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Rams will push if they are shoved
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Oct. 14 2008
Apparently, new Rams coach Jim Haslett doesn't just talk a good game.
Late in the third quarter Sunday, as a shanked Durant Brooks punt headed down
field for Washington, Redskins "gunner" Leigh Torrence was blocked out of
bounds by the Rams.
"We jammed him out of bounds," Haslett said. "He was coming on me, so I figured
it was me or him. If he was going to run me over, I was going to get him. So I
got a good shot on him."
That's right, the head coach of the St. Louis Rams appeared to get a little
shove in on Torrence during a game. That explains why Torrence and Haslett were
jawing at each other on the sidelines after Brooks' punt went out of bounds.
Haslett claimed he tried to get out of the way but that Torrence kept running
farther out of bounds toward him.
"I didn't want to get run over," Haslett said. "You see those coaches that get
tackled? That wasn't going to be me. ... It's not a big deal. But really, I was
not going to get run over."
Welcome to the new world of Rams football. You shove them, they'll shove back.
That was never more evident than in Sunday's surprising — no, make that
stunning — 19-17 victory over the rough-and-tumble Redskins. In a Rams
performance that was flawed in many ways, the team kept pushing — and in the
case of right guard Richie Incognito, shoving and jaw-jacking.
It was as if Haslett's message to the team, in words and deed, was: We're not
going to take it.
"I would think (the players) wouldn't take it," Haslett said. "You don't want
somebody pushing you around, and shoving you around out there."
Haslett is trying to teach the Rams how to win. In Sunday's case, at least, the
players bought in. But with Dallas, New England, improving Arizona and the New
York "Bretts" (as in Brett Favre) coming up over the next four weeks, Haslett
is far from ready to say this Rams team has turned a corner.
In fact, he all but laughed off a question Monday about the possibility of the
Washington victory giving the Rams some momentum.
"I don't know," Haslett said. "We've got one win. It's been a long time coming,
but I don't know. We'll practice hard Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and we'll
give it everything we've got to win the game on Sunday."
Dallas comes to a sold-out Edward Jones Dome on Sunday for a kickoff at noon.
"This is a great (Dallas) football team," Haslett said. "Excluding their
injuries, I thought going into the season, it was the best team in the National
Football League, with the most talent. There's a lot of talent on that football
No pun intended, but the Rams received a break Monday with the news that
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will be out up to four weeks with a broken finger
on his throwing hand. Romo suffered the injury in overtime of Sunday's 30-24
loss to the Cardinals.
That leaves 40-year-old Brad Johnson as the Cowboys' starting quarterback.
Johnson, 40, hasn't thrown a pass all season, had only 11 attempts last season,
and hasn't started a game since the 2006 season as a Minnesota Viking.
"We played Brad a number of times in the past when he was at Tampa Bay, even
when he was at Minnesota," Haslett said, referring to Haslett's previous
coaching tenure with New Orleans. "Tony can run around and make plays on his
feet, and Brad really doesn't do that anymore. But he's got a great feel for
the game. He'll run the offense extremely well. He'll get the ball out of his
hands. He can still throw it."
Johnson's skills may have eroded some since he led Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl
XXXVII title over Oakland six years ago, but he's the sixth most accurate
passer in NFL history, with a career completion percentage of 61.8 percent.
(That's among passers with 3,000 or more attempts.)
Johnson will be throwing against an injury-depleted St. Louis secondary still
without Tye Hill (knee) and with nickel back Ricky Manning Jr. out for the
season because of a broken ankle suffered against Washington.
However, the Rams finally got Fakhir Brown back under contract Monday,
re-signing the veteran corner for the rest of this season just 2 1/2 weeks
after his release Sept. 24 by then-coach Scott Linehan.
"It's good to have him back," Haslett said. "I thought he was one of our better
defensive backs. When he's healthy, he's a pretty good corner."
Brown was at Rams Park on Monday and told reporters he has been working out
twice a day at home since his surprise release by Linehan. But Haslett wasn't
ready to instantly name Brown a starter, perhaps wanting to wait until he gets
a look at Brown on the practice field Wednesday.
"I haven't really talked about that yet with the defensive coaches," Haslett
said. "I'm sure he'll figure in the mix."
Re: Rams will push if they are shoved
Hell yes, this goes to show you have to worry about everybody from the DE's to LB's, from SJ to OJ and even the coaches lol....the weakest thing i saw last year is all of the opposing teams fans in the stands, i wish this was one of tha loudest places to play...
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