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Thomas: Rams' Dahl Caught Cursing On Microphone
Rams' Dahl caught cursing on microphone
BY JIM THOMAS
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Just one slip of the tongue, and Rams offensive lineman Harvey Dahl has become a YouTube sensation.
"I watched it," linebacker Chris Chamberlain said with a chuckle. "I pulled it up and showed it to my wife that night. It already had a bunch of hits."
After being flagged for holding late in the third quarter of last Sunday's 20-13 loss to Cincinnati, a heated Dahl told referee Jerome Boger: "That's not (bleeping) holding."
The result was another penalty against Dahl. Compounding the situation, Boger had his microphone turned on, meaning everyone in the Edward Jones Dome and everyone watching on television, heard Dahl launch an "F-bomb."
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, various "replays" of the incident posted on YouTube had totaled more than 35,000 hits as of Wednesday evening.
"As his selected representative, I'll say that was a camera trick," joked offensive lineman Adam Goldberg, the Rams' player rep for the NFL Players Association. "He absolutely did not say those words. That was a case of video ventriloquism."
Boger may not have liked Dahl's choice of words, but they elicited perhaps the largest cheering of the game by Rams fans, complete with chants of "Ref, you suck!"
So was it (bleeping) holding?
"I'm going to have to give it the old, 'No comment,'" said coach Steve Spagnuolo, aware that he could be fined for criticizing the officiating. "The official called it a certain way. It's been described a lot of different ways. It's over, it's done."
A player complaining to referees about a call or non-call isn't rare in the NFL. And it would be extremely naive to think that a certain four-letter word has never been uttered during the heat of competition.
"It's definitely not a word that's uncommon," quarterback Sam Bradford said.
When asked if he ever uttered it to a referee, Bradford said, "No, absolutely not. I don't speak to people like that."
Then he smiled and added, "I let Harvey do that."
Although what transpired Sunday wasn't exactly what the Rams had in mind when they signed him to a four-year, $16 million free-agent contract from Atlanta on July 31, they did want an offensive lineman with toughness and attitude. And that's what Dahl has delivered this season.
"I'm sure glad we've got him, and I like the kind of guy he is," Spagnuolo. "He's an aggressive guy. I love that."
A lot has gone wrong on the Rams' offensive line this season in terms of performance and injuries. But don't blame Dahl. He hasn't been perfect, but he's easily been the team's most reliable offensive lineman. Many of the Rams' free-agent pickups haven't worked out, but the team got what they expected from Dahl.
"No question," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. "When we got Harvey, we thought we were going to get a guy that was going to add some toughness. He's a great worker. He's a great example for what we want our young guys to see. He's been so unselfish with his role, and what we've asked of him this year that I couldn't say enough good things about him."
Dahl is the only starting offensive lineman to appear in every game this season for the Rams. Tackles Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith, as well as left guard Jacob Bell, are all on the injured reserve list. Center Jason Brown was benched for two games before returning to the starting lineup at first right guard and then left guard.
Dahl has started all 14 games for the Rams, but because of the rash of injuries was moved from his normal right guard spot to right tackle after Game 10. In his four starts at tackle, he has played surprisingly well.
"To go from right guard to right tackle, and more than willing to do it, I think he's done a solid job," Spagnuolo said. "I really do. With some of the people you see out on the edge there, he's going to be challenged, and yet I think he functions really well. That's a credit to him."
Dahl, 30, was a right tackle in college at Nevada-Reno, but had not practiced or played that position in years. Entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2005, he spent his first two seasons with San Francisco, bouncing on and off the *****' practice squad and active roster. Then Billy Devaney, then an executive with Atlanta, signed him off the *****' practice squad prior to the 2007 season.
From 2008 through 2010, he was a starter and a fixture on the Falcons' offensive line at right guard. Some observers felt Dahl played on a Pro Bowl level there in 2010, but Dahl could never get beyond a series of one-year contracts with the Falcons.
So the chance to get some contract security and the presence of Devaney as Rams general manager helped bring him to St. Louis.
"The reason I had success in Atlanta is because of (Devaney)," Dahl said, after signing his contract. "So I figured I'd keep on going with him. I wanted to go somewhere where they were going to kind of turn me loose and be able to play physical, aggressive football."
Re: Thomas: Rams' Dahl Caught Cursing On Microphone
Well, at the very least we know that he still cares, and is going to do anything he can for this team. In a season that is light on them, he's been a very nice bright spot.I believe!
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