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Another day, another game of musical lockers at Rams Park

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  • Another day, another game of musical lockers at Rams Park

    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    Wednesday, Sep. 08 2004

    During the noon hour in the Rams locker room Wednesday, an offensive lineman
    named Blaine Saipaia shook hands and introduced himself to his new teammates.

    There has been a lot of that during the last few days at Rams Park. After all
    that offseason work -- including those 17-hour days in Macomb, Ill., the
    skirmishing with the Bears, the four preseason games -- the football staff
    still wasn't comfortable with the results.

    So the game of musical chairs -- er, lockers -- continues. Every few minutes,
    it seems, another roster change was made.

    The fun started during preseason, when veterans Chris Dishman and Tom Nutten
    were lured out of retirement to shore up the offensive line.

    Here are some of the more recent highlights:

    * Running back Lamar Gordon, just back from successful ankle surgery, was sent
    to the Dolphins for a draft pick. That moves Arlen Harris into the No. 3 role
    behind Marshall Faulk and rookie Steven Jackson.

    Your cyber-correspondent didn't object to this move, but wiser men in the press
    room remind us that Gordon provided cheap insurance against further Faulk

    Was the risk really worth it?

    * Safety Jason Sehorn tried to come out of retirement Wednesday, but he failed
    to pass his physical exam. His surgically repaired foot failed to pass muster,
    so he won't be moving into Gordon's old locker after all.

    And all those Angie Harmon fans in Rams Nation wept.

    * Safety Zack Bronson, out of work for three months after the ***** released
    him, came to the Rams over the weekend. When healthy, he has been a pretty
    solid NFL defender.

    Back in 2001, he picked off seven passes for the *****.

    * Guard Darnell Alford arrived on waivers from the Chiefs. Kansas City coach
    Dick Vermeil hoped to keep Alford on his practice squad, but the Rams wanted
    him on their active roster.

    "It feels familiar," Alford said. "Same offense and stuff like that. It should
    come pretty quick. We'll see today when I get out there."

    He has been a Chief, a Cowboy and a Jet. The Packers had him on their practice
    squad. The dude has been around.

    Alford's arrival doomed Andy King, who was the team's starting left guard when
    the preseason started.

    * Linebacker Dedrick Roper arrived on waivers from the Steelers, replacing
    Tony Newson – who started earlier in the preseason. Newson will hang around on
    the practice squad, unless another team claims him and makes him an active

    * Saipaia, a tackle at Colorado State, has been kicking around the league
    since 2000. His resume' includes brief regular-season stints with the Raiders
    and Chargers and time on the Saints practice squad.

    So there you go. We still don't have an updated Rams roster and we haven't seen
    news releases confirming some of these moves, but the wheels are turning.

    We haven't checked the employee parking lot in the past 15 minutes, so we're
    not sure if the Rams have made any more changes today. Nothing would surprise
    us at this point.

    Maybe Orlando Pace had the right idea by skipping all that grueling preseason
    work. What was the point of it all, anyway

  • #2
    Game of musical lockers at Rams Park

    Arlen Harris gives me a good feeling as a Rams RB -- he had some very encouraging spurts of success last season (at Steelers, etc.). Should do as well or better this year.

    Sehorn, the bones in that foot were a bad omen since last year. I was quite surprised the Rams considered bringing him back, even near DB desperation.

    Darnell Alford: I don't know much about him other than he has good OL experience and some attitude. Excellent. Let's get down to business and get to work!

    Zack Bronson: welcome to the Rams -- please pay close attention to Aeneas Williams. ;)

    Last edited by RealRam; -09-08-2004, 06:18 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Another day, another game of musical lockers at Rams Park

      Originally posted by RamWraith
      Maybe Orlando Pace had the right idea by skipping all that grueling preseason work. What was the point of it all, anyway
      Isn't there truth to that. Injuries are one thing but when you take this long to replace people like King and Newsom, one has to wonder what is going on in the minds of the Rams coaching staff. Too bad NFL Access didn't run a Pre-season Training Camp view of the Rams instead of the Jaguars.


      • #4
        Re: Another day, another game of musical lockers at Rams Park

        Originally posted by Jorge
        Darnell Alford: I don't know much about him other than he has good OL experience and some attitude. Excellent. Let's get down to business and get to work!
        From what I've read, physically this guy has the whole package. His problem is between his ears. You never know with that type. He might be worthless or the right voice might get in his head and he'll be a beast. You just never know.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.


        Related Topics


        • RamWraith
          Rams Continue Roster Movement
          by RamWraith
          Wednesday, September 8, 2004

          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          An offseason that has seen plenty of activity seemed ready to settle in with the final cuts made on Sunday. That isn’t so for the Rams, though. St. Louis saw a flurry of activity Wednesday, including a failed free-agent signing, a trade and three new additions to the active roster.

          With questions in the defensive backfield, St. Louis attempted to bring back Jason Sehorn, who appeared to retire after last season. All Sehorn had to do was pass a physical. Sehorn flunked the test and will not be signed to the one-year deal he was offered.

          Sehorn took the exam Wednesday morning, but was unable to show enough improvement in his health to pass. He suffered from a broken foot in 2003 that plagued him through most of the year. Sehorn had surgery in February, but it wasn’t enough to fix what ailed him.

          Rams’ coach Mike Martz said the team wanted to see if Sehorn was even healthy enough to make a comeback.

          “We brought Jason in to see where he was with his foot,” Martz said. “After the second surgery, he just hadn’t healed as well as we had hoped. It just wasn’t a situation where he felt comfortable.”

          The cornerback/safety played in 10 games, starting two last season. He finished with 26 tackles and had no interceptions.

          The locker room at Rams Park saw plenty of new faces Wednesday as well. Linebacker Dedrick Roper and offensive linemen Darnell Alford and Blaine Saipaia joined the team Wednesday morning.

          Martz said it is somewhat strange to be making so many changes this close to the beginning of the regular season and it can take away from gameplanning efforts.

          “It can be a distraction,” Martz said. “It’s good to have so much of these things finally completed. Some of these guys, of course, we would have liked to had a few weeks ago, but thank goodness their ours now.”

          Roper comes to the Rams from Pittsburgh, where he was an undrafted free agent. Roper said he was on his way to the field as a member of the practice squad when he got word the Rams claimed him. Roper played two years at Michigan State before transferring to Northwood (Mich.) College. He made a name for himself in the Whataburger Cactus Bow, a Division II all-star game with seven tackles.

          Roper said he was thrilled when he realized he was going from a spot on the practice squad to an active roster.

          “I couldn’t keep the smile off my face,” Roper said. “I liked it there in Pittsburgh, but I really wanted to play this year. Now, I have the opportunity.”

          Alford came to the Rams from Kansas City after it put him on waivers Sunday. Saipaia spent his preseason with Oakland. Both players played against the Rams in preseason games, presumably making enough of an impression to get the call from St. Louis.

          -09-09-2004, 05:20 AM
        • RamWraith
          Ankle injury sidelines Rams newcomer
          by RamWraith
          Read the bold GC :-) Just a matter of time *LOL*

          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Wednesday, Sep. 08 2004

          Just minutes into his second practice with the Rams, safety Zack Bronson
          tumbled to the turf at Rams Park. And stayed there.

          Bronson, who played the last seven seasons with San Francisco, was signed
          Sunday as a free agent. He practiced Monday, and coach Mike Martz indicated
          that Bronson could see significant action in Sunday's season opener against

          Those plans blew up when Bronson's left ankle rolled over Wednesday. The extent
          of the damage was undetermined, but Martz said it appeared to be "a pretty
          significant" injury. Bronson definitely won't be available Sunday, a Rams
          official said.

          With Bronson and Travis Fisher (broken arm) out, and Jason Sehorn having failed
          a physical exam Wednesday, the Rams are left with only seven defensive backs.
          Cornerback Dwight Anderson, who worked with the second-team defense Wednesday,
          could be brought up from the practice squad.

          The Rams' league-mandated injury report, issued Wednesday afternoon, also
          included wide receiver Torry Holt.

          Holt, who led the NFL in catches and receiving yards last year, was a late
          scratch for the final exhibition game last Thursday in Oakland because of back
          spasms. He's practiced this week but is listed as "questionable," which under
          league guidelines means there's only a 50-50 chance he'll play Sunday.

          Cornerback DeJuan Groce (knee) also is questionable. Fisher and guard Tom
          Nutten (toe) are out, and linebacker Trev Faulk (hamstring) and fullback Joey
          Goodspeed (hamstring) are probable. Receiver Kevin Curtis, bothered for a
          couple of weeks by shin splints, returned to practice Wednesday.

          Changing places

          The locker room at Rams Park has had the look of a busy airport terminal this
          week, people bustling in and out at a hectic pace. Four new players showed up
          Wednesday: Guards Darnell Alford and Blaine Saipaia, defensive end D.J.
          Renteria, and linebacker Dedrick Roper.

          Removed from the roster since Sunday, after final cut-downs, were guard/tackle
          Andy King (released), running back Lamar Gordon (traded) and linebacker Tony
          Newson (moved to the practice squad).

          Martz said he'd never seen so much late movement.

          "But there are significant reasons," he said. "Both of these offensive linemen
          are young players that have the potential to have a future here. And we needed
          somebody that ... can play linebacker, but should be one of your top two or
          three special-teams players. And that's what we expect out of" Roper....
          -09-09-2004, 05:22 AM
        • RamWraith
          Shoulder injury puts Tercero out for season
          by RamWraith
          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Rams offensive lineman Scott Tercero proved in 2004 that he could play in the NFL. Unfortunately, he's done playing for the season because of a shoulder injury that will require surgery.

          Tercero was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, ending a season in which he rocketed up the depth chart with a surprisingly strong showing in the preseason and started four regular-season games at left guard.

          "I would've loved to have finished the season," Tercero said. "But to get to play in the first half of the season was great. I got some experience under my belt, and I'm going to try to take it from here and put that into next season."

          With Chris Dishman expected to miss this week's game in Buffalo because of a knee injury, it looks like Tom Nutten will start for the Rams at left guard, the position he manned from 1999 through 2002 in St. Louis, including two Super Bowl starts.

          Tercero, a sixth-round pick by the Rams in 2003 from California, spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad. But with the encouragement of Rams coaches, who told him he had the potential to play in the NFL, Tercero worked on getting bigger and stronger in the offseason.

          "I think that was probably one of the biggest knocks against me, that I was undersized," said Tercero, who's listed at 6-4, 303 pounds.

          The work apparently paid off. With Orlando Pace missing all of the preseason in a contract impasse, Tercero started all four exhibition games at offensive tackle, displaying quick feet and good agility.

          "That first preseason game, I was really nervous because I had a lot to prove - not only to the management and the (coaching) staff, but to myself that I could play at this level," Tercero said. "You really don't know that, until you put your hand in the dirt and you actually do play."

          Once the regular season began, he took over for the injured Dishman at left guard with starts against San Francisco (Oct. 3), Seattle (Oct. 10), Tampa Bay (Oct. 18) and Miami (Oct. 24).

          But almost as soon as he began playing, the injuries started mounting. Tercero suffered a broken bone in his left hand against the ***** but kept playing even though he had to wear a cast and at times appeared to be blocking almost one-handed.

          Then came a nagging right shoulder injury that couldn't be overcome. Tercero missed some time against New England and was on the pregame inactive list Sunday against Seattle because of the shoulder problem. But he can't recall exactly when or how he initially suffered the injury.

          "It's something that's been bothering me for the last few weeks," Tercero said. "It was starting to get progressively worse, to the point where I made a decision that I wouldn't be able to play...
          -11-17-2004, 11:59 AM
        • RamWraith
          Martz on the Mike
          by RamWraith
          Thursday, September 9, 2004

          (Opening statement)
          “We’ve had a couple of roster moves. We added a couple of offensive linemen in (G Darnell) Alford and (G Blaine) Saipaia, that we’ve added to the roster. And Dedrick Roper, a linebacker, we picked up off the practice squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So we have made a couple of moves. Nick Burley back to the practice squad. Some of these things we think they are really going to help us. Other than that, I think we are pretty healthy. Obviously, we are not going to have (CB Travis) Fisher in this game, or Tom Nütten, but other than that, by in large, we are pretty healthy. In terms of the Cardinals, it’s always difficult to play a team in the opener that has a new (coaching staff), and you’re really not sure what you are going to see on either side of the ball. Of course in preseason, so much of what you do, is not what you do in the regular season. They have made some roster moves lately, so it will be a little bit of a feeling out situation as we try to figure out the philosophy on both offense and defense. We think we have a good idea, but it’s always tough to do that.”

          (On S Jason Sehorn)
          “We brought Jason in to see where he was with his foot. After his second surgery, it hadn’t healed as well as we hoped, in which he might have considered coming back.”

          (On trading RB Lamar Gordon)
          “We did trade Lamar Gordon this morning to the Miami Dolphins. It’s all based on if he passed the physical down there, but I would assume he passed. I think Lamar is a terrific value. He’s a terrific back. This is a situation for him to go down there and become the starter. We do have three backs who have played well. Within the mix and getting all four players active, Arlen (Harris) has such a significant role on our special teams, Steven (Jackson) has done a terrific job, so this was an opportunity, value wise, that we couldn’t pass up. We talked to him this morning and he was excited about the opportunity. He feels great. The reason we gave him the ball 22 times (against Oakland), in the period of two quarters was that we needed to know if he was ready to go for us this year. Obviously, other people were watching too. I thought he was terrific in the game. We miss him. I think he is a terrific talent. It always makes you nervous when you have a talent like that move on, but none the less, I’m excited for him too. I think he will do very well.”

          (On if trading Gordon was a vote of confidence in Steven Jackson)
          “There is no question about that. I guess that would be the most obvious statement about the trade. We feel like Steven, at this point, is ready to play. We feel really good, also, about Arlen Harris. And the camp that Marshall (Faulk) has had, he has been outstanding in camp. We feel like all three guys are ready to go. It’s a little risky, but we feel like it was the right thing to do.”

          (On Marshall Faulk’s health)...
          -09-09-2004, 05:29 AM
        • RamWraith
          Tuesday Notebook
          by RamWraith
          Tuesday, August 24, 2004

          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          Travis Fisher’s broken right arm wasn’t the only cause for concern Monday night. Quarterback Marc Bulger injured his knee after being sacked in the first half. Bulger had an MRI on his knee Tuesday, which revealed only a bone bruise. His status is day to day.

          Linebacker Tommy Polley and defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson are battling shoulder injuries. Polley has a muscle strain and Jackson has a shoulder strain and are day to day as well. Adam Timmerman’s sore shoulder continues to give him problems. Martz said Timmerman will be held out of practice this week. Tony Newson (hamstring), Robert Cromartie (hamstring), Groce (knee), Jeremy Phillips (neck) and Joey Goodspeed (hamstring) were inactive for Monday’s game.

          FAULK CHECK: Marshall Faulk played 13 snaps against Kansas City, finishing with 16 yards on six carries and made a catch for 9 yards. Faulk, who has battled knee and hand injuries in recent years, said he felt fine after the game. “There’s a conditioning factor that I’m working on,” Faulk said. “I felt pretty good out there. You never know in this offense until your number is called five, six seven times in a row if you are in the conditioning you want to be. That is something that is going to come as I get my carries throughout the preseason and throughout the year.”

          Martz said he was pleased with what he saw from Faulk against the Chiefs and expects him to play against Washington at the Edward Jones Dome on Friday night. “We’ll continue in these last two games to make sure that he gets some work,” Martz said. “He’s further along than he’s ever been at this point in the season. He looked like he had that great burst of speed and all that good stuff.”

          O-LINE MOVING ON: The offensive line had problems with the Chiefs’ continued blitzing Monday night, but there were myriad reasons for that. The starting group consisted of left guard Chris Dishman (signed late, still working on his conditioning), right tackle Scott Tercero (who had played in only one game of any kind in his year in St. Louis), left tackle Grant Williams (playing on a severely sprained right ankle), center Andy McCollum (who moved over from left guard) and right guard Timmerman (shoulder injury).

          The problems along the line made it difficult to stop Kansas City’s relentless pass rush. Martz said he expects the unit to jell as the regular season draws closer and certain players get back to their comfort zones. “Provided that we can keep what we have healthy, we will put out a first unit that will compete and play well,” Martz said.

          ROSTER MOVEMENT: The Rams released seven players Tuesday afternoon moving closer to the limit of 65 that must be reached by Aug. 31. The final cuts to reach the 53-man roster must be made by Sept. 5. Defensive tackle Richard Harris, receivers Derek McCoy and Brian Sump, linebackers...
          -08-25-2004, 06:45 AM