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Offensive line has makeover again

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  • Offensive line has makeover again

    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.

    "He's a very good friend," Martz said. "I owe Norv a lot, professionally,
    particularly. He taught me so much, whether he knows it or not."

  • #2
    Re: Offensive line has makeover again

    Originally posted by NickSeiler
    Offensive line has makeover again
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Sep. 03 2004

    Holt sits

    Wide receiver Torry Holt watched the game in street clothes because of back
    spasms. Shaun McDonald started in Holt's place.
    No wonder bulger was using his check downs; he didn't have his only receiver on the field to force passes to. :tongue:



    • #3
      Re: Offensive line has makeover again

      Originally posted by gap
      No wonder bulger was using his check downs; he didn't have his only receiver on the field to force passes to. :tongue:


      Now thats funny.


      • #4
        Re: Offensive line has makeover again

        That was almost as good as the Massey shin thing!


        • #5
          Re: Offensive line has makeover again

          i gotta give you props gap, that was pretty damn good!


          • #6
            Re: Offensive line has makeover again

            Originally posted by gap
            No wonder bulger was using his check downs; he didn't have his only receiver on the field to force passes to. :tongue:




            Related Topics


            • 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

              "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, 05:51 AM
            • Nick
              Party, other subtle signals point to Pace returning soon
              by Nick
              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.

              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

              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

              Tight end Cameron Cleeland saw his first preseason action, after sitting out
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              Between stints with the Rams, Mike Martz spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons with
              Washington. When asked if he had fond memories...
              -08-27-2004, 10:49 PM
            • 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, 03:19 PM
            • RamDez
              O-line's subs rise to occasion
              by RamDez
              O-line's subs rise to occasion
              By Bill Coats
              Of the Post-Dispatch
              Sunday, Nov. 14 2004

              Orlando Pace had been ejected. Chris Dishman had been injured. And suddenly the
              Rams' offensive line sported a new look.

              Grant Williams moved from right tackle to Pace's spot at left tackle. Blaine
              Saipaia took over at right tackle. Tom Nutten slid into Dishman's left guard
              position. And the Rams' offensive line didn't miss a beat in the last
              quarter-plus in a 23-12 victory Sunday over Seattle at Edward Jones Dome.

              "It's kind of like the worst-case scenario," said Saipaia, who had appeared in
              one game in four previous NFL seasons - on special teams. "But everybody on the
              line all are players. You plug us in anywhere, and we'll all perform and give
              you a good product."

              Good enough to stand tall in a brutish 86-yard drive on the Rams' last
              possession that culminated in a 23-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins and a
              virtually insurmountable two- score spread with 26 seconds remaining.

              Dishman suffered a sprained right knee early in the third quarter and will have
              an MRI today. He returned for one series "but it was just giving out on me. So
              I think Tommy was a better choice," he said.

              Other than a brief goal-line appearance earlier this year in San Francisco,
              Nutten hadn't played in an NFL game since 2002. He retired before the start of
              the 2003 season but was lured back by coach Mike Martz in late August when the
              Rams were severely short-handed on the offensive line.

              "Obviously, there was pressure; I'd be lying if I'd say it was like riding a
              bike," said Nutten, who has been bothered by a toe injury and was inactive for
              six of the first eight games. Nutten was a Rams starter from 1999 through 2002,
              a span that included two Super Bowl appearances.

              "We've won an awful lot of games with Tommy Nutten at the left guard spot,"
              Martz said. "Tommy came in and did just an extraordinary job."

              Pace was tossed with 5 minutes 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter. He
              was involved in a scrum after the Seahawks recovered a fumble by Rams running
              back Marshall Faulk. Referee Bill Leavy said he saw Pace "pull the side judge
              (Don Carlson) down to the ground" during the scuffle, but Pace contended that
              he was "just trying to hold myself up ... I'd never intentionally try to hit a

              Williams manned left tackle for the first time since the preseason. He said
              swapping sides is "not fun. But fortunately you don't have time to think about

              And on came Saipaia, a free-agent pickup on Sept. 8 who hadn't been on the
              45-man roster for any of...
              -11-14-2004, 11:17 PM
            • RamWraith
              Dishman gets a double dose of knee trouble
              by RamWraith
              By Bill Coats
              Of the Post-Dispatch

              In nearly two decades of football, dating to his pre-high school days in Cozad, Neb., Chris Dishman never had suffered a significant knee injury. Now, it's two in two months.

              Dishman, an eight-year NFL veteran who signed with the Rams as a free agent Aug. 5, will be sidelined four to six weeks with a complete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Dishman, who had started five games at left guard, was injured in the third quarter Sunday in the Rams' 23-12 victory over Seattle at the Edward Jones Dome.

              "I was locked up with a guy that I was going against, and he came into the side of my leg," Dishman explained. A series later, he re-entered the game.

              "I braced it up, and I thought I could do it," he said. "I went out and tried to make an adjustment on a linebacker, and at that point I knew something was wrong in there, because my knee kind of flopped out the side."

              An MRI exam Monday revealed the damage. No surgery is planned.

              Veteran Tom Nutten played left guard the rest of the game and is expected to start Sunday, when the Rams (5-4) square off with the Buffalo Bills (3-6) at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Rams' last regular-season game is Jan. 2, so Dishman could return this season.

              "If we're fortunate enough to be in postseason play, he should be back by then," coach Mike Martz said. "That's still a ways down the road, but ... he'd play right now if we asked him to."

              Dishman, 30, missed two games after hyperextending his right knee Sept. 26 against New Orleans. "It still isn't 100 percent," he said. "And then I go out there and do this. So I've kind of been a gimp."

              The offensive line was thinned further when it was determined that guard/tackle Scott Tercero would have shoulder surgery this week and miss the remainder of the season. Tercero, who also had been playing with a broken left hand, started four games at left guard.

              "Scotty Tercero was playing so good, I can't stress that enough," Martz said. "He's an exceptional offensive lineman. That's a big-time hit on our part. I can't be more pleased with him."

              Illness hits Faulk

              When running back Marshall Faulk showed up Wednesday at Rams Park, Martz threw him out.

              "He's got that flu bug. He was going to come and practice, and (I told him), 'Go home, go to bed,'" Martz said. "He's been down for a couple of days. He came in and got some medicine, got the game plan and went back home."

              Martz reported that Faulk was improving. "He feels a lot better. He was really bad" Tuesday. As much as anything, Martz wanted to keep Faulk away from his teammates.

              "We've got a...
              -11-18-2004, 06:06 AM