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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
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    Return men bring mixed bag of results

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Oct. 09 2005

    It started so promisingly ... and ended so maddeningly.

    "I made a bad play at the wrong time," Shaun McDonald said quietly after
    fumbling away the Rams' final chance at yanking a win away from NFC West rival
    Seattle on Sunday.

    McDonald lost the ball on a hit by the Seahawks' Jordan Babineaux, and
    Jean-Philippe Darche pounced on it at the Rams' 37-yard line with 2 minutes 51
    seconds remaining at the Edward Jones Dome. Seattle picked up two first downs,
    then ran out the clock on a 37-31 victory.

    "It definitely hurts when you make a crucial play like that late in the game,
    where there's no coming back from it," McDonald said.

    McDonald wouldn't have been in that position, however, had teammate Terry Fair
    not opted out of the play. Fair, activated for the first time since suffering a
    neck injury Aug. 29, replaced McDonald as the primary punt returner Sunday, and
    brought back Seattle's first three boots.

    But Fair was forced into action at cornerback on the preceding series and asked
    McDonald to take over for him on the punt. McDonald said he was "a little
    surprised" to be summoned.

    "I was really winded," Fair explained. "Maybe I should've been in there on that
    play. Maybe I let my teammates down a little bit."

    Coach Mike Martz said Fair "was playing defense and asked to come out. We don't
    do that, and Terry isn't familiar with that. You don't take yourself out."

    Special-teams coach Bob Ligashesky was more succinct in his analysis: "That
    wasn't supposed to happen. Terry Fair should've been in the game."

    Because of a succession of injuries, Fair hadn't played in a regular-season
    contest in more than three years. "Just to get out on the field and know that
    I'm actually back in the NFL ... it's good to get my feet wet a little bit and
    get some of the rust off," said Fair, an eight-year veteran.

    Still, the punt sequence quashed his enthusiasm. "I just feel so bad right now
    because of the loss. I really feel disappointed in myself," he said. "What a
    way to start."

    Chris Johnson might have said the same thing, but with a far different meaning.
    Johnson sprinted 99 yards with the opening kickoff, putting the Rams up 7-0.

    "I was kind of shocked. It was just a great feeling, my first one ever," said
    Johnson, who ripped off a blistering 4.18-second 40 in front of NFL scouts
    three years ago. Lest he forget the feat, Johnson has the time tattooed on his
    calves.

    He isn't likely to forget Sunday's dash, either: He had the football under his
    arm as he left the locker room.

    "It was a right return ... but the middle opened up, so I knew if I turned it
    on, I was going to get through it," Johnson said. "I was looking back, but I
    knew nobody was going to catch me."

    So, it was one up and one down for the return teams.

    "That's the reality of special teams," Ligashesky said. "You know that every
    play of every game is not going to be perfect. So, you live through the ups and
    downs."


  2. #2
    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Return men bring mixed bag of results

    BULLSH#$#$#.

    2 things.

    Standing on the 40, MacDonald could have just fair caught the ball, since he was thrown in there last minute.

    Fair just came back from his neck stinger and was forced to jump in a play CB. NO WAY IS THIS HIS FAULT. If he doesn't know that "we don't do that"... then this is the coaches fault to make sure that the players know what it is WE DO.

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Return men bring mixed bag of results

    Quote Originally Posted by sbramfan
    BULLSH#$#$#.

    2 things.

    Standing on the 40, MacDonald could have just fair caught the ball, since he was thrown in there last minute.

    Fair just came back from his neck stinger and was forced to jump in a play CB. NO WAY IS THIS HIS FAULT. If he doesn't know that "we don't do that"... then this is the coaches fault to make sure that the players know what it is WE DO.
    The fumble wasn't Fair's fault, but the situation was. When players give up, it affects the entire team. It doesn't matter that Fair just came back from a neck stinger, he's a well paid professional athlete, cleared to play and expected to do whatever it takes to help his team win. When I think of Mike Martz fighting through a serious infection, Leonard Little grimicing in pain all game long and Steven Jackson having to get an injection to play through the pain, Fair's lack of heart is shameful.

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