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  • Inside Slant

    From USA Today

    Tight end Cam Cleeland will be back in training camp with the Rams after agreeing to a one-year contract last week. But it will be a player with a different perspective after Cleeland tried valiantly to save the life of a 22-year-old man May 23.

    Cleeland was driving in Mount Vernon, Wash., about 70 miles north of Seattle, when he came upon a burning car that had struck a tree. Inside was Timothy Roth. Cleeland attempted to put out the blaze with an extinguisher and also removed the air bag from Roth's face. In the process, Cleeland suffered burns on his hands.

    Roth died the next day, and Cleeland has not wanted to talk publicly about his attempted heroics.

    Rams media assistant Artis Twyman said Cleeland did not want to be interviewed.

    "Cam was really shaken up about it when I talked to him," Twyman said. "I tried to talk to him but I could tell he didn't want to talk about it too much or go in depth, out of respect for the family.

    "He said it's something you really don't want to experience in life. It must have been really bad; I could hear him getting choked up."

    Cleeland joined the Rams last season and caught 10 passes for 145 yards with no touchdowns. The Rams had been offering him a one-year contract throughout the offseason, but Cleeland wanted to see what other teams might be interested.

    The Rams hope he can contribute more after spending one season becoming comfortable with the team's offense.

    NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES

    —The Larry Marmie Arizona connection is resulting in some new players that will compete for roster spots in training camp.

    Marmie, the Rams' new defensive coordinator, had been with the Cardinals since 1996 before being fired with the entire staff following the 2003 season.

    After the Rams cleared about $4.5 million in salary-cap space with the release of quarterback Kurt Warner, they signed safety Justin Lucas and made a waiver claim on defensive tackle. Both were released by the Cardinals on June 1. Lucas could be signed quickly because as a vested veteran, his contract was immediately terminated. Players with Bell's status, who have fewer than four accrued seasons, must go through waivers for 10 days.

    The Rams' starting safeties are Aeneas Williams (free) and Adam Archuleta (strong), but Williams usually moves into the slot in the nickel defense. Those competing for backup safety jobs are Rich Coady, Shane Walton, rookie Jason Shivers and Lucas.

    At defensive tackle, the Rams also need depth behind Damione Lewis, Ryan Pickett and Jimmy Kennedy. Undrafted free agent Brian Howard will also challenge for a backup job.

    —The Rams essentially traded scouts with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Marmie (along with coach Mike Martz) had a hand in that, too. Shortly after the draft, college scout Ryan Grigson left for a job that had more responsibility with the Eagles.

    Replacing Grigson will be Dave Boller, who had been a scout with the Eagles for the last six years. The 42-year-old Boller was at Arizona State from 1985-95, where he was heavily involved in recruiting. Marmie was the head coach at Arizona State from 1988-91, when Martz was the offensive coordinator. Martz was also the offensive coordinator at ASU in 1984 and was a position coach there in 1983 and 1986-87.

    Prior to 1985, Boller was a student at Arizona State and was the football team manager.

    —The expected became reality June 2 when the Rams released quarterback Kurt Warner, officially ending a magic ride that began in 1999 when Warner emerged from obscurity to lead the Rams to a Super Bowl victory over the Tennessee Titans.

    For three seasons, there was no better quarterback than Warner, who had 98 touchdown passes in that time frame. But the magic ended as quickly as it began.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I like our football team, I really do. Not having room in the cap and having holes to fill is a difficult situation. Fortunately, we've got good people here. So, we'll just see where it goes." - Coach Mike Martz, on the limited options the team has even after the release of QB Kurt Warner.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    FRANCHISE PLAYER: OT Orlando Pace (tendered at $7.021M).

    UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): QB Scott Covington; S Jason Sehorn; CB Fred Weary.

    RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

    EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

    PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: QB Marc Bulger; CB Jerametrius Butler; TE Cam Cleeland; S Rich Coady; C Andy Eby; DE Bryce Fisher; P Sean Landeta; WR Dane Looker; LB Jeremy Loyd; TE Brandon Manumaleuna; OG Adam Timmerman.

    PLAYERS ACQUIRED: QB Chris Chandler; S Justin Lucas; DE Sean Moran.

    PLAYERS LOST: LB Jamie Duncan; S Kim Herring; OG David Loverne; OL John St. Clair; QB Kurt Warner; DE Grant Wistrom; DT Brian Young.

    MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

  • #2
    Re: Inside Slant

    Is anyone else somewhat uneasy about Arizona Cardinals players and coaches coming to the Rams? I mean, there's a reason they have been the worst team in the NFL for so long isn't there? Maybe I'm taking a simplisitc view of the whole thing but I can't say that I'm excited about filling in our "need" areas with Cardinal rejects. I realize that Marmie is most familiar with the guys he coached but look how that worked out with Lovie. I'd rather have a DC that is able to evaluate ALL the talent that's out there, not just the guys he's coached. Between the Arizona State guys and now the Cardinals guys, this is starting to get kind of ridiculous. The talent pool can't be THAT thin can it? I mean, when was the last time ASU or the Cardinals were in any kind of important game? Why aren't we targeting guys who play for national championships or are in the playoffs? I thought playoff experience was one of those important things that you just can't teach.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Inside Slant

      Alot of players on the defensive side of the ball who leave Arizona go on to excel with other teams.

      I'll look some up in a moment and let you know.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Inside Slant

        One EASY one is Aeneas Williams.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Inside Slant

          Simean Rice.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Inside Slant

            Corey Chavos

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Inside Slant

              I think a key thing to remember for guys who are going to be backups is that they don't get many first team reps. You need backups who are familiar with the system as well as familiar with the coaching staff. Getting ex-players is definitely a sound philosophy for that I believe. It would be a lot tougher for someone who is not familiar with a coach to perform in spot duty, IMO.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Inside Slant

                I agree with Aeneas whole-heartedly. In fact, I credit the success of the defense the last couple of years in large part to his play (as well as their decline when he was out of the lineup). I'm not saying that you couldn't cherry-pick some good players off the Cardinals at any given time, I'm just not thrilled with the prospect of the Rams defense turning into the Cardinals defense. We now have the DC as well as 3 or 4 Cardinal transplants in camp or on the waiver wire. You can have "too much of a good thing" and in this case it seems like the Rams are getting "too much of a BAD thing". We have to wait for the season to play out to know for sure, I'm just concerned about having too many players and coaches from a weak unit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Inside Slant

                  Is there ANYTHING you like about the Rams Mokler?

                  Dosen't seem to be.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Inside Slant

                    Originally posted by moklerman
                    I'm just not thrilled with the prospect of the Rams defense turning into the Cardinals defense. We now have the DC as well as 3 or 4 Cardinal transplants in camp or on the waiver wire. You can have "too much of a good thing" and in this case it seems like the Rams are getting "too much of a BAD thing". We have to wait for the season to play out to know for sure, I'm just concerned about having too many players and coaches from a weak unit.
                    you make it sound like those players have already made the rams team roster...

                    to put it into proper perspective if they make the team then the special teams may improve and at worst, they get cut during the preseason. i doubt any of these ex-card players push for starting roster...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Inside Slant

                      There's plenty I like about the Rams but it tends to be ignored when I post it. I guess you missed the praising of Aeneas earlier in the thread.

                      I think it's a valid concern but yet again, instead of the actual issue it's me who's criticized for not blowing enough sunshine and rainbows.

                      I don't see why thinking that taking a DC and players from a defense that was actually worse than the Rams last year might not actually improve the defense.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Inside Slant

                        It's not like they are starting. Willing to give Marmie the benefit of the doubt.

                        Yea, I saw what you said about Aeneas. Sorry I didn't pinpoint that in my rebuttal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Inside Slant

                          Originally posted by moklerman
                          I agree with Aeneas whole-heartedly. In fact, I credit the success of the defense the last couple of years in large part to his play (as well as their decline when he was out of the lineup). I'm not saying that you couldn't cherry-pick some good players off the Cardinals at any given time, I'm just not thrilled with the prospect of the Rams defense turning into the Cardinals defense. We now have the DC as well as 3 or 4 Cardinal transplants in camp or on the waiver wire. You can have "too much of a good thing" and in this case it seems like the Rams are getting "too much of a BAD thing". We have to wait for the season to play out to know for sure, I'm just concerned about having too many players and coaches from a weak unit.
                          I agree about new d coaches taking backup players from their old teams. And I agree that these coaches should be smart enough to find tallent elsewhere.

                          But, what if they have? At their old team :helmet:

                          __________________________________________________________
                          Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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                            Tight end Cam Cleeland will be back in training camp with the Rams after agreeing to a one-year contract last week. But it will be a player with a different perspective after Cleeland tried valiantly to save the life of a 22-year-old man May 23. Cleeland was driving in Mount Vernon, Wash., about 70 miles north of Seattle, when he came upon a burning car that had struck a tree. Inside was Timothy Roth. Cleeland attempted to put out the blaze with an extinguisher and also removed the air bag from Roth's face. In the process, Cleeland suffered burns on his hands.

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                            "Cam was really shaken up about it when I talked to him," Twyman said. "I tried to talk to him but I could tell he didn't want to talk about it too much or go in depth, out of respect for the family.

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