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  • Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Nov. 28 2004

    GREEN BAY, Wis. - Brian Howard figured something was up Wednesday when he was
    told to go out with the Rams' starting defense at morning walk-through. Still,
    he was taking nothing for granted. One bad practice and he could be back with
    the second unit.

    "Yeah, it can change real quick," Howard said.

    But it didn't. Howard, an undrafted rookie defensive tackle from Idaho, will
    make his first NFL start tonight against Green Bay. Howard actually found out
    later on Wednesday that he would start.

    "A lot of things go through your head when you hear that - being a young guy,
    and undrafted," Howard said. "Obviously it's exciting.

    He called his mother and some friends with the news as soon as he could. But as
    the week progressed, he tried not to give it much thought.

    "If you think about it too much, it might kind of get to you," he said.

    Given the occasion, Howard might have to battle his nerves as much as one of
    the league's top offensive lines tonight.

    "Maybe," he said. "Just because of everything that's going on, being on 'Monday
    Night Football,' being my first start, Green Bay Packers at (Lambeau Field).
    Just the whole scenario is pretty sweet."

    Howard is undersized at 6 feet 4, 278 pounds, but he does have some quickness
    and plays with a lot of energy. Howard has played mainly on special teams and
    didn't even dress against New England on Nov. 7. But he had four stops last
    week against Buffalo, including one tackle for loss.

    He will replace Damione Lewis, who hasn't made much happen the past couple of
    games, in the starting lineup.

    Edwards is ready for his debut

    When the Rams claimed Antuan Edwards off waivers from Miami on Nov. 11, he came
    to St. Louis with a groin injury. After being inactive against Seattle and
    Buffalo, Edwards is now healthy and will make his Rams debut tonight against
    his former team, the Green Bay Packers.

    Edwards, a free safety, will play in the dime package and on special teams. He
    was a first-round draft choice by Green Bay in 1999 out of Clemson and spent
    his first five seasons with the Packers.

    "It's going to be exciting to go back and see some old friends of mine,"
    Edwards said. "Get a chance for the first time in my career to play against one
    of the greatest quarterbacks of all time."

    That would be Brett Favre. Edwards played 53 games as a Packer at cornerback
    and safety, including 18 starts. He signed with Miami as an unrestricted free
    agent last offseason and started eight games for the Dolphins before his
    release.

    Edwards said the Packers never expressed much interest in retaining him after
    the '03 season, but he left Green Bay with no hard feelings.

    "There's no bad blood there," Edwards said. "If I had the opportunity to go
    back, I would go back.... My whole thing up there was I got hurt a lot."

    Edwards missed part of the 2000 season and most of the '01 campaign with a knee
    injury, and he finished the '03 season on injured reserve with a hamstring
    injury.

    Heated pads will warm Rams, Packers

    The temperature is expected to be below freezing at some point during tonight's
    game. But the latest in shoulder-pad technology will help keep the Rams and
    Packers warm. Both teams will have plastic tubing attached to their shoulder
    pads, tubing that can be filled with hot air on the sidelines to warm the upper
    body.

    "As you sit down, there's a heating unit that you hook into the tubing - you
    plug it right in, and it blows in hot air," said Rams equipment manager Todd
    Hewitt.

    The tubing system has been used in NFL games to keep players cool during
    warm-weather games, with cold air blown into the tubing. But tonight marks the
    first NFL game it will be used to keep players warm.

  • #2
    Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

    Perhaps I am getting this wrong. An undrafted rookie is starting as a DT? What about Kennedy? Shouldn't he be starting? Or is he hurt again?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

      Originally posted by coy bacon
      Perhaps I am getting this wrong. An undrafted rookie is starting as a DT? What about Kennedy? Shouldn't he be starting? Or is he hurt again?
      -sniff-sniff-sniff- I smell Martz motivational tactic.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

        Edwards, a free safety, will play in the dime package and on special teams.
        At the risk of jinxing this poor guy, barring injury (and assuming we can re-sign him in the future), we have our new starting FS.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

          Perhaps we should see him on the field first... after all, I thought the same thing about Shivers. :\

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

            Originally posted by NickSeiler
            Perhaps we should see him on the field first... after all, I thought the same thing about Shivers. :\
            The difference being, that this guy has, to a decent degree, performed on the field.

            Year G Tckl Sacks Int
            1999 16 36 0 4
            2000 12 30 0 2
            2002 12 44 1 0
            2003 10 51 1 1
            2004 8 35 1 0

            It's not encouraging that he hasn't played a full season since his rookie year, but still having a talented kid that is just now getting into his prime looks better than the merry-go-round we have been running back there.

            P.S. I still haven't given up on Shivers. He hits harder than any DB we have. If he can just learn the defense, I still think he can play.
            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

              Marmie: "Mike, Lewis hasn't been producing. I think we should start Kennedy."

              Martz: "No.... that's just what they're expecting us to do... bwahahahahahaha!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                Originally posted by HUbison
                The difference being, that this guy has, to a decent degree, performed on the field.
                So did Kwamie Lassiter. :disappoin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                  Edwards is a bit younger than Kwamie.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                    Right, but my point was past production doesn't mean much in terms of whether or not a guy is going to come in and be a star for us. We shouldn't anoint Edwards as our man at the free safety position until we see if he's capable of playing that role on our defense. It'd be nice if he's the guy who works out, but I'm not going to put money on it until I see him on the field in blue and gold.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                      I agree. But I applaud the Rams for signing guys like that at bargain basement prices in an effort to catch lightning in a bottle. Low risk, potential big reward.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                        Originally posted by AvengerRam
                        I agree. But I applaud the Rams for signing guys like that at bargain basement prices in an effort to catch lightning in a bottle. Low risk, potential big reward.
                        Yeah, I'm definitely more excited about Edwards than I was about Lassiter. Hopefully he'll workout and we can stop the never-ending game of musical chairs. I just hope we get enough of a look at him this season to know whether or not he should be resigned for 2005.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                          Originally posted by NickSeiler
                          Right, but my point was past production doesn't mean much in terms of whether or not a guy is going to come in and be a star for us. We shouldn't anoint Edwards as our man at the free safety position until we see if he's capable of playing that role on our defense. It'd be nice if he's the guy who works out, but I'm not going to put money on it until I see him on the field in blue and gold.
                          Yea, but that's kinda the point of speculation. I don't know that he's going to produce either, but I think (again speculation) that he has a better chance of being a long-term answer than anyone else we have brought in to fill the DB roster. And yes, Lassiter has had a great career, but not a real solution at 35 years old.
                          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                            Originally posted by HUbison
                            I don't know that he's going to produce either, but I think (again speculation) that he has a better chance of being a long-term answer than anyone else we have brought in to fill the DB roster.
                            I agree with this 100%, but I'm just not ready to say we've found our starting FS yet. I'd like to see him on the field with our D first.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Undrafted rookie will start on defensive line

                              Originally posted by coy bacon
                              Perhaps I am getting this wrong. An undrafted rookie is starting as a DT? What about Kennedy? Shouldn't he be starting? Or is he hurt again?
                              Two points. First, I am also troubled by the fact that Kennedy didn't work his way into someone's good graces. Second, the fact that BH isn't replacing Pickett is also disturbing. Pickett definitely hasn't played better than Lewis in my mind. So the fact that Kennedy isn't in and Pickett is is curiouser and curiouser.

                              Comment

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                                by Nick
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                              • RamWraith
                                Edwards will start at free safety for Rams
                                by RamWraith
                                By Bill Coats
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
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                                Since signing free-agent safety Antuan Edwards on Nov. 11, Rams coach Mike Martz had been eager to get the six-year NFL veteran on the field. Now, the trick is keeping him there.

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                              • DJRamFan
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                                by DJRamFan
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                                Like that, the two-time reigning NFC North champions had sunk to the unfathomable low of being at the bottom of the division with a 1-4 record spun out of a four-game losing streak.

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                                "We know how it feels to be 1-4. That feels pretty bad. We've been through that, and we don't want to go back there," said right guard Marco Rivera.

                                No turning, or looking, back is precisely the outlook head coach Mike Sherman drilled into his players' heads Wednesday morning. It was his first meeting with the team since addressing it late last Sunday night, following its gritty 16-13 comeback win at Houston in another prime-time game.

                                He paralleled what transpired in those four quarters to how the Packers' season has unfolded to date.

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                                -11-29-2004, 01:21 PM
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