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Postcards from Training Camp

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  • Postcards from Training Camp

    Postcards from Training Camp
    Tuesday, August 10, 2004

    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.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamWraith
    Rams Get Back to Work
    by RamWraith
    Monday, August 9, 2004

    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...
    -08-10-2004, 05:53 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, 02:15 PM
  • 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, 07:28 PM
  • RamDez
    Rams rookie Hargrove sees position switch as just another challenge
    by RamDez
    Rams rookie Hargrove sees position switch as just another challenge
    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, 12:03 AM
  • RamWraith
    Hargrove Lands in Starting Role
    by RamWraith
    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Watching Anthony Hargrove go through a practice or play in a game can lead to any number of questions, but none might be more prominent than the simple wonderment of where he gets that endless energy supply.

    Some might say it’s his love of football and others might indicate that it comes down to the pursuit of a big contract. In reality, though, Hargrove’s engine is revved by jet fuel.

    You know, the kind of fuel used on airplanes, the kind of airplanes that could be found at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta. The exact airport that only two years ago employed Hargrove as a plane pusher.

    So, if you ever catch Hargrove taking a play or two off in a practice, it won’t last long, at least no so long as a 757 or any other plane continues to cruise of the Rams Park practice field.

    “Every time I hear those planes flying overhead it reminds me of where I was at,” Hargrove said. “So, any time I am on the field and I am tired and I hear a plane I get to work. I don’t want to go back to where I was at. I was getting a little tired in a nine-on-seven today and I saw a plane take off and I looked at Leonard and went to coach and asked to get back in and get back to work.”

    That was the first day of training camp when Hargrove saw that 757 flying in to Lambert Airport, but the relentless effort and attitude has never been a problem for the young defensive end.

    Hargrove’s energy was so abundant last season that no matter what the drill, if the ball hit the ground, he was the first one to get it. He would even chase down incompletions that were 30 yards down field and 15 yards out of bounds. His logic was a little fuzzy, but he reasoned that any time the ball hits the ground; the defense needs to come away with it.

    Hargrove impressed the coaching staff and his teammates with his boundless enthusiasm, but he was still a little rough around the edges. The raw power and speed was there, but the technique still needed work.

    There was early speculation that Hargrove would win the starting job opposite Leonard Little, but the Rams played it safe with Bryce Fisher. Hargrove didn’t let up, though, and claimed the starting spot by the Dec. 27 game against Philadelphia. Heading into this season, Hargrove has yet to relinquish that position.

    “I set goals for myself,” Hargrove said. “I told myself that by my second year I wanted to be a starter on this team. Last year I ended the season as a starter and this year, hopefully I can hang on to it. It makes me work harder to try to be No. 1.”

    The thought of Hargrove working harder isn’t exactly music to the ears of the teammates who must face him in one-on-one pass rush drills ever day. Alex Barron found out the hard about Hargrove’s excitable nature the hard way on...
    -08-19-2005, 05:34 AM