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Anthony Davis could be latest find for St. Louis Rams’ Billy Devaney

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  • Anthony Davis could be latest find for St. Louis Rams’ Billy Devaney

    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Personnel chief Billy Devaney has shown a deft touch at spiffing up the Rams’ roster as the season has gone along. Among others, running back Kenneth Darby, cornerback Jason Craft and special-teamer Gary Stills have been nice additions. If Anthony Davis can regain the form that earned him the starting job at left tackle for Tampa Bay in 2005 and 2006, he might turn out to be a nice surprise, too.

    Davis, 28, is 6-4 and 340. His ideal playing weight is probably around 325. The Virginia Tech product was released by the Buccaneers on Oct. 25 and signed by the Rams on Tuesday. The team figures to be targeting tackles in the offseason, so Davis has a chance to earn a job here.

    “He’s played in the league and has done well in the league,” coach Jim Haslett said. “He tore a pectoral muscle this offseason, and he never really came around. That’s why he was available now. . . . (Running backs coach) Art Valero had him in Tampa, so that kind of helps us. He’s a great kid.”

    The Bucs decided to move Davis to guard last year, and he was beaten out during training camp by rookie Arron Sears. Davis still doesn’t know why he was asked to change positions. “I have no clue,” he said. “I’d never played guard before that.”

    Davis, who played in just four games in 2007, was pleased when Tampa Bay cut him loose. “I think it was best for both of us that I get released and they go on and do what they’ve got to do and I just get a fresh, new start somewhere,” he said.

    He realizes that he has an opportunity to fill a void for the Rams. “I do,” he said. “The guys here, they welcomed me with open arms. You’ve got one of the best tackles in the game, in (Orlando) Pace, to learn from. I’m just taking it all one day at a time right now.”


    Notes & quotes:

    *Marc Bulger, on the Rams being outscored 75-3 in their last two first halves: “You can’t explain it. Coach Haslett told us we had to come out strong, but we didn’t. It’s just a matter of us coming out and playing better, maybe getting a lead. Like he told us, we have to play 60 minutes. Before, our struggles were late in the game. Now, it’s early in the game. We just have to find a way to play two halves.”

    *The team went back to work Wednesday after a strongly worded lecture from Haslett. “My message was, we’re going to go back to the way we played when we first got here,” Haslett said. “We need to pick it up, and we can’t worry about things. We can’t have two or three or five things go wrong in a quarter. The word was we need to get going and get out of this funk and start playing.”

    *Asked why the Rams have been tackling so poorly, DE Leonard Little said: “That’s something I can’t explain as a player. You’ve been taught as a defensive player all your life to tackle,” he said. “You’re going to have missed tackles; you’re going against great players in the NFL. But (last) Sunday, there were some horrible missed tackles.”

    All for now . . .