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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams shore up their defensive backfield

    By Jim Thomas

    Ricky Manning Jr. made life miserable for Donovan McNabb five years ago in the NFC championship game. Maybe he can do the same thing this coming Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

    In a move that provides much-needed depth in the secondary, Manning has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Rams. In another depth move, the Rams claimed second-year safety Brannon Condren off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts.

    To make room for Condren, the Rams released tight end Richard Owens. The Rams won't have to make a roster move for Manning until he signs his contract, which is expected to happen sometime today. (A probable candidate is defensive back Eric Bassey.)

    "Manning does have starts in this league at corner," coach Scott Linehan said Sunday. "He has played nickel, and has a veteran background in a lot of things that we need. He gives us some good depth that we badly need."

    Most recently with Chicago, Manning is a veteran of five NFL seasons. He entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick by Carolina out of UCLA in 2003. Known for his ballhawking skills, Manning has 14 interceptions in 79 regular-season games, including 37 starts.

    Manning, 27, made a name for himself in the playoffs as a rookie, recording an interception in Carolina's double-overtime victory over the Rams in the divisional round, and then recording three interceptions against McNabb and Philadelphia in the NFC title game.

    Demoted behind distant cousin Danieal Manning as the Bears' nickel back, Manning Jr. asked to be traded or released. He got his wish Aug. 26. The Rams were trying to get in the mix with cornerback Deltha O'Neal, who was cut Saturday by Cincinnati, but O'Neal is headed to New England instead.

    Cornerback Fakhir Brown has been out since July 25 with a shoulder injury. He visited Dr. James Andrews on Friday in Birmingham, Ala., and will practice today. But if Brown can't go, Manning Jr. could be in the lineup in Philadelphia as the Rams' nickel back.

    Condren was a fourth-round draft pick by the Colts in 2007 out of Troy. He appeared in eight games as a rookie last season, recording four tackles from scrimmage, one pass breakup and four special teams stops. He had two interceptions against Atlanta this preseason.

    Of the 13 players released Saturday by the Rams, tackle Mark LeVoir was claimed on waivers (by New England).

  2. #2
    majorram's Avatar
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    Re: Rams shore up their defensive backfield

    nice move...

    "The breakfast Club"

  3. #3
    eric2810's Avatar
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    Re: Rams shore up their defensive backfield

    Looks like everything is going out as we've hoped. The FO is on the right track. Added DB help while releasing Owens, good move. Not only that, but Ball is retained on the practice squad. Things are looking real good.

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