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  • Rams' Turley says he may retire



    Rams' Turley says he may retire


    BY STEVE KORTE

    Knight Ridder Newspapers



    ST. LOUIS - (KRT) - Offensive tackle Kyle Turley, who will sit out the entire 2004 season for the St. Louis Rams due to a back injury, is mulling retirement.

    The 28-year-old Turley left training camp three weeks ago to seek out the opinion of several back specialists, and was told that he will likely require a second operation on the herniated disc in his back if he ever wants to return to the football field.

    If Turley opts for the operation, he probably wouldn`t be healthy enough to play until midway through the 2005 season.

    ESPN.com reported that Turley`s friends say he is not yet mentally prepared for the rigors of such a lengthy rehabilitation.

    There`s also no guarantee that the surgery will permanently correct Turley`s chronic back problems.

    Turley, appearing on Fox Sports Net`s "Best Damn Sports Show Period" on Thursday, said it was 50-50 whether he`d ever play again.

    "There`s the quality of life after football," Turley said in an interview on FSN Midwest. "I want to be able to pick my kids up when I`m 40 years old and carry them around."

    Turley failed to return several telephone calls from Rams coach Mike Martz in the week after he left training camp.

    "At the time, when things we`re going on, and Mike came on the air and talked about how I didn`t call him back, I was traveling around," Turley said. "And, it was a situation that I had not been used to dealing with. I was angry in some cases that this (injury) happened again and in other cases very disheartened. I didn`t return a lot of telephone calls."

    If Turley does retire, the Rams could seek the return of a portion of the $10 million signing bonus he received when they acquired him in a trade with the New Orleans Saints in March, 2003.

    Turley has been placed on injured reserve for this season. He`ll count $2.36 million against the Rams` salary cap for 2004.

    Turley was a model of durability before the back injury. He had missed only one game in six previous NFL seasons.

    The loss of Turley and center Dave Wohlabaugh, who was released after failing to comeback from off-season hip surgery, was a big blow for the Rams` offensive line.

    Compounding matters is the holdout of Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace, who has yet to sign the one-year, $7.05 million tender as the team`s franchise agent.

    The Rams are in the process of finalizing their roster. They must trim 12 players by 3 p.m. on Sunday to get down to the NFL regular-season limit of 53 players.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Rams' Turley says he may retire

    Good...he should have retired two years ago.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

    Comment

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    • RamWraith
      Turley still rehabbing from back injury
      by RamWraith
      By Len Pasquarelli
      ESPN.com


      Still at least three months away from being able to pass an NFL physical, and about 40 pounds under his normal playing weight, offensive tackle Kyle Turley has been released by the St. Louis Rams after failing a team-administered physical exam.

      The split with Turley, who officially appeared on the NFL's transaction wire Monday as "waived-failed physical" following an exam in Arizona, where he has been rehabilitating from a debilitating back injury, ends a turbulent stint with the team. The bile between the seven-year veteran right tackle and coach Mike Martz spilled over into a much-publicized shouting match last December.

      Following the imbroglio, precipitated in part when the coach suggested that Turley was not returning his phone calls and updating him on his physical progress, Martz filed a complaint with NFL security. In the complaint, Martz alleged Turley threatened him.

      Even without the bitterness, it is doubtful that Turley, who is suffering from a herniated disc, would have returned to the club. The poisoned relationship between Turley and Martz, though, cemented the fact the tackle would not return to the Rams, even though he suggested as recently as last week that he was amenable to playing in St. Louis again.

      The only question about Turley's status with the Rams was the timing of when the club chose to release him.

      The addition of Turley to the free agent market further crowds the pool of veterans at the tackle position. The key difference, though, is that veterans such as Chris Terry, Kenyatta Jones, Scott Gragg and Aaron Gibson are physically cleared to play in 2005. Turley is probably several months from having even a remote chance of getting back onto a field in 2005, and might have to wait until 2006.

      Within the last week, Dr. Robert Watkins, a Los Angeles back specialist who performed the surgery on Turley's disc in 2004, examined the offensive linemen and apprised him he needed several more months of rehabilitation. At that time, Turley remained optimistic he would play football again at some point.

      "The back is feeling really good," Turley said. "The biggest problem right now is the severe atrophy of my right leg muscles, and I've been struggling to overcome that. That's a rigorous and long process, but it's coming back, slowly but surely."

      Turley, 28, has made it clear he does not plan to retire. He will continue his rehabilitation and hopes to resume his career at some point, even if it means changing positions. A few months ago, Turley suggested he might come back as a defensive end, a position where he would not need as much weight, and which would submit his balky back to less strain.

      The former San Diego State star, acquired by the Rams from New Orleans in 2003, had surgery on a herniated disc...
      -06-07-2005, 02:40 PM
    • Nick
      Turley is released after failing physical - PD
      by Nick
      Turley is released after failing physical
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      Monday, Jun. 06 2005

      Kyle Turley won't be playing offensive tackle, tight end, defensive tackle or
      anything else for the Rams in 2005. Turley has failed a physical exam
      administered in Arizona, where he had been rehabbing the back injury that cost
      him the entire 2004 season, and has been released.

      Officially, Turley was designated as "waived - failed physical," which means
      the Rams owe him $250,000 but that the effect on the salary cap is the same as
      if he simply had been released. The "hit" is $1.82 million this year and $5.47
      million in 2006.

      Turley signed a six-year, $26.5 million deal with the Rams after he was
      acquired in a trade with New Orleans in March of 2003.

      Turley, 28, underwent surgery on a herniated disc in March of 2004 after
      starting all 16 games at right tackle the previous season, his first with the
      Rams. Turley reinjured his back early in training camp last July and was placed
      on the injured reserve list Aug. 28.

      Additional surgery was not performed, and Turley said in a recent interview
      with the Post-Dispatch that he had been training daily since early January at
      the Athletes Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz. After dropping some 65
      pounds from his playing weight, down to 235, the 6-foot-5 Turley reported that
      he'd added about 30 pounds and hoped to play in the NFL this year.

      Still, Turley acknowledged that he probably couldn't add enough bulk to man an
      offensive line position this year, so he hinted that he'd be interested in a
      different position - perhaps tight end or defensive end.

      "As far as the team goes, I don't know what their thoughts are," he said.
      "Obviously, they signed a contract with me to play offensive line, and they
      don't know what I would do at another position. So, that's probably a big
      question in their mind. ...

      "(But) it might take another year possibly to continue putting the weight on,
      making it good weight, and not just going out and eating a bunch of Krispy
      Kreme doughnuts and burritos at 2 in the morning, to get back up to 300
      pounds."

      It probably never would've gotten that far with the Rams, particularly after
      Turley's well-publicized offseason clash with coach Mike Martz. Their rift
      began when Martz became irritated that Turley wasn't returning his phone calls
      after leaving training camp in Macomb, Ill., to seek evaluations of his back
      injury.

      A conversation between the two in mid-December in Martz's Rams Park office
      escalated into a shouting match and ultimately led Martz to file a complaint...
      -06-07-2005, 01:57 AM
    • Nick
      Turley wants to play defense
      by Nick
      Offensive lineman asks Rams to switch him to defense
      By Brent Schrotenboer
      UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

      April 2, 2005

      St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Kyle Turley is planning a switch to defensive end this year a position he hasn't played since high school as long he can pass a physical exam and resume working relations with a head coach he won't forgive.

      Turley, a former standout at San Diego State, wants to switch to defensive end to relieve pressure on his back, a subject of controversy and much physical stress for Turley since December. Turley suffered from a herniated disc in preseason training camp and missed the entire 2004 season.

      "I need to play a position where I have more freedom to move around and get out of problem situations," Turley said yesterday by phone. "My back was injured on pass plays (on offense)."

      Turley said Rams General Manager Charlie Armey and operations chief Jay Zygmunt have given him the "we'll see" answer to his switch request. A call to the Rams office seeking comment was not immediately returned last night.

      In the last three months, Turley's weight dipped to 235 for the first time since his freshman year at SDSU. After working out in Tempe, Ariz., he has it back up to 260 with a target of 275. He was once up to 309.

      As a result, he said, he's going to be faster than ever and is feeling great about extending his career. A bigger question might be how he'll be received by head coach Mike Martz if he does. In December, Turley got into a shouting match with Martz after Turley said Martz questioned the seriousness of Turley's injury. Turley allegedly threatened to kill Martz a charge Turley denies.

      "There's definitely hard feelings," Turley said. "As far as I'm concerned, I don't have to forgive anybody. The things he said to me, I don't plan on forgetting."

      Turley said that from now on his relationship with Martz wil be: "He stays away from me, and I stay away from him."

      According to Turley, Martz said that Turley came to St. Louis "to take the money and run." Turley, 29, signed a six-year, $26.5 million contract after joining the Rams in 2003.

      "How do you say that to a guy who hasn't missed a down or a practice in six years and faces a serious, career-ending injury?" Turley asked.

      Turley, a former first-round draft pick in 1998, also said he's ditched many diet supplements in his quest to regain his health and weight. Instead of multivitamins, for example, he's sticking to a strict diet and nutritional shakes. His body fat rate is down from 10 percent to 8 percent.

      Turley had surgery on his back in March 2004 but didn't want to have more surgery last fall that could have further jeopardized his career.
      -04-03-2005, 10:05 PM
    • RamWraith
      Can this marriage be saved?
      by RamWraith
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      Wednesday, Jun. 01 2005

      Call him irrationally stubborn. Call him sadly delusional. Or call him
      cunningly shrewd as he attempts to position himself for future work in the NFL.

      Whatever the proper label, offensive tackle Kyle Turley wavers only slightly in
      his belief that his days with the Rams are not about to end. "Stranger things
      have happened, so I'm not going to rule it out," he said. "But I don't
      anticipate that happening."

      Realistically, Turley appears to be on the verge of becoming an ex-Ram -
      perhaps as early as today. June 2 is the first day that NFL teams can release
      players and spread the effect on the salary cap over two years rather than one.
      A year ago today, the Rams cut quarterback Kurt Warner, their Super Bowl MVP in
      2000.

      Although he reports that the recovery from the back injury that sidelined him
      for the 2004 season "is going really well," Turley figures to be the headliner
      on this year's hit list. "If they do release me, then they'd be making a big
      mistake at this point," said Turley, 28. "The back's feeling really good. The
      biggest problem right now is the ... severe atrophy of my right leg muscles
      that I've been struggling to recover from.

      "That's a rigorous and long process, but it's coming back slowly but surely."

      Still, the team appears to have little use for Turley, especially considering
      the heft of his contract: He signed a six-year, $26.5 million deal after the
      Rams acquired him from New Orleans in March 2003 for their second-round draft
      pick in '04. Had Turley been released before today, the team would have
      suffered a $7.29 million salary cap hit this year. Now, only $1.82 million
      would count against the '05 cap, with the remaining $5.47 million applied next
      year.

      Coach Mike Martz declined on Wednesday to discuss Turley's status, and attempts
      to reach Jay Zygmunt, the Rams' president of football operations, were
      unsuccessful.

      Turley's agent, Tom Condon, did not return a phone message.

      Orlando Pace, finally locked up in a long-term deal, is one of the league's
      premier left tackles. The Rams took Florida State's Alex Barron in the first
      round of the draft, and Martz installed him as the No. 1 right tackle - the job
      that Turley held during the 2003 season.

      Grant Williams, Blaine Saipaia and Scott Tercero also have started at tackle.
      So, depth shouldn't be a major issue.

      Turley came to St. Louis after five seasons with the Saints. A first-round
      draft pick (seventh overall) out of San Diego State in 1998, Turley was a
      starter from Day...
      -06-02-2005, 05:23 AM
    • RamWraith
      Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee Kyle Turley
      by RamWraith
      Tuesday, October 5, 2004

      By Nick Wagoner
      Staff Writer

      Kyle Turley knows all about stereotypes. He has seen it from every angle and every position possible.

      Turley has been labeled because of his long hair and tattoos and his sometimes-reckless approach to football. He is what many people consider as the prototype of a gCalifornia Surfer Dude.h Look beyond that flimsy stereotype and you will see that what makes Turley tick is far more than any loud music or new ink could do.

      On the field, Turley is as mean as they come. He has to be. He plays offensive tackle, a position not exactly built for the faint of heart. His imposing frame and demeanor make him seem like some sort of caged beast and he iscon the field.

      Take Turley away from the game and he becomes something else, something unexpected. Turley is one of the gamefs good guys. Scratch that, Turley is one of the gamefs best guys.

      This season, Turley is on injured reserve because of a back injury. While the news was devastating to Turley and the Rams, there is a silver lining for people in St. Louis and other parts of the country.

      gI am just going to try to make positive use of the time,h Turley said. gI want to try to keep my face in the public eye so I can continue to spread all of the important messages.h

      Along with his wife Stacy, Turley goes above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the community. That relentless dedication, has earned Turley a nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, given each year to the player who best balances his responsibilities in the community with those on the field.

      A truly unique athlete with vast interests beyond football, Turley doesnft shy away from the tough issues and has tackled the challenge of educating people on the value of diversity and acceptance through his work with the Diversity Awareness Partnership. When he speaks on the subject of diversity, he often offers himself as an example of perception versus reality and looking past stereotypes.

      gIfm not just a football player,h Turley said. gI want to help awareness and show these kids that there are so many things out there for them. They need to know that color, race, none of those things matter.h

      In addition to his extensive work with the Diversity Awareness Partnership, Turley, a musician who majored in art at San Diego State, has also devoted himself to the Arts and Education Council which raises funds to support the arts and arts education activities in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

      gThe arts have played a significant part in shaping the person I am today,h Turley said. gAnd by partnering with the Arts and Education Council, Stacy and I hope to bring a new level of awareness to the importance of all art forms ranging from music to visual arts.h
      ...
      -10-06-2004, 07:06 AM
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