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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    More on Rams' interest in rookie tackles

    The Rams look at tackles
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Feb. 26 2005

    INDIANAPOLIS - You might say coach Mike Martz and the Rams are on a fishing
    expedition for offensive tackles this week at the NFL scouting combine.

    "I talked to the Rams and Mike Martz," said Khalif Barnes, the highly rated
    offensive tackle from the University of Washington. "He's a good guy. I like
    him a lot. He invited me fishing if I get drafted there. Deep-sea fishing."

    Martz owns a fishing boat, which he keeps docked in his hometown of San Diego.
    His brothers look after it.

    "I like fishing, but he invited me deep-sea fishing," Barnes said. "And every
    time I go deep-sea fishing, I just 'yack.' "

    That's yack, as in vomit.

    "I yack all over the place," Barnes said. "I tried to take the (motion
    sickness) pill, but I guess you've got to take it the night before. ... I tried
    (deep-sea fishing) three times, and all three times, a successful yack."

    But Martz has a fairly big boat, a 40-footer.

    "I don't think I'd yack on a 40-foot boat," Barnes said. "We'll see. I think
    they have the 19th pick. I think I'd be too happy to yack if I went No. 19 in
    the draft."

    The Rams do have the 19th overall pick in the NFL draft, on April 23, and
    Barnes still could be on the board then. Florida State's Alex Barron is
    expected to be the first offensive tackle taken, perhaps breaking into the top
    10. After that, it's either Barnes or Oklahoma's Jammal Brown as the next
    offensive tackle expected to be taken.

    But for those who believe in omens, Barnes' ID number on his combine sweatshirt
    was OL 19. (As in offensive lineman 19.)

    The Rams haven't taken an offensive lineman in the first round since drafting
    Orlando Pace with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft.

    Since then, the Rams have taken only one offensive lineman on the first day of
    the draft, selecting John St. Clair in the third round in 2000.

    That figures to change this year, unless the Rams sign Pace to a multi-year
    deal and land a veteran tackle, such as Fred Miller, in free agency.

    If the Rams do pick a tackle in the first round, it probably will come down to
    Barnes or Brown. Barron, a superb pass blocker with a massive 7-foot-6
    wingspan, almost certainly figures to be gone by then.

    Barnes, who's from San Diego, could be the next to go. He's big (6-5, 305),
    athletic, and has quickness. Forty-yard dash times aren't as important for
    blockers, but Barnes probably made himself some money Saturday by running the
    40 in 4.97 seconds, one of the fastest times of the day by an offensive
    lineman.

    Brown, the winner of the 2004 Outland Trophy as college football's best
    interior lineman, blends quickness with power.

    "Brown is nastier; Barnes is more athletic and efficient," one NFC scout said.
    "Barnes could be another Orlando Pace."

    Barnes started 43 games for the Huskies before suffering a wrist injury in
    practice that sidelined him for the final six games of the 2004 season.

    He underwent surgery the following day, but was healthy enough to participate
    in the Senior Bowl last month, and do all the drills and workouts at the
    combine, including the bench press.

    "I'm working out in Arizona trying to get some scar tissue out of there, trying
    to get more flexibility (in the wrist)," Barnes said. "It's about 90 percent,
    and three months from now it will be even better."

    Brown and Barnes spent the winter working out together at the Athletes
    Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz., preparing for the combine and the draft.

    "We've been out there a couple months," Barnes said. "He's turned into a real
    good friend of mine. ... We are similar in that he likes to finish guys, and I
    like to finish guys, too."

    Brown, who is 6 feet 5 and weighs 316 pounds, didn't allow a sack last season
    and plays with attitude.

    "I play to the whistle," Brown said. "I'm very aggressive and nasty when it
    come to playing football. ... There's nothing nice about playing on the line.
    Every down you're hitting somebody in the mouth, so you have to have some
    attitude. You can't be a nice guy about that."


    Other possibilities

    Even if the Rams don't go for an offensive tackle in the first round, there are
    several other possibilities in the second and third rounds:

    Michael Roos of Eastern Washington is a promising but raw prospect
    who moved to the U.S. from Estonia in 1992 and didn't play football until his
    senior year in high school.

    Chris Colmer of North Carolina State is a tough, physical blocker
    who missed the entire 2003 season because of Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, a viral
    infection that led to pain and numbness in his left shoulder.

    Nick Kaczur of Toledo plays with nimble feet, attitude, and excels
    in pass protection. But he's 25, spending a couple years working after high
    school.

    Michael Munoz of Tennessee is a high-effort player with excellent
    technique. But he's probably not as athletic as his father, Hall of Famer
    Anthony Munoz.


  2. #2
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    Re: More on Rams' interest in rookie tackles

    Brown, who is 6 feet 5 and weighs 316 pounds, didn't allow a sack last season
    and plays with attitude.

    "I play to the whistle," Brown said. "I'm very aggressive and nasty when it
    come to playing football. ... There's nothing nice about playing on the line.
    Every down you're hitting somebody in the mouth, so you have to have some
    attitude. You can't be a nice guy about that."
    This is why I give the edge to Brown.
    "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

  3. #3
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    Re: More on Rams' interest in rookie tackles

    I think between the two it depends if we sign Pace to a long deal or just the tender/ make a trade... If we sign him then Brown is the better choice, if not then Barnes is the better choice

  4. #4
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    Re: More on Rams' interest in rookie tackles

    Right about now I'd be happy for any good news for the line - Pace signing, good draft pick, etc. I like Brown and would like them to take him if he's available.

    But, like I've said before, if we all expect the Rams to do one thing on draft day, they'll do the complete opposite.
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  5. #5
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: More on Rams' interest in rookie tackles

    Even if we ink Fred Miller to a deal, I could see the Rams making a play at Brown or Barnes as someone to groom into a starter in a season or two.

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    Re: More on Rams' interest in rookie tackles

    I like Brown's nasty attitude. Attitude is everything, but....
    you have to admit that the player quotes would be better from Barnes based on this article. :redface:
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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