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    Rams Notebook: Fullback makes an impact in victory over Packers

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/12/2006

    While some of the Rams' offensive linemen lamented that running back Steven Jackson fell 2 yards short of reaching 100 Sunday in Green Bay, fullback Madison Hedgecock harbored no such regrets.

    "That will never frustrate me, as long as we win," said Hedgecock, who nonetheless takes his lead-blocking duties most seriously. "It would be nice to get those 2 extra yards, but that's not even an issue, really, and I'm sure (Jackson) thinks the same way. As long as we're winning, 98 yards is fine."

    Hedgecock, the Rams' first-team fullback last year as a rookie, caught a screen pass for a key first down and delivered several crushing blocks in the 23-20 victory over the Packers. Earlier, Hedgecock had been hampered by a sprained left ankle and lost his starting job to veteran Paul Smith.

    "It shows you how hard it is to get back from those high-ankle sprains," coach Scott Linehan said. "I think Sunday was a good example of how he can play when he's 100 percent. He played very well."


    The 6-foot-3, 266-pound Hedgecock wasn't quite so impressed with himself. But he acknowledged being his toughest critic. "I'm real particular when I watch film," he said. "I always think I play worse than I probably really do."

    Hedgecock is the only fullback available now. Smith had surgery Tuesday to repair damage around his left eye, the result of a jarring, wedge-busting collision on kickoff coverage Oct. 1 vs. Detroit. Smith is expected to miss three to five more weeks.

    "The prognosis is good; it's just going to be later rather than sooner," Linehan said. "That was disappointing, but I'm glad that the surgery went well. We had a lot of specialists looking at it, and they finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to heal on its own and that they needed to do this."

    Smith, who was hospitalized overnight, also suffered a concussion on the play.

    Hedgecock was injured Aug. 5 during training camp and missed three of the first four preseason games. Only recently has the ankle regained full strength and flexibility. "I think for three or four games, he wasn't able to push off on that ankle the way a guy that plays his position needs to," Linehan said.

    "That's a tough deal, going down with an injury like that," Hedgecock said. "There's nothing I could do about it but get back and be healthy. I've done that."

    Coming back

    With minor injuries peppering the secondary, safety Dwaine Carpenter has rejoined the team. Linebacker Jamal Brooks was released to free a spot on the 53-man roster.

    Carpenter, a fourth-year pro, was cut Oct. 3 after being inactive for the first four games. He said he entertained overtures from Seattle and Detroit before the Rams invited him back.

    "Coach Linehan told me that if anything did happen, they'd give me a call," Carpenter said. "He was true to his word. Last year, kind of the same thing happened (in San Francisco) and I was told the same thing, but I never really felt like the guy was going to keep his word."

    First-team cornerbacks Fakhir Brown (ankle) and Travis Fisher (groin) were the only Rams listed on Wednesday's injury report. Both were "questionable."

    Ram-blings

    Steven Jackson continues to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage, with 649 (465 rushing, 184 receiving) and is tied with San Francisco's Frank Gore for first place in rushing. ... Larry Marmie, the Rams' defensive coordinator the past two seasons, is Seattle's assistant secondary coach.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Fullback makes an impact in victory over Packers

    WOW! I didn't know Marmie was with Seattle. Hopefully he pays attention this Sunday. There will be a nice lesson to learn for Marmie. How a defense is suppose to play in the NFL.

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    Re: Rams Notebook: Fullback makes an impact in victory over Packers

    There would be, if Seatle played a good defense.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Fullback makes an impact in victory over Packers

    ...[Madison] delivered several crushing blocks. --B. Coats
    Yes sir, crushing! I saw three of those blocks on NFL Replay and they were dry, hard and effective, right on! One of them on a Packer LB, Hedgecock went straight up the middle and put a square and strong stop on him, allowing a good gain (can't remember the RB, Davis or Fisher).

    I hope big Madison "Hitman" Hedgecock continues to develop as a key part of our running game.

    Hedgecock is the only fullback available now. -- B. Coats
    No, I believe long snapper Chris Massey could play FB if necessary. In fact, he has played FB since he came to the Rams, though very seldomly. He's our main LS and is quite active on ST too.

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