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Gibson goes looking for a dust pan but finds the Rams

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  • Gibson goes looking for a dust pan but finds the Rams

    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/22/2009

    Brandon Gibson knows little about St. Louis — he'd never even been here until now. But he is aware of the Rams' lowly position in the NFL standings.

    "We don't have a win," Gibson said Wednesday. "I'm ready to go get one."

    Just 24 hours earlier, Gibson was ready to go get a dust pan and an ironing board in Philadelphia. He was on his way to the local Wal-Mart when he got the call from the Eagles, informing him he had been traded to St. Louis.

    "I was running errands, getting stuff for my apartment," Gibson said. "I get a call from a random 215 (area code) number, saying, 'We've got to make a trade and your name came up.' "


    Gibson wasn't able to finish his shopping.

    "I had to pack up and get going," he said. "I had a flight in a few hours. I still need a dust pan and an ironing (board)."

    The Rams need some catches from Gibson, and a touchdown or two wouldn't hurt, either. He's just the latest in what has been a carousel of wide receivers coming and going at Rams Park this season.

    Over the past six weeks alone, the Rams have claimed Ruvell Martin, waived Derek Stanley, waived, signed and waived Nate Jones, signed Danny Amendola off Philadelphia's practice squad, placed Laurent Robinson on injured reserve, re-signed Tim Carter, and now traded for Gibson.

    Has quarterback Marc Bulger ever gone through so many wideouts?

    "I don't know," he said. "Maybe linemen. But not receivers. I think eventually we'll find the right combination. The coaches are still figuring out what guys can do, and I think it'll work out eventually."

    Injuries have played a role in the nonstop shuffling at the position. But as Bulger mentioned, it does seem as if the Rams are still searching for that "right combination."

    As coach Steve Spagnuolo sees it, a successful, productive wide receiver corps needs a variety of pass-catchers — big ones, fast ones, quick ones.

    "Just off the cuff, I say you probably want a mixture of all of those guys," Spagnuolo said. "You have a guy that can stretch it vertical. You have a possession guy. ... A quick guy inside. A big guy that can take it downtown."

    But with a long grocery list of roster needs in the offseason, the Rams couldn't solve every need. As it turned out, the wide receiver corps has suffered. Injuries continue to prevent speedster Donnie Avery from being the go-to guy the Rams hoped for entering the season.

    Avery seemed to be returning to form following a training camp foot injury when he suffered a hip injury early in the second quarter against Jacksonville. The prognosis for a quick return was optimistic earlier in the week, but Avery was unable to practice Wednesday.

    "It's a sharp pain when I try to extend it," Avery said. "I'm trying to get it massaged every day, to roll it out. I'm going to take it slow (Thursday), but most likely I'll be out there working, practicing with the team."

    The trade for Robinson was shaping up as an excellent deal until he was lost for the year with an ankle and leg injury suffered against Green Bay. Keenan Burton has shown some flashes, but he isn't a burner and hasn't had a breakout performance. The diminutive Amendola has displayed quickness in the slot and has some value as a kick and punt returner.

    As for Martin, just when it looked like he was going to get an opportunity to contribute, he suffered a hamstring injury that still has him sidelined.

    And now comes Gibson.

    "He's one of those guys that always seems to get himself open," Spagnuolo said. "Billy (Devaney) and the (personnel) staff, they had an eyeball on him from way back."

    In fact, the Rams considered drafting Gibson last April, right around the time they selected North Carolina wide receiver Brooks Foster in the fifth round. (Foster subsequently suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the preseason.)

    The Rams liked Foster a little better because of his speed but did contact Gibson on draft day.

    "I think either the top or the middle of the fifth round I actually got a call from the Rams, just checking to see if I was there," Gibson said. "I don't remember who it was."

    Gibson recalled that he wasn't in the best of moods when the Rams called.

    "I apologize if I was a little unhappy," he said. "It was a long day for me. I wasn't rude or anything but I was kind of quiet on the phone."

    Gibson was a first-team All-Pacific-10 performer as a junior in 2007, and there was speculation that he would turn pro early. But he stayed for his senior season at Washington State. With a coaching change and a new offensive scheme, the Cougars stumbled to a 2-11 record. Gibson's production tumbled, and so did his draft stock. A potential first-day pick, he wasn't selected until the sixth round by the Eagles.

    But that was then. Now he's in St. Louis, the land of opportunity for wide receivers.

  • #2
    Re: Gibson goes looking for a dust pan but finds the Rams

    What's up with todays wide receivers and all the injuries? I don't remember Bruce or Holt missing much time if any.


    Sheeeeesh!
    sigpic :ram::helmet:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Gibson goes looking for a dust pan but finds the Rams

      Bruce had continual hamstring injuries during the beginning of the Vermeil era if I recall. Some called for him to be cut or traded because he could never stay healthy. Some claimed it was a contract issue but most said it was the long practices Vermeil required of the team.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Gibson goes looking for a dust pan but finds the Rams

        You're right Reb - he had issues in L.A. as well, and was in fact in Vermiel's doghouse because of it.

        As good as these athletes are, it does give one an appreciation of the rigors of the NFL as to the levels these players must compete at to keep their jobs.

        I think if you polled 100 guys who weightlift, 95 would tell you the most hated exercise they do is the leg curls - I know I HATED 'em.

        I pulled a hammy once waterskiing - without a doubt as painful an injury as I've ever had. It was 15 years ago, and I swear I can still feel it sometimes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Gibson goes looking for a dust pan but finds the Rams

          If he gets a touchdown this weekend, I think the team owes him a dustpan and ironing board!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Gibson goes looking for a dust pan but finds the Rams

            Originally posted by Mooselini View Post
            If he gets a touchdown this weekend, I think the team owes him a dustpan and ironing board!

            That's the spirit!

            Comment

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            • r8rh8rmike
              Rookie Is A Quick Study
              by r8rh8rmike
              Rookie is quick study
              BY JIM THOMAS
              11/18/2009


              As Brandon Gibson made one catch after another Sunday against New Orleans, the collective thought throughout Rams Nation must have gone something like this: "OK, now we know why they traded for this guy."

              With fewer than a dozen practices under his belt since being acquired from Philadelphia in the Will Witherspoon trade, Gibson posted the most receptions (seven) for a Rams wide receiver and the most reception yards (93) for any Rams player this season.

              Gibson, a rookie from Washington State, is the first to admit he was nervous against the Saints. At the same time, he exudes confidence, although not in a cocky way.

              "Some people know what I'm capable of," Gibson said. "But there were probably a lot of people who haven't seen me play. I guess I kind of gave people a taste, and they're going to have high expectations. That's fine. I just want to go out there and be consistent, make sure I catch the ball and always attack and play at a high level."

              Some of Gibson's new teammates saw something in him in just the first few weeks of practice. Left guard Jacob Bell, for example, said it was

              obvious from the get-go that Gibson was a hungry player, and a player who had high expectations for himself.

              "I think that started in Philadelphia," Gibson said. "Because when you go out there, you've got DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Reggie Brown, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, Kevin Curtis, Danny Amendola."

              In short, the Eagles were stacked at wide receiver at the start of this season. (Amendola is now a Ram; Baskett is with Indianapolis.)

              "We were out there, and we all were fighting (for playing time)," Gibson said. "We all wanted to get better. And you learn from situations like that. So practice is where it starts. You can set yourself apart in practice, and then it becomes easier in the games."

              An Army brat, Gibson was born in Germany and then attended high school in Puyallup, Wash., the hometown of former Rams wideout Dane Looker. Gibson stayed in-state for college and by his junior season at Washington State had blossomed into an All-Pacific 10 Conference performer (and a third-team All-American) with a school-record 1,180 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

              Gibson almost certainly would've been a first-day selection in the 2008 draft, but he decided to return for his senior season at Washington State.

              "You're only a senior once," Gibson said. "Even though I had a big junior year, I was excited about coming back and thought that I could even get better. I didn't feel like I was ready to take my game to the NFL level."

              But with a new head coach and a new offensive scheme, Gibson wasn't nearly as effective as a...
              -11-18-2009, 04:01 PM
            • eldfan
              Brandon Gibson stands out in first test
              by eldfan
              Brandon Gibson stands out in first test

              BY BILL COATS
              ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
              11/16/2009

              Never figuring that he'd have to wait 2½ months to have an opportunity to make a splash in the NFL, rookie wide receiver Brandon Gibson acknowledged that he was a bit frazzled Sunday.

              "I was actually kind of nervous the whole game, just because it was my first real action, and with Keenan (Burton) going down, your number's called quite a bit," Gibson said. "I just wanted to go out there and make plays and help this team."

              Burton, the Rams' No. 2 wide receiver, suffered what apparently is a season-ending knee injury about midway through the first quarter. That moved Gibson alongside Donnie Avery as the team's top two wideouts the rest of the way against the unbeaten New Orleans Saints.


              "Brandon came in and stepped up," Avery said. "He's a great receiver, very detailed in his routes. We need him now."

              All Gibson did was gather in seven catches for 93 yards — both team highs among the wide receivers this year — in a wrenching 28-23 defeat that wasn't cemented until the final snap.

              Asked if he felt that Gibson was capable of putting up such numbers, quarterback Marc Bulger chuckled and replied, "Eventually."

              "For him to come in after Keenan got hurt and play as well as he did is impressive, rookie or no rookie," Bulger added. "I think we found a really good receiver there."

              The 6-foot, 210-pound Gibson, Washington State's career receiving leader, also never figured that his unveiling would come with the Rams. Not after Philadelphia drafted him in the sixth round (No. 194 overall) in April.

              But the Eagles were loaded with wideouts, and when the Rams dangled linebacker Will Witherspoon in trade talks, Gibson became expendable after getting into just one game the first six weeks. The Rams also landed a fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft in the deal, consummated Oct. 20.

              "That is pretty weird, as a rookie getting traded. I don't think that happens too often," Gibson said. "I don't think that I needed to prove myself, because St. Louis knows what I'm capable of. They almost drafted me, actually, so I feel that it's my time.

              "They made the trade for a reason, and I have to go out there and help this team win."

              General manager Billy Devaney acknowledged that the Rams had been interested in Gibson and kept a close eye on him in the preseason, when he paced the Eagles with 12 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.

              Gibson, 22, was inactive Oct. 25 vs. Indianapolis as he tried to nail down the Rams' offensive scheme, similar to but not exactly the same as Philly's. He suited up Nov. 1 in Detroit but was in for only a few plays, with just one pass thrown...
              -11-16-2009, 01:24 PM
            • r8rh8rmike
              Gibson Continues To Grow
              by r8rh8rmike
              Gibson Continues to Grow
              By Jonathan Webb/Special to stlouisrams.com

              It’s been a long road in a short period of time for Brandon Gibson to become one of quarterback Sam Bradford’s favorite targets.

              The second-year wideout edged his way onto the roster this year after a strong preseason performance. Even then, he remained inactive for the first two weeks.

              How times have changed.

              Gibson has led the team in receiving since the team’s Oct. 31 win over Carolina, and his performance has not been lost on his coaching staff.

              “My goodness, what a great improvement he’s made,” said offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. “For a receiver like Brandon Gibson, I think it’s about consistency. He’s been targeted more but he’s been catching more balls. So I think that’s the key. We talk about making the routine plays routinely. He’s embraced that and has found a way to get that done.”

              Though the routine plays have been typical for Gibson, the spectacular has not been out of the question, either. He has proven to be a versatile threat, making receptions underneath the coverage, while splitting time with rookie Danario Alexander as the Rams’ top downfield threat.

              Success did not happen overnight for Gibson, who began last season with Philadelphia before being traded to the Rams. His 44 receptions for 492 yards on the year have already surpassed last year’s performance.

              After coming to St. Louis at midseason last year, Gibson caught 34 balls for 348 yards in nine games, including four starts. As encouraged as he may have been with that showing, he knew he had plenty to improve on before he would be a regular in the NFL.

              “I just wanted to practice a lot better,” Gibson said. “Last year, I didn’t think I was a very good practice player, but I think I wanted to change my view on things and practice hard every day.”

              Yet even that proved difficult near the beginning of this year, as his health betrayed him during the offseason.

              The 23-year-old Gibson missed much of the team’s OTAs while nursing a hamstring injury. Once healthy, Gibson began to make an impact in the Rams’ preseason contests, nudging his way onto the 53-man roster. After an injury to veteran Mark Clayton, Gibson’s numbers began to spike.

              For Gibson, the increased production is simply a matter of being given the opportunity to succeed.

              “I think the injuries set me back,” Gibson said. “It wasn’t that I wasn’t playing well. It was that I was injured and didn’t have a chance to get on the field. I’m glad that I got healthy and showed everyone that I’m a good player and I’m able to do some things.”

              ‘Some things’ include an eight-catch, 72-yard performance at San Francisco and a 67-yard showing against New Orleans last week, his top two performances of the year. Gibson has continued to receive more attention...
              -12-16-2010, 08:15 PM
            • Nick
              Coats: Gibson is an early standout among Rams receivers
              by Nick
              Gibson is an early standout among Rams receivers
              BY BILL COATS • Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 12:30 am

              With 12 wide receivers on hand for Rams training camp and probably no more than six spots available on the regular-season roster, the competition promises to be intense.

              Bring it on, says third-year pro Brandon Gibson.

              "You've got to like the competition; it's what's best for the team," Gibson. Besides, he added, "There's nothing you can do about it. Just go out there and play every day."

              Over the first four days of camp, Gibson has kicked off a strong bid for a job. He's been working mostly with the first-team offense, which, Gibson pointed out, doesn't mean much this early.

              "I don't want to get too excited in this process," he said. "I'm just going to try to stay level."

              Despite a couple of missteps during Tuesday's 2½-hour practice in stifling heat, Gibson has been cobbling together a strong showing.

              "Everything he's done, he's done it a hundred miles an hour," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He's almost to the point where he's worn himself out a little bit. But I know one thing: The quarterback has a lot of confidence in him."

              Gibson was one of the beneficiaries of the arrival of No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford, who threw for 3,512 yards last year and was named Associated Press offensive rookie of the year.

              The 6-foot, 210-pound Gibson, a sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State, nearly boosted his totals significantly from his rookie year, when he was acquired in a trade from Philadelphia just over a month into the season.

              Gibson had 53 catches, an increase of 19 from 2009, and piled up 620 yards after getting 348 the year before. He was second among the Rams to Danny Amendola in receptions and yards.

              Still, Gibson wasn't celebrating his individual accomplishments. The 16-6 season-ending loss at Seattle, which deprived the Rams of a playoff spot, "left a bad taste in my mouth," Gibson said. "I want to get another shot at winning the NFC West."

              To close in on that goal, the Rams will have to exploit the offense brought by new coordinator Josh McDaniels. He was head coach in Denver in 2009 and part of 2010, and before that served as offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick in New England.

              McDaniels' system is "intricate, it's detailed, it's complex," Gibson said. "It's going to be great. You saw last year with Denver and in years past with the Patriots, it can be very explosive."

              It also relies heavily on multi-wideout sets, something that naturally pleases Gibson. "But I think in any offense there's opportunities," he said. "You've just got to make the most of them."

              And that's the plan, as he heads into year two...
              -08-04-2011, 08:06 AM
            • MauiRam
              Gibson glad to be back at DT for Rams ..
              by MauiRam
              Gibson glad to be back at DT for Rams


              BY BILL COATS
              Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:05 am

              Already an unrestricted free agent, Gary Gibson watched from home as the Rams signed veteran defensive tackles Justin Bannan and Daniel Muir. It was getting crowded at the position where Gibson started for the Rams last season.

              Still, he wasn't worried. Well, not too worried.

              The Rams, Gibson said, assured him that they wanted him back. But a week of training camp had passed, and Gibson still was without a contract.

              "With everything up in the air, it was definitely crazy," he said. "You never know where you're going to end up. ... It's always a tough deal when it comes to the business end. You don't want to be sitting out of camp.

              "I hoped to end up back with the Rams, and now I'm here."

              While he waited, the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Gibson, 29, said he received "a little interest here and there" from other clubs. "But I really see a lot of big things coming out of this team, and I wanted to be back."

              Gibson and the Rams finally agreed to terms on Aug. 5.

              "He's a good veteran leader, a solid performer and just a good solid player for us," defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. "He gives us depth and a potential starter at tackle."

              Coach Steve Spagnuolo said he likes Gibson's drive.

              "He loves the game of football. He's passionate," Spagnuolo said. "He knows our system. He's comfortable with Brendan (Daly, defensive line coach) and the rest of the D-line. ... So we're sure glad he's back.

              Gibson has been tossed into the seven-man mix at defensive tackle. In addition to Gibson, Bannan and Muir, Fred Robbins, Darell Scott, Jermelle Cudjo and John Henderson are in camp.

              The 53-man roster probably will contain four defensive tackles, so the fight for jobs figures to be strong.

              "That's the nature of the game," Gibson said. "I'm really hoping for bigger and better things. I think we've got a lot of good competition, so I think it's going to breed a good team."

              Gibson believes that he positioned himself better with his breakthrough season in 2010. He beat out Clifton Ryan for the first-team job and made all 16 starts. In his four previous NFL seasons — one with Baltimore, two with Carolina and one with the Rams — Gibson had started a total of just five games.

              "It's good to get those starts (last season) and really establish a career," Gibson said. "I wish we could've got to the playoffs last year. All in all, it was a disappointment but a good stepping point."

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