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  • Avery Back in Action ..

    Avery Back in Action

    By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer

    After hauling in a pass late in Wednesday night’s practice, the cheers came up from the sideline as Donnie Avery hauled in yet another catch and turned up field to run.

    The cheers from the fans were common but the support from his teammates seemed to have a little something extra behind them.

    Avery made his return to the practice field on Wednesday, performed again on Thursday and on Saturday night against the Titans, is on schedule to play in his first preseason game in almost a full calendar year.

    In other words, it’s hard not to root for the soft spoken, humble Avery even if there is some good natured ribbing involved.

    “A couple of guys said ‘Oh, snap No. 17 is back from the dead,’” Avery said. “They kind of gave me crap coming out but it’s kind of nice to know they are rooting for me and on the same page as I am.”

    And why wouldn’t they be? The idea of a healthy Avery certainly brings an element to the offense that may not be there when he’s on the shelf.

    Known for his blazing speed, Avery has been on the sideline for almost a full year after suffering a devastating ACL injury in the third preseason game last year in New England.

    Avery spent the offseason training to get back up to speed, literally. He trained in Houston and did a lot of track work and says he clocked sub 4.3 40-yard dashes on a regular basis.

    Upon the start of camp, Avery was back on the field going full speed. Like with any knee surgery, though, the Rams and Avery had to dial back his work load, which has kept him out of the past week or so of practice and the first preseason game.

    “It was really more of a response, I think, to the surgery,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “Nothing uncommon. We just figured, why set him back? That’s why we kind of shut him down. And I think it was the right thing to do because I think he’ll start to surface now.”

    Avery has indeed surfaced and has stuck out for his play making skills just in the two practices since he’s been back. In Wednesday night’s practice, Avery made a series of catches deep, across the middle and outside the hashes.

    “I thought Donnie looked really good yesterday,” quarterback Sam Bradford said. “I thought he looked quick, I thought he looked fast, he made good decisions…Avery is another guy that will give us the opportunity to stretch the field with his speed.”
    Avery had no ill effects linger from Wednesday’s practice and made it through Thursday’s workout just fine. All signs point to him playing Saturday night against Tennessee.

    “It’s important to me because I haven’t been on the team, playing in a game in a year so I just need to get the ball in my hands and I think I’m explosive when it comes to making people miss and getting that YAC,” Avery said. “That’s what’s important to me is getting the ball in my hands and going with it.”

    In the midst of a heated competition at receiver, Avery figures prominently in the mix and Spagnuolo says he’s excited to see the speedster back on the field.

    “We all know he’s got speed,” Spagnuolo said. “I also think he’s got a lot more than that. He’s hungry because he’s been away from it for so long. You can only imagine. It’ll be good to get him out there. Let’s see where he goes, try to get him some balls and hopefully elevate his abilities because he’s back off an injury and get him some confidence.”

    VERMEIL VISITS: Instead of the usual breakdown from Spagnuolo following Thursday’s practice, the Rams got a special appearance from former coach and Super Bowl champion Dick Vermeil.

    In town for one of his annual wine events, Vermeil broke down the huddle and delivered a rousing speech in his usual upbeat style.

    “He hasn’t lost it one bit,” Spagnuolo said. “You can see he feels it, it’s important to him, I know he’s behind us 100 percent which I really appreciate it. I can see it in the guys’ eyes. You always look at the guys to see if they are listening when somebody is speaking to tell if they are listening or not but they were all glued to Coach.”

    UP CLOSE: Spagnuolo has long maintained that he doesn’t care where his offensive coordinator operates from on game days, be it up in the booth or down on the sideline.

    In the preseason opener against Indianapolis last week, new Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called the shots from the sidelines, an area he grew accustomed to as head coach in Denver the past two seasons.

    Spagnuolo said everything went fine with the in-game operation of getting plays to the huddle and he’ll trust McDaniels to do what he thinks makes the most sense.

    “We’ve done it both ways here, really,” Spagnuolo said. “And I kind of leave it where they are most comfortable with and I think that’s where he’s had his experience there. I have no problem. It actually doesn’t have too much effect on me because you can always hear him. And to be quite honest with you, even though you are on the sideline, half the time you are communicating through the headset, even though you are six yards away.”

    INJURY REPORT: In addition to Avery, the Rams also got more help at the receiver spot, even if it was a bit unexpected.

    At the beginning of the week, Spagnuolo indicated that Mike Sims-Walker would probably be unavailable for the game against the Titans. But he did individual work Wednesday night and worked into team drills on Thursday.

    Spagnuolo said Sims-Walker would be “probable” for the game.

    Guard Jacob Bell was held out of Thursday practice as he continues to deal with a knee issue. Still, Spagnuolo indicated the Rams were hopeful that Bell would be available for the game.

    Running back Steven Jackson (hip soreness) also did some work though he didn’t go full speed. He, too, is expected to play against the Titans.

  • #2
    Re: Avery Back in Action ..

    Great to see all four of the hurt starters looking like they can play this weekend, but I'd much rather them STAY on track and healthy than playing, so I hope that the staff will take the appropriate caution.
    I believe!:ram:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Avery Back in Action ..

      Is it possible that we can have three receivers on the field at once that go by the abbreviations D.A.?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Avery Back in Action ..

        Lets hope he can stay injury free, I do not see the Rams having a whole lot of patience regarding Donnie.?
        On the other hand, it sounds as if Avery is one of the Rams more explosive WR's, which isnt a tall order with the lack of speed at the position. But Avery has never had the opportunity to work with a QB as good as Bradford, so we will have to wait and see on that one.?
        I have a feeling the Rams will only have one of DX or Avery for most of this season. Its a 50/50.?
        Last edited by GroundDog39; -08-19-2011, 09:42 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Avery Back in Action ..

          I would personally have no problem if the Big Boy didnt play a single snap in preseason. I dont believe that Jackson needs to take even one incremental hit beyond what is needed to get him through the season. I have never bought the argument that a back needs to get his body conditioned to taking hits.

          ramming speed to all

          general counsel

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Avery Back in Action ..

            Agreed, no Jax till the opener would be great .... and that is beautiful news about Avery. I really want him to make it back, but like Dog 39 said, I don't see the Rams having a lot more patience.
            If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Avery Back in Action ..

              "Is it possible that we can have three receivers on the field at once that go by the abbreviations D.A.?"

              That would be awesome. If they are productive we could have opposing defenses come to the "D.A.'s Office "!
              Last edited by svh01; -08-19-2011, 05:25 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Avery Back in Action ..

                Man, can Avery please stay healthy....

                Comment

                Related Topics

                Collapse

                • r8rh8rmike
                  St. Louis Rams' Donnie Avery Works On Durability
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  St. Louis Rams' Donnie Avery works on durability
                  BY BILL COATS
                  ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                  06/12/2010

                  By trying to simultaneously give up meat and fried foods, Rams wide receiver Donnie Avery bit off more than he could chew. "I got burned out with it," he said. "So I cheat once a week and eat fried food."

                  Still, Avery mostly is sticking to chicken and fish, with heavy helpings of fruits and vegetables. He's hoping that an improved diet, plus 10 pounds of muscle added in the weight room, will increase his durability.

                  Nagging injuries — from a cracked hip to a stress fracture in his foot to a strained shoulder — hindered Avery during his first two seasons since the Rams made him the first wideout taken (second round, No. 33 overall) in the 2008 draft.

                  Avery missed only one game, but he rarely was in top shape on Sundays.

                  "It's frustrating, because you know you're not playing at a hundred percent," he said. "But at the same time you're still out there trying help the team as much as possible."

                  After the '09 season, coach Steve Spagnuolo suggested that Avery try to bulk up a bit.

                  "We talked about that before he left in January, that every time you catch the ball in the NFL, you've got to pop right back up and go in the huddle and make it look like nothing hurts," Spagnuolo said. "You've got to be durable, and one of the things about being durable is getting your body right. I think it's helping him.

                  "Now, we don't know; we haven't hit anything yet. But hopefully that'll work out."

                  For the organized team activities and the full-squad minicamp under way at Rams Park, the players aren't permitted to don pads, and contact is not allowed, per NFL rule.

                  The 5-foot-11 Avery added 14 pounds, up to 198, but wasn't comfortable. "It's kind of trial and error," he said. "I felt a little bit sluggish, so I had to lose some of that weight. I feel good with the 10 right now that I put on."

                  Avery's numbers slipped a bit last season from his rookie year. His receptions fell to 47 from 53 and his receiving yardage dipped to 589 from 674. "But my touchdowns went up last year" to five from three, he pointed out. "So that was a positive."

                  So far, his spring workouts have been a positive, too. "It's going great," Avery said. "Second year in the (offensive) system, and I feel a lot more comfortable in it."

                  Avery made a couple of acrobatic grabs at Friday's practice, which caught Spagnuolo's eye. "He looked really good today," Spagnuolo said. "I've been really happy with what Donnie's done. He'll tell you he's been inconsistent, because he's a pro and he wants to catch every ball. But I think he's doing a nice job."...
                  -06-12-2010, 10:46 AM
                • eldfan
                  Rams' Avery gets back up to speed
                  by eldfan
                  Rams' Avery gets back up to speed
                  BY JIM THOMAS


                  One of the criticisms of the Rams' draft was that they didn't select a speedster at wide receiver, someone who could stretch secondaries and keep defenses from ganging up on Steven Jackson.

                  But a familiar and occasionally maligned name from the recent past, Donnie Avery, still could fill that bill.

                  Avery says he's "a good 92-93 percent" recovered from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The injury, which occurred in the Rams' Aug. 26 preseason game in New England, cost him the entire 2010 season.

                  For most of this lockout-marred offseason, Avery has been rehabbing and training in his hometown of Houston, working with a strength coach and a track coach.

                  "Just trying to get back up to speed," he said. "Because you know with injuries like this, a lot of guys, they lose their quick-twitch muscles."

                  And Avery has had more quick-twitch than all but a select few human beings. His speed has been his greatest asset.

                  "Last week, I clocked a 4.34," Avery said after Wednesday's player-organized Rams practice at Lindenwood University.

                  That's nearly one-tenth of a second off Avery's personal best in the 40-yard dash — 4.27 seconds — but still a sizzling time. Since he's not 100 percent healthy, the NFL lockout actually has been a positive for Avery.

                  "It's been a great thing for me," Avery laughed. "I didn't want to miss OTAs, but the lockout is postponing them so it's given me more time to be healthy."

                  In normal times, the Rams would be in the third week of the spring practices, also known as organized team activities, and Avery might have been tempted to rush back into action. But with the lockout he has been able to ease back in, minimizing the possibility of setbacks.

                  He was part of the Houston workouts prior to the draft that involved Sam Bradford and many of the team's receivers, and is taking part in the Lindenwood sessions. But these workouts are shorter and more relaxed than minicamps, and Avery can go at his own pace.

                  Besides working to get his knee right, Avery has changed his diet.

                  "I slimmed down a little bit," Avery said. "I got up to 203 (pounds) but I didn't feel comfortable with it. So right now I'm like 190, 191. It's like 3.8 percent body fat. For dinner (Tuesday) night, I had 4.2 ounces of fish, 2.2 cups of brown rice, and a cup of green beans. So it's training right, eating a lot of proteins, and just working on my speed."

                  With a new offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels and a new scheme, the Rams drafted two wide receivers last month in Austin Pettis and Greg Salas. But Avery said he didn't have much of a reaction either way when the picks were made.
                  ...
                  -05-26-2011, 11:53 AM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Avery Embraces All Roles
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Avery Embraces All Roles
                  Thursday, September 17, 2009


                  By Nick Wagoner
                  Senior Writer

                  The ball seemed to hang in the air forever and a day and for every tick that went by before it landed, an entire stadium and two sidelines full of football players held their breath as though the simple act of breathing would somehow alter the ball’s final destination.

                  Rams receiver Donnie Avery ran a simple ‘9’ route, using his blazing speed to get deep in the Redskins secondary. Earlier in the game, he’d run the same route but failed to adjust to a pass that was slightly underthrown.

                  This time, Avery knew exactly what to do. As the pass floated down the right sideline, Avery stopped his sprint cold, turned back toward the ball and dived to his left to haul in a 43-yard pass to Washington’s 16.

                  It was a play that would ultimately spark the Rams to their first win in 2008 and the one that let the rest of the football world know that Avery was soon to be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.

                  It’s been almost a year since Avery made that play and a lot has changed since then. So much, in fact, that Avery has essentially put one of the first big plays of his young NFL career out of his mind.

                  “That was last year,” Avery said. “Now, we have got to make some 2009 memories.”

                  When Avery made that catch last season, he was viewed as a speedster with plenty of potential but he wasn’t considered one of the team’s top targets. When the Rams return to the scene of the crime at FedEx Field in Washington D.C. on Sunday, Avery will come widely regarded as one of, if not the, team’s top receiving option.

                  Since then, the Rams have said goodbye to the likes of Torry Holt, Drew Bennett and Dane Looker. Avery has ascended the depth chart under new coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur based on a combination of speed, improved route running ability and a work ethic that has impressed the coaching staff.

                  “I’m going to tell you what, he’s one of the harder working guys we’ve got, one of the hardest working guys,” Spagnuolo said. “He is always doing that, whether it’s special teams, whether it’s running a route, whether it’s doing extra conditioning when he was hurt…I have got a lot of respect for him. I think he’s exactly what you need on your team.”

                  Avery’s big game in the nation’s capital was the opening act to a month in which he would burst on the scene to earn a nomination for NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month.

                  The following week against Dallas, Avery posted his first receiving touchdown on a 42-yard grab and he followed that with a career-best 163 yards on six catches against New England on Oct. 26.

                  All told, Avery had 14 catches for 291 yards in the month and served notice to the NFL that he would need to be accounted for in the passing...
                  -09-17-2009, 07:52 PM
                • Varg6
                  Rams' Avery wants kickoff job
                  by Varg6
                  ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Donnie Avery wants to keep returning kickoffs for the St. Louis Rams besides playing wide receiver, despite fumbling the opening kickoff of the season.

                  The gaffe set up the Seahawks at the Rams' 19 yard line, but the defense prevented a score with an interception in the end zone.
                  Running back Samkon Gado returned the only other kickoff last week for St. Louis. Avery said he knew he had made a mistake and he found out about it Monday during evaluations.

                  "Coach (Steve Spagnuolo) wrote on paper, 'spin equals fumble so don't spin,"' Avery said with a laugh.
                  No official word has been given if Avery, who is in his second season, will return kickoffs in Sunday's game at Washington. He returned one kick in 2008 for 21 years. He also returned kickoffs in college at Houston.
                  "If they call my name, I'll go in there," Avery said. "I wasn't surprised when they asked me to do last week. It's fun back there. If he puts me back there, he puts me back there."

                  He said returning will not detract him from receiving duties. He pointed out Washington's Antwaan Randle El and Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson both return punts.

                  But it's receiving where St. Louis and Spagnuolo want Avery to make his mark.
                  The Rams' receiving corps led by Avery is short on experience. Seattle frequently put eight men up front to thwart the run, almost daring St. Louis to pass.

                  Those types of defense will be common this season, running back Steven Jackson said.

                  However, he predicts Avery, along with the other young receivers, will grow as the season progresses and force defenses to change their thinking.

                  "Everyone comes along differently. Donnie had success last year in his rookie year, but in this league, guys don't go off one year. A lot of defensive coordinators want you to prove yourself over time," Jackson said. "I'm going to do my best to make sure they respect the running game and hopefully get some one-on-ones on the outside. Those guys are talented enough to take advantage of the one-on-ones."

                  Spagnuolo said he believes Avery will benefit and prosper. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur agreed.

                  "I think Donnie's a hard worker. He's a smart football player and he understands how to play the game," Shurmur said. "All those things matched with his great ability are going to make him a great for a long time."
                  Avery said the offense can get going and score points. The team must limit mistakes and penalties. Last week, the Rams were whistled for 10 penalties.



                  NOTES: S Craig Dahl (hamstring) and G John Greco (wrist) are out for Sunday and will not make the trip. ... DT Leger Douzable was signed to the practice squad. Douzable spent the first week on the New York Giants' active roster. To make room for Douzable, LB K.C. Asiodu was release...
                  -09-18-2009, 07:42 PM
                • r8rh8rmike
                  Rams WR Avery Struggling With Fumbles
                  by r8rh8rmike
                  Rams WR Avery struggling with fumbles
                  By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
                  6 hours, 56 minutes ago

                  ST. LOUIS (AP)—It’s two games and two turnovers for Donnie Avery(notes), the St. Louis Rams’ second-round pick last year. He realizes more than those who are making him the franchise’s latest scapegoat that it’s two too many.

                  Ball security suddenly has become an issue with a player expected to lead the team’s thin and inexperienced wide receiver corps. His fumble at the Washington 5 in the fourth quarter last Sunday cost the Rams dearly in a 2-point loss, and he lost a fumble on a kickoff return to open the season.

                  Returning to practice Wednesday was a major relief for Avery, the better to begin redeeming himself.

                  “It was great to get back out there,” Avery said. “I understand it’s going to be a long week, but I just need to get ready.”

                  Coach Steve Spagnuolo said he hasn’t lost confidence in Avery, the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 draft and coming off a 53-catch season that was only one off the franchise rookie record set by Eddie Kennison(notes) in 1996. So far, Avery has seven catches for 50 yards for a team that has managed only one touchdown in two games.

                  The Rams, who have dropped 12 in a row heading into Sunday’s home opener against the Packers, need his breakaway speed.

                  “I know this and I’ve said it before: I love his heart, I love his grit, I love what he’s all about,” Spagnuolo said. “He’ll be fine. We’re banking on him to be fine.”

                  Quarterback Marc Bulger(notes) said Avery was tough enough on himself after Sunday’s loss without teammates piling on.

                  “We’re going to need him for 14 more games, and he’s too good of a player,” Bulger said. “We can’t let him get down, and he was back out there today looking great.”

                  Thus far, Laurent Robinson(notes) has been Bulger’s go-to wide receiver with 11 catches, a 12.8-yard average and the lone touchdown on a 2-yard fade route against the Redskins.

                  Avery made several big plays as a rookie, scoring his first touchdown on a 37-yard end around and had six catches for 169 yards including a 69-yard grab against the Patriots. No fumbles, either.

                  “I guess you could say when it’s good it’s good, and when it’s bad it’s bad,” said Avery, whose long gain this year is only 16 yards.

                  Avery got caught on a spin move on the kickoff return, and hasn’t returned one since, although Spagnuolo wouldn’t say he’d been taken off special teams. The Rams signed return man Danny Amendola(notes) off the Eagles’ practice squad Tuesday, and Amendola could fill both roles this week.

                  “It just depends on how quickly we can get him oiled up,” Spagnuolo said. “Until we get to the end of the week, we don’t really know.”

                  Redskins safety Chris Horton(notes) put his helmet on the ball after Avery...
                  -09-23-2009, 09:24 PM
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