NFC West: Ian Campbell

Catching up with the Rams' cut list

September, 10, 2009
9/10/09
11:25
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Rams Player Released on Cutdown Pos. Current Team Capacity
Phil Trautwein
OL Browns Active Roster
Brock Berlin
QB Lions Practice Squad
Roy Schuening
OL Raiders Practice Squad
K.C. Asiodu
LB Rams Practice Squad
Eric Butler
TE Rams Practice Squad
Dominic Douglas
LB Rams Practice Squad
Chris Ogbonnaya
RB Rams Practice Squad
Sean Walker
WR Rams Practice Squad
Antwon Burton
DL -- --
Ian Campbell
DL -- --
Renardo Foster
OL -- --
Jerome Johnson
RB -- --
Tim Mattran
OL -- --
Cord Parks
DB -- --
Antonio Pittman
RB -- --
Mark Rubin
DB -- --
Tim Carter
WR -- --
Ronald Curry
WR -- --
Todd Johnson
DB -- --

The Rams' depth on the offensive line might be better than anticipated for a team with a 5-27 record over the past two seasons.

The team is carrying 10 offensive linemen, one more than typical, while John Greco recovers from wrist surgery.

An 11th, Phil Trautwein, landed on the Browns' active roster when Cleveland claimed him off waivers. A 12th, Roy Schuening, signed with the Raiders' practice squad. Another, tackle Renardo Foster, would seem to be a candidate for catching on somewhere eventually.

I've gone through the initial NFC West cut lists -- those players released at the 53-man deadline -- to see which ones have returned to their teams or caught on elsewhere.

The chart shows results for St. Louis.

Quarterback Brock Berlin signed to the Lions' practice squad after the Rams released him. Defensive lineman Ian Campbell briefly spent time on the Rams' practice squad before the team released him.

A few veterans -- running back Antonio Pittman, receiver Tim Carter, receiver Ronald Curry and special-teamer Todd Johnson -- remain available.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


The Cardinals announced four signings to their initial 2009 practice squad: guard Trevor Canfield, defensive tackle Keilen Dykes, defensive end Alex Field and receiver Ed Gant.

Rules governing practice-squad eligibility can be confusing. Players are eligible as long as they:
  • Have spent fewer than three seasons on a practice squad. As the collective bargaining agreement states, "A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club's physical and been a member of the club's Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third Practice Squad season. (A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.)"
  • Have never spent nine or more games in one season on a 45-man game-day roster. Failure to understand this rule creates confusion. Seemingly experienced players sometimes retain eligibility.

The Rams added seventh-round choice Chris Ogbonnaya and 2008 Eagles third-round defensive end Bryan Smith to their practice squad, joining cornerback Cordelius Parks, tight end Eric Butler, linebacker Dominic Douglas, linebacker K.C. Asiodu, defensive end Ian Campbell and receiver Sean Walker.

The 49ers signed seven to their practice squad Sunday. They'll could add an eighth after releasing a player to make room on the 53-man roster for offensive tackle Tony Pashos.

Rams low on receivers after roster tweak

September, 6, 2009
9/06/09
5:19
PM ET
Roster counts by position for NFC West
Pos. ARI SF STL SEA Avg.
QB 3 3 3 3 3.0
RB 5 4 4 5 4.5
WR 7 6 4 5 5.5
TE 3 2 3 3 2.8
OL 9 8 10 9 9.0
DL 6 7 10 11 8.5
LB 8 9 6 6 7.3
DB 9 11 10 8 9.5
ST 3 3 3 3 3.0
Totals 53 53 53 53 53.0

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


The Rams continued tweaking their roster Sunday by claiming defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey from the Titans and free safety Anthony Smith from the Packers.

This was probably just the beginning.

The Rams cleared room on their roster by releasing linebacker Quinton Culberson and receiver Nate Jones. That left the Rams with only four wide receivers on the 53-man roster. That number will certainly grow.

The team also signed six of the players it released Saturday to its practice squad, leaving two spots open. The six: linebacker K.C. Asiodu, tight end Eric Butler, defensive end Ian Campbell, linebacker Dominic Douglas, cornerback Cord Parks and receiver Sean Walker.

I'll pass along Scouts Inc.'s take on Ramsey. Scouts Inc. does not have analysis for Smith.

Scouts Inc. on Ramsey: Ramsey has some burst and initial quickness with above-average athletic skills. He has good functional play strength and flashes the ability to shed blocks quickly. He has good lower-body strength when he maintains his pad level at the point of attack. As a pass-rusher, he has adequate closing speed and flashes a variety of pass-rush moves.

Ex-Rams with practice-squad eligibility

September, 6, 2009
9/06/09
10:59
AM ET
Ex-Rams eligible for
practice squad
Pos.
K.C. Asiodu
LB
Brock Berlin
QB
Eric Butler
TE
Ian Campbell
DL
Dominic Douglas
LB
Renardo Foster
OL
Jerome Johnson
FB
Tim Mattran
OL
Chris Ogbonnaya
RB
Cordelius Parks
DB
Mark Rubin
DB
Roy Schuening
OL
Phil Trautwein
OL
Sean Walker
WR

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


NFL teams can begin forming eight-man practice squads once released players clear waivers this afternoon.

I've put together a list of recently released Rams players with eligibility for the practice squad. Each was released on the reduction to 53 players.

The decision to keep rookie quarterback Keith Null on the 53-man roster meant releasing Brock Berlin. Does that mean Berlin is finished with the Rams? It could, but the quarterback does remain eligible for the practice squad.

Running back Chris Ogbonnaya seems like a natural candidate. With a new coaching staff and relatively new front office, the Rams could be more likely to consider players from other rosters. Coach Steve Spagnuolo was with the Giants last season. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was with the Eagles. Defensive coordinator Ken Flajole was with the Panthers. Those ties could influence the Rams' thinking.

Rams: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
3:49
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Biggest surprise: The Rams cut former special-teams captain Todd Johnson, a safety, and they also flushed out two veteran receivers they hoped would contribute, Ronald Curry and Tim Carter. Keeping rookie quarterback Keith Null over the more experienced Brock Berlin made sense because the Rams' top two quarterbacks, Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, have lots of seasoning. The biggest roster surprise came when the team traded 2006 first-round cornerback Tye Hill to the Falcons. Free-agent addition Quincy Butler stuck on the 53-man roster after a strong training camp and preseason. He looked better than Hill, frankly, and the Rams' new leadership wasn't afraid to part with symbols of past failures. Placing defensive tackle Adam Carriker on injured reserve cleared another spot.

No-brainers: The Rams also released linebacker K.C. Asiodu, defensive tackle Antwon Burton, tight end Eric Butler, defensive end Ian Campbell, linebacker Dominic Douglas, tackle Renardo Foster, fullback Jerome Johnson, center Tim Mattran, running back Chris Ogbonnaya, cornerback Cord Parks, running back Antonio Pittman, safety Mark Rubin, guard Roy Schuening, tackle Phil Trautwein and receiver Sean Walker.

What's next: The Rams still need to make one move by the 6 p.m. ET deadline for complying with the 53-man limit. With only four running backs on the roster, counting fullback Mike Karney, the team probably needs to seek help at the position. Backup Samkon Gado suffered injured ribs in the final exhibition game. The Rams lack quality depth and they are starting over. As a result, the team could pursue players released from other teams.

Update: The Rams placed defensive lineman Eric Moore on injured reserve to comply with the 53-man limit.

Practice-squad report: Rams

August, 21, 2009
8/21/09
10:14
AM ET
Rams eligible for
practice squad
Pos. Perceived Status
Marcus Brown
DB
Likely cut
Bradley Fletcher
DB Keeper
Justin King
DB Keeper
Cord Parks
DB Likely cut
David Roach
DB Likely cut
Mark Rubin
DB Likely cut
C.J. Ah You
DL Bubble
Ian Campbell
DL Likely cut
Eric Moore
DL Likely cut
Darell Scott
DL Keeper
K.C. Asiodu
LB Likely cut
Dominic Douglas
LB Likely cut
Larry Grant
LB Keeper
Jerome Johnson
LB
Likely cut
James Laurinaitis LB Keeper
Davd Vobora
LB Keeper
Tim Mattran
OL Likely cut
Daniel Sanders
OL Likely cut
Roger Allen
OL Bubble
Roy Schuening
OL Keeper
Mark Setterstrom
OL Keeper
Renardo Foster
OL Bubble
Jason Smith OL Keeper
Phil Trautwein
OL Likely cut
Eric Young
OL Likely cut
Brock Berlin
QB Bubble
Keith Null
QB
Bubble
Chris Ogbonnaya
RB Bubble
Eric Butler TE Likely cut
Jarrett Byers
WR Likely cut
Brooks Foster
WR Bubble
Nate Jones
WR Bubble
Sean Walker
WR Bubble

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

More Rams players are eligible for the practice squad this summer after the team parted with a long list of aging veterans this offseason.

The chart shows all 33 current Rams players with eligibility, arranged by position. The team had 24 players eligible when I produced a similar list nearly one year ago.

The lists come in handy when analyzing battles for the final few roster spots. I've added loose status descriptions for eligible players based on my general expectations.

To review: NFL teams must reduce rosters from 80 to 75 players Sept. 1. They must reduce to 53 players Sept. 5. They can begin forming eight-man practice squads Sept. 6 at noon ET.

The league explains the process this way:

"After 12 noon, New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free-agency credit or who were on the 45-player active list for less than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season(s). A player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons."

The Rams have only one running back, seventh-round choice Chris Ogbonnaya, with practice-squad eligibility. Eight other NFC West running backs have eligibility.

I'll break out corresponding lists for the rest of the division, answering a frequently posed question that follows a familiar format: "Is so-and-so eligible for the practice squad?"

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams' roster requires additional study after a thorough house-cleaning this offseason. With so many new faces, I feel less familiar with the Rams than with the other teams in the division. This initial look at the roster will hopefully help bring some focus.

Donnie Avery's injury and overall health concerns at receiver could influence how many players the Rams carry into the season at the position.

Marc Bulger's broken pinky shouldn't affect the roster as long as he recovers on schedule. Teams must reduce to 75 players by Sept. 1 and 53 players by Sept. 5. Those initial 53-man rosters sometimes change by Week 1 kickoffs. For that reason, I've been focusing on Week 1 rosters when setting baseline expectations for each position.

St. Louis Rams
Week 1 Roster
Counts since 2003
QB RB WR TE OL DL LB DB ST
Fewest 2 5 5 2 9 8 5 8 2
Most 3 7 6 4 10 9 7 11 3
Average 2.8 5.5 5.5 3.0 9.2 8.3 6.3 9.7 2.7
Currently on roster
4
7 10 5 15 13 9 14 3

T
he chart provides a framework for how many players the Rams might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Seahawks.

Here's a quick look at which Rams players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players:

(Read full post)

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The Rams practiced in pads Tuesday morning, perhaps their final practice with live tackling before they get into the preseason routine.

A few things I noticed:

  • Coach Steve Spagnuolo is everywhere. He bounces from one positional group to another, sometimes running 50 yards at a time between stations. He offers personal instruction in some of the defensive groups, particularly the secondary. Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher received one-on-one instruction from Spagnuolo in this practice.
  • Linebacker Will Witherspoon was easily the most impressive linebacker. He caused problems rushing the passer and taking down running backs behind the line of scrimmage. Veteran linebacker Chris Draft sat out this practice after taking a thumb to the throat. The Rams are having the injury checked out as a precaution.
  • Linebacker Larry Grant picked off a Marc Bulger pass near the goal line and would have had a big return. Grant also blew up a running play, stuffing Kenneth Darby. The early camp reports about Grant making a positive impression held true.
  • The Rams change up their personnel at tight end frequently. I'm not sure if they were just resting starter Randy McMichael, but there were times when he wasn't part of double-tight end groups. McMichael is the most established receving threat at the position. He did drop a pass Tuesday, though.
  • Cornerback Tye Hill had some problems with swelling in his surgically repaired knee, Spagnuolo said. I watched receiver Nate Jones beat Hill for a touchdown despite relatively tight coverage. The Rams would like Hill to contest such plays more aggressively. "Compete!" was an order heard often in drills pitting cornerbacks against receivers. In this case, Hill was hurting. He did not finish practice.
  • Injured receiver Donnie Avery took off his walking boot for some conditioning drills, including while laying on his back and raising a medicine ball held between his ankles.
  • Keenan Burton and Tim Carter were getting work at flanker, with Laurent Robinson at split end.
  • The Rams' West Coast offense uses the same terminology for personnel groups as the one Mike Holmgren ran in Seattle for nine years. The Seahawks have new terminology this season.
  • Derek Stanley is practicing without a sleeve or brace on his surgically repaired knee. The coaching staff would like him to continue working on ball security and finishing plays. Spagnuolo praised Stanley for his progress in those areas.
  • Running back Samkon Gado is getting extra work while an ankle injury limits fullback Mike Karney. Gado willingly slammed into middle linebacker James Laurinaitis while lead blocking for Steven Jackson. The staff has been pleased with Gado's versatility, although Gado did muff a kickoff late in practice.
  • Second-year defensive end Chris Long did not stand out during one-on-one pass-rush drills. Left tackle Alex Barron seemed to handle Long effectively. Backup defensive linemen Eric Moore, Victor Adeyanju and Ian Campbell blew past backup offensive linemen Renardo Foster, Daniel Sanders and Eric Young, respectively. Hollis Thomas badly beat center Tim Mattran, while Gary Gibson beat guard Roger Allen III.
  • First-round choice Jason Smith continues working with the second-team offense at right tackle. He handled Campbell in one-on-one pass rush. Smith did not work against starting defensive ends in that drill Tuesday.
  • Defensive end Leonard Little would have had a free shot on Bulger when the first-team offense faced the first-team defense in modified live drills (I say modified because tackling was live for running plays, not passing plays, while quarterbacks were off-limits to contact, as usual). Right tackle Adam Goldberg wasn't necessarily to blame for Little racing into the backfield untouched. He blocked to the inside.
The Rams have a special-teams session scheduled for this afternoon. Also, I'll be speaking with Bernie Miklasz of 101ESPN at about 1:20 p.m. CT. Listen live.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com goes long in the mailbag -- 3,608 words long -- while answering a variety of questions. Wagoner: "It would seem there is an opportunity for a defensive lineman to potentially squeeze his way on to the roster. Haven't seen enough of these guys to know who could emerge but if you figure the team keeps eight defensive linemen, you have Leonard Little, Chris Long, Victor Adeyanju, James Hall, Adam Carriker, Clifton Ryan and Darrell Scott seemingly in the best position to land on the roster. That would leave an opening for another end like [Ian] Campbell or possibly a tackle like Gary Gibson or Orien Harris. Regardless, Spagnuolo likes his players to be versatile so the guy that emerges there will likely need to be able to contribute inside and out as well as on special teams."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee sizes up the 49ers' outside linebackers in two parts [second part here]. Barrows: "When you think of a 3-4 defense, the position that springs to mind is outside linebacker. Lawrence Taylor. Kevin Greene. DeMarcus Ware. These are the playmakers in the scheme. The 49ers went into the offseason wanting to add another pass rusher at the position but came out of it without adding any major names. In fact, you can make the argument that OLB -- the most critical component of a 3-4 defense -- is the 49ers' thinnest position heading into the season. They are relying heavily on two players, Parys Haralson and Manny Lawson, who have recently spent a season on injured reserve."

John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks the Seahawks should be stronger at defensive tackle after finding Brandon Mebane in the third round of the 2007 draft. Morgan: "The best-case scenario is somehow [Red] Bryant wins out over [Colin] Cole and Seattle starts Bryant at nose tackle and Mebane at under tackle. That gives Seattle two nose tackle types that can also rush the passer. [Cory] Redding and Cole could then form a good second unit. Or, should Seattle use situational substitutions, the team could be as beefy as Cole and Bryant in the middle and as fast and light as Redding and [Craig] Terrill."

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts links to Nate Burleson's video diary on NFL.com.

Also from Sullivan: a look at the Seahawks' offensive line.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com thinks Anquan Boldin should be next in line for a new contract in Arizona if the team fails to reach an extension with Karlos Dansby. Urban: "I think there was a good chance something could have happened on that front had/if Dansby signed an extension, because his cap number could have been lowered from the hefty $9.7 million. Instead, the Cards have to carry that number. It hamstrings any further work right now. I could see Boldin and the team talking [assuming Q still wants to talk contract] during the season, depending how the roster and the cap shake out."

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams have announced the signings of 15 undrafted free agents:

  • Ekenemchukwu Asiodu, LB, Central Oklahoma State
  • Dominic Douglas, LB, Mississippi State
  • Jerome Johnson, FB, Nevada-Reno
  • Cordelius Parks, CB, Northeastern
  • Mark Rubin, SS, Penn State
I have not seen these players play. Some of you surely have seen them. Impressions?
Rd. Pick Scouts Inc. Projection Pos. College
1
4 Mark Sanchez
QB USC
2
37 William Beatty
T Connecticut
3
68 Sherrod Martin
FS Troy
4
105 Kaluka Maiava
OLB USC
5
137 Javon Ringer
RB Michigan St.
6
178 Trevor Canfield
G Cincinnati
7
213 Ian Campbell
DE Kansas St.
7
245 Brian Hartline
WR Ohio St.
7
247 Jamarca Sanford
S Mississippi
7
248 Ra'Shon Harris DT Oregon

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

I've broken out Scouts Inc.'s projected picks for the Seahawks as the NFL draft countdown continues.

The Scouts Inc. mock painted a scenario whereby the Seahawks probably would consider USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. The scenario had Matthew Stafford, Jason Smith and Aaron Curry as the top three overall choices.

That scenario might leave Seattle to weigh Sanchez, Michael Crabtree and the other top prospects. Curry stands out to me as the likely choice for Seattle if he remains available. I think the team would feel good about adding him even though the price tag would be high for a linebacker. The options become a little more complicated, I think, if Curry is gone.

I sent Crabtree to the Seahawks with the fourth overall pick in our bloggers' mock draft because Curry was not available.

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