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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Spagnuolo: Young Players Showing Positive Signs Ahead Of OTAs

    By Steve Wyche | NFL.com
    Senior Writer

    After speaking with St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo on Friday, the first-year head coach shed some pretty insightful information on how things are shaping up as the team prepares for its first organized team activity (OTA) sessions next week. Here's a sampling:

    » No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith of Baylor will continue to work at right tackle, with Alex Barron working as the starting left tackle. I'm not sure how long things will stay that way, because most teams don't use top-five selections on lesser-valued right tackles. Still, Barron's athleticism has piqued enough interest in the coaching staff to give him a long look at left tackle.

    "What's important to us is not where they start, but where they are at the end," Spagnuolo said. "The way it is, Alex is on the left and Adam (Goldberg) and Jason Smith are on the right. That could change, but it's good to have some versatility."

    » Spagnuolo isn't making any predictions for defensive end Chris Long until he sees him in pads, but from what he's seen so far in the offseason, he thinks Long could be special. Keep in mind, Spagnuolo has coached Giants defensive ends Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.

    "What we're really looking for is for Chris to make that jump from the first to second year that players make if they're going to be elite players," Spagnuolo said. "I don't want to put any added pressure on Chris, but from what I've seen, the way he works and his intensity in the weight room and his on-the-field conditioning, if he keeps doing that he should develop into a good defensive end."

    » Running back Steven Jackson hasn't played a full season since 2006, but as of right now there are no plans to marginalize his offseason workload. In part, it's because Jackson has been pushing himself -– a sign of him stepping up as a team leader.

    "He's been full bore like everybody else," Spagnuolo said of Jackson's participation in offseason workouts. "He's doing terrific. He's into what's going on. He's learning a new system, too, like any rookie or anyone else. It's important that he gets the reps."

    » Rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis has shown indications that he's the real deal.

    "He's one of those smart, really-into-football guys," Spagnuolo said. "If you're going to have that kind of guy anywhere, you want him at Mike (middle) linebacker. We don't have pads on, but all things considered, from what you can tell right now, we're really excited. He's got to go through a growth process, but I do think if he keeps doing what he's doing, he can be a stalwart player."


  2. #2
    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
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    Re: Spagnuolo: Young Players Showing Positive Signs Ahead Of OTAs

    Lets hope a couple of players make the jump this year .
    Otherwise were screwed? I remember getting my hopes up when scott linehan first took over, so now Im a little dubious.
    Go Rams !

  3. #3
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    Re: Spagnuolo: Young Players Showing Positive Signs Ahead Of OTAs

    It is only May, but at least we are hearing some positive news from the Head Coach. Lot's of time and big difference between May 15th and Gametime, September 13th.

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

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    Re: Spagnuolo: Young Players Showing Positive Signs Ahead Of OTAs

    Thats good to hear right now but i would like to see it on the field. Because the thing is what is a rookie coach supposed to say about his young players. He cant just come out and say Jason Smith is doing horribly on the right side. So il wait till the season to judge these players.

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    Re: Spagnuolo: Young Players Showing Positive Signs Ahead Of OTAs

    Quote Originally Posted by BarronWade View Post
    Thats good to hear right now but i would like to see it on the field. Because the thing is what is a rookie coach supposed to say about his young players. He cant just come out and say Jason Smith is doing horribly on the right side. So il wait till the season to judge these players.
    Exactly! When is the last time we heard a head coach come out and say: "We were really high on our first two picks coming out of the draft, but from what we've seen so far they'll be extremely luck to make our final roster." Having said that, I'll admit I love hearing Spags say exactly what he said. After the last couple of years, even if it turns out to be mostly smoke, I love hearing it anyway ..

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    Re: Spagnuolo: Young Players Showing Positive Signs Ahead Of OTAs

    I dont think spags truly knows what hes got to work with until they start banging pads. Dont expect any overnight sensations from this years draft. Billy d and spags had to go a little meat and potatoes( conservative ) because the roster was so bare.
    Still, it was definately the smart thing. 2 years from now james laurinaitis (heart and soul and orchestrata of DOOM.

    HES FITS THE BILL OF A PATRIOT PLAYER!
    EXCEPT HE`S NO CHEAT
    Last edited by GROUND DOG 39; -05-16-2009 at 04:25 PM.

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