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Rams' Cam Cleeland criticizes former team before showdown

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  • Rams' Cam Cleeland criticizes former team before showdown

    St. Louis plays host to New Orleans

    [email protected]

    ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Rams tight end Cam Cleeland doesn't mince words when talking about his dislike for his former team, the New Orleans Saints.

    "I want to kick the living tar out of these guys more than anything," Cleeland said.

    Preparing to the play the Saints this Sunday at Edward Jones Dome has brought back bad memories for Cleeland. He was a second-round draft pick of the Saints in 1998 and played four seasons in the Big Easy before leaving as an unrestricted free agent in 2002.

    Cleeland still harbors a grudge against the Saints' organization, the media covering the team and coach Jim Haslett.

    "If there is a chance to be on the sideline on a flat route, let's just say he'll be looking for me," Cleeland said of Haslett. "I'm not saying that I am going to go after him. He'll probably try to (pat my butt) or something. Let's just see."

    Cleeland was with the Saints when their rivalry against the Rams was its hottest during the 1999 through 2001 seasons.

    "I think after (the Rams) won the Super Bowl there was an arrogance thing that (Haslett) thought the Rams had, and the Saints got no respect," Cleeland said. "Right now, the Saints don't deserve respect."

    The rivalry went cold after the Saints were moved from the NFC West to the NFC South during the NFL's realignment prior to the 2002 season.

    "Now that I'm on the other side, it's kind of weird," Cleeland said. "I know what they are preaching down there, I know what they are telling them. They're saying, 'They're soft. They're weak. We beat them up before. They are going to turn the ball over a ton.' I know exactly what they are doing."

    Cleeland said Haslett had an especially bitter rivalry with Rams coach Mike Martz.

    "There is no love lost there," Cleeland said. "Coach Haslett, he is a blue-collar guy, he is going to speak his mind all the time. He wants to kick our butt big time. If there is one game he really wants to win, it was this one. He has a lot to prove, so we just have to shut him up."

    Speaking on a conference call with St. Louis media, Haslett disagreed with Cleeland's comments about his relationship with Martz.

    "Mike and I have a great respect for each other," Haslett said. "I talk to him all the time when we go to the league meetings. I know he has done an excellent job. He has built one of the best offenses ever in the history of football. It would be fun to work for such an offensive mind."

    Cleeland said he wasn't worried about providing the Saints with a whole bundle of bulletin board material.

    "They'll probably all laugh at it and think it's a joke," Cleeland said.

    Cleeland said he wouldn't be surprised to read about Saints wide receiver Joe Horn spouting off at some point this week. Horn has been unable to resist the urge to trash talk the Rams in the past.

    "I think Joe is great," Cleeland said. "I love the guy. We played a lot of golf together. We lived by each other. He's a fun dude to play with, a fun guy to be around."

    Cleeland caught 54 passes for 684 yards and six touchdowns in his first season with the Saints, but he would catch only 39 passes over the next three seasons.

    "I had a good first year there, but after that it was a little bit of a struggle," Cleeland said." I think the town, the aura, the voodoo made my injuries happen. It's a tough town. It has been a fresh breath of air since I left."

    Pressed on the bad aura comment, Cleeland clarified, "a big media aura."

    Despite his negativity toward the Saints, Cleeland said he liked living in New Orleans.

    "I love that city outside of football," Cleeland said. "I think it's a great, fun city. Good food and good friends. I still have some friends down there. I have no animosity toward the city at all."

    Rams tight ends have yet to catch a pass this season, but Cleeland said he was certain that streak would be broken soon enough.

    "You never know when our chances are going to happen," Cleeland said. "Coach Martz, he knows this offense better than anybody, he knows how to take advantage of each team. Eventually, we will get more opportunities."

  • #2
    Re: Rams' Cam Cleeland criticizes former team before showdown

    Let them key on Cleeland all day.

    Oh, and Cam... do us a favor... keep your mouth shut until you start walking the walk.


    • #3
      Re: Rams' Cam Cleeland criticizes former team before showdown

      He tried to save a man from a burning car. He can say what he wants as long as it doesn't hurt the team.


      • #4
        Rams' Cam Cleeland...

        Originally posted by RamWraith
        St. Louis plays host to New Orleans


        ST. LOUIS - Cleeland said. "I know what they are preaching down there, I know what they are telling them. They're saying, 'They're soft. They're weak. We beat them up before. They are going to turn the ball over a ton.' "
        It's a shame there is a perception out there that the Rams' co-workers think the Rams are sissies. Too small. Too dainty. Too soft. If the team had a MLB like Lewis, those comments wouldn't even be remotely thought outloud.


        • #5
          Re: Rams' Cam Cleeland...

          Originally posted by adarian_too
          It's a shame there is a perception out there that the Rams' co-workers think the Rams are sissies. Too small. Too dainty. Too soft. If the team had a MLB like Lewis, those comments wouldn't even be remotely thought outloud.
          I got it! Trade Pace for Ray Lewis!


          • #6
            Re: Rams' Cam Cleeland criticizes former team before showdown

            Rams tight ends have yet to catch a pass this season
            Is this right? It must mean "td" pass right? If it is true then the Rams need to start utilizing the middle of the field more. It's no wonder we have troubles in the end zone if there isn't a te going out into the pattern.


            Related Topics


            • DJRamFan
              [SAINTS] Cleeland rips Saints
              by DJRamFan
              Tight end has harsh words for Benson, Haslett
              Thursday, September 23, 2004
              By Jeff Duncan
              Staff writer
              Rams tight end Cam Cleeland had some harsh words for his former team and coach when speaking with St. Louis area reporters Wednesday.

              "It's just I want to kick the living tar out of these guys," Cleeland said. "More than anything. Coach (Jim) Haslett, he's a coach. . . . If there's a chance for me to be on the sideline on a flat route, I don't know, let's just say he'll be looking for me probably. . . . As often as I get in there, I'm going to try to beat him (Haslett) up, do as best as I can to win this game."

              The Saints chose not to re-sign Cleeland when he became a free agent after the 2001 season. He signed a one-year deal with New England in 2002 and has played in St. Louis, along with former Saints teammate Kyle Turley, since 2003.

              "Kyle and I both feel the same way," Cleeland said. "We both were treated in a manner -- it's just how that organization is. It's great to be part of a first-class organization like this, and you get a chance to get away from that aura down there. . . . Let's put it this way. I'm very excited to be out of there and be on this team."

              When asked to compare the mindset of the two organizations, Cleeland said they were completely different.

              "I mean, you have a car salesman running the team (in New Orleans)," Cleeland said. "Compared to people that are world-renowned owners, people that are extreme corporate leaders. They know how to run organizations. They know the type of people to bring in here. Down there, they just don't have the right people."

              Cleeland, New Orleans' second-round draft pick in 1998, said he knows what Haslett is telling the Saints this week.

              "I know what they're preaching down there," Cleeland said. "I know what they're telling them. That we're soft, we're weak, 'we've beat 'em up before. They're going to turn the ball over a ton.' I know exactly what they're saying."

              HOWARD BACK AT WORK: Darren Howard donned a neck roll Wednesday and practiced for the first time since being sidelined with a neck injury in the second game of the preseason. Howard worked with the first team at right defensive end and said he plans to start Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

              Saints officials want to see how Howard's neck responds in practice before determining his playing status. Coach Jim Haslett said if Howard checks out, he will start ahead of rookie Will Smith, who started the first two games and has one sack.

              "I thought (Howard) was OK," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "We'll look at him on film and see how his neck held up. We'll go from there and see how he feels tomorrow (Thursday)."

              Howard, a fifth-year...
              -09-23-2004, 12:07 PM
            • RamWraith
              Cleeland's back as Rams face familiar foe
              by RamWraith
              By Bill Coats
              Saturday, Oct. 08 2005

              Some nine months after the fact, Cam Cleeland remains a target for some mostly
              good-natured ribbing in his hometown of Mount Vernon, Wash.

              "I still have friends that call me, 'Why'd you do that to us?'" Cleeland said.
              "And I say, 'What did you want me to do? Drop it?'"

              The scene was Qwest Field in Seattle, about 50 miles south of Mount Vernon. The
              date was Jan. 8, the event a first-round playoff game between Cleeland's Rams
              and the Seattle Seahawks.

              The score was 20-20 late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Marc Bulger
              lofted a pass high over the middle in the direction of the 6-foot-5, 270-pound

              "I didn't see anything except the ball," said Cleeland, a longtime Seahawks fan
              and a University of Washington product. "I said, 'You'd better hang on to this

              Hang on, he did, despite a crushing hit by free safety Ken Hamlin a
              split-second after the ball arrived. The 17- yard touchdown gave the Rams a
              27-20 victory. It was Cleeland's only scoring catch of the season, and his last
              reception in Rams blue-and-gold. Or, so it seemed.

              When Roland Williams was signed as a free agent in March, Cleeland's two-year
              stretch as the Rams' No. 2 tight end was over.

              Asked if he was disappointed that the Rams jettisoned him so abruptly, Cleeland
              said: "Maybe a little bit. But when it comes down to it, it is
              business. And I've learned that this league is about what's productive and
              what's good for the team.

              "Of course I wanted to come back and play. But ... Roland came in, and I wasn't
              upset or offended at all."

              Battling injuries

              At age 30, Cleeland has played seven NFL seasons. He was New Orleans'
              second-round draft choice in 1998 and caught 54 passes for 684 yards as a
              rookie. Largely because of a series of injuries, he never reached such totals
              again. He missed the entire 2000 season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon, spent
              one more year with the Saints and then a season with New England. Cleeland
              signed with the Rams as a free agent in March 2003.

              He played in 32 regular-season games over two seasons, catching 17 passes for
              202 yards. His lone Rams TD came in front of a gaggle of friends and family,
              and booted the Seahawks from the postseason.

              He called the experience "surreal."

              Content in his co-ownership role in a condominium- and custom-home construction
              business he runs with his brother-in-law, Cleeland spurned a couple of tryout
              offers last summer.

              He and Tim Roberson got the firm...
              -10-09-2005, 07:54 AM
            • RamDez
              In a different arena, Cleeland did his best
              by RamDez
              As a tight end, Cameron Cleeland is best known for what once was done to him and for what he hasn't been able to do. He sustained damage to one of his eyes during an infamous training camp hazing incident his rookie season with New Orleans and has had difficulty avoiding injury since.

              In six seasons with the Saints, Patriots (2002), and Rams (last year), he has played in every game only twice because of an assortment of injuries, among them three to his Achilles' tendons.

              Not since he caught 54 passes in 1998 after arriving as a second-round pick out of the University of Washington has Cleeland been on the field long enough to meet the expectations.

              But when Judgment Day arrives, Cleeland will be able to say that, for one moment at least, he did what he should have done.

              Around 8:45 p.m. last Sunday, Timothy Roth's car struck a tree near the intersection of Little Mountain and Amick roads, southeast of Mount Vernon, Wash., which is about 70 miles north of Seattle. Roth's 1994 Ford Taurus became engulfed in flames.

              He had to be airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where he died at around 3 a.m. the next day from burns, according to the Washington State Patrol. Roth was 22.

              When Cleeland came upon the accident scene, he didn't drive by or place an emergency call from his mobile phone, as perhaps many would have.
              Cleeland, who is from nearby Sedro Woolley, pulled over and did unto another what he would have done unto him.

              Rather than wait for the Big Lake Fire Department, Cleeland attempted to fight the blaze with an extinguisher, state troopers said, and while trying to remove the car's air bag from Roth's face, he suffered another injury -- severe burns to the hands with which he makes his living.

              Fortunately, Cleeland is still alive, and apparently in the days since his rescue attempt has been thinking more about Roth and his family than about himself.

              Rams spokesman Artis Twyman said he spoke last week with Cleeland, who is unsigned, and the tight end requested that the Rams not put out a news release and decline interviews on his behalf.

              "Cam was really shaken up about it when I talked to him," Twyman said.
              "I tried to talk to him but I could tell he didn't want to talk about it too much or go in depth, out of respect for the family.

              "He said it's something you really don't want to experience in life. It must have been really bad; I could hear him getting choked up."

              A memorial service for Roth was held yesterday in Langley, Wash.

              As for Cleeland, he may have been a Patriot for only a season, but he will be a hero for the rest of his life....
              -05-30-2004, 05:30 AM
            • RamDez
              Building from adversity
              by RamDez
              Building from adversity
              By Jim Thomas
              Of the Post-Dispatch

              MACOMB, Ill. - How many times have you driven by an accident, only to notice the police, an ambulance, or another motorist already on the scene?

              But what if that weren't the case? And what if the vehicle in question was on fire?

              That situation confronted Rams tight end Cameron Cleeland in late May in Mount Vernon, Wash.

              "It was on a back road right next to my house, in my hometown," Cleeland said. "The young man had flown through a stop sign at an intersection, and hit a tree, probably going 50-plus miles an hour. I was the first one on the scene."

              Cleeland's wife, Mindy, was in the car and immediately called 911.

              "The car was on fire," Cleeland said. "He was trapped inside. I tried to help him out as best I could, tried to get him out of there."

              Cleeland threw dirt on the driver, Timothy Roth, in an effort to douse the fire. He tried to keep Roth talking. Finally, another motorist arrived with a fire extinguisher, and then the fire department.

              But all those efforts went for naught.

              "He ended up passing away that night," Cleeland said. "The fire department - we all tried to help him. He made it to the hospital, and his family had an opportunity to say goodbye before he passed away. It was really hard. Hard dealing with."

              Roth was 22. The events of that day, May 23, caused nightmares for Cleeland, a seven-year NFL veteran from the University of Washington. And a shift in perspective.

              "It's something that will be with me forever, watching something like that," Cleeland said. "You don't realize how lucky you are and how fortunate we are to have what we have. Even when you're out here (at practice), I try to tell myself, 'Man, I'm lucky that I'm out here.'

              "Because you just never know. I consider myself a Christian. The Lord has a plan. Your time is when your time is, and you've just got to take advantage of it."

              With that in mind, Cleeland has approached his second Rams training camp with renewed vigor. He has missed the last three practice days in Macomb with a hamstring injury, but had looked impressive early in camp.

              "He's a very talented guy, and he's got terrific receiving skills," coach Mike Martz said. "The one thing that he was inconsistent on, and that he's completely established out here, is the physical aspect of it. He has been outstanding (blocking) in the running game.

              "I'm a little disappointed he's gotten injured, but we'll get him back. It doesn't sound like it's anything significant."

              For a while during the offseason, Martz and others at Rams Park wondered if Cleeland was interested in coming
              -08-03-2004, 11:18 AM
            • AlphaRam
              Cam Cleeland: Then and Now
              by AlphaRam
              Cam's biggest moment with the Rams came in the January 2005 first-round playoff game against Seattle. His 17-yard TD catch with 2 minutes 11 seconds remaining in the game gave the Rams a 27-20 victory. Unfortunately, we got demolished by Vick and Atlanta the following week.

              As I was researching recently to make a custom figure of a high school version of Cam, I ran across this article. In all of the years of dealing with Cam and his wife, I had no idea of what they have been experiencing. Here's a something I didn't know was taking place in the NFL in recent years:

              Here's another article that I found:

              Cleeland's Post-NFL Battle With Concussions
              by Alex Marvez
              July 10, 2010...
              -01-02-2011, 07:01 AM