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Tenacious Ivy grows in Rams' secondary
By HAL PILGER
ST. LOUIS - He's generously listed at 5 feet 10, 188 pounds.
If Corey Ivy is 5-10, then I've been getting a lot taller the last 40 years instead of shrinking.
The St. Louis Rams' fifth-year cornerback out of Oklahoma is not a big man, certainly not by NFL standards. But Ivy, who was signed as a free agent by the Rams last May, is living proof what matters most is not the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man.
Playing pro football with the heart of a warrior, Ivy often has been poison to opposing pass-catchers, covering them like a bad rash.
He displayed that tenacity again on Sunday, when Jacksonville kept sending its giant-sized receivers his way during a 24-21 loss to the Rams. Ivy led the Rams with eight tackles from his right cornerback position.
"That's been his M.O. since the first day he's been here," Rams interim coach Joe Vitt said. "He brings great passion, work habits; he's got tremendous courage. He loves to play the game.
"And he loves to accept those types of challenges."
Which have been coming fast and furious in recent weeks with Rams cornerbacks Travis Fisher and Chris Johnson going down with injuries.
A special teams player or fill-in for most of his four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ivy totaled 24 tackles in 49 games entering this season. After Sunday, he already has 34 tackles in eight games with the Rams.
Ivy said he was prepared to be challenged often on Sunday by the Jaguars. And he never backed down.
"I expected them to come after me," Ivy said. "They're a good team with a lot of good weapons. But I've got 10 other guys out there that's not going to let me down, so I just have to hold up my end of the deal."
For Ivy, playing football with a great deal of passion is no problem.
"I love the game of football," he said. "It's given me a lot of opportunities. I just go out there and play 100 percent for our team." Sunday's game, he added, was a huge challenge for his entire team, not just him.
"A lot of people pretty much thought Jacksonville was just going to come in here and walk over us," Ivy said. "We just had to go out there and play Rams football."
Ivy also can be a thorn to more than opposing receivers. On Jacksonville's final possession, he nailed standout running back Fred Taylor for a 2-yard loss. Taylor, who totaled 165 yards rushing, collected 138 of those in the first half and 71 on his first carry.
"It's a 60-minute game," Ivy said. "You never want to give up big plays, but we know we always have another opportunity to showcase our talents."
Ivy had even more motivation on Sunday with his parents, Gail and Willie Ivy from Oklahoma City in the Edward Jones Dome. And he saluted them after the final blitz of Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich.
"They were up there in the corner, and I was just trying to point to them and tell 'em I love 'em," Ivy said.
The 4-4 Rams have rallied in the fourth quarter for victories the last two weeks, making it imperative for their defense to clamp down late and preserve narrow leads. And Ivy has helped the Rams do just that.
"The defense had to step up," Vitt emphasized. "We have some corner situations with Fisher and Chris being down. We had three games with 40-plus scores (by the opposition) - you are not going to beat anybody. We have to play better if we want to compete in the second half.
"The intensity has been better. I think the attention to detail has been better. For the most part, we have been able to keep our regular package on the field.
"I believe that the National Football League, to a degree, has become like the NBA," Vitt added. "Parity is here. I think most of these games are going to go down to the 4-minute mark, 3-minute mark, 10-minute mark, and you've got to play your best ball at the end of games in order to win those games."
So it's vital to have players with just as much grit and determination at the end of games as at the beginning. Which is why Vitt likes having Corey Ivy in there on defense.
As games - and many players - are wearing down, the undersized Ivy keeps trying to climb to a higher level.
-11-01-2005 #2RamsFan16 Guest
Re: Tenacious Ivy grows in Rams' secondary
He could be growing but while at the game he gave up some plays that should have been stopped. IMO
Re: Tenacious Ivy grows in Rams' secondaryOriginally Posted by By HAL PILGER
what are we fightin' for?
Don't give a damn,
next stop is Vietnam.
Re: Tenacious Ivy grows in Rams' secondary
Tenacious, "spunky" (as Savard & Snow kept calling Ivy Vs. Jags), pesky, poison or whatever it is, Corey has made some mistakes / gave up some plays since joining the Rams this year -- alas, the same could probably be said about our entire 05 secondary so far.
But the little 5-9er has shown some gutsy willingness and has made some plays since training camp.
I hope all the DBs keep gellin', improving and succeeding with every game. :angryram:
Re: Tenacious Ivy grows in Rams' secondaryOriginally Posted by adarian_tooThis space for rent...
Re: Tenacious Ivy grows in Rams' secondaryOriginally Posted by thoey
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next stop, the pearly gates ...