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  • Fisher is expected to be in the lineup Sunday in Miami

    Fisher is expected to be in the lineup Sunday in Miami
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Oct. 22 2004

    Not only will Rams cornerback Travis Fisher return to game action Sunday in
    Miami, he's expected to be in the starting lineup.

    Fisher, a third-year pro, started 26 games in his first two seasons with the
    Rams. He's been sidelined since Aug. 23, when he suffered a broken right
    forearm in a preseason game at Kansas City. Fisher had surgery two days later
    and was expected to be out three to four months.

    But almost exactly two months later, he's "ready to go," coach Mike Martz said.
    Fisher will team with Jerametrius Butler, with DeJuan Groce the No. 3
    cornerback. "It gives us three outstanding corners," Martz said.

    While the arm mended, Fisher hastened his return by staying in shape through
    individual conditioning drills at first, and later in non-contact work at
    practice. He participated in team drills for the first time this week.

    "That made all the difference in the world conditioning-wise," Martz said. "If
    it was some sort of a leg injury, we'd be looking at probably another couple,
    three weeks. ... He's excited to play. He's prepared very well."

    With Fisher's return assured, the Rams released safety Kwamie Lassiter. Dusty
    McGrorty was moved up from the practice squad to take Lassiter's spot on the
    53-man roster. McGrorty is an undrafted rookie from Southern Oregon, an NAIA
    school. He's a running back by trade, but he's slotted for special-teams duty.

    Lassiter is a 10-year veteran who was signed as a free agent on Sept. 21. He
    played mostly in the dime package, recording 11 tackles. He also had three
    stops on special teams.

    Run defense improves

    What do Atlanta's Michael Vick, New Orleans' Aaron Stecker and Seattle's Shaun
    Alexander have in common? Each has rushed for more than 100 yards against the
    Rams, who came into Monday night's game 29th in the 32-team NFL in run defense.

    But if the stark turnaround vs. Tampa Bay was a true indicator, things could be
    changing. The Rams limited the Buccaneers to 55 yards on 22 carries in a 28-21

    "Going into the game, that concerned us the most, to hold up against the run,"
    Martz said. "We've gotten better and better every week. The different things
    we're doing defensively, our players are becoming much more familiar with now.
    I think they're comfortable with it now."

    New defensive coordinator Larry Marmie has tweaked some aspects of the scheme.
    Plus, the defense has been adjusting to the free-agent losses of half its front
    four of end Grant Wistrom and tackle Brian Young.

    "This is the first time this unit has played together as a defensive front,"
    tackle Ryan Pickett said. "We're jelling now."

    San Francisco, the last-place team in the NFC West, collected only 58 rushing
    yards against the Rams. But the Falcons, Saints, Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals
    muscled up for a combined 681 yards on 122 carries, a gaudy 5.6 yards an
    attempt. The Bucs didn't average even half that (2.5 yards) on its 22 rushes.

    "It's one thing that we're really focusing on, improving on the run," said
    rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who is seeing increased action with
    Tyoka Jackson (hamstring) sidelined. "We tried to come out and make a
    statement, that we weren't going to let them run the ball. And we did that."

    Harris is ailing

    Kickoff returner Arlen Harris was listed as questionable on Friday's injury
    report. Harris has what Martz termed a mild hamstring pull. ... Wideout Torry
    Holt and strong safety Adam Archuleta shared the Snickers Hungriest Players
    award, presented weekly for top performances in the Monday night game. Snickers
    donated $1,000 to the St. Louis Rams Foundation in their honor.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Rams cornerback trying to recapture form after injury
    by RamWraith

    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - The first hit was the worst part of Travis Fisher's comeback. After being out since the preseason with a broken right forearm, the St. Louis Rams' cornerback thought he had broken it again.

    "It was aching real bad," Fisher said Wednesday. "You can't help but notice it when it's hurting."

    It ended up being just a scare for the third-year player, who made it through the entire game against the Dolphins two weeks ago. That game ended up helping him shake off some rust and he'll be trying to shake off more on Sunday against the Patriots.

    "I think anytime you take a blow and break a bone, it's a setback," Fisher said. "It's going to be hard. But I'm getting there."

    Fisher, a second-round pick in 2002, was out more than two months after being injured Aug. 23 against the Chiefs in the next-to-last preseason game. So any struggles were understandable, especially considering that he only had a few practice days to prepare.

    "I felt like I could go out there and make some plays," he said. "I made a couple and I missed a couple. Those are gone and I'm working hard in practice on the things I messed up on."

    Coach Mike Martz said he probably rushed Fisher back to action, considering how long he'd been sidelined. He was anxious to get him on the field and solidify a secondary that's been banged-up much of the season.

    Fisher started 29 games the last two seasons, and last year he tied for the team lead with four interceptions. But his arm, which still is held together with a plate and screws, is not yet 100 percent.

    "I was remiss in not spelling him in that game in Miami," Martz said. "That's a coaching error on my part. He is absolutely, I think, a top-flight cornerback."

    Fisher ran and lifted weights for three days with the rest of the team last week, and on Monday he looked like a different player to Martz.

    "He had conditioned really well but still it's different than playing the game," Martz said. "He's there now, I believe."

    Fisher said the most difficult part of coming back is executing the fundamentals that become rote over time. He's a former high school sprint champion in Florida, so reacting to the pace of the game has been less of a factor.

    While Fisher was out, DeJuan Groce started four games at his right cornerback spot. Jerametrius Butler, the regular at left cornerback, started one game there when Aeneas Williams was moved to cornerback, and Kevin Garrett also started one game.

    Now, the shuffling is over.

    "I bring a lot to the game," Fisher said. "I go out and try to make something happen and I just love playing the game."

    -11-04-2004, 03:07 PM
  • RamDez
    Rams cornerback Fisher battles back from injuries
    by RamDez
    Rams cornerback Fisher battles back from injuries
    By Bill Coats

    Of the Post-Dispatch

    The look of concern on Rams cornerback Travis Fisher's face after the Dolphins game two weeks ago was palpable. His right forearm was screaming at him, and he feared the worst.

    "It was aching real bad, and I thought I had broken it again," Fisher said. An MRI the next day alleviated his concern. "That's over, all the arm stuff," Fisher declared this past week. "I'm just trying to go out and have a big game."

    Fisher is a third-year pro out of Central Florida who started 26 of the 29 games in which he appeared in his first two NFL seasons. He was hurt in an exhibition game Aug. 23 in Kansas City, and a plate was inserted during surgery a few days later. Coach Mike Martz guessed that Fisher was done for the season.

    "It's a three- to four-month deal," a forlorn Martz said at the time.

    But almost two months to the day after the injury, Fisher was back on the field in Miami. He didn't have his best day: He missed a tackle on the Dolphins' first touchdown - an 8-yard run by Sammy Morris - and slipped to the ground on their last - a 71-yard catch and run by wide receiver Chris Chambers - in the Rams' 31-14 defeat.

    Acknowledging that he was a bit rusty after the down time, Fisher said: "I felt like I could go out there and make some plays. I made a couple, but then I missed a couple. I've been working hard in practice on the things I messed up in that game."

    Martz absorbed some of the blame for not recognizing that Fisher wasn't ready for a full workload.

    "I was remiss in not spelling him with DeJuan Groce; that's a coaching error on my part," Martz said. "He had conditioned really well, but still, you're not back to where you need to be. He's there now."

    When fit, the 5-foot-10, 189-pound Fisher is "absolutely a top-flight corner," Martz said. "I really believe he is at that level and will continue to play at that level."

    Fisher, 25, intercepted four passes last year, tying for the team high with fellow corner Jerametrius Butler, linebacker Tommy Polley and safeties Adam Archuleta and Aeneas Williams. The Rams' 46 takeaways topped the league.

    This year, though, they've come up with just six. Plus, the Rams rank 28th in the 32-team NFL in total defense and are 23rd vs. the pass. Those numbers chronicle significant downturns from 2003, when they finished 16th in total defense and 12th in pass defense.

    Significant defensive improvement Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (6-1) certainly would be a boon for the Rams (4-3). A sudden and dramatic turnaround probably isn't a realistic goal. But with the secondary healthy for the first time this season, perhaps
    -11-07-2004, 10:55 AM
  • RamWraith
    Vicious Hit Can't Keep Fisher Down
    by RamWraith
    Wednesday, January 5, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Entering the season, defensive end Bryce Fisher was just another guy attempting to make a name for himself.
    Easily lost in the shadow of star end Leonard Little, Fisher didn’t have to be a Pro Bowler, just a solid complement to Little, who was sure to start drawing double and triple teams. Now, Fisher has become one of the NFC’s top pass rushers in the past month.

    For most of the season, Fisher has been up and down, but in the past four games, he has been a force. He was rewarded for his stout work when he was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month on Wednesday.

    Fisher posted 31 tackles, five sacks and a pair of forced fumbles in the month to earn the honor. His performances in the past two weeks have probably been his best.

    He earned the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his two-sack outing against Philadelphia on Dec. 27 and had 10 tackles and another pair of sacks against the Jets last week. Those performances helped Fisher become the team’s sack leader for the regular season with 8.5.

    “I think I have played pretty well over the last couple of weeks,” Fisher said. “I had a couple of games early on in the year, but probably didn’t get noticed because we weren’t able to come out with a win. When we win, it’s easier to highlight guys who are playing well.”

    Entering the season, Fisher was asked to replace fan favorite Grant Wistrom, who moved on to Seattle in the offseason. That was a tall order and one that Fisher might not have been ready to meet.

    He played well early in the season, but he suffered a serious setback on Oct. 24 at Miami. Dolphins’ safety Tony Bua laid a devastating hit on Fisher on a punt that caused Fisher to lay grounded for awhile.

    Coach Mike Martz called the hit one of the most vicious he has seen.

    “I do know this. In my opinion, that hit that Fisher took down in Miami set him back quite some time,” Martz said. “That was a crushing blow. That’s the biggest hit that I’ve ever seen in football. It took him some time to get over that thing.”

    The Rams went into the bye week after that, but Fisher had trouble recovering both mentally and physically.

    “I don’t want to make excuses, but it shook me a little bit,” Fisher said. “It was definitely hard as far as I couldn’t breathe for a couple of weeks right and I was coughing up blood for another 10 days or so. I don’t think that was necessarily the reason for that four weeks or so when I didn’t play very well. It was more just not making plays when I had the opportunity.”

    Now, Fisher is making the most of every opportunity he gets. His performance against the Eagles was even more impressive considering the fact that he was in on just 17 snaps.

    His development has come at the right time for...
    -01-06-2005, 05:26 AM
  • RamWraith
    Fisher will be back in the lineup Sunday for Rams
    by RamWraith

    [email protected]

    ST. LOUIS - Travis Fisher, who has been sidelined since the preseason because of a broken forearm, will be starting at cornerback for the St. Louis Rams on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

    Martz said Fisher's forearm has healed sufficiently to allow him to regain the starting spot that he held for 15 games last season.

    Martz said Fisher along with Jerametrius Butler and DeJuan Groce gives the Rams unusual depth at cornerback.

    "I think it gives us three outstanding corners," Martz said. "Travis has played so well for so long, and he's such a physical player, that (he helps) us against the run."

    Martz said Fisher was able to keep his legs in shape as his forearm healed.

    "That made all the difference in the world as far as conditioning," Martz said. "If it was some sort of a leg injury, we'd be looking at a couple-three more weeks."

    Fisher will be playing his home state of Florida on Sunday. He was born and raised in Tallahassee, Fla., and he played college football for Central Florida.

    McGrorty promoted

    Running back Dusty McGrorty got a big surprise this week when Martz sought him out during practice.

    "Coach Martz came up to me yesterday in practice and said, 'Make sure you pay attention to our offense because we're going to bring you up this week and you may get you some reps in practice,'" McGrorty said. "That got me fired up. I got into my playbook a little more last year."

    McGrorty has been signed from the practice squad to the Rams' active roster because running back Arlen Harris has a hamstring problem that kept him out of practice on Thursday and Friday.

    Martz thinks McGrorty, the NAIA all-time rushing touchdown leader with 75 during his career at Southern Oregon, has a lot of promise.

    "I really like him," Martz said. "I think he is a terrific ballcarrier, I really do. He can play both positions, fullback and halfback. He is a bulldog. I would imagine he is going to be a heck of a (special) teams player."

    McGrorty said he wouldn't shy away from busting up the wedge on kickoff or punt coverage.

    "I'd love to go down there, anything I can contribute to help the team win," McGrorty said.

    McGrorty said going from a small college to the NFL, especially with the Rams' complex offensive system, has Coming from a small college, McGrorty said the NFL experience has been difficult.

    "It's a little overwhelming at first, but it's starting to sink in," McGrorty said. "It's a life that I never thought I'd be living right now."

    The Rams cut safety Kwamie Lassiter to make room...
    -10-23-2004, 01:25 PM
  • RamWraith
    Fisher's injury puts secondary in tough spot
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    After bumpy rookie seasons, cornerbacks DeJuan Groce and Kevin Garrett felt much more at home in their second NFL training camp.

    "You can see that confidence building in them," secondary coach Perry Fewell said last week, before the team broke from Macomb, Ill. "I think they're much more comfortable and not as anxious as they were a year ago."

    That confidence and "comfort" will be put to the test after Travis Fisher suffered a fractured forearm in Monday's preseason game in Kansas City. Fisher is scheduled to have surgery today.

    Immediately after the game, coach Mike Martz indicated that Fisher could be lost for the season. He softened that stance somewhat on Tuesday, but it's clear Fisher is out for an extended period.

    "No one really completely knows when we'll get him back," Martz said. "You can be very optimistic and talk about eight to 10 weeks, and then very pessimistic and say three to four months. ...We're not going to put him on IR (injured reserve) at this point."

    But the bottom line remains the same. Fisher, an up-and-coming cornerback, will be hard to replace - and Groce or Garrett will be the replacement. "They've both had very good camps," Martz said. "In fact, Kevin had a better camp than I would have thought. He had the furthest to go, just in his skills and his background. He didn't have the discipline.

    "DeJuan was a little bit more refined. And I thought Kevin caught up pretty good in camp. In fact, I was hard-pressed to determine which one had the edge."

    Groce normally is Fisher's backup, but Garrett has stepped into that role since Groce suffered a knee injury last week in Macomb. The injury occurred while Groce was planting in coverage against Torry Holt.

    Martz said Groce is close to coming back, but may not be ready to go until the preseason finale Sept. 2 in Oakland.

    "I think the swelling is out of the knee pretty good at this point," Martz said. "It's not as sore. ... It's a day-to-day thing. But if he's not ready, he's not ready."

    Even after Fisher's injury, the Rams don't want to rush Groce back against Washington on Friday, or against Oakland. It's the regular-season opener Sept. 12 against Arizona that counts.

    "Everything is about getting ready for that opener, and that's what we have to keep in mind," Martz said.

    Groce was the team's third cornerback last season, and occasionally got thrown into some tough situations - like that start against Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress and the Pittsburgh Steelers in October when Fisher was sidelined with a strained groin.

    "I got thrown into the fire sometimes last year," Groce said. "Having...
    -08-25-2004, 05:40 AM