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  • Robert Holcome

    As a U of I alumni, I have been following Robert Holcome since he was at Illinois. Since he has been with the Rams he has, to my knowledge, been a quality fullback and has excellent blocking skills. I was dismayed when I heard that he would leave his starting position at fullback and was switched to halfback behind Marshall. What does this move represent? Is Martz unsatisfied with Robert's service as fullback? Is Martz simply looking for a little more depth at halfback? Any thoughts on the issue?

  • #2
    I don't know the full situation behind them switching him, but it may have alot to do with the questions surrounding who will back up Marshall. They may just want to have someone dependable there instead of the questionable Trung. His recent weight loss doesn't seem to affect how he plays, at least not in camp. If they can depend on him to perform when he's not 100%, then that may be reason enough.

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    • #3
      He only moved to fullback last season.

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      • #4
        Pardon my ignorance.

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        • #5
          Reply to Ramdez

          Thanks for the reply. However, if I am not mistaken last year was his second year as fullback. I think he may have been part of that "runningback committee" with Hill (who was eventually traded to Detroit). Then Marshall came along and DV had him gain some weight and switched him to fullback, a role he held during 99-00 (superbowl year) and then last year. That's two full years of service as fullback.
          Back to my original issue, as I recall, he was a serviceable halfback (but nothing great). He is more known for his power and durability than speed, which seems to be in contrast to the Ram's philosophy. Anyhow, he seemed to be more of a solid fullback then halfback. I was just wondering if anyone had heard anything.

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          • Nick
            Rams find Goodspeed at fullback
            by Nick
            Rams find Goodspeed at fullback
            One of many to try for open spot in '03
            BY STEVE KORTE
            [email protected]

            MACOMB - St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz jokingly compared his team's carousel of fullbacks last season to the variety of tastes offered at an ice cream shop.

            "We had 31 flavors," Martz said. "We were taking tickets at the window. No. 26 is next, please."

            After trying 10 different players at fullback last season, the Rams finally found a flavor they liked in third-year player Joey Goodspeed.

            Martz went as far as saying that the 6-foot-1, 247-pound Goodspeed could turn out to be a better fullback than James "The Hammer" Hodgins, who was released in a salary cap move before the start of free agency in 2003.

            "I think he might be the best fullback we've had," Martz said. "I feel confident about that. I'm just very, very high on Joey. He's never come out here and practiced poorly or had a bad day or made a bunch of mental mistakes. He catches the ball, he's smart, he's a pro. He's what you want all of your guys to be. I couldn't be more pleased with Joey."

            Goodspeed, 26, joined the Rams on Oct. 28 last year. The Notre Dame product solidified a starting job with a pancake block on All-Pro middle linebacker Brian Uhrlacher that enabled Marshall Faulk to break loose for a 52-yard run on a fourth-and-1 play in the Rams' 23-21 comeback win over the Bears on Nov. 16.

            Goodspeed ended up playing in eight games, including four starts at fullback.

            "Last season was a blur," Goodspeed said. "My mind wasn't fully on football. My mind was elsewhere."

            Goodspeed was cut by the San Diego Chargers after their final preseason game last year. Goodspeed said losing his job was actually a blessing in disguise.

            "My father was really sick, so I was home taking care of him and taking care of the family," Goodspeed said. "I was fortunate to get released. I was able to spend my dad's last weeks at home with him."

            Goodspeed said it was bittersweet for him to finally earn a starting job in the NFL after his father's death.

            "That was hard for me last year, finally being a starter in the NFL, something that he has always wanted to see," Goodspeed said. "He got to see me play a little bit in San Diego, so I guess I've got that going for me."

            Goodspeed said he was aware of the Rams' struggle in finding a replacement for Hodgins.

            "I heard they went through a lot of guys," Goodspeed said. "Fullback is not an easy position. We take some brutal hits out there. I don't know what they were trying to do last year. I remember I was sitting at home and my agent was calling me and kind of *****ing and moaning about how they don't have a fullback...
            -08-05-2004, 01:26 PM
          • RamWraith
            Goodspeed gives Rams versatility at fullback
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            Wednesday, Aug. 25 2004

            Joey Goodspeed didn't know when to quit. When the Rams released him in
            November, after just one week with the club, that made four teams in four
            seasons. In all that time, he had managed to appear in just 12 games - on
            special teams - for the San Diego Chargers.

            "It's been an uphill battle," he said. "I knew I could play at this level. It
            was just a matter of getting an opportunity."

            Well, opportunity is knocking for Goodspeed. Loud and clear.

            At the time of his release Nov. 7, the Rams told Goodspeed they planned to
            re-sign him in a week. They did just that. In fact, they signed him through the
            2004 season. He has been the Rams starting fullback ever since.

            It appears the long search to replace the Hammer - James Hodgins - is finally
            over. Last year at this time, coach Mike Martz practically was taking people
            out of the stands to play fullback.

            "We had 31 flavors," Martz joked. "We were taking (numbers) - No. 26, who's
            next?"

            No. 44 - Goodspeed - is next. Martz believes he could be the best all-around
            fullback the Rams have had since Martz returned to the Rams coaching staff in
            1999. Before tweaking a hamstring that sidelined him for the Kansas City game,
            but isn't a serious injury, Goodspeed was showing that on the field.

            "He's blossomed," Martz said. "He's probably more of a complete fullback than
            we've ever had here. He's a terrific receiver, an excellent blocker, and a good
            runner. So you'd have to give him high marks in all categories."

            Robert Holcombe, the starter in '99 and '00, was a better runner and a willing
            blocker. But Goodspeed is more stout at 247 pounds, and has better hands.
            Hodgins could be a devastating blocker at the point of attack but doesn't have
            Goodspeed's pass-catching or running ability.

            In a backfield that could include Marshall Faulk, Steven Jackson, Lamar Gordon
            and Arlen Harris at any time this season, Goodspeed doesn't figure to get many
            carries. But he did display his pass-catching ability in the preseason opener
            against Chicago with a 13-yard touchdown reception from Chris Chandler.

            "I was just kind of shocked that he actually saw me," Goodspeed said. "We have
            so many weapons in this offense, I'm usually the last in the line of
            progression. Sometimes I feel like a ghost out there when I'm running routes,
            but I was fortunate that Chandler saw me. It was cool."

            Goodspeed, 26, grew up a Bears fan in Oswego, Ill., 40 minutes southwest of
            Chicago. He went to Notre Dame as a linebacker but...
            -08-26-2004, 06:32 AM
          • MauiRam
            Brit Miller looks to make the most of Rams' new offense ..
            by MauiRam
            BY STU DURANDO
            May 23, 2012

            The evolution of Brit Miller's football career rates among the most unusual on the Rams' roster when you consider the route he took to become an NFL fullback.

            Playing for Eisenhower High in Decatur, Ill., he was the starting quarterback running the option in addition to his work on defense. At Illinois he moved full time to linebacker and led the Big Ten in tackles as a senior.

            But when San Francisco wanted him to move to fullback in training camp in 2009, he wasn't about to argue. Miller now hopes that he can fully realize the potential of the position in coach Jeff Fisher's offense, which offers a playbook a fullback can embrace.

            "It's great," Miller said. "Last year there wasn't really anything in there for us that stood out where we could get downhill and block people and do the things we like, things we're good at. This playbook is full of it. I've had familiarity with this system in the past, so coming in I can jump right into everything."

            After suffering knee injuries the last two seasons, Miller said he is healthy and ready to take on Fisher's running game in addition to his work on special teams. During organized team activities he has been joined at the position by rookie free agent Todd Anderson, who moved from the defensive line to fullback as a senior at Michigan State.

            Miller's life as a quarterback ended quickly when he arrived at Illinois. As time progresses, he's finding that fullback is a position that fits his personality a little better than previous spots.

            He's content being a lead blocker for Steven Jackson and protecting Sam Bradford after accumulating gaudy statistics for years.

            "I definitely feel at home as a fullback," he said. "I feel I have a lot more fun rather than if I was a linebacker. In this league there's definitely room for fullbacks. It's a specialty position as far as our skills. It's going to make me a better coach, and right now it's the best-suited position for me."

            Anderson is trying to give Miller a push after getting one season of experience in college. He was a little-used walk-on for the Spartans until making the transition to fullback before his senior year.

            He played in all 14 games, making seven starts. He was named the team's most improved player.

            Growing up in Napoleon, Mich., Anderson was a fan of Lions fullback Cory Schlesinger, and playing the position was something he had hoped to do for years.

            "I always felt it was my position," he said. "Just seeing the guys that played the position and the mentality, I always wanted to be like them. I grew up watching Cory Schlesinger, breaking face masks on the field, and that's what I've always been into."

            Miller brings added value because he's also developed into one...
            -05-23-2012, 10:59 AM
          • moklerman
            Did anyone enjoy...
            by moklerman
            Everybody Loves Raymond as much as I did? I mean, that's what I had to switch the channel to after a while. I kept flipping back, hoping that by not watching the game it might spark a big play. I tried all the superstitions I could think of.

            But, my fears were realized and I got to relive the embarrassment of being completely outclassed in the playoffs. In this age of parity, I assumed, gone were the days of the Rams being throttled by someone in the postseason. Anyone remember having to go against the likes of the Niners, Redskins or Bears? I had that same exact feeling today as I watched a one-dimensional offense spank the Rams' defense like a red-headed, step child.

            Just like the 80's, all I could think was: "what the hell are the Rams even doing in the playoffs?". How can a final four(NFC) team be so outclassed? It's pointless to even go into detail about all the same old issues the Rams have had the past three or four years. Has anything changed since 2000? Have any of the team's weaknesses been improved since then? After giving up, what was it, 270 yards against Carolina last year the Rams and Martz focused on bringing in a running back. That worked out well.

            Speaking of running backs, why exactly did Marshall earn so much pine time? He started off the game well, established enough of a threat to enable play action to be effective and then...hit the bench! I thought Martz like to keep running something until it didn't work? And, I'm sorry but I'll be damned if I'm going to be happy about being force-fed Eli Ma--uh, Steven Jackson just to justify or prove how smart of a pick he was. At least Faulk can convert a third and one or catch a freakin' swing pass.

            I guess this is better than in 2000 or 2001 when I thought the team going in, should actually win in spite of their faults, but I can't say that this game did anything other than add to the block of memory that I keep tucked deep inside my brain. Just like those late 80's teams under John Robinson, I now have a 21st century edition to block out. Even last year's playoff loss was something that I could go back and re-examine. Although disappointing, it was somewhat respectable. But, maybe...just, maybe this will force the Rams to make some significant changes. I don't know which one's they need to make to accomplish it, but obviously special teams and defense are what need to be addressed. Just like in 2000, 2002 and 2003. But at least the high powered offense that carries us put up 17 points. That makes all the neglect of personnel and units that comprise 2/3 of a team worth it.

            Just to add to the insult/injury theme, is Marc Bulger's injury plagued career now starting? It takes about three years in Martz's offense to show the limitations of the human body doesn't it? Just like other qb's the Rams have had, he hasn't played a full season injury free for three years straight. Some...
            -01-16-2005, 04:51 AM
          • RamWraith
            Coach could find his words coming back to haunt him
            by RamWraith
            By Bryan Burwell
            Of the Post-Dispatch


            For five years, Mike Martz has stood there firmly at his perch as the Rams unappreciated genius head coach, an unswerving example of pride and genius, arrogance and attitude, boldness and bravado. Even with his Super Bowl pedigree, he was forever the unloved interloper who could never do quite enough to erase the unpardonable sin of not being Dick Vermeil.

            There was always something about him that they just couldn't love, refused to embrace and loved to scorn. Yet through it all, Martz stood there defiantly defying convention, always doing it his way. It is what always intrigued me about Martz, always fascinated me with him. He was a man who spit at convention, railed against the status quo and broke convention with the zeal of a mad genius.

            Yet now, it seems that his greatest strengths have conspired against him. His defiance has become his biggest weakness. In these reeling times with his football team teetering on the edge of playoff extinction, Mike Martz is sounding a lot like a man who exposed himself fully to all his detractors.

            I admire his creative spirit and combative attitude. I did not believe this before, but I am wondering now how Martz can survive as the Rams head coach. If team president John Shaw was not thinking about firing him before, after listening to this odd performance at his Monday afternoon news conference, the thought has to be creeping into his mind.

            Martz used a 15-minute session with reporters to darned near condemn himself with his own words. In one odd stream of consciousness, he tried to explain why he chose to play quarterback Chris Chandler and didn't play rookie running back Steven Jackson. In doing so, his words spoke shocking volumes.

            Martz essentially admitted two things: He lost his poise and he has no idea what is happening in the game unless it is written down in front of him on his game-plan placard.

            First of all, he admitted he lost his poise after Chandler went into another meltdown in the first quarter. "I got very upset with (Chandler) in the game. ... I regret being that upset with him," Martz said. "I got unsettled, quite frankly, with the quarterback situation and it took me a while to get going. I could have handled that situation much better."

            Even if it was true, how could you admit that? How can the man in charge tell the whole world that he lost his poise, lost his direction and purpose, even for a brief moment? It's alarming to hear the head coach of a professional football team say that he flaked out in the heat of battle. Isn't that was he essentially what he eviscerated Chandler for doing against the Panthers and Cardinals?

            But then he went further. Much, much further. When someone asked him why the powerful first-round draft pick never got off the bench, particularly against...
            -12-21-2004, 01:28 PM
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