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  • Coady Strong at Safety

    Friday, October 8, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Rich Coady made the most of his opportunity against San Francisco on Sunday night.

    Coady has spent most of his career rotating as the backup free safety, backup strong safety, and coming in on nickel and dime packages. After making his first start at free safety against New Orleans in week three, Coady appeared to be relegated back to a reserve role.

    That was the case until it became evident that strong safety Adam Archuleta, a close friend of Coady’s, started battling back spasms. Coady stepped in to his friend’s place and played one of his best games.

    Coady made 10 tackles, falling one short of his career high and added a forced fumble against the *****. That effort earned him the team’s defensive player of the week honors.

    The ever-humble Coady said he couldn’t take all of the credit for his strong performance.

    “When you get all 11 guys playing well, it makes it easier,” Coady said. “A lot of the stuff that I did well is a direct result of everyone else being in their gap and doing what they’re supposed to do.”

    With Archuleta limited because of continued back problems and the return of cornerback DeJuan Groce imminent, Coady is set to start at strong safety again this week.

    Coady said he is used to shuttling between the two safety spots, but he feels more comfortable at one.

    “I do feel a little more comfortable at the strong,” Coady said. “That’s what I played in college and that’s where I have gotten most of my starts in the NFL. To me it doesn’t really matter, it’s just about being on the field.”

    Coady started at strong safety for Texas A & M for three seasons, earning All-Big 12 Conference honors his senior season. He spent his first three seasons with the Rams before going to Tennessee for a season. He signed with Indianapolis the following season, but the Rams traded a seventh round choice for him before last season.

    The uncertainty of whether he is going to start doesn’t bother Coady much anymore, as he has embraced his role as the utility guy. He has grasped the old “one play away” cliché as his personal mantra and it has paid off.

    “Every week I go in and prepare like I’m going to start,” Coady said. “Whether coach tells me I am going to start on Monday for the following Sunday or five minutes before the game, it’s not going to change how I prepare.”

    INJURY REPORT: There was little change to the injury report on Thursday.

    Cornerback Travis Fisher (broken forearm) and defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy (broken foot) are listed as out. Left guard Chris Dishman (sprained knee) and linebacker Tony Newson (ankle) are questionable. Kennedy has resume light running, but there is no immediate timetable on his return to practice.

    Probable for the Rams are running back Marshall Faulk (shoulder), Groce (sprained knee), running back Arlen Harris (hamstring strain), left guard Scott Tercero (broken bone in hand) and linebacker Robert Thomas (sprained ankle).

    Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa missed Thursday’s practice with an infected elbow. He will probably play Sunday and is listed as probable.

    SEEING RED: The media ranks have thinned at Rams Park in recent days because of the baseball Cardinals’ hunt for a World Series birth. Rams’ coach Mike Martz hasn’t had much time to speak to his friend, manager Tony LaRussa, but the two have great respect for each other and Martz said he is not surprised by how well the Cardinals are playing with LaRussa in charge.

    “I felt all along he would do this well, from the very beginning,” Martz said. “It’s just fun to sit back and watch them have the success that they are having.”

    Martz visited LaRussa and the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla. after the 2001 NFL season and the two have remained in close contact.

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  • RamWraith
    Versatile Coady proves valuable for defense
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    Two decades ago, the Cardinals had a "secret weapon" in Jose Oquendo, so dubbed by broadcaster Mike Shannon for his ability to fill in effectively at several positions. Now the Rams have their own version.

    Utilityman Rich Coady will make his third start in a row Sunday when the Rams (2-2) travel to Seattle to face the NFC West-leading Seahawks (3-0). For the second week in succession, he'll replace ailing Adam Archuleta (back) at strong safety. Two weeks ago, Coady filled in at free safety for Aeneas Williams, who made a one-week return to cornerback.

    "We're fortunate to have" Coady, coach Mike Martz said. "This is a message to all the other players. It's like Marc Bulger: He's the third quarterback (in 2002), and all of a sudden by midseason he's starting. Those guys, when they weren't playing, they weren't wasting time."

    Coady, a Texas A&M product who had a total of six starts in his five previous NFL seasons, gets most of his playing time with the Rams as an extra defensive back in the nickel and dime alignments. But he said he's learned to gear his readiness for all possibilities.

    "Every week I go in and I prepare like I'm going to start. I go through the film like I'm going to start," he explained. "So whether the coach tells me that I'm going to start on Monday for the following Sunday's game or five minutes before the game, it's not going to change how I prepare."

    Whatever system he uses, it seems to work: Coady was named the Rams' defensive player of the week after collecting 10 tackles, two pass break-ups, a forced fumble and a quarterback hit in Sunday's 24-14 victory in San Francisco.

    "I think everyone on defense played well. And when you get all 11 guys playing well, it makes it easier," Coady said. "A lot of the stuff that I did well was a direct result of everyone else being in their gap and doing what they were supposed to do."

    The task looming for the Rams this week should be considerably stiffer. Whereas the winless ***** are near the bottom of the league in several statistical categories, Seattle is hovering near the top, particularly on defense. The Seahawks are No. 1 in total defense (242.3 yards a game) and scoring defense (4.3 points). Plus, they're rested after a bye week.

    "When you watch them on film, they really play mistake-free football," Coady said. "They don't turn the ball over, they don't have assignment gaps, they're not giving up free sacks, they're not running the wrong routes. ... You don't go 3-0 in this league unless you're doing something right, and they're doing everything right."

    Groce is ready

    With the Rams short of defensive backs Sunday, the temptation to rush cornerback DeJuan Groce...
    -10-08-2004, 07:05 PM
  • RamWraith
    Little playing Monster position
    by RamWraith
    Anyone catch Little lining up in the Monster Linebacker position, giving him a rage of gaps and dropping back into coverage. Basically giving us 4 linebackers and 3 down lineman.
    -10-04-2004, 06:06 AM
  • RamDez
    Nothing Easy for Rams' Playoff Drive
    by RamDez
    Nothing Easy for Rams' Playoff Drive

    Friday, December 3, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    It doesn’t quite have the same feel as the usual 49er-Rams matchup, but that doesn’t make this week any less important for St. Louis.

    The Rams are sitting squarely on the bubble for the NFC playoffs despite a 5-6 record. They have the best record in NFC West divisional play at 4-0 and have a chance to go undefeated and win the division again. With their biggest rival coming to town Rams coach Mike Martz said this game still has meaning.

    “It’s 49er week,” Martz said. “It’s a big week. We are excited about being back in this division with this game… we’re ready to go.”

    If only things were similar for the *****, Sunday’s meeting at the Edward Jones Dome would have meaning to both teams.

    On the other hand, this season can pretty much be chalked up for San Francisco. Sitting at 1-10, the ***** have little to play for besides draft position. That record is the worst in the league and the injuries have continued to mount. Coach Dennis Erickson’s job might be in trouble and there could be plenty of changes to the offense in the offseason.

    Tight end Eric Johnson said his team has to embrace the role of spoiler if it wants to have any kind of a finish to the season.

    “We always want to beat the Rams,” Johnson said. “It’s a rival from years back. We wouldn’t mind taking them out of the playoff (race). It should be a good battle. We are looking to get our first win in a long time here.”

    All of the problems San Francisco has had might make it a dangerous task for the Rams. With not much to play for except pride, the ***** have nothing to lose heading into Sunday’s game. They can let it all hang out and do whatever they want. Erickson probably will do just that with his job on the line. Playing the role of spoiler down the stretch would probably be the best way to stay employed.

    None of that matters much to Martz, though. He is well aware of the dangers of any game in the league.
    “I don’t think that ever has anything to do with anyone when you lineup,” Martz said. “Whoever it is, whether it’s the ***** or anyone else, when you coach or play in this league long enough, you understand that it’s hard every week no matter who you are.”

    EDWARDS SET FREE: Free safety Antuan Edwards made his debut against Green Bay and played well, finishing with eight tackles. Edwards didn’t start in that game, but Martz said Thursday that he would get his first start against San Francisco.

    “Antuan Edwards did a real nice job,” Martz said. “I was very pleased with him.”

    Edwards is the third free safety to start this season, joining Aeneas Williams and Rich Coady. Coady started against the *****, but is better suited to strong safety.

    SPECIAL TEAMS MAKES STRIDES: The Rams special...
    -12-04-2004, 01:03 AM
  • RamWraith
    Dishman gets a double dose of knee trouble
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    In nearly two decades of football, dating to his pre-high school days in Cozad, Neb., Chris Dishman never had suffered a significant knee injury. Now, it's two in two months.

    Dishman, an eight-year NFL veteran who signed with the Rams as a free agent Aug. 5, will be sidelined four to six weeks with a complete tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Dishman, who had started five games at left guard, was injured in the third quarter Sunday in the Rams' 23-12 victory over Seattle at the Edward Jones Dome.

    "I was locked up with a guy that I was going against, and he came into the side of my leg," Dishman explained. A series later, he re-entered the game.

    "I braced it up, and I thought I could do it," he said. "I went out and tried to make an adjustment on a linebacker, and at that point I knew something was wrong in there, because my knee kind of flopped out the side."

    An MRI exam Monday revealed the damage. No surgery is planned.

    Veteran Tom Nutten played left guard the rest of the game and is expected to start Sunday, when the Rams (5-4) square off with the Buffalo Bills (3-6) at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Rams' last regular-season game is Jan. 2, so Dishman could return this season.

    "If we're fortunate enough to be in postseason play, he should be back by then," coach Mike Martz said. "That's still a ways down the road, but ... he'd play right now if we asked him to."

    Dishman, 30, missed two games after hyperextending his right knee Sept. 26 against New Orleans. "It still isn't 100 percent," he said. "And then I go out there and do this. So I've kind of been a gimp."

    The offensive line was thinned further when it was determined that guard/tackle Scott Tercero would have shoulder surgery this week and miss the remainder of the season. Tercero, who also had been playing with a broken left hand, started four games at left guard.

    "Scotty Tercero was playing so good, I can't stress that enough," Martz said. "He's an exceptional offensive lineman. That's a big-time hit on our part. I can't be more pleased with him."

    Illness hits Faulk

    When running back Marshall Faulk showed up Wednesday at Rams Park, Martz threw him out.

    "He's got that flu bug. He was going to come and practice, and (I told him), 'Go home, go to bed,'" Martz said. "He's been down for a couple of days. He came in and got some medicine, got the game plan and went back home."

    Martz reported that Faulk was improving. "He feels a lot better. He was really bad" Tuesday. As much as anything, Martz wanted to keep Faulk away from his teammates.

    "We've got a...
    -11-18-2004, 06:06 AM
  • RamWraith
    Faulk is listed as "probable" because of back
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Oct. 01 2004

    A conspicuous name was added Friday to the Rams' injury report, that of running
    back Marshall Faulk. He had limited work this week at practice and is listed as
    "probable" because of tightness in his lower back.

    So, could rookie Steven Jackson, the team's first-round draft choice in April,
    be primed for a coming-out party Sunday night in San Francisco? Jackson doubts
    whether that will be the case, for two reasons:

    He expects Faulk to be ready to go against the *****, a fierce NFC West rival.

    With coach Mike Martz vowing this week to keep his attack "fast and furious,"
    Jackson figures the Rams will continue to rely on quarterback Marc Bulger's
    arm. "Mike Martz has been famous for having the 'Greatest Show on Turf,'"
    Jackson said. "And that hasn't been running the ball, it's been passing."

    Martz has called 184 plays this season - 124 passes and 60 runs. Faulk has
    carried 46 times for 192 yards; Jackson had had only 12 tries, for 75 yards.
    The Rams' rushing average of 94.7 yards a game ranks 25th in the NFL, but their
    passing yield of 282.3 yards is topped by only four teams.

    Jackson said he's not surprised - and not disappointed - that he hasn't had
    more work. "I'm comfortable right now where I am," he said. "Coming into this
    season, I knew the situation I was going to be put in: to be the backup guy and
    not to be the focal point of the offense ... not quite yet."

    Also listed as probable are strong safety Adam Archuleta (back and hamstring)
    and linebacker Robert Thomas (ankle). Both vowed to be in the lineup Sunday,

    "Absolutely," Archuleta said. "This is what we do for a living. You see your
    teammates out there battling, and everybody's working hard to try to get this
    thing right. No way does watching them enter your mind."
    Thomas said his ankle, which he sprained last week against New Orleans,
    "gradually got better as the week went on. ... We've got a good team here, and
    we've got to get things back on the road. I need to be out there."

    Tercero, Garrett could start Sunday

    Guard Chris Dishman, who suffered a hyperextended knee vs. the Saints, and
    cornerback Travis Fisher (broken arm) probably will be the only Rams regulars
    on the sideline at Monster Park. Scott Tercero is expected to slide into
    Dishman's spot, and it appears as if Kevin Garrett will team with Jerametrius
    Butler at cornerback. It would be the first NFL start for second-year pros
    Tercero and Garrett.

    Garrett didn't play a down on defense last Sunday,...
    -10-02-2004, 05:48 AM