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    ZiaRam is offline Registered User
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    Starters to Play Thursday Night

    By Howard Balzer

    Each year, the fourth preseason game of the summer is one in which everyone can't wait until it's over. There are roster reductions to be made, followed by the beginning of preparations for the season openers. Rarely are starters seen on the field during the preseason finale.

    But this year is different. A long lockout coupled with less padded practices in training camp has some coaches rethinking their approach to the final game.

    Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo intimated after last Friday's win over Kansas City that the first unit could see time in Thursday's game at Jacksonville.

    Tuesday, Spagnuolo confirmed that would be the case.

    Asked how much the starters would play, Spagnuolo said, "We're talking about a quarter, the first quarter or 15, 20, 23, 25 plays something like that. I don't like to put a number on it because it will kind of be a ‘feel' thing during the game. Generally if you feel like they've gotten some good work in and it's 20 plays they're out. I think it will be a little bit more than a normal fourth preseason game."

    In most ways, it will likely be similar to the first game. Before the opener against Indianapolis, Spagnuolo said the first-team offense would likely participate in 15-20 plays. However, after three possessions, the offense had run just 10 plays. What followed was a 14-play drive that resulted in 24 plays for quarterback Sam Bradford and Co.

    One of the more unsung signings in free agency could turn out to be one of the best. Defensive tackle Justin Bannan should team with Fred Robbins to fortify the team's s run defense.

    Bannan previously played several seasons in 3-4 defenses in Baltimore and Denver and is glad to be in a 4-3.

    "It's good getting back into the 4-3 mode and doing a little bit more attacking," Bannan told si.com. "It feels good to just come off the ball and play football. Last year I was in a 3-4, I was real far off the ball. It's a good change-up to just come back here and turn it loose."

    As for his linemates, Bannan said. "Fred is a great player and very underrated. He had a phenomenal season last year. Big, strong, physical guy who is very athletic. I think the whole d-line is great. From Chris Long to Fred to James Hall, who I think is one of the most underrated defensive ends in the NFL. You want to surround yourself with people like that."

    Speaking of the defensive line, Robbins said end Robert Quinn is this summer's rookie of the year. Not for his play on the field, but for his consistency in providing towels for the veterans after practice.

    "Last year, the rookies were bad," Robbins said. "This year, we didn't have to say anything. That means a lot. He always towels ready after practice."

    "Just part of being a rookie," Quinn laughed, when told of Robbins' comments. "I also brought the d-line Cracker Barrel one morning. That went over well."

    The Rams got down to the 80-man roster limit Tuesday when they waived/injured three players: defensive back Mikail Baker (hamstring), defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo (back) and cornerback Dionte Dinkins (ankle).

    Players waived/injured end up on injured reserve after clearing waivers and remain there until they are healthy or reach an injury settlement with the team.


  2. #2
    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    I like the approach the Rams have taken, these players need all the reps they can get.?

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    I don't want to know the total calorie count of a Cracker Barrel meal consumed by the D-Line.

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    There were some questions about Quinn coming out following his problems at UNC, with some saying he could be a problem in the locker room or off the field.

    Doesn't seem like it to me. Divas don't hand towels out.

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    ZiaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    There were some questions about Quinn coming out following his problems at UNC, with some saying he could be a problem in the locker room or off the field.

    Doesn't seem like it to me. Divas don't hand towels out.
    I think since we gave Quinn his own reserved parking spot in front of Rams Park we havn't had anything to worry about....

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    Azul e Oro is online now Registered User
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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't want to know the total calorie count of a Cracker Barrel meal consumed by the D-Line.
    LOL....I'd take a sack or two from Quinn for some CB biscuits & gravy....OK, maybe not two; I doubt they'd taste as good when blended & sucked through a straw.

    Does sound like the kid has an easygoing humility to him, though. Nice to have my worry-wart misgivings about him both on & off the field so thoroughly allayed thus far.

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    I was pretty impressed by the starters performance tonight... jsut praying for no injuries.

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    Azul e Oro is online now Registered User
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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiaRam View Post
    I was pretty impressed by the starters performance tonight... jsut praying for no injuries.
    And I hate to even put this out in the universe but was there any word on James Hall ? The pre-season live coverage stuck me with the Jags commentary for the first half so there was no in-game update. Looked like his back, perhaps? For those who didn't see it, JH & Long met at the QB for a sack & Hall was slow to get up & I don't think he returned.Hopefully, just precautionary. That entire first string DL looked, dare I say it?, positively fearsome tonight but Hall was unstoppable.

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    And I hate to even put this out in the universe but was there any word on James Hall ? The pre-season live coverage stuck me with the Jags commentary for the first half so there was no in-game update. Looked like his back, perhaps? For those who didn't see it, JH & Long met at the QB for a sack & Hall was slow to get up & I don't think he returned.Hopefully, just precautionary. That entire first string DL looked, dare I say it?, positively fearsome tonight but Hall was unstoppable.
    I'd agree with you Azul they did look pretty strong! As for Hall I havn't heard anything about him which is good news I suppose. If something did come outta it we probably would of heard soemthing by now.

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    They talked to him on the sideline, he said he just tweaked his back. Then Orlando Pace asked if it was an excuse to get out of the 4th pre-season game (jokingly) and James Hall (jokingly) asked if Pace had ever even played in a 4th pre-season game.

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    Azul e Oro is online now Registered User
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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    They talked to him on the sideline, he said he just tweaked his back. Then Orlando Pace asked if it was an excuse to get out of the 4th pre-season game (jokingly) and James Hall (jokingly) asked if Pace had ever even played in a 4th pre-season game.
    Thx, BW. That sounds like good news.

    And now all the joking between Pace & Faulk later on about playing in the pre-season makes more sense when I got the Rams feed for the second half; maybe I'm an idiot but there seems to be no choice on the official NFL online feed.Faulk & Pace got better through the pre-season, didn't they? Although Faulk still says some wacko stuff, like babbling about the QB being a runner on that cheap shot on The Thadiator, & Pace never met a football cliche he didn't like.

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    Thx, BW. That sounds like good news.

    And now all the joking between Pace & Faulk later on about playing in the pre-season makes more sense when I got the Rams feed for the second half; maybe I'm an idiot but there seems to be no choice on the official NFL online feed.Faulk & Pace got better through the pre-season, didn't they? Although Faulk still says some wacko stuff, like babbling about the QB being a runner on that cheap shot on The Thadiator, & Pace never met a football cliche he didn't like.
    Was it wacko though? Now I haven't seen the game, but Faulk knows his stuff.

    I remember there was a game against San Diego last year when it was thought that Kevin Burnett of the Chargers should have been fined for a hit on Bradford in Bradford's head area. But it wasn't a foul because, by rule, since Bradford had left the pocket, he was no longer under the protection offered to the QB and was deemed a runner.

    I don't know if this was the case with the play last night where you said Thad took a cheap shot, but that may be the rule Faulk was referring to

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    Was it wacko though? Now I haven't seen the game, but Faulk knows his stuff.

    I remember there was a game against San Diego last year when it was thought that Kevin Burnett of the Chargers should have been fined for a hit on Bradford in Bradford's head area. But it wasn't a foul because, by rule, since Bradford had left the pocket, he was no longer under the protection offered to the QB and was deemed a runner.

    I don't know if this was the case with the play last night where you said Thad took a cheap shot, but that may be the rule Faulk was referring to
    Thad stepped around a pass rusher, threw the ball, and the rusher headbutted Thad in the back of the thigh/knee area from behind long after the ball was gone. Had nothing to do with the QB becoming a runner with the ball outside the pocket like the Bradford play.Whether it was low enough to be called on the Brady law is debateable but undoubtedly late.

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    Re: Starters to Play Thursday Night

    Ahh right i see. I'll have to see it, but a late hit is a late hit whether you are a runner or a passer!

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