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  1. #1
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    [Wagoner]: Pace Upgraded to Questionable

    Pace Upgraded to Questionable
    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    If anything is certain in the NFL, it’s that more often than not games are decided up front on the offensive and defensive lines. After a slew of injuries to their offensive line, the Rams enter this week hoping to patch together a line capable of neutralizing Arizona’s exotic defensive fronts.

    “Most definitely,” center Richie Incognito said. “It starts and ends with us. We didn’t pick some things up in San Francisco and we lost. So I think it starts with the offensive and defensive lines, in the trenches according to me. You go ask a wide receiver and they may give you a little different answer.”

    Not even many wide outs would argue with Incognito’s assessment. In the span of two weeks, the Rams’ offensive line has undergone a major makeover, not by choice, but by way of injury.

    Week one against Denver, it was center Andy McCollum lost for the season with torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments. He was replaced by Incognito who was, in turn, replaced by Todd Steussie.

    Last week at San Francisco, left tackle Orlando Pace suffered a concussion on an ensuing extra point as he we bull rushed by at least three oncoming *****. On Thursday, Pace was upgraded from doubtful to questionable and feels better according to coach Scott Linehan.

    “Orlando did participate in a very limited basis today , but looks and feels a lot better,” Linehan said. “We're a little more encouraged with him. ..just based on dramatic improvement from how he felt yesterday to today.”

    Pace’s concussion caused another shake up for the line with Steussie moving to left tackle and Adam Goldberg entering the game at guard.

    “We’ve got another week to work together, another week to gel, another week to communicate, another week to get these things down,” Incognito said. “I think we’ll definitely take a step in the right direction this next week.”

    The right side of the line is still in tact with guard Adam Timmerman and tackle Alex Barron playing well. Timmerman has proved to have plenty of bounce left in his step in the first two games after a good offseason of conditioning.

    Barron is settling in on the right side and that duo has been a strong spot for the Rams’ improved running game.

    Another encouraging sign was the play of Incognito in his first game at center since he was a redshirt freshman at Nebraska. Incognito didn’t have much time to get accustomed to his new position last week, but he showed well against the *****.

    “I thought he did real well,” Linehan said. “He played very good and he was physical in the game. He wasn’t tentative because he had to think or anything. It helped for a while before Orlando’s injury to have Todd next to him. He’s much more comfortable this week, I know that.”

    Pace’s status for this week remains up in the air, but if Pace can’t play this week expect to see Steussie at left tackle with Goldberg at left guard. When Pace was lost for part of a game against Houston last season, Barron moved over to left tackle.

    But with the potential of a 60 percent change on the line in the past two weeks, Linehan didn’t want to shake it up any further. For now, he’s comfortable with Steussie at left tackle where Steussie has spent a good portion of his career.

    Steussie is preparing himself for any situation.

    “When you get older, a guy like Adam and me have to wear many hats and are kind of under cover at multiple spots,” Steussie said. “You may not get all of the reps, but you have to take mental reps in practice at the different spots. I have to prepare with the possibility I could play guard or tackle this week even though most of my reps are at tackle, I am trying to prepare at guard, too.”

    The time spent this week in practice will be extra important for the Rams as they prepare for the Cardinals’ various blitz packages and defensive fronts. Arizona regularly uses safety Adrian Wilson as a blitzer and he lines up in various spots.

    “I’m sure that they will (blitz),” Linehan said. “I’m sure they’ll do a lot of those things, and something new that we haven’t seen. We have to prepare each week for all the twists we could get. They are certainly going to test us there.”

    HARGROVE ABSENT: Defensive end Anthony Hargrove missed Thursday’s practice and his whereabouts remained unknown as recently as Thursday afternoon.

    “It's not an excused absence,” Linehan said. “As soon as I find out, get to the bottom of why first, make sure everything's ok, then I'll comment on it. But he was not at practice today.”

    Hargrove was at the team’s Wednesday practice and chatted with the media afterward. Victor Adeyanju took most of the repetitions in Hargrove’s place Thursday with Brandon Green also working in the mix.

    Linehan said he wanted to be sure everything is OK with Hargrove before determining if it would affect his status for Sunday’s game.

    INJURY REPORT: The only change in the injury report Thursday came in the form of Pace’s being upgraded from doubtful to questionable.

    Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa is the only other Ram on the injury report, listed as questionable with a dislocated elbow. Tinoisamoa will be forced to wear a brace on the elbow for the foreseeable future.

    “He feels better but still was limited,” Linehan said. “He feels better, swelling's down some. His attitude is fantastic, as it always is. Again, we'll see. He's still listed the same, as questionable and we'll evaluate him as we get him a good brace for that elbow.”

    For Arizona, linebacker James Darling (calf) and cornerback Eric Green (groin) are also questionable.

  2. #2
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    Re: [Wagoner]: Pace Upgraded to Questionable

    I think we will see more max protect formations this week. Steussie has me a little worried, I just hope he don't whiff this week.

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  3. #3

    Re: [Wagoner]: Pace Upgraded to Questionable

    I hope Pace can play Sunday, but I also hope they don't try and rush him back from a concussion.

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    Re: [Wagoner]: Pace Upgraded to Questionable

    Quote Originally Posted by MATEOBURRITO View Post
    I hope Pace can play Sunday, but I also hope they don't try and rush him back from a concussion.
    Absolutely right. The last thing we need is to complicate the situation by trying to play him too soon and making things worse.

  5. #5
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    Re: [Wagoner]: Pace Upgraded to Questionable

    I want to see Bulger rolling out to the right a lot this week if Pace is out.

  6. #6
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    Re: [Wagoner]: Pace Upgraded to Questionable

    A.Wilson worries me and the Rams line MUST control this underated safety cause he destroyed us last time and nearly got Bulger KILLED in the process!!

    "The breakfast Club"


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