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  • Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

    Posted on Wed, Sep. 2, 2009


    Butler, Spagnuolo bring shared history to Rams

    The Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - Steve Spagnuolo knew what he was getting when strong safety James Butler signed with the St. Louis Rams: Both worked for the New York Giants the previous two seasons.

    The 6-fot-3, 215-pound Butler signed a four-year deal after four years with the Giants, reuniting with new Rams coach Spagnuolo , his defensive coordinator the last two seasons in New York.

    Spagnuolo is happy to have him with St. Louis.

    "It's always good when you get an opportunity to obtain a player that you are familiar with," Spagnuolo said. "James has an understanding of our defensive system and is a valuable addition to our team."

    The Rams defense ranked 30th last season. Butler is one of the pieces Spagnuolo wanted to create a new mindset for the defense.

    "Our personality will be to stop the run and pressure the passer," Butler said. "We try to implement that in practice. We pick up every ball on the ground. We practice stripping the ball to cause fumbles every day. We just want to be a turnover-hungry defense. We want to be aggressive."

    He has played well in the three preseason games. The Rams play their preseason finale Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs come to St. Louis.

    The defense created four turnovers in a 24-21 victory over Cincinnati in the third preseason game. Butler even scored a touchdown in the win, scooping up a fumble and galloping 73 yards to the end zone.

    "I was a little worried Butler wasn't going to make it at the end," Spagnuolo joked.

    Butler agreed.

    "I'll tell you what, that was a long drive; the offense had a good drive against us there," Butler said. "I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I got a lot of great blocks. ... I had to take three plays off the next series. I was gassed."

    Butler had a breakout year in 2008. He recorded a career-high 14 starts last season and played in 15 games while setting career highs with 76 tackles (45 solo) and three interceptions. He's made 27 career starts in four seasons.

    He'd like to have another year like that with the Rams. He said he sees the Rams improving on last year's dismal 2-14 campaign.

    "We have a better mindset," Butler said. "We came out hungry in that third (preseason) game. We're playing hard. Good defenses take time. We're building something here."

  • #2
    Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

    "Our personality will be to stop the run and pressure the passer," Butler said. "We try to implement that in practice. We pick up every ball on the ground. We practice stripping the ball to cause fumbles every day. We just want to be a turnover-hungry defense. We want to be aggressive."

    I LOVE YOU STEVE SPAGNUOLO!

    That's the mindset we NEED to have, I love it!
    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

      Originally posted by Varg6 View Post
      "Our personality will be to stop the run and pressure the passer," Butler said. "We try to implement that in practice. We pick up every ball on the ground. We practice stripping the ball to cause fumbles every day. We just want to be a turnover-hungry defense. We want to be aggressive."

      I LOVE YOU STEVE SPAGNUOLO!

      That's the mindset we NEED to have, I love it!
      the only thing that worried me is that Jim Hasslet tried to do that too.. hopefuly Spags teaches how to tackle!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

        Originally posted by rams#1 View Post
        the only thing that worried me is that Jim Hasslet tried to do that too.. hopefuly Spags teaches how to tackle!!
        I see major improvement though, Spags just has it.
        Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

          Originally posted by Varg6 View Post
          "Our personality will be to stop the run and pressure the passer," Butler said. "We try to implement that in practice. We pick up every ball on the ground. We practice stripping the ball to cause fumbles every day. We just want to be a turnover-hungry defense. We want to be aggressive."

          I LOVE YOU STEVE SPAGNUOLO!

          That's the mindset we NEED to have, I love it!
          I agree. The part about being a turnover-hungry defense struck a chord with me because that's exactly what they've done so far in the preseason. If that tendency follows into the regular season, good things are bound to happen.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

            Man, I love this defensive attitude. I hope it'll be a big year for us!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

              Our personality will be to stop the run and pressure the passer," Butler said. "We try to implement that in practice. We pick up every ball on the ground. We practice stripping the ball to cause fumbles every day. We just want to be a turnover-hungry defense. We want to be aggressive."
              And so far (granted, it's only preseason), he's been right.

              Preseason rankings for the 2009 Rams and (2008 Rams):
              Forced fumbles - 3rd (24th)
              Fumbles recovered - 1st (23rd)
              Total fumbles - T-1st (31st)
              Interceptions - 10th (dead last)
              Sacks - 4th (23rd)
              Last edited by HUbison; -09-03-2009, 07:24 AM.
              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

                Well, so far so good. However, I still need ice for the kool aid to taste better

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

                  Originally posted by txramsfan View Post
                  Well, so far so good. However, I still need ice for the kool aid to taste better
                  Tx, I promise.....one of these days, those clouds over your head are going to part; the sun will shine; those kids will get off your lawn, and that corncob is just gonna fly right out your butt.
                  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

                    Plus....
                    ...Tye Hill's gone.

                    Let's not get greedy, TX;)

                    (Incidentally, good call - you were a voice in the wilderness)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

                      Originally posted by HUbison View Post
                      Tx, I promise....that corncob is just gonna fly right out your butt.
                      Can he say corncob?

                      Hub, you started getting me all excited with those stats. Any idea how we look in some of the other important categories such as total offense, total defense, rushing defense, etc. vs last year?
                      Last edited by viper; -09-03-2009, 01:16 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

                        Originally posted by viper View Post
                        Can he say corncob?

                        Hub, you started getting me all excited with those stats. Any idea how we look in some of the other important categories such as total offense, total defense, rushing defense, etc. vs last year?
                        Kind of a mixed bag really. Some improved:

                        scoring offense - from 24th last year to 10th this year
                        rush offense - from 12th to 9th
                        rush defense - from 32nd to 28th
                        scoring defense - from 16th to 14th

                        ...but others stepped back:

                        pass offense - from 13th to 32nd
                        total offense - from 10th to 28th
                        total defense - from 8th to 20th
                        pass defense - from 1st to 10th


                        But I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the "big" stats. I mean the Lions were the stars of the 2008 preseason after all.

                        However, I did find one stat imparticular that I could hang my hat on.

                        Turnover ratio went from a "-5" to a "+7". A 12 TO swing with one game to go? I like it.
                        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

                          It does appear to be a mixed bag. You wouldn't think we would be doing any worse than we did last year...go figure. Granted, it is preseason and everything is skewed anyway so that our coaching staff can evaluate talent. I would anticipate that those numbers will improve during the regular season.

                          Tried to send you some rep. It says I need to spread it around! Somebody say something smart or funny!

                          Thanks Hub!
                          Last edited by viper; -09-03-2009, 02:14 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Butler, Spagnuolo Bring Shared History To Rams

                            Hey, at least I have the kool aid in my glass. lol

                            Comment

                            Related Topics

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                            • RamWraith
                              Butler's Work not Done
                              by RamWraith
                              Wednesday, March 11, 2009

                              By Nick Wagoner
                              Senior Writer

                              Deep beyond the smiling face and pleasant demeanor, James Butler is burning. Since the weekend of April 23 and 24, 2005, Butler has carried this with him as motivation.

                              After an accomplished career at Georgia Tech, Butler watched idly as 20 safeties came off the draft board. Expecting to be selected at some point, Butler couldn’t believe that his name was never called.

                              “It was very tough,” Butler said. “Just to watch some of the guys going before me, I was like ‘Man, these guys aren’t better than me.” I think every player goes through that. Every player has things they have to go through. I went through that and I just have to go with the punches that were dealt and that’s what happened.”

                              Instead of worrying about what didn’t happen, Butler decided to focus on making his own luck. He signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent on May 6.

                              Fast forward four years to Wednesday and here’s Butler sitting at a table, addressing the St. Louis media after inking a lucrative four-year contract to become the team’s starting strong safety.

                              It was a day that seemed so far away on that April weekend.

                              “It helped my motivation,” Butler said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Every player has a motivation whether they are trying to provide for their family, whatever it is. That was my motivation.”

                              Butler’s journey from undrafted free agent to successful, starting NFL safety isn’t necessarily an unusual tale. Plenty of players have worked hard enough to make an impression and stick on NFL rosters.

                              Not many have done it with the quick level of success of Butler, though. That it happened with the Rams is little surprise.

                              After battling his way on to the roster as a rookie, Butler spent two years under relative anonymity, contributing mostly on special teams with the occasional appearance on the defense.

                              Following his second season in New York, the Giants hired a new fire brand defensive coordinator named Steve Spagnuolo.

                              Spagnuolo gave Butler his first starting opportunity in 2007 and Butler rewarded that confidence with a solid first year including a team leading nine tackles in the team’s stunning Super Bowl XLII victory against the Patriots.

                              That relationship with Spagnuolo only grew last year and when Spagnuolo accepted the head coach position in St. Louis in the same winter that Butler was due for unrestricted free agency, the next stop of Butler’s career seemed clear.

                              “I think it was the biggest part of the decision,” Butler said. “Coach ‘Spags’ gave me my first opportunity to be a starter in the league and he helped my career grow, so I felt that I wanted to go along with him with the Rams.”

                              Of course, it takes two to make a deal but Spagnuolo wanted...
                              -03-12-2009, 04:19 AM
                            • Rambos
                              James Butler not quite a Ram yet
                              by Rambos
                              James Butler not quite a Ram yet Despite reports last night that James Butler had agreed to terms with the Rams and former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, he has not yet signed a deal and terms are still being worked out.

                              His agent, Carl Poston, is in St. Louis right now and the two sides are trying to finalize what looks to be a four-year deal. A signed contract could be in place by tonight, according to a source, and it's still more than likely that Butler will become the newest member of the St. Louis defense. He's also no longer on the Giants' radar, I'm told, so he won't be coming back here.

                              The most likely place for him to land is in St. Louis. That's been the case since the day Spagnuolo took the job there in January. It's still the case. It's just not case closed.


                              Rumor source Tom Rock Gaints Blogger, take it for what it worth....
                              -03-10-2009, 06:10 PM
                            • THOLTFAN81
                              James Butler:
                              by THOLTFAN81
                              Per Rotoworld:...
                              -02-18-2009, 05:56 PM
                            • RamWraith
                              Rams secondary takes shape
                              by RamWraith
                              By Bill Coats
                              ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                              Sunday, Mar. 15 2009
                              In mid-February, the Rams' secondary was in a state of flux. Strong safety
                              Corey Chavous had been released, cornerback Fakhir Brown had been removed from
                              the team's plans, and free safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe and cornerback Ron
                              Bartell were about to become free agents.

                              Less than a month and more than $50 million later, the new regime at Rams Park
                              has solidified most of its defensive backfield:

                              Feb. 19 — Atogwe, 27, is assigned the team's franchise tag, assuring his
                              presence in 2009 and earning him a one-year salary of $6.34 million.

                              March 2 — After a visit to New Orleans and a contract offer from the Saints,
                              Bartell, 27, re-signs with the Rams. His four-year deal could max out at $28
                              million

                              March 10 — Strong safety James Butler, 27, a free agent who spent the previous
                              four seasons with the New York Giants, signs for four years and, if certain
                              incentives are met, about $17 million.

                              "It's very exciting," Butler said. "O.J.'s been having a lot of interceptions
                              the past two years, and Ron Bartell's arrow is definitely going up."

                              With a laugh, Butler added, "We've got a lot of young players, and they're fast
                              — I might be the slowest one out of the bunch. I might have to start working on
                              my 40s."

                              Atogwe, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound third-round draft pick in 2005, is a three-year
                              starter who has developed into one of the NFL's top ball-hawking defenders. He
                              led the NFC with eight interceptions two years ago and picked off five more
                              passes in 2008. He also finished second on the team in tackles this past
                              season, with 109.

                              Bartell, a 6-1, 209-pounder drafted in the second round in 2005, cobbled
                              together a breakout season in '08. After shuttling between safety and
                              cornerback his first three seasons, Bartell became a full-time starter. He was
                              the team's best defender in coverage, compiling one of the league's best "burn"
                              rates (percentage of passes completed against him), and his three interceptions
                              were second to Atogwe.

                              Butler, a 6-3, 215-pound Georgia Tech product, wasn't drafted after his senior
                              season in 2005, which shocked the two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference
                              honoree.

                              "It was very tough. I was like, 'Man, these guys aren't better than me,'"
                              Butler said. "But I think every player has things he has to go through, and I
                              went through that. You just have to roll with the punches."

                              The snub amped up his determination to prove the skeptics wrong, Butler
                              stressed.

                              "Every player has a motivation. ... that was my motivation," he said.
                              ...
                              -03-15-2009, 03:52 AM
                            • r8rh8rmike
                              Looks Like Quincy Butler Is Next Up As Rams Corner
                              by r8rh8rmike
                              10.29.2009 3:49 pm
                              Looks like Quincy Butler is next up as Rams corner
                              By Jim Thomas
                              St. Louis Post-Dispatch



                              As usual, St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said a final decision won’t be made until the end of the week, but it looks like Quincy Butler will step into the starting lineup Sunday at cornerback in place of the injured Bradley Fletcher.

                              “We may go with Quincy Butler,” Spagnuolo said Thursday. “We’ll make a final decision after tomorrow.”

                              Butler, no relation to starting safety James Butler, has gotten the lion’s share of the reps with the starters this week in Fletcher’s spot. That leaves Justin King if healthy in the nickel back role. And Jonathan Wade, who started the first four games at right corner, in a reserve role.

                              After missing the Indianapolis game with a groin injury, King has been listed as “limited participation” on the Rams’ official injury report Wednesday and Thursday.

                              Butler, a second-year pro from Texas Christian, joined the Rams late last season after being claimed off waivers from Dallas. Limited mainly to special teams work earlier this season, Butler made his first NFL start last Sunday against Indianapolis, but only because the Rams opened in a “dime” defense featuring six defensive backs.

                              Flecher suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Colts. He underwent surgery Tuesday to repair lateral meniscus cartilage damage in the knee. He will have additional surgery next month to repair anterior cruciate ligament damage in the knee.

                              * DE James Hall (groin) also was listed as limited participation. DE C.J. Ah You (ankle) and RG Richie Incognito (foot) missed practice.

                              * DT Clifton Ryan (illness) was sent home and did not practice. Offensive lineman John Greco was back Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice to attend to a family matter.
                              -10-29-2009, 04:31 PM
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