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WR, backup QB among positions to be decided
WR, backup QB among positions to be decided
By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) Newly signed St. Louis Rams wide receiver Mark Clayton is likely to start the season on the physically unable to perform list.
That still leaves coach Steve Spagnuolo with a lot of tough choices on cutdown day Saturday. The Rams waived seven players Friday, and need to cut 20 more to get to the 53-man roster limit.
"Staring at the board the last three hours, there's a couple of spots you really, really struggle with," Spagnuolo said Friday on a conference call. "At some point you've got to pull the trigger."
The Rams' first unbeaten preseason since 1979 has quickly become an afterthought. A day after St. Louis beat Jacksonville 24-17 to finish at 4-0, Spagnuolo said he complimented players for playing to win, and then told them it was time to move on.
"At this point now, they get tucked away," Spagnuolo said. "They mean nothing. To add them all up and say we were undefeated in the preseason and it means this or it means that, I really don't get caught up in that."
The Rams were 7-9 last season and haven't had a winning record since 2003. So there is some benefit in a solid slate of success.
"Confidence level is high," defensive end Chris Long said. "We've put in a lot of work, even with the lockout. The great thing is we made it out of the preseason pretty healthy."
Quarterback Sam Bradford exited the preseason feeling good about his knowledge of the new offense.
"Obviously, we're in a different system," Bradford said. "As far as my comfort level in seeing defenses and seeing pressures, it's really night and day."
The toughest calls might be at wide receiver, where probably eight players are competing for six slots, and quarterback, where Thaddeus Lewis is trying to unseat A.J. Feeley as the backup. Danario Alexander is on the bubble at wide receiver largely because of a left knee that's undergone five operations.
"I've talked with Danario about that, but I'll go back to the statement I made: He's one tough sucker," Spagnuolo said. "He's always out there battling. I think he deserves a lot of credit for that."
Spagnuolo provided no hints on the quarterback decision, saying Lewis and Feeley both played well in the preseason. Lewis was on the practice squad last year.
"I don't have a clue if they will keep three quarterbacks or not," Lewis said. "The quarterback position is tough and you have to be patient. You never know when you're going to get the opportunity, but when you do, you have to be ready."
Clayton signed Wednesday, and Spagnuolo said it's unlikely Clayton would make the roster for the opener next Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Rams elected not to re-sign him at the start of training camp due to concerns about his knee, and the team believes he needs more rehab.
"My gut feeling is it'll probably head that way," Spagnuolo said. "I'd be really surprised if we can get him on the 53, but it's nice to know Mark is back."
Players will get most of the weekend off, with a meeting and short team run Saturday the only planned activities, before beginning preparations for the opener on Monday.
Defensive end James Hall (back) was a minor injury concern from the preseason finale, but Spagnuolo was hopeful he'd practice Monday. Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (chest) was held out as a precaution.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (calf) didn't make the trip and Spagnuolo wasn't sure he'd be ready for the opener, all but ruling him out of practice on Monday and Wednesday.
"If you ask him, he'll say yes," Spagnuolo said. "If you go too early with the calf, we could set him back. This is going to be a down-to-the-wire thing, I believe.
"This is a legitimate day to day thing."
"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
Re: WR, backup QB among positions to be decided"I've talked with Danario about that, but I'll go back to the statement I made: He's one tough sucker," Spagnuolo said. "He's always out there battling. I think he deserves a lot of credit for that."
IMO, DX might be heading to the IR at best."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
Re: WR, backup QB among positions to be decided
We could always be following my "Play DX till his wheels fall off just in time for Clayton to come off the PUP list" plan...I believe!
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