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  1. #1
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    Rams Notebook: Special teams not so special

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Aug. 11 2006

    Rams special teams were in midseason form in Thursday's preseason game against
    Indianapolis. And given the state of special teams play in recent years, that's
    not a good thing.

    For starters, Indianapolis snookered the Rams with an onsides kick on the
    game's opening kickoff. Defensive back Von Hutchins recovered for the Colts on
    the Indy 41, eventually leading to a Peyton Manning touchdown pass.

    The Rams' first kickoff of the exhibition season didn't go too well, either.
    Following a Remy Hamilton field goal for the Rams with 5 minutes 50 seconds to
    go in the opening quarter, T.J. Rushing returned Hamilton's kickoff 63 yards to
    the Rams' 39.

    That led to Adam Vinatieri's field goal. Vinatieri, who beat the Rams with a
    game-ending field goal for New England in Super Bowl XXXVI, is now a Colt.

    "We had some issues on special teams," coach Scott Linehan said.

    But there was one noticeable change on Rams special teams Thursday -- the
    number of starters and regulars on the coverage and return units. Kevin Curtis
    began the game as the kickoff returner; with Shaun McDonald opening as the punt
    returner.

    The kickoff return team featured safeties Corey Chavous and Oshiomogho Atogowe;
    linebackers Brandon Chillar and Will Witherspoon; fullback Paul Smith;
    offensive guard Richie Incognito; and tight end Joe Klopfenstein. All were
    starters on offense or defense Thursday.

    Denzel in the house

    Actor Denzel Washington, whose son John David Washington is trying to make the
    Rams' roster at running back, attended Thursday's game. He watched the game in
    owner Georgia Frontiere's luxury box along with his wife and three other
    children. Frontiere did not attend the game.

    Entering the game in the fourth quarter, John David carried four times for 15
    yards, with a long carry of 8 yards. Afterwards, Denzel posed for pictures
    outside the Rams' locker room and then gave his son -- the halfback -- a hug
    when John David came out in street clothes.

    Injury update

    Despite playing only two series, the Rams' starting defensive unit didn't come
    out entirely clean. End Anthony Hargrove suffered a sprained right knee in the
    first quarter, just before Fakhir Brown tackled Peyton Manning for a safety.
    But the injury was not serious, and Hargrove said he returned to the game
    before the starting defense was pulled from the game. He did not get the knee
    X-rayed after the game.

    Depth-chart update

    Aaron Walker, who signed with the Rams last December, worked as the second
    tight end with the starters Thursday instead of rookie Dominique Byrd.

    Sitting it out

    Despite taking part in Wednesday's practice, cornerback Jerametrius Butler did
    not dress for Thursday's game because of a tight hamstring.

    "I worked it in pregame and there was some tightness," Butler said. "It's day
    to day."

    Linebacker Drew Wahlroos (hand) also sat out.

    Ram-blings

    Hamilton handled the place-kicking chores for the Rams, with veteran Jeff
    Wilkins getting the night off. ... Witherspoon will leave the team this morning
    to be with his wife Rebecca for the birth of a daughter.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Special teams not so special

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thomas
    Fakhir Brown tackled Peyton Manning for a safety.
    Come on, Jim....you're better than that. lol
    Rams special teams were in midseason form in Thursday's preseason game against
    Indianapolis. And given the state of special teams play in recent years, that's
    not a good thing.
    Yea, they had their pants down on the opening kickoff, AND they looked bad on the first KR coverage.....BUT, our return game was actually pretty good.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Special teams not so special

    Well, are best special teams tackler, Jeff Wilkins, wasn't playing.

  4. #4
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Special teams not so special

    Yea, they had their pants down on the opening kickoff, AND they looked bad on the first KR coverage.....BUT, our return game was actually pretty good.
    Not to mention about 5 punts that were inches away from being blocked, one for certain without a holding call. That's the closest I've seen us get in years.

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