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  • Rams offensive line serves and protects in exhibition win

    Rams offensive line serves and protects in exhibition win
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 28 2004

    Group recovers against Washington after a difficult outing Monday in loss at
    Kansas City.

    If the Rams' Scott Tercero never reads or hears the term "patchwork offensive
    line" again, he'll be a happy man.

    "I don't think they should use that," said Tercero, who has been playing right
    tackle with the first unit. "Everyone's tired of hearing 'patchwork offensive
    line.' Yeah, we have a couple of young guys playing, but with time, experience
    comes. And I think we're doing really well."

    It was hard to argue with Tercero after the Rams' 28-3 preseason victory over
    the Washington Redskins on Friday night at Edward Jones Dome. The Rams'
    offense, which totaled only 584 yards and mustered just 17 points in the first
    two exhibition games combined, broke out for 435 yards against the 'Skins.

    Perhaps as significant, the line kept quarterbacks Marc Bulger, Chris Chandler
    and Jeff Smoker out of harm's way, for the most part. The Redskins recorded one
    sack just four days after the Kansas City Chiefs dropped Rams QBs four times.

    "If you look across the board, there's nothing to be embarrassed about; those
    (offensive linemen) are a good group," Bulger said. "I don't know of any group
    that can just come together in a week and play great, especially against the
    package of blitzes that Kansas City had. They've had a little more time
    together, and they're going to be fine."

    With first-team tackles Orlando Pace (contract dispute) and Kyle Turley (back
    injury) out and incumbent center Dave Wohlabaugh (hip injury) released, the
    only remaining starters on the line are guard Adam Timmerman and center Andy
    McCollum, who played left guard last season.

    Plugging the holes have been Tercero, tackles Grant Williams and Greg Randall,
    and guards Chris Dishman and Andy King. Randall and Dishman were signed as free
    agents after training camp began, and guard Tom Nutten, a Rams starter for four
    years, was summoned out of a one-year retirement a week ago.

    Dishman, an eight-year veteran who has been starting at left guard, carried a
    heavy load Friday because Nutten suffered a toe injury in the first half.
    Dishman, who has shed 20 pounds but still weighs 354, said the extra work was
    beneficial.

    "It was good to see where I was at to (prepare to) play a full game; I felt
    pretty good," said Dishman, who also had retired before the Rams called. "There
    were a couple of long drives and my conditioning was better than what I thought
    it would be. Not as good as I'd like it to be, but it'll get there."

    So will the line as a whole, Tercero emphasized. "I think we played really
    well" vs. the 'Skins, he said. "We put up a lot of numbers in the first half
    with the first line. We had good pass protection for the most part, and we ran
    the ball pretty decently. It was a game that we really needed."

    Now they need No. 76 to walk through the doors at Rams Park: The arrival of
    Pace, a perennial Pro Bowler, is expected soon. "He's a great player, and he'll
    only boost the performance of our offensive line," Tercero said. "Whenever he
    comes back, that's obviously going to be a bonus for us."

    With a laugh, Bulger said, "We won't mind that." Then he added, "But in the
    long run, getting all these guys some experience, it's going to pay dividends
    in the future."

  • #2
    Re: Rams offensive line serves and protects in exhibition win

    They did play well, but the skins played like we played against KC. No sense of urgency, going through the motions, looking to get out of there with no injuries.

    Maineram :ramlogo:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams offensive line serves and protects in exhibition win

      Agreed. The Rams line played better, but the Redskins didn't play anywhere near the level we saw against KC.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams offensive line serves and protects in exhibition win

        I was encouraged to see the OL. They did look good. Perhaps it was against a weak line, but most everyone thought that our OL was very very weak. Given our rating of their potential, I thought they looked great, especially on pass protection. Run blocking looked weak.

        I agree that it is still preseason and that it is too early to judge Jackson a stud, but, he did look good and he did move the pile in the right direction, and he looked good catching the pass. I have some hope and expectations for him.

        Comment

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        • RamWraith
          Rams offensive line serves and protects in exhibition win
          by RamWraith
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Saturday, Aug. 28 2004

          Group recovers against Washington after a difficult outing Monday in loss at
          Kansas City.

          If the Rams' Scott Tercero never reads or hears the term "patchwork offensive
          line" again, he'll be a happy man.

          "I don't think they should use that," said Tercero, who has been playing right
          tackle with the first unit. "Everyone's tired of hearing 'patchwork offensive
          line.' Yeah, we have a couple of young guys playing, but with time, experience
          comes. And I think we're doing really well."

          It was hard to argue with Tercero after the Rams' 28-3 preseason victory over
          the Washington Redskins on Friday night at Edward Jones Dome. The Rams'
          offense, which totaled only 584 yards and mustered just 17 points in the first
          two exhibition games combined, broke out for 435 yards against the 'Skins.

          Perhaps as significant, the line kept quarterbacks Marc Bulger, Chris Chandler
          and Jeff Smoker out of harm's way, for the most part. The Redskins recorded one
          sack just four days after the Kansas City Chiefs dropped Rams QBs four times.

          "If you look across the board, there's nothing to be embarrassed about; those
          (offensive linemen) are a good group," Bulger said. "I don't know of any group
          that can just come together in a week and play great, especially against the
          package of blitzes that Kansas City had. They've had a little more time
          together, and they're going to be fine."

          With first-team tackles Orlando Pace (contract dispute) and Kyle Turley (back
          injury) out and incumbent center Dave Wohlabaugh (hip injury) released, the
          only remaining starters on the line are guard Adam Timmerman and center Andy
          McCollum, who played left guard last season.

          Plugging the holes have been Tercero, tackles Grant Williams and Greg Randall,
          and guards Chris Dishman and Andy King. Randall and Dishman were signed as free
          agents after training camp began, and guard Tom Nutten, a Rams starter for four
          years, was summoned out of a one-year retirement a week ago.

          Dishman, an eight-year veteran who has been starting at left guard, carried a
          heavy load Friday because Nutten suffered a toe injury in the first half.
          Dishman, who has shed 20 pounds but still weighs 354, said the extra work was
          beneficial.

          "It was good to see where I was at to (prepare to) play a full game; I felt
          pretty good," said Dishman, who also had retired before the Rams called. "There
          were a couple of long drives and my conditioning was better than what I thought
          it would be. Not as good as I'd like it to be, but it'll get there."...
          -08-28-2004, 06:51 AM
        • RamWraith
          Offensive Line Gives Strong Opening Act
          by RamWraith
          Monday, September 13, 2004

          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          Patchwork. Pieced together. Makeshift. Pick an adjective and the Rams’ offensive line was called it during the preseason. As the injuries mounted, the questions about the unit became as big as the men who played on it.

          With one regular season game down and a win on its record, St. Louis answered many of those questions with a resounding response. The starting group consisted of Orlando Pace (left tackle), Chris Dishman (left guard), Andy McCollum (center), Adam Timmerman (right guard) and Grant Williams (right tackle), playing its first game together.

          Finishing with zero sacks leading to 272 passing yards and a piledriving effort in the trenches that resulted in 176 rushing yards, the offensive line did more than jell, it dominated.

          After struggling with a trio of turnovers in the first quarter, the Rams decided to put it on the line, ramming (no pun intended) the ball down Arizona’s throat, leading the way to a 17-10 win at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday. The win was St. Louis’ first victory in an opener since it beat Philadelphia in 2001.

          Rams’ coach Mike Martz said he was more than pleased with the dominance of his offensive line.

          “I told our staff today that I felt like this is probably the best performance of an offensive line since I’ve been here,” Martz said. “Anytime you rush for those kind of yards and don’t give up any sacks, that’s a pretty exceptional day for any offensive line.”

          On the surface, it seemed like it would be difficult to put the line together in time to have any kind of continuity entering the regular season. Somehow, someway, the Rams made it work.

          The injury bug hit early when right tackle Kyle Turley left camp with back problems. Pace was absent on the other side because of a contract stalemate, leaving the Rams without either of their top-flight tackles. To make matters worse, center Dave Wohlabaugh struggled with a nagging hip injury, forcing left guard Andy McCollum to slide back to his center position.

          The only sure thing was Timmerman, who was forced to play through pain in his shoulder, just so the group could have some kind of consistent presence. Instead of crying over their losses, St. Louis got proactive, seeking help in the form of available free agents and looking within its own roster for possible help.

          Williams, who has been a steady hand in his time with the team, manned Pace’s position admirably, even playing on a badly sprained ankle. Scott Tercero was the utility man of the group, sliding between the two tackle spots and left guard at various times. In his second year, Tercero came of age, providing the Rams with a valuable commodity off the bench.

          Aside from the homegrown talent, St. Louis went shopping and found a high school football coach in Nebraska. Chris...
          -09-13-2004, 04:19 PM
        • Nick
          Rams' O-line gets outstanding rating
          by Nick
          Rams' O-line gets outstanding rating
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          09/12/2004

          If Rams tackle Orlando Pace had been asked to fill out the Post-Dispatch's Rams report card after Sunday's season-opening 17-10 victory over Arizona, he wouldn't have hesitated in giving the offensive line high marks.

          "It'd have to be an A-plus," Pace said, flashing a broad smile. Coach Mike Martz agreed. Noting that the Rams piled up 176 rushing yards and that quarterback Marc Bulger wasn't sacked, Martz said the unit "was outstanding. They did a terrific job."

          Pace, a Pro Bowl selection each of the past five years, skipped training camp and all four preseason games in a contract dispute. He was on the field at Rams Park for the first time last Monday, a day after signing a one-year, $7.02 million tender as the team's franchise player.

          Six days and just four practices later, he was at the forefront of a near-seamless performance by the O-line. "They more than just held their own, they were outstanding," said running back Marshall Faulk, who rushed for 128 yards on 22 carries.

          "We love running the ball; it kind of keeps the game going and takes the pressure off the quarterback," right guard Adam Timmerman said. "You're not sitting back there in pass protection all day; that gets old."

          Consistently given plenty of time to set up, Bulger connected on 23 of 34 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown. "Will I get sacked this year? Sure, but for them to play this well from the get-go was nice," Bulger said.

          The line was in turmoil for most of training camp. Pace wasn't in attendance, and then center Dave Wohlabaugh (hip) and right tackle Kyle Turley (back) were ruled out for the season. Andy McCollum moved from left guard to center, leaving Timmerman as the only returning lineman still in the same spot as last season.

          After a number of auditions, the Rams decided on veteran Chris Dishman - who'd been talked out of retirement - as their left guard and journeyman Grant Williams as their right tackle. When Pace finally showed up, all the pieces were in place. On Sunday, the group aced its first big test.

          "Everybody kept questioning this O-line, but we knew when we got 'Big O' in and the way we have experience up there that we were going to get some things done right," Dishman said. "I don't know what the film's going to look like, but it seemed like it went pretty well."

          Timmerman said the line "made a statement" vs. the Cardinals. "I think for the most part we looked pretty good," he said. "We have some hard-working guys, and we really just put it out there."

          Pace, who reported about 20 pounds under his preseason weight of a year ago, said his offseason conditioning paid off....
          -09-12-2004, 10:54 PM
        • RamWraith
          'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out
          by RamWraith
          BY JEFF GORDON
          Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
          11/17/2004

          Guard Tom Nutten assumed his old position at left guard Sunday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome.

          Orlando Pace was to his left, Andy McCollum and Adam Timmerman to his right -– just like during the glory days of the Rams offense.

          “It’s like old times out there,” McCollum said. “It was good to have him there. He did a good job. I think he can be even better this week.”

          Nutten experienced some flashbacks during that victory over the Seattle Seahawks. “It felt strange, but it felt good at the same time,” he said. “It felt natural. There are a lot of emotions out there . . . it felt good.”

          The Rams are glad to hear it, because Nutten is suddenly critical to this team’s quest for another division title.

          Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is clicking these days. Running back Marshall Faulk has the old spring in his step and rookie Steven Jackson adds the power-running component the team has lacked for years.

          Receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce are playing brilliantly this season. Youngsters Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald are developing into significant threats and tight ends Brandon Manumaleuna and Cam Cleeland are factors, too.

          The offense is poised for a big finish this season . . . if the offensive line can somehow hold up. And that’s the big if.


          Who could have foreseen all the calamities that have befallen this unit?

          Would-be starters Dave Wohlabaugh and Kyle Turley are distant memories now, having failed to fully recover from offseason surgery. Promising youngster Scott Tercero just got wiped out by shoulder surgery.

          Poor Chris Dishman just injured his good knee, sidelining him for an indefinite period of time. “I tore my MCL, so we’ll see how long that will take,” Dishman said Wednesday, slowly removing a bulky brace from his left knee.

          He tried to play hurt against the Seahawks, but couldn’t.

          “I braced it up,” Dishman said. “I thought I could do it and I went out and tried to make an adjustment on a linebacker and at that point I knew something was wrong. My knee kind of flopped out to the side and I thought something was not right. It was better for Tommy to go in.”

          Nutten came out of retirement to assist the Rams this season after injuries depleted the offensive line. While he was trying to scrape off his rust and regain his playing strength, he suffered a “turf injury” that hobbled him for a couple of months.

          Now his strength is up and his toe feels great. The chronic elbow injury that prompted his retirement has cleared up and so have his chronic ankle woes.

          “Tom, it was a big key for us to have him there,” Dishman said. “He went in and did a great job. He’s a seven-year guy. He hasn’t been away from the game that long....
          -11-17-2004, 07:36 PM
        • RamWraith
          With no Big O, Rams linemen 'have to suck it up'
          by RamWraith
          BY JEFF GORDON
          Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
          Tuesday, Aug. 31 2004

          Rams guard Adam Timmerman got pinned to a wall by an anxious mob of reporters
          Tuesday afternoon.

          "So," a media guy asked, "is Orlando here?"

          "Haven't seen him," Timmerman said. "Have you guys seen him?"

          Uh, no.

          So the Orlando Pace saga marches on. The unsigned "franchise tag" player was a
          no-show at Rams Park on Tuesday morning, so the offensive line continued making
          do without him.

          The line also must muddle along without '03 center Dave Wohlabaugh and '03
          right tackle Kyle Turley, veteran blockers who didn't make it back from major
          offseason operations in working condition.

          Timmerman has soldiered on with a bum shoulder. Tackle Grant Williams has been
          playing on a sore ankle. Left guard Chris Dishman is hobbled by a minor ankle
          injury and back-up right guard Tom Nutten is recovering from a toe injury.

          Scott Tercero? He has played both tackle spots and guard this preseason, after
          taking exactly zero snaps as a rookie.

          The offensive line has done admirable work under tough circumstances. Whether
          they'll be ready for the season opener, whether O.P. will be in the lineup by
          then . . . well, we'll just have to see how it goes.

          "We kind of joke about it," Timmerman said. "Whenever he gets here, he gets
          here. We don't think too much about it.

          "I guess all of us, in the back of our minds, we figured that some time this
          week he would be here. I was kind of thinking, back in camp, that there was no
          guarantee that he would be here. That's just the way it works."

          Since the media didn't have Pace to chat with, reporters quizzed Timmerman
          about the harm a holdout can do to an offensive lineman.

          "Speaking from my own experience, I would need some time, at least, to get my
          timing down, stuff like that," he said. "He'll have to decide that for himself.
          Hopefully, whenever he gets here, he'll have a little bit of time to get ready
          and put himself in a position where he doesn't get hurt."

          Timmerman has never seen a fellow offensive lineman hold out for this long.

          "Not this far," he said. "We have, what, two days left?"

          Pace's holdout, combined with the demise of Wohlabaugh and Turley, has forced
          Rams coaches to shuffle players. Dishman and Nutten came out of retirement.
          Andy McCollum moved from guard to center.

          Williams has played both tackle spots and Tercero has moved all over the line,
          as needed.

          "This does make it a little trickier,"...
          -08-31-2004, 04:09 PM
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