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  1. #1
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
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    Two players, one position: Who will be the Rams starting center?

    Incognito and Romberg are staging a training camp battle
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat


    MEQUON, Wis. --Whether they like it or not, Brett Romberg and Richie Incognito are the centers of attention at the St. Louis Rams' training camp.

    Romberg and Incognito know there are a lot eyes focused on them each practice as they battle for the job of starting center.

    "You obviously know that you are going to be under the microscope," Romberg said. "You know that every coach is going to be looking at what you are doing, and they're analyzing all the work you are doing. Ultimately, you just have to worry about what you are doing. Everything else will take care of itself as far as coaches and the decisions they have to make for the team."

    As soon as he arrived, Romberg said he knew something was different with training camp this year. First off, he wasn't roommates with Incognito.

    "You can tell there is a little bit of an atmosphere going on about it, and players are coming up to us, and even coaches, and we're not rooming together," said Romberg, who is sharing a dorm room with wide receiver Drew Bennett. "It's kind of a little bit Mickey Mouse. We just sit around and laugh about it. There is no hard feelings whatsoever. He's going to try to be the starter, and I'm going to try to be the starter."

    Romberg, 28, said maintaining his friendship with Incognito, 25, as they fight for the same job will be no problem.

    "I've been friends with Richie every since I've been here," Romberg said. "He was my road dog, the guy I used to hang with when I first got here. It's not going to be difficult at all."

    Romberg started nine games at center last season. Incognito started 12 games at center in 2006, but moved to right guard last season.

    A week into training camp, Rams coach Scott Linehan isn't ready to pick a frontrunner in the center battle.

    "It's too early," Linehan said. "I think a lot of that is going to be determined in games, but I think it's a very, very good competition. They're outstanding individuals, which makes it very pleasant even though they are battling for a job. You couldn't find two better guys to compete against each other because they help each other."

    Linehan said Incognito could end up back at right guard if he fails to dislodge Romberg at center.

    Mark Setterstrom, the Rams' former starting left guard, now is working at right guard. Setterstrom lost the starting job at left guard to Jacob Bell, who was signed to a six-year, $36 million contract as a free agent from the Tennessee Titans.

    "I'm really comfortable wherever they put me," Incognito said. "It's just that they have to let me know. I don't want to be jumping around, where the last second I'm playing guard. If they want me to play center, leave me at center."

    After missing 12 games last season because of knee and ankle injuries, Incognito came into training camp feeling like he has something to prove.

    "There is a lot more for me to do," Incognito said. "I want to have a long career in this league. Injuries and stuff like that are major setbacks, but it's time for me to step up to the plate."

    Incognito has a simple philosophy for his competition with Romberg.

    "You go out there and improve every day," Incognito said. "You find one thing to improve upon, and whenever you mess up and make a mistake, you don't do it again."

    Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003, Romberg has had to fight for everything he has received in the NFL. He played in only one game during his first three seasons in the league.

    "I pretty much have a plan that it is going to be an uphill battle every year," Romberg said. "You always have to fight for your job. When you get lackadaisical, then somebody comes in snatches it from behind."

    Romberg beat out veteran Andy McCollum, a fixture on the Rams' offensive line for nearly a decade, for the starting job at center during training camp last year.

    "I thought Andy played spectacular," Romberg said. "I thought it was a tossup. I wouldn't have been comfortable with him being the starter, but if it would have went that way, I could see it going that way."

    Romberg said he can understand the value of competition.

    "I really think that in order to get the best out of a football player, you have to push the envelope a little bit," Romberg said. "You have to push them to the brink of being frustrated and wanting to show the coaches something."


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Two players, one position: Who will be the Rams starting center?

    Still think Romberg should be our starting C and Cog at G.

    a). Brett is a proven center, even as starter.
    b). Richie is a good guard and willing to play there the entire year
    c). If Cog plays C, which he can of course, Rom is benched; i.e., he does not work at G. Too valuable for sideline spectator.

    Romberg is my man in the middle of the Rams OL.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Two players, one position: Who will be the Rams starting center?

    It's a close competition on the O-line, Setterstrom, Romberg and Incognito are all very close to each other in ability at this point.

    I have a preference for Incognito, I hope he gets to start at one of the positions, I think he works better as a guard. Maybe that would mean Romberg at center then and Setterstrom as the top backup, the earlier plans to try out Setterstrom at center seem to have been shelved.

    Either way, whoever gets the nod we are going to need all three of them this season. We are bound to see at least one injury on the O-line along the way - and if it's only one we should consider ourselves lucky.

    We have 4 guys capable of starting inside, if only we had a backup tackle too. I guess perhaps Greco would be the choice should Pace or Barron go down, but I'd like to not count on a rookie to start at tackle. Unless someone emerges as a viable tackle during this season we should look to draft one next year.
    Last edited by RamOfDenmark; -08-04-2008 at 07:26 PM.

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Two players, one position: Who will be the Rams starting center?

    I have a preference for Incognito, I hope he gets to start at one of the positions. I think he works better as a guard. Maybe that would mean Romberg at center then and Setterstrom as the top backup, the earlier plans to try out Setterstrom at center seem to have been shelved. -- RamOfDenmark
    Agreed Denmark. Also, I wonder ... say we would see Romberg at center and Cog at guard ... if big Dustin Fry makes the team and become the backup / depth for Brett.

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