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  • Rams Continue Roster Movement

    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.

    Alford said he already sees the comparisons between his old and new teams.

    “I’m real familiar (with the Rams),” Alford said. “They have a very similar offense.”

    To make room on the roster for the new players, the Rams released guard Andy King and traded running back Lamar Gordon to Miami. St. Louis released Tony Newson on Monday and brought him back to the practice squad Wednesday.

    Newson wasn’t the only player added to the practice squad. Tight end Nick Burley, offensive tackle Matt Morgan and defensive end D.J. Renteria rounded out the group. Burley and Morgan spent training camp with the Rams. Renteria was with Houston.

    The Rams might not be done with the roster shakeups yet, according to Martz.

    “Maybe there’s another move or two left, who knows?” Martz said. “We’re always trying to get better. There’s always a move away from trying to help yourself every day. That’s a good philosophy.”

    INJURY UPDATE: Tom Nutten (toe), Travis Fisher (broken forearm) and Jimmy Kennedy (broken foot) missed Wednesday’s workout with injuries.

    Safety Zack Bronson, who signed with the Rams on Monday, was carted off the field after suffering an ankle injury. Martz was unsure of how severe the injury was.

Related Topics


  • 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
  • RamDez
    Rams Head Home
    by RamDez
    Rams Head Home
    Friday, August 20, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    With the quickness of a Marshall Faulk cutback, coach Mike Martz ended the Rams’ 2004 training camp about 5:15 Thursday evening. Martz cited a major storm brewing in the Macomb area as the reason for the abrupt end.
    “I told them to get out of here tonight,” Martz said. “I don’t want them driving home in the rain in the morning. We wouldn’t get anything out of a morning practice here, anyway.”

    The players and coaching staff will leave for St. Louis on Thursday night and probably have a practice Friday afternoon at Rams Park. The end of camp signals the next step in the drive toward the regular season. St. Louis will play cross-state rival Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night.

    The regular season kicks off Sept. 12 against Arizona at the Edward Jones Dome. Martz said he is more than satisfied with the work the team put in at camp. “We had a heck of a camp up here,” Martz said. “The injury list is minimal compared to what it’s been in past years. I’m pleased with where we are.”

    WOHLABAUGH GONE: It was a disappointing ending for center Dave Wohlabaugh, who spent 2003 starting in the middle of the Rams’ offensive line.

    St. Louis cut ties with its injured center Wednesday night. Wohlabaugh had surgery on his hip in March and was not expected back for at least three or four months.

    Wohlabaugh had not practiced with the team during this training camp and was likely going to miss the entire season. He recently traveled to Ohio to have the hip check out again, but the results were not positive that Wohlabaugh would play again this year or any other.

    With his tenure in St. Louis ending, so too, might his career. Wohlabaugh signed with the Rams on Feb. 28, 2003. Wohlabaugh was entering his 10th season in the league. Andy McCollum, who started at left guard for the Rams last season, moved back to center at the beginning of camp.

    McCollum said he feels comfortable playing his original position again, but he is sorry to see his friend and linemate struggle with injuries. “It’s just unfortunate, the injury that Dave had,” McCollum said. “He’s only been here a year, but I consider him a friend of mine.”

    TIGHT COMPETITION: Brandon Manumaleuna seems to be the only tight end that has wrapped up his position, though a return from hamstring problems by Cameron Cleeland could bring the competition into focus. Manumaleuna looks like he is in better shape, showing better burst off the ball and making some difficult catches in traffic.

    Martz said Manumaleuna’s offseason efforts are paying off handsomely. “Brandon has come a long way,” Martz said. “First of all, he has lost a lot of weight. He’s done a terrific job, in terms of being a receiver and a significant blocker. The thing about him is that he has been consistently excellent,...
    -08-21-2004, 12:19 AM
  • 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, 07:06 AM
  • RamDez
    Rams sign ex-49er to bolster secondary
    by RamDez
    Rams sign ex-49er to bolster secondary
    [email protected]

    ST. LOUIS - Safety Zach Bronson has switched sides in the St. Louis Rams-San Francisco ***** rivalry.

    Bronson, who spent the previous seven seasons with the San Francisco *****, was signed by the St. Louis Rams on Sunday to provide depth to their secondary.

    "I wouldn't say it's like being with the enemy," Bronson said of joining the Rams. "This is a business, and I have a business approach. I am here to help this team win, and that's my approach."

    Rams defensive captain Tyoka Jackson said Bronson might need some deprogramming after being with the ***** so long.

    "I'm sure his head is spinning right now with all this blue and gold around," Jackson said. "He'll adjust. He's a good player, and I'm glad to have him here. All that *****-Rams stuff, we'll work on that. He'll be fine in a couple of weeks. I'm sure by the time that first 49er game rolls around, he'll hate them as much as we do."

    Bronson said he was well-aware of how players from both sides get extra fired up for Rams-***** games.

    "The outcome was probably going to decide who was going to win the division, so I think that definitely made the rivalry and the meetings between the two teams more intense," Bronson said.

    Rams coach Mike Martz said he was interested in Bronson after having seen him on film so much in preparation for playing the *****.

    "He's a veteran who has played at a high level for a long time," Martz said. "I'm excited about having him."

    Bronson has a couple of footballs in his trophy case from his exploits at the Edward Jones Dome.

    He recovered a fumble on a punt by Eddie Kennison that set up the winning touchdown in the *****' 15-12 victory over the Rams in 1997.

    "We punted the ball off and I had a holding penalty, so we brought the ball back and we had to re-punt," Bronson said. "Then we went down and Kennison fumbles and I recovered it."

    Bronson also intercepted a Kurt Warner pass in the *****' 27-14 loss to the Rams during the 2001 season.

    Bronson was released by ***** on June 2 in a salary cap move.

    "A lot of the guys I had been there with were released also, so it was kind expected," Bronson said. " I enjoyed every bit of the experience I had there. I'm thankful for the opportunity I had there."

    Dishman back practicing

    Right guard Chris Dishman's ankle injury has turned out to be gout.

    Dishman said he turned his ankle in the Rams' preseason game against the Washington Redskins. A couple of days later, the ankle swelled up and the pain intensified.

    "I rolled it, but the ankle wasn't really the problem," Dishman...
    -09-07-2004, 11:47 PM
  • RamWraith
    Newcomer Newson Makes Move
    by RamWraith

    It would be easy for Tony Newson to get complacent. After spending a little more than a year out of football altogether, he practiced with the first-team defense at strongside linebacker for St. Louis on Sunday.

    He could now rest on his laurels and enjoy the fact that he seems to have locked up a roster spot with a legitimate chance at cracking the starting lineup. Newson, of course, won’t do that. He doesn’t know the easy way out because he has never had it easy.

    The 6-foot-1, 247-pound linebacker entered training camp simply hoping to make the roster, perhaps by way of special teams. “Coming to camp, I had to prove myself,” Newson said. “It was trying to establish yourself and let everybody know that you are accountable for what you do.”

    For the time being, Newson appears to have shown that he is capable. Coming out of Utah State in 2002, Newson signed with Kansas City as an undrafted free agent. He was on the practice squad before moving on to the Chiefs for the final four games of the season.

    In 2003, Newson entered training camp with hopes of improving and perhaps playing more. Those hopes were dashed when he fractured his sternum early in training camp. The Chiefs cut him before the season started and Newson went to work in the real world.

    He spent time working many jobs and rehabilitating from the injury. He worked with emergency medical technicians, telemarketing and as a business representative. Newson said time spent in the “real” world helped him appreciate his opportunities in football. “Anytime you’re out for an entire year, a lot goes through your mind,” Newson said. “Of course, you are a lot more hungry than you were before.”

    Newson signed with the Rams on March 15. It didn’t hurt Newson’s cause that Joe Vitt, the only linebackers coach he has had, moved from Kansas City to St. Louis in the offseason. Newson was familiar with Vitt’s terminology and infectious enthusiasm for the game, making the adjustment that much easier. “I’m more comfortable with him and his teaching methods,” Newson said. “It helps a lot.”

    In his pursuit of the starting job, Newson moved past Tommy Polley, who had started for the better part of the past three years. Polley has been one of the teams’ top tacklers in that time, finishing second on the team in stops last season with 115.

    Coach Mike Martz said competition is a big part of training camp and the move is by no means permanent.
    “This happens all the time in camp,” Martz said. “We are trying different combinations and seeing what the best combination is. “We haven’t settled on our final three yet by any stretch of the imagination.”

    While Newson isn’t sure that he will remain with the top unit, he is sure that it is where he wants to be. Polley will almost certainly respond to the move with an intense finish to his camp. If anything...
    -08-17-2004, 11:12 AM