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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    by Bill Coats

    05/03/2010

    Since taking Steven Jackson in the first round in 2004, the Rams have drafted just two running backs Brian Leonard in the second round in 2007 and Chris Ogbonnaya in the seventh and final round last year.

    Leonard was traded to Cincinnati in '09 after two generally uneventful seasons with the Rams. Ogbonnaya spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad.

    It's no surprise, then, that the team has struggled to come up with a suitable backup for Jackson. Kenneth Darby has proved little in two years with the Rams, Samkon Gado was let go after the '09 season, and Ogbonnaya doesn't have a large enough body of work 11 carries for 50 yards off which to form a judgment.

    So once again, the No. 2 job behind Jackson is open. Of the 15 rookie free agents working out at rookie minicamp this week, two are running backs: Keith Toston of Oklahoma State and DeMaundray "The Diesel" Wooldridge of Idaho.
    Click here to find out more!


    Toston doesn't have a cool nickname. But he probably has the best chance of landing a spot on the team. "This opportunity is one of my dreams," he said, "so I feel pretty good about getting a chance to live it out."

    The 6-foot, 214-pound Toston (pronounced TOAST-un) didn't become a full-time starter until early in his senior season, after All-Big 12 back Kendall Hunter went down with an ankle injury.

    Toston rushed for 1,218 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Cowboys. He also latched on to 25 passes for 261 yards and a TD. He finished his four seasons at OSU where Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas once toiled with 3,234 total yards: 2,727 rushing and 507 receiving.

    Toston, who succeeded Hunter on the all-conference squad, felt that he played himself onto several teams' draft boards. "Through the whole operation, I was talking to teams. But it ended up not happening," he said. "So I had to take what they gave me."

    The culprit, Toston suspects, was his pedestrian 40-yard dash time 4.66 seconds at the NFL scouting combine. "That could've scared some teams away," he conceded. "But I'm a football player. And the way I play is best shown when I'm wearing pads."

    The Rams haven't seen him first-hand in pads they're banned at minicamp. Still, Toston got a good look during the three-day, five-practice event and could be invited back for more.

    "Although I'm a free agent, I feel just like a draft pick," Toston said. "Everybody's equal."

    Toston described his style as "almost the same exactly"as Jackson's. "He's a powerful back and he makes moves when he has to. I'm a power runner and I make moves," Toston said. "But only when I have to."

    His best move, he's hoping, was accepting the Rams' free-agent offer. About a half-dozen other teams also were interested, Toston reported.

    "This is where I felt most comfortable coming and the best chance for me to get on the field," he explained. "I'm just a guy that wants to come in and play. Any means necessary: special teams, running back, whatever the coaches feel that they want to put me in on, I'm there."

    RAM-BLINGS

    Under NFL rules, the rookies aren't permitted back at Rams Park until May 17. The first round of organized team activities kicks off May 18. ... Free-agent wideout Nick Moore was the lone casualty at Sunday's practice. He suffered a groin injury that wasn't believed to be serious.


  2. #2
    Bralidore(RAMMODE)'s Avatar
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    Let's hope he puts his money where his mouth is. I'm hoping one of these RB's step up in training camp. I'm not in the least bit a fan of Kenneth Darby but i understand why they kept him as he knows the system and provides workable back-up fodder. I'd keep Ogbonnaya because i like the guy based off of what I've seen, but I've seen enough of Darby to know he's not what I want in a backup (not even including the knockout punch by the ref...). Guys that work their tail off and get up field is what I like in a player.

  3. #3
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Let's hope he puts his money where his mouth is. I'm hoping one of these RB's step up in training camp. I'm not in the least bit a fan of Kenneth Darby but i understand why they kept him as he knows the system and provides workable back-up fodder. I'd keep Ogbonnaya because i like the guy based off of what I've seen, but I've seen enough of Darby to know he's not what I want in a backup (not even including the knockout punch by the ref...). Guys that work their tail off and get up field is what I like in a player.
    I agree with you 100% bro. Darby is surely not the solution to our hole as a #2 back. Just watching some college highlights, I think Toston fits our style better. Hopefully one of these guys will step up and provide some legimate rest time to Jaxx.

  4. #4
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    what happened to Alex Henderson? the article says there`s two rookie RB`s but none of them were him..

    Toston ain`t afraid to take hits..ive seen some of his plays and there`s shades of Earl Campbell in him...though obviously not as good as Earl.

  5. #5
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    I think everyone can agree that the back up RB slot is wide open. I had high hopes for Gado last year, but he never seemed to be the same after his injury. It's looking like Westbrook won't sign, and even if he did, he would only be good in situational roles with his health. Ogbonnaya shows promise, and I'm not fan of Darby.
    I really hope that one of these rookies takes full advantage of aggressively going after the number two slot. The kid is right, this is the team to do it on.

  6. #6
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblin` Ram View Post
    what happened to Alex Henderson? the article says there`s two rookie RB`s but none of them were him..
    Henderson was only brought in on a try-out basis. He wasn't signed to a UDFA contract. That may change this week, we'll see. They had 30 people simply trying out without a contract this weekend.

  7. #7
    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Henderson was only brought in on a try-out basis. He wasn't signed to a UDFA contract. That may change this week, we'll see. They had 30 people simply trying out without a contract this weekend.
    ah rite, he was one of them...cheers.

  8. #8
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    Considering the offense Toston was operating out of at Oklahoma State and his horrific 40x at the combine, I doubt he's much of a prospect for the Rams. Against Oklahoma State, many teams went with 6 DBs to slow the passing attack and that opens massive holes for RBs. If Mizzou fans can remember back to the Cotton Bowl in '07 and Tony Temple going against the Arkansas defense who had 6 DBs in the entire game.

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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    RebelYell

    I didn't follow OkSt games that much aside from when they played Oklahoma or Texas, but over the last few years they have had a VERY balanced attack. In 2009, their offensive stats were (rushing yards/receiving yards) 2441/2331. In 2008 it was 3191/3149.

    I can't speak to how their opponents schemed defensively in games, but you cannot characterize the OkSt offense as a pass first, pass often type of approach.

    That said, one of the issues that I have with Toston is that he didn't seem to really show up in the Big Games. Not sure if that is due to better competition or what but he'll need to change that in order to be at all successful at the next level.

  10. #10
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    Re: Toston has eye on backup RB opening with St. Louis Rams ..

    I didn't say they were a pass first offense so stop implying I did.

    The Cowboys play a very spread out version of the spread offense. That doesn't mean they don't run the ball. Oklahoma State's offensive scheme dictates that they take advantage of the miss matches produced by the offense. Zac Robinson ran 1/2 as many times as Totson. Ever wonder why?

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