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  • Rams Get Back to Work

    Monday, August 9, 2004

    By NICK WAGONER
    Staff Writer

    With the return of the Rams to practice Monday afternoon, came the return of many of the injured players who missed valuable time in the past couple of weeks.

    St. Louis, which beat Chicago in a scrimmage 12-6 on Saturday, had Saturday evening and Sunday off. Most of the veterans went back to St. Louis to be with their families, while the rookie and first-year guys stayed in Macomb.

    The opportunity for rest couldn’t have come at a better time for a banged-up St. Louis squad that had as many as 13 missing members at one time. Most of the injuries didn’t heal in the day off, but they improved enough to see a number of the affected players come back.

    Coach Mike Martz said it was necessary to give his team the time it needed to recover. “It’s good to get them back out here,” Martz said. “The first two weeks we really went hard and now we need to get them back a little bit and have a good couple days and get ready to go play the Bears.”

    Monday’s practice was a light workout, with the players in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts). The hardest work of the day came at the end of practice as each position spent time running sprints and doing conditioning work.

    Martz said the choice of outfits allowed many of the players to return when they couldn’t have in full pads. Among the Rams making their return to the field were Leonard Little, Travis Fisher, Jerametrius Butler, Robert Thomas and Anthony Hargrove.

    “By putting them in shells today we could get a lot of them back,” Martz said. “I’m very pleased with where this team is. They’ve got a great attitude…and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

    MORE ON HARGROVE: The rookie defensive end, who had missed most of the past week with ankle and knee problems, returned and showed few ill effects.

    Hargrove was one of the camp’s early standouts showing the speed to blow past any tackle and the power to run them over. Hargrove pushed his injuries a little with his return, saying he tweaked the injury during one-on-one drills, but he refused to sit any more time and completed a couple rounds of sprints.

    Hargrove said it was difficult to watch his teammates practice; knowing an opportunity to play right away is at stake.
    “To be sidelined is a hard thing on me,” Hargrove said. “I’ve been working for this for a year now.”

    In a defensive line drill with a series of dummies, Hargrove proved to be at the head of the class again, despite his injuries. With four dummies lined up closely, line coach Bill Kollar challenged his players to see who could do it the quickest and strongest without falling on their face as some of the lineman had done earlier in the drill.

    Defensive tackle Bernard Holsey served as judge for the competition while he rested his knee. The drill was supposed to be Tyoka Jackson’s specialty, but after Jackson showed Hargrove what he had done wrong earlier in the drill, Hargrove took top honors.

    Hargrove said he was surprised he won, not only because the drill was Jackson’s forte, but also because he is a rookie.
    “He pulled me to the side and told me to use my hands in a different way and I did that and I beat him in his own drill,” Hargrove said. “We usually don’t win anything.”

    Jackson got his revenge immediately, though, as Hargrove wasn’t able to avoid pad-carrying duties, hauling Jackson’s No. 97 jersey and shoulder pads off the field.

    INJURY CHECK: While the news was mostly positive for St. Louis on the injury front, it wasn’t all good. Running back Lamar Gordon went back to St. Louis to have his ankle checked.

    Martz said the injury had been bothering Gordon for awhile and he will have surgery on the ankle. “They did a scan on him and they think there is a potentially slight bone chip in there,” Martz said. “He’s going to go in I think tomorrow. The good news is that none of us knew what was going on with him. It’s nice to have that resolved that this is what it is.”

    Joining Gordon on the trip to St. Louis were center Dave Wohlabaugh and tackle Jeremy Phillips. Wohlabaugh leaves Tuesday for Ohio, where he will see doctors and might have hip surgery. Phillips has battled stingers in his neck and is having it scanned.

    Defensive end Kevin Aldridge missed Monday’s workout for personal reasons. Adam Timmerman sat out the practice with soreness in his shoulder. Some of the sideline regulars were still unable to return. Robert Cromartie, Brandon Spoon and Cameron Cleeland stayed out with continued hamstring tightness. Brandon Chillar sat with a shoulder injury. Bryce Fisher, who sprained his left ankle in the scrimmage, participated in most drills.

    SEE YOU IN ST. LOUIS: The scrimmage served as the undercard to Thursday’s main event. The Bears travel to St. Louis for a preseason game that kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome. Unlike the scrimmage, most of the Rams’ star players will probably play, though their snaps will be limited

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  • RamDez
    Postcards from Training Camp
    by RamDez
    Postcards from Training Camp
    Tuesday, August 10, 2004


    By NICK WAGONER
    Staff Writer


    After the Bears left Macomb on Saturday morning, following their scrimmage with the Rams, it was time for St. Louis to catch up on some sleep.

    Coach Mike Martz gave his team Sunday off and many of the veterans returned to St. Louis to be with their families. Those that stayed in Macomb for the short time off caught up on sleep and recovered from injuries.

    The Rams dealt with a rash of hamstring injuries, much like the visiting Bears. Chicago coach Lovie Smith recently came under criticism for his tough practices, with some members of the media saying those practices were the reason for his team’s injuries.

    Martz said the criticism was ridiculous and the hamstring tightness especially is an injury that is bound to happen with athletes who haven’t had played football consistently for months. The practices must have been really tough because Smith wasn’t immune to the hamstring problems, either. “He came in this morning and we just had a short visit in the office, I think he pulled his hamstring,” Martz joked. “I told Lovie this is so silly to me. It just amazes me.”

    One of the Rams who rested his injury during the time off was Anthony Hargrove. Hargrove returned to practice Monday after missing the scrimmage and most of the practices of the past week. Hargrove came back strong winning the defensive line’s equivalent of a beauty pageant.

    With four dummies lined up closely, veteran Tyoka Jackson challenged his teammates to a contest to see who could perform the quickest and best rip and swim moves through the dummies. Bernard Holsey served as the judge and after a solid performance from Leonard Little, Hargrove powered through the obstacles with speed and power. Jackson gave Hargrove some pointers before the contest, but wasn’t able to take his own advice. Holsey promptly declared Hargrove the winner.

    Hargrove said he was surprised he won, not only because the drill was Jackson’s forte, but also because he is a rookie.
    “He pulled me to the side and told me to use my hands in a different way and I did that and I beat him in his own drill,” Hargrove said. “We (rookies) usually don’t win anything.” Jackson got his revenge immediately, though, as Hargrove wasn’t able to avoid pad-carrying duties, hauling Jackson’s No. 97 jersey and shoulder pads off the field.

    NEWS UPDATES: Offensive tackle Kyle Turley, who left camp more than a week ago with a back injury, took his trailer with him. The trailer, which was a topic of the first postcard, contained Turley’s personal effects, including a variety of musical instruments. As far as Postcards can tell, safety Adam Archuleta is getting a steady diet of naps. Archuleta has impressed throughout camp.
    -08-11-2004, 12:18 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Defensive End Apologizes, Returns to Practice Field
    by RamWraith
    Rams Defensive End Apologizes, Returns to Practice Field

    Sep 27, 6:06 PM (ET)

    By R.B. FALLSTROM
    ST. LOUIS (AP) -Wayward defensive end Anthony Hargrove returned to the St. Louis Rams' practice field on Wednesday, the first step in reclaiming his starting job and his teammates' trust.

    "Anthony spent the week in self-inflicted doghouse," coach Scott Linehan said. "He's got to work his way back.

    "I think the worst consequence is you feel you've let your teammates down."

    Hargrove was fined an undisclosed amount after skipping two days of practice and meetings last week, and did not make the trip to Arizona for the Rams' 16-14 victory. Rookie Victor Adeyanju, a fourth-round pick, will get his second start this week against the Lions at Hargrove's spot.

    Hargrove apologized to the team for his absence, but declined to shed any light on the personal issues that led him to take time off without notifying the team.


    "I play with 10 other guys and they count on me to make plays and be there, and I wasn't there," Hargrove said. "Nobody yelled at me, nobody cussed at me. Everybody gave me hugs and they were happy to see me."

    Hargrove said the personal matter was "water under the bridge."

    "It's a new week, so I'm just ready to go on," he said. "I'm not trying to relive that tale, I'm moving on. It's my personal business and I don't want to get into it."

    Defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy said it was "poor judgment" that Hargrove failed to pick up a telephone and call the coaches. But he said that was outweighed by concern for the third-year player.

    "There's no welcome-back hazing," Kennedy said. "A couple of guys swung by his house to make sure he was cool, and he was all right.

    "He had to deal with some things and if he shared that with you guys, that's on him. I'm grateful that he's back."

    Defensive end Leonard Little noted that Hargrove is only 23 and left Georgia Tech after his junior season.

    "He's a young guy and he's going to make mistakes," Little said. "It's our job that when he makes mistakes to support him."

    Quarterback Marc Bulger was more circumspect.

    "I know he's lost the trust of a lot of guys, and I think he recognizes that," Bulger said. "He'll have to get it back from his coaches and his teammates. He'll have to accept those consequences."

    Hargrove said the biggest thing he learned from this episode was that he was accountable for his actions.

    "In this business we're being held on a pedestal, and whenever you mess up the whole world knows, so I learned a lesson," Hargrove said. "They counted...
    -09-28-2006, 05:56 AM
  • 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
  • RamDez
    Rams rookie Hargrove sees position switch as just another challenge
    by RamDez
    Rams rookie Hargrove sees position switch as just another challenge
    BY STEVE KORTE
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    ST. LOUIS - (KRT) - As a rookie, Anthony Hargrove wasn`t going to argue when St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz told him that he was moving from defensive end to defensive tackle.

    "I`m not going to say, `This (stinks). I`m not going to do this,"" Hargrove said. "I just see it as another challenge. Survival of the fittest, that`s what the NFL is about. Those who adapt to new situations are going to stay in this league the longest. If I adapt to this new challenge, I hope it keeps me in the league longer."

    Hargrove, a third-round draft choice this past spring, said he actually welcomes the switch if it enables him to make a bigger contribution this season.

    The Rams are set at defensive end with Leonard Little, Bryce Fisher, Sean Moran, Tyoka Jackson and Erik Flowers, but they`re short-handed at defensive tackle with Jimmy Kennedy likely lost for the season because of a broken foot.

    "Coach Martz told me in a meeting two days ago," Hargrove said. "He thinks with the way I come off the ball and the way I play, that`s a natural fit for me. I`m happy to take the challenge. I think it`s going to be a real comfortable move."

    Hargrove is working behind starter Damione Lewis at the three-technique position.

    "The biggest thing is that at defensive end you have the space to make moves," Hargrove said. "At defensive tackle when you come off the ball, the guy is into you already. Now it`s a matter of using my quickness to make moves off my first step instead of maybe my third or fourth one."

    Hargrove knows he needs to put on a few pounds - he currently weighs 280 pounds - to play defensive tackle.

    "Oh, definitely," Hargrove said. "Coach Martz said I could get up to 290 or 295 and carry it fine. They`re asking me to bulk up a little more."

    Jackson, the Rams defensive captain, said moving Hargrove to defensive tackle makes a lot of sense.

    "He`s 6-4, 285 pounds, and he`s probably the strongest dude on the team and he`s probably as fast as Leonard (Little), so, yeah, I`m cool with that," Jackson said. "He just wants to play. That`s the type of attitude he has. He`s going to make mistakes because he is a rookie, but he is going to make plays, too."

    It`s been a tumultuous week for Hargrove, whose family`s house in Punta Gorda, Fla., was destroyed by Hurricane Charley.

    Hargrove was on the telephone with his brother last Friday when the hurricane hit.

    "Hearing him screaming and hearing my family in the background going hysterical; it was crazy," Hargrove said.

    After clearing it with Rams player programs director Ray Ogas, Hargrove rushed...
    -08-22-2004, 01:03 AM
  • 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
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