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Get to know a rookie: Marcus Roberson

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  • Get to know a rookie: Marcus Roberson

    By Nick Wagoner

    We’ve officially reached the closest thing to a dead period the NFL has to offer these days as organized team activities are over and training camp has not yet arrived.

    That means vacation time for the players, coaches and, yes, reporters. In the meantime, let’s get to know some of the lesser-known additions to the Rams' roster: the rookie free agents.

    Marcus Roberson
    Position: Cornerback
    College: University of Florida
    Height: 6-0
    Weight: 191 pounds

    Stat to know: After earning playing time as a freshman, Roberson had his best season as a sophomore when he finished second in the Southeastern Conference in pass breakups with 12. He added a pair of interceptions and a forced fumble in what would be his best season. That was 2012, so it's been a little while since Roberson produced at that level. But he flashed enough promise to make him the type of prospect that intrigued many draft pundits after that season and into this year.

    Road to the roster: A long and lean corner more known for his zone skills and work in off-coverage, Roberson may not be the ideal fit for what defensive coordinator Gregg Williams wants to do, but it should be noted that Williams has a history of making it work with players of all abilities. The Rams have room for a young corner to earn his way to the roster and Roberson could be that type of player after injuries and off-field issues pushed him from a potential Day 2 pick to undrafted rookie. Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner are the only corners that appear to be locked in to roster spots. From there, the Rams will likely keep one or two more with Roberson having to overcome the likes of Brandon McGee, E.J. Gaines, Greg Reid and Darren Woodard to land a spot on the 53-man roster out of training camp.

  • #2
    Re: Get to know a rookie: Marcus Roberson

    Midsized corner with at least some good work put in at the SEC level. Might be a one year wonder, but he gives us a corner that doesn't fit the mold we currently have, giving us a little flexibility to play him in a different scheme. Good luck to the kid, along with the rest of them trying to get a roster spot in our secondary. We need some good rough diamond finds.
    I believe!:ram:


    • #3
      Re: Get to know a rookie: Marcus Roberson

      Originally posted by MauiRam View Post
      By Nick Wagoner

      Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner are the only corners that appear to be locked in to roster spots. From there, the Rams will likely keep one or two more with Roberson having to overcome the likes of Brandon McGee, E.J. Gaines, Greg Reid and Darren Woodard to land a spot on the 53-man roster out of training camp.

      WOW! I'm proud of this! Ive heard alot of talk about Lamarcus Joyner and the versatility he brings to this defense, especially with the return of Gregg Williams. Now to hear that he is virtually penciled in as the starter is huge news to me because i thought that, despite all of the hype, that he would struggle and/or be no different than any other CB trying to make the roster. This shows that our draft yielded at least a starter on defense, other than Aaron Donald, who I've also heard good things about up to this point.


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      • MauiRam
        Roberson sets sights on making mark with Rams
        by MauiRam
        • By Joe Lyons

        Marcus Roberson refuses to let what happened — or didn’t happen — during last month’s NFL draft hold him back.

        “You can’t control the uncontrollable,’’ said Roberson, a former University of Florida cornerback who wasn’t picked and signed with the Rams as a free agent shortly after the draft. “My opportunity is here and now and it’s up to me to try and make the best of it. My focus is on making the team and doing whatever I can to help the Rams.’’

        Roberson, who stands 6 feet and weighs 190 pounds, was highly touted coming into the draft, with some “experts’’ viewing him as a possible second- or third-round selection. But after three days and seven rounds, he still was available. He said he drew interest from several teams before deciding to sign with the Rams.

        “I felt like this was a place where I could fit in well,’’ said Roberson, who received a $15,000 signing bonus. “It’s a good system with a great coaching staff that can teach me a lot. I played in an NFL-type scheme at Florida and that’s helped with the transition. Still, learning the plays and the terminology’s a little different. But I definitely feel like I’m catching on and getting more comfortable every day.’’

        The Rams, who held their first of 10 organized team activities Tuesday at Rams Park, addressed a need by adding a number of cornerbacks in the offseason, including sixth-round draft pick E.J. Gaines from Missouri as well as rookie free agents Roberson and Greg Reid (Florida State). Holdovers at the position are starters Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, plus backups Brandon McGee and Darren Woodward.

        In addition, second-round draft pick Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State) and rookie free agent Jarrid Bryant (South Dakota) are listed as defensive backs, capable off playing corner or safety.

        “It’s a strong group,’’ Roberson said. “But competition is what pushes you to get better.’’

        Spirited competition is nothing new for Roberson, a product of perennial national prep power St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

        It led all high schools in drafted players this year, with four — Joyner by the Rams in the second round, Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward by the Falcons in the third round, Miami guard Brandon Linder by the Jaguars in the third round and Wisconsin running back James White by the Patriots in the fourth round.

        In 2010, when Roberson was a junior, Aquinas went 15-0, captured the Class 5A title and ended up ranked third nationally.

        “We were pretty good,’’ the soft-spoken Roberson said. “It’s a private Catholic school program coached by the great George Smith. He’s a great coach and I really enjoyed my time playing there.’’

        So who was the true shutdown cornerback on that squad, Joyner, the senior, or Roberson, the junior?

        “No, we both were good,’’ Roberson said,...
        -06-03-2014, 10:58 PM
      • MauiRam
        Searching for gems in Rams' rookie class
        by MauiRam
        By Nick Wagoner

        EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The majority of the heavy lifting in the rebuild of the St. Louis Rams roster is over. At least that's how coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead look at the project.

        Which means as spring turns into summer and training camp arrives, things figure to heat up in the battle for roster spots.

        After adding 11 drafted rookies and 15 more rookie free agents when the draft was over, the Rams have a crop of 26 players hoping to make enough of an impression to land on the 53-man roster. But the reality is there probably aren't many spots available barring some injuries or off-field issues cropping up. Some training camp battles might be more geared toward landing a spot on the eight-player practice squad more than the roster.

        Back before the draft, Fisher and Snead indicated in interviews the roster might have somewhere between eight and 10 spots up for grabs in training camp. They clearly feel good about the development of their many young players at a number of positions so most of those battles figure to come in the form of backup spots that dot the depth chart.

        Here's a look at a few of the spots that could be up for grabs with the reminder the existence of some jobs may not even come to fruition depending on how the Rams want the opening-day roster to open up.

        Third quarterback: This is a prime example of a job that may not even exist but if it does it's between sixth-round choice Garrett Gilbert and Austin Davis. Clearly, Gilbert will get the first shot at winning the gig as the Rams look to bring along a youngster at the position. But the Rams could opt to carry two and keep someone like Gilbert for the practice squad.

        Fourth (and fifth?) cornerback: The Rams haven't gone heavy at this position in two years under Fisher but it seems reasonable they'll carry as many as five. Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner are locks. After that, the Rams have E.J. Gaines, Greg Reid and promising undrafted rookie Marcus Roberson among a group of those vying for spots. Roberson is an intriguing name to watch after a strong college career was derailed by injuries and off-field issues that kept him from being drafted.

        Extra offensive linemen: Considering the presence of multiple linemen capable of playing all over the line (guys like Rodger Saffold, Barrett Jones and Greg Robinson), the Rams might not have to go as heavy on offensive linemen as they have in the past. But they carried double digits for part of last season and like to allow line coach Paul Boudreau the opportunity to develop youngsters. Beyond the projected starting five, you have a crowded group that includes Jones, Tim Barnes, Brandon Washington, Mike Person, Sean Hooey, Mitchell Van Dyk and Demetrius Rhaney jockeying for position. Not all will make the roster and it seems logical for the Rams to go a bit lighter at the...
        -05-25-2014, 02:52 PM
      • MauiRam
        Rams' Joyner making progress going into Year 2
        by MauiRam
        By Nate Latsch

        ST. LOUIS — Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner described his rookie season as a “humbling experience” after the team’s OTA session on Thursday.
        “Definitely a humbling experience for me, both on the field, off the field — there’s just a lot of things that come with this league,” he said.

        The Rams’ second-round pick (No. 41 overall) in 2014 out of Florida State, the diminutive defensive back failed to make much of an impact for the team during his debut season.

        Drafted to man the nickel cornerback position in Gregg Williams’ aggressive defense, Joyner finished with 48 tackles, three passes defensed, one sack and one quarterback pressure in 10 games.

        Joyner struggled early on, came on after a slow start but was then sidelined by an injury. He returned for the final two games.

        What was the hardest part about his rookie campaign?

        “Just adapting. Just learning the system. Just coming from a successful year at the college level and you think you know everything and you’re just on the wrong path, you need to get adjusted,” Joyner said. “Coach (Gregg) Williams was a great example of molding me out of that and molding me into the young man I am now.”

        What the 5-foot-8, 184-pound defensive back is now is a player who is far more aware of what he is doing in the Rams’ defensive scheme, a player fighting for snaps among the team’s cornerbacks and a player who has earned some praise for his play so far during OTAs.

        “I feel like my approach is different and that’s probably coming from the more understanding I have, the more wisdom I have and just knowing what I’m doing,” Joyner said. “Instead of running out there like a blind dog in a meat house and you don’t know which way to go, I know what I’m doing, so now I can pretty much contribute to the defense.”

        How much different does Joyner feel now within the defense than he was a year ago as a rookie second-round pick? Joyner said the coaches have used the words “light years” to describe the difference.

        “I feel great, I feel like I’m settled in, I’m there mentally, which is the most important part at this level,” Joyner said. “I’m already blessed with the God-given physical ability, so I’m pretty caught up.”

        Joyner said he is now at the point where is able to react to what is unfolding instead of having to think about what he should do.

        He’s come a long way over the past year, a period of time with plenty of ups and downs for the second-round pick who helped Florida State win a national championship in his final season with the Seminoles.

        Joyner took some time after his rookie season to reflect and refocus.

        “I definitely got away and had to refocus and ask myself what it is about this game that makes me want to come to work every day and I came to the realization that I still love football,”...
        -06-13-2015, 01:16 AM
      • Rambos
        Bryant ready to take his shot after losing most of his senior season
        by Rambos
        Bryant ready to take his shot after losing most of his senior season to injury
        • By Joe Lyons

        Ohio State safety Christian Bryant was doing what he had done countless times.

        But with 30 seconds left, on the second-to-last defensive play in the Buckeyes’ 31-24 victory over visiting Wisconsin on Sept. 28, Bryant’s college football came to an abrupt halt.

        “I was running to the ball, just like we’re taught to do, when one of my teammates doing the same thing went to make the tackle and landed on my ankle,’’ he recalled. “It was a freak, fluke thing that happened in a split second, but we’re talking about a 250-pound guy. My ankle just wasn’t able to withstand that.’’

        Initially, Bryant, a seventh-round selection by the Rams on Saturday, held out hope.

        “I thought maybe I just rolled it,’’ he said. “But when I tried to get up and run off the field, the ankle gave way. All I could do was wait for the trainers to come get me.’’

        Bryant, a third-year starter and a team captain at Ohio State, suffered a broken fibula and fractured ankle that required season-ending surgery.

        Later that day, in a postgame news conference, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer pounded the podium while talking about Bryant.

        “We lost our captain,’’ the coach said. “I ask you to keep Christian’s family in your prayers. That darn kid has done so much for our program, he has come so far, incredible leadership skills. I love that guy.’’

        On another occasion, Meyer referred to Bryant as “one of the best safeties in the country’’ and said that his injury prevented the Buckeyes from making a national title run.

        Rams linebacker and former Buckeye James Laurinaitis added: “I know Christian Bryant and talking to (Luke Fickell), the defensive coordinator at Ohio State — we’re still friends from when I played there — he said when Christian went down, he thought that their defense lost their heartbeat and that he was the toughest guy, maybe, that he’s ever coached.’’

        Bryant said comments like that helped energize him as he worked through the rehab process.

        “Seeing the way Coach Meyer and the coaching staff reacted, it kinda made me feel good inside, knowing that they viewed and judged me as such an important part of the team,’’ he said. “It was tough not being out there on the field with my teammates, especially as a senior leader, but I did what I could to help from the sideline, playing somewhat of a coaching role.’’

        After the season, Bryant, who missed nine games last season and five more with a foot injury as a freshman, petitioned the NCAA for medical waiver and another year of eligibility. He was turned down.

        Bryant, a 5-foot-10, 193-pounder who can play anywhere in the secondary,...
        -05-15-2014, 07:34 AM
      • MauiRam
        With chip on his shoulder, E.J. Gaines aims to reclaim starting job with Rams 
        by MauiRam
        By Nick Wagoner

        OXNARD, Calif. -- In the competitive world of the NFL, more often than not one player's ascent comes at the expense of someone else. It's why "NFL" has long been considered an acronym for "Not For Long" rather than National Football League.

        For a recent example, we need look no further than what happened with the Los Angeles Rams at cornerback over the course of the past year. Last year at this time, the Rams were set on Janoris Jenkins as their No. 1 corner, with E.J. Gaines and Trumaine Johnson poised for a training-camp battle to win the spot opposite him.

        With Jenkins and Johnson headed for free agency, there seemed to be little doubt about which player was in the Rams' long-term plans. Jenkins was the top guy and Gaines, entering his second season, was the odds-on favorite to claim the other job. Then, on Aug. 2, the first weekend of training camp, Gaines got stepped on while covering a wideout in drills.

        The result was a season-ending Lisfranc injury in his foot. The domino effect spilled through 2015 and into this offseason. Johnson had his best season after claiming the starting job, posting seven interceptions. The Rams used the franchise tag to keep him over Jenkins, who signed a lucrative contract with the New York Giants. And now Gaines is working his way back from the injury with free-agent signee Coty Sensabaugh hoping to push him for the job.

        "It’s the name of the game," Gaines said. "It’s the National Football League and that’s just how it goes. It’s crazy just to see how the room has changed since I was gone for that season."

        Gaines is the first to admit that a position room without Jenkins has taken some getting used to. He said Jenkins was the jokester of the room and the leader he and his teammates followed. That's a role to which Johnson has ascended after signing his one-year, franchise-tag tender worth $13.952 million this offseason.

        Gaines, meanwhile, is simply looking to get back to where he was before the injury derailed his second season. That's an ongoing process that the Rams aren't in a hurry to make happen. Although Gaines has considered himself healthy for some time now, the Rams are doing what they generally do with injured players in the offseason program, which is to say they're bringing him along slowly.

        For the time being, Gaines is participating in individual drills but mostly avoiding team work so he can be ready for training camp. He's hopeful he can get more involved in seven-on-seven and even some 11-on-11 before organized team activities end next week.

        "Typically speaking, there’s always going to be a few offseason surgeries," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "We call them ‘tune-ups.' You’ve got to make sure the guys are ready and able to compete. We have a lot of different practice categories. Most are ‘full,’ some...
        -06-09-2016, 07:34 PM