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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
    MauiRam is online now Pro Bowl Ram
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    Randy McMichael is ready ,,,,,

    McMichael ready for big change
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, May. 29 2007

    The degree to which Randy McMichael's life was about to change was illustrated
    in early March, when he flew from Miami to St. Louis to join his new team.

    "It was 87 when we left, and I get here and it's snowing," McMichael said.
    "It's an adjustment, but it's not a big deal."

    No, the big deal was when the Dolphins released the 6-foot-3, 255-pound
    McMichael, the most productive tight end in franchise history. Instead of
    paying him a $3 million roster bonus, Miami let him walk.

    "It was a real shock to me and my family," said McMichael, 27. "But it's the
    NFL; you've just got to always prepare yourself for it. I'm not upset about it."

    The Rams spent two of their first five draft picks in 2006 on tight ends:
    second-rounder Joe Klopfenstein and third-rounder Dominique Byrd. The next day,
    they traded three-year starter Brandon Manumaleuna to San Diego.

    Klopfenstein won the starting job and wound up with 20 receptions for 226
    yards. Byrd played in just five games, catching two passes for 39 yards.
    Veteran Aaron Walker was used mostly as a blocker but contributed five catches
    for 68 yards.

    Adding McMichael means that one of those three probably won't make the team.
    Klopfenstein appears to be secure, so Byrd and Walker figure to go head-to-head
    for the final spot.

    Given the uncertainly at the position, Rams coach Scott Linehan was quick to
    pounce when McMichael became available. Three days after his release, McMichael
    agreed to terms on a three-year deal that will pay him close to $4 million
    annually.

    Polished blocker

    McMichael's per-season average in five years with the Dolphins was 56 catches.
    His production surged over the past three seasons, when he averaged 65
    receptions, 671 yards and four touchdowns.

    "The thing he really doesn't get credit for is, he's a very, very good blocker
    in the run game and in the pass game," said Linehan, who was Miami's offensive
    coordinator in 2005.

    With a laugh, McMichael said, "Being a tight end, you don't want to be known as
    a great pass-blocker. ... You want get out and run routes."

    Still, he said had labored to polish his blocking skills. "Especially that year
    Scott was there, I really concentrated more on the blocking aspect of my game,"
    McMichael said. "I think one thing that I can bring to the table is that I can
    pass-block one-on-one with defensive ends and I can run-block one-on-one with
    defensive ends. So the offensive linemen can stay inside and worry about the
    inside guys."

    Because of his season under Linehan, McMichael was familiar with the offensive
    system here and adapted quickly during organized team activities at Rams Park.

    "Randy kind of came in and hit the ground running," offensive coordinator Greg
    Olson said. "He's been real good out there."

    The Rams' corps of receivers remains anchored by veterans Torry Holt and Isaac
    Bruce. But the addition of McMichael, plus wideout pickups Drew Bennett and
    Dante Hall, gives quarterback Marc Bulger several targets from which to choose.

    "I'd rather have that problem than trying to find one guy; I'll make them
    happy," Bulger assured. "We'll definitely have the most talent on our side of
    the ball since I've been starting."

    A fresh start

    McMichael confronted several hurdles along the route to St. Louis. His mother,
    just 17 when he was born, gave up a college basketball scholarship to raise
    him. Randy has had only occasional contact with his father.

    Angel McMichael joined the Army, took her young son to Germany with her for
    three years during her deployment, and made sure he had his priorities in
    order. "When I'd get in trouble, she'd put that military discipline on me," he
    told the Miami Herald.

    Angel and Randy ultimately settled in Fort Valley, Ga., a town of 8,300 about
    90 miles south of Atlanta. Randy, a three-sport star at Peach County High, went
    on to the University of Georgia, where he caught 90 passes for 1,113 yards and
    earned All-Southeastern Conference honors his final year.

    McMichael left after his junior season and expected to be a first-day draft
    pick in 2002. But he had to wait until the fourth round, when the Dolphins took
    him with the 114th overall selection.

    He surprised by earning a first-team job at his first training camp and wound
    up starting 80 games in Miami. His best season was in 2004, when he piled up 73
    catches and 791 yards.

    There were problems off the field, though. McMichael was arrested twice for
    domestic incidents. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of
    criminal trespass stemming from an argument with his wife at a restaurant
    parking lot.

    McMichael said he realized some stigma remains as a result of missteps.

    "People are going to have their preconceived notions about you, and you can't
    really do anything about that," he said. "You just have to move on and show the
    people around you what you're really all about."

    In that vein, McMichael said he welcomes a fresh start in a new place.

    "When I had an opportunity to come here, I jumped on it. I think it's a great
    system with a lot of playmakers that's going to elevate my game to another
    level," he said. "I'm excited to be a St. Louis Ram, and I'm just trying to
    start off on the right foot, get to know the guys and just find out where I fit
    in."

    bcoats@post-dispatch.com | 314-340-8189


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Randy McMichael is ready ,,,,,

    Signing McMichael could be bigger than the Bennett signing?

  3. #3
    AtlantaRamFan's Avatar
    AtlantaRamFan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Randy McMichael is ready ,,,,,

    What I don't understand is why Miami cut McMichael. That leaves them with who? Ronnie Brown and Chris Chambers. If they are trying to get better on offense, why cut one of the better Tight Ends in the league for what, 3 million roster bonus. I'm not complaining though, their lose our gain.

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