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Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity

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  • Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity

    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 and Adeyanju has slowly but surely been worked into the rotation.
    Adeyanju admits that getting re-adjusted to the speed of the game was a bit difficult.
    “The first game back I was (getting used to it),” Adeyanju said. “It was a little bit quicker but I have got some reps the past two games so I think I am ready and putting everything together. Practicing fast helps tremendously.”
    Ah You got most of his work on special teams and played on defense in the Rams’ special nickel package in which they employ four defensive ends across the line.
    Adeyanju will likely be asked to step into both roles according to Spagnuolo and it stands to reason that because of Adeyanju’s size, he would likely step into the middle of that nickel alignment next to Hall with Leonard Little and Chris Long on the outside.
    Regardless of how he’s used, Adeyanju says he plans to make the most of his opportunity to play and prove himself all over again.
    “That’s one of the things about this league,” Adeyanju said. “It’s a very dangerous sport; a lot of guys go down. You don’t wish that but that’s the name of the game. Every year I have been here, I’ve had the opportunity to play a lot of snaps so I know that when my time comes, I will give my best.”

    THREE SPORT STAR: Fearful of what he was about to ask his father, Jordan Kent meekly approached dad Ernie a few years ago with a simple question.
    Kent, who had already established himself as a dynamic athlete at the University of Oregon while playing basketball and running track, wanted to try out for football.
    It was Kent’s junior year and he had always wanted to try the gridiron though he had zero experience. Kent already had a full plate and he didn’t get the reaction he’d hoped from his father Ernie, the basketball coach for the Ducks.
    “He really wasn’t for it at the time,” Kent said. “He gave his blessing about a week later. He’s been one of my biggest fans since then.”
    Kent signed a free-agent contract with the Rams on Tuesday after the team placed Keenan Burton on injured reserve with a knee injury.
    The signing of Kent comes only about a month after he had his first tryout with the team. The Rams opted not to sign Kent at that time and he returned home to Oregon.
    Since, he’s been working out every day and trying to stay in shape while he waited for a call to come from a team.
    When his phone rang at about 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Kent was visiting a friend in Seattle. Although he had the foresight to bring packed bags with him, he couldn’t catch a flight that night and drove back to Oregon for a 6 a.m. flight Tuesday.
    “I was excited and very thankful and grateful to be part of this organization,” Kent said.
    Kent was a two-sport star at Winston Churchill High in Eugene, Ore., running track and playing basketball. That wasn’t enough for Kent when he got to Oregon, though.
    “I always wanted to give it a shot,” Kent said. “I just didn’t want to be sitting there 10 years from now saying shoulda, woulda, coulda. I knew if I tried in college and it didn’t work out, I could say I tried it. Thankfully it worked out.”
    It wasn’t easy for Kent to play three sports in college but he said he made the sacrifices necessary for it to work.
    “You got to bed early and you don’t have much of a social life,” Kent said. “Honestly. It was a lot of fun. It was a season the whole year. You have some sacrifices but it’s a lot of fun doing all three.”
    Kent spent most of the past year and a half shuttling between Seattle’s practice squad and active roster, contributing on special teams when he was active.
    For the Rams, he could figure into the mix immediately on special teams but is still a bit of a project at receiver considering his limited experience in the game.
    “In some ways; he’s a good size and he runs pretty well,” Spagnuolo said. “There is a lot we’ve got to find out; that is why we’ve got him in here. It was nice to get him in on a Wednesday and do some things. Just at this particular point right now it sure helped.”

    BARTELL FEELING WELL: Rams cornerback Ron Bartell says he is feeling about as good as he has since the beginning of the season.
    Hampered by a leg injury since the Green Bay game on Sept. 27, Bartell used the bye week to rest and get healthy. Like all players in the league, Bartell isn’t 100 percent at this point in the season but he’s closer than he’s been in a while.
    And Bartell’s return to near full health couldn’t come at a better time. He was part of a secondary that did a solid job against the Saints’ dynamic passing attack last week and faces another tough challenge this week in the form of the Cardinals.
    “I feel so much better than I did the past couple of weeks,” Bartell said. “That week off really helped. This is the best I have felt since about week 2 so hopefully it will continue.”

    INJURY REPORT: The Rams wrapped up their week of practice on Friday with injury questions along the defensive line marking the injury report.
    As expected, guard Richie Incognito is out this week because of a foot injury. Adam Goldberg will start in his place on the right side.
    Defensive end Chris Long, who has battled a bone bruise in his knee this week, is listed as questionable after he wasn’t able to go full speed in Friday’s practice. He will likely be a game time decision.
    “As I watched him a couple of plays there, it doesn’t look like he’s full speed,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ll wait and see. We’ve got 48 hours.”
    Defensive end Leonard Little (knee), James Hall (back) and defensive tackle Clifton Ryan (toe) are probable and should be ready to go.

  • #2
    Re: Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity

    Hope Victor takes advantage of the situation. Everything I've read about the guy has led me to believe he's a solid individual. I hope he really takes full advantage of the opportunity.

    Bartell has been solid through the injury. People want to dump on him, it's unfair. He's a big part of the reason the Rams played so well against the Saints and he will be a big part of their success going forward.

    If the offensive line continues to play well on the inside without Richie, what are the odds he is brought back next season?


    • #3
      Re: Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity

      Man our entire defensive line has been banged up! Look at that!


      • #4
        Re: Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity

        Originally posted by RebelYell View Post
        Hope Victor takes advantage of the situation. Everything I've read about the guy has led me to believe he's a solid individual. I hope he really takes full advantage of the opportunity.

        Bartell has been solid through the injury. People want to dump on him, it's unfair. He's a big part of the reason the Rams played so well against the Saints and he will be a big part of their success going forward.

        If the offensive line continues to play well on the inside without Richie, what are the odds he is brought back next season?

        If the o-line plays well without Richie, odds are he won't be back. Maybe Oakland will pick him up or something.


        • #5
          Re: Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity

          Victor should have been playing in place of Ah'you this year anyways, this is long over due.


          • #6
            Re: Adeyanju Ready for Opportunity

            Originally posted by Joshua
            I'm happy for victor... there is no way that CJ should be ahead of him anyways.. I guess now everyone will find out why. go Rams!

            I was never really impressed with Ah You. To me, he was very bad against the run, especially when he was moved inside to man the DT spot. He's below average rushing the passer also.

            Victor finally gets his chance. I hope he's hungry.


            Related Topics


            • 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
            • RamWraith
              Adeyanju Taking Advantage of Opportunity
              by RamWraith
              Thursday, September 28, 2006

              By Nick Wagoner
              Senior Writer

              You don’t have to be in his immediate proximity to know when Victor Adeyanju finds something amusing. His booming laugh will do all of the work for you.

              “It’s so loud it’s ridiculous,” defensive end Leonard Little said. “You can hear it across the room. He’s just an easy going guy. During the games you have to calm him down a little bit because he has a tendency to get kind of hyped so we have to calm him down and get him in the game sometimes.”

              But it didn’t take much work to get Adeyanju involved in his first start against Arizona last week. In fact, Adeyanju’s first NFL start went so well that he has kept his name at the top of the team’s depth chart.

              “Anytime you get an opportunity or are given a chance you have to make the most of it, take that and keep moving forward,” Adeyanju said. “I am going to keep fighting for the job and help the defense any way I can.”

              Although Adeyanju received his first start as a matter of circumstance – Anthony Hargrove was inactive after missing a pair of practices last week – he showed early in the game why he was ready to earn the job on merit.

              As Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin took off on a long catch and run midway through the second quarter of Sunday’s game, it appeared he might not stop before reaching the end zone.

              Suddenly, Boldin was brought down from behind. Catching up to Boldin is hard enough for a defensive back, but this wasn’t a Travis Fisher or Tye Hill running him down in the open field. This was Adeyanju. That’s right all six feet, four inches and 270 plus pounds hustled down the field and stopped Boldin at the Rams’ 21 after a 34-yard gain.

              At the time, the play seemed somewhat insignificant, but three plays later, it proved to be a saving grace. After a pair of runs gained 8 yards, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa tipped a pass in to the waiting hands of safety Oshiomogho Atogwe for a drive-killing interception.

              “(They were) within scoring position, he stops the touchdown and then we step up and get the turnover as Victor runs down a receiver, which was a heck of a play…a rookie running down a receiver in that situation and tackles the kid,” coach Scott Linehan said.

              It was just one of a number of solid plays made by the rookie defensive end out of Indiana. In making his first NFL start in place of Hargrove, Adeyanju made enough of a first impression to get yet another chance to start this week against Detroit.

              “He played with great effort and great energy,” Linehan said. “He played the run extremely well, he was on the backside of plays getting close to the ball, he made a great second effort play in the open field on the receiver, and he didn’t play like a rookie. There was no hesitation at all.”

              Adeyanju finished his first start with seven...
              -09-28-2006, 01:05 PM
            • RamWraith
              Hard work is Adeyanju's forte
              by RamWraith
              By Jim Thomas
              Saturday, May. 13 2006

              Like millions before them, Joseph and Deborah Adeyanju were looking for a
              better life when they came to America 30 years ago.

              "They heard America's a great place to be," son Victor Adeyanju said.

              For Joseph, the "better life" has consisted of driving a cab for three decades
              in Chicago.

              "He's been robbed, had a gun put to his head and all that stuff," Victor said.
              "It's a little bit safer now, because they've got the shields (in the cabs) ...
              but it's still kind of a crazy job."

              Despite those occupational hazards, America has proved to be a great place for
              the Adeyanju family, which is of Nigerian ancestry. Five of Joseph's and
              Deborah's six children are either in college or have college degrees.

              Count Victor among that group - he received his bachelor's degree in general
              studies from Indiana University in December. Even his mother, after years of
              working as a secretary, recently earned a degree in sociology from Chicago

              Adeyanju, a defensive end, may not have to use his degree for a while. Not
              after the Rams selected him in the fourth round of the NFL draft, No. 113
              overall, on April 30.

              As a second-day pick, Adeyanju won't make enough money to allow his dad to
              retire. At least not right away. But that's the goal.

              "As soon as I sign a contract and get some money, I'll definitely try to
              contribute as much as possible," Adeyanju said. "But he is not one to stop
              working. I told him, 'At least find another occupation.' He said he'll consider

              Adeyanju realizes this will be easier said than done.

              "He's old school," Adeyanju said. "A hard worker, blue-collar type of guy. He
              does not want to stop working for anybody."

              Which kind of describes Adeyanju as a football player. His numbers weren't
              flashy at IU. His highest sack total in four seasons as a starter for the
              Hoosiers was 6 1/2 - last season. But he frequently did the dirty work for the
              Indiana defense, fighting off double teams and stopping the run.

              He was drafted with the idea of filling a similar role with the Rams, backing
              up Leonard Little at left end.

              "One of the things we wanted to address (in the draft) was our ability to line
              up toe-to-toe with some of these people that get into these two-tight-end sets
              and run the ball at you," Linehan said on the day Adeyanju was drafted. "We
              have spent a lot of time figuring out a way we could get to him."

              They got to him with a fourth-round pick acquired from San Diego in a trade
              -05-14-2006, 04:36 AM
            • RamWraith
              No-names get a shot with battered Rams
              by RamWraith
              By Jeff Gordon
              Friday, Nov. 09 2007

              For those still brave enough to watch the Rams play, the final eight games will
              present an opportunity to watch back-up players attempt to become something

              Amid all the frustration of the 0-8 start is an opportunity for players like
              Victor Adeyanju, Trevor Johnson and Dustin Fry.

              Adeyanju is a hard-working, run-stopping defensive end, one of coach Scott
              Linehan’s favorite players. He is a smart man and a diligent worker. Linehan
              wishes he could fill the room with players with such commitment and character.

              Unfortunately, Adeyanju isn’t much of a pass rusher -– and now he is starting
              in place of Leonard Little, who will miss the rest of the season because of toe
              surgery. Adeyanju will have to find ways to pressure the quarterback in passing

              “I’ve got to work on my edge, using moves that work for my body, my style, that
              I can make effective -– those are things I’ve got to do,” Adeyanju said. “We’re
              working on angles and ball get-off, stuff like that. It’s definitely a big time
              in my career. I’ve got to make the most of it.”

              Johnson is a pass-rushing defensive end still trying to establish himself as an
              NFL regular. He has also played linebacker in 3-4 sets, without great success.

              “I feel a lot more comfortable at end than outside linebacker,” Johnson said.
              “It was just all new to me. I had played defensive end since my sophomore year
              at Nebraska. I was a lot more familiar with the reads I got at defensive end. I
              was maybe a little undersized when coming into the NFL as a defensive end. I
              gained some weight, that helped me also.”

              With Little out, Johnson figures prominently in Jim Haslett’s plans for the
              final eight games of the season. As the No. 3 defensive end, he will play in
              both running and passing situations, working in a rotation with Adeyanju and
              veteran James Hall.

              “I try to prepare to be ready for anything,” Johnson said. “I’m preparing to
              play a lot. I’m not promised any number of snaps. I’ve got the mindset to go in
              there and take advantage of every opportunity I get.”

              Fry is an Offensive Lineman of Last Resort. A fifth-round pick from Clemson in
              the ‘07 draft, Fry flopped during the summer drills at Rams Park. “I had a
              terrible training camp,” Fry admitted. “It was awful for me, I knew that.

              “I don’t know if I was out of my element or what. Everything seemed to . . . I
              don’t know. It was different for me, trying to learn a new system. Playing
              center, I struggled doing it. When I watched films every day, I cringed. I knew
              I could play better.”

              The Rams kept him around on the practice squad,...
              -11-09-2007, 02:11 PM
            • r8rh8rmike
              Adeyanju Waits For His Chance
              by r8rh8rmike
              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."

              FOSTER CARE

              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....
              -09-18-2009, 12:29 PM