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#1 2018-09-20 03:40:23

Registered: 2018-02-01
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him take the first two carries

The Los Angeles Rams have been aggressive in making trades and signing free agents this offseason Kam Chancellor Jersey , which gave them the flexibility to be patient with their first and only draft pick through the first two days of the NFL draft.

By selecting TCU offensive lineman Joe Noteboom on Friday night in the third round with the 89th overall pick, the Rams believe they have the right circumstances to develop their left tackle of the future.

"I think it's a great situation for him, to be able to come in and learn behind Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein, two tackles we feel great about," Rams coach Sean McVay said.

Said general manager Les Snead: "Joe is a lucky man."

A three-year starter for the Horned Frogs, Noteboom could eventually be the successor to the 36-year-old Whitworth. Whitworth signed a three-year contract last March and immediately helped stabilize the offensive line for the Rams, who went from the worst scoring offense in the NFL to leading the league at 29.9 points per game in McVay's first season as head coach.

The Rams started the same offensive line for 15 of 16 regular-season games and their wild-card round loss to Atlanta, a scenario McVay knows is unlikely to be repeated over multiple seasons. Noteboom, who started his final 40 games at TCU and played left tackle in his final two seasons, will get a chance to start out as the reserve swing tackle.

An honorable mention All-Big-12 selection last season and four-time first-team all-conference academic selection, the Rams believe Noteboom has the versatility and intelligence to fill that role in the near term.

"I can tell you that, from a mental standpoint, to be active on game day Doug Kotar Jersey , number one you're going to have to be able to learn two positions," Snead said. "He can do that, that's no problem for him. From that point forward, it's going out and earning a job on the field."

But the main priority for Noteboom will be to learn from Whitworth, a two-time first-team All-Pro.

McVay credited Whitworth's leadership with helping accelerate the cohesion of the Rams offensive line last season and he believes the veteran can serve the same role in being a mentor to help Noteboom develop.

"I think he was instrumental in really helping our line as a whole last year, and I know he'll do the same taking Joe underneath his arm and kind of guiding him along the way," McVay said.

"That's perfect. I learn from a Pro Bowler, a veteran," Noteboom said on a conference call. "It's fantastic, just knowing all the pieces they have added and what a great young team it is and Coach McVay. I think it's the perfect spot."

The Rams were originally set to make their first selection with the 23rd pick in the third round but made a trade with Oakland, picking up a sixth-round pick for moving down two spots from 87th overall.

After not making a selection in the first two rounds, having traded their first-round pick to New England for wide receiver Brandin Cooks earlier this month after they dealt their second-round pick to Buffalo for wide receiver Sammy Watkins in August, the Rams go into Saturday with eight picks.

The Rams have four picks in the fourth round and four more in the sixth round Bryan Bulaga Jersey , all acquired either through trades or as compensatory selections.


Even though he says he's not paying that much attention to it, David Johnson says he's "very encouraged" about ongoing contract talks between his agent and the Arizona Cardinals.

"They said they're going to continue to talk and hopefully we can get a deal done soon," he said.

The standout running back held out during the team's three-day minicamp but has been a full participant in training camp, and had a pair of impressive runs to start Saturday night's preseason 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

"I'm letting my agent handle it," he said. "I really want to focus on football because I don't want to hinder my play on the field."

Johnson said he believes the Cardinals and the team's fan base know how good he is, but he believes others around the NFL may have forgotten. He's out to remind them and prove he's worth a big contract.

An All-Pro selection in 2016, when he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns, Johnson fractured his left wrist in the 2017 season opener and hadn't played since 鈥?until those two carries against the Chargers.

The injury is what is holding up a contract, he believes.

"I didn't play last year," Johnson said. "I was hoping that my production from my second year and what I did get in the first year would help out, but the NFL is what have you done for me lately. So hopefully I can prove it."

Johnson, a third-round draft pick out of Northern Iowa in 2015, is set to make $1.9 million in this the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. That's far Charles Woodson Jersey , far below what other big-time running backs will earn.

Johnson said he was "a little anxious but not rusty" when he made his return to the game.

In each of his two carries, the big, fast back gained 14 yards behind a revamped offensive line that cleared the way for him.

"The biggest thing I was pumped up about is how easy it was for me to get through the holes," Johnson said. "They were gaping holes. The guys up front blocked very well for me."

New coach Steve Wilks wants an offense that emphasizes power running and that's what he got from the first unit in its only series against LA, which culminated with a 2-yard TD run by Johnson's hard-running backup, rookie Chase Edmonds.

New quarterback Sam Bradford, who completed his only pass for 6 yards, said the Cardinals established just what they wanted to in that opening series.

"We've talked all preseason, really all camp, about coming out and establishing our physicality in being able to run the football," Bradford said after practice Tuesday. "For us to be able to come out and do what we did I think is extremely encouraging just because it's something that has been an emphasis and something that has been talked about so much."

What the Cardinals didn't see is Johnson as a receiver. He caught 80 passes for 879 yards two seasons ago (along with 1,239 yards rushing in 293 attempts).

"I want to be on the field as much as possible," Johnson said Earl Thomas Jersey , "third downs have me split out at receiver. Not just third downs, but any play whenever we think I have an advantage over the defender, hopefully I can be split out or coming out of the backfield as a receiver."

Bradford marveled at how Johnson has run routes as a receiver in practice.

"I mean, he's pretty impressive," Bradford said. "Today at practice, just watching him run routes, I think he might be one of our best route runners, regardless of position. He's just so smooth. He's so versatile as a running back that there are so many different things you can do with him.

"Last week, watching him take the first two carries for 14 yards, that's what he's best at. We've just got to find ways to give him opportunities to make plays like that."

The Cardinals went through their final outdoor practice Tuesday. They will break Arizona's shortest training camp in recent memory with a workout Wednesday inside University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals are at New Orleans in their second preseason game on Friday night and are to return to work out Sunday at the team's practice facility some 40 miles to the east in Tempe.

Notes: Arizona signed wide receiver Austin Wolf, an undrafted rookie free agent from Akron, and released wide receiver Richard Ross.

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2018-09-20 03:40:23



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