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  1. #1
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    Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    02/22/2007


    Some head coaches merely tolerate the weeklong NFL scouting combine. After all, how many bench presses, shuttle runs and 40-yard dashes can a person take and still maintain his sanity?

    But Rams coach Scott Linehan embraces the combine as a valuable tool in player evaluation leading up the draft. Linehan's staff will interview every player attending the combine in Indianapolis, which runs through Tuesday. Linehan, who arrives today in Indy, personally plans to watch all 300-plus players work out at the RCA Dome.

    Even the punters and kickers?

    "I'll watch the punters and kickers," Linehan said. "Did it last year. You're always looking for players. We've still got to re-sign (Matt) Turk. If we don't, we've got to find a punter. You never know how you're going to fill your team."

    Like many coaches and personnel executives, Linehan feels that college game film is the most valuable tool in the evaluation process. But he's always looking for more information on draft prospects.

    "A player really can help himself at the combine," Linehan said. "I always think it's funny that guys won't go there and work out. That's the opportunity for you to shine, because you're with the best of the best."

    Typically, several of the so-called sure first-rounders choose not to participate in the combine workouts. But Linehan loves the opportunity to see, for example, the top wide receivers running routes and catching passes side by side.

    "You might have an idea that these two players are almost the same," Linehan said. "But you may come out of it with the same picture or different. ... 'This guy was more natural in the back pedal. That guy caught the ball better with his hands.'... They start to separate themselves a little bit."

    Linehan said the Rams arrive in Indianapolis with a grade on each of the combine participants. But he emphasized it's not the final grade, and it can be changed based on what takes place in the next several days.

    "We've already raised our feelings on some players from the Senior Bowl," Linehan said. "And lowered our feelings on some players. Just based on how they practiced. And somewhat on how they interviewed.

    The Rams had hoped to interview about 50 players during Senior Bowl week in late January; they ended up interviewing 95. At the combine, Linehan will concentrate on the top 60 prospects during the time allotted for interviews each night. But at least one member of the Rams' coaching staff will speak with every player invited to the combine.

    "The more information you can find out, the better," Linehan said. "We never want to assume anything about a player. You just keep accumulating information on people that you wouldn't have been able to get from film or from background checks."

    Linehan noted that the influx of juniors has added pizzazz to the wide receiver class. Four of who generally are considered the top five wide receivers are players who are turning pro early: Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech; Dwayne Jarrett of Southern California; Ted Ginn Jr. of Ohio State; and Sidney Rice of South Carolina.

    It's not outside the realm of possibility that the Rams will take a wide receiver at No. 13 overall particularly if free agent Kevin Curtis signs elsewhere and the Rams fill more pressing needs at defensive end and nose tackle in free agency before the draft.

    There are many draft options at defensive end, particularly if you add rush end 'tweeners to the mix.

    "There are quite of few of those types of players," Linehan said. "I think you're finding more and more hybrids out there. People are having a lot of success with those guys that are third-down type pass rushers."

    Gaines Adams of Clemson; Jamaal Anderson of Arkansas; Adam Carriker of Nebraska; Charles Johnson of Georgia; Jarvis Moss of Florida; Anthony Spencer of Purdue; and LaMarr Woodley of Michigan all could go in the first round at defensive end.

    The draft may be the way to go for the Rams at this position because NFL defensive ends Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis), Justin Smith (Cincinnati) and Charles Grant (New Orleans) all have received the "franchise player" designation, basically taking them off the free-agent market.

    Coming out of the Senior Bowl, Linehan was impressed with the quality of talent on the interior of the offensive line.

    If the Rams part ways with center Andy McCollum or Adam Timmerman, this could be an area they address in the draft although probably not in the first round.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    Linehan has alot on his plate. Will be interesting to see which direction he goes. WR, D-Line, O-line, Punter??

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    Wow, I absolutely love this. Most coaches will interview a select amount of players but Linehan is going to interview everyone personally! He definately wants to win and will take whatever, doesn't want to get any busts and wants to make sure he picks the right guy.

    Great, I love this!
    RamsFan16

  4. #4
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    I think that if they get a LB in FA, then a DE gets drafted unless one of the top DT's is available.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  5. #5
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    this is why the rams will be in the playoffs this year, and why linehan was picked as coach. this is why his coaches like him and the players play for him. we might not think so highly of the draft when it takes place (2006) . all we heard was the rams should not take tye hill (way to small) take the kid with problems from VT. ( i wanted huff, hill, or davis). but when all is said and done, we all think hill is going to be a db maniac, and we are right , and most were wrong to not think of this guy. LINEHAN did and HASLET did.that is a coach,it might kill him and the staff to do this, but the knowledge and experiance of seeing these guy's in person is why we won't ever have to worry about a bad draft while linehan is coach.and he added a tool to better this in mr. softli.
    Last edited by keith m. klink; -02-24-2007 at 07:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    The combine is this weekend? Is that right? Is it aired on tv?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    Yes it is UtterBlitz its on NFL Network.
    RamsFan16

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    Thanks 16. I just switched to cable and I have not really figured out where the NFL channel is on there. I am all distracted with the new DVR machine and watching shows that I never remember to watch.

    I'll try to find the channel and catch up on the combine. I like to pick a few guys out and watch them develop.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Rams Will Interview All at Combine

    WOW, i've been watching here and there, some QB's and O-LINE and WR's. holy moly, joe thamas is the real deal, footwork, speed , hands. this kid is owesome. ryan kalile , the C from usc, great workout, and MEACHUM from tenn. great hands , great longball concentration, and was dissapointed that he ONLY ran a 4.36 and a 4.38. calvin johnson wr, GT . should be the first player taken. his measurables are out of this world, his speed is fluid, like a dancer, looks like no effort at all. and brady quinn put up 24 rep's in the bench press, not bad at all.and alot of people are impressed with chris leak.

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