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Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

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  • Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Donnie Avery wants to keep returning kickoffs for the St. Louis Rams besides playing wide receiver, despite fumbling the opening kickoff of the season.

    The gaffe set up the Seahawks at the Rams' 19 yard line, but the defense prevented a score with an interception in the end zone.
    Running back Samkon Gado returned the only other kickoff last week for St. Louis. Avery said he knew he had made a mistake and he found out about it Monday during evaluations.

    "Coach (Steve Spagnuolo) wrote on paper, 'spin equals fumble so don't spin,"' Avery said with a laugh.
    No official word has been given if Avery, who is in his second season, will return kickoffs in Sunday's game at Washington. He returned one kick in 2008 for 21 years. He also returned kickoffs in college at Houston.
    "If they call my name, I'll go in there," Avery said. "I wasn't surprised when they asked me to do last week. It's fun back there. If he puts me back there, he puts me back there."

    He said returning will not detract him from receiving duties. He pointed out Washington's Antwaan Randle El and Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson both return punts.

    But it's receiving where St. Louis and Spagnuolo want Avery to make his mark.
    The Rams' receiving corps led by Avery is short on experience. Seattle frequently put eight men up front to thwart the run, almost daring St. Louis to pass.

    Those types of defense will be common this season, running back Steven Jackson said.

    However, he predicts Avery, along with the other young receivers, will grow as the season progresses and force defenses to change their thinking.

    "Everyone comes along differently. Donnie had success last year in his rookie year, but in this league, guys don't go off one year. A lot of defensive coordinators want you to prove yourself over time," Jackson said. "I'm going to do my best to make sure they respect the running game and hopefully get some one-on-ones on the outside. Those guys are talented enough to take advantage of the one-on-ones."

    Spagnuolo said he believes Avery will benefit and prosper. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur agreed.

    "I think Donnie's a hard worker. He's a smart football player and he understands how to play the game," Shurmur said. "All those things matched with his great ability are going to make him a great for a long time."
    Avery said the offense can get going and score points. The team must limit mistakes and penalties. Last week, the Rams were whistled for 10 penalties.

    NOTES: S Craig Dahl (hamstring) and G John Greco (wrist) are out for Sunday and will not make the trip. ... DT Leger Douzable was signed to the practice squad. Douzable spent the first week on the New York Giants' active roster. To make room for Douzable, LB K.C. Asiodu was release from the practice squad. ... the Rams spent Friday's practice working on red zone offense with an emphasis on third-down, short yardage and goal-line plays. ... Spagnuolo pumped in the Redskins' fight song loudly during practice to prepare the players for Sunday. "I guess I'll take credit for that one. I've heard it a lot," said Spagnuolo, who has previously coached with Philadelphia and the New York Giants. Both teams are in the same division as the Redskins.

    Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    EDIT: Made it a little easier to read.
    Registered User
    Last edited by Varg6; -09-18-2009, 09:36 PM.
    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  • #2
    Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

    I used to be all for Avery returning kicks, until his injuries. Now it doesn't seem like such a good idea.


    • #3
      Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

      Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
      I used to be all for Avery returning kicks, until his injuries. Now it doesn't seem like such a good idea.
      Exactly. Couldn't have said it better.


      • #4
        Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

        He most certainly has the speed and quickness for it, however as it has been pointed out we don't want him injured. Our WR corps really needs him in there as a leader and if he was out for any significant amount of time it could really hurt the team.


        • #5
          Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

          I concur with all of you guys. The risk isn't worth the reward, as he's counted on too heavily for us offensively. I know other guys in the league do it, but the last thing we need is a key component injured for the season because of some special teams mishap.


          • #6
            Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

            Yeah. And he needs to understand that he's too valuable to the offense to risk being injured and/or focusing on special teams rather than the offense. I'm sure with his speed and versatility he could be a great kick returner but I don't think it's worth it at this point.
            Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


            • #7
              Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

              returned one kick in 2008 for 21 "years" or maybe yards. boy that does not make me feel comfortable especially after the fumble last game.


              • #8
                Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                With our WRs, there's too much risk in losing him. If we had some more depth, than I'd be all for it, but not right now.


                • #9
                  Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                  "..He returned one kick in 2008 for 21 years."


                  Jesus, he must be real tired. That's at least a quarter way to the moon. I'm surprised he's available for the game today..

                  Arf! Arf!


                  • #10
                    Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                    he is the next Hakim, remember how he returned balls?;)


                    • #11
                      Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                      Originally posted by BEER View Post
                      he is the next Hakim, remember how he returned balls?;)
                      Sadly, I remember. In fact, Hakim is the first person I thought of when he dropped that ball.


                      • #12
                        Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                        Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
                        I concur with all of you guys. The risk isn't worth the reward, as he's counted on too heavily for us offensively. I know other guys in the league do it, but the last thing we need is a key component injured for the season because of some special teams mishap.

                        Maybe I take that back after watching him basically be non-existent all day then essentially cost us the game by coughing up the ball inside the 10 on what would have been a go-ahead field goal. If one play symbolizes the St. Louis Rams football team, that was it: Find a way to lose.

                        It's about time Avery starts playing like a bonafide 2nd round pick instead of a guy off the waiver wire. Another disgusting day.


                        • #13
                          Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                          I would give him the job of running beers up and down the stands at the Ed dome, but I would be afraid he'd drop them.


                          • #14
                            Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                            Avery should worry about just keeping his WR job.


                            • #15
                              Re: Rams' Avery wants kickoff job

                              we do need a new kick returner we had 3 kickoff return for 12 yards or less. although if avery was back there he might fumble it, i say put burton back there beacuse he has done it before and had succses in college


                              Related Topics


                              • r8rh8rmike
                                St. Louis Rams' Donnie Avery Works On Durability
                                Rams Nation MVP
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                St. Louis Rams' Donnie Avery works on durability
                                BY BILL COATS
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                By trying to simultaneously give up meat and fried foods, Rams wide receiver Donnie Avery bit off more than he could chew. "I got burned out with it," he said. "So I cheat once a week and eat fried food."

                                Still, Avery mostly is sticking to chicken and fish, with heavy helpings of fruits and vegetables. He's hoping that an improved diet, plus 10 pounds of muscle added in the weight room, will increase his durability.

                                Nagging injuries — from a cracked hip to a stress fracture in his foot to a strained shoulder — hindered Avery during his first two seasons since the Rams made him the first wideout taken (second round, No. 33 overall) in the 2008 draft.

                                Avery missed only one game, but he rarely was in top shape on Sundays.

                                "It's frustrating, because you know you're not playing at a hundred percent," he said. "But at the same time you're still out there trying help the team as much as possible."

                                After the '09 season, coach Steve Spagnuolo suggested that Avery try to bulk up a bit.

                                "We talked about that before he left in January, that every time you catch the ball in the NFL, you've got to pop right back up and go in the huddle and make it look like nothing hurts," Spagnuolo said. "You've got to be durable, and one of the things about being durable is getting your body right. I think it's helping him.

                                "Now, we don't know; we haven't hit anything yet. But hopefully that'll work out."

                                For the organized team activities and the full-squad minicamp under way at Rams Park, the players aren't permitted to don pads, and contact is not allowed, per NFL rule.

                                The 5-foot-11 Avery added 14 pounds, up to 198, but wasn't comfortable. "It's kind of trial and error," he said. "I felt a little bit sluggish, so I had to lose some of that weight. I feel good with the 10 right now that I put on."

                                Avery's numbers slipped a bit last season from his rookie year. His receptions fell to 47 from 53 and his receiving yardage dipped to 589 from 674. "But my touchdowns went up last year" to five from three, he pointed out. "So that was a positive."

                                So far, his spring workouts have been a positive, too. "It's going great," Avery said. "Second year in the (offensive) system, and I feel a lot more comfortable in it."

                                Avery made a couple of acrobatic grabs at Friday's practice, which caught Spagnuolo's eye. "He looked really good today," Spagnuolo said. "I've been really happy with what Donnie's done. He'll tell you he's been inconsistent, because he's a pro and he wants to catch every ball. But I think he's doing a nice job."...
                                -06-12-2010, 11:46 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Avery Embraces All Roles
                                Rams Nation MVP
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Avery Embraces All Roles
                                Thursday, September 17, 2009

                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Senior Writer

                                The ball seemed to hang in the air forever and a day and for every tick that went by before it landed, an entire stadium and two sidelines full of football players held their breath as though the simple act of breathing would somehow alter the ball’s final destination.

                                Rams receiver Donnie Avery ran a simple ‘9’ route, using his blazing speed to get deep in the Redskins secondary. Earlier in the game, he’d run the same route but failed to adjust to a pass that was slightly underthrown.

                                This time, Avery knew exactly what to do. As the pass floated down the right sideline, Avery stopped his sprint cold, turned back toward the ball and dived to his left to haul in a 43-yard pass to Washington’s 16.

                                It was a play that would ultimately spark the Rams to their first win in 2008 and the one that let the rest of the football world know that Avery was soon to be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.

                                It’s been almost a year since Avery made that play and a lot has changed since then. So much, in fact, that Avery has essentially put one of the first big plays of his young NFL career out of his mind.

                                “That was last year,” Avery said. “Now, we have got to make some 2009 memories.”

                                When Avery made that catch last season, he was viewed as a speedster with plenty of potential but he wasn’t considered one of the team’s top targets. When the Rams return to the scene of the crime at FedEx Field in Washington D.C. on Sunday, Avery will come widely regarded as one of, if not the, team’s top receiving option.

                                Since then, the Rams have said goodbye to the likes of Torry Holt, Drew Bennett and Dane Looker. Avery has ascended the depth chart under new coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur based on a combination of speed, improved route running ability and a work ethic that has impressed the coaching staff.

                                “I’m going to tell you what, he’s one of the harder working guys we’ve got, one of the hardest working guys,” Spagnuolo said. “He is always doing that, whether it’s special teams, whether it’s running a route, whether it’s doing extra conditioning when he was hurt…I have got a lot of respect for him. I think he’s exactly what you need on your team.”

                                Avery’s big game in the nation’s capital was the opening act to a month in which he would burst on the scene to earn a nomination for NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month.

                                The following week against Dallas, Avery posted his first receiving touchdown on a 42-yard grab and he followed that with a career-best 163 yards on six catches against New England on Oct. 26.

                                All told, Avery had 14 catches for 291 yards in the month and served notice to the NFL that he would need to be accounted for in the passing...
                                -09-17-2009, 08:52 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Rams WR Avery Struggling With Fumbles
                                Rams Nation MVP
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Rams WR Avery struggling with fumbles
                                By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
                                6 hours, 56 minutes ago

                                ST. LOUIS (AP)—It’s two games and two turnovers for Donnie Avery(notes), the St. Louis Rams’ second-round pick last year. He realizes more than those who are making him the franchise’s latest scapegoat that it’s two too many.

                                Ball security suddenly has become an issue with a player expected to lead the team’s thin and inexperienced wide receiver corps. His fumble at the Washington 5 in the fourth quarter last Sunday cost the Rams dearly in a 2-point loss, and he lost a fumble on a kickoff return to open the season.

                                Returning to practice Wednesday was a major relief for Avery, the better to begin redeeming himself.

                                “It was great to get back out there,” Avery said. “I understand it’s going to be a long week, but I just need to get ready.”

                                Coach Steve Spagnuolo said he hasn’t lost confidence in Avery, the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 draft and coming off a 53-catch season that was only one off the franchise rookie record set by Eddie Kennison(notes) in 1996. So far, Avery has seven catches for 50 yards for a team that has managed only one touchdown in two games.

                                The Rams, who have dropped 12 in a row heading into Sunday’s home opener against the Packers, need his breakaway speed.

                                “I know this and I’ve said it before: I love his heart, I love his grit, I love what he’s all about,” Spagnuolo said. “He’ll be fine. We’re banking on him to be fine.”

                                Quarterback Marc Bulger(notes) said Avery was tough enough on himself after Sunday’s loss without teammates piling on.

                                “We’re going to need him for 14 more games, and he’s too good of a player,” Bulger said. “We can’t let him get down, and he was back out there today looking great.”

                                Thus far, Laurent Robinson(notes) has been Bulger’s go-to wide receiver with 11 catches, a 12.8-yard average and the lone touchdown on a 2-yard fade route against the Redskins.

                                Avery made several big plays as a rookie, scoring his first touchdown on a 37-yard end around and had six catches for 169 yards including a 69-yard grab against the Patriots. No fumbles, either.

                                “I guess you could say when it’s good it’s good, and when it’s bad it’s bad,” said Avery, whose long gain this year is only 16 yards.

                                Avery got caught on a spin move on the kickoff return, and hasn’t returned one since, although Spagnuolo wouldn’t say he’d been taken off special teams. The Rams signed return man Danny Amendola(notes) off the Eagles’ practice squad Tuesday, and Amendola could fill both roles this week.

                                “It just depends on how quickly we can get him oiled up,” Spagnuolo said. “Until we get to the end of the week, we don’t really know.”

                                Redskins safety Chris Horton(notes) put his helmet on the ball after Avery...
                                -09-23-2009, 10:24 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Avery Back in Action ..
                                Rams Nation MVP
                                by MauiRam
                                Avery Back in Action

                                By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer

                                After hauling in a pass late in Wednesday night’s practice, the cheers came up from the sideline as Donnie Avery hauled in yet another catch and turned up field to run.

                                The cheers from the fans were common but the support from his teammates seemed to have a little something extra behind them.

                                Avery made his return to the practice field on Wednesday, performed again on Thursday and on Saturday night against the Titans, is on schedule to play in his first preseason game in almost a full calendar year.

                                In other words, it’s hard not to root for the soft spoken, humble Avery even if there is some good natured ribbing involved.

                                “A couple of guys said ‘Oh, snap No. 17 is back from the dead,’” Avery said. “They kind of gave me crap coming out but it’s kind of nice to know they are rooting for me and on the same page as I am.”

                                And why wouldn’t they be? The idea of a healthy Avery certainly brings an element to the offense that may not be there when he’s on the shelf.

                                Known for his blazing speed, Avery has been on the sideline for almost a full year after suffering a devastating ACL injury in the third preseason game last year in New England.

                                Avery spent the offseason training to get back up to speed, literally. He trained in Houston and did a lot of track work and says he clocked sub 4.3 40-yard dashes on a regular basis.

                                Upon the start of camp, Avery was back on the field going full speed. Like with any knee surgery, though, the Rams and Avery had to dial back his work load, which has kept him out of the past week or so of practice and the first preseason game.

                                “It was really more of a response, I think, to the surgery,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “Nothing uncommon. We just figured, why set him back? That’s why we kind of shut him down. And I think it was the right thing to do because I think he’ll start to surface now.”

                                Avery has indeed surfaced and has stuck out for his play making skills just in the two practices since he’s been back. In Wednesday night’s practice, Avery made a series of catches deep, across the middle and outside the hashes.

                                “I thought Donnie looked really good yesterday,” quarterback Sam Bradford said. “I thought he looked quick, I thought he looked fast, he made good decisions…Avery is another guy that will give us the opportunity to stretch the field with his speed.”
                                Avery had no ill effects linger from Wednesday’s practice and made it through Thursday’s workout just fine. All signs point to him playing Saturday night against Tennessee.

                                “It’s important to me because I haven’t been on the team, playing in a game in a year so I just need to get the ball in my hands and I think I’m explosive when it comes to making people miss and getting that YAC,” Avery said. “That’s...
                                -08-19-2011, 01:14 AM
                              • RamWraith
                                Avery Ready to Make an Impact
                                Registered User
                                by RamWraith
                                Thursday, September 25, 2008

                                By Nick Wagoner

                                Senior Writer

                                Watching as fellow rookie wideouts around the league make a first impression – good or bad – in the first three games, Donnie Avery couldn’t help but wonder when his time would come.

                                For every big play or boneheaded play made by Philadelphia ’s DeSean Jackson, Avery made note and hoped for his time to arrive.

                                After three games of patiently working through a knee injury and working in limited duty, the time is now.

                                Coach Scott Linehan named Avery the starter at the ‘Z’ receiver position on Wednesday and Avery will get his first career NFL start on Sunday against Buffalo.

                                “I’m very excited,” Avery said. “I finally get to go out there and just have fun from the start. I don’t have to wait on the sidelines to get my opportunity.”

                                When the Rams used the second pick of the second round to make Avery the first receiver taken in this year’s NFL Draft, they had hoped he could work behind starter Torry Holt and occasionally chip in as the third receiver.

                                But injuries to Drew Bennett and fellow rookie Keenan Burton are out this week and the Rams offense is searching for a spark. When the Rams drafted Avery, they touted his game breaking speed.

                                With that in mind, they are turning to Avery to inject that youth and speed into the offense.

                                “That’s what everybody expects when they get drafted,” Avery said. “They want to get out on the field and start. That’s my goal. It’s sad to say people had to get hurt for me to get up there but that’s how it goes.”

                                Avery was inactive in the opener against Philadelphia because of a knee injury that came on the heels of his return from a pelvic bone injury suffered early in training camp.

                                Against New York in week 2, Avery played a little at receiver and returned a kick for 21 yards. Finally, last week against Seattle , Avery got his chance to work in at receiver, catching three passes for 24 yards.

                                “He wants to get on the field and show what he can do,” coach Scott Linehan said. “I just want him to relax and play and use that speed.”

                                The transition to a starter in the NFL from leading receiver for the Houston Cougars has not been an easy one.

                                In addition to the pressures of being the first wide out taken, Avery is dealing with plenty of new things.

                                For one, Houston never had an actual playbook in any of Avery’s time there. The playbook was nonexistent and Avery could move all over the field and get the ball in any given scenario.

                                Contrast the lack of a...
                                -09-27-2008, 07:31 AM