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Is Laurinaitis the first Lithuanian-American player in the NFL?

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  • Is Laurinaitis the first Lithuanian-American player in the NFL?

    im gonna look into it and see if i can find out..tho it could take me a while...
    so i thought i`d ask on here..

    we`ve had lots of European-Americans..too many to mention all of them and weve had a Vietnamese Linebacker in Dallas..

    but does anyone know of a Lithuanian-American..that has played in the NFL before J-Lau ?

  • #2
    Re: Is Laurinaitis the first Lithuanian-American player in the NFL?

    Was he born in lithuania ?? Or was one of his parents???

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is Laurinaitis the first Lithuanian-American player in the NFL?

      Originally posted by Flipper89 View Post
      Was he born in lithuania ?? Or was one of his parents???
      well thats ended that..after a lil research i found out he`s actually Greek-American...

      he was born in Minnesota..


      that`ll teach me for starting a thread..

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is Laurinaitis the first Lithuanian-American player in the NFL?

        Originally posted by Ramblin` Ram View Post
        well thats ended that..after a lil research i found out he`s actually Greek-American...

        he was born in Minnesota..


        that`ll teach me for starting a thread..
        Well, at least you found the answer to your question.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Is Laurinaitis the first Lithuanian-American player in the NFL?

          well i found out he is only the 17th Greek-American to play in the NFL..

          tho its 3am where i am,so i figure i can go to bed now... and just treat this like a drunken fling in the morning by pretending it never happened...

          Comment

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          • MauiRam
            Nick Waggoner on James Laurinaitis
            by MauiRam
            By Nick Wagoner
            Senior Writer

            As he prepared himself for his first NFL minicamp, second-round draft choice James Laurinaitis heard all of the questions about getting thrown into the fire immediately.

            Rare is the second-round choice who has more pressure on him from the start than the player picked in the first round. But in this situation, one could make the case that the expectations for what Laurinaitis can do for the defense are at least on par with the level of impact expected of first-round tackle Jason Smith with the offense.

            “This is the NFL,” Laurinaitis said. “There’s not time to kind of wait for the rookies to catch on. You better catch on or you’ll be left behind. I think pace-wise, you better just try to learn and keep up. I think the most important thing I’m going to try to do is just compete and run around and show that I have a great work ethic and that I’m going to try 100 percent no matter what and the mental stuff will come. That’s the way it is for everyone.”

            Laurinaitis is no stranger to the pressure of performing right away. At Ohio State, he got his first real playing time opportunity as a freshman when future first-round pick Bobby Carpenter suffered a broken leg on the first play from scrimmage against rival Michigan.

            Thrown right into the mix against the Buckeyes’ most hated opponent, Laurinaitis embraced the opportunity and never looked back during one of the most distinguished careers a linebacker has ever had at the collegiate level.

            From that day on, Laurinaitis did nothing but produce for Ohio State. While he wasn’t the most athletic player at his position, few linebackers have the read and react skills of Laurinaitis.

            Those instincts to read keys and waste no motion getting to the ball helped Laurinaitis become a three-time All American and one of the most accomplished players in school history.

            In three seasons as a starter, Laurinaitis posted 366 tackles, nine interceptions, 24.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.

            In 2006, Laurinaitis won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player. In 2007, he won the Dick Butkus award as the nation’s best linebacker.

            “The production – the guy has been like this his entire career at Ohio State,” Rams general manager Billy Devaney said. “He’s been a tackling machine.”

            Not too shabby for a kid from Minnesota, who was once touted as a potential second or third round pick in the NHL Draft. Still, some questioned whether Laurinaitis made the right decision in returning to Ohio State for his senior season after he had accomplished so much for the Buckeyes.

            Entering this year’s draft, Laurinaitis was considered one of the two best middle linebackers available. Southern California middle linebacker Rey Maualuga was the other highly regarded middle ‘backer.

            Much to...
            -05-02-2009, 05:15 PM
          • MauiRam
            Laurinaitis more at ease this season ..
            by MauiRam
            Second-year linebacker says he's comfortable
            BY STEVE KORTE - News-Democrat


            ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis has time to sweat the details a little more in his second season in the NFL.

            "It's not going to be such a whirlwind like last year with trying to learn the whole defense," Laurinaitis said. "I know it a lot better, but there is always little details. You can always learn more. What I was learning in defensive strategy last year I can now flip to, 'What is the offense trying to do us?'"

            Laurinaitis, a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, set a Rams record for most tackles by a rookie with a 144 last season.

            He is only the second rookie in team history to lead the Rams in tackles. The other was Pisa Tinoisamoa, with 123 tackles in 2003.

            "He's been a great addition," Rams defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. "My hat's off to Billy (Devaney) and (Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo) on drafting him, and actually getting him where we got him because he's a first-round guy, as far as we're concerned.

            "We put a lot of management skills on him. We expect a lot from him. He knows it, and the thing I just love about the guy is that he works at it. He'll be better this year than he was a year ago. We need him to be. He is a pro when it comes to his preparation and attention to detail. Hopefully, he'll have a long and illustrious career here."

            Laurinaitis' father, Joe, a former professional wrestler, said his son has always done his homework prior to playing games.

            "In high school, he had a three-ring binder almost as thick as the Rams' playbook, and he would evaluate and chart every play that he watched the other team run on film," Joe Laurinaitis said.

            Joe Laurinaitis is in St. Louis dog-sitting for his son.

            "I have two Rotweilers, and I don't want them to be in the house all the time, so he's letting them out," James Laurinaitis said. "My mom and my sister will come down at a later date."

            "All I've been doing is pooper-scooping his lawn for him," Joe Laurinaitis said. "What's wrong with this picture?"

            Joe Laurinaitis also has been attending the Rams' training camp practices.

            "He loves watching," James Laurinaitis said. "He loves being a dad. If he could get on the sidelines, he'd be right next to coach watching every single thing."

            Joe Laurinaitis was training for a tryout with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL when he was given the chance to pursue a professional wrestling career. He would take the stage name of "Animal" and become half of the famous "Road Warriors" tag team.

            "At that time, I was already benching over 500 (pounds)...
            -08-03-2010, 10:00 AM
          • RamFan_Til_I_Die
            Laurinaitis seeks to become leader for St. Louis Rams
            by RamFan_Til_I_Die
            Laurinaitis seeks to become leader for St. Louis Rams
            BY JIM THOMAS
            ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
            05/04/2009

            When the time came for the Rams to make their second-round pick in the draft, they were in an enviable position.

            Granted, all the top-rated wide receivers were gone. But both of the top middle linebackers in the draft — Ohio State's James Laurinaitis and Southern California's Rey Maualuga — were on the board. The Rams decided to take Laurinaitis, sparking a debate and discussion among Rams fans that still is going on, and might continue for some time: Did the Rams take the right guy?

            Coming off a season in which the Rams yielded a franchise record for rushing yards allowed, wasn't Maualuga the best run stuffer of the two? Wasn't Maualuga bigger and more of a collision player?

            After the Senior Bowl, the Rams seemed to be smitten with Maualuga. But something changed over the next two months. There were rumors of off-field issues concerning Maualuga and with a struggling franchise trying to lay a foundation for the future, Rams management decided to make the safer and more conservative pick by selecting Laurinaitis at No. 35 overall.

            Cincinnati snatched up Maualuga three picks later.

            These are the types of decisions that can shape franchises and put their stamp on coaching and general manager tenures. For those reasons and more, no Rams draft pick, not even No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith at offensive tackle, will be under as much scrutiny during his rookie season as Laurinaitis.

            No one is more aware of this than Laurinaitis, who makes no apologies for being picked ahead of Maualuga.

            "I think we're two different style of players," Laurinaitis said. " And I'm not ever going to say anything negative about Rey. I think he's a great player. I do. I think he's done great things at USC. And I think he'll be a successful pro player."

            As the 2009 season unfolds, Laurinaitis realizes Rams fans will be doing a compare-and-contrast of his play with Maualuga's. Fans and even media members might be comparing stats of the two players, but Laurinaitis won't.

            "Oh no. Not at all," he said. "I think if you focus on what other people are doing, it takes your focus off what you need to be doing for your team."

            Laurinaitis says he and Maualuga have become pretty good friends since spending time together at Playboy's preseason all-American team function. Last season, they'd call each other from time to time, congratulating each other on this game or that. On the first day of the draft, Maualuga even called Laurinaitis to congratulate him on being drafted.

            "We're fans of each other," Laurinaitis said. "There's a little competition there when you're two middle linebackers. You're happy to be the first one off the board,...
            -05-04-2009, 09:42 AM
          • r8rh8rmike
            Success In The Details For Laurinaitis
            by r8rh8rmike
            Success in the Details for Laurinaitis
            By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer

            Posted 2 hours ago

            As the focal point of the Ohio State defense in his four years as a Buckeye, linebacker James Laurinaitis made plenty of big plays that would be cause for celebration.

            But in Columbus, any type of signature move was frowned upon by the coaching staff.

            “In college, the whole celebrating thing was kind of frowned upon,” Laurinaitis said. “Our linebacker coach wanted you to act like you had been there before.”

            So Laurinaitis did just that, acting like he had been there before because in most cases, he had. That approach carried into his rookie season with the Rams where he led the team in tackles and made his share of big plays.

            Never did Laurinaitis pound his chest or go off into a wild celebration. But before this season, cornerback Ron Bartell let Laurinaitis know that it’s OK to cut it loose after a big play.

            As if Bartell’s encouragement wasn’t enough, Laurinaitis also took exception to a perceived slight in the Madden ’11 video game.

            That game added a “swagger” rating feature this year where players are rated for the way they carry themselves. While the ratings seemed to be pretty arbitrary (former Rams safety David Roach was a 90), Laurinaitis was none too pleased to see that his rating matched his jersey number.

            With that, Laurinaitis set about finding ways to get his swagger rating up and decided that incorporating pieces of his wrestling lineage into it would be a good way to do it.

            “You realize in the NFL that it’s not really frowned upon,” Laurinaitis said. “It’s encouraged to get kind of creative with things. I really have to give credit to Ron Bartell as far as the sack celebrations. He told me a while ago I needed to step that up and recommended with the family lineage to do a lot of wrestling celebrations hence the Hulk Hogan, the Ric Flair, some of the things I have thrown in there.”

            Now in his second season in the NFL, Laurinaitis has had plenty of opportunities to break out some of his new moves.

            For the second consecutive year, Laurinaitis leads the team in tackles and is piecing together a Pro Bowl caliber season.

            In 14 games, Laurinaitis has racked up 112 tackles, making him the first Ram since Pisa Tinoisamoa to reach the century mark in his first two seasons in the league. In addition to his tackling prowess, he’s added six passes defended, one interception and three sacks.

            Being the perfectionist that he is, Laurinaitis is never satisfied with his performance but does acknowledge that he’s made a lot of progress from year 1 to year 2.

            “I think I’m more accountable,” Laurinaitis said. “I’m better in the decision making on the field, getting guys lined up, knowing the game plan, know the details. It’s just part of...
            -12-23-2010, 04:20 PM
          • Bralidore(RAMMODE)
            Player Spotlight: James Laurinaitis
            by Bralidore(RAMMODE)
            James talks about what he has done and plans to do this offseason and how he feels about the Rams.

            YouTube - Player Spotlight: James Laurinaitis-Year 2
            -07-16-2010, 01:55 AM
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