T Randall Joins Rams
Monday, August 2, 2004


By NICK WAGONER
Staff Writer


Maybe the phone line was down. Perhaps nobody had his number. Whatever the case, offensive lineman Greg Randall is back in the NFL with something to prove.

One day after Kyle Turley left training camp in Macomb, Ill., to return to St. Louis for back examinations, Randall made his debut as a Ram. With Orlando Pace, the other starting offensive tackle, stalled in contract negotiations, St. Louis desperately needed some depth on the offensive line.

Enter Grant Williams. Williams, who has made a living as the official left tackle of Rams’ training camp and the team’s third tackle, told coach Mike Martz about a mammoth tackle with Super Bowl experience, who just happened to be a free agent.

Martz said Randall looked as good as a player who hasn’t practiced yet can.

“Obviously, we feel good about him,” Martz said. “This guy just came in last night and he was able to perform pretty well.”

Randall, who enters his fifth season out of Michigan State, stands 6-feet-6 and tips the scale at 333 pounds. He spent the 2003 season with Houston, starting every game at right tackle. He also started on the New England team that beat the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl.

Randall signed with St. Louis on Sunday and arrived in Macomb on Sunday evening. The Rams released kicker Dillon Pieffer to make room for Randall. It came as somewhat of a surprise that Randall was without a job as long as he was. San Francisco released him in June; only it didn’t do it the conventional way. There was nobody sent to tell Randall the coach wants to see him.

Instead, Randall received a letter in the mail from the *****. The letter told him his services were no longer needed and Randall began the process of looking for a new job. St. Louis fit the bill and contacted Randall at home in Houston. He quickly agreed to a one-year contract. He said he is looking forward to his shot at the Rams’ NFC West rivals, but he has other worries right now.

“The main thing is just trying to learn the system and get the offense down,” Randall said.

Martz said the Rams might add another lineman, with former Arizona interior lineman Chris Dishman a possibility. The Rams had yet to contact Dishman on Monday morning.

RAINING ON THE RAMS: For the first time since camp began Wednesday, the weather didn’t cooperate with St. Louis’ morning practice. Thunder, lightning and steady rain was the order of the day.

Martz said the Rams cut practice a little short because of worries about the lightning. Practicing in full pads, St. Louis went live in the 11-on-11 drills at the end of practice. Martz eliminated the 7-on-7 drill and a few others.

Linebacker Robert Thomas made a diving interception in the 11-on-11 that drew cheers from the crowd and an enthusiastic response from linebackers coach Joe Vitt.

SPECTATOR SPORT: Cornerbacks Travis Fisher (sprained ankle) and Jerametrius Butler (hamstring tightness) returned to practice after missing Sunday’s afternoon workout.

Cam Cleeland (hamstring), Tommy Polley (toe) and Brandon Spoon (hamstring) watched the workout from the sideline. Dave Wohlabaugh (hip), Ryan Schau (back) and Robert Cromartie (hamstring) missed practice again. Rich Coady also missed another practice with back spasms.

Defensive end Anthony Hargrove appeared to get cramps during the final drill, but Martz said he was fine.