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Starters Could Play Into Second Half At Cinncinnati

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  • Starters Could Play Into Second Half At Cinncinnati

    08.23.2009 6:55 pm
    Starters could play into second half at Cincinnati
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    The third preseason game often is regarded as the most important of the four, because the starters generally don’t see much action in the last exhibition with the regular-season opener looming. So, their last real dry run is coming up this week.

    The Rams meet the Bengals on Thursday night in Cincinnati, and coach Steve Spagnuolo said Sunday that he plans to keep his No. 1 units on the field at least through the first half.

    “It’ll be similar to this past game” Friday vs. Atlanta,” he said. “The question will be, do we bring out our first group in the second half? We haven’t really decided that. A lot depends what the total of plays are in a certain point in the game. So we’ll see what happens.”

    Notes & quotes:

    *The offense was a bit sloppy Sunday, with a couple of dropped passes and a botched exhance between QB Kyle Boller and C Jason Brown, in the first practice since the 20-13 loss to the Falcons.

    *With Jason Bell (concussion) still out, Mark Setterstrom and John Greco again shared first-team snaps at left guard.

    *Alex Barron (knee) was back at left tackle, which meant that Adam Goldberg returned to the right side. Rookie Jason Smith got a couple of reps with the “ones” at both tackle spots.

    *WR Sean Walker took some turns at kick-returning.

    *DT Adam Carriker (ankle) and WR Donnie Avery (foot) appear to be fairly close to getting back into action.

    *RB Kenneth Darby sat out with what is believed to be a slight knee sprain. “It’ll be a day-to-day thing. They don’t think it’s real serious, but they want to be careful,” Spagnuolo reported.

    *The latest national writer to take in a Rams practice is Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.

    All for now . . .

  • #2
    Re: Starters Could Play Into Second Half At Cinncinnati

    *DT Adam Carriker (ankle) and WR Donnie Avery (foot) appear to be fairly close to getting back into action.
    Outstanding! Again though, just hope Avery isn't rushing himself back. But it'd be nice to have him available for the regular season opener.


    • #3
      Re: Starters Could Play Into Second Half At Cinncinnati

      SJ needs to play more then a few reps IMO.


      • #4
        Re: Starters Could Play Into Second Half At Cinncinnati

        Originally posted by Nick View Post
        Outstanding! Again though, just hope Avery isn't rushing himself back. But it'd be nice to have him available for the regular season opener.
        Agreed, we need Carriker healthy for the rest of the season...

        I'm curious to see how John Greco looks with the first team unit.
        Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


        • #5
          Re: Starters Could Play Into Second Half At Cinncinnati

          Couldn't say it better than that Nick, I hope that they still keep them out of Thursday's game, but it's great to hear that it looks like both will be back and ready for the regular season. I'd like to think that both sides of the ball will step it up when they get their respective players back in line.

          I don't like hearing about Bell still being out, but certainly better to let his head stop ringing than making him go out there before he's ready. Besides, it gives Greco some needed reps out there... I think he can be a good guard in the future.

          I wonder what Bulger's status is exactly... though seeing the replay of the game, it showed that he didn't seem to have any discomfort while leaning on his throwing hand as it gripped one of the benches, so it would appear to be pretty minor. Here's to hoping everyone gets back in time for week 1.
          I believe!:ram:


          Related Topics


          • r8rh8rmike
            Gado Is Planning To Rebound/Camp Notes
            by r8rh8rmike
            Gado is planning to rebound
            BY BILL COATS

            Sunday's two-hour practice at Rams Park was beginning to wind down when defensive end Leonard Little apparently decided that he could fly. That's what it seemed like to Samkon Gado, anyway.

            During 11-on-11 "team" drills, Little came barreling in, and Gado moved into position to pass block. Suddenly, the 6-foot-3, 267-pound Little took off, literally attempting to hurdle the 5-10 running back en route to the quarterback.

            "It was pretty spectacular," said Gado, who rose up and caught Little in flight. "In a game, he would've jumped right over me."

            At 34, Little is the second-oldest among the 80 players on the roster. "I thought to myself, 'How does he have the energy to do this in his 12th season?'" Gado said. "He said he took his Geritol this morning and was feeling pretty good."

            Gado was feeling pretty good, too, after rushing for 93 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown run, Aug. 14 in the Rams' 23-20 preseason win over the New York Jets. That showing gave him a slight leg up in the three-man competition for the backup job behind Steven Jackson.

            But as Gado pointed out afterward, three preseason outings remained. And No. 2 was far less satisfying for him. He mustered just 5 yards on 12 carries Friday night in a 20-13 loss to Atlanta. He also lost a fumble at the Falcons' 15-yard line late in the first half.

            "It was tough all around," Gado said. "I made a few mistakes that I wish I could have back. But in the end, it's just the nature of the beast; you're going to have games like that.

            "You put that one behind you and you prepare and plan to do better the next game. Thankfully we have another one coming up" Thursday in Cincinnati.


            Although the regular-season opener is still three weeks away, training camp officially ended Sunday. That means that no more practices will be open to the public.

            About 500 spectators showed up Sunday, and they were rewarded afterward with free Rams merchandise. Also, the entire squad walked over to the railing to sign autographs.

            "I'd like to thank all the fans," rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It's been 32 practices, and the people have come out to watch us. ... It really helps us, and we appreciate it. Looking forward, we appreciate all the support they'll give us."


            Injured defensive tackle Adam Carriker took another step in his recovery, participating in individual drills for the first time since he sprained his ankle Aug. 7 in a scrimmage at Lindenwood University.

            Wide receiver Donnie Avery, who broke a bone in his foot the same night, was supposed...
            -08-23-2009, 11:18 PM
          • r8rh8rmike
            With Opener Nearing, Wounded Rams Are Returning
            by r8rh8rmike
            08.28.2009 5:31 pm
            With opener nearing, wounded Rams are returning
            By Bill Coats
            St. Louis Post-Dispatch

            As the regular season approaches, the St. Louis Rams are getting progressively healthier. It appears that they came out of Thursday night’s game at Cincinnati with no major injuries, and several players who have been out for a while are getting close to a full return.

            Wide receiver Tim Carter (groin) and running back Kenneth Darby (knee) played in the 24-21 victory over the Bengals despite not practicing all week. Wideout Donnie Avery (foot), defensive tackle Adam Carriker (ankle), guard Jacob Bell (concussion) and defensive end Leonard Little (knee) are expected to practice this week and could play Thursday night in the preseason finale vs. the Chiefs.

            Also, coach Steve Spagnuolo reported that quarterback Marc Bulger (finger) will throw some this week, although he might not take snaps. Bulger probably will sit out Thursday.

            The status of three players who were injured at Cincy — wideout Keenan Burton (knee), safety Craig Dahl (hamstring) and cornerback Justin King (thumb) — was not updated Friday. But none of the injuries is believed to be serious.

            Notes & quotes:

            The Rams have scored 40 points off nine turnovers in the three preseason games. During the entire regular season in 2008, the club produced just 45 points off turnovers.

            RB Samkon Gado has a team-high 5.7-yard average on 23 carries. The two other primary contenders for the backup job behind Steven Jackson – Antonio Pittman and Kenneth Darby – are averaging 4.0 and 3.1 yards, respectively.

            Rookie LB James Laurinaitis has come up with a takeaway in each of the last two games: an interception vs. the Falcons, then a fumble recovery vs. the Bengals.

            Laurent Robinson is the club’s top receiver, with 10 catches for 137 yards.
            A total of 17 players have caught at least one pass.

            Spagnuolo gave the players Saturday off. Practice resumes Sunday at Rams Park.

            The first cuts must be made by Tuesday, although only five spots have to be trimmed off the 80-man camp roster. The final 22 cuts come just four days later.

            All for now . . .
            -08-28-2009, 04:52 PM
          • MauiRam
            Smith is striving to be a starter ..
            by MauiRam
            By Bill Coats

            Training camp is winding down, the regular-season opener is barely two weeks off, and the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft still hasn’t earned a promotion to the first team. If that’s bothering Rams tackle Jason Smith, he isn’t letting on.

            “Coach told me when I first got here that there are a lot of steps you have to do to be a part of this team, and then there are a lot of steps you have to do to get on the field,” Smith said Friday. “I just want to take the proper steps.”

            Smith saw extended action Thursday night in the Rams’ 24-21 preseason victory at Cincinnati at both right and left tackle — but mostly with the second team.

            “I thought he played more aggressive than he did last week. I was pleased to see that,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. But he hedged when asked when Smith might be ready to ascend the depth chart.

            “I don’t know that yet,” Spagnuolo said. “It depends on everybody around him, who’s playing where and how the rest of the guys are doing. We’ll just keep him on course.”

            Alex Barron is the starting left tackle, and that isn’t likely to change. Veteran Adam Goldberg has been manning the right side most of the time, with Smith contributing here and there.

            A left tackle in Baylor’s spread formation, Smith is adjusting to a different side and a different scheme as well as the leap to the NFL.

            “It’s a new deal: a new position, new playbook, new everything,” he said. “But the more reps you get at something, the more comfortable you get, the better you get at it.”

            Like Spagnuolo, Smith is willing to be patient.

            “I never look at my draft status or what (outside) people think,” he said. “I feel that I’m progressing at a steady pace.”

            INJURY UPDATE

            Guard Jacob Bell (concussion) and defensive tackle Adam Carriker (ankle) are expected to practice this week and could play Thursday night when Kansas City visits the Edward Jones Dome. Carriker has missed all three preseason contests; Bell was injured on the first series of the opener at the Meadowlands.

            Quarterback Marc Bulger, recovering from a broken pinky on his right (passing) hand, is scheduled to throw this week, although he might not take snaps.

            A status update wasn’t available on the ankle injury wide receiver Keenan Burton suffered vs. the Bengals or safety Craig Dahl’s sore hamstring. Also, Spagnuolo reported that cornerback Justin King “has got something with his thumb that we’re going to have X-rayed.”

            FLAJOLE MOVES UP

            After being on the sideline for the first two contests, defensive coordinator Ken Flajole watched from the press box at Paul Brown Stadium. Linebackers coach
            Paul Ferraro replaced Flajole on the field.

            “Part of the whole preseason, not...
            -08-29-2009, 01:34 AM
          • Nick
            Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...
            by Nick
            Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well . . .
            By Bill Coats
            St. Louis Post-Dispatch
            08.30.2009 5:24 pm

            Make of it what you will, but some sideline observers found it curious that with Richie Incognito held out of St. Louis Rams practice Sunday because of a mild knee sprain, Adam Goldberg took over his spot at right guard, with rookie Jason Smith stationed at right tackle with the first-team offense.

            Goldberg had been working almost exclusively at tackle during training camp, and most of the time on the right side with the No. 1 unit. Smith was being used mostly in a backup role, getting snaps on both sides of the line.

            Could it be that Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft, finally has been promoted to the starting lineup? Tight-lipped coach Steve Spagnuolo provided no info. But we’ll see what happens over the next couple of days.

            Notes & quotes

            *Spagnuolo was pleased with the team’s first practice since Thursday night’s preseason win at Cincinnati. “I thought they got after it pretty good,” he said. “Sometimes after two days (off) you’re a little sluggish coming out, but this team has continually responded.”

            *QB Marc Bulger tested the broken pinky finger on his right hand, tossing 21 passes before practice began. He didn’t take any snaps from center.

            *FB Mike Karney left early with soreness in the ankle that he sprained earlier in camp and kept him out for about two weeks.

            *X-rays of CB Justin King’s thumb were negative, and he practiced without any apparent problems. WR Keenan Burton, who tweaked an ankle vs. the Bengals, also participated fully.

            *DE Leonard Little (knee) was kept out of team drills and remains day-to-day.

            *Plenty of tickets are available for Thursday night’s preseason finale vs. the Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome. Go to for The official site of the St. Louis Rams - Home Page for information.

            *S David Roach, fighting for a roster spot, made a pretty, leaping interception of a Keith Null pass in the 11-on-11 session.

            *Although Spagnuolo wouldn’t acknowledge as much, it appears as if Jonathan Wade is making a serious challenge to Tye Hill for the first-team CB spot alongside Ron Bartell. Wade has a team-high 12 tackles in the three preseason games; Hill has two.

            All for now . . .
            -08-30-2009, 08:06 PM
          • r8rh8rmike
            Rams Team Report - Aug 24
            by r8rh8rmike
            Rams Team Report
            Yahoo! Sports
            Aug 24, 4:19 am EDT

            INSIDE SLANT

            It seemed like just another transaction when the Rams acquired wide receiver Laurent Robinson(notes) in a trade with Atlanta before the draft.

            The two teams swapped positions in the fifth and sixth rounds, and Robinson immediately began working to prove to the Falcons they made a mistake by giving up on him.

            Last Friday night, Robinson caught five passes for 65 yards against his former team, and appears to be a lock to start when the season opens Sept. 13 in Seattle.

            Robinson opened OTAs as the No. 3 receiver, then moved up to the first unit when Keenan Burton(notes) suffered a hamstring injury. He opened camp as a starter, and with Donnie Avery(notes) sidelined by a broken bone in his foot, Robinson has become the go-to receiver for both Marc Bulger(notes) and Kyle Boller(notes).

            He had a 50-yard catch from Bulger in the first preseason game, and one for 25 yards from Boller in the second game. In two games, he has seven receptions for 117 yards and has been the target on 10 passes.

            “I feel good,” Robinson said. “I’m just working hard every day in practice, going out there trying to be the best I can be every day, listening to the coach; I mean, and just being coachable and going out there and executing. The offense is great, I’m very confident and comfortable in it, and hopefully I can just continue on in the regular season.

            “It’s a great opportunity here for me. Hopefully I can just step right in, make some plays, and help the team win anyway I can whether that’s by running, blocking, or catching the ball.”

            Robinson acknowledged struggling when he arrived in St. Louis, having to learn a new offense. But he didn’t waste his time in the six weeks after OTAs ended, and training camp began.

            “I went home and I just trained and just got my confidence back,” Robinson said, “After the trade I guess I wasn’t really all that focused. Now I got my focus back and my confidence up and I’m ready to play.

            “I’m just getting a lot more comfortable playing and making catches. In the OTAs I wasn’t doing so well but now I’m just a lot more comfortable and confident so things are going well for me.”

            Coach Steve Spagnuolo likes what he sees.

            “I see a competitive guy,” Spagnuolo said. “When he first got here in the spring like a lot of guys, he was feeling his way through. It was a new team, it was a new system, but I thought he played really well (Friday) night. It was easy to see that.”

            NOTES, QUOTES

            • Falcons running back Michael Turner(notes) picked up right where he left off against the Rams in the second preseason game. In the final game of the regular...
            -08-25-2009, 12:15 AM