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  1. #1
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    Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    BY BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    06/17/2010

    To say the Rams' David Vobora has had an eventful year would be akin to saying the Gulf of Mexico has a small oil problem. Since training camp last year, Vobora:

    — Earned a starting job at strongside linebacker to begin his second NFL season.

    — Was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, costing him $90,588 in salary.

    — Regained his first-team assignment after being reinstated.
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    — Filed a suit in federal court against the company that provided the tainted workout supplement.

    — Was demoted after the Rams signed free-agent linebacker Na'il Diggs and assigned him to the top strongside spot.

    Throughout it all, Vobora has remained resolutely philosophical.

    "My whole football career, from high school on into the pros, I kind of feel like I've sort of been behind the 8-ball. It's been an uphill battle," he said. "But I wouldn't want it any other way. That's what I'm all about, proving people wrong. And that's what I've got to do again."

    In the courtroom, Vobora wants to prove that he wasn't at fault. His agent said that before taking the tainted supplement, Vobora called an NFL hot line, read off the ingredients, and was told that none would produce a positive test.

    Although he's seeking compensation for the salary he forfeited, Vobora stressed that money isn't the motivating factor. Clearing his name is.

    "Vindication's the No. 1 thing," he said. "Lost wages is lost wages."

    On the field, Vobora wants to prove that he's still worthy of a starting role, regardless of the competition from Diggs or anyone else. "My approach stays the same: no matter who that guy is, beat him," he said.

    Vobora has overcome long odds before. He was the 2008 draft's "Mr. Irrelevant" — the last player among 252 selected. The University of Idaho product stuck with the club, on the practice squad at first.

    He moved up to the 53-man active roster in October and wound up playing in eight games, with one start. He won a first-team spot in training camp last year and was among the Rams' leaders in tackles after the first three games.

    Then came the suspension, keeping him out of action until mid-November. Now, he's battling again to carve out a role for himself. He's been working mostly at middle linebacker this spring, behind James Laurinaitis.

    "He's settled in and kind of concentrated just at 'mike' linebacker," coach Steve Spagnuolo noted. "But I think any of the so-called backup linebackers have to be able to play more than one (position). So somewhere along the way you'll see him play some outside linebacker, too."

    The 6-foot-1, 242-pound Vobora, 24, said he feels comfortable in the middle. "There's a lot of action," he said. And some stiff mental challenges: the middle linebacker is charged with making the defensive adjustments based on the looks the offense presents.

    "There are a lot of calls and checks in this defense," Vobora said. "James does a heck of a job, so I'm just trying to ride off that."

    Vobora said he understands the value of soaking up as much information as he can.

    "Just learning from the older guys, being able to listen," he said. "And I can't tell you how much I've learned just from Spags in general. … Once you start listening to those tips (from) guys that have been around the game, then the stuff (on the field) really slows down. You're putting your eyes on the right things; that way your keys are faster and your footwork's better."

    All the better to push his career forward, regardless of what obstacles might loom.

    "I'm excited for this (upcoming training) camp," Vobora said. "Going into year three, it's time to take it to the next level and be a playmaker, no matter whether that's defense, special teams, wherever I'm at. That's what I'm looking to do."

    RAM-BLINGS

    Organized team activities will conclude today. The rookies will remain in town through next week for meetings and conditioning. All the players then will be off until they report for training camp in late July.


  2. #2
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    Re: Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    I guess there's not a lot of question as to who our starting linebackers are if they're putting Vobora behind Laurinaitis. Good to have a capable backup, though.

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    Re: Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    Hmm. So rookie Josh Hull is now at max a third string MLB?

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Hmm. So rookie Josh Hull is now at max a third string MLB?
    I wouldn't put much stock in current depth charts, as the team hasn't even strapped on pads yet .. Preseason should give us a better idea. Spags already knows what Vobora can do playing outside, now he's getting a look at what David can do as a "mike." Hull will get his chances to shine. Versatility is key here ..

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    Re: Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Hmm. So rookie Josh Hull is now at max a third string MLB?
    For now maybe. But if he's a talented LB, he'll find a spot on the roster be it MIKE, SAM, or WILL. Plus, you can never count out a PSU linebacker.
    "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

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    Re: Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    I like the Vobora attitude. He is a man with a chip on his shoulder. He is young and I would like to develop him into a good ST/back up player and keep the guy some years on the roster. He needs to win his spot on the team but we need to have player who can substitute our guys and play solid ST.
    I need to watch some Rams football, I can't wait for preseason !
    Si vous croyez en vous, que vous avez de la fierté, et que vous ne lâchez jamais, vous serez un gagnant.
    Le prix de la victoire est chère, mais la récompense en vaut la peine.

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    Re: Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    I've loved Vobora ever since qwe drafted him. He has a great work ethic, and while his starting job was due to a lack of talent, if he wins it this year, it'll be because he's improving and will truly earn it. You gotta like a LB core of OSU, OSU, and PSU.
    I believe!

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    UK Ramfan 83 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Vobora works to regain spot, clear name ..

    A real blue collar mentality..

    Give him his dues, I like the guy... I hope it works out for him.

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