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    Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    October 16, 2010 12:21 AM
    The Telegraph
    By Ron Clements



    ST. LOUIS — With leading receiver Mark Clayton out with a season-ending knee injury, Michael Hoomanawanui said everybody “needs to step their game up,” and that includes the tight ends for the St. Louis Rams.
    Hoomanawanui, a rookie from Illinois, has missed the last four games since suffering a high ankle sprain in the Week 1 loss to Arizona. Originally thought to miss up to six weeks, Hoomanawanui is expected to play Sunday when the Rams play host to the San Diego Chargers at the Edward Jones Dome.
    “I guess I’m a fast healer,” the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Bloomington native said Friday.
    Hoomanawanui’s sprain was to the same left ankle he injured as a senior at Illinois, but in a different spot. He missed four games last year, but not consecutively. He rushed back into games before he was fully healed, but said that isn’t the case now. He commended the Rams training staff for getting him back on the field ahead of schedule, but said that missing playing time was still tough.
    “It was terrible,” he said. “But the coaches, teammates, family and friends helped keep my head up and keep me motivated to get me back quicker than expected. I’m good and ready to go.”
    Hoomanawanui had developed a good rapport with rookie quarterback Sam Bradford during the preseason and hopes to redevelop that chemistry quickly. The Rams also get veteran tight end Billy Bajema back this week after missing three games with a strained MCL in his right knee.
    “It’s big,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said of getting his top two tight ends back. “Sam is comfortable with them and it’s nice to have them both back.”
    Both Bajema and Hoomanawanui took “mental reps” while they were out. Now they have to readjust to the game speed. Hoomanawanui said he had to shake loose “a couple of cobwebs” and deal with some mild soreness on Wednesday, but was fine by Friday.
    “It was tough. I haven’t had a lot of injuries in my career. I love playing football, so it was tough missing those three games,” Bajema said. “Fortunately, in two of those three, I got to see us win.”
    Bajema dealt with the same issues and has had his knee heavily taped underneath a brace that stabilizes his knee. He said the protection restricted his mobility some on Wednesday, but he got used to it and doesn’t expect it to hinder his play any on Sunday.
    “I’m ready to get back and play,” Bajema said. “I feel pretty good. I feel it improving every day.
    “I’m able to move around and do everything I need to do. I’m excited. Like any game, I’m ready to play, but it adds more to it when you haven’t been able to do it for a few weeks. I just want to help the team and play the game I love.”








    By Bill Coats, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Oct. 16--After leading the Rams in receiving during the preseason, rookie tight end Michael Hoomanawanui lasted exactly eight snaps in his regular-season debut. While catching his first pass as a pro, Hoomanawanui suffered a high sprain on his left ankle Sept. 12 vs. Arizona.
    It was the same injury, to the same ankle, that kept him out of four games last season at the University of Illinois.
    "It could've happened to anyone, but it happened to me," said Hoomanawanui, a fifth-round draft choice. "Going through it already kind of helped me go through it again. I'm good now, and that's all that matters."
    The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Hoomanawanui is expected to be in the lineup Sunday when the Rams take on San Diego at the Edward Jones Dome. That puts him ahead of the original schedule for his return.
    "I should be out maybe two or three more weeks," he said. "The training staff was terrific in getting me back so quick."
    Though he's a bit rusty, it won't exactly be like starting over, Hoomanawanui pointed out. "I haven't been out there at practice and games, but as far as working out and rehabbing and being in meetings and studying the playbook, that's all there," he said.
    Hoomanawanui caught nine passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the four preseason games.
    "Having him back this week, I think it's definitely going to be something to help our offense," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "I felt like me and Mike had developed some chemistry early on in the preseason, and to lose him was obviously unfortunate. But he's worked hard to get himself back to where he is now."
    Bradford said he and Hoomanawauni spent time this week "making sure we're still on the same page."
    Added Hoomanawanui: "Everyone's had a good week of practice. Hopefully we can continue that and go from there."
    "Everyone" includes fellow tight end Billy Bajema, who has been out since tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in Week 2 at Oakland. Bajema, who had four catches for 31 yards before getting hurt, also is ready to go.
    miller's time
    Also expected to suit up Sunday is fullback-linebacker Brit Miller, another Illinois product. He figures to get plenty of action on special teams.
    "My main focus is always special teams," said Miller, 6-1 and 250. "With guys like Danny (Amendola) and Mardy (Gilyard) and some of the other returners we've got, that excites me about Sunday, blocking for those guys."
    Miller, who was promoted from the practice squad Tuesday, had six special-teams tackles in five games last season for San Francisco.

    Injury report Only linebackers Chris Chamberlain (toe) and David Vobora (hamstring) were no-gos for practice Friday. Chamberlain won't play Sunday; Vobora was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.
    Probables were Bajema, Hoomanawanui, cornerback Ron Bartell (calf), guard Jacob Bell (head), running back Kenneth Darby (ribs), cornerback Kevin Dockery (hamstring), wide receiver Mardy Gilyard (thigh), cornerback Justin King (calf) and defensive tackle Darell Scott (ankle).


    RAM-BLINGS
    The weekly captains are guard Adam Goldberg and long-snapper Chris Massey. ... Quarterback Keith Null, who started the last four games for the Rams last season, has been released from Jacksonville's practice squad. ... Rams kicker Josh Brown makes a cameo appearance in the new movie "Jackass 3."


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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Josh Brown makes a cameo appearance in the new movie "Jackass 3."
    I was already looking forward to seeing it, now I am really excited.

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Same as me 01d hahaha. Anyways, its really nice to finally get Bajema and Hoomanwanui back. I feel like Illnois Mike and Sam will have a great connection this week.

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
    I was already looking forward to seeing it, now I am really excited.
    What?! I'm there. Where are my glasses...

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    “I guess I’m a fast healer,” the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Bloomington native said Friday.
    Or the doctor got tired of having to write your name on the charts and just cut you loose instead.
    "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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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Rams kicker Josh Brown makes a cameo appearance in the new movie "Jackass 3."
    lol Josh Brown kicks a field goal in front of Preston Lacy's face, it was painful but hilarious.

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by fliptalianstallion View Post
    lol Josh Brown kicks a field goal in front of Preston Lacy's face, it was painful but hilarious.
    Sounds like something to look forward to

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    “It’s big,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said of getting his top two tight ends back. “Sam is comfortable with them and it’s nice to have them both back.”
    Well, I guess Daniel Fells now knows where he sits in the pecking order.

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Well, I guess Daniel Fells now knows where he sits in the pecking order.

    I'm not a big fan of Fells, but I prefer him over Bajema. I do think Hoomanawanui should be our #1 TE though.

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
    I was already looking forward to seeing it, now I am really excited.
    Fat.guy.gets.painted.as.a.goal.post.and.Josh.hits.him.square.in.the.head.5.ft.away

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I'm not a big fan of Fells, but I prefer him over Bajema. I do think Hoomanawanui should be our #1 TE though.
    I don't think you're alone in not being a big fan of Fells. Many here did not even think he would make the team this year, but here he is, making the occasional spectacular catch, finding the endzone and regularly being a target for Bradford on key plays and big third downs. I love the guy.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Hoomanawanui can do. I have a feeling I'll be rather fond of him as well.

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I'm not a big fan of Fells, but I prefer him over Bajema. I do think Hoomanawanui should be our #1 TE though.
    Yes, ditto on that about the Hooman. I'm okay with Fells -- he's made some good catches -- but honestly don't know about the blocking strengths of him as compared to Bajema. I'm also intrigued by what Onobun might bring.

    In any case, as long as Hoomanawanui is healthy, he may turn into a very good, reliable TE.

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Time to split UH-OH and Fendi out wide in 3 and 4 WR sets. If they get bumped, somebody else will be open, or they can simply knock em on they're butts they'd be wide open. If not pressed, take the five yards.

    Either way, having the TEs available is nice, only if you have a plan to use them.
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: Tight Ends Return For Rams and Other News

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    I don't think you're alone in not being a big fan of Fells. Many here did not even think he would make the team this year, but here he is, making the occasional spectacular catch, finding the endzone and regularly being a target for Bradford on key plays and big third downs. I love the guy.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Hoomanawanui can do. I have a feeling I'll be rather fond of him as well.
    Fells actually has been pretty pleasant this year. He's saved Bradford's butt several times, and has been pretty reliable, unlike last year where he would drop some very catchable balls.

    The only thing is that he's not a huge weapon for us, and only gets targeted a few times a game. I guess this could be due to him not getting open enough.

    If Fells can step up, and if Uh-Oh can continue improving, it would really help boost our passing attack, because our WRs are a big question mark right now.

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