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  • Inside Slant

    The Rams are eager for training camp to start, when they can get the pads on defensive end Anthony Hargrove. The team's third-round pick this year was impressive during offseason work, despite not playing college football last year and the fact he originally arrived at Georgia Tech after playing quarterback and safety in high school.

    But coaches believed he could get his weight from 225 to the 260 range and be a defensive end. He played two seasons there before academic troubles cost him the 2003 season.

    The Rams were so intrigued by Hargrove they sent defensive line coach Bill Kollar to Atlanta to work him out before the draft. The timing worked out so that Kollar met Hargrove at the airport when the player was returning from a visit to Dallas.

    "That's when I knew they really liked me," Hargrove said. "When a coach is going to fly in from another state, pick ME up at the airport, just to work me out for 20 minutes. I thought that was saying a lot."

    Said Kollar, "He's a guy that's got a ton of ability. He's a guy that can run, change direction and all that kind of stuff. But he's just really raw right now."

    Recalling watching Hargrove on tape, Kollar said, "You would see his athletic ability every now and then, when he would actually take off and run. And then when you find out he was 18 and 19, and never played defensive end before, all that kind of stuff makes a huge difference."

    What Kollar really likes is his passion for the game. Hargrove will need it with the way Kollar grinds players on a daily basis. With that desire to improve, Kollar believes Hargrove can contribute as a rookie.

    "We're hoping he can," Kollar said. "It'd be great if he could come in there and give us some pass rush in third-down situations. Or maybe he could end up even playing in base downs. But you really don't know. You're really starting from ground floor. He hasn't done anything for a year and a half, football-wise. But he's an energetic kid that wants to learn."

    NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES

    —Fourth quarterbacks on summer depth charts are usually nothing more than training camp arms, but Russ Michna might be more than that. Michna led Western Illinois University to two consecutive Division I-AA playoffs, and passed for 3,160 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Michna will feel at home during camp since the Rams train at Western Illinois.

    WIU assistant head coach Mark Hendrickson believes Michna has a chance in the NFL.

    "From my experience, I felt that you have to be physically tougher, very intelligent and an accurate passer to be a quarterback in the NFL and stick with a team," Hendrickson said. "And he has high marks in (all three). His intangibles are off the chart. If you had wires connected to record his heart beat, you'd find from the first snap of the game until the end — for example, when we beat Montana in double overtime (43-40 in the first round of the 2003 playoffs) — it would only go up a beat or two. He never changed the way he played the game. His poise never altered."

    With practice squads expanding to eight players this year, Michna might have a chance to land there if he shows progress during the summer.

    —New offensive line coach John Benton, who will be working with John Matsko, can't wait for training camp to start. Following the retirement of Jim Hanifan, Benton was hired away from Colorado State.

    In the offseason, he said he has watched tape of every play last season in evaluating the offensive line.

    He said, "Those guys just get you fired up. I want to clap half the time while I'm watching film. It's really fun to watch those guys."

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "If they want me to contribute on defense, that's fine. If I can contribute on special teams, I'll do it that way. If I can go back to offense and throw a few passes for them, I'll do that, too." - Rookie DE Anthony Hargrove.

    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 Nijrell Eason; DT Bernard Holsey; S Justin Lucas; DE Sean Moran.

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

    DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED: S Jason Shivers; C/G Larry Turner.

    MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Inside Slant

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "If they want me to contribute on defense, that's fine. If I can contribute on special teams, I'll do it that way. If I can go back to offense and throw a few passes for them, I'll do that, too." - Rookie DE Anthony Hargrove.
    man, we need guys like that :1:

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Inside Slant

      Hargrove is eager and ready to play anywhere, anytime, any position. That is nice...and hopefully he has the talent to back the words.
      :ramlogo:
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      • RamWraith
        Hargrove Hopes Success Carries Over
        by RamWraith
        Monday, August 7, 2006

        By Nick Wagoner
        Senior Writer

        On any given day, during any normal training camp practice, there will be plenty of chatter on the field. For the most part, that talk is relatively reserved, but every once in a while the monotony of the day to grind will be broken up by loud, shrill screams.

        Those screeches can be heard all over the field and almost always originate from the guy wearing No. 95, defensive end Anthony Hargrove.

        “He keeps us amused because he has a lot of energy,” defensive end Leonard Little said. “I have always known Tony as a high energy guy, always laughing, joking around, jumping around. It keeps us laughing, but it also keeps us loosened up out there during practice.”

        Entering his third season in the NFL, Hargrove has never lacked energy or enthusiasm for football. On a consistent basis, Hargrove has been one of the team leaders in smiles and laughs.

        What he hasn’t been consistent about is sacking the quarterback or stuffing the run at his spot opposite Little. That’s one mission that Hargrove is taking steps to correct and he believes this is the year to do it.

        “That’s how I am treating it right now for myself as a make it or break it year,” Hargrove said. “It’s my third year; I finally should hopefully be the starter and trying to do the best I can to see where it goes from there. We’ll see what happens.”

        When the Rams drafted Hargrove with their third-round choice in 2004, he had been a year removed from football because of academic issues at Georgia Tech. When he was on the field, Hargrove had been a quarterback with little experience as a defensive end.

        But his size (6-3, 269 pounds) and athleticism made him an intriguing option for any team willing to take a chance on a bit of a project for the position. The Rams took that chance and Hargrove instantly became one of the team’s most impressive athletes.

        Hargrove was dominant on the practice field with his speed and agility, but it never quite translated to game days. Sure, there were flashes of the talent, but Hargrove lacked consistency from game to game.

        Finally, at the end of last season, something started to work for Hargrove. Never a fan of film study, Hargrove became a student of the game. He finished the year on a tear, recording 4.5 sacks in the final three games including a two-sack, fumble recovery, four tackle game in the finale against Dallas.

        “I started watching more film and watching pass rushers to see what they are doing that I wasn’t doing and that’s what I tried to do,” Hargrove said. “I just tried to do what they were doing.”

        What the likes of Dwight Freeney and Michael Strahan were doing was getting to the quarterback. Hargrove made it his mission to carry the confidence gained from his finish to the season into the offseason.
        ...
        -08-07-2006, 08:28 PM
      • RamDez
        Hargrove is back where he belongs
        by RamDez
        Posted on Tue, Aug. 03, 2004_krdDartInc++;document.write('');
        Hargrove is back where he belongs


        Rookie defensive end didn't play last season

        By Steve Korte

        [email protected]


        MACOMB - A year ago, Anthony Hargrove was pushing planes away from the terminal at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta.

        Now Hargrove is pushing offensive tackle Grant Williams away from the line of scrimmage at the St. Louis Rams' training camp.

        "He's got a big wing span, but not as big as a Delta 88 or 757," Hargrove said of the 6-foot-7, 320-pound Williams.

        After being declared academically ineligible last year as a junior at Georgia Tech, Hargrove got a job as a ramp agent.

        "I'd get into a cart and push the planes out, I was a wing walker where I walked out with the plane making sure the wings didn't hit anything, I loaded and unloaded baggage," Hargrove said.

        The 6-foot-3, 269-pound Hargrove felt -- and looked -- out of place.

        "My problem was they didn't have a big enough uniform for me," Hargrove said. "I had to walk around in tight pants and a small shirt. The only fashion statement I was making was that I was just going to work every day."

        Hargrove, 21, kept himself in shape as he dreamed of playing football again.

        "I knew I didn't want to be there, I wanted to be on the field with my cleats and helmet on hitting people," Hargrove said. "I knew this is where I wanted to be, and I had to do whatever it takes to get here."

        The Rams, searching for an eventual replacement for right defensive end Grant Wistrom, who signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks, took a chance on Hargrove by selecting him in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft.

        Hargrove said he wasn't surprised to be drafted so high.

        "If I would have stayed in college another year, I think I would have had a chance to be a first-rounder," Hargrove said.

        Hargrove has been one of the early standouts in training camp. He has that rare combination -- a burst off the ball on the pass rush along with the strength to stuff the run -- that you need to be an every-down player at defensive end. If he can overcome the dreaded Steinke Hoo-Doo Pretty Tony curse, he should be just fine.

        "I love his ability," Rams defensive captain Tyoka Jackson said. "He's going to make mental mistakes because rookies do that, but he's working hard to get it down. When I look at Hargrove, I see a bigger Leonard Little, and that sounds pretty good to me."

        Little also sees a little of himself in Hargrove.

        "He's got all the tools to be a great player, and you know (defensive line coach Bill) Kollar is going to work with him until he becomes that player,"...
        -08-03-2004, 03:15 PM
      • RamWraith
        Hargrove will touch down back home as a key player for Rams
        by RamWraith
        BY JEFF GORDON
        Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
        Thursday, Jan. 13 2005

        Remember that 31-7 loss at Arizona back on Dec. 19?

        That fiasco had some redeeming value, after all. On an otherwise miserable day
        for the Rams, rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove arrived as a forceful NFL
        player.

        He made six solo tackles -- plus another tackle for a loss -- and forced a
        fumble. His seven tackles in that game equaled his total since Oct. 24.

        Hargrove’s sudden outburst in Arizona earned him the opportunity to push Bryce
        Fisher for work at right defensive end. That, in turn, inspired Fisher to play
        the two best games of his brief NFL career.

        With those two guys trying to one-up each other, defensive tackles Ryan Pickett
        and Jimmy Kennedy have also played their best football of the season. Just as
        poor play becomes contagious, it seems, so does excellence.

        “We have guys that are competing everywhere on our defensive line,” Hargrove
        told reporters at Rams Park. “I think that is why our defensive line is getting
        better. We still have that competitive nature coming in and out. You never know
        who is going to play for us. Somebody might go out this week, and next week
        somebody different.”

        Not only has the defensive line effort improved, so has the comprehension.

        “It’s understanding the schemes on defense, and understanding where I need to
        be,” Hargrove said. “What's made our defense so much better is everybody is now
        together. We're united, and we're fitting in with each other more than we have
        all year. We're playing as a real, true defense. We're playing as one whole
        unit.”


        Hargrove credits Torry Holt for helping get him back on track in December. The
        veteran told the kid to relax, be himself and play his game. That sounds like
        simple advice, but it was exactly what Hargrove needed to hear.

        “I couldn’t get out of this little funk,” Hargrove said. “He was like, ‘chill,
        sit back and just relax,’” Hargrove said.

        The youngster has great athletic ability and vast potential. He is big, fast
        and strong. He has tremendous hands, too. Coach Mike Martz figures he could be
        an excellent tight end -– and he’d like to exploit those skills some day in a
        goal-line situation.

        After playing so little at Georgia Tech, though, Hargrove had much to learn
        about playing defensive end. He spent last year working at Hartsfield
        International Airport after losing his academic eligibility at Tech.

        If not for the NFL, he would still be at Hartsfield, pushing jets and operating
        the ramps. But come Friday, he’ll touch down in Atlanta as a key component of
        the current and future...
        -01-14-2005, 05:33 AM
      • RamWraith
        'Salt and Pepper' link spices rookies' season
        by RamWraith
        By Bill Coats
        Of the Post-Dispatch
        Friday, Dec. 24 2004

        One came from the deep Southeast, the other from the far Northwest. One arrived
        brimming with promise, the other with only slight hope of making the team. One
        is black, the other white.

        They met at Rams Park. And now, several months later, rookies Anthony Hargrove
        and Brian Howard are virtually inseparable.

        "That's why we call ourselves 'Salt and Pepper' - we're always together,"
        Hargrove said. "You always have salt and pepper together; you don't have one
        without the other. That's kind of how we are."

        Hargrove was the team's second draft pick in April, a third-round selection
        from Georgia Tech.

        "We felt like this was a guy that will ascend quickly," Rams coach Mike Martz
        said on draft day. "The athleticism, the speed, the strength - all those things
        that you're looking for in a pass-rusher and defensive end are there."

        Hargrove, a boisterous 21-year-old from Punta Gorda, Fla., received a
        three-year, $1,374,000 million contract that included a $442,000 signing bonus.

        Howard, a reserved 23-year-old who grew up in the Seattle suburb of Kent,
        Wash., and played college ball at Idaho, wasn't drafted. He joined the Rams as
        a free agent on April 30. After surviving the final training camp cut, he
        signed a three-year deal worth $927,500.

        Each has played in 13 games, with Howard getting a start Nov. 29 at Green Bay
        and Hargrove possibly in line for his first start Monday night against
        Philadelphia. Both see considerable special-teams action.

        As strangers in an unfamiliar city, they sought companionship. That they found
        it in each other came as a surprise to both of them.

        "You get here as a rookie and you kind of look for someone to pal around with,"
        Howard said. "During camp, we didn't really hang out much. It started more
        toward the regular season. We found out we had a lot in common, and we were
        real compatible as friends."

        Roommates on the road and neighbors in the locker room, they spend most of
        their nonfootball hours together, too.

        "He's usually the first guy I call in the morning when I get up and the last
        guy I call before I go to bed," said Hargrove, adding that they planned to
        spend Christmas Day together, probably at his house in St. Peters. Howard lives
        in an apartment about 10 minutes away. Hargrove said they've "educated" each
        other as their comradeship has grown.

        "He's showed me that Western fishing, country-life kind of thing, and I've
        showed him the wild, city-boy type of atmosphere," he...
        -12-25-2004, 09:43 AM
      • RamWraith
        Hargrove will touch down back home as a key player for Rams
        by RamWraith
        BY JEFF GORDON
        Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
        01/13/2005

        Online Columnist Jeff Gordon

        Remember that 31-7 loss at Arizona back on Dec. 19?

        That fiasco had some redeeming value, after all. On an otherwise miserable day for the Rams, rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove arrived as a forceful NFL player.

        He made six solo tackles -- plus another tackle for a loss -- and forced a fumble. His seven tackles in that game equaled his total since Oct. 24.

        Hargrove’s sudden outburst in Arizona earned him the opportunity to push Bryce Fisher for work at right defensive end. That, in turn, inspired Fisher to play the two best games of his brief NFL career.

        With those two guys trying to one-up each other, defensive tackles Ryan Pickett and Jimmy Kennedy have also played their best football of the season. Just as poor play becomes contagious, it seems, so does excellence.

        “We have guys that are competing everywhere on our defensive line,” Hargrove told reporters at Rams Park. “I think that is why our defensive line is getting better. We still have that competitive nature coming in and out. You never know who is going to play for us. Somebody might go out this week, and next week somebody different.”

        Not only has the defensive line effort improved, so has the comprehension.

        “It’s understanding the schemes on defense, and understanding where I need to be,” Hargrove said. “What's made our defense so much better is everybody is now together. We're united, and we're fitting in with each other more than we have all year. We're playing as a real, true defense. We're playing as one whole unit.”


        Hargrove credits Torry Holt for helping get him back on track in December. The veteran told the kid to relax, be himself and play his game. That sounds like simple advice, but it was exactly what Hargrove needed to hear.

        “I couldn’t get out of this little funk,” Hargrove said. “He was like, ‘chill, sit back and just relax,’” Hargrove said.

        The youngster has great athletic ability and vast potential. He is big, fast and strong. He has tremendous hands, too. Coach Mike Martz figures he could be an excellent tight end -– and he’d like to exploit those skills some day in a goal-line situation.

        After playing so little at Georgia Tech, though, Hargrove had much to learn about playing defensive end. He spent last year working at Hartsfield International Airport after losing his academic eligibility at Tech.

        If not for the NFL, he would still be at Hartsfield, pushing jets and operating the ramps. But come Friday, he’ll touch down in Atlanta as a key component of the current and future Rams defensive front.

        “It feels real good to go home, especially in these kinds of circumstances,” Hargrove said. “I'm not going home to go back to work or...
        -01-13-2005, 03:02 PM
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