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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
    • eldfan
      Rams Team Report
      by eldfan
      As the regular season begins, and with the division-rival Seattle Seahawks on the horizon, coach Steve Spagnuolo knows the team's 3-1 preseason record doesn't count for much.
      "I'm perfectly aware that all of this is a honeymoon period," he said. "The real challenge is upcoming.

      "It's nice to be 3-1 after the preseason, but like I told the players, the score counted when we played the games. It doesn't matter now. We're moving on. We came in and did what we thought as a group were the right things to do. But the real test is the regular season, winning and losing."

      Even though Spagnuolo realizes building this team's roster in his image is a work in progress, he does like the team's mindset so far.

      He said, "I think we've got a bunch of hungry guys. I think it's good to be hungry. It's a hungry football team that wants to be a team. We've talked a lot about it and I think the guys have embraced it. At least their actions and the attitudes and what comes out verbally says that to me. So if we can rally around that, that would be good."

      Asked what he expects from his team, Spagnuolo said, "In a nutshell, I want a focused, disciplined, tough football team. We have certain measurements that we have after games that measure that focus, discipline and toughness. I blurt them out after every game and let them know if we met them. I think the team is starting to embrace that, too. We talk about it all the time."

      "If you're a physically tough team, you're able to run the ball and stop the run."

      Said guard Richie Incognito, "That's the identity we're trying to create. Physical up front, and get the running game going ... The coaches are calling it up, dialing it up and they're keeping it coming. We're pumped up, we're excited."

      Former Rams coach Dick Vermeil would often say a coach "has to be believed to be heard." Spagnuolo sees a team that is listening and accepting leadership.

      "That means a great deal," he said. "I thanked them the other night (before the final preseason game). The night before the game for what they did. Back in the offseason program, right through training camp, it was a new training camp. It was a different hotel and we're here. New staff, new this or that, and they didn't skip a beat. They really bought into it."

      How much will the team improve from a two-win season? While Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney know there is a lot of work to do, they aren't willing to accept just minimal improvement.

      "I don't think anybody here is saying, 'Boy, if we just double our win total, we'll be happy about that,'" Devaney said. "If we win four games, then we still stink.

      "We're thinking we have a pretty good team. How fast it meshes and comes together, we're...
      -09-11-2009, 06:59 AM
    • 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
    • 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