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  • Rams Make Roster Moves

    By ClanRam staff

    TE Joel Jacobs, S Justin Lucas, and QB Russ Michna have signed with the St. Louis Rams. In another roster move, the Rams released TEs Spencer Nead and John Frieser.

    Jacobs, 6-3, 250, is a rookie from Nebraska-Kearney. He is one of only three players in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors three times, as he caught 66 passes for 623 yards and six touchdowns in his career. The Mullen, NE native made 27 receptions for 228 yards as a senior.

    Lucas, 5-10, 211, will enter his sixth NFL season in 2004 after playing his first five professional seasons for the Arizona Cardinals. The Abilene Christian product has played in 58 games, with eight starts in his NFL career, and has tallied 141 tackles (81 solo) with two interceptions. Last season, Lucas played in 11 games, notching 23 tackles (17 solo), adding four special teams tackles.

    Michna, 6-1, 224, is a rookie from Western Illinois. The former Leatherneck earned Gateway Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors as a junior and senior, leading WIU to a 20-6 record and two trips to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. As a senior, he threw for a school-record 3,160 yards and 21 touchdowns on 211 of 371 passing, adding 167 yards on 70 rushing attempts and four touchdowns.

    Nead, 6-4, 259, played in 10 games with two starts as a rookie in 2003 at fullback and tight end, catching one pass for six yards. The product of BYU ended the season on the practice squad.

    Frieser, 6-4, 260, was a rookie from Colgate.
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  • #2
    Re: Rams Make Roster Moves

    Rams sign Cleeland, pick up safety from Cardinals
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    06/04/2004



    Wasting little time with the salary cap money they freed up by releasing quarterback Kurt Warner, the Rams have begun to fill holes in their roster.

    On Friday, they signed former Arizona Cardinals safety Justin Lucas and agreed to terms with tight end Cam Cleeland, who was with the Rams last season. Both are one-year deals.

    Cleeland, 28, is a six-year NFL veteran. His best season was in 1998, when as a rookie he caught 54 passes for 684 yards and six touchdowns for New Orleans. Cleeland, 6 feet 4 and 272 pounds, played four seasons with the Saints and one with New England before coming to St. Louis in 2003 as a free agent. He caught 10 passes for 145 yards last year.

    Brandon Manumaleuna, Cleeland and rookie Erik Jensen are expected to make up the team's tight ends corps. Fullback-tight end Spencer Nead, who caught one pass last season, was released Friday.

    Cleeland suffered smoke inhalation recently when he stopped along a road near Mount Vernon, Wash., and pulled a motorist from car that had struck a tree and become engulfed in flames. The victim was airlifted to a Seattle hospital, where he died the next day.

    Lucas, 27, started eight games in five seasons in Arizona, where Larry Marmie was the secondary coach and later defensive coordinator. Coach Mike Martz hired Marmie in January to replace Lovie Smith as the Rams' defensive coordinator. Smith is the Chicago Bears' new head coach.

    The 5-10, 190-pound Lucas, who played college football at Abilene Christian, had 23 tackles in 11 games last season, when ankle injuries limited his playing time. In November 2002, he scored a touchdown against the Rams. Cornerback David Barrett intercepted a Marc Bulger pass and quickly lateraled to Lucas, who sprinted 35 yards to the end zone. The Rams prevailed 27-14 at Sun Devil Stadium.

    Lucas, Rich Coady and rookie Jason Shivers figure to provide depth at safety behind starters Adam Archuleta and Aeneas Williams.

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    • RamDez
      Rams Re-sign Te Cleeland
      by RamDez
      By ClanRam Staff

      TE Cameron Cleeland has re-signed with the St. Louis Rams, the team announced today.

      Cleeland, 6-5, 270, will enter his second season in St. Louis, after playing in all 16 contests, starting 10, last season for the Rams. Cleeland made 10 receptions for 145 yards last year, adding a 28-yard reception in the playoffs. His best game in 2003 came at Pittsburgh 10/26, as Cleeland hauled in two passes for a season-high 54 yards.

      Prior to last season, Cleeland spent one season with New England after playing his first four NFL campaigns in New Orleans. He was originally a second round selection (40th overall) by the Saints in the 1998 NFL Draft out of Washington, joined the Patriots prior to the 2002 season, and the Rams prior to the 2003 season, both as an unrestricted free agent.

      During his six NFL seasons, Cleeland has played in 64 games, starting 43. The University of Washington product has caught 119 passes for 1,404 yards with 12 touchdowns....
      -06-08-2004, 02:02 PM
    • RamDez
      Rams add quarterback, tight end
      by RamDez
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      06/02/2004


      Just as one Rams quarterback exited, a new one arrived. On Wednesday, the day that the release of Kurt Warner became official, the team signed Russ Michna, an undrafted rookie who will be right at home when he reports to training camp.

      The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Michna is a product of Western Illinois University in Macomb, the site of the Rams' preseason camp since 1996. He is a two-time offensive player of the year in the NCAA Division I-AA Gateway Conference. As a senior, Michna completed 211 of 371 passes for a WIU- record 3,160 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is a native of Elk Grove Village, Ill.

      Essentially, Michna is being added as a camp "arm." He'll join fellow quarterbacks Marc Bulger, Chris Chandler and Jeff Smoker, the team's sixth-round draft pick in April, on the roster.

      Still seeking depth at tight end, the Rams also signed Joel Jacobs of Nebraska-Kearney. Jacobs, 6-5 and 225 pounds, had 27 receptions for 228 yards last year as a senior. For his career, Jacobs caught 66 passes for 623 yards and three touchdowns. He was selected three times to the All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference squad.

      Cam Cleeland and Brandon Manumaleuna shared the tight end duties last season, after veteran Ernie Conwell signed with New Orleans in April 2003 as a free agent. Manumaleuna is back, with a new five-year, $8.3 million contract. Cleeland became an unrestricted free agent after the season, and the Rams still hope to sign him for 2004.

      The team used a seventh-round spot in the draft to take Erik Jensen, a tight end from Iowa.
      -06-02-2004, 11:30 PM
    • RamWraith
      Rams add QB and TE
      by RamWraith
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      06/02/2004


      Just as one Rams quarterback exited, a new one arrived. On Wednesday, the day that the release of Kurt Warner became official, the team signed Russ Michna, an undrafted rookie who will be right at home when he reports to training camp.

      The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Michna is a product of Western Illinois University in Macomb, the site of the Rams' preseason camp since 1996. He is a two-time offensive player of the year in the NCAA Division I-AA Gateway Conference. As a senior, Michna completed 211 of 371 passes for a WIU- record 3,160 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is a native of Elk Grove Village, Ill.

      Essentially, Michna is being added as a camp "arm." He'll join fellow quarterbacks Marc Bulger, Chris Chandler and Jeff Smoker, the team's sixth-round draft pick in April, on the roster.

      Still seeking depth at tight end, the Rams also signed Joel Jacobs of Nebraska-Kearney. Jacobs, 6-5 and 225 pounds, had 27 receptions for 228 yards last year as a senior. For his career, Jacobs caught 66 passes for 623 yards and three touchdowns. He was selected three times to the All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference squad.

      Cam Cleeland and Brandon Manumaleuna shared the tight end duties last season, after veteran Ernie Conwell signed with New Orleans in April 2003 as a free agent. Manumaleuna is back, with a new five-year, $8.3 million contract. Cleeland became an unrestricted free agent after the season, and the Rams still hope to sign him for 2004.

      The team used a seventh-round spot in the draft to take Erik Jensen, a tight end from Iowa.
      -06-02-2004, 03:21 PM
    • RamDez
      Rams Inside Slant
      by RamDez
      Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the Rams' offseason came when the team matched an offer made by the Carolina Panthers to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.

      A restricted free agent, Manumaleuna signed an offer sheet worth $8.3 million over five years that included a $2 million signing bonus. After much deliberation and some disagreement from within the Rams' front office, the offer was matched.

      Manumaleuna started for the first time last season following the departure of Ernie Conwell, but didn't play only tight end. He moved around consistently, often playing fullback or H-back. That led to inconsistency and mistakes.

      "When you're jumping here and there, here and there, sometimes it makes it hard," tight ends coach Frank Falks said. "As a human being and a football player, you don't like to say it, but it does."

      Falks knew Manumaleuna was struggling last season and at times confused. He said, "When you're around someone, you know their moods. And I always talk to him, so I could tell something was bothering him."

      The fact the Panthers made the offer they did showed that Manumaleuna has value.

      "They didn't offer him that because his name's Brandon," Falks said. "They did it because he fit what they needed."

      Now, the Rams hope Manumaleuna will fit what they need: solid blocking at the position. Any contributions in the passing offense is gravy.

      Said Manumaleuna, "I'm just trying to get better."

      NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES

      —The Rams are continuing to tweak their roster in preparation for the start of training camp on July 27. The latest additions are tackle Jeff Hatch, safety Nijrell Eason and wide receiver Brian Sump.

      Hatch was released by the Giants on March 22 after being drafted on the third round (78th overall) in 2002. He missed his entire rookie season because of a back injury, and then started four games last season. Those four games, the final ones of the season, were the only ones in which he played.

      The Rams need depth at tackle in training camp because of the expected absence of Orlando Pace and Kyle Turley's return from offseason back surgery. Grant Williams is the most experienced backup, and coaches want Andy King to work mostly at guard.

      Eason was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Arizona Cardinals in 2001. He was released on Aug. 28 and went to camp the following year with the Steelers. Released by Pittsburgh on Sept. 2, he was added to the Cardinals' roster for the final game of the '02 season and played in that game. Eason injured his shoulder last summer, and spent the entire year on injured reserve. At the start of free agency in March, the Cardinals elected not to tender him as an exclusive rights free agent.

      Sump joined the Chargers...
      -06-14-2004, 09:34 AM
    • HUbison
      Rams stock up on undrafted rookies
      by HUbison
      Rams stock up on undrafted rookies

      BY JIM THOMAS

      Rams' new head coach Jeff Fisher watches over his team during the veterans mini camp on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at Rams Park in Earth City. Photo by Emily Rasinski, staff photographer

      Rams general manager Les Snead says that in any given year, about 16 percent of the starting players in the NFL entered the league as undrafted rookies.

      If Snead's math holds up, and the Rams' scouting department did its homework, three to four players from this year's crop of rookie free agents will end up starting in the league. Although the Rams have yet to release their list, 23 undrafted rookies have either signed or agreed to terms with the team so far. A few more are expected to be added to the list before the team's rookie minicamp next week.

      That's more undrafted rookies than the Rams usually sign, but only because the NFL decided to increase the offseason/training camp roster size to 90 players — or 10 more than usual — shortly before the draft. Even so, the Rams have signed so many undrafted rookies that they've had to release some veterans to stay within the 90-man limit.

      Five players were released Monday: tight end Demarco Cosby, defensive tackle John Henderson, cornerback Nate Ness, running back Quinn Porter and cornerback Chris Smith.

      • Cosby, from Central Missouri State, spent two weeks on the Rams' practice squad last year.

      • Henderson spent the entire 2011 season on the practice squad.

      • After an earlier stint on the practice squad, Ness appeared in four late-season games but registered no stats.

      • Porter shared kickoff return duties with Jerious Norwood last season, averaging 22.2 yards on 25 returns, with a long of 32 yards.

      • After an earlier stint on the practice squad, Smith appeared in three late-season games, registering one tackle from scrimmage and two special teams tackles.

      Coach Jeff Fisher is a firm believer in mining talent from the ranks of the undrafted. "It's a very, very important process," he said.

      There are several potential nuggets among the rookie free agents already headed to St. Louis. (The Rams are expected to release the official list today.)

      For example, the Rams had a draftable grade on Duke safety Matt Daniels, who was team MVP in 2011 and the first Blue Devils safety to earn All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors since 1995. He's 6-0, 212, and ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds at Duke's pro day. He had 126 tackles, two interceptions and 14 pass breakups last season, and has a reputation as a physical tackler.

      Perhaps the most surprising draft development at Louisiana State was that tight end DeAngelo Peterson did not get drafted. But he will be thrown into the tight end mix with the Rams. At 6-3, 243, Peterson lacks ideal size and has...
      -05-01-2012, 06:11 AM
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