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  • RamWraith
    Nutten is doubtful, but may play
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Jan. 05 2005

    Will there be a changing of the (left) guard Saturday in Seattle?

    During his regular Wednesday press conference at Rams Park, coach Mike Martz
    all but declared rookie Larry Turner the starter against Seattle. When the
    official injury report came out in the afternoon, Tom Nutten was listed as
    doubtful with a left knee injury.

    But while Turner took the reps with the starters at left guard in practice,
    Nutten was running on the side. And running surprisingly well, which caused
    Martz to change his tune after practice.

    "Tommy may play this week," Martz said. "He's going to practice (Thursday), so
    we'll see. There's a real chance we'll have him up. I was very, very
    surprised."

    According to Martz, Nutten has a torn medial collateral ligament in the knee.
    He played with the injury for a few weeks but, after aggravating it in
    mid-December, did not play against Arizona.

    Nutten was back in the lineup against Philadelphia on Dec. 27 and played well.
    But he suffered another setback late in the third quarter against the New York
    Jets on Sunday and didn't return.

    "I think half the pile came down on the outside of my knee," Nutten said. "I
    felt something in there and right away knew that was it for the day."

    He was still walking with a limp Monday but said the knee felt a lot better. By
    Wednesday, it felt well enough to test the knee with some running.

    Normally, if a Rams player doesn't practice during the week, he doesn't play on
    the weekend. But with the playoffs at hand, Martz sounds willing to take things
    down to the wire if necessary with Nutten.

    "If he goes out in pregame and practices well, he'll play," Martz said. "He's
    just got too much experience and is too good a player."

    Despite having rust to knock off after being out of football last season,
    Nutten, 33, remains a savvy pass blocker and an effective run blocker. He has
    started seven playoff games as a Ram, including two Super Bowls, and that kind
    of experience is invaluable this time of year.

    Nutten was talked out of retirement by the Rams in late August and had to get
    his weight back up to the 300-pound level. Then he battled a turf toe problem
    after just a week with the club. Just when it seemed he was over the nagging
    turf toe injury, along came the knee problem.

    But there aren't many players on the squad who don't have some kind of ailment
    this far into the season.

    "It seems like the season is gruelingly long," Nutten said. "And I was
    fortunate...
    -01-06-2005, 06:27 AM
  • RamWraith
    'Just like old times' on Rams line? We'll find out
    by RamWraith
    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    11/17/2004

    Guard Tom Nutten assumed his old position at left guard Sunday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Orlando Pace was to his left, Andy McCollum and Adam Timmerman to his right -– just like during the glory days of the Rams offense.

    “It’s like old times out there,” McCollum said. “It was good to have him there. He did a good job. I think he can be even better this week.”

    Nutten experienced some flashbacks during that victory over the Seattle Seahawks. “It felt strange, but it felt good at the same time,” he said. “It felt natural. There are a lot of emotions out there . . . it felt good.”

    The Rams are glad to hear it, because Nutten is suddenly critical to this team’s quest for another division title.

    Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is clicking these days. Running back Marshall Faulk has the old spring in his step and rookie Steven Jackson adds the power-running component the team has lacked for years.

    Receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce are playing brilliantly this season. Youngsters Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald are developing into significant threats and tight ends Brandon Manumaleuna and Cam Cleeland are factors, too.

    The offense is poised for a big finish this season . . . if the offensive line can somehow hold up. And that’s the big if.


    Who could have foreseen all the calamities that have befallen this unit?

    Would-be starters Dave Wohlabaugh and Kyle Turley are distant memories now, having failed to fully recover from offseason surgery. Promising youngster Scott Tercero just got wiped out by shoulder surgery.

    Poor Chris Dishman just injured his good knee, sidelining him for an indefinite period of time. “I tore my MCL, so we’ll see how long that will take,” Dishman said Wednesday, slowly removing a bulky brace from his left knee.

    He tried to play hurt against the Seahawks, but couldn’t.

    “I braced it up,” Dishman said. “I thought I could do it and I went out and tried to make an adjustment on a linebacker and at that point I knew something was wrong. My knee kind of flopped out to the side and I thought something was not right. It was better for Tommy to go in.”

    Nutten came out of retirement to assist the Rams this season after injuries depleted the offensive line. While he was trying to scrape off his rust and regain his playing strength, he suffered a “turf injury” that hobbled him for a couple of months.

    Now his strength is up and his toe feels great. The chronic elbow injury that prompted his retirement has cleared up and so have his chronic ankle woes.

    “Tom, it was a big key for us to have him there,” Dishman said. “He went in and did a great job. He’s a seven-year guy. He hasn’t been away from the game that long....
    -11-17-2004, 07:36 PM
  • RamDez
    When Rams send out SOS, Nutten answers the call
    by RamDez
    When Rams send out SOS, Nutten answers the call
    By Jim Thomas

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/21/2004


    *
    Had 31 other NFL teams called Tom Nutten about coming out of retirement, the answer would have been short and not so sweet.

    "Obviously, I'd say 'hell, no,'" Nutten said Friday at Rams Park
    But it wasn't any old team calling Nutten on Wednesday. It was the Rams, for whom he had played five seasons - including four as a starting left guard - and started two Super Bowls.

    So how could he say "hell, no" to them?

    "These are the guys I've bled with, I've sweated with," Nutten said.

    He was sweating with them again Friday afternoon after his first practice with the club.

    "I still have a hard time believing that I'm here," Nutten, 33, said. "I have a long way to go. But I made the commitment. I do believe that it's do-able. I'm here to help out in any way or shape I can."

    Nutten signed with the New York Jets in March 2003 as an unrestricted free agent. But he didn't make it through training camp last summer. Slowed by an elbow injury, Nutten told Jets coach Herman Edwards on Aug. 15 last year that he was retiring. In the process, Nutten returned his Jets signing bonus of $600,000, which is more than the $535,000 base salary he will earn this season after signing a one-year deal with the Rams.

    Over the past year, Nutten got in some family time with his wife and son in the Tampa, Fla., area - their permanent residence. But he kept his hand in football, too. This spring, Nutten returned to Germany, where he grew up, to work as an assistant coach for the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe. He covered Super Bowl XXXVIII last season for German television. He was scheduled to leave today for Germany, where he was to run a youth football camp.

    But then the Rams called.

    "And then it happened quite quickly," Nutten said. "With my history, they had to do a couple of medical checkups, which apparently I passed, thank God."

    Besides the elbow problems, Nutten had battled a nagging ankle problem for much of his career. But he feels fresh after the year off. He weighed in at about 280 pounds, 20 pounds lighter than his normal playing weight.

    "Just to physically keep up, I definitely need about five or 10 pounds," Nutten said. "And obviously strength will come with that."

    Eventually, Nutten will figure into the left guard mix with Chris Dishman, Andy King and perhaps Scott Tercero. But it's going to take awhile.

    "Tommy's a ways away, obviously, from being ready to play," coach Mike Martz said Friday. "We'll see. When it is, it is."


    -08-21-2004, 11:57 AM
  • RamWraith
    Martz turns to Nutten to hold down left guard
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Aug. 26 2005

    The Rams' merry-go-round at left guard continued Friday, when veteran Tom
    Nutten took the snaps with the first team. On Wednesday, Blaine Saipaia was
    with the "ones." On Thursday, it was rookie Claude Terrell.

    Coach Mike Martz said Nutten would start Monday night in Detroit, meaning that
    four of the five starters from the Super Bowl championship team of 2000 -
    Nutten, left tackle Orlando Pace, center Andy McCollum and right guard Adam
    Timmerman - will be lining up together.

    "We're trying to settle in on some guys. It's been awhile since we've been able
    to do that," Martz said. "We're starting to jell a little bit on offense,
    starting to get some things going."

    Nutten opened at right guard in the preseason opener versus Chicago, as
    Timmerman continued his recovery from three offseason operatons. On Sunday in
    San Diego, Saipaia took over that role and Nutten played sparingly. Timmerman
    is expected to see his first game action of the exhibition season versus the
    Lions.

    "I think they're still playing with a couple of things," said Nutten, who
    missed Thursday's practice because he was ill. "I told them, 'I'll do my best
    wherever you put me.' And it seems like this week, they're moving me back to
    left guard."

    Nutten is rounding back into playing shape after undergoing reconstructive
    surgery on his right big toe in the offseason. Nutten said the toe "lets me
    know that it's there, but it seems like it's getting a little bit better.
    Considering what I've been through, I'm actually kind of happy.

    "Of course, I'll always wish to be back to how it was before, but it never will
    be. But it's coming around." Nutten, 34, was a four-year starter at left guard
    for Rams before signing with the New York Jets as a free agent in 2003. A
    nagging elbow injury prompted him to retire five months later, and he was off
    to NFL Europe, where he served as an assistant coach with the Cologne
    Centurions. Martz lured him back last October, and he played in eight games,
    starting six at left guard despite the toe injury and a banged-up knee.

    One person who would welcome some stability on the line is quarterback Marc
    Bulger. "It's been a little difficult in camp, with a couple of injuries and
    ... Alex (Barron) coming in late," Bulger said. "But that's what's good about
    having two weeks left. You want to get into the regular season, but I think
    they need that work together. We're still moving guys around, but I think in
    the next two weeks, it'll come together."

    Bulger...
    -08-27-2005, 06:18 AM
  • RamWraith
    Nutten probably out for playoff game
    by RamWraith
    Rams offensive guard Tom Nutten, who sprained his left knee in Sunday's
    season finale, likely will not play in Saturday's playoff game against Seattle.

    Nutten, who has started six of the past seven games at left guard, was
    injured in the second half of Sunday's 32-29 overtime victory over the New York
    Jets.

    "I think Tom probably will not be available this week," coach Mike Martz
    said Wednesday.

    Rookie Larry Turner, who started at Arizona on Dec. 19, is the likely
    replacement at that position. Turner was a seventh-round pick this year and is
    one of four players to start at left guard this season.

    "He's had some experience and started for us and we're pleased with his
    progress," Martz said.

    Martz considered moving right tackle Blaine Saipaia to guard and reinserting
    Grant Williams, who lost his starting tackle job after 12 games due to injuries
    and ineffectiveness, at tackle. But he said it was less disruptive to use
    Turner at guard.

    Nutten, 33, came out of retirement in mid-August to rejoin the team and was
    inactive for six of the first eight games. He started for the Rams' Super Bowl
    teams in 1999 and 2001.
    -01-05-2005, 04:40 PM
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