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WR Brooks Foster strives to crack Rams roster ..

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  • WR Brooks Foster strives to crack Rams roster ..


    He'd absorbed the bumps and bruises that are unavoidable. But wide receiver Brooks Foster never had experienced a serious injury while playing football.

    That streak of good fortune ended last Aug. 14, when he turned his ankle in the Rams' preseason opener against the New York Jets. The injury originally was thought to be a sprain, but further testing disclosed more serious damage.

    Foster underwent surgery and landed on injured reserve. In a blink, his rookie season was over.

    "That was my first time in maybe 12, 13 years not playing a season of football," Foster said. "It was tough. I wanted to be out there, especially my rookie season. I felt I had a lot to prove and didn't get the chance."

    After so many months on the sideline, Foster finally is getting a second chance. He's recovered and is participating fully in organized team activities, which got under way this week at Rams Park.

    "It feels good to be running around," Foster said. "I'm just glad to be out here."

    Foster stayed in town after his surgery. He attended meetings, studied the playbook and sought tips from the veterans on how to conduct himself like a pro.

    "I definitely think the biggest thing is taking care of your body and approaching this like a job," he said. "Because that's what it is."

    The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder from Boiling Springs, S.C., was a record-setter at the University of North Carolina — in the weight room, not on the field. He set school marks for wide receivers in the bench press (405 pounds) and power clean (353).

    "I always go hard in the weight room. I take a lot of pride in that," said Foster, 24. "I try to make sure it carries over to the field."

    He assured that his speed has been unaffected by the injury. "Hopefully I'm getting faster," he said. "I don't think I'm in tip-top shape, but I'm definitely going to be there before (training) camp starts."

    Foster never earned a full-time first-team job with the Tar Heels. In 41 games, which included 13 starts, Foster had 97 receptions for 1,237 yards and six touchdowns. He also was busy on special teams.

    The Rams saw enough, however, to make him their fifth-round draft pick (No. 160 overall) in 2009. And he'd made a positive impression during training camp and the preseason before he was hurt.

    He rehabbed aggressively, then continued a demanding regimen after the season, pounding away in the weight room. Coach Steve Spagnuolo noticed.

    "He's had a tremendous offseason," Spagnuolo said. "He just looks like a different person. These guys come here young-looking out of college, but he looks like a man to me."

    The injury "definitely motivated me to work even harder," Foster said. "I've just got to keep going from there."

    The injury was difficult enough; the decision to place him on IR worsened the situation, Foster acknowledged — though he emphasized that he understood the move. "It was such a long recovery, and they didn't know how my body would react once I came back," he said.

    "But I was ready by Week 12. I could've got in at least four or five games," he added. "I might not have been in the best shape, but I would've worked through it. I definitely could've done a little something on the field."

    The task on the field now is earning a job. The Rams are carrying 13 wideouts; only five or six will wind up on the 53-man roster.

    "It's definitely a competition," Foster said. "But I just worry about me; that's the only thing you can do. I've seen a lot of guys come and go. You've just got to do what you do, go hard every day, and see where it lands you."

    Among those in the mix is Mardy Gilyard, a fourth-round draftee last month. Foster said he wasn't surprised that the Rams took a wideout. "I kind of figured they would," he said. "But it's cool."

    No matter who is on hand, Spagnuolo promised that Foster would get a long look. "He can jump right in there, like the rest of those guys," Spagnuolo said.

    That's all that Foster asks: another chance to prove himself.

    "I didn't have too much of a status anyway," he said, smiling. "I'm just going to work my hardest."

Related Topics


  • Nick
    Alabama LB Reuben Foster had positive drug test at combine
    by Nick
    Alabama LB Reuben Foster had positive drug test at combine
    By Ian Rapoport
    NFL Network Insider
    Published: April 20, 2017 at 04:15 p.m. Updated: April 20, 2017 at 05:21 p.m. 0 Likes | 0 Comments

    From the moment the pre-draft process started, it was nothing like Reuben Foster imagined.

    A much-talked about moment at the Scouting Combine involving a hospital worker, rumors about the progress of his surgically repaired shoulder that won't die, questions about his childhood friends -- it has all gotten to the highly touted Alabama linebacker.

    "Hectic, stressful, very stressful," Foster said over the phone to, after concluding roughly 20 team visits. "It's like the devil is coming after me."

    And now comes the latest.

    Last month, Foster was notified that his urine sample obtained in Indianapolis during the combine was reported as dilute. Based on the provisions of the NFL's policy and program for substances of abuse, "this will be treated like a positive test."

    In discussing his trying few months, Foster disclosed the test results to because, he says, "This is something that's going to get out. I don't make excuses. I'm a real dude. I try to be a good person. ... I just hope the coaches understand and that's all I can hope and pray for." Foster has already been on the phone talking with teams telling them himself.

    As for why the test came back dilute, Foster explained in detail. He said he was sick before the combine. He was throwing up, had diarrhea, couldn't keep anything down and was cramping. One adviser offered to have a doctor put him on IVs to hydrate, but he didn't want that. He saw a doctor, got some medication and started hydrating himself.

    Foster believes it was food poisoning.

    "I couldn't eat much, but I had to drink water and Gatorade," said Foster, who began the process as the consensus top linebacker based on his game tape and measurables. "Then a few coaches said something about me being too light. And I'm a coach-pleaser. I don't care what everybody thinks, but I care what coaches think. So I drank and ate as much as I could without throwing up. Then I went in there, drinking and drinking water, trying to flush out my system from whatever was making me sick and trying to keep my weight up and took the test."

    The result was the diluted test, Foster says.

    And more stress, along with questions about his draft stock. Foster knows this will likely negatively affect where he's selected.

    "If it's first round, second round, whoever takes me will get a good football player and an All-Pro," Foster said. "I hope I go on Thursday, but I can't control that."

    Foster, who weighed 229 pounds at 6-foot, knows he'll be in the NFL's drug program. Periodic and unannounced tests...
    -04-20-2017, 02:48 PM
  • MauiRam
    Coach Steve Spagnuolo on Day One ..
    by MauiRam
    Posted >Tue, May 18, 2010 03:15
    by Nick Wagoner

    - Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo discussed a variety of topics after Tuesday's practice. Here's the transcript from that conversation.

    (Opening remarks)
    “Let me hit you with injuries. Roger Allen didn’t practice. You know about him. Danny Fells, that’s from the end of the season. You guys know about Steven (Jackson) and Chris Massey. Jacob Bell was the one that was not out there. Last week, Monday or Tuesday during our running program, (he had) a little issue with his knee. He had an MRI, so they did a scope on it today. Now he’ll probably miss four to six weeks, which means he won’t be in the OTA’s but he’ll be fine for training camp. So the thought was get it taken care of so we’re okay for training camp. Everybody else was either limited or participated full. I thought they got after it pretty good. The Good Lord cooperated with the weather, and it was just great to be out here. Having said that, I’ll open it up.”

    (On Bell’s specific injury)
    “It’s a knee, I can’t remember whether it was left or right. The way it was explained to me was there were just loose bodies in there. He’s had…I think prior, before he came here he had an issue with it, and it was more of a cleanup than anything else. But it was bothering him and we figured we’d do it now.”

    (On Steven Jackson’s timetable)
    “We’re hoping to get some OTA’s at the end, but not going to push anything. We’re going to tread lightly. He’s done great. He’s been out there, he’s been in the pool, he’s been rehabbing. He’s done everything you can do except for be out here and do the football, but we’ll basically, I hate to sound redundant, but we’ll go day to day on that.”

    (On if Jackson will be ready for contact by training camp)
    “That’s what we anticipate, yeah.”

    (On if Jackson hoped rest alone would help his back recover)
    “It was one of those things you hope you go… I think we’d all want to do that, and it has worked that way before. It just didn’t work this time, so he had a procedure done.”

    (On Bradley Fletcher’s status)
    “I don’t think I mentioned Bradley. He’s a limited guy right now, so he was out there doing some individual but didn’t do any of the team stuff. So he doesn’t get in anything competitive. But he’s just starting to do change of direction and hopeful that… I can’t really say that. I don’t know where he’ll be for training camp. We’ll just wait and see.”

    (On how WR Brooks Foster is coming along)
    “Great. I’ll tell you what, he’s had a tremendous offseason. I told him the other day he just looks like a different person. He just looks like a different man. These guys come here young looking out of college, but he looks like a man to me. I can’t tell you how he did today, just I can’t see all of it, but I thought he had a great offseason so...
    -05-18-2010, 11:05 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Rams Rookie Roundup
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams Rookie Roundup
    Monday, January 18, 2010

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    After an offseason roster overhaul, the 2009 Rams had a decidedly youthful feel to it.

    As one of the three youngest rosters in the league, opportunities were abound for young players at every position to make a difference, especially members of the 2009 NFL Draft class.

    And almost to a man, every member of that seven-man class made an impact on the field at some point or another.

    Most general managers hope to find a couple of starters and some role players in each draft but at various times, five rookie Rams started games. Some made greater impacts than others but almost all showed some promise that they can and will make a bigger difference well into the coming years.

    OT Jason Smith – First Round, No. 2 Overall

    Entering the draft, the Rams had placed a high priority on bolstering the offensive line. They did it in a big way, adding the top rated tackle on the board in the form of Smith.

    After a training camp spent learning the ropes, Smith emerged as the team’s starting right tackle in the season opener. Smith provided the Rams a physical presence on the right side and was one of those opening the hole for running back Steven Jackson’s game winning touchdown against Detroit.

    Although he has been hampered by knee and head injuries, Smith has made progress in his time on the field and figures to be a bedrock for the offensive line for many years to come.

    IN HIS WORDS: “Obviously the more you do something, the better you get at it,” Smith said. “As a team, we want to play hard, play physical and play together. I am just one piece of the puzzle. I just know that to go out and get better as an individual will help the team. I’m a guy that is always about we and not me.”

    THEY SAID IT: “He’s doing a nice job,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I listen for little things like in the huddle he is calling the down and distance. For a rookie to be aware of that every play, that’s impressive to me. He is vocal. He is a confident guy so we kind of hang our hat on that right now.”

    MLB James Laurinaitis – Second Round, No. 35 Overall

    Perhaps no rookie in the league, let alone on the team made a greater impact in year one than Laurinaitis.
    Laurinaitis became the first rookie since Pisa Tinoisamoa to lead the team in tackles and Laurinaitis set a rookie franchise record for tackles in a season.

    Laurinaitis moved into the starting lineup early in training camp and hasn’t vacated the position while playing through his share of bumps and bruises. He doesn’t figure to leave that role anytime soon and has established himself as a cornerstone player for the franchise.

    IN HIS WORDS: “That’s one thing you will find out about me,” Laurinaitis said. “I am a perfectionist...
    -01-18-2010, 11:59 AM
  • eldfan
    St. Louis Rams Team Report
    by eldfan
    New Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo promised his team the first few days of training camp would be "a bear," and while the weather wasn't too hot and the two-a-days had just one practice each day in full pads, the intensity was high as well as the hitting.
    During the first two morning practices, the ones in full pads, there were about 30 plays with live tackling.

    After the first day, Spagnuolo said, "We need to find out quickly - you've got to remember again it's a whole new staff and a lot of unknowns - really the only way to find out is to put them in those kind of situations. As we go along here every day we will decide how many of those periods will be live. It was really two periods and about 30 plays of live."

    When questioned further by the media, Spagnuolo winked and said, "Do you think it was tough? I didn't think it was that tough. It was physical."

    Of course, Spagnuolo did admit to something else: "I'm doing this every time. I've got my hands behind my back (crossing fingers)."

    Said linebacker Will Witherspoon, "Usually you don't go live that first day of pads but it's good. You really want to get the feel of hitting again, striking guys again. That was kind of the key point of it and getting the feel of hitting through a guy. It was great. I think it was good for everybody to come out here and just get moving and get in the momentum of the game."

    Added cornerback Ron Bartell, "One thing I have learned over the years is that it's a lot easier to be hard on guys and then kind of back off than it is to be light and try to get hard on guys again. I think he knows what he's doing. He knows when to let up. Right now, it's day two so I think we'll be fine."

    The hitting even included running back Steven Jackson.

    "He's got to get hit, everybody else has got to get hit," linebacker Chris Draft said. "We have got to get ready too. Right now, that's what we have. We have our chance to get out here, run to the ball and be able to tackle the ball. It doesn't matter who has it."

    Players have been running to the ball, gang tackling, and picking up even incomplete passes to run with it to get in the mindset of creating turnovers and making plays. While the defense has been maligned in recent seasons, Spagnuolo believes there's more there than is realized.

    "I think we've got guys with that kind of attitude," he said. "I do believe that. We've got to keep healthy. (But) we've got to do the things out here to kind of get ready for the competition that we're going to face going forward."

    Concluded Bartell, "You better have some attitude. I don't think we've carried the attitude the past couple years that we should've had, and we paid for it on the field. So (the coaches) are coming in, they're instilling...
    -08-03-2009, 08:55 AM
  • MauiRam
    Brooks Foster ..
    by MauiRam
    Since it's the off-season, how about we take a gander at Brooks Foster?

    St. Louis Rams Examiner
    Tim Klutsarits
    April 30, 1:29 PM

    Most everyone knows the backgrounds of the top picks in the NFL Draft but where teams have long term success is getting production from later round picks. With the Rams having such a shallow talent pool they are in desperate need of having their later round picks produce immediately. This week we will look at all of the Rams later round draft picks. We have already looked at 3rd round pick Bradley Fletcher and 4th round pick Dorell Scott this week. Today we look at Rams 5th round pick Brooks Foster, wide receiver out of North Carolina.

    WHY THE RAMS SHOULD HAVE DRAFTED FOSTER: The 6'1 211 lbs wide receiver from North Carolina is a tremendous athlete. On top of having good size and speed he is apparently a workout warrior. The North Carolina Tar Heels Examiner Brian Ernst says that Foster "is a beast in the weight room and has set most of UNC's lifting records, even those typically held by linebackers and lineman." On top of his workout acumen he was also a very good basketball player. He was a walk-on basketball player for the Tar Heels when they won the National Championship in St. Louis in 2005. So he does have some good history in the Edward Jones Dome.

    WHY THE RAMS SHOULD NOT HAVE DRAFTED FOSTER: His production at North Carolina was nothing to write home about. Foster had 30 catches for 334 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2008. Part of the explanation for that was that UNC had two high end wide receivers on their roster in Hakeem Nicks (picked in the first round by the NY Giants) and Brandon Tate (who was selected in the third round by the Patriots). So there was a lot of talent at UNC but there is a lot of talent in the NFL too. Foster also has a history of knee problems. He had a knee injury at the end of the season and also had difficulties with his knee at the Senior Bowl. The other concern I have also comes from Brian Ernst who says "that he would make an unbelievably athletic catch and then drop a gimme." That is concerning to hear as well.

    WHAT WILL MAKE THIS PICK A SUCCESS: This pick will be a success if Foster can get into the Rams offensive flow at some point in the season. I believe that if Foster could become a factor in the red zone on "jump ball" passes, creating mis-matches with smaller defensive backs that he could be a real asset. My assessment is that if Foster can somehow become a player that catches about 25-35 balls and rack up about 300-400 yards in the 2009 season then this would be a real get for Billy Devaney and the Rams.

    WHAT WILL MAKE THIS PICK A DISASTER: The pick becomes a disaster if Foster cannot make it on a squad that currently has a three deep of Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton, and Derek Stanley. This is easily the easiest roster...
    -07-12-2009, 02:48 PM