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Tinoisamoa is settling in with new teammates at LB - PD
Tinoisamoa is settling in with new teammates at LB
By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Sunday, Jun. 05 2005
The Rams have two new first-team linebackers, and for a while it looked as if
they might need a third. But the notion of moving weakside linebacker Pisa
Tinoisamoa, the team's leading tackler in both his NFL seasons, to safety
didn't have much shelf life.
Tinoisamoa said he learned about the proposal through media reports. "Once it
got to you guys, it got to me, and that was probably it," he told reporters
Sunday after the final practice of the three-day minicamp at Rams Park. "At
first, I was more than willing. But after further review, I thought it wouldn't
be the best thing for me to do."
After collecting 121 tackles as a rookie, Tinoisamoa boosted his total to 145
last year despite playing with a balky right shoulder that, by his estimation,
popped out of joint at least eight times during the season. He had surgery in
"They went ahead and 'scoped it and stuck a couple of staples in. It feels good
right now," said Tinoisamoa, 23. He conceded, however, that he'll probably
never pitch in the major leagues. "I guess so, which is kind of disappointing,"
he said. "After this, I was hoping the Cardinals would give me a shot."
Tinoisamoa, a second-round draft pick out of Hawaii in 2003, lined up alongside
Robert Thomas in the middle and Tommy Polley at strongside linebacker most of
the time in his first two seasons. But Polley left for Baltimore as a free
agent in the offseason, and Thomas - a first-round draftee in '02 - has been
demoted to the No. 2 unit.
Polley's successor is nine-year veteran Dexter Coakley, who spent eight seasons
in Dallas. Chris Claiborne, a seventh-year pro who was with Minnesota the past
two seasons, has taken over Thomas' spot in the middle.
Through a couple of weeks of organized team activities and minicamp, the three
are starting to become accustomed to one another.
"You want to know the guys you're playing next to; you want to know their
strengths and their weaknesses," Coakley said. "That's what we're learning from
each other right now, each other's pros and cons."
It hasn't been a difficult adjustment, Tinoisamoa stressed.
"When you've got guys that come in with great knowledge, it makes it a lot
easier," he said. "And Chris and Dex are some pretty good athletes. We knew
that coming in; that's why they're here."
Harris feels better
after weight loss
Running back Arlen Harris is feeling more like his old self, thanks to a
significant drop in weight in the offseason. The 5-foot-10 Harris bulked up to
almost 230 pounds last year in anticipation of a tryout at fullback. But now,
with that idea doused, he's at about 210.
"I wanted to get back down," Harris said. "It was a nice opportunity, but it's
a better situation for me playing tailback."
Harris is battling Aveion Cason for a third-team spot. Both will also be vying
for kick-return duty, an area in which being lighter should be an advantage,
"My natural weight is around 212, 213 anyway, so being at 210, I feel great, I
feel fast," he said. "I feel like can do a lot more things and be more agile."
Coach Mike Martz has noticed. "I'm excited about Arlen. You can see a marked
difference in speed," Martz said.
Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett left Sunday's practice early after suffering a
groin injury. Defensive end Anthony Hargrove (knee) and cornerback Travis
Fisher (hip) were sidelined for the second day in a row.
Running back Marshall Faulk was excused from the final workout so that he could
attend to some personal matters.
Rookie safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe, a third-round draftee, was ineligible
under NFL rules to participate in minicamp because the senior class at his
school, Stanford, hasn't graduated yet.
Tackle Jimmy Kennedy, who is working with the No. 1 defense, reports that he's
not experiencing any lingering pain from the broken bone in his right foot that
slowed him for part of the 2004 season.
Organized team activities will resume Tuesday for three days, then the veterans
will scatter until July 27, when they report for training camp at Rams Park.
First-year players will remain in town for further instruction.
Re: Tinoisamoa is settling in with new teammates at LB - PD
I Like Pisa At Lb,the Db Stuff Would Maybe Have Fixed One Problem But Opened Another One Since He Is A Quality Linebacker,i Like Our Group Of Linebackers,i Liked Polley Over Thomas But We Couldnt Keep Them Both.