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Adeyanju Waits For His Chance

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  • Adeyanju Waits For His Chance

    Adeyanju waits for his chance
    By Jim Thomas

    Perhaps the most surprising Rams personnel move in the season opener against Seattle was a player who didn't suit up. Victor Adeyanju, a fourth-year defensive end from Indiana, was among the team's seven pregame inactives.

    Adeyanju was so thrown off by being de-activated, he said he couldn't sleep Sunday night after the team returned to St. Louis. So to say he was surprised by the move would be an understatement.

    "Yeah," Adeyanju said, breaking into his trademark hearty laugh. "But you've got to believe in anything that's good for the team. If they felt that would help us win, so be it. ...You've got to believe in the coaches and trust them. If they need me out there, they'll have me out there."

    Adeyanju is coming off a 2008 season in which he started nine games and led all Rams defensive linemen in tackles with 73. Not known for his pass-rushing skills, he recorded two sacks and eight quarterback pressures.

    But Adeyanju seemed to have improved as a pass rusher this preseason, sharing the team lead with two sacks in exhibition play.

    "I thought I was productive," Adeyanju said.

    But with 10 defensive linemen on the active roster for the regular season, coach Steve Spagnuolo is swimming in options on that unit. He decided to dress Leonard Little, Chris Long, James Hall and C. J. Ah You at end against the Seattle. It was Ah You who was the 12th man on the field on the ill-fated blocked field-goal play.

    Following Thursday's practice, Spagnuolo wouldn't commit to dressing Adeyanju this Sunday against Washington.

    "We're still tossing that one around," Spagnuolo said. "I love Victor. He came up to me and said, 'Coach, what can I do? Do you need me to do anything?' He's a team player."

    Spagnuolo indicated that Ah You's presence on the Seattle game day roster wasn't necessarily the reason for Adeyanju's presence on the inactive list.

    "Special teams can play into that whole thing, and I know Victor understands that," Spagnuolo said. "We activated (linebacker) Larry Grant there at the last minute. We didn't think he was going to be able to go, and we just made a conscious decision to go that way."

    Adeyanju added: "I know it's a tough decision; that's why I'm glad I don't have to make those types of decisions. I was ready to go, but it just didn't happen."


    Nearly a month removed from season-ending left ankle surgery, wide receiver Brooks Foster is doing treadmill work to stretch out the muscles around the injury. The fifth-round draft pick from North Carolina suffered the injury on the Rams' final offensive play in their preseason opener against the New York Jets.

    "I was blocking," Foster recalled. "The running back (Chris Ogbonnaya) got tackled up on my ankle and rolled it up from behind. I had torn ligaments, and it needed some help to grow back faster, so they put a screw in it."

    With plenty of openings at one point on the depth chart at wide receiver, Foster had high hopes entering training camp.

    "Definitely I did," he said. "But I take it for what it is. I feel like things happen for a reason, so the best thing I can do is just have a positive attitude and try to get better."


    DT Leger Douzable (pronounced Luh-JEY DOOZE-uh-bull), who spent Week 1 on the New York Giants' active roster, was signed to the Rams practice squad. LB K.C. Asiodu was released from the practice squad. ... Thursday's injury report included only G John Greco (wrist, did not participate) and S Craig Dahl (hamstring, limited participation).

  • #2
    Re: Adeyanju Waits For His Chance

    I really hope Adeyanju plays this weekend. I'm shocked Ah You made the team...


    Related Topics


    • r8rh8rmike
      St. Louis Rams' Victor Adeyanju Enjoys Free Hand
      by r8rh8rmike
      St. Louis Rams' Victor Adeyanju enjoys free hand


      Greet Rams defensive end Victor Adeyanju, and he'll be more than happy to shake hands. A simple gesture, true. But a year ago, Adeyanju couldn't have done it.

      That's because his right hand was encased in a bulky wrap as protection for the middle finger he broke on the third day of training camp. "It feels like you're carrying a baby," Adeyanju said.

      The injury required surgery, but Adeyanju played in all 16 regular-season games and recorded a career-high 73 tackles, including two sacks. He graduated to a smaller cast as the finger healed, but he was encumbered throughout the season.

      "I did what I could do last year, but it kind of set me back," said Adeyanju, a fourth-round draft pick in 2006. Because he compensated for the injury, he's had to "re-learn some things" during camp this year while also familiarizing himself with a new approach on defense under coordinator Ken Flajole.

      "A lot of things have changed," Adeyanju said. "The scheme's a little more complex. A number of things could change depending on who our opponent is."

      Rookie coach Steve Spagnuolo demands versatility from his linemen, which is a plus for Adeyanju. Stout against the run, the 6-foot-4, 284-pound Adeyanju was moved inside last year in certain situations. He has been getting more of the same this summer, with promising results, Spagnuolo reported.

      "Victor is one of those smart guys that can play a couple of different positions," Spagnuolo said. "He's doing a good job."

      It's an ongoing process, Adeyanju stressed. "I'm learning how to leverage a guy, work my hands, playing different techniques. I'm still trying to get a feel for things, working a lot of different moves. It's getting really interesting."


      Even though the coveted Governor's Cup will be at stake, Thursday's home preseason game vs. Kansas City won't sell out, according to Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations.

      Because of NFL rules, it can't be shown live locally, although KTVI (Channel 2) will air the game on tape-delay, beginning at about 10:30 that night.


      The Rams must trim five players from their 80-man roster by 3 p.m. today (St. Louis time). Just four days later, the final 53-man squad has to be determined.

      Today's cuts won't be particularly difficult to make, but Spagnuolo insisted that he still had a number of decisions to reach before Saturday's deadline. "I'm keeping an open mind with that last group of guys, because we're not done yet," he said. "We've got some practice and we've got a game."

      -08-31-2009, 10:13 PM
    • RockinRam
      Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity
      by RockinRam
      By Nick Wagoner
      Senior Writer

      With injury comes opportunity and nobody knows that better than Rams defensive end Victor Adeyanju.
      In each of his first three seasons in the league, Adeyanju has been a valuable reserve for the Rams defensive line and each year, inevitably one of the players starting ahead of him has suffered some type of an injury giving Adeyanju a chance to start.
      During his three-plus year career. Adeyanju has started 25 of 43 games he’s played in. This year, things have been a bit different, though.
      Adeyanju is again getting a chance by way of injury but it isn’t necessarily a starting role. When Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo announced Thursday that backup end C.J. Ah You would miss the rest of the season because of a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament, the focus immediately shifted to Adeyanju.
      “It’s a chance for Victor to get in there and play around a little bit and then as the week goes along, we will try some different combinations and see if that is the best thing for us,” defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. “Right now, Victor will come in and I’m sure Victor will do a good job for us. He is a very diligent young man. He is a true professional so it will be his turn.”
      Adeyanju has learned plenty about waiting his turn during his time in the league, never more so than this season.
      Entering training camp as one of the more experienced defensive linemen on the team, Adeyanju found the adjustment to a new defensive scheme and coaching staff a bit difficult.
      In Spagnuolo and Flajole’s defensive system, defensive linemen are asked to do a lot and play a variety of different positions. Although Adeyanju has experience playing inside and out, the assignments and techniques are different in this defense.
      “I moved inside a little in years past but a new scheme, new coordinator, you have to learn a lot of things and learn a lot of techniques and things they work with,” Adeyanju said. “Initially it was a little bit difficult challenge getting your nose in the book and learning three or four positions. Now, I think everybody including myself has got it down pat.”
      Adeyanju’s learning curve left him a bit behind the other defensive linemen and he became a victim of the numbers game, leaving him inactive for the first six games of the season.
      Like any player, Adeyanju was disappointed that he was unable to do enough to get on the field.
      “As a player and competitor it’s obviously very tough but you have to believe in the coaches and I feel like I am not better than anybody,” Adeyanju said. “If that’s the decision they have to make then I respect their decision. As a competitor it hurt but as a team guy I understood what it was and it’s a long season and I will get my opportunity eventually.”
      That opportunity came for the first time this season in the Oct. 25 game against Indianapolis. Injuries to Ah You and James Hall created the chance...
      -11-20-2009, 03:26 PM
    • RamWraith
      Adeyanju in a Rush
      by RamWraith
      Wednesday, August 20, 2008

      By Nick Wagoner
      Senior Writer

      For many years, Rams legend Deacon Jones was known for using the “cast” on his hand as a way to fight off offensive linemen and terrorize quarterbacks.

      Current Rams defensive end Victor Adeyanju hasn’t drawn comparisons to the legendary Jones in terms of play but a quick glance at the giant white club adorning Adeyanju’s right hand might at least harken some memories.

      Of course, using a cast or any other object as a weapon has long since been declared illegal but who’s to say what can happen in the heat of the battle.

      “That’s technically illegal,” Adeyanju said. “Technically it’s illegal, but when the body’s moving, going crazy, somebody might get hit.”

      Adeyanju suffered a broken right middle finger on July 27, an injury that kept him out for the balance of training camp. Adeyanju had surgery in St. Louis, getting three pins placed in the finger.

      During Adeyanju’s rookie season, he sported a similar cast after breaking his forearm against San Francisco on Nov. 26.

      “Victor for one thing, and I joked about it, played with a club before so it’s not new to him,” coach Scott Linehan said. “For a ‘D’ lineman it hinders you probably as it does any position, not being able to use your hands, but he’s gone through that before and he’s never slowed down. He’s so anxious to get onto the field that he came out right away and was effective. He really is one of our best run defenders and played well even with the cast on there.”

      Soon after surgery, Adeyanju was already pushing to get back on the field. He spent much of his time lobbying line coach Brian Baker to return to practice as soon as possible.

      Most players wouldn’t mind the chance to miss the bulk of training camp but Adeyanju wanted to come back. Entering his third season in the NFL, Adeyanju and many of his coaches believe he is on the verge of a breakout season.

      He gained more weight and muscle in the offseason, up to 280 pounds. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and Baker have big plans for Adeyanju this season, working him at end on running downs and sliding him inside for some passing downs.

      His hallmark talent remains that ability to stop the run as Haslett and Baker have both said on numerous occasions he’s one of the best run stopping ends they have encountered.

      “Victor is a legitimate tough guy,” Baker said. “He’s always been our best run defending end, no matter what Leonard (Little) or James (Hall) might say. He’s the best against the run. He’s a machine. He was starting to get much better in the pass rush. Just because he’s gotten so much bigger, we can play him inside. The ability to move him around some was something we were really looking forward to and he was starting to embrace that and then the finger got broken.”

      -08-20-2008, 02:08 PM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Longshots Embrace Land Of Opportunity
      by r8rh8rmike
      Longshots Embrace Land of Opportunity
      Monday, September 7, 2009

      By Nick Wagoner
      Senior Writer

      In giving his early assessment of his Rams roster way back in the spring, coach Steve Spagnuolo repeatedly referred to the practice fields at the Russell Training Center as the “Land of Opportunity.”

      With little to no preconceived notions about any of the players on the roster, Spagnuolo and his staff came to those organized team activities and minicamp practices with an open mind and that carried on into training camp and the preseason.

      “Every position is an ongoing competition,” Spagnuolo said. “I don’t mean to overstate what’s going on but it really is.”

      When the Rams announced the results of the competition from training camp and the preseason by declaring their 53-man roster on Saturday night, there were four Rams from various backgrounds who seized their opportunity.

      Perhaps more than the rest of their more experienced teammates, defensive end C.J. Ah You, guard Roger Allen III, tackle Eric Young and safety David Roach wasted no chance to impress the coaching staff.

      And for their efforts, that quartet landed spots on the team’s final roster regardless of the odds they faced in getting there.

      For each player, the path was different but it ultimately led to the same spot.


      Entering this year’s training camp; it’s safe to say that Ah You had placed a certain amount of expectation on himself.

      After spending the past year and a half on the Rams practice squad, Ah You found himself hoping for a shot to finally land on the active roster.

      Of course, that seemed a tall order considering that the Rams seemed to have a solid quartet at defensive end already in place in Leonard Little, James Hall, Chris Long and Victor Adeyanju.

      “I knew coming in I had my work cut out for me so all I could do is work on my game and do everything I can and hustle and work hard and hopefully the coaches like what they see and keep me around,” Ah You said.

      Ah You’s expectations perked up a little bit after the team hired Spagnuolo, though. From watching Spagnuolo’s defenses in New York the past two years, Ah You knew that the new head coach had a penchant for moving defensive linemen around and sending them out on the field in waves.

      That knowledge created hope that maybe the opportunity to land on the roster would be greater than it had previously been.

      “When he first got hired I saw the opportunity to maybe come inside and maybe (go) outside,” Ah You said. “I got a lot of work on that in training camp and now I’m here so it worked out.”

      Ah You performed well on the practice field but it was when the lights came on in the preseason contests that it started to click. Ah You...
      -09-09-2009, 02:25 PM
    • MauiRam
      Little still sees himself as an every down player ..
      by MauiRam
      Aug. 2, 2009

      The Associated Press.
      ST. LOUIS (AP) -Leonard Little feels he's much more than a third-down pass rusher for the St. Louis Rams.

      After Sunday morning's full-pad practice at Rams Park, Little insisted he still can be an every-down defensive end.

      "I'll always be an everyday player if I'm healthy," Little said. "I don't know where people get this thing where, you know, that I'm just a third-down player. I've been playing every down since I've been starting."

      But with a new coaching staff headed by Steve Spagnuolo, Little knows things have changed. All he has to do is look around.

      Little is the only player left from the 1999 and 2001 Super Bowl teams, surviving three coaching changes. The 34-year-old, who was a third-round draft pick in 1998, is heading into his 12th season.

      "It's tremendously valuable to have that kind of experience and leadership," Spagnuolo said. "It's an important position on defense."

      Little acknowledged it's strange not to have Torry Holt and Orlando Pace - both released in recent months - around anymore.

      "I miss the guys," Little said. "You know, we won a lot of games together and we went through a lot of stuff together. It's different because you're used to being around those guys for so long. It takes a little time to get used to it but you've got to realize this is the NFL and stuff like that will happen. You have to adjust to it the best way you can and go out here and play regardless of what happens."

      Admitting he was nervous it could happen to him, Little said he was prepared for whatever happened.

      "You never know what's going to happen next," said Little, who is in the last year of a renegotiated contract he signed in 2006. "I knew I could be next."

      He didn't need to worry though. Spagnuolo liked what he saw from Little on tape and wanted to keep him.

      "In all the evaluations we did, he was part of the plan," Spagnuolo said. "So far, so good."

      The Rams recently signed defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, who turned 35 in January. That move made Little happy.

      "I'm not the oldest guy on the team no more so that's good," Little said laughing. "I told him he could be the grandpa around here."

      Little had six sacks and two forced fumbles to go along with 18 tackles, but played hurt for the second straight season last year. A hamstring injury slowed him, and he didn't start in the season finale at Atlanta. He also sat out during the minicamps.

      He's healed now and ready to go for the upcoming season.

      "I'm fine," Little said. "I'll be fine as long as I keep my body in good condition and stay injury free. I'll do anything they want...
      -08-02-2009, 10:57 PM