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Rams Notebook: Cutdown day arrives
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Saturday, Sep. 02 2006
Now it gets really difficult for Scott Linehan.
The Rams' first-year head coach said cutting 21 players since Monday "probably
has been the toughest thing I've had to deal with. ... You just see the
disappointment in their eyes."
This morning, Linehan will dampen the spirits of 10 more hopefuls as the Rams
get down to their regular-season roster of 53. The deadline is 3 p.m., but
Linehan expects to deliver the news before practice starts at 11:45 a.m.
"We have an idea who those 10 are going to be," Linehan said. "They're all hard
decisions, but there are some I need to sleep on."
The first eight cuts were made Monday. On Friday, 13 more players received pink
Wide receivers Brandon Middleton, Brad Pyatt, Clinton Solomon and Taylor
Stubblefield; safety Deandre Eiland; linebacker Mike Goolsby; punter Andy
Groom; tight end Alex Holmes; guard/tackle Ben Noll; center Donovan Raiola;
defensive end Matthew Rice; tackle Drew Strojny; and running back J.D.
None of those ranks as a big surprise, although Pyatt made a push for a job as
the sixth wideout and as a return man. Now, rookie Marques Hagans appears to
have the best shot at that role.
While Linehan slumbered Friday night, you can bet some of those on the bubble
were tossing and turning. Linehan said that the number of players to be kept at
the various positions was determined earlier but that certain variables factor
"We have a roster plan, and we have to stick with it," Linehan said. "The
biggest thing I want us to be able to do is make sure we're giving ourselves
the depth we need so we can be much improved on special teams. If this person
has a significant contribution as a backup player, but on special teams he's
potentially starting, that's kind of a kicker for a guy.
"That's probably been the biggest decision-making factor for filling out the
final portion of our roster, which is still kind of going through my head right
The remaining cuts are likely to come from these areas:
Quarterback — Either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Dave Ragone will remain as the
third-teamer. The other will go.
Running back — With the signing of Stephen Davis on Friday, Moe Williams and
Fred Russell are vying for one spot €" at the most.
Tight end/fullback — Four tight ends are left, and one could be let loose. All
four could make it, though, if only one fullback €" either Madison Hedgecock or
Paul Smith €" is retained.
Offensive line — All 10 could stick, but one might be trimmed. Guard Tony
Palmer probably is the leading candidate.
Wide receiver — One opening remains, with either Hagans or Dominique Thompson
getting the No. 6 spot.
Defensive line — Two could go, with tackles Tim Sandidge, Brian Howard, and
perhaps end Brandon Green sweating it out.
Linebacker — One of the remaining eight probably will be cut. Rookie Tim
McGarigle is on the hot seat.
Defensive back — All 10 could survive, but Dwaine Carpenter, Ron Bartell and
DeJuan Groce aren't locks.
The dynamics could change, too, if the Rams see some names they like as other
teams trim their rosters. Between the first round of cuts earlier this week and
today's deadline, about 700 players will have been released.
"There's always an outside chance that something could change," Linehan said.
"We left that door open for any possibility."
Re: Rams Notebook: Cutdown day arrives
Yeah I'd like Bartell to stay with us for a little while longer at least.