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Rams say VP Softli’s not out — at least not yet
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Dec. 31 2007
GLENDALE, ARIZ. • Rumors of Tony Softli’s demise with the Rams have swirled for
weeks. But they intensified Sunday with Internet reports that he would be out
as the Rams’ vice president of player personnel after just two seasons on the
job in St. Louis.
“He’s not out,” said Jay Zygmunt, Rams president of football operations-general
manager, shortly after the team’s 48-19 loss Sunday to Arizona. “I don’t know
what else to say. He’s continuing to prepare for the draft, as usual.”
But Zygmunt added that all aspects of the team and the organization would be
evaluated in the coming week as the Rams contemplate what changes to make in
the wake of a 3-13 season.
Softli normally attends all Rams games, but he was not seen Sunday and could
not be reached for comment. He was hired as Charley Armey’s replacement in June
2006 after spending the previous 11 seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
Tight end Dominique Byrd was a no-show for a team meeting Saturday morning
prior to the Rams' flight to Arizona. He eventually was located by team
officials but was left back in St. Louis and was on the Rams' pregame list of
"We haven't verified it yet, but he said he had checked himself into a
hospital," coach Scott Linehan said. "He never really told us anything about
what it was, but he was sick, and they were able to let him out. So we just
decided to leave him home once we found he was OK, and told him we will address
it on Monday."
With the Rams about to leave for Phoenix within hours of Byrd's initial
absence, team officials weren't able to verify the particulars of his story. If
it doesn't check out, Byrd will be subject to disciplinary action.
This isn't the first time Byrd has failed to show for a team meeting. In late
September, he missed a special-teams meeting during the practice week leading
up to a Week 4 contest in Dallas and was left in St. Louis for that game — and
Sitting it out
Besides Byrd, other inactives for the Rams were: LB Brandon Chillar (calf), WR
Marques Hagans, DE Trevor Johnson, C-G Nick Leckey, OT Mark LeVoir and OT Rob
Petitti. Rookie free agent Quinton Culberson started in Chillar's place at
Brown, Carriker injured
Starting cornerback Fakhir Brown suffered a rib injury on Larry Fitzgerald's
first of two touchdown catches Sunday. Despite pretty tight coverage by Brown,
Fitzgerald made a leaping catch for a 21-yard score. The TD gave Arizona a 24-3
lead with 1 minute 6 seconds to go in the first half.
"I kind of banged my ribs," Brown said. "I'm hoping it's just a bruise, though,
and nothing too serious. If it is, I've got enough time to get through it."
The entire offseason, in fact. Fitzgerald's spikes gashed Brown's rib cage on
the play, leaving a couple of nasty-looking cuts. Brown's injury left Ron
Bartell and rookie Jonathan Wade as the Rams' starting corners in the second
half, with rookie free agent Darius Vinnett pressed into service as the third
corner in nickel situations.
Defensive tackle Adam Carriker, named the team's rookie of the year last week,
suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half. He kept playing for a while
despite the injury but was eventually removed from the game. The seriousness of
the injury was uncertain early Sunday evening, but Linehan said, "We were
concerned about it enough to take him out."
Armey, now retired and living in the Phoenix area, attended Sunday's game and
held a get-together for several Rams officials Saturday night at his home.
Arizona kicker Neil Rackers, a University of Illinois product who attended
Aquinas-Mercy High in St. Louis, topped 100 points for the third consecutive
season after making two field goals and six extra points Sunday.
Re: Rams say VP Softli’s not out — at least not yetRumors of Tony Softli’s demise with the Rams have swirled for weeks.
Isn't Softli supposed to be the first piece of the get-this-ship-righted puzzle?"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
Re: Rams say VP Softli’s not out — at least not yet
Good to see that even in the final game we can't escape the injury bug...
Please don't fire Softli... he hasn't done anything but good work for the Rams. How about you fire Ziggy and yourself Shaw?
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