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Steussie signing will provide depth: RAMS NOTEBOOK
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Saturday, Apr. 15 2006
The Rams added another piece to their offensive depth chart, signing veteran
tackle Todd Steussie to a free-agent contract. Financial terms weren't
immediately available, but it's a one-year deal.
"You got to have depth," coach Scott Linehan said Friday. "He backs up our
tackle spots, but the way I look at it, he can back up four spots. He played
some guard for Paul Boudreau at Carolina, and he played a little guard at
Boudreau is the Rams' new offensive line coach.
Steussie, 35, is a veteran of 12 NFL seasons, spending his first seven years
with Minnesota, followed by three in Carolina and two in Tampa Bay. He is a
two-time Pro Bowler (1997 and '98) and has played 190 NFL regular-season games,
including 164 starts. He hasn't been a full-time starter since 2003 and didn't
start any of his 15 games last season for the Buccaneers, playing primarily on
In St. Louis, Steussie will serve as the team's third offensive tackle, backing
up starters Orlando Pace and Alex Barron. He has started at both right and left
tackle during his NFL career. But as Linehan mentioned, he will be available to
fill in at guard as well.
"One thing about having veterans in the line, they don't need a lot of
(practice) reps because they've played," Linehan said. "You've got a guy like
(Claude) Terrell playing left guard. Well, if for some reason something
happened to him. Or he wasn't playing well. Or you weren't happy with where he
was. You can put a guy like Todd in there right away, and he's going to
basically be like Adam (Timmerman) or Andy (McCollum).
"And if something - God forbid - ever happened to Orlando, I'm sure Barron
could move over there (to left tackle), and Todd would probably fit in better
(at right tackle)."
More knee surgery
for Marshall Faulk
Running back Marshall Faulk has not been cleared to participate in next
weekend's minicamp after having arthroscopic surgery on both knees. It has
become almost an offseason ritual for Faulk to have cleanup work done on one or
"I think he had some loose bodies that needed to be cleaned out," Linehan said.
"Nothing serious. The older you get, the more time it takes just to kind of get
them back to 100 percent. You've got to manage them. You can't take every
(practice) snap like you used to. And the offseason's different. It's like
you've got to heal up first."
Linehan said he hasn't talked to Faulk recently, but he still expects him to
return for his 13th NFL season.
"I don't think it's changed," Linehan said. "I know he's every positive about
it. I still expect him back. I really do."
Attendance has been excellent for the team's offseason conditioning program,
which just concluded its fourth week. But one notable exception has been tight
end Brandon Manumaleuna, who as usual, is spending most of his offseason on the
West Coast. Linehan said Manumaleuna is expected to participate in next
"The word is, he'll be here the first part of next week," Linehan said.
Linehan obviously would like Manumaleuna training in St. Louis with the rest of
the club. But since the offseason conditioning program technically is
"voluntary," Linehan can't really force the issue.
"I've talked to him," Linehan said. "The bottom line is, this is voluntary
every year. You can't make a player do it. I'm very careful about making sure
we adhere to that. But there is a standard that we've got to make sure we hold
our players to. ... Our job is to change the culture of the team. And if you're
not here, it's hard to sell that. Obviously, he hasn't been here, but he's
going to be. I would hope it would be better from here on out, once he gets
Re: Steussie signing will provide depth: RAMS NOTEBOOK
Good move, things look like they are shaping up.JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey