there and let him rush a little bit, he can do that as well.”

    RAM-BLINGS

    Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar led the team Sunday with 16 tackles, including four for loss. James Luarinaitis had 10. ... Cornerback Janoris Jenkins became the first rookie in Rams history to score three defensive touchdowns in a season with his fumble recovery and lunge late in the fourth quarter Sunday. The last Ram to do so was Mike “The Tackle” Jones in 1999.


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    Re: Rams Notebook: Brockers Breaks Through

    Those must be the team's numbers for Brockers, because the NFL's website has him listed with three tackles. If their site is to be believed, from a numbers standpoint, the first match-up against San Fran was his better performance.

    But regardless, this team needed a strong presence on the inside of the defensive line for a while now. It was one of the reasons so many Rams fans wanted this team to draft Ndamukong Suh. Brockers has shown the potential to become that guy. The fact that he'll only turn 22 later this month just highlights how much growth he still has in front of him.

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