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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Seventh-rounders have a real shot

    By Bill Coats
    Saturday, Jun. 14 2008

    Of the Rams' last 10 seventh-round picks before the draft this past April, only
    two remain with the team guard Mark Setterstrom (2006) and wide receiver
    Derek Stanley (2007). That number could double this year.

    The Rams took the University of Idaho's David Vobora with the last selection in
    the 252-player draft after choosing Tulsa's Chris Chamberlain 24 picks earlier.

    Both are 22-year-old linebackers with plenty of special-teams experience. And
    the Rams, who had just five linebackers on the roster heading into the draft,
    are looking for help in both areas.

    "They're productive players who translate to very good special-teams players,"
    coach Scott Linehan said. "And then while they're learning the system, you
    start to develop your depth in the linebacker corps."

    Their stories include similar chapters:

    Vobora, 6 feet 1 and 236 pounds, was a two-time All-Western Athletic
    Conference honoree whose 341 tackles rank sixth on Idaho's career list. He's
    been working mostly at middle linebacker, behind starter Will Witherspoon.

    Chamberlain, 6-1 and 226, was an All-Conference USA pick last year whose 352
    tackles are No. 5 in Tulsa history. He's been working at weakside linebacker,
    behind first-teamer Pisa Tinoisamoa.

    Both rookies embrace the special-teams duty that will be a key factor, at
    least initially, in their chances of sticking with the team.

    "When I came into Idaho, I knew my impact was going to be special teams right
    at first; that's kind of how my focus is again coming in here," Vobora said. "I
    feel like being a linebacker and being good in space, I can definitely help
    with the coverage teams and make some big plays."

    Said Chamberlain: "Throughout my four years in college, I've been on each of
    the four phases of special teams. ... I'm looking at it as a positive
    opportunity to get on the field and hopefully earn a spot."

    Also, both believe that once the players line up together, everyone is of
    equal status.

    "I feel like the whole key, whether I'd been a free agent or a late-round pick,
    is just getting in the door," Chamberlain said. "And then once I get on the
    field, I feel like I have as good a chance as anybody."

    Said Vobora: "The coaches treat us all the same. A bunch of us guys, you
    wouldn't be able to tell, 'Is that guy a free agent? Is that guy a draft pick?'
    We're all out here vying for spots."

    There also are differences between the two:

    Vobora grew up in the Northwest, where he played at 1,500-student Winston
    Churchill High in bustling Eugene, Ore. A fellow Churchill alumnus, Jordan
    Kent, is a wide receiver with the Seattle Seahawks.

    Chamberlain hails from Bethany, a central Oklahoma town of 20,000. He's the
    only player from Bethany High, enrollment 375, to play NCAA Division I football.

    While Vobora was strictly a linebacker at Idaho, Chamberlain saw some action
    at strong safety and eventually could wind up there with the Rams.

    Finally and perhaps least important it will be Vobora, not Chamberlain,
    who will travel to Newport Beach, Calif., later this month to star in the
    various "Mr. Irrelevant" festivities there.

    "Irrelevant Week" activities, which since 1976 have honored the last player
    drafted, include an arrival party and a traditional "showering of gifts," a VIP
    day at Disneyland, a "Mr. Irrelevant" roast, a barbecue and a parade. Vobora
    also will assist the grounds crew in dragging the infield in the seventh inning
    of a Dodgers game.

    Plus, he'll bring home the Lowsman Trophy, a parody of the Heisman Trophy in
    which the bronze player is depicted fumbling the ball. "I'm excited to go to
    Newport Beach," Vobora said. "You can't argue with free stuff and a parade and
    everything else that goes along with it, right?"

    Still, he'd trade it all for a spot on the 53-man roster come September.

    "I couldn't really ask for a better opportunity, whether it came in the first
    round, the seventh round or as a free agent," he said. "I'm just happy to have
    a chance."

  2. #2
    BM_Face's Avatar
    BM_Face is online now Registered User
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    Re: Seventh-rounders have a real shot

    I had my eye on Vobora pre-draft, and thought he would go in the sixth round. I hope he makes the team. Good wheels on the kid.
    A defeated look of consternation, dissappointment, or even pain. The name derives from the look one often gets when challenged by a large BM.

  3. #3
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Seventh-rounders have a real shot

    I hope both these guys make it on the squad. It's always nice watching our later rount picks make the team before the earlier ones.

  4. #4
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Seventh-rounders have a real shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    I hope both these guys make it on the squad. It's always nice watching our later rount picks make the team before the earlier ones.

    that's how the Rams' FO feels too .... they're cheaper! :smug:

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