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  1. #1
    Goldenfleece's Avatar
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    Rams Notebook: Wroten's progress gives Linehan a lift

    Rams Notebook: Wroten's progress gives Linehan a lift
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/18/2006


    Scott Linehan bounded off the field Wednesday night at Rams Park brimming with enthusiasm and chatter. The last two-practice day of training camp was complete, and he was eager to dive into final planning for Saturday night's exhibition game vs. Houston.

    The Rams' first-year head coach also was buoyed by the steady progress of several young players. Included in that group is defensive tackle Claude Wroten, who, Linehan stressed, had taken major strides in practice since the first exhibition contest, a 19-17 win over Indianapolis on Aug. 10.

    "He's had his best four or five days," Linehan said. "His improvement from the (Colts) game to where he's playing now has been a highlight."

    Wroten got plenty of snaps against the Colts and said he "felt pretty good" after his first NFL action. But he acknowledged that he focused too much on attempting to track down the quarterback.


    "I was in pass-rush mode all the time ... trying to make plays I wasn't supposed to make," Wroten said. "I was trying to do too much, jumping out of my gap and things like that. (The coaches) told me to just calm down, do your job, and you'll be all right."

    An interior lineman who can pressure the passer is a valued commodity, and that's what Wroten did best at Louisiana State. In two seasons, he rolled up 12 sacks and 34 quarterback pressures. An All-Southeastern Conference selection after his senior season, he figured to command a first-round spot in the draft.

    But that was before he failed a drug test at the NFL scouting combine in February. That occurred just a month after he was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a charge that subsequently was dropped.

    Teams shied away from Wroten, and the Rams nabbed him in the third round (No. 68 overall). Wroten understands why he dropped, but he's also determined to prove that those who slighted him made a mistake.

    "I'm very much motivated by that," he said. "I should've been a first-round draft pick, but I wasn't for a reason. But that's totally behind me. I'm moving on, and I'm ready to prove that some guys passed on a good guy in the draft."

    Wroten (6 feet 2, 295 pounds) has had no problems in camp, other than struggling with the shift to pro football, a challenge for all rookies. Thus, Linehan's delight over his recent surge.

    For now, Wroten is backing up veteran La'Roi Glover, who also is serving as a tutor for the 22-year-old from Bastrop, La.

    "La'Roi is teaching me a lot of good things: pass-rush moves, running techniques, all kinds of stuff," Wroten said. "Hey, he's a Pro Bowler and has been (in the league) for over a decade. He's a good guy to learn from."

    Setback for Hedgecock

    The ankle injury that has kept fullback Madison Hedgecock sidelined for most of the past 10 days is more serious than originally thought. It has been diagnosed as a high-ankle sprain and, Linehan said, could keep Hedgecock out for two to six weeks.

    "I had a little pain in the lower part, and that was from the bones being bruised," Hedgecock said, explaining the initial confusion. "I kept trying to come back too early and kept reinjuring it. That kind of set me back. I just need to take my time with it and get it 100 percent healthy."


  2. #2
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Wroten's progress gives Linehan a lift

    i thought Wroten looked good in the Colts game, so if he has improved he could be great.

    And with Hedgecock's injury as well as Paul Smith's showings on the field it seems we could be saying good bye to Madison before the start of the season

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Wroten's progress gives Linehan a lift

    As long as they keep Wroten away from Ricky Williams he should be ok.

    It looks like Hedge might be cut; with his injury and Paul Smith playing well I would doubt they would keep two FB's.
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  4. #4
    RamOfDenmark Guest

    Re: Rams Notebook: Wroten's progress gives Linehan a lift

    Too bad if they cut Hedgecock, I for one thought he looked promising as a lead blocker last year, as well as going out for the occasional catch. But on the other hand I can see how it's unlikely we'll carry 2 fullbacks on our roster. Maybe he can stay on the team as a H-back type player instead of exclusively a fullback, or maybe he'll end up on the practice squad (though it seems more likely some other team will sign him if we cut him IMHO). I'm still hoping he makes the team, but with this injury it seems even less likely.

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Wroten's progress gives Linehan a lift

    Good for Wroten. Keep doing what you're doing and what you're told, young man.

    RODenmark, regarding Hedgecock, totally agree with you. I hope we nurse his healing all the way, get him healthy and ... just KEEP HIM!

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