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Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

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  • Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

    08.10.2009 4:31 pm
    Versatile Gado gets rare praise from Spagnuolo
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    There still is much to learn about St. Louis Rams rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo. Here are a few things we’ve gleaned so far, regarding his interviews:

    1. They’re short.

    2. He’s already pretty adept at tap-dancing around tough questions.

    3. He’s cautious about heaping praise on his players.

    Considering No. 3, it was a bit of a surprise, then, when asked to evaluate running back/fullback Samkon Gado, who is fighting for a roster spot, Spagnuolo replied:

    “He’s a smart football player. Guys that have the ability to play two positions are really, really valuable in this league. So we’ll keep cranking him. And I watch Sam, too, in every special-teams period taking a lot of reps. He’s a warrior out there. I have a lot of respect for Sam.”

    The 5-10, 227-pound Gado, a fourth-year pro, has had an impressive camp. He’s probably third on the depth chart at running back, has been getting in a lot of work at fullback with Mike Karney hobbled, and also is among those returning kicks.

    The highlight of Gado’s career came on Nov. 13, 2005, when he earned a trifecta of honors: NFL player of the week, NFL rookie of the week, and NFC offensive player of the week. They came after Gado, then with the Packers, rushed for 103 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 33-25 victory over the Falcons.

    He finished with 582 yards on the ground that year, but he hasn’t produced more than 210 in a season since then. He joined the Rams last November as a free agent and played in one game. He subsequently was released, then re-signed in January.

    Notes & quotes:

    *The players were in shells for Monday afternoon’s practice, which ran just 55 minutes.

    *Officials from Conference USA worked both practices.

    *DE Leonard Little, who sat out the morning practice with a minor neck strain, was back on the field in the afternoon.

    *FB Mike Karney got into team drills for the first time since spraining his ankle about 10 days ago.

    *S Craig Dahl (hamstring) did some running on the side.

    *LB Chris Draft missed a few plays after taking a blow to the neck.

    *Rookie S Mark Rubin, re-signed Monday nearly six weeks after the Rams released him, had an interception on a deflected pass in the late workout.

    *Mike Sando of is in town for a look-see at Rams camp.

    *DT Shaun Smith, who visited Rams Park on Sunday, has agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal with the Lions, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Browns released Smith on Saturday.

    All for now . . .

  • #2
    Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

    Im glad the Rams didn't sign Shaun Smith

    we dont need a guy who is going to punch our QB


    • #3
      Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

      Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
      Im glad the Rams didn't sign Shaun Smith

      we dont need a guy who is going to punch our QB

      I don't remember if the Lions are on our schedule or not. If so, he may yet get his chance to punch our QB.


      • #4
        Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

        taking a look down the side of our clanram page reveals that they are!

        but hopefully Jason Brown keeps him away from Bulger


        • #5
          Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

          perhaps the title of this thread should be edited


          • #6
            Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

            Originally posted by shower beers View Post
            perhaps the title of this thread should be edited
            That would take all the fun out of it.


            • #7
              Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

              Gado has surpassed Pittman on the depth chart?


              • #8
                Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

                Damn...we have a lot of running backs. It will be interesting to see who actually makes the cut.


                • #9
                  Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

                  I can't make an accurate prediction of who's going to make the roster, the only thing I'll predict is that Ogbonnaya is headed to the inactive roster because of our depth. I don't think we'll carry more than 4 HBs.


                  • #10
                    Re: Versatile Gado Gets Rare Praise From Spagnuolo

                    I'll make a prediction: he's going to be cut.


                    Related Topics


                    • r8rh8rmike
                      Rams Moving Ahead
                      by r8rh8rmike
                      Rams Moving Ahead
                      Saturday, August 15, 2009

                      By Nick Wagoner
                      Senior Writer

                      After reviewing the film of his first game as a head coach, Steve Spagnuolo made sure, like always, to keep the big picture view as his main focus.

                      While there were plenty of positives to take away from the team’s 23-20 win against the Jets on Friday night, there were also a few negatives. But the idea is to not get too high or too low based on either of those things, especially after just one preseason game.

                      And that’s the message Spagnuolo conveyed late Saturday afternoon after he had finished watching the tape.

                      “We have to do work in all different areas,” Spagnuolo said. “Like I said, this is a beginning, not an end. This wasn’t a final exam, this was just a – I’m not going to say a pop quiz because we knew this was coming – but we will take whatever we can out of it good and bad and hopefully get better. We have kind of been pushing that all the way through.”

                      That didn’t change on Saturday and isn’t likely to anytime soon, either. In the meantime, Spagnuolo will have the opportunity to continue to evaluate his players. Of course, Spagnuolo and staff will not completely ignore what happened on the field on Friday night, either.

                      Certainly, knee jerk reactions to a spectacular catch or forced fumble or long touchdown run will not be the order of the day for the Rams but there’s no doubt that making plays to stand out will earn certain players some opportunities they haven’t yet been afforded to this point.

                      “There will be a little bit of juggling,” Spagnuolo said. “I don’t know that there was anything that drastic that you will go out there tomorrow and say ‘Oh my God, they have changed here and there.’ We have a long way to go. We still have two more games before we have to make any decisions and then that final game. There will be a little bit of juggling, maybe more some guys getting some reps with the ones that haven’t and vice versa but that’s about it.”

                      Clearly, no player made a bigger impression on Friday night than running back Samkon Gado. Gado got his first action of the game working on special teams and also took first half snaps at fullback in place of Mike Karney.

                      To open the third quarter, Gado had a 25-yard kickoff return followed two plays later by his 77-yard touchdown run off the left side.

                      In a matter of an hour and a half, Gado showed the type of versatility that Spagnuolo seems to covet up and down the roster.

                      “Anybody that can play two positions I think is valuable,” Spagnuolo said. “I think anybody with versatility gives you a leg up. You go to 53 and all of a sudden it’s 45 on gameday, versatility is big.”

                      Gado wasn’t the only Rams running back making a strong impression. Antonio Pittman showed some juice, picking up 36 yards on...
                      -08-16-2009, 03:51 PM
                    • Rambos
                      Rams put work into the last cuts
                      by Rambos

                      The lights at Rams Park were on late Friday night as the Rams' coaches, scouts and other personnel staffers labored to come up with a 53-man roster. They have until 3 p.m. today (St. Louis time) to complete the job.

                      Several NFL teams announced at least some of their final cuts Friday, but coach Steve Spagnuolo said he didn't expect the Rams to be finished until about noon today. "And don't hold me to that," he cautioned reporters.

                      The roster stood at 74 after Thursday night's 17-9 Governor's Cup win over Kansas City. The first-teamers were in for just two series, both on offense and defense, so Spagnuolo and Co. got a lengthy look at those players on the bubble.
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                      Some 21 of them must go. "We could use two more preseason games to get it all figured out," Spagnuolo quipped, before adding: "We have what we have, and we have to evaluate based on that."

                      GADO'S STATUS UNCLEAR

                      Muddying the picture for the Rams' talent judges is the rib injury suffered by Samkon Gado late in the first quarter vs. the Chiefs. X-rays showed no fracture, but Gado has cartilage damage, which can be a significant problem for a running back.

                      Spagnuolo said Gado was day-to-day for now, but acknowledged that "we're not really a hundred percent sure where Sam is. You'd probably have to list him as questionable right now for the game (at Seattle on Sept. 13) until we get to (the practices) Monday and Wednesday and find out exactly where he is."

                      In the preseason, Gado clearly has outperformed Kenneth Darby and Antonio Pittman, the other primary contenders for the backup job behind Steven Jackson. Gado averaged 5.1 yards on 29 carries in the four games.

                      If it looks as if Gado will be sidelined for a substantial period, the Rams almost surely will be scrutinizing the waiver wire for another ballcarrier.

                      "You've got to have more than one back," Spagnuolo said. "Steven's a big guy and does a lot for us, but we're going to need to plug guys in there."

                      INJURY UPDATE

                      The injury to Gado and defensive tackle Adam Carriker, who according to league sources will undergo shoulder surgery, were the most serious Thursday. It was feared that defensive end Eric Moore broke his wrist, but X-rays were negative and it has been diagnosed as a sprain.

                      Also, safety Craig Dahl aggravated the hamstring that kept him out earlier, safety David Roach sustained heel and shoulder injuries, and cornerback Justin King had a mild knee sprain.

                      BREAK TIME

                      Beginning Friday, the players had three consecutive...
                      -09-05-2009, 10:00 AM
                    • r8rh8rmike
                      Spagnuolo Applauds Rams' Practice Habits
                      by r8rh8rmike
                      12.02.2009 3:57 pm
                      Spagnuolo applauds Rams’ practice habits
                      By Bill Coats
                      St. Louis Post-Dispatch

                      Practice had wrapped up about 15 minutes earlier, but the indoor facility at Rams Park still was crowded with players.

                      “Look at them,” St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I mean, practice is over and about half the team’s out there working. I think that says a lot. But I’ll tell you what, that’s typical of this group. They amaze me every week, going through what we’re going through, to come out and practice they way they do.”

                      Despite their 1-10 record, dampened further by an dispiriting 27-17 loss to a flagging Seahawks outfit three days earlier at the Edward Jones Dome, Wednesday’s practice was uptempo and upbeat. “They came out with a little bit of energy and practiced pretty good,” Spagnuolo said. “That’s a good thing to start the week.” (There are no practices on Mondays and Tuesdays.)

                      Notes & quotes:

                      *These players sat out Wednesday: QB Marc Bulger (leg), FB Mike Karney (neck), T Jason Smith (concussion), C Jason Brown (knee) and RB Steven Jackson (back). Spagnuolo said he was optimistic that Brown and Jackson could return Thursday.

                      *Smith, who took a blow to the head Nov. 22 vs. the Cardinals and didn’t play vs. the Seahawks, won’t take another follow-up neuro exam “until he feels like he’s completely fine,” Spagnuolo said. “Obviously, he’s still feeling effects of it, so they’re just going to wait.”

                      *LB James Laurinaitis has two sore shoulders, but he was a full participant Wednesday. “That’s life as a middle linebacker in the NFL,” Spagnuolo said.

                      *G Richie Incognito, who has missed four games with a foot sprain, worked with the first-team offense and said that barring a setback, he expects to play Sunday in Chicago.

                      *This week’s captains are QB Kyle Boller (offense), DE Leonard Little (defense) and LB David Vobora (special teams).
                      -12-02-2009, 07:53 PM
                    • RamWraith
                      Spagnuolo takes a back-to-basics approach
                      by RamWraith
                      Columnist Jeff Gordon

                      On one level, National Football League teams are highly sophisticated operations.

                      State-of-the-art technology helps scouts and coaches analyze player weaknesses and identify opponent tendencies. Massive football staffs work 24/7 to seek every possible advantage through analysis and preparation.

                      Bleary-eyed players spend hour after hour in meetings, enduring exhaustive video reviews of the previous game and studying elaborate plans for the game ahead.

                      Some operations take on a military persona, stressing secrecy and security. Some team complexes remain on lockdown, to keep outsiders (especially media types) in the dark about what happens in the inner sanctum.

                      But on another level, professional football boils down to simple blocking and tackling. Teams that consistently block and tackle well win games.

                      Teams that fail to block and tackle -- like the recent-vintage Rams -- lose.

                      The Rams won a Super Bowl championship with the “Greatest Show on Turf,” a highly skilled team which used cutting-edge offensive tactics. Mastermind Mike Martz prided himself on strategic subterfuge, using exotic personnel groupings and constant motion to keep defenses off-guard.

                      In the end, though, the Rams won because they blocked and tackled well. (See Mike Jones, “The Tackle.”)

                      And now, new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is guiding the Rams back to those basics. On both sides of the ball, he is striving to make this team sturdy again.

                      NFL offenses must be able to run before they can pass. They must become sound before they get tricky.

                      This is why Spagnuolo is putting a premium on blocking. To that end, the Rams signed free-agent fullback Mike Karney.

                      He was brought in to do one thing: Block for Steven Jackson. Yeah, he is not a bad pass catcher. In one game, he did score three touchdowns for the Saints.

                      But Spagnuolo wanted a power-blocking fullback for this team. He didn’t want to make do with a hybrid back (Brian Leonard) or a tight end pretending to be a fullback (Richard Owens). He wanted a real fullback willing and able to blast holes in opposing defensive fronts.

                      “When you want to line up and knock somebody back, it’s good to have a fullback who can do that,” Spagnuolo said Wednesday at Rams Park.

                      “I know what my position is all about, I know what it stands for,” Karney said. “I know what my approach is, my mindset is and I know I’m here to block and get it done for our offense in any way, shape or form. That’s run blocking, that’s picking up blitzes, that’s whatever that may be. That’s what I’m here to do.”

                      In New Orleans, Karney became expendable because the Saints have evolved into a passing-oriented team. The Saints, like many teams, have diminished the...
                      -03-12-2009, 02:58 PM
                    • r8rh8rmike
                      St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo Takes Stock Of Team
                      by r8rh8rmike
                      St. Louis Rams' Steve Spagnuolo takes stock of team

                      BY BILL COATS
                      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                      At the halfway mark of the season, the Rams find themselves in last place in the NFC West, last in the NFL in scoring (77 points) and last in the league in points yielded (221).

                      But they did hit the midway point — and their bye week — on the heels of their first win in more than a year, a 17-10 triumph Sunday in Detroit. So, coach Steve Spagnuolo's informal "State of the Team" address Tuesday was generally upbeat.

                      "There were some struggles; there were some good things," he said. "But we've built something. We talked this morning about the foundation we wanted to build. There's some trust, there's mutual respect, there's unity on the team. I think more than anything, we take that away" from the opening eight games.

                      The Rams were blown out five times, crushed 179-33 in those routs. Still, with a couple of breaks they could've pulled out wins at Washington and Jacksonville and stand 3-5 instead of 1-7.

                      "It was a rough road, let's face it; we had seven losses," Spagnuolo noted. "But to see what the guys did — and I'm not talking about on the field — what they did as people and what they did together, that probably sticks in my head more than anything."

                      And Spagnuolo firmly believes that his group can compete with anyone on the second half of the schedule. That includes unbeaten New Orleans, which visits the Edward Jones Dome on Nov. 15.

                      "There's always things to work on; every team goes through that," Spagnuolo said. "But we've got enough talent here, we've got guys that want to work at it, we've got guys that can make plays. We've just got to keep plugging away.

                      "We're going to play some good football teams, and hopefully we'll be playing some good football, too."

                      NEW CORNERBACK

                      In yet another roster move, cornerback Danny Gorrer has been signed off the Saints' practice squad. Wide receiver Tim Carter was released to open a spot for Gorrer on the 53-man roster.

                      Gorrer, a 6-foot, 185-pound rookie from Texas A&M, joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent. He was getting ready to leave for the Superdome and Monday night's game against Atlanta when he was rerouted to the airport.

                      "I was very surprised. I called my agent to see if they were joking," Gorrer said. "When I got to St. Louis, I caught the second half."

                      INJURY UPDATE

                      Guard Jacob Bell, who sustained a concussion Sunday, passed his neurological exam Tuesday morning but sat out practice. Spagnuolo said Bell would practice today.

                      Wide receiver and returner Danny Amendola, who also suffered a concussion, remained on the sideline Tuesday. He still...
                      -11-03-2009, 11:18 PM