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  • Rookie Goes From Rough Start To Starter

    Rookie goes from rough start to starter

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/02/2009

    Shortly after the Rams finished their walk-through last Saturday, defensive line coach Brendan Daly approached Darell Scott and gave him the news.

    Scott, a rookie defensive tackle from Clemson, would make his first NFL start Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

    Maybe Scott didn't want to jinx it. Maybe he just wanted to surprise his family and friends. But he didn't tell a soul. Not even his mother and his two younger sisters, who were in from Columbia, S.C., for Thanksgiving.

    "I just wanted to keep it to myself," Scott said. "I just wanted to play."

    Imagine his mother's surprise when the Rams' defensive unit came out onto the field to start the game ... and Scott was in the huddle. She was in the stands Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome and didn't appreciate her son's subterfuge. She let him know about it — as only a mother can — after the game.

    "She just came up to me, hit me on the side of my head, 'Why didn't you tell me you were starting?'" Scott said.

    For the longest time, Scott had nothing to tell his mother anyway, because he wasn't playing. In for only about a half-dozen plays in the Sept. 13 season opener at Seattle, Scott didn't exactly turn heads. The word at the time was that he fouled up on the 62-yard touchdown run by Julius Jones in that game. It's been so long ago now that Scott no longer remembers the details of the play.

    What he does remember is sitting out the next month. He watched the next four games in street clothes as one of the Rams' designated pregame inactives. In a nutshell, the coaching staff simply didn't feel he was ready.

    "I wondered what I did wrong, but I couldn't let it stop me," Scott said. "I just went back to work. I knew eventually I'd get another shot, and whenever it came around, I felt like I was going to take it and make the best of it."

    Scott's next game action wasn't until Oct. 18 at Jacksonville. It wasn't until the New Orleans and Arizona games that he saw any appreciable time in the defensive tackle rotation. And then came Sunday's rematch with Seattle, when he recorded four tackles, including one for loss, as a starter.

    "Every week when I turn on the tape, he's doing things a little bit better and better," defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. "I looked at him in the (first) Seattle game, in the limited snaps that he had, and I think about where he is now, and he's made tremendous strides. ... He's got a long way to go, and he knows that, but he's getting better. He's a bigger body inside, he's an athletic body inside, which is nice."

    At 6-3, 315 pounds, Scott has an intriguing blend of size and quickness. He showed occasional flashes of playmaking ability during training camp and the preseason but was slowed by swelling in the knee.

    Once he found himself on the bench following the regular-season opener, Scott tried to listen and learn from his more experienced teammates.

    "Not playing for pretty much the first half of the season, during the games I would sit back and observe Cliff (Ryan) and LaJuan (Ramsey) and (Leger) Douzable, and see the things they were doing," Scott said.

    He took the same approach during film sessions, making note of the good things — and the bad — his teammates were doing in games.

    "I definitely learned from the guys that were in front of me," Scott said.

    On the practice field, he worked on his technique.

    "I'd say the biggest transition (from college) is the speed and the strength of the offensive linemen," Scott said. "You have less time to react to what the guy in front of you is doing, whereas in college you can make a false move and still have time to get back to where you need to be. In the NFL, there's no room for a false step here, a false step there. It's more precise. A misstep and it could be over for you."

    The Rams have gone through some defensive tackles this season, from Ryan to Douzable to Hollis Thomas to Gary Gibson, and on. Scott is the fifth player to start a game at defensive tackle this season.

    All told, 10 Rams have played inside at one point or another if you include players such as James Hall, Victor Adeyanju, C.J. Ah You, and Chris Long on passing downs.

    And that doesn't include Adam Carriker, the former first-round pick who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the preseason finale Sept. 3 against Kansas City.

    As of right now, defensive tackle once again looks like a position of great need in 2010. But Scott has a chance to alter perceptions about the position at Rams Park if he continues to progress over these final five games.

    "I'm definitely looking forward to making the best of it, and just showing the coaches that I belong here," Scott said.

    RAM-BLINGS

    The Rams have decided to keep RB Chris Ogbonnaya on the active roster this week, just in case Steven Jackson's back spasms take a turn for the worse. ... TE Eric Butler, who was briefly on the 53-man roster last week, has been re-signed to the practice squad.

  • #2
    Re: Rookie Goes From Rough Start To Starter

    If i remember correctly, there are two DTs that are coming out that are expected to be top picks in this upcoming draft. I know we have needs at QB, but it has to be a position we look at hard
    @EssexRam_

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rookie Goes From Rough Start To Starter

      i think we have to look pretty hard at scott before we take another nt prospect, because at times he looks like the real deal. if he can step up and become a legit starter, ryan would be a great backup.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rookie Goes From Rough Start To Starter

        The DTs have been bad, but the OLBs have been worse. We are putting to much blame soley on the DTs.

        Anyways in his first start Scott was our most active player on the d-line especially in one terrific play he made in the backfield. We are really going to have to take a close look at this Scott Ryan combo the last few games. They are young and full of talent lets see what those 2 can do.

        Comment

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        • MauiRam
          Clemson draft: NFL dreams the end of a long road for Scott
          by MauiRam
          Clemson draft: NFL dreams the end of a long road for Scott
          By PAUL STRELOW

          DORELL SCOTT
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          PROJECTION: 3rd-4th rounds


          There is no place like home for Dorell Scott, which is why the former Clemson defensive lineman regards his plans for next weekend’s NFL Draft as a fool’s paradise.

          In Scott’s fantasy, he finds refuge in the cozy confines of his mother’s living room in Columbia, calming his anxieties in this low-key environment.

          Fat chance, he suggests with a chuckle, predicting the crowd will spill out of the three-bedroom residence. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to end up way more than I expect,” Scott said.

          Home is also the scar that reminds Scott that no matter where he is drafted — pro scouts estimate he will be selected between the third and fifth rounds — it will amount to more than he expected from football when the 6-foot-3, 312-pounder hit bottom less than four years ago.

          The episode accounts for why Airport High football coach Kirk Burnett calls the embrace he gave Scott on Clemson’s senior day in November “the most satisfying hug I’ve probably ever given.”

          “He had me worried,” Burnett said. “You look at somebody who weighed 315 pounds, lying on his bed not happy with life. I walked out of his bedroom, and I was scared. I didn’t know if I’d hear a gunshot or what, because he was that depressed with life.”

          “But he’s really grown up to be a happy person and a superb individual. Just seeing him that (senior) day and talking with him since then, he seems to have developed such a positive outlook.”

          ‘A MOMENT OF DOUBT’

          The signs first became evident when Scott reported to August camp in 2005. After a strong offseason in the team’s strength and conditioning program, Scott was expected to contribute as a second-string redshirt freshman.

          But his teammates and coaches noticed he was being distant and eating little.

          So Clemson offensive coach Brad Scott (no relation), who recruited Scott out of Ridge View High, called Burnett.

          Burnett was more than Dorell Scott’s coach. While combing the school cafeteria for prospective talent, he met Scott his freshman year of high school and convinced him to give up ROTC for football.

          Burnett quickly replace the father Scott said he never knew.

          So Burnett knew something was wrong when Scott declined to answer his phone calls.

          Approximately two weeks into fall practice, Burnett heard from then-coach Tommy Bowden, reporting that Scott had gone AWOL from the team and was presumed at home.

          In fact, Scott remained in Clemson, bunkered in his bed, sapped of energy and will due to a number of factors.

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          -05-05-2009, 02:23 PM
        • MauiRam
          New Rams rookie Ethan Westbrooks isn't hiding the giant chip on his shoulder
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          There were whispers that Westbrooks could be uncoachable, witness his 30 penalties in two seasons at West Texas A&M, with 15 for being offside. Plus, there were questions about the competition he faced and the school-jumping he did, going from San Joaquin Delta JC to Cosumnes River JC (where he didn't play) to Sacramento City College and finishing at West Texas A&M.

          In Westbrooks' mind, that all is now history, as he aims to prove good football is played at the Division II level. "It's always harder to go from junior college to Division II and then go to the NFL because you never really play against what most people think is the best competition," he said while preparing for Saturday's game against the Cleveland Browns. "Over the years, I felt Division I is just a name. People assume that everybody there is just the best of the best. You soon find out some of those dudes shouldn't be playing. I know you can definitely come out of Division II, whether you spend two years or four years, it's really how hard you want it."

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          -08-21-2014, 01:37 AM
        • MauiRam
          Tim Sandige ...
          by MauiRam
          By Bill Coats
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
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          Had defensive tackle Tim Sandidge spent much more time in Germany, he might be seeking a roster spot with the Rams at a different position.

          "I really missed the (American) food," Sandidge said. "They have what's called schnitzel. It's pretty good, but ... you don't want to have it all the time. I lost about 10 or 15 pounds over there."

          Though he might not have been well fed, Sandidge considers his time in NFL Europe well spent. "We had a good team, and our D-line coach was pretty good," he said. "So I feel like being over there really helped me. I played a lot, got a lot of experience, and I feel like I got better."

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          Hamburg and the Frankfurt Galaxy will meet Saturday in the World Bowl, which wraps up the NFL Europe season. Sandidge will be watching from afar, though; a sprained knee ended his season early.

          "No tear, so that's the good part," he said. "I played in about six or seven games. I felt like I went out there and did what I needed to do. I think I opened up a lot of eyes."

          The folks at Rams Park are impressed enough with Sandidge (6 feet 1, 300 pounds) to consider him among the contenders for a backup spot on the defensive line. The recent trade of tackle Jimmy Kennedy to Denver provided enhanced hope for Sandidge, as well as recent draftees Clifton Ryan and Keith Jackson.

          "I just think it's an opportunity for them ... to get in there and make a name for themselves," coach Scott Linehan. The competition will begin in earnest July 27, when training camp opens at Rams Park.

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          -06-22-2007, 01:37 AM
        • MauiRam
          Long is just beginning to learn with the Rams ..
          by MauiRam
          End is just beginning to learn with the Rams
          By Bill Coats
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
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          Irked that his hottest new prospect turned the wrong way during a drill at Rams Park, defensive line coach Brian Baker marched up to Chris Long and spread his arms.

          "Does this look like Virginia to you?" Baker blurted. "This is the NFL."

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          Long, 23, acknowledged that he struggled at times during his first nine pro practices: three at minicamp and six in organized team activities.

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          Long is adjusting to a new spot — he played mostly on the left side in college — as well as a new scheme. Virginia ran a 3-4 defense; the Rams' base is a 4-3. Not to mention a large leap in the talent pool.

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          "You're always thinking until you get to that point where you know (your assignments) like the back of your hand," he said. "The sooner the better. But I don't anticipate getting to the point where (veteran linemates) Leonard Little is or La'Roi Glover is or James Hall is overnight. I'm just going to have to keep working."

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          After recording 14 sacks and 23 quarterback pressures last year for the Cavaliers, Long is learning quickly that raw ability isn't enough at this level. Even the smallest detail must be mastered, he explained. Seemingly fundamental tasks now are serious challenges.

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          -06-02-2008, 03:41 AM
        • RamWraith
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          ST. LOUIS --What a difference a year has made in St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Clifton Ryan's career outlook.

          Last year, Ryan was a rookie just hoping to earn a roster spot after being taken in the fifth-round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

          This year, Ryan, with 16 games of NFL experience under his belt, should be an integral part of the Rams' defensive tackle rotation with starters Adam Carriker and La'Roi Glover.

          "A year in the playbook, a year within the system, a year in the city, it's just a whole lot easier," Ryan said. "I can't say that I made it, but just to know that I'm established a year in the game, and I don't feel like I have to put all that pressure on myself like I did last year going in trying to make a roster spot."

          Ryan was one of the pleasant surprises in the Rams' unpleasant 2007 season. He had 48 tackles, third-most by a defensive lineman on the team, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

          Most importantly, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound Ryan showed that he could be that kind of stout, run-stuffing nose tackle that the Rams so desperately needed.

          "I didn't surprise myself, I always knew what I could do," Ryan said. "I played against the best for four years at Michigan State. I played against a lot of guys who are in this league right now, a lot of high-level guys. I slipped in the draft, but it's not a big deal. The draft is not an exact science. There are a lot of guys who are great players who don't get drafted. I'm just fortunate to get drafted and come into a good situation where the coaching staff is willing to cultivate my talent and watch me grow."

          Ryan's breakout game came in Week 2 against the San Francisco ***** last season when he had eight tackles and two sacks, making him the first rookie since Sean Gilbert in 1992 to have a multisack game.

          Ryan admitted fading a little late in the season, and he said he was working hard to make sure that it didn't happen again this season.

          "I think I kind of wore down towards the end," said Ryan, who had only nine tackles over the final six games. "We had our bye week eight games in, we had eight games left. Coming from college, I'm used to only playing 11 or 12 games. I'm going to try to get as much conditioning in as I can heading into training camp and during training camp to preserve my body for a 21-week season."

          The Rams have expended a lot of resources on their defensive line. They've used six draft choices, including two first-rounders, a third-rounder, a fourth-rounder, a fifth-rounder and a seventh-rounder on defensive linemen over the past three years.

          This year's first-rounder, Chris Long, is projected as the starter at right defensive tackle.

          "The future is now, but I think our...
          -06-11-2008, 11:17 AM
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