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  1. #1
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    Three vie for No. 3 running back job

    Rams Notes:
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Aug. 07 2007

    A team's No. 3 running back doesn't generally get much work. The two players
    who shared those duties for the Rams last year — Tony Fisher and Kay-Jay Harris
    — combined for only nine carries.

    Still, a roster spot comes with the job. And the competition for the assignment
    behind starter Steven Jackson and backup Brian Leonard is picking up steam as
    training camp continues at Rams Park.

    The contenders are Harris, who joined the team in November after Fisher
    suffered a season-ending knee-injury, veteran Travis Minor, a free-agent pickup
    in the offseason, and Rich Alexis, who was signed off Jacksonville's practice
    squad in December but didn't suit up for the Rams.

    At this point, it's a tight race.

    "They're going to get great opportunities to show what they can do in the next
    four (exhibition) games," coach Scott Linehan said.

    The 5-foot-10, 203-pound Minor, a seventh-year pro, has been steady in practice
    and gained 5 yards in two carries in Saturday's scrimmage. Alexis, 6-0 and 234,
    has displayed a nice combination of speed and strength. He carried once for 4
    yards in the scrimmage.

    Harris, 6-0 and 240, has one distinct advantage: He was impressive on special
    teams in seven games last year, delivering several jarring blows while
    collecting five tackles.

    "It's all part of the evaluation," Linehan said. "If you excel on special
    teams, its always going to be looked on favorably when it comes to making this
    football team."

    Harris, in fact, considers special teams his first priority.

    "I love every bit of it," he said. "I like being the first man down the field
    on kickoffs and going in there and trying to get that big hit. ... I'm a
    running back; I don't get to tackle people much. So that's my chance to take
    out the frustration of people always hitting me and go down there and blow
    somebody up."

    Harris, 28, has been used on all four units: punt, punt return, kick and kick
    return.

    "Everybody wants to be a starting running back, but I know that's not my role,"
    he said. "If you can be on the field in any phase, that's what it's about.
    Anything I can to do to be on the field and help this team achieve our goal,
    I'm all for it."

    INJURY UPDATE

    Tight end Joe Klopfenstein returned to practice Monday after missing a week
    because of a strained hamstring. Klopfenstein, who started all 16 games last
    season as a rookie, said he was getting antsy on the sideline.

    "Camp's so tough, it's hard to watch them practice without being out there with
    them," he said. "You want to get out there and compete for playing time."

    Klopfenstein's playing time figures to decrease with the addition of veteran
    Randy McMichael, a free-agent acquisition.

    Still, the Rams plan to use more two-tight end sets, plus Klopfenstein is
    taking advantage by tapping into McMichael's experience.

    "A guy like him who's been in the league six years, he knows a lot,"
    Klopfenstein said. "So, every chance I get, I ask him everything."

    — Wide receiver/returner Dante Hall, who is nursing a sore hamstring, did
    limited work Monday. Linehan said Hall's availability for the preseason opener
    Friday night in Minnesota would be a "game-time decision."

    — Linebacker Tim McGarigle, who had been out with a hamstring injury, suited up
    for the night practice. But Raonall Smith became the fourth linebacker to be
    sidelined. Smith suffered a bruised shoulder in Saturday's scrimmage.

    — Remaining on the injury list were wideout Lamart Barrett (shoulder) and
    tackle Ken Shackleford (knee).

    RAM-BLINGS

    Rookie Clifton Ryan appears to have a firm hold on No. 2 spot at nose tackle,
    behind first-round pick Adam Carriker. ... Rookie Jonathan Wade is gaining on
    veteran Lenny Walls in the competition for the nickel back job.


  2. #2
    homer1969 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Three vie for No. 3 running back job

    FIsher will probably get it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Three vie for No. 3 running back job

    Quote Originally Posted by homer1969 View Post
    FIsher will probably get it.
    umm fisher isnt on the team anymore.....
    Built RAM tough

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    Re: Three vie for No. 3 running back job

    I'm crossing my fingers for Kay-Jay, being that he's a Mountaineer. Plus I thought, as the article says, he showed some flash on special teams, though I believe he whiffed on a tackle that ended up being a return TD against Seattle. Either way, I think special teams play will be a deciding factor, because I doubt the #3 back sees much time between Jackson and Leonard.
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    helorm341 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Three vie for No. 3 running back job

    The number three back will probably see zero time unless Jackson or Leonard get hurt, I can't see any touches slipping through the fingers of both of them.

    But I hope Minor gets the spot. Alex, Harris, Leonard and Jackson are all bruiser runners. Minor would be a nice change of pace back, if he ever gets an actual touch in the regular season.

  6. #6
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    Re: Three vie for No. 3 running back job

    I understand the need for the vet scatback like Minor, but personally, I'm hoping for one of the bruisers (Harris or Alexis) to soften up lines when Jackson and Leonard are out.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Three vie for No. 3 running back job

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsplaya16 View Post
    umm fisher isnt on the team anymore.....
    lol. Took care of that prediction.

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