Steussie steps in for Pace at left tackle
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
For the first time since 2002, the Rams had to make it through an entire game Sunday without left tackle Orlando Pace. Things went well, probably better than anyone could expect against a good Detroit defensive front.
"I thought our offensive line really played outstanding," coach Scott Linehan said. "To take a player like Orlando out of your offense is a concern, but that's why Todd Steussie's here. You've got to remember, Todd Steussie went to the Pro Bowl as a left tackle. And Adam Goldberg filled in real nicely."
Pace, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was among the Rams' inactives because of aftereffects from a concussion suffered Sept. 17 in San Francisco. Pace played last week in Arizona but experienced headaches for several days after that contest and didn't practice last week.
Minus Pace, Steussie moved from left guard to left tackle. Goldberg came off the bench to start at left guard. It was Goldberg's first start for the Rams since coming Sept. 2 in a trade with Minnesota.
Before Sunday's game, Goldberg jokingly said he didn't notice any Superman-like cape on Detroit's monster of a defensive tackle, Shaun Rogers.
Goldberg and the rest of the Rams' blockers kept Rogers, a two-time Pro Bowler, quiet. According to unofficial press box stats, Rogers had two tackles and one quarterback hurry.
"He's a great player," Goldberg said. "But this is the NFL. You're going to face great players every week."
Goldberg said the Rams kept Rogers in check without much double-team blocking.
"We didn't change our schemes," Goldberg said. "We did what we do, and we did it well."
Goldberg is 7-0 against the Lions, with the first six of those wins coming as a Viking.
Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa aggravated an elbow injury he suffered two weeks ago in San Francisco. Against Detroit, Tinoisamoa was shaken up defending a short pass to tight end Marcus Pollard with 5 minutes to go in the first half, but he returned to the game and registered a sack.
Fullback Paul Smith wasn't as fortunate. Smith suffered a blow to the head while breaking up Detroit wedge blockers on the opening kickoff of the second half. Smith did not return.
"Paul Smith has some degree of a concussion," Linehan said.
After the game, Smith had a lump on the side of his head and some scratches on his neck after his collision with Detroit wedge blocker Frank Davis.
Davis, an offensive lineman, suffered a neck injury in the collision and had to be carted off the field, but the injury doesn't appear to be serious.
Wide receiver Kevin Curtis missed a couple of series in the second quarter with what Linehan called migraines.
Although rookie Victor Adeyanju started at defensive end and got most of the playing time, Anthony Hargrove dressed and was part of the Rams' defensive line rotation, participating in about two dozen plays. Hargrove was benched last week after going AWOL for two practices.
With Hargrove playing, rookie defensive tackle Claude Wroten joined Pace among the Rams' pregame inactives. Wroten had played sparingly in the Rams' first three games, registering two assists.
Other inactives Sunday were LB Jon Alston, CB Jerametrius Butler, TE Dominique Byrd, S Dwaine Carpenter and OG Mark Setterstrom.
Re: Steussie steps in for Pace at left tackle
I thought the offensive line was better than expected, I thought Steussie would be in way more trouble than he seemed to be, nice team effort on the line giving Marc the time he needed to be effective.
You can't say enough about Pisa, it's unbelievable how he's able to keep playing and keep playing well under those circumstances with the injuries. He's a fighter and we have to sign him long term, losing him would be almost like losing London Fletcher a 2nd time.
As for Victor Adeyanju I'm not sure Hargrove will even get his starting spot back. Adeyanju's making plays, seems strong against the run and has a great motor (just how he ran down Boldin last week and caught him from behind is a great indicator of the type of effort he puts in). If I was Hargrove I would start getting a little worried, he shouldn't have given someone else a chance to take his spot like that. But it may work out for the best for the team, nice to see some competition for playing time.
Re: Steussie steps in for Pace at left tackle
i thought the o-line did a very good job without pace,we could have run the ball better,but it wasnt awful,also a note on the inactive list,we have some pretty good players on that list,i know pace was hurt but maybe those other guys should see some playing time.