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  • Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

    12.09.2009 3:30 pm
    Jackson, Smith remain on sideline during practice
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    The newest St. Louis Rams, safety Clinton Hart and quarterback Mike Reilly were on the practice field Wednesday. But again, running back Steven Jackson and tackle Jason Smith were not.

    Jackson hasn’t practiced in more than two weeks because of a sore back. Smith has been out since suffering a concussion Nov. 22 vs. the Cardinals. Smith met with an independent neurological consultant Tuesday and underwent an MRI exam, which showed no further issues. He still must pass him follow-up neuro exam and be cleared by the independent consultant and the team doctors before getting back on the field.

    Notes & quotes:

    *WR Donnie Avery (shoulder), QB Kyle Boller (thigh), FB Mike Karney (neck), LB James Laurinaitis (shoulder) and DT Darell Scott (neck) got in limited work.

    *Avery wore a shoulder harness to start practice but took it off because it was bothering him. “I’ve just got to get used to it,” he said.

    *With Boller a bit gimpy, backup QB Keith Null took more reps than unusal with the first unit. “They hear his voice, he gets under center with the starting group. All of that’s going to be a foundation or an investment for him, no question,” coach Steve Spagnuolo explained.

    *Justin King got most of the snaps with the starters at CB, but Spagnuolo said Quincy Butler will share those duties Sunday at Tennessee.

    *This weeks captains are T/G Adam Goldberg (offense), DT Clifton Ryan (defense) and S David Roach (special teams).

  • #2
    Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

    My goodness, the news about Jason Smith is very alarming. 3 weeks with a concussion? There has got to be more in this than they're saying.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

      Originally posted by RamsFan16 View Post
      My goodness, the news about Jason Smith is very alarming. 3 weeks with a concussion? There has got to be more in this than they're saying.
      They said he passed his exam he just has to pass the follow up, i think he is fine now.

      Edit: And just how gimpy is boller? Are we throwing null into the fire here. Hope he does good if he plays.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

        Originally posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
        They said he passed his exam he just has to pass the follow up, i think he is fine now.

        Edit: And just how gimpy is boller? Are we throwing null into the fire here. Hope he does good if he plays.

        Could Null do much worse than Boller at this point?
        Aim high Willis, Aim High!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

          Concussions are things you can't mess with. If it really mattered, I'd sit him until he is 100%. No matter what circumstances there are, sit him until he is fully healthy. Can't be playing around with concussions.

          As for Null, I really hope we get to see him. The guy has seen our team being decimated all year long. I'm sure he wants a chance. I hope he gets it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

            They had Hanifan on 101.1 last night and Farr asked him (I think it was Farr) whether the spread offense / shotgun only QB thing should be a factor. I don't remember the exact words but it sort of went "no. if you are a professional athlete, you should be able to take a few steps backwards without falling down".

            I understand it takes time but the kid needs to see some live action if he wants to develop. It is of paramount importance that a rookie QB get playing time to aid in his development during his first offseason. He doesn't have to perform well, he just needs the experience.

            Another thing Hanifan said was that he told Farr that the Rams defense in 1998 was horrible. Farr laughed and said that until he was told that by the coach, he thought the defense was actually pretty good.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

              Originally posted by rammiser View Post
              Could Null do much worse than Boller at this point?
              Boller hasn't been racking up that many turnovers, nor has he panicked utterly in the pocket.

              So yeah...those are two fields right there than Null could do worse than Boller in.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                Originally posted by PeoriaRam View Post
                Boller hasn't been racking up that many turnovers, nor has he panicked utterly in the pocket.

                So yeah...those are two fields right there than Null could do worse than Boller in.
                How do you know? Maybe Null does better in those situations..... The answer is, we dont know yet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                  Originally posted by PeoriaRam View Post
                  Boller hasn't been racking up that many turnovers, nor has he panicked utterly in the pocket.

                  So yeah...those are two fields right there than Null could do worse than Boller in.
                  He's averaged two turnovers a game every game he's played for us...

                  He's very uncomfortable when dealing with pressure, and finds ways to get sacked. Never looks downfield, and instead, runs right into the defensive linemen...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                    And Chris Chandler nearly averaged 1 a quarter.

                    The point remains, Boller is not the biggest turnover machine to play for the Rams.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                      Originally posted by PeoriaRam View Post
                      And Chris Chandler nearly averaged 1 a quarter.

                      The point remains, Boller is not the biggest turnover machine to play for the Rams.
                      That's not the point of what is being said.

                      We're not arguing whether or not Boller is the biggest turnover machine to play for the Rams...

                      What we're saying is that Boller's performance does not guarantee him a starting spot, and his skills might not be the one that gives us the most chance of winning a game...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                        Originally posted by PeoriaRam View Post
                        Boller hasn't been racking up that many turnovers, nor has he panicked utterly in the pocket.

                        So yeah...those are two fields right there than Null could do worse than Boller in.
                        His turnovers are either in the Red Zone or are returned for touchdowns... thats bad!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                          Originally posted by GolfnRAMFAN View Post
                          His turnovers are either in the Red Zone or are returned for touchdowns... thats bad!
                          Yeah, Boller's been pretty bad. He now has 9 turnovers in 18 quarters, with 4 of them returned for TD's and 3 happening in the red zone.

                          I'm not sure Null could do much worse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                            I say start Null. Because it cannot be worse then Boller. We have lost ALL of our games with Boller. How much worse can it get than that?

                            Let the kid play, let him throw some deep and take some freakin' chances. Playin' conservative and not being a turnover machine isn't getting it done, so what the hell do you have to lose? Take some chances Spags. Give the guys something to play for.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Jackson, Smith Remain On Sideline During Practice/Null Gets Reps With First Team

                              Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                              Yeah, Boller's been pretty bad. He now has 9 turnovers in 18 quarters, with 4 of them returned for TD's and 3 happening in the red zone.

                              I'm not sure Null could do much worse.
                              If the 2007-2009 Rams have taught me anything, it is that they can always find a way to do much worse. My capacity for optimism about anybody on this team not named Steven Jackson, James Laurinitis, and Chris Long is absolutely 100% SHOT.

                              Boller has an average QB rating this season of 63. 33 passers in the league have worse ratings than that! Boller, with one exception, has been able to successfully hand off the ball to Jackson every time a run was called-past recollections of Tony Banks point out that not all QBs can successfully hand off a ball with that consistency.

                              So yes, it is very, very, VERY possible for Null to do worse. Especially considering that we have a pretty good Tennessee defense on tap this week.

                              To reiterate-this is a guy who played in a fundamentally different offensive system against defenses that were 3-4 levels worse than your typical NFL defense. That is a recipe for disaster. By the same token, Null played in a program 3-4 levels worse than your typical NFL offense. If you're playing QB at a Division II school, you 1) are a literal idiot who can't even academically qualify for a Division I-AA school 2) suck (relatively) 3) committed some (multiple perhaps) horrific felony that left you radioactive for even Division I-AA programs.

                              Since point 3 violates at least 1 pillar, we can assume that is not the case, but we're still left with points 1 and 2. There is a reason why Null, and now Reilly, are the only two Division II QBs in the NFL. It's because there are much better QBs out there.

                              Additionally, he's a rookie. Rookies can be counted on to sometimes make poor decisions, throw picks, or generally make mistakes in the best of situations. This Rams offense is among the worst of situations.

                              -------------------------------------

                              Spags seems horrified at the thought of playing Null. That's reason enough for me to settle with Boller at the moment. If we really want a temporary Boller replacement, I would suggest directing complaints towards one Chip Rosenbloom.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • r8rh8rmike
                                With Boller Gimpy, "Excited" Null Gets More Work
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                12.11.2009 2:29 pm
                                With Boller gimpy, “excited” Null gets more work
                                By Bill Coats
                                St. Louis Post-Dispatch


                                Heading into his third Sunday as the St. Louis Rams’ backup quarterback, rookie Keith Null acknowledged his excitement. “It is exciting as the No. 2, being prepared, getting some reps in practice and have a little confidence as you go in,” said Null, who has been No. 3 behind Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller most of the season.

                                Bulger (leg) will miss his third game in a row when the Rams take on the Titans in Nashville (kickoff is at 3:05 p.m.). Boller is expected to start again, although the sore thigh that he’s been nursing this week has added a bit of suspense to the situation.

                                After a full practice Wednesday, Boller was sore Thursday. So his reps Thursday and today were decreased, and Null’s were increased. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said after practice today that Boller should be ready to go.

                                “It’s a little bit better today, but not as good as we really want it to be,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ve got 48 hours, so we’ll see. I don’t want to look in a crystal ball. You’ve got to play with two legs, can’t play with one.”

                                Of course, Null doesn’t want to play at Boller’s expense. But he said he’d love to see some action, perhaps late in a game. “I think any time you can get in as a backup and get some experience, it’s definitely beneficial,” he said. “I would take that opportunity, for sure.”

                                Notes & quotes:

                                *RB Steven Jackson (back) participated in several plays during the early “install” period at practice but didn’t do anything else on the field.

                                *T Jason Smith (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

                                *These players were limited today: Boller, WR Brandon Gibson (ankle), LB James Laurinaitis (shoulder), DT Darell Scott (neck), WR Donnie Avery (shoulder) and FB Mike Karney (neck).

                                *Asked how the Rams hoped to contain Titans RB Chris Johnson, the NFL’s leading rusher, Spagnuolo quipped, “Oh, man . . . get 12 guys on the field?”
                                -12-11-2009, 05:42 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Smith Still Experiencing Problems; Karney Looks Good To Go
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                12.10.2009 4:26 pm
                                Smith still experiencing symptoms; Karney looks good to go
                                By Jim Thomas
                                St. Louis Post-Dispatch


                                St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Jason Smith didn’t even watch practice Thursday, staying off his feet until the final minutes of the team’s indoor workout at Rams Park.

                                “We just decided to go a different way,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I’m trying to get him through a few days where he doesn’t have any, I’m going to say, symptoms. So we thought rather than put him on his feet out there _ we’re trying to get him back. Moving around seems to give him some issues.”

                                Spagnuolo didn’t detail Smith’s symptoms, except to say, “He’s not right yet.”

                                Smith will miss his third consecutive game Sunday because of a concussion.

                                * The outlook is good for fullback Mike Karney. Although officially listed as limited on the Rams’ injury report, Karney got a lot of work Thursday. After missing two games with a torn ligament in his neck, Karney is expected to play against Tennessee.

                                When asked how Karney looked Thursday, Spagnuolo said: “Good. Real good. We were trying to keep him out of some of the short-yardage, goal line (work) with pads on. But that’s not Mike. He jumped in there and got a couple (repetitions). He’s OK.”

                                * Don’t get too excited Keith Null fans, but Null got a lot of work with the starting offense Thursday. Kyle Boller has been slowed by a thigh injury, and the Rams’ limited Boller’s reps Thursday to help get him healthier. Boller still is expected to start Sunday at quarterback.

                                * As has become routine for three weeks now, Steven Jackson did not practice Thursday, resting his back injury.

                                * LB James Laurinaitis (shoulder), DT Darell Scott (neck), and WR Donnie Avery (shoulder) all were limited participation, but all are expected to play against the Titans.

                                * WR Brandon Gibson tweaked his ankle during practice, but got it wrapped and returned.

                                * After sitting out Wednesday’s practice with what Spagnuolo called a stomach illness, RB Kenneth Darby was back in action Thursday.
                                -12-10-2009, 03:55 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Kyle Boller Still Has Soreness In Thigh
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Kyle Boller still has soreness in thigh
                                By Bill Coats
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                12/12/2009

                                Perhaps the Rams were fortunate that kickoff for Sunday's game at Tennessee was moved back to 3:05 p.m. under the NFL flex-scheduling program. Quarterback Kyle Boller apparently will need as much time as possible to heal his sore thigh.

                                "I feel all right," Boller said after seeing limited action at practice Friday. "We still have 48 hours till the game. ... I'm not going to jeopardize the team if I'm not ready. I just feel like the progress I've made since yesterday is good. ... I don't think it should be a problem."

                                Boller was hurt last Sunday in the 17-9 loss at Chicago. He went through a full practice Wednesday but woke up sore Thursday. "It set him back a little bit," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "We're trying not to go backward."

                                Spagnuolo decreased Boller's reps significantly Thursday and Friday. Backing off with Boller meant ramping up with rookie Keith Null, who moved up to No. 2 when starter Marc Bulger was injured three weeks ago. Null, who had been running the scout-team offense, got his most extensive work with the first team all season.

                                "It's definitely good to get in, call our plays, run our plays and get some experience; it helps a ton," said Null, a sixth-round draft pick from NCAA Division II West Texas A&M. "It's one thing to watch and say the play while you're standing back, and it's another thing to actually get in the huddle, call it and then run that play."

                                Even if Boller starts vs. the Titans, as is fully expected, another shot to his leg could shove Null into his first regular-season action. "I have to be ready for anything," he said. "Being the backup, now you're only one play away."

                                Null, who played in a spread offense in college, has made considerable progress since the spring, Spagnuolo reported.

                                "He looks more comfortable, I guess is the best way to say it," Spagnuolo said. "I can remember back in (organized team activities) when taking a snap was a little bit different for him. So he's come a long way."

                                SMITH OUT AGAIN

                                Rookie Jason Smith, still experiencing the effects of a concussion, has been ruled out of a third consecutive game. Veteran Adam Goldberg will start again at right tackle.

                                Running back Steven Jackson (back) participated in a handful of plays in the early "install" period, then sat out the rest of practice. For the third Friday in a row, he was listed as questionable on the injury report.

                                Fullback Mike Karney (neck) and defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey (wrist) also were questionable. Probables were Boller, wide receivers Donnie Avery (shoulder) and Brandon Gibson (ankle), linebacker James Laurinaitis (shoulder)...
                                -12-12-2009, 12:34 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                All Signs Point To Null Vs. Arizona
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                12.24.2009 5:01 pm
                                All signs point to Null vs. Arizona
                                By Jim Thomas
                                St. Louis Post-Dispatch



                                For the second day in a row at practice, St. Louis Rams rookie QB Keith Null took the vast majority of the snaps with the starting offense _ a strong indication that he will start this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

                                As usual, coach Steve Spagnuolo declined to name his starting QB.

                                DE Leonard Little was a spectator once again at practice, hoping his infected right knee will heal in time to play Sunday. If Little can’t go, James Wyche will dress against the Cardinals. Wyche was claimed off waivers from Jacksonville on Monday.

                                There was a Marc Bulger sighting Thursday at Rams Park, walking without the aid of crutches. But Bulger already has been ruled out of the Arizona game as his fractured shin bone continues to heal.

                                RT Jason Smith (concussion) and CB Quincy Butler (ankle/knee) haven’t been officially ruled out, but neither will play Sunday. Butler is still wearing a boot for his high ankle sprain. Smith hasn’t been seen even watching practice for a couple of weeks.

                                CB Ron Bartell was taken off the injury report, with his bruised hip healing.

                                RB Steven Jackson (back) once again did not practice, but did his usual work on the side.
                                -12-26-2009, 12:40 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Null Learns Plenty In First Start
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Null Learns Plenty in First Start
                                Monday, December 14, 2009


                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Senior Writer

                                Although he was nervous, rookie quarterback Keith Null let nobody know that the moment of making his first start was too big for him.

                                And, like most players making their NFL debut, Null’s nerves went away quickly.

                                “I’d say after the first play,” Null said. “I went out there pretty comfortable. It definitely helps to go out and throw a completion on your first pass so after that any player would tell you, you get that first play then you are out there playing football again.”

                                It was a long road from tiny West Texas A&M to taking the reigns of the Rams offense for Null but on the first play from scrimmage, Null had a number of firsts.

                                Null took his first snap in a regular season game (and from under center, something he hadn’t done much of in his shotgun-heavy career), dropped back and delivered his first pass to tight end Daniel Fells for a gain of 7 yards.

                                It wasn’t the flashiest opening to a NFL career, but it was enough to shake the butterflies loose from Null’s stomach and allow him to settle in.

                                By the end of his first busy NFL Sunday, Null had a rough statistical day in line with what many rookie signal callers – let alone sixth-round draft choices with Division II pedigrees – would have.

                                But in retrospect, it wasn’t so much the numbers Null posted as the way he handled an extremely difficult situation that impressed teammates and coaches alike.

                                “Under the circumstances and how it all went down, I thought he handled himself well in the huddle, I thought he was composed, he had command of what he was doing,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “He’d like some throws back. I thought he stepped up in the pocket well and actually had some pretty nice throws. That part of it was encouraging.”

                                Null finished the game 27-of-43 for 157 yards with a touchdown and five interceptions for a rating of 37.8.

                                Considering that Tennessee represents one of the most hostile environments in the league with one of its toughest defenses, Null’s assignment was loaded with landmines before he ever was even declared the starter.

                                Last week, Null split repetitions with Kyle Boller in practice for most of the week. With Boller battling a thigh injury, Null got more and more reps as the week went on.

                                By Saturday, it had become clear that Boller would be a game time decision and Null was a viable candidate to start.
                                That made for some interesting moments for Null in the run up to the game as he awaited word on his role.

                                “I was going out, getting ready to play not really know what was going to happen and trying to prepare myself for whatever they tell me,” Null said. “I went back in the locker room, they told me I was going to...
                                -12-15-2009, 08:01 PM
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