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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
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    Rams seek running back

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Wednesday, Apr. 25 2007

    At first glance, running back is the last place the Rams need help.

    After all, Steven Jackson is coming off a career year in which he led the NFL
    in yards from scrimmage (2,334), caught 90 passes and made his first Pro Bowl.

    But what if something happens to Jackson and he's sidelined for a couple of
    games? Who carries the load? At the moment, there's a gaping hole on the Rams'
    depth chart behind Jackson. Free-agent pickup Travis Minor probably makes the
    final 53 at the start of September, but as a No. 3 running back at best and a
    special-teams player.

    Rich Alexis, Kay-Jay Harris and J.D. Washington also are on the team's current
    offseason roster, but they are roster long shots. Stephen Davis? He had some
    good moments in limited duty last season and was an excellent mentor for
    Jackson. But Davis has chronic knee problems and told Rams coaches last season
    that he probably couldn't handle more than 10 touches a game.

    Because of the knee issue, Davis couldn't practice much over the second half of
    the season, which made it difficult even to spell Jackson on the practice
    field. Davis is an unrestricted free agent, and if he's seen again at Rams Park
    it's probably in one of those late August or early September signings.

    Short of wooing Corey Dillon out of retirement, the Rams must find a No. 2
    running back in the draft.

    They had four running backs in for visits this month: Chris Henry of Arizona,
    Tony Hunt of Penn State, Brian Leonard of Rutgers and Antonio Pittman of Ohio
    State.

    Hunt is the most accomplished of the group. He's only the fifth player in Penn
    State history to rush for more than 3,000 career yards. He's also a decent
    receiver, having caught 87 passes for 792 yards. At 6 feet 2, 233 pounds, Hunt
    is the big back Rams coach Scott Linehan seems to prefer. (If nothing else,
    bigger bodies usually hold up better in pass protection.)

    "It wasn't like we had certain backs play certain situations," Hunt said. "I
    played the whole game, so I had to be able to run the ball, catch the ball,
    block, protect the quarterback I had to do everything."

    The biggest knock against Hunt is speed, or lack thereof. He ran the 40 in 4.68
    at his pro day, which by the stopwatch is more a tight end's speed.

    "I think (the 40 time), it's a little over-rated," Hunt said. "I don't know how
    much you can tell about a guy from watching him run a 40. There's no point in a
    football game where you're just going to come out of a start and run 40 yards
    straight."

    Hunt may lack home run speed, but he did have 43 runs of 10 yards or more last
    year en route to 1,228 yards rushing.

    Leonard of Rutgers is another versatile prospect. He began his college career
    as a feature back, rushing for 880 yards with 53 catches as a freshman in '03.
    He gained more than 700 yards rushing as a sophomore and junior. But with the
    emergence of Ray Rice last season, Leonard was switched to fullback and gained
    a career-low 427 yards.

    "Yes, I was the star running back for three years, but I embraced my role as
    the fullback," Leonard said. "Making a block for Ray felt just as good as
    scoring an 80-yard touchdown."

    Leonard still finished with nearly 6,000 all-purpose yards, setting a school
    record for career catches (207). After bulking up to 238 pounds last season to
    play fullback, Leonard reported to the NFL scouting combine at 226 and ran a
    brisk 4.54 in the 40.

    Pittman piled up nearly 2,600 rushing yards over his final two seasons at Ohio
    State. He has average size (5-11, 207) but is a strong inside runner who lost
    only two fumbles in 557 career rushing attempts for the Buckeyes.

    Arizona's Henry is another big back (5-11, 230) but runs a small back's time of
    4.4 in the 40. But some regard him as a better athlete than a football player.
    He had only 892 rushing yards in his college career, which was spent mainly as
    a backup.

    Although he wasn't invited for a predraft visit to Rams Park, another
    intriguing possibility is Florida State running back Lorenzo Booker, who's on
    the small side (5-10, 191) but could be an explosive third-down back, with kick
    return potential.

    "I've got an extensive background of sharing the ball," Booker said. "If you go
    somewhere like St. Louis and New York (Giants), they've already got a guy who
    can pound the rock. But when you have a guy like (New Orleans') Deuce
    McAllister and Reggie Bush, as a defensive coordinator, you're pulling your
    hair out."

    Jenkins update

    Carolina officials declined to comment on the status of any Kris Jenkins trade
    talks Tuesday. But expectations in St. Louis and Charlotte are that if a trade
    materializes, it won't be until Friday or Saturday. Kansas City, and to a
    lesser degree Denver, also have shown interest in Jenkins.

    Meanwhile, linebacker Brandon Chillar, a restricted free agent, has signed his
    one-year, $850,000 tender offer with the Rams.


  2. #2
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Rams seek running back

    ricky williams come to pappa .

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Rams seek running back

    Quote Originally Posted by keith m. klink View Post
    ricky williams come to pappa .
    I don't know? Ricky is used to playing on "grass" . The field turf at the dome probably won't excite him.

  4. #4
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Rams seek running back

    new orleans , had turf i think , i don't know maybe it was that grass that grows indoors , hydroponic's maybe.

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