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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, May. 18 2007

    Given a choice, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa would toss aside the red "do not
    touch" jersey he's forced to wear during organized team activities and dive
    head-first into the action at Rams Park.

    But after an injury-plagued 2006 season, Tinoisamoa knows better.

    "It's rough, man; I'm not accustomed to this. But I'm trying to be smart about
    it," said Tinoisamoa, who is recovering from major surgery on his right
    shoulder. "I hated sitting and watching, so my goal this year is to get
    stronger each game and finish out the year."

    The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Tinoisamoa was a second-round draft choice in 2003 from
    Hawaii who earned a starting spot as a rookie in training camp and led the team
    in tackles each of his first three seasons. A former teammate once marveled at
    Tinoisamoa's ability to "get to the ball with a bad attitude."

    Tinoisamoa didn't miss a game during than span, but his luck ran out last year.
    It started with a dislocated elbow in Week 2 at San Francisco that sidelined
    him for two outings. Subsequently, he injured his shoulder and broke both
    hands.

    He struggled through 11 games before his season finally ended Dec. 14, when he
    was placed on injured reserve. He sat out the last three contests and finished
    with a career-low 47 tackles — barely a third of his career average of 133 per
    season.

    The spate of injuries concerns Tinoisamoa, who doesn't want to be labeled
    injury-prone.

    "I can't say that it's not in the back of my head," he said. "But that's why
    I'm working so hard to try to get back and get back right."

    Tinoisamoa's shoulder problems began with a dislocation in the 2004 season
    opener. The shoulder popped out several more times that year, and he underwent
    surgery in the offseason.

    This time, surgeons basically had to rebuild the shoulder.

    "That's why it's taking me a little bit longer," explained Tinoisamoa, who said
    the doctors have told him he'll be ready for full contact when training camp
    starts in late July.

    "Adversity's part of my life, something that I've always had to deal with," he
    said. "So this is just one of those things I've got to face head-on and defeat.
    ... I'm slowly integrating different drills and regimens. Hopefully, it keeps
    getting better and better. It feels good."

    Although the Rams won their last three games with Dexter Coakley filling in on
    the weak side, coach Scott Linehan said Tinoisamoa's absence was felt.

    "When Pisa was in there ... things seemed to be running much more smoothly,"
    Linehan said. "Once he was out of there, I wouldn't say we were scrambling, but
    we were having to try different lineups."

    The Rams are pleased with linebackers Will Witherspoon in the middle and
    Brandon Chillar on the strong side. In March, they signed free agent Chris
    Draft, whose 111 tackles last year for Carolina included 5 1/2 sacks; he'll
    back up at all three spots. Others in the picture at linebacker are Raonall
    Smith, plus second-year players Jon Alston and Tim McGarigle.

    Linehan described Tinoisamoa, 25, as "a quiet leader of that group. Will runs
    it as the middle linebacker, but Pisa and Will are kind of the heart and soul
    of the defense."

    The Rams slumped to 23rd in the 32-team league in total defense and gave up
    more points than all but four teams. In addition to Draft, they have made other
    moves to shore up the unit.

    Added to the defensive mix were James Hall, acquired in a trade with Detroit
    and slated to start at right end, and first-round draft pick Adam Carriker,
    expected to be a first-team tackle. Other free-agent acquisitions, who should
    help improve depth, were cornerbacks Mike Rumph and Lenny Walls, and safety
    Todd Johnson.

    The team also drafted four defenders: Carriker, cornerback Jonathan Wade (third
    round) and tackles Clifton Ryan (fifth round) and Keith Jackson (seventh round).

    "We added some great character ... some great guys who are definitely going to
    help us right off the bat," Tinoisamoa said. "I'm excited. I want to be a part
    of this and make sure that I don't let anybody down by not being able to play."


  2. #2
    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    I really hope Tinoisamoa gets through this season healthy. I'm starting to worry a little bit about the long-term deal we gave him last season. Don't get me wrong, when he's on the field he is a great LB that flies to the ball, but if he gets injured and misses more than a game or two this year I'll be seriously worried that he is psysically fragile. It sounds like he knows the dreaded 'injury-prone' tag is approaching, but of course luck has a lot to do with it too, so good luck Pisa. Maybe his absence had more to do with our inability to stop the run last year than I immediately thought, we did seem better overall on defense with him in there that's for sure.

  3. #3
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    He struggled through 11 games before his season finally ended Dec. 14, when he
    was placed on injured reserve. He sat out the last three contests and finished
    with a career-low 47 tackles — barely a third of his career average of 133 per
    season.
    How big is that, only 47 tackles from a guy that has avg 133 wow. He was a shell of himself.

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    I'm working so hard to try to get back and get back right -- Pisa Tinoisamoa
    Best wishes to PT, for sure. It appears everyone around him, players, coaches, fans, are concerned about the strength of his health. This thing about training "gently" just doesn't sound right in football, especially for a LB. But if that's what it takes to fully and truly recover, fine. It'd be great to have the real PT in there!

    All the best to our warrior! Get well, be strong, healthy & determined to come back big. :r
    Last edited by RealRam; -05-18-2007 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Format

  5. #5
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    Here's to an injury-free year for Pisa!

  6. #6
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    MauiRam is offline Pro Bowl Ram
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    Re: Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    Hopefully the coaching staff will be smart about bringing him back gradually, and limiting his contact reps in camp. He should not have been allowed to play 11 games last year as beat up as he was. A dislocated elbow (more than once), a dislocated shoulder and two broken hands?? He should have been placed on IR sooner even though he wouldn't have been happy about it ... I like the fact that we have Chris Draft al a fall back and from what I have read, Linny will not be shy about inserting Draft in the lineup until Tino is really ready ...

  7. #7
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    Re: Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    The coaching staff needs to make the decisions about how fast he comes back. Pisa only knows full speed. He will never hold back unless they control him and they should.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Tinoisamoa trains gently to avoid a repeat of 2006

    I hope 5-O comes back better than ever and has a Pro Bowl year. It's nice though that we have a solid back up in Draft.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

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