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Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

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  • Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

    10.20.2009 6:15 pm
    Witherspoon “caught off-guard” by trade; will start at MLB in Philly
    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    Will Witherspoon, bruised tailbone and all, will be the starting middle linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, his new team thanks to Tuesday’s trade-deadline deal that ended his 3 years-plus stay with the St. Louis Rams.

    “You’re taken a little off guard when you get the call,” Witherspoon said late Tuesday afternoon. ”I know decisions are made. I know we’re kind of in the 25th hour on the trade deadline. So it’s not surprising sometimes things like that happen.”

    The Rams traded Witherspoon, who was third on the team in tackles this season (with 36) to Philadelphia for wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round draft pick in 2010. As such, Witherspoon will be going from an 0-6 team to a 3-2 Philadelphia squad that’s still considered one of the top teams in the NFL despite last Sunday’s upset loss to Oakland.

    “It means a lot to go to a team that has the opportunity to be a contender,” Witherspoon said. “That’s the way you have to look at it. . . .Yeah, I know I’m leaving kind of a comfort zone here (in St. Louis) being that I’ve been here for almost the last four years.”

    Witherspoon suffered what was described as a hip injury on the second play of overtime Sunday against Jacksonville, and was very sore after the game and on Monday as well.

    “I just hurt my butt cheek,” Witherspoon quipped. “I’ll be all right.”

    Witherspoon indicated he would be in the lineup Monday when the Eagles play Washington. In St. Louis, Paris Lenon will move into Witherspoon’s starting spot at weakside linebacker, with Larry Grant starting at strongside linebacker this Sunday against Indianapolis.

    Next week, the Rams also get linebacker David Vobora back from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performancing enhancing drugs.

    Financially, trading Witherspoon was basically a wash. Philadelphia inherits nearly two-thirds of his 2009 base salary of $2.5 million _ about $1.62 million _ representing the remaining 11 weeks of the regular season. So that goes off the Rams’ books. But the Rams inherit a cap hit of $1.8 million, representing the remaining (2010) proration of Witherspoon’s original $9 million signing bonus. So it’s a net cap loss of about $180,000 for the Rams.

    Witherspoon has two years remaining on his contract beyond this season, with his base salary bumped to $5 million in 2010 and ‘11. With a $6.8 million scheduled cap count next season had he stayed in St. Louis, there was no guarantee that he would have survived the offseason with the Rams.

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo’s defense seems to favor bigger, collision-type linebackers, and that’s really not Witherspoon’s style. Moved back to the weakside this season after three seasons in the middle for St. Louis, Witherspoon had a quiet 36 tackles in six games. He had no interceptions, no pass breakups, no forced fumbles (or recoveries), no sacks, and only one quarterback pressure.

    In Philly, Witherspoon replaces Omar Gaither in the starting lineup. Gaither suffered a foot injury against the Raiders, will miss the Washington game, and could miss several weeks. Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said the Eagles wouldn’t have been so aggressive in pursuing Witherspoon had Gaither not gotten hurt. Rams sources said the trade didn’t even begin to materialize until Monday.

  • #2
    Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

    I thank Witherspoon for all he has done for the Rams! Best of luck in Philly!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

      So his stats make him sound like he's just a tackler in this new scheme, with only 1 quarterback pressure, no sacks, no fumbles, no nothing. Just tackles. Perhaps that's why they thought he was expendable.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

        Good to know he will be getting some reps. Good luck Will!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

          Ya WIll has not been himself for years now... I hate to see him go but such is life

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

            He doesn't seem to be caught off guard by the interception he just made for a TD.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

              He was sure caught off of guard by the fumble he just forced....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                Wow am I speechless. In 2 quarters of Philly football, Will Witherspoon already has an Interception, Defensive Touchdown, and a Forced Fumble. Freakin wow........

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                  Now the guys in the booth are laughing and whoopin' it up over why the Rams traded Spoon.

                  I sure hope Gibson was worth it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                    Yeah he is tearing it up so far, after what, a week of practice?!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                      Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                      Now the guys in the booth are laughing and whoopin' it up over why the Rams traded Spoon.

                      I sure hope Gibson was worth it.

                      Don't forget that fifth round pick! (barfs)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                        a sack a forced fumble and a pick six..shows he didnt totally lose the talent he hasnt shown us for the last 2 seasons..

                        just shows to me that he was coasting with us when we needed a vet leader and im still glad we got rid of him.
                        Gibson is yet to play and nobody has an idea who we gonna draft or trade for with that 5th round pick..but either way..spoon didnt seem interested in BRINGING IT with US anymore so regardless of what he does now with the Eagles the decision to trade him will remain the correct one for US!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                          He's playing lights out already for the Eagles.

                          Man oh man what a trade.

                          We essentially got trash in return, for all we know right now. If Gibson was so great why didn't we pick him up ourselves in the draft? We could have grabbed him in the 5th if we wanted to. A rookie 6th rounder with zero catches & a 5th round pick for Witherspoon :o

                          Maybe it's time we reconsider the near-religious belief a lot of us have had that every move that DeVaney/Spagnuolo make is the right one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                            Originally posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
                            He's playing lights out already for the Eagles.

                            Man oh man what a trade.

                            We essentially got trash in return, for all we know right now. If Gibson was so great why didn't we pick him up ourselves in the draft? We could have grabbed him in the 5th if we wanted to. A rookie 6th rounder with zero catches & a 5th round pick for Witherspoon :o

                            Maybe it's time we reconsider the near-religious belief a lot of us have had that every move that DeVaney/Spagnuolo make is the right one.


                            Let's let Gibson show we he can do first, before we call for their heads.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Witherspoon "Caught Off-Guard" By Trade; Will Start At MLB In Philly

                              Originally posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
                              He's playing lights out already for the Eagles.



                              .
                              shame he couldnt play lights out with us the last two years aint it..

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • RamsFan16
                                PFW Good quotes from Witherspoon. Refreshing and positive.
                                by RamsFan16
                                http://profootballweekly.com/PFW/The...m?mode=nfcwest

                                Rams feel confident Witherspoon can get the job done at MLB
                                St. Louis

                                In dire need of help at the LB position and with a sizable amount of money under the salary cap at their disposal, it wasn’t all that surprising when the Rams signed Will Witherspoon, an up-and-comer widely considered to the best free agent available at that position. What was surprising, however, was the Rams’ announcement that Witherspoon would be the team’s starting middle linebacker after playing primarily on the weak side for the Panthers. Witherspoon did see occasional action in the middle for Carolina when normal starter Dan Morgan was injured, and we’re told the Rams saw enough film of him in that role to feel comfortable enough installing him as the starting MLB in a revamped scheme that will enable him to operate unimpeded in space in much the same manner as he did for the Panthers. “There won’t be a big difference,” Witherspoon told PFW. “There’ll be a lot more conversing with the defensive backs and defensive linemen to make sure everybody is in the right place at the right time, but I’ll still be playing fast and getting to the ball in a hurry.” Witherspoon is excited at the opportunity to play under new Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who has made it clear his defense is going to let it rip from the opening gun. “I played against him and understand what he’s trying to accomplish,” said Witherspoon, who, unlike his predecessor at middle linebacker, the departed Chris Claiborne, will be an every-down performer. “It’s a deal where we all know about the problems last year, and that things have to change.”
                                -04-09-2006, 07:30 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Rams Will Witherspoon enjoyed time with troops
                                by RamWraith
                                Linebacker visited military bases in Iraq and Kuwait
                                BY STEVE KORTE

                                ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon spent a week walking in the sand this winter, but he wasn't vacationing on some island paradise.

                                Witherspoon was one of four NFL players who toured U.S. military bases in Iraq and Kuwait.

                                "We were all around Iraq," Witherspoon said. "We were pretty close to the border of Syria. It was kind of crazy all over the place.

                                "The whole experience itself, the best of it for me was that the troops were more excited to see us because the troops were like, 'Man, you could be on the beach in the Bahamas somewhere hanging out and doing whatever, but to come out here and say you want to spend time and hang out (is great)."'

                                Witherspoon, Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen and New York Giants linebacker Danny Clark visited troops as part of a USO mission to build morale.

                                "We really got to hang out with the troops and really got to meet the guys who were escorting us around and really see what being on the base for the entire day was like," Witherspoon said. "Part of it was you were hopping around so much you really didn't get good time to spend with people and talk to them, you were kind of rushed a little bit.

                                "But I think, all in all, it was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had."

                                Witherspoon said the only bad part of the trip was getting "dusted in" one day and not being to meet with any servicemen.

                                "Yeah, there was nice little dust storm. Not a sand storm, but enough dust in the air that we probably couldn't see the wall from here," Witherspoon said, pointing to the wall of the Rams' indoor practice facility about 20 feet away.

                                Witherspoon is a self-described "Air Force" brat. His father served 20 years in the Air Force, and he was stationed at bases in Germany, England and the U.S.

                                Witherspoon is fluent in German.

                                Witherspoon said he considers the soldiers serving in Iraq as true heroes.

                                "There's all kind of things that they face every day," Witherspoon said. "To have a cell phone on the base is like unheard of, because they can set off problems. Then of course, essentially feeling like you're landlocked on this little base. Two or three square miles is probably the largest base that we saw out there.

                                "These guys are making life every day and doing exactly what they need to, and doing it not only for our country, but to assist somebody else and make sure that things are in place to make sure they can stand strong on their own feet afterwards."

                                Witherspoon said he ran into Rams fans during his trip to Iraq.

                                "I met fans from everywhere,"...
                                -04-05-2009, 08:58 AM
                              • RamWraith
                                'Fine' time for Witherspoon
                                by RamWraith
                                By Bill Coats
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                10/12/2007

                                According to team sources, the NFL has fined Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon $10,000 for the hit that knocked Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart out of Sunday's game and ended Leinart's season with a broken collarbone.
                                -10-12-2007, 06:40 AM
                              • Rambos
                                Witherspoon Handles Higher Learning
                                by Rambos
                                Witherspoon Handles Higher Learning
                                Monday, August 6, 2007

                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Senior Writer

                                The education of Will Witherspoon has gone far beyond that of a normal professional football player. After signing in St. Louis before last season, Witherspoon was saddled with the task of learning a new position (middle linebacker) and a new defense (Jim Haslett’s).

                                With all of that on his plate, it would seem that Witherspoon had enough to do without worrying about bettering himself off the field. But Witherspoon decided that instead of lightening his load in the offseason, he would increase it.

                                On Aug. 11, Witherspoon will get a Family and Consumer Science degree from the University of Georgia with an emphasis in housing and urban development. For Witherspoon, the diploma will serve as validation for years and years of work and, more important, a promise kept.

                                “For me, especially having kids, it’s one of those things you can’t look back and say, ‘Well you better go to college,’” Witherspoon said. “And they look at you like you left and you didn’t finish. That was a big thing for me. I think it’s just important. That’s one of those things, you make a promise to your parents and you go finish regardless. I am not focusing on football alone.”

                                Regardless of the amount of focus Witherspoon has placed on football, it’s pretty clear his attention to it has paid off. In Witherspoon’s first year with the Rams, he took to his new position rapidly.

                                By the end of the year, he led the team in tackles with 136 stops, adding three sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 14 quarterback pressures and nine passes defended. In addition, Witherspoon made a number of game saving plays at the beginning of the season that helped spur a 4-1 start.

                                All the while, Witherspoon was still attempting to learn his new position and become a leader from his spot on the field. Witherspoon was a bit banged up at the end of the year which slowed his production, but he was noticeably more comfortable by the time the season ended.

                                Still, with the Rams falling short of the playoffs, Witherspoon wanted to put his offseason time to good use. In addition to continuing his learning process of Haslett’s defense and his new position, Witherspoon wanted to finally earn his degree.

                                When Witherspoon arrived at Georgia as a freshman, he set out to get his degree in agricultural engineering. After four years with the Bulldogs, it was clear Witherspoon’s future was in football.

                                Along the way, though, Witherspoon vowed to return to school and get his degree. Unfortunately, it was going to be nearly impossible to complete his degree in his current major because the courses he needed weren’t offered at a time when he could attend school. Additionally, he had to find a way to transfer as many of the credits as he possibly...
                                -08-06-2007, 05:55 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Rams' Witherspoon Always On The Move
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Rams' Witherspoon always on the move

                                BY BILL COATS
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                08/12/2009

                                Nestled on 175 idyllic Missouri acres virtually equidistant between Cuba and Owensville lies Will Witherspoon's future.

                                Part of it, anyway.

                                "You can only do this for so long," said Witherspoon, a Rams linebacker preparing for his eighth NFL season. "The game will wear your body out eventually. … If you can walk away from this on your own terms, that's great. And if you can do it with other things in mind, I think that'll be even better."

                                Witherspoon, who turns 29 a week from today, always has something in mind. An enthusiastic businessman as well as a gifted athlete, he's involved in several ventures that will become his primary focus when football is part of his past.

                                They range from day-care centers for dogs to small-scale construction to investment planning to his burgeoning farm, situated about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

                                "Thirty-five head of cattle, 14 hogs, three sheep, 20 chickens, four dogs … and I'm about to buy 20 more head of cattle," Witherspoon said, rattling off the current residents. "It's all coming together piece by piece."

                                Most NFL players devote the bulk of their offseason to rest and relaxation. Not Witherspoon. His interests include traveling to new and exotic places, a wanderlust spawned during eight years as an Air Force brat living in Europe.

                                But mostly, Withersoon prefers to juggle time with his family — wife Rebecca and daughters Layne, 5, Maya, 3, and Shaye, 7 months — while also satisfying his entrepreneurial urges.

                                "I'm not a guy who can sit around," Witherspoon explained. "I keep myself busy."

                                In fact, he tried to make an on-the-spot sale. "You want to buy a cow?" he asked with a straight face. "I have one ready for slaughter."

                                AN OLD POSITION

                                Like all the Rams, Witherspoon is familiarizing himself with a new head coach (Steve Spagnuolo), a new coordinator (Ken Flajole on defense), a new system and a bunch of new teammates.

                                But Witherspoon also is adjusting to a new position — actually, re-adjusting to an old position.

                                When the Rams drafted Ohio State middle linebacker James Laurinaitis in the second round, it allowed Witherspoon to return to weakside linebacker. That's the spot he manned for most of his four years in Carolina, which made the Georgia standout its third-round draftee in 2002.

                                He led the Panthers in tackles in 2004 and '05, when Flajole was Carolina's linebackers coach and witness to Witherspoon's production on the weak side — opposite of where the tight end lines up. "When you come in new, you don't have a real good feel and sometimes you make mistakes with personnel decisions....
                                -08-12-2009, 11:10 AM
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