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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Wroten shapes up ... on and off the field

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Jun. 18 2007

    Over the past year, Claude Wroten has shed his flabby waistline as well as the
    skepticism over his off-the-field indiscretions. Now, he's working on ridding
    himself of the temptation to play "like every down is third down," as one Rams
    assistant coach put it.

    Wroten, a defensive tackle from Louisiana State, pleaded guilty to that charge.

    "Every snap I was 100 miles an hour, full-speed, out of my gap here and there,"
    he said. "I just had to calm down, look at the formations and know when it was
    a run and know when it was a pass, not just shoot up the field all the time
    like I did in college."

    Wroten rolled up 12 sacks and 34 quarterback pressures in two seasons at LSU,
    earning All-Southeastern Conference accolades. He also positioned himself to be
    a first-round NFL draftee.

    Those hopes were scuttled when the Bastrop, La., native failed a drug test at
    the scouting combine only a month after he was arrested for possession of
    marijuana with intent to distribute. That charge eventually was dropped, but
    the damage was done. Wroten tumbled to the third round, where the Rams took him
    with the 68th overall selection. He played in 15 games as a rookie, picking up
    15 tackles, including one sack, plus seven QB pressures.

    When the 6-foot-2, 295-pound Wroten arrived at Rams Park this spring, he
    brought a newly chiseled frame. "I had a good workout regimen in the
    offseason," he said. "I came in every day, working out and running, and got
    myself in much better shape."

    He also brought a spiffed-up reputation that includes an incident-free résumé
    over the past year and a half. "It's totally behind me," he said. "I'm
    continuing to try to prove myself and let everyone know it was a stupid mistake
    I made and just look for great things from here on out."

    The Rams have some things in my mind for Wroten, especially after trading
    veteran lineman Jimmy Kennedy to Denver. They foresee Wroten getting plenty of
    work in a rotation with veteran La'Roi Glover on the interior of the line, with
    some situational action at end plus special-teams duties.

    "With the advent of us playing some left and right tackle and all that, he's
    not out of the mix," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "It's a really good
    situation we have right now."

    First-round draft pick Adam Carriker is the projected starter at nose tackle,
    with Glover penciled in next to him. Wroten is seeking to apply an eraser to
    that blueprint.

    "La'Roi's a real good player and has been doing it for a real long time; I
    learned a lot from him last year," said Wroten, 23. "But I look to step in and
    get a lot of (playing time) myself. You can count on that."

    Linehan said: "He's a much more confident player. I think he's got a little
    chip on his shoulder. There's a little bit of talk about who potentially could
    be starting there in the first game, and he's not conceding that."

    For Wroten to elbow his way into the lineup, he'll first have to prove that his
    undisciplined ways on the field have truly been expunged. He vowed that they
    have, describing his comfort level now, as compared with last spring, as "night
    and day."

    "Coming in, I was a little anxious," he said. "But now I've got a year under my
    belt and I've settled down. ... I feel very prepared. The guys are counting on
    me now."

    That expectation triggers a bit of trepidation,.

    "I'm a young guy, and you have to step up to the challenge," he said. "Knowing
    that a guy like Jimmy has left, it is a lot of pressure. ... But, hey, if they
    throw you in the fire, just get in there and do your job."


  2. #2
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Wroten shapes up ... on and off the field

    Glad to hear it! We need him to be at top shape, as Glover does not need to play as many snaps as he had to last year.

  3. #3
    Dr. Defense's Avatar
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    Re: Wroten shapes up ... on and off the field

    Good to hear some news about this guy. Definately have to like the fact that he took the initative and worked out so that way he would be in better shape. I think that he can definately challange La'Roi for a starting spot. This will help everyone as La'Roi can now sit more often to catch his breath, with him not playing as many downs as before it hopefully allows him to become closer to the Pro Bowler that he was.

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Wroten shapes up ... on and off the field

    Glad for CW and for the Rams defense! Another small but well positioned step for improving. :r

  5. #5
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Wroten shapes up ... on and off the field

    I've found it highly amusing that last year's tackle sometimes plays at end and this year's end is moving inside to the nose.

    Wroten seems to have learned his lesson and seems to be very interested in being the second most experienced tackle and possibly the second starter in the rotation. I like to hear he has a chip on his shoulder, those players always seem do do well. I can only hope Wroten and Carriker become our new donut brothers and become a dominant run stopping force.

  6. #6
    RamsSB99's Avatar
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    Re: Wroten shapes up ... on and off the field

    He looked like he was in great shape in the picture that went with the article. It is encouraging to here the approach he is taking to his football career.

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