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  • Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener

    Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener

    Associated Press

    MACOMB, Ill. - After three days of joint practices, the St. Louis Rams outplayed the Chicago Bears during a scrimmage at Western Illinois University's Hanson Field Saturday.

    The Rams unofficially won the scrimmage 12-6, though no score was actually kept during the 90-minute workout.

    Both teams held out several starters. Quarterback Marc Bulger and running back Marshall Faulk did not see action for the Rams while linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is nursing a hamstring injury, and wide receiver Marty Booker and others sat out for the Bears.

    The scrimmage also provided a chance for new Chicago coach Lovie Smith to put his team up against the Rams, where he worked as defensive coordinator before taking the job with the Bears.

    Smith said after the scrimmage, "We know we have a long ways to go. We get a chance to play them again next week with hopes that we'll have a better team on the field playing against them."

    The Bears will visit the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Thursday to take on the Rams in the preseason opener.

    The Rams went on offense first in the controlled scrimmage as former Bears quarterback Chris Chandler marched the Rams 70 yards in a drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Arlen Harris.

    Bears starting quarterback Rex Grossman directed the first three series before backup Jonathan Quinn engineered the last two drives.

    Rams rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker hit Kevin Curtis for a 35-yard touchdown later in the scrimmage.

    Then Quinn guided the Bears to their only score when he connected with Gabe Reid on a 5-yard scoring toss.

    One of the biggest ovations of the morning came when former Western Illinois star Russ Michna took the field for a few plays with the Rams offense.

    Rams coach Mike Martz said Michna had two good passes. "Unfortunately, one of them was dropped. He's a good little player. He's not a camp arm. I'm excited that we have him."

    Michna is in the Rams camp as the fourth quarterback after signing with St. Louis as an undrafted free agent in June. Michna said after playing that he appreciated the crowd's response. "It's great to know that they still appreciate what you did for them."

    Martz said a scrimmage like the one against the Bears can provide a player an opportunity to show he deserves a spot on the roster. "We're not going to eliminate somebody because of what they've done in this scrimmage. What we can do is look a little harder at a guy," he said.

    Notes: Martz said the Rams will not practice Sunday to give his players a break. They will hold a workout Monday afternoon and a meeting Monday night in Macomb. Martz said, "We've had a terrific camp up here and they've worked as hard as any team we've had up here. They've done everything that we've asked them to do."

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

Related Topics


  • RamDez
    Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week
    by RamDez
    Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week

    August 7, 2004


    of the Journal Star

    MACOMB - Three days of joint workouts between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears come to a close this morning with a 10:30 a.m. scrimmage at Hanson Field.

    For both teams, the goal of today's scrimmage is to continue the progress that has been made from the first day of practice when camp opened.

    "We want to improve our team. We're not keeping score," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We came up here to have some good practices against a good team, and we're getting that type of work done."

    The Rams will use today's scrimmage to work in some of the younger players.

    "We're going to take a look at our inexperienced players," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "We're going to make sure that the younger players get some repetitions."

    Getting closer: It is rare in today's NFL that a team would take a flier on signing an injured player as a free agent while that player is still rehabbing from the injury.

    That's exactly what the Rams did during the offseason in signing defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, who started all 16 games last season for Washington. He had surgery in February to repair his injured quadricep.

    Holsey began working out on Friday and hopes to be able to play by the end of the preseason.

    "It's a little frustrating right now," Holsey said. "The guys are out there sweating, but I can only do a limited number of things."

    What wasn't frustrating was when the Rams called expressing interest even though he was injured.

    "That was amazing," Holsey said. "I wasn't expecting to hear from any teams until August. I appreciate that they called. I'm sure I would have had some more interest, but they called first."

    Said Martz: "He's played at a really I level. I've seen him play and our scouts really liked him."

    Holsey's return comes at a time when the Rams need some more depth after defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy suffered a broken foot during Thursday's afternoon workout. He is expected to miss three to four months.

    "He just put his foot on the ground, there was no contact or anything," Martz said. "Hopefully we'll get him back halfway through the season."

    Points of emphasis: Officials have been working with the Bears and Rams this week.

    They're going over some of the rule changes, as well as the rules that haven't changed but will be emphasized this season.

    The biggest point this year that will be enforced is not allowing defenders to intentionally contact receivers 5 yards past the line of scrimmage.

    -08-07-2004, 12:58 PM
  • Nick
    Bears finish with flurry
    by Nick
    Bears finish with flurry
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    Mike Martz isn't one of these coaches who thinks NFL exhibition games are meaningless, or that the final score doesn't matter.

    "I'd like to win every one of them, guys," Martz told reporters earlier in the week in Macomb, Ill. "I think every coach does, but with the guys that you're playing ... we still need to look at some players. But it's still very competitive. In the middle of the game, I'm not thinking about this being a preseason game. Trust me."

    What Martz got instead, was a head coach's nightmare - exhibition overtime. And a preseason loss. Despite outplaying Chicago for most of the first three quarters Thursday night, the Bears scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to send the game into overtime tied 10-10.

    At least it was a short overtime. Ahmad Merritt returned the overtime kickoff 87 yards to the Rams' 7. New Bears coach Lovie Smith immediately sent out Paul Edinger to kick a 25-yard field goal, giving Chicago a 13-10 victory at the Edward Jones Dome.

    The offensive highlights for St. Louis included an eight-for-nine passing performance by No. 2 quarterback Chris Chandler, four catches for 73 yards by wide receiver Shaun McDonald, and 15 carries for 73 yards by Steven Jackson through three quarters.

    Defensively, the Rams got two sacks from Erik Flowers in the second half. Flowers got the second sack after temporarily leaving the game when he was literally squashed on a pass rush by Bears 370-pound offensive tackle Aaron Gibson. The Rams generally got a good pass rush. In the secondary, second-year man Kevin Garrett played tight coverage.

    Marc Bulger played one series, completing three of six passes for 57 yards on a 64-yard field-goal drive. Chandler took over and led the Rams on a four-play, 86-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. McDonald caught a 40-yard pass on the drive - the night's longest gain.

    Chandler and the Rams were moving into field-goal range in the final minute of the first half. But Bears cornerback Eric Kelly wrestled the ball away from Rams wide receiver Kevin Curtis for an interception with 25 seconds to play, ending the drive at the St. Louis 35.

    For more than three quarters, the highlight for the Bears was their opening drive, which featured some impressive running by offseason acquisition Thomas Jones. Jones had carries of 17 and 26 yards on the drive. The 26-yarder came on a third-and-one play to the right. The Rams appeared to have the play stuffed, but Jones cut back to his left where there was no backside help by the over-pursuing defense.

    That play carried to the St. Louis 25. Four plays later, the Bears were in the end zone on a 10-yard pass from Rex Grossman to fullback Bryan Johnson. But the play was nullified by a holding penalty against...
    -08-13-2004, 12:15 AM
  • txramsfan
    Bears make final offer to Benson
    by txramsfan

    LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Upset and frustrated that running back Cedric Benson is still a holdout and the only first-round draft pick without a contract agreement, the Chicago Bears have made their final offer to the No. 4 pick.

    "After missing all of training camp, we want to make it abundantly clear that the Chicago Bears have made their best and final offer to Cedric Benson," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said in a statement released by the team.

    "No dollars are left on the bargaining table and at this point the only contract discussions that will be entertained will be reflective of the considerable loss of value to the club created by the players' extended absence," the statement said.

    Benson's holdout reached its 26th day Thursday and the former Texas star has already missed two preseason games. The Bears' training camp at Bourbonnais, Ill., ended Wednesday.

    The Bears are back at their Halas Hall training facility and play again Saturday at Indianapolis. They have two exhibitions remaining after that before opening the regular season Sept. 11 at Washington.

    The Bears have been burned by holdouts from first-round running backs in the past, most notably Curtis Enis, who was drafted in 1998 and is who is no longer in the NFL after a disappointing injury-plagued career.

    "The Chicago Bears have always placed a premium on having our players in camp on time," Angelo said noting that two other first-rounders represented by Benson's agent, Eugene Parker, were in on time - quarterback Rex Grossman and defensive tackle Tommie Harris.

    "The failure to reach an agreement on a fair and reasonable contract has been a huge disappointment," Angelo said, encouraging Benson to end his holdout and report to camp.

    The Bears expected Benson, the fourth overall pick in the draft, to challenge incumbent Thomas Jones for playing time.

    "There is nothing new," Parker said Thursday evening, adding that he did not have a reaction to the Bears' statement.
    -08-19-2005, 08:16 AM
  • Nick
    Bears Defeat Rams 13-10 in Overtime
    by Nick
    Bears Defeat Rams 13-10 in Overtime
    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - Lovie Smith's head coaching debut, and his homecoming, was a bit on the sloppy side.

    The Chicago Bears overcame 19 penalties for 160 yards in their preseason opener, a 13-10 overtime victory over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. The opening drive was short-circuited by four penalties and the Bears had been hit for 105 yards by halftime.

    Ahmad Merritt returned the overtime kickoff 87 yards to the 7 to set up Paul Edinger's 25-yard winning field goal on the next play.

    Smith was the defensive coordinator the last three years for the Rams, helping them reach the Super Bowl in 2001, and received a nice ovation during pregame introductions. He was hired by the Bears in January to replace Dick Jauron following a 7-9 season.

    Penalties were not a problem last year for the Bears, who averaged 50 yards in calls per game.

    The Rams also stumbled with 12 penalties for 80 yards. Plus they had the only two turnovers, including a fumble after a reception by Dane Looker with 2:30 left in regulation to give the Bears the ball at the Chicago 29.

    There were five penalties on the Bears' tying drive, four against Chicago. The drive was capped by a 1-yard pass from backup Jonathan Quinn to Gabe Reid with 10:04 to go. So the Bears actually gained 118 yards on the 88-yard, 10-play drive.

    The Rams were without Marshall Faulk, who rarely plays until late in the preseason, and offensive tackles Orlando Pace and Kyle Turley. Pace is a contract holdout and Turley hasn't practiced since Aug. 1 due to a herniated disc in his surgically repaired back, although he attended the game in street clothes.

    St. Louis' makeshift line, a concern heading into the game, did a good job in pass protection and Marc Bulger was hit only twice. He was sacked once, by Hunter Hillenmeyer, to force Jeff Wilkins' field goal on the last play of the first quarter. A third line starter, guard Adam Timmerman, started despite being bothered by a stinger in his neck and shoulder in recent days.

    The teams met on the field for the fourth time in eight days. The Bears traveled to Macomb, Ill., the Rams' training camp site, last week for three days of joint practices and a scrimmage.

    Backup Chris Chandler led the Rams to their only first-half score, a 13-yard pass to fullback Joey Goodspeed in the second quarter. Chandler was 8-for-9 for 108 yards in the second quarter, showing nimble feet on a couple of plays.

    His lone incompletion came when Eric Kelly took the ball out of Kevin Curtis' arms for an interception to stop a drive deep in Chicago territory in the final minute of the first half.

    Bulger played the first quarter and was 3-for-6 for 57 yards. Bears starter Rex Grossman also played one quarter and was 4-for-5 for...
    -08-13-2004, 12:13 AM
  • RamWraith
    Grossman brings his 'A' game
    by RamWraith
    By Kathleen Nelson
    Tuesday, Dec. 12 2006

    Beleaguered Bears quarterback Rex Grossman made a national TV audience wonder
    what all the fuss was about. He pulled his weight and then some in leading
    Chicago to a 42-27 victory over the Rams that clinched a bye in the first round
    of the playoffs for the Bears.

    Grossman completed 13 of 23 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns. Most
    important, he committed no giveaways for just the second time in two months. He
    described his performance as "efficient and decisive. I was able to relax.
    There was a lot of pressure on me to perform well. So I had to do it. I wanted
    to respond because of the way the coaches have backed me."

    For good measure, Grossman added a 22-yard run good for a first down.

    "That was fun to do," he said. "I don't do that very often, but I consciously
    went into the game thinking that I might have to make a play with my feet."

    Though the Bears (11-2) have won consistently this season with Grossman at
    quarterback, Grossman has been wildly inconsistent. His passer rating, a
    measure of consistency and efficiency, exceeded 100 in four of the Bears' first
    seven games. At that point, some experts considered Grossman a candidate for

    Since October 16, though, Grossman's passer rating has fallen below 50 four of
    seven times. The worst was a rating of 1.3 in the Bears' victory over the
    Vikings last week. Grossman completed just six of 19 passes for 34 yards with
    three interceptions, earning the lowest rating ever for a winning NFL

    Yet Bears coach Lovie Smith stood by his man through numerous inquisitions.
    Reports from the Bears' practice indicated that Grossman and Brian Griese split
    reps with the first unit Thursday and Friday, but that Grossman got about 65
    percent of the work Saturday.

    "Rex Grossman went through a lot this past week," Smith said. "His game has
    been dissected by everyone that knows anything about football. With a lot of
    pressure on him, I thought he really stepped up to the plate, played
    outstanding ball, did exactly what we expect him to do."

    Grossman got ample help from the backfield. Starter Thomas Jones gained 76
    yards on 11 carries with one touchdown, while "backup" Cedric Benson gained 64
    yards on 16 carries.

    "There was a lot of difference this week," Grossman said. "We ran the ball well
    and set up a lot of play action. That's the blueprint we've been trying to set
    since training camp."

    Jones, the older brother of Cowboys running back Julius Jones, topped the
    -12-12-2006, 04:33 AM