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  1. #1
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    Stills offers something special

    By Bill Coats
    Thursday, Sep. 04 2008
    After final cuts were made around the NFL on Saturday, the Rams' brass scoured
    the waiver wire in search of a player that could provide, in coach Scott
    Linehan's words, "intensity and leadership" to the special teams.

    They believe they found him. Gary Stills is sure they found him. "I see myself
    as that guy," Stills said Wednesday before his first practice with his new team.

    The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Stills arrived with an impressive résumé: 218
    special-teams tackles over nine years, including 44 in 2006 with Baltimore —
    just two short of the NFL single-season record set by San Diego's Hank Bauer in

    Linehan said Stills provides attitude, energy and "instant credibility."

    "We really like our developing special-teams players," he added, "but we wanted
    to bring a veteran that's made a name for himself that could influence (them)
    in a positive way."

    Linehan said Stills would be used on all four special-teams units, starting
    Sunday in Philadelphia, where the Rams open the regular season.

    A linebacker and defensive end, Stills was drafted by Kansas City in the third
    round (No. 75 overall) in 1999 and began to build his reputation as a
    special-teams whiz. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2003.

    Stills, 34, left the Chiefs after seven years and signed a free-agent deal with
    the Ravens. He tacked on 26 special-teams tackles last year, even though he was
    double-teamed much of the time.

    "You've got to initially try to stop me; most of the time, they don't," he
    said. "Eighty percent of the time I'll beat a double-team. I know that's being
    cocky, but I'm confident."

    The secret is extensive research, Stills stressed, and then applying what
    you've learned.

    "Some young guys, they just go out there and run around," he said. "I study
    everybody. ... When you realize what's going on, you play that to your


    It didn't make sense to Brannon Condren. After getting into eight games last
    year as a rookie, the safety from Troy (Ala.) University was Indianapolis' No.
    2 tackler in the preseason and recorded half of the team's four interceptions.

    Still, he was released Saturday.

    "It came as a total shock," said Condren, who signed with the Rams on Monday.
    "When the guy called to tell me, I asked him, 'Are you kidding?' Because I
    didn't believe it."

    The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, a fourth-round draft pick by the Colts in 2007, will
    provide depth in the secondary and help out on special teams, at least


    The Rams' first official injury report of the season was notable for five
    players who weren't on it: safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, tight end Anthony Becht,
    wide receiver Drew Bennett, wideout/returner Dante Hall and tackle Orlando
    Pace. All have recovered enough from their respective injuries to be taken off
    the list.

    Pace, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the 2007 opener, sat out
    the last two preseason games after re-injuring the shoulder. But he said he
    expects to be in the lineup vs. the Eagles

    "I feel really good, probably the best I've felt since last year," he said.
    "It's been a long time. I just can't wait to get back on the field."

    Included in the report, but participating fully in practice Wednesday, were
    cornerback Fakhir Brown (shoulder) and running back Brian Leonard (shoulder).
    Center Brett Romberg (hand) was limited, and wide receiver Donnie Avery (knee)
    didn't suit up.


    As expected, safety Eric Bassey was added to the practice squad after clearing
    waivers. ... Linehan indicated that running back Steven Jackson was ready for a
    full workload in Philadelphia.

  2. #2
    Big-Dave314 Guest

    Re: Stills offers something special

    i think stills and condren were great pickups for us

  3. #3
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Stills offers something special

    I am really worried about Avery at this point. When he comes back and goes back out again, we're gonna have to replace him. We can't wait around for him to come. I just hope he gets healthy because I'm really rooting for him this season.

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