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  • Party, other subtle signals point to Pace returning soon

    Party, other subtle signals point to Pace returning soon
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 28 2004

    All signals are pointing to an Orlando Pace sighting at Rams Park in the near
    future, perhaps as early as Sunday or Monday.

    Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt spoke with Pace's agent, Carl
    Poston, earlier the week but came away from the conversation uncertain when
    Pace would sign his one-year, $7 million tender as a franchise player.

    In what may be a sign that Pace is about to report, he played host to his
    teammates at a postgame party Friday at the Kastle nightclub in midtown St.
    Louis.

    Meanwhile, the Rams are expecting to place right tackle Kyle Turley on the
    injured reserve list sometime next week. Turley's back injury, which he
    aggravated in training camp following offseason surgery, has not responded to
    treatment.

    S. Jackson tops 100

    Rookie running back Steven Jackson continued his impressive work Friday, nearly
    doubling his preseason rushing total against the Washington Redskins. Jackson,
    who had a combined 126 yards rushing in his first two preseason games, gained
    125 yards on 25 carries against Washington.

    "He's really developing very well," coach Mike Martz said. "I guess that's kind
    of an understatement."

    Injury update

    Wide receiver Isaac Bruce suffered a jammed right index finger in the first
    quarter. X-rays showed no fractures, but Bruce did not return. "It's just a
    deep bruise and some swelling," Martz said. "He should be fine."

    Also in the first quarter, running back and kickoff returner Arlen Harris
    jammed a finger, with X-rays again showing no fracture.

    Linebacker Jeremy Loyd suffered what Martz called a slight shoulder sprain, and
    Scott Tercero - starting again at right offensive tackle - suffered a
    concussion, which Martz said didn't appear serious.

    Offensive guard Tom Nutten's comeback lasted only a few plays before he hobbled
    off the field with a sprained right big toe. Nutten started the second half at
    right guard, but he left 2 1/2 minutes into the quarter.

    Timmerman starts

    After resting a sore shoulder by sitting out practice Wednesday and Thursday,
    Adam Timmerman started for the Rams at right guard and played the entire first
    half.

    Tight end Cameron Cleeland saw his first preseason action, after sitting out
    the first two exhibition games with a hamstring injury.No fan of
    Redskins

    Between stints with the Rams, Mike Martz spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons with
    Washington. When asked if he had fond memories of his time with the Redskins,
    Martz bluntly replied: "None. Norv Turner, Bobby Jackson, Mike Pope, Trent
    Green - those people were great memories. Other than that, I don't have a whole
    lot of fond memories about the organization. It was not a good time there. You
    go through that in all kinds of organizations. And it was just a hard time in
    that organization."

    Jackson and Pope were Washington assistants at the time, Turner was Redskins
    head coach, and Green was a quarterback there, with Martz the quarterbacks
    coach.

    "It's a great place to live. Where we lived out in Virginia - Virginia's just
    beautiful."

    Martz is 0-2 against Washington in the regular season as a head coach, losing
    33-20 to Turner in 2000 and 20-17 to Steve Spurrier in 2002.

    Timmerman starts After resting a sore shoulder by sitting out
    practice Wednesday and Thursday, Adam Timmerman started for the Rams at right
    guard and played the entire first half.

    Tight end Cameron Cleeland saw his first preseason action, after sitting out
    the first two exhibition games with a hamstring injury.

    Sitting it out

    Among those sitting out Friday's game for St. Louis were: CB Travis Fisher
    (arm); RB Lamar Gordon (ankle); CB DeJuan Groce (knee); and DT Jimmy Kennedy
    (foot). Among the Redskins sitting out was LB LaVar Arrington.

Related Topics

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  • RamWraith
    Party, other subtle signals point to Pace returning soon
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 28 2004

    All signals are pointing to an Orlando Pace sighting at Rams Park in the near
    future, perhaps as early as Sunday or Monday.

    Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt spoke with Pace's agent, Carl
    Poston, earlier the week but came away from the conversation uncertain when
    Pace would sign his one-year, $7 million tender as a franchise player.

    In what may be a sign that Pace is about to report, he played host to his
    teammates at a postgame party Friday at the Kastle nightclub in midtown St.
    Louis.

    Meanwhile, the Rams are expecting to place right tackle Kyle Turley on the
    injured reserve list sometime next week. Turley's back injury, which he
    aggravated in training camp following offseason surgery, has not responded to
    treatment.

    S. Jackson tops 100

    Rookie running back Steven Jackson continued his impressive work Friday, nearly
    doubling his preseason rushing total against the Washington Redskins. Jackson,
    who had a combined 126 yards rushing in his first two preseason games, gained
    125 yards on 25 carries against Washington.

    "He's really developing very well," coach Mike Martz said. "I guess that's kind
    of an understatement."

    Injury update

    Wide receiver Isaac Bruce suffered a jammed right index finger in the first
    quarter. X-rays showed no fractures, but Bruce did not return. "It's just a
    deep bruise and some swelling," Martz said. "He should be fine."

    Also in the first quarter, running back and kickoff returner Arlen Harris
    jammed a finger, with X-rays again showing no fracture.

    Linebacker Jeremy Loyd suffered what Martz called a slight shoulder sprain, and
    Scott Tercero - starting again at right offensive tackle - suffered a
    concussion, which Martz said didn't appear serious.

    Offensive guard Tom Nutten's comeback lasted only a few plays before he hobbled
    off the field with a sprained right big toe. Nutten started the second half at
    right guard, but he left 2 1/2 minutes into the quarter.

    Timmerman starts

    After resting a sore shoulder by sitting out practice Wednesday and Thursday,
    Adam Timmerman started for the Rams at right guard and played the entire first
    half.

    Tight end Cameron Cleeland saw his first preseason action, after sitting out
    the first two exhibition games with a hamstring injury.No fan of
    Redskins

    Between stints with the Rams, Mike Martz spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons with
    Washington. When asked if he had fond memories of his time with the Redskins,
    Martz bluntly replied:...
    -08-28-2004, 06:50 AM
  • Nick
    Offensive line has makeover again
    by Nick
    Offensive line has makeover again
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Sep. 03 2004

    OAKLAND, Calif. - The line shuffling continued for the Rams on Thursday.
    Offensive guards Chris Dishman (ankle) and Tom Nutten (turf toe) did not play
    against the Oakland Raiders.

    Dishman had started the Rams' second and third exhibition games, but he rolled
    his ankle last week against Washington. Nutten suffered his toe injury after
    participating in just a few plays against the Redskins in his exhibition debut.
    Dishman and Nutten came out of retirement to join the Rams in training camp.

    With Dishman sidelined, the Rams employed their third offensive line
    combination in four exhibition games. Andy King started in place of Dishman at
    left guard. Also, tackles Grant Williams and Scott Tercero changed places, with
    Williams moving to right tackle from left tackle and Tercero going to left
    tackle from right tackle.

    There remained no sign of left tackle Orlando Pace, whose contract impasse
    continues. Pace or no Pace, the unit performed well for the most part on
    Thursday. The only sack in the first half was at the expense of backup left
    guard Ben Noll, not the starters.

    "When you come out of the game and your jersey's still clean - even if it is
    one drive - you know your offensive line's doing a good job," quarterback Marc
    Bulger said.

    Gordon returns

    Not only did running back Lamar Gordon return to action only three weeks after
    ankle surgery, he got a workout. Gordon carried nine times for 39 yards in the
    first half alone after replacing Marshall Faulk at the start of the second
    quarter. After scoring on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter, Gordon had 70
    yards on 18 carries.

    Cleeland, Jensen are injured

    Tight end Cam Cleeland finished with four catches for 71 yards, including a
    touchdown, but left with a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter after his final
    reception. Rookie fullback-tight end Erik Jensen left with a sprained left knee
    after a seven-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

    Holt sits

    Wide receiver Torry Holt watched the game in street clothes because of back
    spasms. Shaun McDonald started in Holt's place.

    Also sitting out for the Rams: CB Travis Fisher (arm), CB DeJuan Groce (knee),
    and DT Jimmy Kennedy (foot).

    Reunion tour continues

    Earlier in the preseason, Martz renewed acquaintances with Lovie Smith, his
    former defensive coordinator, and Dick Vermeil, his former head coach. On
    Thursday, Martz faced Raiders head coach Norv Turner, his boss when Martz was
    quarterbacks coach at Washington in '97 and '98....
    -09-03-2004, 01:08 AM
  • RamWraith
    Monday Notebook: Pace Back in Fold
    by RamWraith
    Monday, September 6, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Subtract 12 from 65, place two more on the injured list, add a veteran safety and a “Big O,” and what do you get? It isn’t rocket science, but the answer isn’t negative 13. That’s because the “Big O” isn’t a zero, but Orlando Pace, the Rams’ Pro Bowl left tackle. His addition is St. Louis’ biggest, literally and figuratively, of the preseason.

    The correct answer is the completion of the Rams’ final 53-man roster. The roster can change at anytime as the team scours the waiver wire for possible additions and alterations. Rams’ coach Mike Martz said the roster turnover is a natural part of the way the league is today.

    “Unfortunately, you just can’t afford to hang on to some of these guys,” Martz said. “You try to keep people that you think are the core players. That’s just the way the league is. Everybody’s in the same boat.”

    After receiving the team’s franchise tag for the third straight year and sitting out all of the preseason, Pace signed his one-year tender for about $7.02 million Sunday night.

    Pace’s return has been long awaited after injuries decimated the offensive line throughout camp. Right tackle Kyle Turley was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 28 because of a back injury. In addition, the Rams released center Dave Wohlabaugh after he failed to pass a physical because of complications from a hip injury.

    Those injuries and Pace’s absence left the Rams with a thin offensive line throughout the preseason, with many of their starting linemen playing out of position. Pace’s arrival means Grant Williams will move from left to right tackle, where he played against Oakland in Thursday night’s final preseason game.

    Pace, who was listed at 6-foot-7, 325 pounds, is likely to play in Sunday’s opener against Arizona at the Edward Jones Dome. In years past, Pace has made it to camp in time to play in at least one preseason game and get his conditioning up. He reported to camp in better shape than before, according to Martz.

    “We’re always glad to have Orlando back,” Martz said. “He came in to camp 16 pounds underneath what he did last year. He has obviously trained very well and prepared himself to come to camp. Watching him out here in practice he was a little rusty with some things, but he looks pretty good.”

    Pace did look to be almost svelte in his body composition. He also looked to be conditioned fairly well. On one play in a one-on-one drill, Pace pancaked defensive end Anthony Hargrove with the kind of power that helped Pace create the statistic for pancake blocks.

    The line, which has, at times, started Scott Tercero, Greg Randall and Andy King, looks like it might have solidified with Pace’s addition. The likely line features Pace and Williams at the tackles, Chris Dishman at LG, Adam Timmerman at RG, and Andy McCollum at...
    -09-06-2004, 06:25 PM
  • RamDez
    Martz Pleased with First, Second Units
    by RamDez
    Martz Pleased with First, Second Units
    Saturday, August 14, 2004


    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer


    For more than a half of football Thursday night, St. Louis dominated Chicago. The bad news is the Rams ended up losing a 13-10 decision to the Bears. Fortunately for St. Louis, though, the first half was the portion of the game it was in control.

    The reason that comes as good news is that was the part where both sides played their first and second teams. The starting St. Louis offense moved the ball well behind quarterback Marc Bulger before a Jeff Wilkins’ 33-yard field goal capped its lone drive.

    The beat went on after the top unit left, as Chris Chandler turned in a nearly perfect performance, going 8-of-9 for 108 yards and a touchdown. The St. Louis offense finished the first half with 190 yards of offense and a 10-3 lead.
    Rams coach Mike Martz said he was happy with the top two units. “All in all, I was very pleased, particularly in the first half with both groups,” Martz said.

    St. Louis entered the preseason game with quite a few concerns that needed addressing. The main concern was along the offensive line, where both starting tackles and the center were missing and one of the starting guards played center. The line held up, though, behind the leadership of veteran guard Adam Timmerman, the lone starter on the unit playing his normal position at kickoff.

    Timmerman missed a pair of practices leading up to the game because of shoulder soreness, but Martz identified Timmerman’s leadership as a main reason for the first-half success. “He can play anywhere,” Martz said. “He can play in the street. It doesn’t make any difference. He’s what you’re looking for as a leader, as an example in every form.”

    Martz took the time Sunday to praise another lineman, only this one doesn’t quite have the pedigree and resume of Timmerman. Tackle Scott Tercero, making his first start in the NFL, overcame some nervousness to have a strong showing. If Tercero continues to perform at a high level, some of St. Louis’ major concerns might be eased.

    Martz, who has said in the past that he likes players to step up their play in the preseason and show themselves, said Tercero did just that. “I think that there’s a toughness with Scott that I didn’t realize was there because he’s such a quiet young man,” Martz said. “There’s a resolve… that you don’t know about these guys until you put them in pressure situations like we had him in. He really responded very well.”

    Tercero’s emergence could prove important in the next few months. Offensive tackle Kyle Turley is out at least four weeks with a bulging disc in his back. “The doctors have said four weeks from now they’ll have an idea about how he feels and what direction we’ll go,” Martz said.

    Center Dave Wohlabaugh could miss up to three months with his hip injury. Pro-Bowl left...
    -08-15-2004, 02:14 AM
  • RamWraith
    Offensive line is in rough shape
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/24/2004
    The problems on the Rams offensive line aren't going to go away in a day or two. Coach Mike Martz conceded as much Tuesday, sifting through the ashes of the previous night's 24-7 meltdown in Kansas City.

    The real question is: Can they be sorted out in 18 days, when the Rams open the regular season against Arizona?

    "Provided that we can keep what we have healthy, with the addition of Orlando (Pace), absolutely," Martz said. "And even if Orlando's not here, we'll put out a first unit that will compete and play well."

    But at the moment:

    Left tackle Grant Williams has a sprained ankle that Martz said probably needs about a week to properly heal, although Williams may keep playing through it.

    "We're so thin at this point," Martz said. "I told him, do what you can do. If he can't (play), this is his decision and I respect him. ... There's great character in that man. He wanted to be there (against Kansas City), and I appreciate that. I'm very grateful for that."

    Williams had been wearing a protective boot around the ankle in practice but scrapped the boot in favor of extra tape against Kansas City. "The boot was causing numbness," Williams said. "The ankle wore down as the night went on. Certain movements, it didn't affect me. But whenever I had to push on it, there wasn't a lot there."

    Chris Dishman is rounding into shape at left guard but still has a way to go.

    "I think Big Dish is going to be fine," Martz said. "He's obviously a few weeks away from being ready physically. He's really out of shape, but he's light years ahead of where he was when he came in. ... He played much better (against Kansas City) than I thought he would at this point."

    The recently unretired Tom Nutten still needs a couple of weeks before he's ready to play.

    Right guard Adam Timmerman is bothered by a nagging shoulder problem, and may not practice or play Friday against Washington.

    Right tackle Scott Tercero is a preseason bright spot, even though the blitz-heavy Chiefs threw a lot at him Monday. "He probably played the best of all the offensive linemen (Monday) night," Martz said.

    The situation would improve dramatically once left tackle Pace, embroiled in a contract dispute, shows up. But when does that take place?

    "When he gets here, he gets here," Martz said. "I don't have any idea how much work he needs because I don't know what kind of shape he's in. I don't know what he's been doing. I don't know anything about him.

    "I have not talked to Orlando since the end of the season. He's not returned any calls to any of the coaches, any of the players, or anything else."
    ...
    -08-25-2004, 06:44 AM
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