By Joe Lyons
Eric Crouch has no doubt he could have been an All-Pro receiver in the National Football League. But he never gave himself that opportunity.
Following a record-setting career as quarterback at the University of Nebraska that included the 2001 Heisman Trophy, Crouch was drafted by the Rams in the third round (95th overall) of the 2002 NFL draft.
Convinced that Crouch, who stood 5 feet 11¾ and 195 pounds, was too short and lacked the arm strength to play quarterback in the NFL, Rams coach Mike Martz drafted the talented triple-option quarterback as a receiver.
But the Crouch experiment never got off the ground.
A hamstring injury and shin splints limited Crouch’s offseason training. He entered training camp at less than 100 percent physically and, after catching two passes for 30 yards in the preseason opener against Jeff Fisher’s Tennessee Titans, Crouch suffered a late-game thigh injury that lingered through the preseason.
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From Evan Silva @evansilva
What do you think of the prospects of Brian Quick for 2013? … Like him. Think he leads STL in receiving TDs.
Regarding your Brian Quick take, where does that put Chris Givens in #Rams WR corps? … He’ll be the vertical wideout.
Who would you say are the best two divisions in football? … NFC West & NFC North. AFC North & NFC South will be tough, too.
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Bradford Discussion is in the first 11 minutes
Notes from Sam Bradford Discussion on Pro Football Sunday
**Softli: I hear Sam has been working out with the WR’s…taking a leadership role…getting these guys ready.
** Softli: Austin is going to create separation. Quicker than anyone I’ve seen in my 15 years of evaluating talent. He has special positional attributes and skill sets that are explosive and remarkable. Sam has to stick the ball on him or throw to an area where the defender is not.
**Shotty is going to play a big key in this by putting Sam and the weapons in position to make a lot of plays. They still have to be able to run the football. Who will fill SJ’s shoes? Sam needs a running game. If you don’t have a running game they will pin their ears back and come after Sam.
** The defense will help Sam and the offense…keeping the opposing offenses off the field. D was great with sacks last year, but needs to force more fumbles…more turnovers.
** Bradford doing his job as far as leadership, honing his skills, his positional attributes. J Lau said that Bradford is dead lifting 500lbs.
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By Elliot Harrison
Tie goes to the … nobody.
Well, that’s what we’ve been led to believe, at least when it comes to pro football. No one wins and we all go closure-less.
When the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers played to a stalemate last November, we got one heckuva football game, complete with hard hitting, clutch defense and two successful fake punts.
Yes, this was the first NFL tie since Donovan McNabb learned ties exist back in 2008 (Philadelphia Eagles 13, Cincinnati Bengals 13). But really, there’s so much more to the story of Rams-49ers Week 10 than just the oddity of a draw.
Start with the fact that this innocent midseason game marked the emergence of Colin Kaepernick. The former Nevada star made quite a few headlines in the postseason, tearing up the Green Bay Packers for 181 yards on the ground and guiding the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII. Yet those headlines might never have come had the Rams not knocked Alex Smith from this game with a concussion.
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By D’Marco Farr
When I’m watching NFL games, every time I see an offense gain nine yards on first down I get as giddy as a school girl with a new iphone. Not because of the production of the play, but rather the possibilities the next play will bring.
2nd and 1 is without a doubt the most nightmarish play any defense will face on any given Sunday. Take both hands, grab each butt cheek and just hang on!
The offense holds all the cards on 2nd and 1, and can literally pick and choose what it wants to do with a high degree of success. It’s an opportunity to go for the end zone. It’s a play to let your quarterback become a star. And your left tackle. And receivers and tight ends. Let it rip! 999 All Go!
If there’s a breakdown somewhere, just throw the ball away. It’s the most stress-free, no-brainer situation a quarterback can have in a game! A pass interference call can be just as big and can set up an easy scoring opportunity. Or, depending on the flow of the game, keep the ball on the ground and pick up the gimme first down.
3rd and 1 situations still greatly favor the offense. Even an offense that’s struggling for consistency on most game days should be able to covert a 3rd and 1 a good percentage of the time.
Now, keep in mind that real football situations sometimes will dictate or influence decisions by the head coach or offensive coordinator depending on where the buck stops.
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