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  1. #1
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    Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    04/12/2006

    The free-agent acquisitions of Will Witherspoon and Raonall Smith have spruced up the two-deep at linebacker. At the moment, Pisa Tinoisamoa is backed by Dexter Coakley at weakside linebacker. Witherspoon is backed up by Trev Faulk in the middle, with Smith and Brandon Chillar vying for the starting job on the strong side. Chillar is recovering from shoulder surgery, while Coakley is finishing off his rehab from ankle and leg surgery.

    If the right player is available, the Rams could look to upgrade the strongside position in the draft. Florida State's Ernie Sims is one possibility at No. 11 overall. The Rams have been impressed with his burst and his ability to get to the ball in a hurry. Although he played strongside in college, he's on the small side (5-11, 231) and may be better suited for the weak side (away from the tight end) in the NFL.

    If the Rams want to add depth on the inside, Maryland's D'Qwell Jackson, Iowa's Abdul Hodge and Georgia Tech's Gerris Wilkinson are the best bets. Jackson and Hodge might be there in the second round; Wilkinson could last till the third. Keep in mind, Tinoisamoa is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after this season. If he goes elsewhere following the '06 season, the Rams could end up sliding Witherspoon back outside.

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    Re: Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    If he goes elsewhere following the '06 season
    I don't even want to think about this. Re-sign him, not tomorrow, not even today, but yesterday!!!
    "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

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    Re: Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    Florida State's Ernie Sims is one possibility at No. 11 overall.
    He could be an option for the SOLB. Yes, he's small, but he plays bigger, and has shown a knack for avoiding blocks. Great mix of speed and strength. I don't know that I'd throw much of a fit if we went this direction.
    "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

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    He could be an option for the SOLB. Yes, he's small, but he plays bigger, and has shown a knack for avoiding blocks. Great mix of speed and strength. I don't know that I'd throw much of a fit if we went this direction.
    Sims has a history of concussions that has me a bit worried in terms of picking him that high.

    I don't know. A lot of people have a problem with starting three WILL linebackers - Witherspoon is essentially one and if we go LB in round one with Greenway or Sims, they're better fits as weak side as well.

    But I have to think Haslett and the staff would know what they're doing with these guys if that's the way they wanted to go. If Haslett wants three quick athletic yet not huge linebackers on his team, I have to assume there's a reason that's scheme related.
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    Re: Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    I really want Brandon Chillar to improve.... hes capable of being a relly good LB, but he needs more time....but hes great on special teams...he blocked that one punt last season on the panthers

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    Re: Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    i hope we dont get of pisa, he is really the only one that is consistent for our defense every year

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    Re: Rams' Needs: Linebacker

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Sims has a history of concussions that has me a bit worried in terms of picking him that high.

    I don't know. A lot of people have a problem with starting three WILL linebackers - Witherspoon is essentially one and if we go LB in round one with Greenway or Sims, they're better fits as weak side as well.

    But I have to think Haslett and the staff would know what they're doing with these guys if that's the way they wanted to go. If Haslett wants three quick athletic yet not huge linebackers on his team, I have to assume there's a reason that's scheme related.
    I agree on all counts. It would be 3 Will's on the field together which would look an awful lot like a return to Tampa 2, which I doubt at this point. It would be a shift for Haslett who is already starting two LBs (Pisa & Spoon) who are 15-20 pounds lighter than he's had over the most recent years. So from that aspect, another 230 lb'er would be off-beam for Haslett.

    Having said all that, Sims is still an impressive pick-up. He's not my first choice (or 2nd-6th choice for that matter), but if he's the BPA at 11, I wouldn't mind it, assuming he does play (as advertised) bigger than his 230 lb. frame would suggest.
    "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

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