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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rookie hits pay dirt

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/03/2006

    Rookie tight end Joe Klopfenstein was so excited about scoring his first NFL touchdown that he forgot to keep the football as a souvenir. And he didn't hear Steven Jackson teasing him about getting an assist on the score.

    Veteran equipment manager Todd Hewitt secured the football. "I wasn't even thinking," Klopfenstein said. "I threw it to the ref, and then Todd grabbed it for me."

    With Jackson on the field, Klopfenstein may get a few more "souvenir" footballs. Marc Bulger's play fake to Jackson on Sunday set up the 16-yard TD pass to a wide-open Klopfenstein. (Hence, Jackson's joke about getting an assist.)

    "It was a trap pass," Klopfenstein said. "We ran the trap earlier -- last time we were in the red zone. We got 6, 7 yards on that play. So they played the run real heavy. All three linebackers sucked up (to stop the run)."

    The Lions secondary was in a Cover 2, with the safeties deep. So when the linebackers committed to the run, that left the middle of the field open for Klopfenstein.

    "Just how we had planned on it," he said.

    The Rams' commitment to the running game should create more opportunities for Klopfenstein, who has a modest four catches for 57 yards this season. He realizes he must earn Bulger's confidence.

    "I know that we have a great group of wide receivers, and Marc obviously trusts them and he's been with them for a long time," Klopfenstein said.

    Upon further review

    With a timeout in his pocket, Scott Linehan had Bulger spike the ball with 9 seconds remaining before halftime and the ball at Detroit's 27. Should Linehan have called a timeout instead, and taken a shot at the end zone before sending Jeff Wilkins (right) out for a field goal?

    "I think I could have managed that situation better," Linehan said. "What ended up happening there is that if we do the timeout, then the decision has to be made -- do you take a shot at the end zone? Nine seconds -- it was kind of iffy from that far out."

    Linehan said he didn't like taking an unused timeout into the locker room at halftime, and probably should have used it earlier in the drive. But at least Wilkins made the field goal. "We achieved the objective of getting points before half," Linehan said. "I think it helped us with our mind-set going into the second half."

    The stat

    Bulger has thrown 186 consecutive passes without an interception; the Rams' franchise record is 206, set by Roman Gabriel in 1968-69.

    Injury update

    FB Paul Smith remained hospitalized as of Monday evening after suffering a concussion and possible small fractures around the eye in a collision on kickoff coverage.

    LT Orlando Pace, after sitting out Sunday's game with a concussion, is expected to do some work Wednesday in practice.

    LB Pisa Tinoisamoa isn't expected to miss any time after aggravating an elbow injury against Detroit.

    Quotable

    "One thing you've got to say about Mike, he has always put good offenses on the field. He got a lot of yards (Sunday). ... But the bottom line is who wins the games. We won the game. We got the turnovers. That's kind of our past history playing him when he was here as head coach in St. Louis. They'd rack up a lot of yards on us. But we'd get seven, eight turnovers and win the game." -- Jim Haslett, on playing Mike Martz.

    Looking ahead

    The Rams are 3-3 against Green Bay since the move to St. Louis, but haven't won at Lambeau Field since Sept. 3, 1995 -- their inaugural game as the "St. Louis" Rams.


  2. #2
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rookie hits pay dirt

    Way to go Kloppy - the first of many. 12 games left? I'll go with 8 more.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  3. #3
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    Re: Rookie hits pay dirt

    Yup, I'm proud of him! That was a nice grab too, he has shown that he's gonna be good in the NFL. Its nice to see that so early...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  4. #4
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    Re: Rookie hits pay dirt

    I think Klop will finish with 450 yards and 4 tds. Honestly that would be really good for a rookie in this offense.

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    Re: Rookie hits pay dirt

    Linehan is letting him get his reps blocking first. Putting some trust in him that he can get it done on the line, before releasing him into mid field for some big grabs. We saw the first one last Sunday.

    Maineram - :r
    and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !

  6. #6
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    Re: Rookie hits pay dirt

    Quote Originally Posted by Defensewinsthegames View Post
    I think Klop will finish with 450 yards and 4 tds. Honestly that would be really good for a rookie in this offense.
    That'd be great, but I bet you Linehan expects more from his starting TE, TD wise atleast. They definitely need to utilize him more in the redzone, and they definitely did last Sunday.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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