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  • Dishman is back after a visit home



    Dishman is back after a visit home
    By Bill Coats

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/19/2004


    MACOMB, Ill. - When the football players at Lincoln (Neb.) North Star High saw Chris Dishman's Hummer parked outside the weight room early one morning this week, they figured he'd be coaching their team again.

    "They thought I was released," Dishman said after Wednesday afternoon's practice at Rams training camp. "They (said), 'Geez, you already got cut?'"

    No, Dishman is still with the Rams, vying for a job on an offensive line badly lacking in personnel. But he had some unfinished business that needed to be addressed, so he left for his Garland, Neb., home after Thursday night's preseason game in St. Louis and returned to Western Illinois University about noon Wednesday.

    "Just a lot of personal stuff," said Dishman, who had decided to retire after seven NFL seasons before Rams coach Mike Martz persuaded him earlier this month to accept a one-year deal and report to camp. Dishman said it seemed like a good idea at the time, but . . .

    "My kids, I didn't get to say goodbye to them," said Dishman, 30, a father of two. "It was getting tough for them, crying every night and calling me up and telling me they wanted me to come home. It started to make me (wonder) if . . . my retirement wasn't a bad plan. The money's all good and everything, but when you've got kids at home, the money doesn't really mean anything to you."

    Although Dishman acknowledged that "definitely there were second thoughts," he emphasized that he never seriously considered re-retiring. "My wife and my dad both said, you signed a contract, don't back out like some of those guys," he said. "I was raised that way. There was no way that I wasn't coming back."

    But he wanted to see his children again, as well as his extended family at North Star, where he'd been serving as an assistant coach. "I went up and saw them practice," he said. "I let them know why I wasn't there personally. Calling them on the phone, I think, is inconsiderate when you've spent four months with these kids.

    "Some of them don't have fathers. It's not a troubled group, but it's a new school there, so they're getting kids there from all over town. If you're a role model to them, you need to go back and show them your face and tell them you haven't forgotten about them."

    Two players are hurt

    Two more Rams went down with injuries Wednesday, but Martz reported that neither player was seriously hurt. Offensive tackle Grant Williams, who probably will be in the lineup when the Rams open the regular season Sept. 12, turned his right ankle in the morning practice and skipped the afternoon workout.

    Cornerback DeJuan Groce appeared to be much more seriously hurt. He twisted his knee when he "got in an awkward position when he was trying to change direction," Martz said, and immediately was sent back to St. Louis. An MRI showed "no structural damage," Martz said. "There's a little swelling. We dodged a bullet there."

    Hargrove tries tackle

    Defensive end Anthony Hargrove, the team's third-round pick in April's draft, took a number of reps at defensive tackle Wednesday. It's merely an experiment, Martz cautioned.

    "We just think with his speed, size and strength that he might be able to add something for us in there," Martz said. "We'll look him at him a little bit."



    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Dishman is back after a visit home

    Dishman certainly sounds like he has his head screwed on right and his priorities in order.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

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    • RamWraith
      Rams rookie loses home in Florida hurricane
      by RamWraith
      By Jim Thomas
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      08/16/2004
      MACOMB, Ill. - The effects of Hurricane Charley have reached all the way to Western Illinois University. Defensive end Anthony Hargrove, a rookie from Georgia Tech, missed Sunday's Rams workout to be with his family in Florida.

      Hargrove, the Rams' third-round draft pick in April, is from Punta Gorda, Fla.

      "Anthony's family was in that hurricane, and his girlfriend was missing," coach Mike Martz said. "So he flew down there. Fortunately, they had gone to another town and were accounted for once they got down there.

      "But he's got a lot of things to do with his family to help them get back on their feet, into a hotel and what not, because their house is gone basically."

      Martz said he expects Hargrove back tonight.

      Dishman gets time off

      Guard Chris Dishman also missed practice Sunday to tend to matters back home in Nebraska, but under less dire circumstances.

      "When we signed him, he didn't get a chance to say goodbye to his family," Martz said. "So we gave him a day to get back and kind of get his things back in order, like everybody else has a chance to do before they come to camp. The poor guy didn't have a chance to do that, so he needed an opportunity to go back and get some things squared away."

      Dishman, who weighed in at 366 pounds after signing with the Rams, saw some action in the second half Thursday against Chicago. He had some trouble with speed moves in that game, but Martz is pleased with Dishman's conditioning.

      "He's continued to trim his weight down," Martz said. "He's a ways away yet by his own admission. But on those things, you've got to try and be as patient with them as you can."

      Cleeland progresses

      Tight end Cam Cleeland has missed two weeks because of a hamstring injury but is nearly ready to play.

      "He's very close, and would be questionable for this week," Martz said. "But we'll err on the side of caution. We'll try to keep him out this week (against Kansas City) and then get him ready."

      With seventh-round draft pick Erik Jensen (knee) also sidelined, Mike Brake and Ryan Prince have been getting plenty of work as the Nos. 2 and 3 tight ends behind starter Brandon Manumaleuna.

      Rams like weather

      The Rams have had only two practice days in Macomb that could be considered hot - and Sunday wasn't one of them.

      Has the weather for training camp been too mild?

      "I'm never worried about the heat," Martz said. "First of all, we play indoors - it's air-conditioned."

      And the only outdoors game the Rams play this season where warm weather could be a factor is Oct. 24, in Miami.
      ...
      -08-16-2004, 06:25 AM
    • RamDez
      Rams Head Home
      by RamDez
      Rams Head Home
      Friday, August 20, 2004


      By Nick Wagoner
      Staff Writer

      With the quickness of a Marshall Faulk cutback, coach Mike Martz ended the Rams’ 2004 training camp about 5:15 Thursday evening. Martz cited a major storm brewing in the Macomb area as the reason for the abrupt end.
      “I told them to get out of here tonight,” Martz said. “I don’t want them driving home in the rain in the morning. We wouldn’t get anything out of a morning practice here, anyway.”

      The players and coaching staff will leave for St. Louis on Thursday night and probably have a practice Friday afternoon at Rams Park. The end of camp signals the next step in the drive toward the regular season. St. Louis will play cross-state rival Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night.

      The regular season kicks off Sept. 12 against Arizona at the Edward Jones Dome. Martz said he is more than satisfied with the work the team put in at camp. “We had a heck of a camp up here,” Martz said. “The injury list is minimal compared to what it’s been in past years. I’m pleased with where we are.”

      WOHLABAUGH GONE: It was a disappointing ending for center Dave Wohlabaugh, who spent 2003 starting in the middle of the Rams’ offensive line.

      St. Louis cut ties with its injured center Wednesday night. Wohlabaugh had surgery on his hip in March and was not expected back for at least three or four months.

      Wohlabaugh had not practiced with the team during this training camp and was likely going to miss the entire season. He recently traveled to Ohio to have the hip check out again, but the results were not positive that Wohlabaugh would play again this year or any other.

      With his tenure in St. Louis ending, so too, might his career. Wohlabaugh signed with the Rams on Feb. 28, 2003. Wohlabaugh was entering his 10th season in the league. Andy McCollum, who started at left guard for the Rams last season, moved back to center at the beginning of camp.

      McCollum said he feels comfortable playing his original position again, but he is sorry to see his friend and linemate struggle with injuries. “It’s just unfortunate, the injury that Dave had,” McCollum said. “He’s only been here a year, but I consider him a friend of mine.”

      TIGHT COMPETITION: Brandon Manumaleuna seems to be the only tight end that has wrapped up his position, though a return from hamstring problems by Cameron Cleeland could bring the competition into focus. Manumaleuna looks like he is in better shape, showing better burst off the ball and making some difficult catches in traffic.

      Martz said Manumaleuna’s offseason efforts are paying off handsomely. “Brandon has come a long way,” Martz said. “First of all, he has lost a lot of weight. He’s done a terrific job, in terms of being a receiver and a significant blocker. The thing about him is that he has been consistently excellent,...
      -08-21-2004, 12:19 AM
    • RamWraith
      Rams Get Back to Work
      by RamWraith
      Sunday, August 15, 2004

      By Nick Wagoner
      Staff Writer

      With less than a week of training camp to go, St. Louis got back to work Sunday afternoon with a spirited workout. After a 13-10 loss to the Bears in their first preseason game in which a number of small mistakes cost them the game, the Rams began to remove the kinks.

      St. Louis had most of the weekend off after the game and returned to Macomb on Sunday morning. The rookies and first-year players came back Friday and the veterans were free to return before Sunday morning’s weightlifting session.

      Now, the Rams will have plenty of time to remove the miscues, as they don’t play another game until an Aug. 23 showdown with cross-state rival Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. Martz said it was nice to get his team back to work and begin correcting the problems that were evident Thursday night. “They ran and lifted this morning to kind of get the blood flowing a little bit,” Martz said. “They get out here in full gear and it’s hard to get used to that when you’ve been off for a little bit, but I thought they did a good job.”

      The practice seemed to run smoothly with the starting offense getting a lot of repetitions. Running back Marshall Faulk took every snap with the first unit and looked strong, showing good burst and vision, as per his usual. Quarterback Marc Bulger continued his excellent camp with some nice completions into traffic and a perfectly thrown deep ball that Torry Holt hauled in for a long touchdown.

      Martz said he can’t be worried about fatigue this late in camp and he likes the way the team came back after having some down time. “They have worked so hard,” Martz said. “You’ve got to recover. You just have to let some of these nicks heals. We have a real tough stretch here after this next week. If you’re going to take a break, now is the time to do that.”

      MISSING PERSONS FILE: A few Rams missed Sunday’s workout for various reasons. Martz said defensive end Anthony Hargrove left to take care of his family and friends in the south who were affected by Hurricane Charley. Hargrove was given the time to ensure that they could find a hotel and that everyone was safe. Fortunately, Hargrove’s family was safe when he got there.

      Chris Dishman also got a little extra time over the weekend so he could get some things in order. When Dishman signed, he reported to camp immediately and had little to no chance to tie up any loose ends at his home in Arizona, let alone say goodbye to his family. Martz excused him to take care of anything outstanding. Hargrove and Dishman are expected back as early as Monday.

      INJURY UPDATE: Pisa Tinoisamoa and Arlen Harris practiced as normal Sunday, showing few ill effects from injuries suffered against the Bears. Tinoisamoa (left ankle sprain) and Harris (slight concussion) didn’t miss any time.
      Robert Cromartie and Cameron...
      -08-16-2004, 06:14 AM
    • RamDez
      T Randall Joins Rams
      by RamDez
      T Randall Joins Rams
      Monday, August 2, 2004


      By NICK WAGONER
      Staff Writer


      Maybe the phone line was down. Perhaps nobody had his number. Whatever the case, offensive lineman Greg Randall is back in the NFL with something to prove.

      One day after Kyle Turley left training camp in Macomb, Ill., to return to St. Louis for back examinations, Randall made his debut as a Ram. With Orlando Pace, the other starting offensive tackle, stalled in contract negotiations, St. Louis desperately needed some depth on the offensive line.

      Enter Grant Williams. Williams, who has made a living as the official left tackle of Rams’ training camp and the team’s third tackle, told coach Mike Martz about a mammoth tackle with Super Bowl experience, who just happened to be a free agent.

      Martz said Randall looked as good as a player who hasn’t practiced yet can.

      “Obviously, we feel good about him,” Martz said. “This guy just came in last night and he was able to perform pretty well.”

      Randall, who enters his fifth season out of Michigan State, stands 6-feet-6 and tips the scale at 333 pounds. He spent the 2003 season with Houston, starting every game at right tackle. He also started on the New England team that beat the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl.

      Randall signed with St. Louis on Sunday and arrived in Macomb on Sunday evening. The Rams released kicker Dillon Pieffer to make room for Randall. It came as somewhat of a surprise that Randall was without a job as long as he was. San Francisco released him in June; only it didn’t do it the conventional way. There was nobody sent to tell Randall the coach wants to see him.

      Instead, Randall received a letter in the mail from the *****. The letter told him his services were no longer needed and Randall began the process of looking for a new job. St. Louis fit the bill and contacted Randall at home in Houston. He quickly agreed to a one-year contract. He said he is looking forward to his shot at the Rams’ NFC West rivals, but he has other worries right now.

      “The main thing is just trying to learn the system and get the offense down,” Randall said.

      Martz said the Rams might add another lineman, with former Arizona interior lineman Chris Dishman a possibility. The Rams had yet to contact Dishman on Monday morning.

      RAINING ON THE RAMS: For the first time since camp began Wednesday, the weather didn’t cooperate with St. Louis’ morning practice. Thunder, lightning and steady rain was the order of the day.

      Martz said the Rams cut practice a little short because of worries about the lightning. Practicing in full pads, St. Louis went live in the 11-on-11 drills at the end of practice. Martz eliminated the 7-on-7 drill and a few others.

      Linebacker Robert Thomas made a diving interception in the 11-on-11 that drew cheers from the crowd and an...
      -08-03-2004, 12:15 PM
    • RamDez
      Anthony Hargrove hurt
      by RamDez
      Veteran tackle joins depleted line
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      08/02/2004





      MACOMB, Ill. - Help arrived Sunday night in a big package. A 6-foot-6, 333-pound package, to be precise.

      Tackle Greg Randall, a five-year NFL veteran, hustled from his hometown of Houston to Western Illinois University, signed a one-year contract with the Rams, and was on the practice field Monday morning. Randall was hired to shore up an offensive line that has become short on personnel during training camp.

      "I'm very excited. I'm just trying to come out here and work hard," said Randall, who has huffing and puffing a bit after a full-pads workout that was cut to about 90 minutes because of a thunderstorm. No afternoon practice was scheduled.

      Randall, working at right tackle with the second team, took part in full-contact action. "Obviously, we feel pretty good about him to bring him in like this and throw him in there like we did," coach Mike Martz said. "We put him in a live situation for about 10 plays out here, and he was able to perform pretty well."

      With Orlando Pace absent during contract negotiations and fellow tackle Kyle Turley (back) and center Dave Wohlabaugh (hip) out with injuries, 60 percent of the front five is missing. Grant Williams, Andy King and Scott Tercero have been filling in on the first unit, but depth had become a concern.

      Randall, 26, was New England's fourth-round pick (127th overall) in the 2000 draft out of Michigan State. He started 23 games for the Patriots over three seasons; he played against the Rams in the Super Bowl following the '01 season. He was traded to Houston and started all 16 games at right tackle last year for the Texans, then signed with San Francisco in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

      His time with the ***** was short: He was released in June. "They sent me a letter," Randall said. "Nobody called me."

      More than a month passed before anyone else called, either. "I was a little worried, but you can't get too down about it," he said. "If you don't get picked up, you've got to move on and do something else."

      For now, Randall is undergoing a crash course with the Rams' playbook. "It's tough; there's a lot to learn," he said. "You have to try to figure out what you're supposed to do on a play instead of just relaxing and playing. But it's a great offense."

      Plus, he's trying to get into football shape as rapidly as possible. "Being in pads and then going against people live is completely different from just getting up and running," Randall said. The opportunity to resume his career "means a lot to me," he said. "I'm happy to be here, and I just want to go out here and work hard and try to do my business."

      ...
      -08-03-2004, 12:17 PM
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