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Seventh-round pick fitting in with Rams
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Friday, Sep. 05 2008
As the NFL draft approached this past April, University of Tulsa linebacker
Chris Chamberlain huddled with his head coach, Todd Graham, to determine where
he might fare the best. They decided it would be in St. Louis.
"We started evaluating the roster and looking at the situation as far as the
scheme and everything," Chamberlain said. "We realized it was a great fit."
And, voila! That's where Chamberlain wound up as a seventh-round pick, the
228th overall selection. The Rams used their second choice in the seventh round
to grab another linebacker, Idaho's David Vobora, in the 252nd — and last —
spot in the draft.
The Rams were seeking depth at linebacker, plus special-teams help. Apparently,
they believe they got it: Chamberlain and Vobora both made the 53-man roster.
Of the team's 11 seventh-round picks over the past five years, only three
others were able to accomplish that out of training camp.
"I knew I had a good chance numbers-wise and personnel-wise," said Chamberlain,
the Rams' leading tackler in the preseason games. "I was able to stay healthy
and make some plays."
Vobora survived despite an ankle injury that sidelined him for about a week. He
spent a fitful Saturday, when the final cuts were made.
"My family kept asking, 'How do they do it? How do they tell you?'" he said.
"Well, they don't really tell you. You just keep your fingers crossed and
(hope) your phone doesn't ring."
While acknowledging that he "passed a major hurdle," Chamberlain said he
realizes that only the very best enjoy job security in the NFL.
"I'm currently on the 53-man roster, but as everybody in this business knows,
it's a week-to-week thing, a day-to-day thing," he said. "You can never relax.
You've always got to go out there like your job's on the line ... because it
BECHT'S ROAD BACK
Tight end Anthony Becht had no idea when his hamstring tightened during
practice July 28 — the fourth day of training camp in Mequon, Wis. — that more
than a month would pass before he would be 100 percent again.
"I haven't had an injury in my (nine-year) career like that," Becht said.
"That's probably the most days I've ever missed, period."
Becht, a free-agent pickup in the offseason, said he "felt a little guilty" for
missing the rest of camp and the first three preseason games.
"I wanted to be out there," he said. "When it's training camp, everybody's kind
of fighting two-a-days, and you're doing treatment and things like that. I'm
just glad I'm back now."
Brett Romberg practiced without restrictions Thursday for the first time since
breaking his right hand early in camp.
"I started snapping Monday, and it felt pretty decent," Romberg said. "So,
hopefully by next week this thing is going to feel like I never broke it."
While Romberg was healing, Nick Leckey wrested away the starting job at center.
O-LINE ALL SET
With tackle Orlando Pace back after tweaking his shoulder Aug. 16 vs. San
Diego, the starting offensive linemen have been working together for more than
a week in preparation for Sunday's opener in Philadelphia.
"It's nice to be settled in," guard Richie Incognito said. "We'll see what
happens in the season, but for right now, there's some good continuity between
the front five. And no injuries."
The line was wracked by injuries last year, a significant factor in the Rams'
tumble to 3-13 and last place in the NFC West.
Only one player was listed on Thursday's injury report: rookie wide receiver
Donnie Avery (knee), who again was out. Everyone else suited up and took part
in all drills. ... The team practiced inside with crowd noise piped in to
simulate road conditions.
Re: Seventh-round pick fitting in with Rams
Only 1 guy on the injury report for Thursday. That's huge news no matter how you slice it.
Hopefully we paid our injury dues last season and luck and health will be on our side for the 2008 season.
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