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Thread: Rams Report
—In the press release sent out by the Rams after the signing of Hank Fraley, it mentioned that offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was Fraley's position coach for two seasons with the Eagles. The chart in Shurmur's bio says he was the tight ends/offensive line coach for Philadelphia from 1999-2001, but the bio refers to him only coaching the tight ends. Juan Castillo has been the Eagles' line coach since 1998.
When asked in a conference call about Shurmur being his line coach, Fraley said, "He wasn't really the line coach. He was the QB coach. We had a good relationship with me being the center in Philly and always working with the quarterbacks all the time, we just had that relationship and it was really good. We were friends on and off the field. We kind of remain that it seems like.
"He was the QB's coach, but don't worry. You're a coach somewhere ... you can get yelled at by any of the coaches. It didn't matter what he was coaching, he could be on you."
So, what did Shurmur actually coach those three years with the Eagles?
A check with the Eagles' public relations office brought this response: "It (offensive line) was a part of his title for a short time, but he never coached the linemen. It was all Juan."
—The Rams started their offseason conditioning program March 15, and quarterback Marc Bulger attended. Most believe Bulger won't return this season, but the team has continually said he remains on the roster.
As for the attitude of the team, defensive end Chris Long said, "Every day has got to be a new day, no matter what. Coach Spags talks about erasing the past so that's what we as players kind of have to do whether it was good or bad we have to erase it and go forward. Certainly we can reflect on some of the things we learned but as far as we are concerned we are 0-0 just like every other team."
Said Spagnuolo, "Getting up this morning was a little bit easier. I am ready to get up every morning when the alarm goes off anyway but I had the Christmas Day feel to see all those faces again. I like it when the players are around. That's when you feel like a football team. There is no team without the players. They need their time away but it's great to have them around."
Said second-year linebacker James Laurinaitis, "I think you're anxious, excited to get going. It's exciting to see what these guys are going to do. I think we have a lot of good players on our team and I think that we are a young squad overall so the most important thing for us is that the young guys we have get better. That's the thing. Each individual has to make himself that much better. It's fun to be back in a team setting working with them, challenging and competing. That's what it's all about."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I had this same interest a long time ago. I was a draftnik when I don't even (think) draftniks existed. I could talk about this stuff every day of the week, and these guys that follow it, they've got a passion about it. You can tell they're up on this stuff." — GM Billy Devaney after his second get-together with fans at a St. Louis restaurant to talk football and the draft.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Rams spent the first two weeks of the new league year adding veterans for depth with shorter contracts because of the absence of younger impact players in the unrestricted free-agent market.
In an odd irony, the three players they signed are all 32 years old, and each turns 33 in the next few months. It wasn't coincidence that each player has a past connection with coach Steve Spagnuolo and two were on offense in Philadelphia when offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was the Eagles' quarterbacks coach.
Quarterback A.J. Feeley (33 in May, two-year contract) played six seasons in Philadelphia and knows the West Coast offense well. He would be instrumental in mentoring a potential rookie quarterback.
Center Hank Fraley (33 in September, three-year contract) was also with the Eagles for six seasons, and was the starting center for five. The Rams didn't have a true backup for center Jason Brown last season, but Fraley could be in the mix to start at right guard where the Rams had four different starters last season. Fraley has started 123 games in the NFL, but three were at right guard last season with the Cleveland Browns.
Defensive tackle Fred Robbins (33 this Thursday, March 25, three-year contract) was a starter on the Giants' 2007 Super Bowl team and 2008 playoff team when Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo was with the Giants for just those two seasons before becoming the Rams' head coach last year.
Said Sapgnuolo, "It does help that those players are familiar with our systems. Adding veteran leadership, knowing how we do things; that will be helpful."
1. Wide receiver: The returning group has a bunch of complementary receivers, but no proven standout. The Rams have to find a way to score points and take the defensive pressure away from running back Steven Jackson.
2. Quarterback: Will Marc Bulger return? Will the first few rounds bring another young quarterback to develop? Those questions will dominate the next few weeks leading up to the draft.
3. Defensive lineman: There is a need for both a presence inside and on the edge where the futures of ends Leonard Little and James Hall are unknown. Both Little and Hall were making free-agent visits, but the Rams are hoping to re-sign one or both. A consistent pass rush from both spots is needed.
MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
—QB Kyle Boller was inconsistent when he played in 2009 and had injury issues. After the signing of A.J. Feeley, he won't be back.
—DE James Hall was a leader in the locker room and a solid contributor. His age works against him, but there's not a lot of depth at the position. Hall visited New Orleans, but left without signing a contract.
—S Clinton Hart was with the team in the last half of the season and didn't play much. A one-year deal would be a possibility.
—DE Leonard Little ended the season with a knee injury, but remains the team's best pass rusher when healthy. He canceled a scheduled visit to New Orleans.
—TE Randy McMichael was a huge disappointment as a receiver because of drops and is unlikely to be offered a new contract.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
—S Eric Bassey (not tendered as RFA) missed the 2009 season because of a knee injury.
—*RB Samkon Gado (not tendered as RFA) is versatile and solid on special teams.
—*DT Gary Gibson (not tendered as RFA) was solid in the rotation, but ended the season on injured reserve with a broken ankle. Could be back for league minimum.
—LS Ryan Neill (not tendered as RFA) did a good job as Chris Massey's replacement, but now looking elsewhere after Massey was re-signed.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)
—*DE Victor Adeyanju (tendered at $1.176M with fourth-round pick as compensation was inactive for a large part of the first half of the season, then played because of injuries.
—*S Oshiomogho Atogwe (tendered at $1.226M with no compensation) was the franchise player last season, but the low tender gives him the chance to test the market. He did notr report for the start of the team's offseason conditioning program.
—*OT Alex Barron (tendered at $2.73M with second-round pick as compensation) has had penalty issues, but is durable and has never missed a start because of injury.
—NT Clifton Ryan (tendered at $1.684M with second-round pick as compensation) isn't outstanding, but is a consistent hard worker whose ability is needed at a position lacking depth.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
—DE C.J. Ah You (tendered at $395,000) missed the second half of the season with a knee injury, but prior to that he was contributing in the line rotation and on special teams.
—CB Quincy Butler (tendered at $470,000) made some plays in the preseason, but not as many in the games that counted. He did start some games before suffering a knee injury late in the season.
—LB Larry Grant (tendered at $470,000) didn't progress as coaches hoped, but he did contribute on special teams.
—WR Jordan Kent (tendered at $470,000) quickly became one of the team's best special-teams players in coverage.
—OT Ryan McKee (tendered at $395,000) joined the team late in the season, but could compete at right tackle.
—S David Roach (tendered at $395,000) was decent on special teams, but not much else. Will at least compete for a roster spot again.
—LB David Vobora (tendered at $470,000) started on the strong side except for the four games he missed for a suspension regarding performance-enhancing drugs. He still has a lot to learn, but was solid in the first year of a new system.
—S Craig Dahl: RFA (had been tendered at $1.01M with no compensation); $3.6M/3 yrs, $755,000 RB 2010.
—RB Kenneth Darby: ERFA; $470,000/1 yr.
—TE Daniel Fells: Not tendered as RFA; $770,000/1 yr.
—LS Chris Massey: UFA; $4.4M/4 yrs.
—*OG Mark Setterstrom: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
—QB A.J. Feeley: UFA Panthers; $6M/2 yrs, $2.25M RB 2010/$500,000 RB 2011.
—C Hank Fraley: FA Browns; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
—DT Fred Robbins: UFA Giants; $11.25M/3 yrs, $3.395M RB 2010.
—LB Paris Lenon: UFA Cardinals; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
—*WR Ruvell Martin: Not tendered as RFA/Seahawks; 1 yr, terms unknown.
—DT LaJuan Ramsey (released).
—CB Jonathan Wade: Not tendered as RFA/Lions; terms unknown.
-03-24-2010 #2Registered User
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Re: Rams Report
Rams need to have a great draft for them to get back on track or to at least to compete.
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