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  • Archuleta will be in lineup at strong safety Monday

    Archuleta will be in lineup at strong safety Monday
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Oct. 16 2004

    A healthier back has put Adam Archuleta back in the starting lineup. After
    being reduced to duty in the Rams' nickel and dime packages the past two games,
    Archuleta will start at strong safety Monday night against Tampa Bay.

    "It's starting to get a little bit better," Archuleta said. "Hopefully, my goal
    is to get through the bye week and try to return 100 percent. But I'm feeling a
    lot better than I did."

    The Rams enter their bye week following an Oct. 24 game in Miami. Archuleta has
    a bulging disc in his lower back. So far, he has avoided injections to treat
    the injury and hopes to keep it that way.

    "We're trying not to go that route," Archuleta said. "If it gets worse, then
    that may be an option. But I would prefer not to. We're doing treatment, and
    just a lot of body work."

    Even with the reduced role the last two games, Archuleta still ranks second on
    the team with 46 tackles. He had eight tackles against both Seattle and San
    Francisco. Rich Coady, who started in Archuleta's place in those two games,
    goes back to his role as the Rams' fifth defensive back.

    When asked if the lighter workload on game day helped the past two Sundays,
    Archuleta said: "I don't think it makes really a big difference. I'm trying to
    take care of myself, and see the right people, and do the right rehab things,
    and that seems to help."

    Thomas sits

    The Rams may be regaining one defensive starter in Archuleta, but could be
    minus another - middle linebacker Robert Thomas - against the Bucs. Thomas
    watched in sweats during Saturday's practice, the last full workout of the week
    prior to Monday night.

    Thomas suffered a sprained ankle in Game 3 against New Orleans. Before the
    ***** and Seahawks games, Thomas had limited work early in the week but
    practiced at the end of the week, then played that Sunday. That wasn't the case
    this week.

    Thomas, who is fourth on the team with 36 tackles, was added to the team's
    official injury report Friday and listed as probable. Rookie Brandon Chillar
    would start at middle linebacker in Thomas's place.

    Bulger's shoulder shows improvement

    The Rams were concerned enough about quarterback Marc Bulger's throwing arm
    that he underwent an MRI earlier in the week. But the exam showed no structural
    damage. Bulger didn't miss any practice time.

    "It was bruised," Bulger said following Saturday afternoon's workout. "It was
    just a little weak. It's getting better each day. Monday it'll be 100 percent."

    But Bulger conceded he was a little concerned following the team's first of the
    week on Thursday about how the arm would feel the next day.

    "But it felt good, so I was excited about that," he said. "And it just got
    stronger every day."

    Bulger absorbed a few hard shots in the 33-27 overtime victory over Seattle,
    but didn't know exactly when he injured the shoulder.

    "That's weird," he said. "The ones that hurt real bad (at the time), seem to go
    away. I noticed my shoulder towards the end of the game. But then after the
    game, it didn't hurt at all."

    But Bulger said he started to feel it on the plane ride back to St. Louis, as
    well as the next morning.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Archuleta will be in lineup at strong safety Monday

    "Well Rich it's not that you were playing badly it's just that...nevermind what am I saying? You suck! Go sit on the bench." - Larry Marmie

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    • RamWraith
      Archuleta likes "career" change
      by RamWraith
      By Jim Thomas
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      08/24/2005

      Sure, Adam Archuleta was surprised that his "career" at free safety lasted all of one exhibition game. But you always can expect the unexpected at Rams Park, particularly in August.

      "We're trying to sort through some things and sort through some personnel," Archuleta said. "So it's better now than in the middle of the season."

      Coach Mike Martz announced Monday that Archuleta was moving back to strong safety, the position he has played in the NFL since being selected by the Rams in the first round of the 2001 draft.

      "It's going to be a good thing for us, and I think it's going to help our defense," Archuleta said. "I play strong safety. That's what I am. I love playing that position."

      He loves being closer to the line of scrimmage, more involved in run defense and more involved in blitzing.

      "I've always enjoyed being the guy to be able to mix it up," Archuleta said. "To be able to run around and just cause havoc, that's kind of my game. Being a free safety gave me an opportunity to be in on different types of plays. But now, I just like being able to fly around and just have fun. ... That's when I'm at the top of my game."

      One reason for the switch to free safety was concern about his back. He played in pain most of 2004 with an injury that eventually was diagnosed as a herniated disc. The free-safety position involves more coverage and less banging than strong safety, so in theory, the switch would be easier on his back.

      Archuleta said his back came out of Sunday's San Diego game in good shape.

      "Sure, you get sore," he said. "It's the first time I've had a contact since January. Especially full-speed contact. But I was fine working out hard the next day. It felt pretty good."

      Nonetheless, Archuleta felt some anxiety entering the San Diego game, not sure how his back would respond to full contact.

      "Am I going to be able to move around?" he wondered. "I started the game out pretty stiff, but as the game went along, I loosened up, and everything started working better, and I was flying around better. So it was definitely a step in the right direction."

      Unfortunately for Archuleta and the Rams, running back LaDainian Tomlinson came streaking into the secondary on San Diego's fifth offensive play, long before Archuleta got loosened up.

      Tomlinson easily eluded Archuleta with an open-field fake and raced to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown. Given the amount of space Tomlinson had to work with, could anyone have brought him down in the open field?

      "It depends on who you ask," Archuleta said.

      In comments after the game, Martz said he thought Archuleta should...
      -08-25-2005, 04:57 AM
    • RamWraith
      Rams' Archuleta played part of year with herniated disc
      by RamWraith
      By Jim Thomas
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      Friday, Feb. 18 2005

      Adam Archuleta got some jarring news when he visited a back specialist in San
      Francisco in late January. Namely, that he had played at least part of the 2004
      season with a herniated disc in his back.

      At least that was the diagnosis of Jeff Saal, a nationally recognized expert in
      non-surgical treatment for back injuries.
      Archuleta's reaction was part disappointment.

      "I'm dealing with kind of a career (threatening) deal," Archuleta said. "A
      back, if not taken care of, can cause serious problems. I'm kind of scared. But
      at the same time, I'm kind of amazed that I was actually able to play strong
      safety with this type of deal going on."
      For that reason, Archuleta's reaction was also part relief.

      "I (thought), 'Well at least I'm not crazy,'" Archuleta said. "I know it wasn't
      just a figment of my imagination all season. In a way, it made me feel better
      about what I was going through."
      Initial test results, done early in the 2004 season, showed that Archuleta had
      a bulging disc in the back. While nothing to laugh at, a bulging disc isn't as
      serious as a herniated disc.
      "At the time, I was told that it was not a big deal," Archuleta said. "That it
      was a typical football player's back. That I had the same thing that Marshall
      (Faulk) had. The same thing that Torry (Holt) had. The same thing that Rich
      (Coady) had. So I asked those guys how they were feeling. And they were like,
      fine."
      Because they still were playing, Archuleta figured he should do the same.

      "I was still able to go out there and play, albeit not at the level that I or
      anybody else expected me to play at," Archuleta said.
      As a result, Archuleta probably hurt his reputation as a player. He was limited
      to nickel and dime back duty in October games in San Francisco and Seattle, but
      otherwise kept playing.
      "It was a weird and bad situation to be in," Archuleta said. "You feel like you
      have an obligation to your team, and your teammates. And at what point, when
      you're not 100 percent, do you say, 'I can't play?' I've never been faced with
      that in my career."
      It is now clear, according to Saal's evaluation, that Archuleta's back
      deteriorated as the season progressed. Archuleta has been undergoing treatment
      from Saal, who is based at Stanford University Hospital, since shortly after
      the Rams' playoff loss to Atlanta.
      Archuleta received an epidural shot of medication on Feb. 2, and received
      another epidural on Wednesday.
      "Adam's made tremendous strides over the last couple weeks," said...
      -02-19-2005, 05:34 AM
    • RamWraith
      Archuleta gets some relief from back pain
      by RamWraith
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      Wednesday, Jan. 05 2005

      When Rams strong safety Adam Archuleta awoke one morning at training camp with
      "a little back twinge," he thought little of it.

      "I tend to overlook little injuries," Archuleta said. "They've always just kind
      of gone away and taken care of themselves. But this time, it just kept getting
      worse."

      An MRI after the regular-season opener against Arizona disclosed a bulging
      disc. Archuleta missed two starts in early October and only recently, after
      treatment by a back specialist, has he experienced a measure of relief.

      "I've had to pretty much grind it out throughout the year," said Archuleta, a
      6-foot, 223-pound fourth-year pro from Arizona State. "It's been manageable,
      and I've been able to play and get through it. It's starting to feel better."

      Archuleta, whose game features high-speed collisions, acknowledged that the
      injury has restricted him. "I think it's evident that I haven't been as
      physical," said Archuleta, 27. "Due to not being able to work out throughout
      the season and my body just kind of going a little bit downhill and not having
      that explosion and that pop, I've got to say that it's been a factor."

      Coach Mike Martz suspected early that Archuleta had a problem. "When you see
      Adam kind of shy away a little bit, there's something wrong," Martz said.
      "Physically, he was all locked up back there."

      Still, Archuleta ranks second on the team in tackles, with 123 (linebacker Pisa
      Tinoisamoa has 145) heading into Saturday's first-round playoff game at
      Seattle. That's Archuleta's second-highest total, only 26 off his career high.

      He said he felt he could've had a much better season, though, had he sought a
      medical remedy sooner. "It's kind of my fault for not really taking care of it
      when it first started acting up. I really didn't say much about it, and I kind
      of let it get out of control," Archuleta said. "It was like, 'Oh, I've got a
      little back twinge. It'll be all right. It's me, I'm indestructible. ...'

      "It's frustrating, just because I have an obligation to my teammates. When I
      don't bring that intimidating, physical presence to the defense, I feel like I
      let everybody down. It's hard to look at the guys in the eye."

      With a firm jaw, he promised that he'd be hale and hearty come the start of the
      2005 season. Surgery won't be necessary, but he said he vowed to get plenty of
      rest and rehabilitation during the offseason.

      "Trust me, this won't happen again," Archuleta said. "I've learned a...
      -01-06-2005, 05:28 AM
    • RamWraith
      Archuleta Hoping to Get Back to Form
      by RamWraith
      Tuesday, May 17, 2005

      By Nick Wagoner
      Staff Writer

      Adam Archuleta’s back was in such bad shape last season that he couldn’t do simple, everyday tasks. Simple activities such as touching his toes were every bit as difficult as making an open field tackle on a running back.

      Those struggles led to one of the most difficult years of Archuleta’s young career. In spite of the herniated disc in his back, Archuleta still played in all 16 games, finishing with 123 tackles, a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Still, it was clear that he wasn’t at his best for most of last year.

      “It was pretty much a nightmare during the season,” Archuleta said. “I really probably had no business being out there, but that's in the past. When you play a whole season and you can't bend over and touch your knees, it's a big deal. Definitely, I'm much, much better off. I couldn't even tie my shoes during the season. If I could get through that, I can get through anything.”

      The effort to get through the injury has been a difficult process. Archuleta had earned a reputation as a feared hitter with big-play ability during his first three seasons. Whether that reputation was deserved or not, Archuleta was unable to live up to it.

      Archuleta returned to St. Louis this week for organized team activities, which moved full speed Tuesday. The offseason has been a difficult one, but not nearly as difficult as last season.

      With a strict regiment of working out and seeing a therapist in Los Angeles almost every weekend, Archuleta is already feeling better.

      ``Let's put it this way: Compared to where I was during the season, I'm about 6,000 percent better,'' Archuleta said. “All I know is I feel good. I am getting better a lot faster than I normally would have.”

      Helping Archuleta get better is a team of about four or five people that specialize in something different. Every morning, Archuleta goes and does a workout. After that, the day’s activities depend on which day it is.

      Some days, Archuleta sees a soft tissue therapist, other days it is a Pilates instructor and still others find Archuleta spending time with a physical therapist. On the weekends, Archuleta has been shuttling from his home in Arizona to Los Angeles to see the back therapist.

      Archuleta estimates that he is slightly ahead of schedule and credits the therapists in California for helping to speed up the process. Even the one-hour flights from Arizona to Los Angeles would seem to be a hindrance to a bad back, but Archuleta said the positives of the therapy outweigh the negatives.

      “It’s only an hour flight, it’s like sitting in traffic, so it’s not really a big deal,” Archuleta said.

      Whether Archuleta was not at his best last season because of the injury or not, he probably should be commended for attempting to...
      -05-18-2005, 05:13 AM
    • RamWraith
      Back ailment has hindered Archuleta
      by RamWraith
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch
      Sunday, Nov. 28 2004

      Ask Rams strong safety Adam Archuleta how his troublesome back is feeling these
      days, and you'll get a sly grin and this measured response: "It's all right.
      It's been worse."

      True, it has been worse.

      A bulging disc in his lower back caused him to miss two starts last month, when
      he was reduced to duty in the nickel and dime packages against San Francisco
      and Seattle. Before that, Archuleta had started 44 of 45 games in his four NFL
      seasons.

      Being limited in any way rankles Archuleta, whose game is rooted in high-speed
      sprints and high-impact hits.

      "He's an emotional leader, just by how he plays and the aggressiveness he
      brings to the defense," Rams coach Mike Martz said.

      For much of this season, though, Archuleta's explosiveness has been neutralized
      somewhat by his back problems.

      "He's managed it pretty well ... (but) he's taken a step back occasionally,"
      Martz said. "I always know when it's bothering him, because you can just tell
      by how he moves around."

      Archuleta, who turned 27 on Saturday, has remained productive. His 85 tackles
      rank second on the team to linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa's 95.

      Archuleta's 8 1/2 tackles-per-game pace would put him at 136 by season's end
      and would be the second-highest total (he had 149 in 2002) for the former
      Arizona State walk-on. Free safety Aeneas Williams calls Archuleta "a tackling
      machine."

      But Archuleta has been less of a disruptive force than in the past, recording
      just one sack and four tackles-for-loss. He said his back "tightens up on me
      and doesn't allow me to move as well as I'd like to move."

      Archuleta doesn't want any pity parties held in his honor, though.

      "I'm not a guy who likes to sit here and make excuses," he said. "Everybody
      knows it's a lot more ideal situation to play in the NFL when you're healthy.
      But the reality of it is, are you ever really going to be healthy? It's just
      something that's part of the job. ...

      "Once you've hurt a back during the season, it's not going to go away. You've
      just got to get it to the point where you can still play and be effective and
      be accountable to your teammates."

      Don't mistake Archuleta's philosophical stance, however: He's plenty
      frustrated.

      "It's not something I'm used to," he said. "For whatever reasons, I haven't
      felt like myself. Whether that's the back or whether it's ... who knows?"

      Fellow safety Rich Coady, who started in Archuleta's place vs....
      -11-28-2004, 04:39 AM
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