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Rams Notebook: Chavous is emerging as a leader
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Thursday, Sep. 07 2006
As Corey Chavous flipped the switch on the CD player in his locker and rap
music blared forth, several of his Rams teammates broke off impromptu dance
moves. Chavous tossed his head back and laughed heartily.
Others weren't quite so entertained. "That's music?" grumped guard Adam
Timmerman, feigning anger. "We need to put some guidelines on it."
The mood was light Wednesday at Rams Park, even with the season opener looming.
The rigors of training camp and the largely irrelevant preseason games are
history -- "a very distant memory," coach Scott Linehan said earlier this week.
Now, it counts. And Chavous is itching to put the new Rams defense on display.
"We're all eager," said Chavous, the starting strong safety. "This is probably
the most talented defense I've been on. I'm just excited to play with these
Chavous, 30, is settling in as a leader of a unit that has undergone major
renovation since the Rams finished 30th in the 32-team NFL in total defense
last year and yielded more points than all but two other outfits.
"One thing I've learned since I've been in the league is that nothing has
anything to do with what happened before," Chavous said. "It's all about now,
and that's the great part about it."
When the Rams square off against Denver at noon Sunday at the Edward Jones
Dome, Chavous will be among eight first-stringers on defense who weren't
starting for the team at the end of the 2005 season.
Two newcomers -- Chavous and tackle La'Roi Glover -- represent the defense
among the six team captains that were selected by a vote of the players. Other
captains are quarterback Marc Bulger, wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry
Holt, and kicker Jeff Wilkins.
Coach Scott Linehan called Chavous, a free-agent pickup in the offseason, "a
great leader. That says a lot about a guy who wasn't on this team before, to be
a unanimous vote-getter for captain."
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Chavous is just two years removed from a Pro Bowl
berth. He has amassed 619 tackles and 19 interceptions in eight seasons, four
each with Arizona and Minnesota.
"He's played very consistent, especially over the last four years" with the
Vikings, Linehan said. "I think he's a huge upgrade in our secondary."
Chavous said, "I don't want to be any more than I am or any less. I've always
said I'm probably not great at anything, but good at a lot of different things.
Hopefully, I can show that."
Hello and goodbye
Safety Etric Pruitt might have set a record for the shortest time under
contract with the Rams. He was signed to the practice squad, worked out with
the team Tuesday, and then was promptly released.
"I introduced myself as I told him we were signing somebody else," Linehan
said. "It was pretty bizarre."
Pruitt arrived after fifth-round draft pick Marques Hagans was cut Monday to
make room on the 53-man roster for return specialist J.R. Reed. When Hagans
cleared waivers Tuesday afternoon, he was re-signed to the practice squad, and
Pruitt was let go.
'Definitely a shock'
Hagans, a rookie wideout who played quarterback at Virginia, said his release
was "definitely a shock." He wasn't able to enjoy his unplanned day off Tuesday.
"It's kind of hard, man. You know your team is practicing, and you're sitting
at home," said Hagans, who also returns kicks and punts. "But it's the way of
the business. Life goes on."
Had another team claimed Hagans off waivers, he would've landed on its 53-man
roster. Still, he said he was happy to return to the Rams.
"You always want to be on a 53, but I really like it here. I didn't really want
to go anywhere," he said. "I've got great teammates and great coaches, so I was
hoping to remain here. Now I've got to make the most of the opportunity."
-09-07-2006 #2Registered User
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Re: Rams Notebook: Chavous is emerging as a leader
I'm not surprised no one picked up Hagans on waivers. I don't think any other team was anywhere near as high on him as we were. We made the right call putting him on the practice squad and getting a more experienced returner in there instead I think.