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  1. #1
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    Gordons Blog...Rams got their man

    Rams Draft a Return Specialist By Jeff Gordon 04/30/2006 12:36 pm
    Marques Hagans played quarterback at Virginia, but that is not why the Rams drafted him in the fifth round Sunday.

    Coach Scott Linehan drafted him to return punts and kickoffs. “We drafted him for his ability to play football and use his legs,” Linehan said. “The biggest draw for us with Marques was his return ability. That is where he will vie for a roster spot.”

    If he excels as a return specialist, the Linehan will also use him at slot receiver and/or running back. “He gives you one of those toys on offense,” Linehan said. “Teams wonder what are you going to do. Does he line up at running back, receiver or does he line up behind center for a down.”

    Hagan is 5-10 and weighs 209 pounds, so scouts see him more as a running back than receiver. Linehan could use him as Mike Martz used Marshall Faulk on third downs — coming out of the backfield to catch passes, lining up in the slot, or going in motion.

    “We worked him out at both receiver and running back,” Linehan said. “He looked great.”

    Once Hagans established himself as Virginia’s starting quarterback, he quit returning punts. But he did that enough earlier in his career to convince the Rams he could succeed in the NFL.

    “He is a very exciting player with great elusiveness,” Linehan said.

    The Rams took a look at Mizzou star Brad Smith for this sort of role. But, Linehan said, “his heart is still on the quarterback side of things.”



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Good-bye to Brandon By Jeff Gordon 04/30/2006 11:07 am

    Tight end Brandon Manumaleuna was the one absentee from new coach Scott Linehan’s off-season program. And now Manumaleuna is a San Diego Charger.

    The Rams traded Manumaleuna to the Chargers for a fourth-round pick, which they used to select Indiana defensive end Victor Adeyanju.

    “It is a good situation for both parties,” Linehan said. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

    Was he sending a message to the rest of the Rams?

    “The message I would like to send people is we’re going to create a competitive environment,” said Linehan, who refused to rip Manumaleuna from the podium.

    The Chargers needed a tight end. Manumaleuna welcomed this move to California, where he can be closer to his family. And the Rams got to add a 6-foot-3, 268-pound defensive end that add some bulk against two-tight-end sets in running situations.

    “We needed to add some bulk to our front seven,” Linehan said. “He was the top-rated guy on our board. It bothered me last night that we were not going to have a shot at him.”

    Adeyanju was named to the All Big Ten second team last season. “He has speed and size,” Linehan said. “He is a little raw. He is very willing, excellent character, bright kid.”

    The trade materialized Sunday morning. With tight ends Joe Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd joining the Rams via this draft, Manumaleuna went onto the trade block. Linehan said the Chargers deal didn’t heat up until the fourth round was already underway.

    “We just got pretty youthful at tight end,” Linehan said. “We have a new issue to deal with.”

    Now Linehan will shop for a veteran tight end to add to the mix. “We’re not done addressing the addition of a veteran at some point,” he said. “I’m not concerned about it.”


  2. #2
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
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    Re: Gordons Blog...Rams got their man

    yea i guess its a win-win stituation..... but IMO chargers got ripped off... a 4th for manu....

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    Re: Gordons Blog...Rams got their man

    I don't think the Chargers got ripped off. Manu will never see the field with Gates around. This gives them a vet back up that they couldn't have got with a 4th round pick. Chargers really had nothing to lose.



    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan4ever
    yea i guess its a win-win stituation..... but IMO chargers got ripped off... a 4th for manu....

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    Re: Gordons Blog...Rams got their man

    oh.........

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