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  • St. Louis Rams Go Into Combine In Better Shape

    St. Louis Rams go into combine in better shape

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    02/24/2010


    Two months to go until the NFL draft, so a lot can happen for the Rams between now and April 22-24. And despite the understandable obsession with the No. 1 overall pick, the Rams do have eight other selections.

    But as the NFL converges today in Indianapolis for the six-day gridiron job fair known as the NFL scouting combine, four names stand out for St. Louis: defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and quarterbacks Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame.

    At this point repeating, at this point it looks like the Rams' No. 1 overall pick will come from one of those four names.

    Suh and McCoy are widely considered the top two players in the draft. Most mocks have Suh rated ahead of McCoy, but a few have it the other way around. What can the two do to separate themselves at the combine?

    "I don't know," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said. "They've done everything. With their play. Their character is off-the-charts positive. They love playing football. There's nothing more they can do. Those two kids are awesome."

    Suh will work out at the combine. There has been no indication that McCoy will not. Devaney isn't a workout guy, per se, but even he is looking forward to the prospect of watching both those guys run around the floor of Lucas Oil Stadium.

    "They're both great players," Devaney said. "It's amazing how the same position a little bit different styles but man, I don't think you can go wrong with either one of those guys."

    Unless, of course, you really, really need a quarterback. In the case of Bradford and Clausen, neither will throw at the combine because of injuries. Clausen is recovering from toe surgery, Bradford from shoulder surgery. Dozens of doctors and athletic trainers will take a look at them in Indy.

    "The medical (reports) will be important for both those quarterbacks," Devaney said. "And we want to see Colt McCoy's (medical info) to a lesser degree."

    McCoy, the quarterback from Texas, suffered an injury to his throwing arm early in the BCS championship game against Alabama.

    "It sounds like he's going to work (at the combine)," Devaney said. "It doesn't seem like it was as serious as the other two guys. But we're anxious to see him throw."

    Bradford isn't scheduled to throw for pro scouts until March 25 in Norman, Okla. Clausen isn't expected to do so until the first week of April in South Bend, Ind.

    For those quarterbacks in particular, the combine interview sessions might be important as well, helping a coach gauge their intelligence, passion for the game, and personality.

    "It's really important," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I'm a visual guy. So it's always helpful to me if I've sat and visited with somebody for 10-15 minutes. It helps me in the whole evaluation process. Now, can people fool you in 15 minutes? Yeah, they certainly can. But it's a beginning."

    Devaney and the Rams' scouting department work on the draft literally year-round. Spagnuolo and his coaching staff don't, so the combine marks a chance for them to catch up. During the workout portions of the combine, Spagnuolo plans to be by Devaney's side digesting as much information as possible.

    "And then as the next few weeks unfold here, it'll start to make a little bit more sense to me," Spagnuolo said. "It's just information gathering."

    With just a couple of exceptions, Spagnuolo's coaching staff returns intact this season, meaning the Rams at least have the beginnings of continuity. Devaney and his scouts have at least some idea of what the coaches are looking for the kind of players they like, the kind of players that fit their scheme, etc.

    Last year in February, Devaney was training the coaches as well as some new scouts on the grading scale and symbols and terminology he uses in evaluating personnel.

    "All that stuff is time consuming," Devaney said. "It takes away from the most important thing looking at tape and evaluating players. So we're light years ahead of where we were at this time last year."

    Each draft has its own identity, and the Class of 2010 is starting to develop its personality.

    "Already at certain positions you know it's going to be pretty deep," Devaney said. "Defensive tackle is deep that's encouraging."

    (Particularly if the Rams trade out of the No. 1 spot and don't take a DT with their first pick.)

    "I think wide receiver is going to be pretty deep," Devaney said. "There may not be those stud impact guys, but it's a real good group. The offensive line tackles again. The past few years, there's been a pretty good run of tackles."

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  • eldfan
    St. Louis Rams go into combine in better shape
    by eldfan
    St. Louis Rams go into combine in better shape

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    02/24/2010

    Two months to go until the NFL draft, so a lot can happen for the Rams between now and April 22-24. And despite the understandable obsession with the No. 1 overall pick, the Rams do have eight other selections.

    But as the NFL converges today in Indianapolis for the six-day gridiron job fair known as the NFL scouting combine, four names stand out for St. Louis: defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and quarterbacks Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame.

    At this point repeating, at this point it looks like the Rams' No. 1 overall pick will come from one of those four names.

    Suh and McCoy are widely considered the top two players in the draft. Most mocks have Suh rated ahead of McCoy, but a few have it the other way around. What can the two do to separate themselves at the combine?

    "I don't know," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said. "They've done everything. With their play. Their character is off-the-charts positive. They love playing football. There's nothing more they can do. Those two kids are awesome."

    Suh will work out at the combine. There has been no indication that McCoy will not. Devaney isn't a workout guy, per se, but even he is looking forward to the prospect of watching both those guys run around the floor of Lucas Oil Stadium.

    "They're both great players," Devaney said. "It's amazing how the same position a little bit different styles but man, I don't think you can go wrong with either one of those guys."

    Unless, of course, you really, really need a quarterback. In the case of Bradford and Clausen, neither will throw at the combine because of injuries. Clausen is recovering from toe surgery, Bradford from shoulder surgery. Dozens of doctors and athletic trainers will take a look at them in Indy.

    "The medical (reports) will be important for both those quarterbacks," Devaney said. "And we want to see Colt McCoy's (medical info) to a lesser degree."

    McCoy, the quarterback from Texas, suffered an injury to his throwing arm early in the BCS championship game against Alabama.

    "It sounds like he's going to work (at the combine)," Devaney said. "It doesn't seem like it was as serious as the other two guys. But we're anxious to see him throw."

    Bradford isn't scheduled to throw for pro scouts until March 25 in Norman, Okla. Clausen isn't expected to do so until the first week of April in South Bend, Ind.

    For those quarterbacks in particular, the combine interview sessions might be important as well, helping a coach gauge their intelligence, passion for the game, and personality.
    ...
    -02-24-2010, 12:53 PM
  • MauiRam
    Devaney: Rams still weighing options ..
    by MauiRam
    Associated Press

    Updated: April 6, 2010, 10:13 PM ET

    ST. LOUIS -- A day after the St. Louis Rams released Marc Bulger, general manager Billy Devaney said it's far from certain that the team will take a quarterback with the first pick of the draft.

    Smoke screens are typical this time of the year, but Devaney told the AP in a telephone interview Tuesday that the game plan hasn't changed even though the move leaves them with three inexperienced quarterbacks on the roster. Devaney said several players remain under consideration for the No. 1 pick, and refused to tip his hand whether Oklahoma's Sam Bradford was at the top of the list.

    A couple of weeks ago we were at Suh's workout and we left and said 'Oh my gosh, this guy's really something!' A week before that we watched Gerald McCoy and it was like 'Oh my gosh, this guy's really something!' It's like a beauty contest, you can't go wrong. One is more beautiful than the other. -- Rams GM Billy Devaney

    The Rams will attend pro workout days for two more quarterbacks, Texas' Colt McCoy and Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, on Thursday and Friday, and remain impressed with Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

    St. Louis has scheduled a second private workout with Bradford about a week before the draft, set for April 22-24.

    "We haven't come close to deciding," the GM said.

    So far, Devaney said there have been "zero" discussions with other teams interested in trading up for the pick, and didn't anticipate any such conversations until perhaps just before the draft.

    The Rams were among teams who gushed after Bradford's workout a week ago. He's the presumed front-runner for the top pick after convincing observers that season-ending shoulder surgery in October was a success, although Suh was considered to be No. 1 shortly after the season.

    "A couple of weeks ago we were at Suh's workout and we left and said 'Oh my gosh, this guy's really something!'" Devaney said. "A week before that we watched Gerald McCoy and it was like 'Oh my gosh, this guy's really something!'

    "It's like a beauty contest, you can't go wrong. One is more beautiful than the other."

    Releasing Bulger, their starter since 2003, leaves the Rams with veteran backup A.J. Feeley and two players coming off their rookie seasons. Feeley, who'll be 33 in May, has 15 career starts in 10 seasons. Keith Null, who started the last four games after Bulger was sidelined with a fractured left shin bone and backup Kyle Boller was ineffective, had nine interceptions with three touchdown passes. Mike Reilly was a late-season pickup who has yet to make his NFL debut.

    Devaney would not confirm a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Bulger, who was released on his 33rd birthday,...
    -04-07-2010, 10:02 AM
  • Bald_81
    Rams aren't tipping hand on Bradford-or-DTs quandary
    by Bald_81
    The bolded part is very interesting to me. You read the first part and you think, okay, we're definitely leaning toward taking a DT. Then you read the second part and you have that mentality totally thrown out. Billy is extremely open and you can tell he speaks his mind. I like that he is upfront about everything and lays everything out in the open. This can be attributed to the fact that we are picking first so he has his pick of whoever he likes, but I like it as a fan that he doesn't leave us in the dark. This should be a very interesting 50+ days until April 22nd....
    -02-26-2010, 09:18 PM
  • Bing69
    Devaney on st. paddys day
    by Bing69
    Was just watching a video on nfl.com with Devaney giving his views on the draft, Bradford, Suh n MCoy etc. He was asked if the rams would be looking to trade out of the top spot, and he said of course they would. It would give them more picks and a chance to fill out the roster. He was then asked what he had been doing on st. paddys day, and he said he had been watching notre dame tape all day!

    Now, maybe im readin too much into it, but would it seem that Devaney would REALLY like to move out of the 1st pick? Surely if he was comfortable with picking Suh/McCoy/Bradford at 1 then there would be no need spending so much time to check out Clausen (i assume it would be Clausen in the Notre Dame tape). Maybe Devaney wants Clausen....
    -03-18-2010, 04:36 PM
  • HUbison
    Devaney gears up for Combine
    by HUbison
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

    02/19/2009

    First came the new coach, Steve Spagnuolo. Then came the new coach's staff. All the preparation work is complete for free agency, which begins a week from Friday, save for the day-to-day tweaking as players get cut, re-signed or are given the franchise player designation.

    Yes, general manager Billy Devaney and the new Rams coaching staff are almost caught up. Except, that is, for the little matter of the NFL draft. Draft preparation and evaluation hit high gear with the NFL scouting combine, now under way in Indianapolis and lasting through Tuesday.

    "We've got to get everybody me included up to speed," said Devaney, who left Wednesday afternoon for Indy. "We're close, but we're not where we should be right now. So we've really got to cram, watching as much (tape) on top of the workouts while we're at the combine."

    Along those lines, the Rams have set up two tape-watching work stations in Indianapolis, one at the hotel where the Rams will hold their formal player interviews each evening. The other is at Lucas Oil Stadium, which has replaced the demolished RCA Dome as the site for player workouts.

    "We're going to be in the dome early in the morning before the workouts start, looking at videotape," Devaney said. "And after the interviews, we'll look at more. Every spare minute, we're going to be either watching a prospect or looking at videotape. It's going to be more of a grind for us. Every spare minute is accounted for us."

    But it's a good kind of grind for Spagnuolo and Devaney.

    "We were talking about that at the end of the day (Tuesday)," Devaney said. "I said I've never looked more forward to going to a combine than this year to get out of the office and just home in on pure football stuff, and not all the other stuff that's going on."

    It's especially true for Devaney, whose life's work has been evaluating football personnel.

    "This is the fun part of the year," Devaney said. "Free agency. Players on your own team that you have to make decisions on. The combine. Draft. Workouts. Shoot, you go a hundred miles an hour in all different directions. This is when it's really fun."

    But for much of the time in January and early February, Devaney was busy going through the job search that led to Spagnuolo's hiring. And once Spagnuolo was hired, Devaney helped assemble a 20-member coaching staff.

    At the Senior Bowl last month, the only time Devaney left the team hotel was Thursday for the practice, which wasn't in full pads and therefore not very revealing in terms of player evaluation.

    "I got nothing out of it," Devaney said.

    So for now, Devaney is relying more on his scouts, as well as vice president of...
    -02-19-2009, 09:17 AM
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