St. Louis Rams James Hall A Man On The Move
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The Rams have asked a lot of defensive lineman James Hall.
First, they tossed him in at left end when starter Leonard Little was injured early in the season opener at Philadelphia. Hall, a right end almost exclusively during his previous eight NFL seasons, compared the challenge to a righthanded hitter in baseball trying to bat lefthanded.
Now, with tackle Adam Carriker down with a sprained ankle, Hall is getting extended work on the inside, something he said he'd done "only sparingly" before this season. Again, the change is significant.
"Inside, everything happens a lot quicker, as far as making your moves and countermoves," Hall said. "You're in tight quarters, so you don't have as much space to make things happen. And the guys are a little bigger."
Mind you, Hall isn't complaining. He lost his starting job when the Rams took Chris Long with the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft, so Hall is just happy to see more action.
He was credited with 1 1/2 sacks in Sunday's victory over Dallas, dropping quarterback Brad Johnson once from tackle and once from end.
Running back Steven Jackson (thigh) participated in the walk-through before Thursday's practice. But that was his only on-field work, and his availability for Sunday's game at New England remains uncertain.
"He looks better to me," Rams coach Jim Haslett said. "We'll see if he can do some things (today) and just take it day-to-day."
Carriker also hasn't practiced this week. "Adam's iffy," Haslett said. "I know it's a lot better, but I don't know if it'll be good enough."
Wide receiver Derek Stanley (concussion) was cleared and worked with the regulars. Cornerback Tye Hill (knee) continued to do individual drills but probably won't be back on the field until next week.
STILLS COMES THROUGH
Billed as a standout special-teams performer when he arrived Sept. 2, 10-year veteran Gary Stills has lived up to the hype. He has a team-high 10 special-teams tackles and recovered a fumble.
"I get paid to go down there and cover kicks and make a difference," said Stills, 6 feet 2 and 250 pounds. "It's something (the Rams) needed, and I'm glad I'm able to provide them with that."
The Rams haven't posted back-to-back-to-back wins since the last three games of the 2006 season. … Donnie Jones' 51.6-yard average is the best among the league's punters.
Re: St. Louis Rams James Hall A Man On The Move
Players like James Hall and Gary Stills are the ones that make and break a team. Sure, look at our line. We've got a great one in Little on one side, and a soon to be great one in Long on the other. But what happens if one of them gets injured? What happens when they get winded? You need veteran guys like James Hall who can step in and fill the void. And he does it well, probably moreso than if he was the started ...
As for Gary Stills, all I can say is Uber Stud ....