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    Rams Notebook: Chavous is emerging as a leader

    By Bill Coats
    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."

  2. #2
    RamOfDenmark Guest

    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.


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