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  • Smith OK After Hospital Visit

    Smith OK After Hospital Visit
    Monday, November 30, 2009

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Of all the injuries and ailments plaguing the Rams on Sunday against Seattle, it was one case of nausea on the sideline that perhaps caused the most concern.

    Rams tackle Jason Smith, inactive for the contest against the Seahawks because of lingering effects from a concussion suffered a week earlier against Arizona, was on the sideline watching the Rams and Seahawks on Sunday afternoon when he suddenly began to feel ill.

    Smith complained of a nauseous feeling that led to vomiting and light headedness. He was promptly whisked away to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis for tests and observation just before the start of the fourth quarter.

    “I was experiencing some things that weren’t real normal,” Smith said Monday afternoon. “I asked the doctors what’s going on with me. He said to take the proper precautions to what you feel and get you out of here to get you checked out. That’s what we did. I was sick and vomiting and wasn’t feeling good.”

    Because Smith is still recovering from the concussion he suffered last week, the doctors wanted to take a closer look and run a battery of tests that would determine if or how the nausea related to his concussion symptoms.

    The good news, revealed by coach Steve Spagnuolo and athletic trainer Jim Anderson on Monday afternoon, is that Smith passed all of those tests with nothing out of the ordinary showing up on them.

    Smith said Monday there was no hard evidence from his CAT scan that the symptoms he suffered from on Sunday were a direct result of his concussion. In fact, Smith says he was never told that the two were related though that remained a possibility.

    “They tested me on a couple of different things,” Smith said. “They never said it was because of the concussion. It was like something was wrong with your stomach or whatever.”

    At the conclusion of those tests, Smith was released from the hospital and allowed to return home Sunday evening.

    “It sounds like he’s OK which is a good thing,” Spagnuolo said.

    Before Sunday, Smith said he had awoken feeling different every day but had not yet felt illness like he did on Sunday.
    As with most concussions, there are variety of symptoms that go along with the injury. In some cases, those symptoms can be triggered by various factors.

    For instance, basketball star Blake Griffin suffered a concussion while playing for Oklahoma last year and complained that it was made worse by attending a home game he wasn’t playing in by the myriad lights and loud noises in the arena that night.

    “There are all kinds of symptoms that happen with a concussion,” Smith said. “They say noise and they say lights but obviously you having one, you feel all those things. It just depends on when they go away.”

    Despite his awareness that his symptoms could be inflamed by attending the game, Smith said he never considered staying home.

    Instead, Smith wanted to be with his team at the game and served as the eyes on the sideline for Adam Goldberg, his replacement at right tackle. Before leaving for the hospital, Smith offered tips and observations to Goldberg.

    Of course, Smith was just one of many players around the league sitting out because of a concussion.

    “The landscape of the league right now is the concern of concussions and we are certainly concerned with Jason so we will make sure everything is done the right way so that’s why we went about it that way,” Spagnuolo said.

    Indeed, the number of concussions around the league seems to be ticking upward with each passing year. On Sunday alone, superstars like Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and Pittsburgh signal caller Ben Roethlisberger sat out their respective games because of lingering complications from concussions.

    Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson suffered a blow to the head, joining his teammate running back Brian Westbrook on the sideline. Westbrook suffered two head injuries in three weeks.

    Because of the increasing number of concussions around the league and the tough guy mentality prevalent in the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell has made examining the problem of concussions a priority.

    In fact, the league will soon put independent doctors on every sideline and Goodell reportedly has plans to expand how concussions are treated.

    Teams will soon employ “independent” medical personnel deemed acceptable by the league as experts in the field of dealing with head injuries.

    “We’re not in the business of ending careers. We’re trying to extend careers,” Goodell said.

    Previously, players could in theory finish games in which they suffered concussions unless they were knocked unconscious at some point.
    When Smith suffered his injury against Arizona, he says he never blanked out and under old rules could potentially have finished the game. But Rams medical staff told him he was done in that game.

    After he was unable to pass the baseline neurological tests last week, he was declared inactive for the Seattle contest. Smith said he understands the league’s expanded emphasis on taking care of head trauma until it’s complete.

    “It kind of goes back to the deal like in my situation – what good is 310 pounds of twisted steel without a head?” Smith said. “It won’t go anywhere. It’s kind of one of those deals where you have such a valuable league they are protecting the integrity of the league and they want things to be done right. So if that’s what they say needs to be done, that is what’s going to happen.”

    As for his return to the field, Smith says he is unsure of the plan for this week. Spagnuolo said Monday that Smith would still need to pass the baseline tests at some point this week in order to get clearance from doctors to play against the Bears this week.

    Smith was already feeling better on Monday.

    “I feel great,” Smith said, laughing. “I feel like 310 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal. Obviously dealing with this, I feel the organization is doing a great job of making sure I don’t have anything that is lingering where I can play at 100 percent.”

    But just because Smith is feeling better doesn’t mean he wants to rush his return to the field at the risk of further or more serious injury.

    “Tomorrow I could be Superman again,” Smith said. “Right now, I am just Batman. I can’t fly. I want to get back with the team but I don’t want to die. Before I practice and try to play the game, I want to make sure I can play the game.”

  • #2
    Re: Smith OK After Hospital Visit

    I feel like 310 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal
    “Tomorrow I could be Superman again,” Smith said. “Right now, I am just Batman. I can’t fly. I want to get back with the team but I don’t want to die. Before I practice and try to play the game, I want to make sure I can play the game.”
    These two quotes are probably the best i have seen in the NFL this year, i love this guys personality!


    • #3
      Re: Smith OK After Hospital Visit

      I beginning to love this kid, great draft pick. Just hope he is not injury prone, thats my only worry at the moment. JL is a good player. Fletcher was coming along nicely until the injury. I hope he recovers enough to realise his potential because that knee took a real beating. I hope he rehabs his knee and rules out playing next season to maximise his potential to make a career out of football. Hate this too ruin his career before it started?
      GO RAMS


      • #4
        Re: Smith OK After Hospital Visit

        Despite his awareness that his symptoms could be inflamed by attending the game, Smith said he never considered staying home.

        Instead, Smith wanted to be with his team at the game and served as the eyes on the sideline for Adam Goldberg, his replacement at right tackle. Before leaving for the hospital, Smith offered tips and observations to Goldberg.
        What is not to love about a guy who has this kind of attitude? He wanted to be with his teammates and after getting sick on the sideline, before he is taken to the hospital, he wants to make sure he offers his observations to Goldberg. This kid is special and will be a corner stone of the OL if he can stay away from the injuries.


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        • r8rh8rmike
          Jason Smith Has Up, Down NFL Debut
          by r8rh8rmike
          Jason Smith has up, down NFL debut
          BY JIM THOMAS

          Jason Smith got a little bit of everything as an NFL rookie. But too much of injuries.

          Smith returned to practice this week but won't play in Sunday's season finale against San Francisco. After missing five games because of a concussion, a week's worth of practice simply isn't enough to get game ready.

          So when all is said and done, the rookie offensive tackle from Baylor will have played in only eight games this season, with five starts.

          At age 23, he already has learned a valuable lesson about his profession. Namely ...

          "Don't take the season, and playing football, for granted," Smith said. "Obviously, there's a lot of people that wish they were able to wake up every morning, let alone be able to play football. At the end of the day, I'm just happy I was able to wake up and be a part of this team."

          That is Smith's rather unorthodox way of saying he's just happy to be alive.

          Although Smith was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, nothing was handed to him by coach Steve Spagnuolo. Smith didn't move into the starting lineup until just before the regular-season opener.

          Certainly nothing was handed to him once the games started. In the season opener, against the Seahawks, Seattle rookie linebacker Aaron Curry came at Smith's knees low and late downfield after a run by Steven Jackson early in the first quarter. Those are the kinds of plays that can lead to blown-out knees. But Smith was OK, and Curry was fined by the NFL.

          Smith also gave up a sack to Lawrence Jackson in that game, and another — to Dwight Freeney — six weeks later against Indianapolis.

          But there were plenty of high spots. In Game 2, against Washington, a block by Smith sealed the edge on a 58-yard run by Jackson — his longest gain of the year. The play set up the Rams' first touchdown of the season and gave them their first lead of the season.

          In the first Arizona game, on Nov. 22, blocks by Smith and tight end Randy McMichael helped spring Jackson on a 48-yard run that set up a Rams field goal.

          The gain put Jackson over 1,000 yards for a franchise-record fifth consecutive season.

          But for every step forward this season, Smith seemed to take one back.

          Less than 1½ games into his NFL career, Smith suffered a knee injury before halftime of the Washington game.

          He missed the next two games entirely because of the injury then rotated in for three contests before regaining his starting job in Game 8, against Detroit. He flashed his aggressive run-blocking skills against the Lions and was solid in pass protection as well in a 17-10 Rams victory.

          Following the bye, he also started and played well in the next two games.
          -01-01-2010, 11:16 PM
        • MauiRam
          Smith Settling In ..
          by MauiRam
          By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer

          Entering his third year in the NFL, Rams tackle Jason Smith has moved well beyond the expectations set for him by those outside of the team.

          Smith says his full attention is dedicated not to meeting some sort of lofty expectations that are inherent with his draft status. Rather, Smith is aiming only to meet the goals he sets for himself and meet the needs of the team.

          “It’s one of those deals where other people make a scenario up for you,” Smith said. “But for me, I just look at it the same; it’s football and I want to be the best I can be at it.”

          There have been plenty of ups and downs in Smith’s relatively short career but many believe that the third year is the time for a player to make his move.

          In this training camp, the coaching staff has been pleased with Smith’s progress, especially considering that though his media guide bio says he’s in his third year, he’s really only working with about a year and a half of experience.

          It’s helped that Smith has been able to settle in at the right tackle spot where he’s been tasked with facing one of the league’s emerging pass rushers in Chris Long every day in practice.

          Long has been one of the Rams’ best players in camp according to coach Steve Spagnuolo and he’s pushed Smith to improve his pass protection.

          “You are playing a position and playing a game and the more you are doing it, the more comfortable you are getting, the more patience you are gaining, the more ability you have to do your job,” Smith said. “And I am going against Chris Long every day. This guy is a workhorse and I feel like I have become a better tackle going against him and understanding what I’m doing.”

          Taken with the second overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Smith was expected to step right in and dominate as a left tackle. That’s the job most view as commensurate with being selected that high and made even more difficult for Smith by those expecting him to be the next Orlando Pace.

          Smith’s rookie season was derailed by injuries, though, including an early season knee injury and a concussion that ended his season. All told, he played just eight games with five starts and just when it appeared he was settling in, he suffered the concussion.

          “Obviously I have had some stumbling blocks in my career with a couple of injuries here and there but I trained and feel like I had a great offseason,” Smith said. “I am sound in my faith in God and I don’t see myself wavering from anything I know to do.”

          Finally able to get on the field and stay there in 2010, Smith made strides as he settled in on the right side with then-rookie Rodger Saffold on the left.

          In 15 games (he missed one with a concussion issue), Smith allowed four sacks according to STATSPASS as the Rams trimmed their total sacks allowed by 10 as quarterback...
          -08-22-2011, 12:32 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Smith Progressing Well
          by r8rh8rmike
          Smith Progressing Well
          Tuesday, August 18, 2009

          By Nick Wagoner
          Senior Writer

          After almost every practice since the Rams made him the No. 2 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, Jason Smith can be found out on the practice field doing two things.

          First and foremost, Smith has made a habit of staying after practice to work with offensive line coaches Art Valero and Steve Loney on something he feels needed improvement from the just-completed workout.

          When that is done, about 20 minutes later, Smith can be found hauling around the pads of his veteran teammates.

          “It’s what I am but I am not doing it just to be doing it,” Smith said. “It’s something that I need to work on that day technically or physically. There’s always something to work on.”

          Such is the life of a rookie in the NFL. And while those parts of it are normal, Smith’s approach to the game is anything but.

          The Rams completed their final two a day practice of this year’s training camp on Tuesday afternoon. With that, the team is almost halfway through the preseason and Smith’s development process is in full swing.

          From the moment he arrived in St. Louis, plenty of people have placed some weighty expectations on Smith but the coaching staff has ignored that and asked Smith to earn his position.

          Until Tuesday, Smith had extremely limited repetitions with the first team offense as he has worked almost exclusively as the second-team right tackle behind Adam Goldberg.

          Nothing has been handed to him and Smith has asked for nothing in return. Instead, Smith is lapping up every opportunity to learn the game from his veteran teammates.

          Nary a player has been more helpful in that regard than Goldberg. Although Goldberg and Smith are technically competing for the job at right tackle, neither seems too concerned with beating out the other.

          Quite the opposite, in fact.

          “I take that as part of my role but I tell you what, he doesn’t need too many tips,” Goldberg said. “He’s going to be a really good football player and he’s a great person too, the kind of guy that you like to help out because he works hard, doesn’t take anything for granted, takes good notes, asks good questions. So he’s the type of young player that you want to help and want to see succeed.”

          The modest Goldberg won’t take much credit for helping Smith learn the nuances of the NFL but Smith is quick to credit Goldberg for stepping into the mentor role.

          “I feel that if Goldberg wasn’t here I would have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off,” Smith said. “What is the competition? The competition is Rams vs. whoever we play. It’s not amongst each other. Obviously we are going to make each other better by communicating things we see but if he wasn’t here, how far along would I...
          -08-18-2009, 08:23 PM
        • RamFan_Til_I_Die
          Smith takes his tasks seriously
          by RamFan_Til_I_Die
          Smith takes his tasks seriously

          By Jim Thomas

          It has been six weeks since the Rams made Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft. For most of the past five weeks, he has been plying his trade at Rams Park, in the weight room, the meeting room, and on the practice field.

          So when asked if he's settled in yet — to St. Louis, and to life at Rams Park — Smith answers with the world view of a 22-year-old.

          "Yeah, I'm settled in," Smith replied. "I'm over at the Holiday Inn right now. The bed's made up every day. The air conditioning's cold. I don't have any bills coming in. I'm loving it.

          So far, NFL life is good for Smith, a 306-pound bundle of energy and optimism. When asked if he eventually will buy a place in St. Louis, Smith replied: "I'm thinking about buying a Holiday Inn, you know what I mean? And just living there."

          Once he signs his first NFL contract — and there's little taking place on that front yet — Smith should have enough money to buy a hotel. For now, he's going about the business of earning his keep on the football field.

          "Jason's doing great," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "We've had a chance to work him on both sides, and he's a guy that's going to be a real good player. He's working hard, he's developing, and we're looking forward to see how it carries over to training camp."

          After spending his first month at right tackle, which remains his likely destination on opening day, Smith was shifted to left tackle this past week. Should something happen to Alex Barron on the left side, Smith could be the Rams' next option there during the regular season.

          "We're going to try to have some versatility at tackle," coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

          It's difficult to make broad assumptions in the spring, particularly with linemen, because there is next to no contact during OTAs (organized team activities) and minicamps, and the players aren't in full pads. But Spagnuolo already has seen enough of Smith to conclude that he has the mental makeup and approach to become a successful NFL blocker.

          "He doesn't blink at all when he goes on either side (of the line), or we give him something new," Spagnuolo said. "He's a tremendous worker, and a respectful guy. He gets it. That's the best thing I can say is he gets it."

          Some players never get it. But Smith seems to realize that the small things, the details, the technique work can turn decent players into good ones, and good players into great ones in the NFL.

          "That's one thing I've learned about this level is that it's a lot of small details that you don't really know much about until you get here," Smith said. "Football's a game that...
          -06-07-2009, 08:30 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Rams' Jason Smith Returns Healthy
          by r8rh8rmike
          Rams' Jason Smith returns healthy

          BY JIM THOMAS
          Friday, April 20, 2012

          Jason Smith feels great. He's happy. He's excited. And he's back on the football field.

          He can see clearly now, literally. He has full range of motion in his neck. He can turn fully from side to side. He can drive himself to work or the store.

          That wasn't the case following a nasty concussion he suffered Oct. 23 in Dallas attempting to tackle Cowboys safety Abram Elam as Elam was returning a lost fumble by Cadillac Williams.

          It was the second major concussion of Smith's three-year NFL career. He was done for the season, and some wondered if he was done for his career. At the very least, some wondered if he would be back with the Rams, who had chosen him No. 2 overall in the 2009 draft.

          "The reality was, it was a freakish accident," Smith said. "But the great thing is: What is it now? It's just the past. It's something I had to go through. I'm excited to be back walking. Feeling good. Wife not having to drive me around. There's a lot of things I'm just excited about."

          The entire process tested his religious faith, and at the same time strengthened that faith.

          "That's what it's supposed to do," Smith said. "Affliction is supposed to make you stronger. If it makes you weaker there's something wrong with you. So it made me stronger."

          So Smith is excited about the new regime at Rams Park, from general manager Les Snead, to head coach Jeff Fisher, to his new offensive line coach Paul Boudreau. He likes the positive energy of new tight end Matt Mulligan and the savvy of new center Scott Wells. He likes the leadership being shown by running back Steven Jackson and quarterback Sam Bradford.

          "I'm happy they decided to keep me around," Smith said. "So I'm a new face. I'm a new type of guy here."

          Who knows what the draft will bring, and what that could mean to Smith. What if Matt Kalil of Southern California drops to the Rams at No. 6 overall? What if there's an offensive tackle in a later round the team feels compelled to take?

          But for now it looks likes Smith is out of the woods in terms of remaining a Ram. He's approaching this opportunity with a clear head — physically and mentally — and a new lease on life.

          "I have a new outlook on life by faith," Smith said. "Write that. I'm so happy. It's hard to explain."

          Smith not only wants to be a better player, he says he needs to be a better teammate.

          "I want to work on my relationship with the players to become a better teammate, a better friend in some areas," Smith said. "I need to be more fluid and relaxed. I need to relax and play ball, and stop thinking. There's no reason for anyone to walk around stuck-up...
          -04-20-2012, 09:06 AM