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A new start for DHS grad

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  • A new start for DHS grad

    By Michael Mirer/Enterprise staff writer

    Published Jul 30, 2006

    No one gets excited about training camp.

    So it’s not exactly eagerness that Jason Fisk is feeling as he prepares for his 12th NFL season. But after an unhappy 2005, one in which he was stuck playing out of position for a struggling team, the impending season should feel like a breath of fresh air and a chance to have a new start.

    “It’s a necessary evil before you get to the fun part,” said Fisk, 33. “We’ve got a chance to be a pretty good team.”

    The St. Louis Rams will be the Davis High graduate’s fifth NFL team since he broke into the league with the Vikings in 1996 out of Stanford. He signed with the Rams in June after being granted his release from the Cleveland Browns in April.

    Fisk said he had considered retirement after leaving the Browns.

    In Cleveland, Fisk lost his starting job as a new coaching staff overhauled the team’s defensive alignment, switching from four defensive linemen and three linebackers (4-3) on most plays to the opposite alignment (3-4). In the 4-3, defensive players are asked to attack the backfield.

    In the 3-4, they are generally asked to occupy blockers so the linebackers behind them can make the majority of the tackles. Fisk, who at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds is considered undersized for an NFL defensive tackle, was asked to play nose tackle for the Browns, a position that usually requires an especially enormous player.

    As point of reference, Fisk’s replacement in Cleveland is former Raider Ted Washington, who weighs 365 pounds.

    The Rams offered him the chance to play in a system similar to the one employed by Tennessee, with whom Fisk went to the Super Bowl in 2000. St. Louis’ new coaching staff also wanted him to play as part of a rotation at defensive tackle, taking about 25 snaps per game.

    “That’s a good amount for me,” Fisk said. “Any more than that and my age starts to show.”

    Before the Rams reported for training camp Thursday, Fisk had been around his new teammates once this year, at St. Louis’ mandatory minicamp last month. But he likes the atmosphere so far.

    “You never know how you’re going to fit in coming into a locker room,” Fisk said. “I had some experience when I went back for minicamp. It’s a good group of people, which will make it an easier transition.

    “Everyone’s on their toes a little bit,” he said. “This is actually the third time I’ve come in with a new coaching staff. People watch themselves pretty closely because they don’t really know what to expect.”

    He’s spent his offseason in Davis with his family, working out at Peak Performance Gym and doing his running in the Greenbelt.

    “I’ve done my own program, doing the things that work for me,” Fisk said. “Mostly I’ve been picking and choosing from the programs I’ve done in the past. I know what works for me and what I don’t need to do.”

    He’ll back in Northern California at least twice more before the end of the year. The meet NFC West foe San Francisco on Sept. 17 and then travel back to the Bay Area to meet the Raiders on Dec. 17.

Related Topics


  • MauiRam
    Fisk signs with Rams
    by MauiRam
    Article Created: 6/07/2006 07:08 AM

    Fisk is playing No. 12
    Defensive tackle signs with St. Louis
    By GARY TRAYNHAM/Democrat Sports Editor
    Daily Democrat

    Jason Fisk, who spoke Sunday night at the 34th annual Woodland Hall of Fame and Athlete of the Year banquet, agreed to terms with the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday.
    Fisk, a Davis High School and Stanford University graduate, says this, his 12th NFL season, will be his last.

    He will be used at nose tackle in a four-man defensive front, the alignment where he enjoyed his best seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and the Tennessee Titans.

    "It's a one-year deal; this is the last one," Fisk said Tuesday. "The family is staying in Davis. I'm not going to drag them around again. I'm 99.9 percent sure on this one. Being there without the family will be rough on the kids."

    His wife Miriam is the daughter of Skip and Julie Davies of Woodland. They have three children, daughters Julia and Carmen and son Tucker.

    After Minnesota and Tennessee, Jason played with the San Diego Chargers and the Cleveland Browns.

    When he was released by the Browns after last season, he figured his career was over.

    "I pretty much washed my hands," Fisk said. "I was retiring."

    His thinking changed when several teams showed interest in him, plus he is getting an opportunity to return to the 4-3 defense after finishing in the more-demanding three-man front in San Diego and Cleveland. The Rams contacted his agent a month ago.

    "It fits what I do best to get back into that system," he continued. "My body feels good. I'm not nursing any nicks and bruises. I'm ready to go. Plus, I don't want to end 6-10."

    He is one of the winningest active players in the game.

    In 2000, he started for Tennessee in a thrilling 23-16 loss to the Rams in the Super Bowl.

    "It would be great to go out on top like that."

    St. Louis will play in San Francisco on Sept. 17, in Oakland Dec. 17 and also in San Diego, Phoenix and Seattle. His last regular-season game will be in Minnesota, where he began his NFL career.

    Fisk had first met Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett when he was coach of the New Orleans Saints.

    "I've been talking to the Rams for about a month," he said. "I wanted some sort of a guarantee from them. The coaches told me they wanted me there."

    He will report to minicamp starting Friday.

    "Their style fits me real well. It's very similar to Minnesota's and Tennessee's. It's like going back home after being with the Browns. No more 3-4."

    In Cleveland, he was used at nose tackle in a three-man line, a position he says demands...
    -06-07-2006, 12:18 PM
  • Curly Horns
    Sharing his knowledge
    by Curly Horns
    By: Cliff Smelley, Telegraph Staff Writer July 01, 2004

    Cleveland Browns player Gerard Warren hosts a football clinic for kids in the area.

    He was a first-round NFL draft choice and is preparing to enter his fourth year as a starter on the defensive line for the Cleveland Browns, yet Gerard Warren, a 1997 Union County High School graduate, looks at Bennie Alexander and admits he's a little jealous.

    Why? Because Alexander, a former teammate of Warren's at UCHS and the University of Florida, is an assistant coach at UCHS. Warren, who is also known as "Big Money," said coaching one day is something that interests him.

    "I want to share the knowledge that was shared with me," he said.

    Warren, the 25-year-old son of Charles and Joann Warren of Raiford, settled for sharing that knowledge during a football clinic on June 25 at Citizens Field in Gainesville. The clinic, which is being planned as an annual event, was attended by more than 50 youth ages 8-17.

    "We had a fairly decent turnout and things went quite well aside from the Florida heat," Warren said.

    The clinic was cut short because of how hot it was. Still, the youth who attended participated in basic football drills and interacted with Warren and other former UF players, including Andra Davis (a teammate of Warren's in Cleveland), Jabar Gaffney, Terry Jackson, Bobby McCray and Mike Nattiel. Some fun games and activities were also in the mix among the drills and the clinic concluded with an autograph-signing session.

    Warren said the main thing he wanted to accomplish with the clinic was to allow kids to have a good time. He was satisfied to "see them go home with a smile on their face and know that they enjoyed themselves."

    Warren has some free time now before reporting for the start of training camp on July 30. As he reflects back upon how he has changed from his rookie year in the NFL, Warren said he has become better at recognizing plays by an opposing team's offense throughout the course of a game as well as maturing both as a player and a person.

    "The first year, to me, was like high school-just playing football and having fun," Warren said.

    Cleveland was 7-9 during Warren's rookie season, then finished 9-8 in 2002 with a playoff berth. However, the Browns struggled last season, winning only five games.

    The Browns' defense finished last season ranked 15th (out of 32 teams) in the league, allowing 309.9 yards per game. The defense allowed 14 points or less in eight games, yet the team's offense averaged only 15.9 points per game and finished ranked 26th in the league. Cleveland hopes to upgrade its offense with the addition of such players as quarterback Jeff Garcia (free agent from San Francisco) and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. (first-round draft choice out of the University of Miami)....
    -07-03-2004, 03:51 PM
  • RamWraith
    Fisk Embracing New Role
    by RamWraith
    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Jason Fisk is used to flying under the radar. As he enters his 12th season in the NFL, Fisk has spent his entire career at one of the most thankless positions in the NFL.

    Although he doesn’t get much recognition for his work at the nose tackle position, Fisk has grown accustomed to the rigors of the job.

    “Jason’s one of those guys that does things that will never show up in the box score,” coach Scott Linehan said. “He plays nose guard, he knows how to play it, he has a role, he eats up blockers, he gets linebackers free, and protects his gap. He does all those things. It’s thankless, but it’s also very important.”

    At the least, Fisk has been a starter for most of his NFL career. He has spent time with Minnesota, Tennessee, San Diego and Cleveland before landing in St. Louis during the offseason.

    In 166 games, Fisk has 500 tackles with 19 sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. Those numbers help make Fisk a nice insurance policy for Jimmy Kennedy, who is a first-time starter at the position.

    “He gives you a real solid guy that can play if you have an issue or problem with Jimmy (Kennedy),” Linehan said. “He’s played very solid, very good there. He’s never going to be one of those guys that has 1000 production points on those defensive production boards, but he’s always going to be doing his job.”

    Fisk spent last season in Cleveland, where he found a whole new meaning to the thankless part of his job. Under new coach Romeo Crennel, the Browns installed a true 3-4 defense, where the nose tackle doesn’t get much of an opportunity other than to take a beating for his teammates.

    “It was a bad fit,” Fisk said. “In Cleveland, they play a true 3-4 where the nose tackle just stands right in front of the center and tries to hold up space. I managed to learn how to do that, but you want a bigger guy in there, 330-340 (pound) guy that can eat up space. I’m not that guy.”

    When Fisk hit the free agent market during the offseason, he made it a point to take his time and try to find the best fit for him. At 6’3, 300 pounds, Fisk isn’t the prototypical nose tackle, but he fits the bill better in defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s defense than the other schemes he has played in recently.

    “In this defense we are players, too, and try to get after the ball carrier,” Fisk said. “It’s not like the 3-4, which I have been in the last couple of years and where you are a glorified offensive lineman for the linebackers. We are still trying to get in there and get after the ball and make some plays, too.”

    Fisk spent his best seasons in the NFL with the Titans, where he was best utilized...
    -08-24-2006, 07:56 PM
  • RamWraith
    Veteran tackle agrees to one-year deal: RAMS
    by RamWraith
    Veteran tackle agrees to one-year deal: RAMS
    By Bill Coats
    Thursday, Jun. 08 2006

    The Rams, who had been seeking help for the interior of their defensive line
    since losing free agents Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis in March, believe they
    have found some in veteran tackle Jason Fisk.

    The team agreed to a one-year deal with Fisk on Tuesday. He is expected to sign
    a contract when he arrives in St. Louis today and be on the field Friday at
    Rams Park for the start of a three-day minicamp.

    The Rams also signed kicker Remy Hamilton and agreed to terms with cornerback
    Kevin Timothee. Both were free agents. Kicker Josh Cummings, an undrafted
    rookie, was released.

    The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Fisk said he was ready to begin preparing for his 12th
    NFL season. "I've been training pretty good for the last couple of months, just
    in case I had an opportunity to do this," he said in a telephone interview from
    his home in Davis, Calif. "I think I'm in fairly good shape."

    Still, Fisk, 33, said that because of family considerations, this probably
    would be his final season. He and wife, Miriam, have two daughters - Julia, 9,
    and Carmin, 3 - and a son, Tucker, 7. They will remain on the West Coast during
    the season.

    Fisk, a Stanford product, was a seventh-round draft pick by Minnesota in 1995.
    He played four years with the Vikings, three with Tennessee, three with San
    Diego and last season with Cleveland.

    Fisk started for the Titans in the Super Bowl in January 2000, won by the Rams
    23-16. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," he said, laughing.

    He saw action in all 16 games with the Browns last season, collecting 39
    tackles. When he was released after the season, Fisk thought he might call it a
    career. "I was kicking the idea around," he said. "But I couldn't find anything
    better to do."

    Several teams contacted his agent. He said he picked the Rams mainly because
    he's more comfortable in a 4-3 defense, which is expected to be the team's base
    alignment. Fisk acknowledged that he had difficulty adapting to 3-4 defenses
    with the Browns and Chargers.

    "It usually requires a big, 350-pound guy playing nose tackle, and I struggled
    a bit doing that," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting back into a 4-3."

    Pickett, who signed with Green Bay, and Lewis, who went to Carolina, both were
    Rams first-round draft choices in 2001. Their exit left Jimmy Kennedy and
    La'Roi Glover as the probable first-team tackles. The only other defensive
    tackles on the roster were Brian Howard and Jeremy Calahan, plus rookies Claude
    -06-08-2006, 05:47 AM
  • RamWraith
    Fisk hopes to make impact on defensive line
    by RamWraith
    Veteran says this isn't his final season
    ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Rams are counting on Jason Fisk providing some depth at defensive tackle, a position depleted by the defections of Ryan "Big Grease" Pickett and Damione Lewis during free agency.

    The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Fisk has played 11 seasons in the NFL. He spent last season with the Cleveland Browns.

    Fisk will be inserted into the Rams' defensive tackle rotation along with starters Jimmy Kennedy and La'Roi Glover.

    "We brought him in here because of his ability to be a backup nose and play when we need some help in there," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "When people are trying to run the ball at us, he gives us some depth on the line."

    The Rams courted Fisk, 33, for almost two months before signing him to a one-year contract Wednesday.

    Fisk visited the Rams and the New Orleans Saints. He was scheduled to visit the Oakland Raiders next week.

    "I took my time with it," Fisk said of his approach to free agency. "(There's) not too many (seasons) left in me -- I got a few more, I think -- but I wanted to be with a team that I thought had a good chance to win.

    "It was a great opportunity for me to come in here and play with a team that has all the talent to do whatever we want."

    In previous interviews, Fisk had talked about this being his final season, but now he's saying he'd like to put retirement on hold for a couple of more years.

    "You can't set that in stone," Fisk said. "I think this will be my last team that I am going to venture out to.

    "Hopefully, if everything works right, it won't be my last year, and I'll get a couple of more in."

    Fisk was a seventh-round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 1995. He's has played 166 games, including 110 starts. He started for the Tennessee Titans against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, where he had a sack of quarterback Kurt Warner.

    Fisk said he was glad to be playing in a 4-3 defense after playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense with the Browns and the San Diego Chargers.

    "Your typical guy that plays that position is about 350 pounds-plus," Fisk said. "I wasn't quite in that mold, so it was a bit of a challenge for me to get used to."

    Under the lights

    Linehan announced that the Rams will hold night practices during two-a-days in training camp, which open July 27.

    Linehan plans on having three practices every two days with a morning and night practice one day and then an afternoon practice the next day.

    "With the old school thinking with those two-a-days, they don't have a lot of recovery time, so that afternoon you get a lot of the issues with cramping and...
    -06-11-2006, 10:23 AM