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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Everything Pisa Tinoisamoa knows about football contract negotiations comes from his knowledge of the movie “Jerry Maguire”.

    Following that method, many would think Tinoisamoa would be all about having someone “Show him the money,” but that isn’t who he is and that’s never been what he’s about.

    So, in a league where midseason contract extensions are a rarity, it’s no surprise that a player who is in many ways exceptional, signed a five-year contract to stay with the Rams only months before hitting the free agent market.

    Of course, Tinoisamoa was a little surprised when the Rams approached his agent Mike Sullivan during the season to try to get something done.

    “It really did to be honest,” Tinoisamoa said. “We heard from them about two to three weeks ago. I’m surprised. I don’t know. I watch “Jerry Maguire” a little bit, but it took him the whole year. I figured it would be awhile. Three weeks later (my agent) is telling me we have a great deal.”

    For Tinoisamoa, though, a great deal has little to do with monetary compensation though a player who has led his team in tackles in each of his first three seasons and in many ways been an inspirational leader for his teammates and coaches will be well compensated. All he wanted was the opportunity to continue building on the foundation of a career he began with the Rams when they drafted him in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

    All Tinoisamoa wanted was the chance to continue playing with the team that drafted him. After an offseason in which the Rams showed a renewed commitment to defense by signing the likes of defensive tackle La’Roi Glover and linebacker Will Witherspoon, Tinoisamoa saw the direction the program was headed.

    With that in mind, Tinoisamoa likes what he sees in the future for the defense, particularly at linebacker where he, Witherspoon and Brandon Chillar form a young corps with a tremendous upside.

    “That would be great,” Tinoisamoa said. “It’s something I envision and that’s why I told my agent I like the situation I was in. We knew we could have gone to the free agent market and got loads of dough, but that wasn’t what was important to me. It was important to win and be with a great group of guys who are getting better. We have that.”

    In his three-plus seasons with the Rams, Tinoisamoa has racked up 424 tackles, six sacks, five interceptions, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 53 games. It goes without saying that Tinoisamoa is a talented player, but it might be his intangibles that make him the type of player that receives a lucrative contract extension in the middle of a season.

    There are few players in the league who have played through injuries as well and as consistently as Tinoisamoa. Two seasons ago, he suffered a separated shoulder on eight occasions while wearing a harness. It was no problem as Tinoisamoa had a career-high 145 tackles with a sack and a half and five pass breakups.

    This year, he has continued that tradition, playing with a dislocated elbow that has torn ligaments in it. That kind of toughness makes Tinoisamoa a huge part of what the Rams are doing defensively now and in the future.

    “If you’re hurt, you’re hurt, you can’t play, but certain guys have a level of toughness or commitment or whatever it is to withstand anything,” coach Scott Linehan said. “Pisa is one of those guys. We have a philosophy around here of “All you’ve got.” He gives you everything.”

    There’s no better example of that than the Oct. 1 game against Detroit. After tweaking his elbow and with his brace being fixed on the sideline, the coaching staff made every effort to get Tinoisamoa off the field for fear that he could seriously injure the elbow further.

    But Tinoisamoa refused to come out of the game.

    “I just looked the other way,” Tinoisamoa said. “I heard (Dexter) Coakley yelling for me too, but I was just looking straight ahead with great focus and they were like ‘forget it.’”

    Tinoisamoa promptly sacked Lions quarterback Jon Kitna on the ensuing play. Tinoisamoa continues to play through the elbow injury and says surgery will not be required as the ligaments should heal on their own.

    Now that the Rams have Tinoisamoa locked up, they can turn their attention to some other free agents, such as defensive end Leonard Little whom Linehan mentioned by name as another target for the team to take care of.

    Like many teams, the Rams haven’t made a habit of re-signing players in the middle of a season with center Andy McCollum and kicker Jeff Wilkins the only recent examples. This case, though, could be an indication that things are changing and Linehan says the franchise wants to make it a point to take care of their own first.

    “I don’t know how it always works. I am sure when you get on the market and the market sets or whatever…but I don’t think that’s what motivates Pisa,” Linehan said. “He has a person that represents him and makes sure everything is fair and done the right way. He wants to be a Ram and he wants to be part of this. I think it says a lot about him because a lot of these things probably don’t get done during the season. We are certainly glad it has worked out in this case.”


  2. #2
    RamDodger Guest

    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Great article Wraith! I was glad to hear the Rams locked him up sooner than later.

  3. #3
    RamOfDenmark Guest

    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Excellent excellent move, praise to the front office for getting it done early. Now I really admire Pisa's toughness but I hope he gets to a chance to hopefully heal up a little and avoid any further injuries this year. He deserves a little luck in the injury department now, he's been having annoying injuries for a good percentage of his career, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    The front office is really looking good this year, getting rookies to camp on time, wise free agent signings, signing key players before they hit the market. I have been critical of the front office numerous times during Martz's tenure, but this year they should be getting high marks all around, it seems there's a new commitment to putting the team in the best possible position to win.

  4. #4
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    The front office is really looking good this year, getting rookies to camp on time, wise free agent signings, signing key players before they hit the market. I have been critical of the front office numerous times during Martz's tenure, but this year they should be getting high marks all around, it seems there's a new commitment to putting the team in the best possible position to win.
    Excellent ramark RofD; my sentiments precisely!!

    WHAT SAY YE?

  5. #5
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Great he signed so early. He must like what he sees to hop on for the long run, good to know. If it's good for you Tino, it's good with me.

  6. #6
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    I hope he gets to a chance to hopefully heal up a little and avoid any further injuries this year. --RODenmark
    Yes, perhaps newly acquired Kacyvenski could slowly but progressively begin to rotate with Coakley in order to allow Tinoisamoa some needed relief on that banged up arm. Great opportunity for Kaz to start showing quality depth.

    Just glad PT is Ram for years to come. "Feeling stronger everyday". -- Chicago

  7. #7
    rampete Guest

    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    with witherspoon and pisa signed to long terms we should have the basis for a young, fast, aggressive and improving linebacking corps for at least the next 5 years...which is a nice warm feeling...

    i don't think chillar will be anything more than a journeyman, and hopely a good one...next seasons FA or the draft may net us the missing piece of the puzzle...

  8. #8
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Quote Originally Posted by rampete View Post
    with witherspoon and pisa signed to long terms we should have the basis for a young, fast, aggressive and improving linebacking corps for at least the next 5 years...which is a nice warm feeling...

    i don't think chillar will be anything more than a journeyman, and hopely a good one...next seasons FA or the draft may net us the missing piece of the puzzle...
    I was thinking about that this morning. Next years draft should turn up another linebacker in rounds 1-3 or another FA acquisition to round the group off nicely. Tino is a great signing for us and I think he'll be really solid, maybe even touching on pro-bowl material over the next couple of years.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Awesome, i was waiting for this before i got my Pisa jersey!
    This guy is awesome, and its good to see the FO get a contract extension signed so early

  10. #10
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Tinoisamoa said. “It’s something I envision and that’s why I told my agent I like the situation I was in. We knew we could have gone to the free agent market and got loads of dough, but that wasn’t what was important to me. It was important to win and be with a great group of guys who are getting better. We have that.”
    How can anyone not love this guy? Seriously, what uterus owning Rams fan wouldn't want to bear his child? Any volunteers? Rammiegirl? Mom? Utterblitz? BigRedMan?
    "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

  11. #11
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    bout time our front office does something right and lock up one our key players for many years to come

  12. #12
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    Re: Tinoisamoa In It for the Long Haul

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    How can anyone not love this guy? Seriously, what uterus owning Rams fan wouldn't want to bear his child? Any volunteers? Rammiegirl? Mom? Utterblitz? BigRedMan?
    Makes me envious of our uter...

    Wait, did you really call Rammie, Mom, And UB uterous owners?

    <== Hub before making said comment

    :x <== Hub after the Ladies get done with him

    Any questions?
    This space for rent...

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