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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- --

    With the departure of Isaac Bruce, the St. Louis Rams drafted for need in taking wide receiver Donnie Avery.

    In the second round of this year's draft, the Rams selected the Houston wide receiver with the 33rd overall pick. Avery was the first wide receiver taken in the draft after being among the fastest at his position at the NFL Combine.

    Bruce was released in a salary cap move by the Rams earlier this year and signed with the *****, joining former Rams coach Mike Martz, now San Francisco's offensive coordinator.

    To live up to Bruce puts plenty of pressure on Avery, but he said he is ready for the next step. He's been working with the Rams in the voluntary Organized Team Activities at Rams Park.

    Veteran Torry Holt is not here, so Avery is grabbing some valuable time working out with the first unit.

    Rams coach Scott Linehan said Thursday it's not unusual for veteran receivers to be at the OTAs.

    "I look at it as a great opportunity for our young receivers," Linehan said. "It's been outstanding for Avery. He's getting a lot of snaps with the first unit. I think it's a positive."

    There is a big difference between college and the NFL, Avery noted.

    "Everything's fast, so I have to step up and play fast too," Avery said.

    Avery caught 91 passes for 1,456 yards, a 16-yard average, with seven touchdowns his senior year, and impressed the Rams with his yardage after the catch.

    "I like YAC," Avery said. "YAC is my friend." Avery also had 15 kickoff returns for a 28.3-yard average and one touchdown, and could compete for that spot as well as for playing time as a slot receiver. He was timed in 4.29 seconds for the 40-yard dash, fulfilling the Rams' wish for greater team speed.

    That fast pace has been impressing Linehan. "First of all, you can see the speed that he has when he's out here," Linehan said. "That shows up right away.

    "We are throwing a lot at him, but the great thing is that both he and Keenan (Burton) are getting a lot of snaps," Linehan said.

    They've also got an opportunity to learn from wide receivers coach Henry Ellard and assistant wide receivers coach Bob Saunders, he said.

    Avery is still somewhat in awe of his surroundings. "I'm just glad to be on the team," Avery said. "I'm catching balls from two guys who played in Pro Bowls, in Marc Bulger and Trent Green. It's amazing. It's a dream finally come true."

    NOTES: There are several Rams players who are banged up. RB Steven Jackson is out with a twisted ankle and a sore groin. "It's nothing serious," Linehan said. "If we were playing, he'd probably practice. TE Joe Klopfenstein is out with back spasms. WR Dante Hall has a sore groin. ... Some players asked to be excused.

    LB Pisa Tinoisamoa is not here because of a family graduation in San Diego. OT Orlando Pace had a vacation scheduled from last winter. "I remind you this is voluntary, but it's great they all asked for permission to miss," Linehan said.


  2. #2
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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    Jackson hurt already? Hope it's just a flesh wound.
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  3. #3
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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    To live up to Bruce puts plenty of pressure on Avery, but he said he is ready for the next step. He's been working with the Rams in the voluntary Organized Team Activities at Rams Park.
    So not only does Avery have to prove he was worthy of being the first WR taken in the draft, he now has to live up to Bruce in his rookie year? Yikes!Somewhere Drew Bennett is letting out a big sigh of relief.

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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    Ouch. This is bad if SJax is already hurt. I hope its nothing really serious that will carry into the season.

    However, I think this is good that Avery and Burton are getting tons of snaps. They're the future of this squad, and we need all the improving we can get. But to have Avery fill in Bruce's spot this early in the season is asking for too much. If he is a good #3 receiever, I'm happy. If he takes over #2 and does a good job, I'm even happier.

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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    "...is not unusual for veteran wide receivers to be at camp."

    Did this quote by Linehan strike anyone else as funny? The double negative makes it seem like he's mad at Torry for not being there at the OTAs.

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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    YAC is our friend also Avery.

    Torry, be careful, actions speak louder than words.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    I has been my impression that it was Bennett that had a lot to live up to in regards to Bruce being gone, not Avery (at least this season).

    I don't like the implication. Even Holt took a little time before he was the primary force at WR. Avery and Burton will need the same.
    Semper Fi!

  8. #8
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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    I'll tell you what really needs to happen for Avery...

    During the first two weeks of the season, he needs to make a big play. Maybe a 50 yard TD, in which he either gets behind the entire opposing defense, or takes a short pass and has a long run for a TD.

    If he does that, fans will get excited, and maybe they'll finally start treating him like something other than a microscope subject.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rookie Receiver Gets Valuable Time With First Unit

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    I has been my impression that it was Bennett that had a lot to live up to in regards to Bruce being gone, not Avery (at least this season).

    I don't like the implication. Even Holt took a little time before he was the primary force at WR. Avery and Burton will need the same.
    Ofcourse. You get a gem if your rookie is a stand out player his rookie year.

    Avery and Burton won't be at the probowl this year, but maybe in a few years, they may be there. Or atleast that type of skill coming from these kids.

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