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Hughes learns on the job.

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by -X-, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. -X- The Retired RODfather Staff

    Jun 20, 2010
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    Nick Wagoner
    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.stlouisrams.com/news-and-events/article-1/Hughes-Learns-on-the-Job/d2e5f0b5-aad1-49fc-b80a-a1fae35d1efe" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.stlouisrams.com/news-and-eve ... fae35d1efe</a>


    Nearly every day after practice since he came to the Rams as an undrafted free agent back on July, Kevin Hughes can be found out on the field long after the workout is over putting in extra work on the blocking sled or working on his footwork.

    Many times, Hughes is joined by one of his veteran teammates, who is peppered with questions by the youngster.

    But those practice and post-practice sessions couldn’t really prepare Hughes for what happened Sunday when – in a span of about 24 hours – he went from practice squad to active roster to playing left tackle against Seattle.

    “You’re talking about a guy who got zero reps during the week,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “That’s a hard assessment. What I told him coming out of the locker room was ‘Use those number of plays as a foundation to build on.’ We were in the middle of a game but in some ways that was his practice. Now he knows the speed of the game and we’ll just build on that.”

    Hughes got the call to the active 53-man roster only hours before Sunday’s game and about a day after starting left tackle Rodger Saffold suffered a season ending torn pectoral injury that landed him on injured reserve.

    The promotion was a positive for Hughes but it still didn’t mean he’d be on the field right away. That all changed when Mark LeVoir, the designated Saffold replacement, also suffered a pectoral injury.

    “I just started praying and everything like that,” Hughes said. “I was expecting nothing and ready for everything.”

    Suddenly, Hughes found himself trying to find his way through oncoming traffic without getting run over.

    “The game was fast,” Hughes said. “It was what I thought it was. I have a lot to work on. I’ll just get in there and go over the film and see what coach has to correct me on.”

    Hughes found himself facing one of the league’s premiere pass rushers in the form of Seattle end Chris Clemons.

    Clemons proceeded to do what he’s done to tackles with far more experience than Hughes on his way to posting three sacks, two forced fumbles and myriad other pressures on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.

    The Rams attempted to adjust what they do offensively to help protect Hughes and by extension Bradford.
    “I think it definitely played a part in what we tried to do,” Bradford said. “I think Kevin Hughes did a great job coming in. That’s a tough situation to be in. Earlier this week he probably had no idea that he was going to be playing today. For that fact, I thought he did a great job. I think it forced us to get the ball out a little quicker than some of the plays we had in our game plan. When that happens, we’ve just got to make those completions and get in a rhythm.”

    In addition to that, the Rams attempted to help Hughes by using an additional blocker or two to provide some backup.

    “We tried,” Spagnuolo said. “There were a couple chips in there and moving the tight end over. There’s a lot of things when those things happen pass wise, get the ball out a little bit quicker, guys block a little bit longer, guys downfield get open. I’m sure when I watch it; it will be a combination of all those things. It’s not just one position. It’s not just tackles. It’s not just helping the tackle. It’s how about we get open quicker, how about we throw it quicker, how bout we block a little bit longer. It’s all of them.”

    On Monday afternoon, Spagnuolo revealed that LeVoir’s pectoral injury – while not as devastating as the one to Saffold – is a two to four week strain and will likely force the Rams to make another move to help try to fortify the position.

    One option could be Renardo Foster, who was the team’s primary backup at tackle in 2010 and came in for a workout with the team a few weeks ago.

    Either way, it seems likely Hughes is going to have to continue to grow and learn from his experience because as has been made very clear by this season, no backup should expect anything by another opportunity.

    “When you get interchangeable parts and timing is really important on offense and we haven’t had a lot of that consistently with the same 11 guys so you fight that,” Spagnuolo said. “But yet you have got to fight through it and get as much timing as you can on the field during the week in practice.”

    MISSED CALL? : In a 10-7 game with about eight and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter, Bradford dropped back and unleashed a deep pass down the left sideline intended for receiver Brandon Lloyd, who appeared to have a step on the defender.

    But Lloyd was pulled back and to the ground, still almost hauling it in before it fell incomplete.

    “I was looking for a flag,” Lloyd said. “There was a lot of contact and I was definitely expecting a flag because it was late in the play, but we just didn’t get it.”

    No flag came and Bradford was sacked and fumbled on the next play which the Seahawks eventually turned into Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard touchdown run for a 17-7 lead they would never relinquish.
    Lloyd said he asked for an explanation and came to an agreement with the official later on.

    “On the sideline, we came to an understanding that he did miss that call and we’ve just got to move on,” Lloyd said. “I think that there was still an opportunity for me to catch the ball and I’ve just got to come down with the play.”

    INJURY REPORT: The Rams injury report certainly didn’t get any shorter Monday when Spagnuolo discussed it with the media types.

    In addition to LeVoir’s injury, the Rams have plenty of others still dealing with a variety of ailments.

    Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis had a sore foot when he woke up Monday morning and Spagnuolo said the sides would be proactive about finding out the source of the problem.

    “He’s going to go over and get an MRI and make sure we are not sitting on anything there,” Spagnuolo said. “He kind of toughs things out but we are just going to be careful.”

    Tight end Lance Kendricks had a mild concussion and Spagnuolo said he is hopeful he’ll be available by Thursday at the latest after going through the normal rounds of testing.

    Defensive tackle Justin Bannan has a sore shoulder and had an MRI, of which the results are not yet available.

    As expected, linebacker Josh Hull aggravated his hamstring injury early in Sunday’s game and will be out this week.

    Cornerback Marquis Johnson has what is being termed a “bruised abdominal” muscle and is in the hospital tonight as a precautionary measure. More will be known tomorrow.

    Fellow corner Justin King came out of the game OK on his sprained ankle but had some swelling in his knee. He had an MRI that looked OK but he’ll be day to day this week.

    Receivers Austin Pettis and Mark Clayton also had sore knees. They’ll be limited and watched day to day also.

    End Chris Long has a sore ankle but also seems to have come out of the game OK.

    As for previously injured running back Cadillac Williams (calf), tackle Jason Smith (concussion) and receiver Danario Alexander (hamstring), Spagnuolo said they were about the same and nothing seemed imminent for a return.
  2. libertadrocks Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2010
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    I know the Doctor is a big fan of Hughes but this guy is not ready to play in the NFL. Clemons is a good pass rusher, but calling him a premier pass rusher is being generous. Clemons was nothing short of dominant.

    IMO we could sign Foster tomorrow and he would do a better job.

    Shoot sign two OTs and send this guy back to the PS. Not a chance anyone claims him after his accrual of game tape.
  3. DR RAM Rams Lifer

    Aug 7, 2010
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    I said he wasn't ready, several times, but I still like his potential and future. He did some good things out there, and got crucified for some things that weren't his fault. I would never in all my life expect a player thrust into the circumstances that he was to do well. It was a recipe for failure. Zero reps in practice, zero. He will do better this week with some reps at the position if we don't sign someone else, plus the gameplan will be changed to accommodate him as it should. I hope. :huh:

    He has a future in the NFL, mark my words. I still think he's better suited at Guard though.
  4. libertadrocks Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2010
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    I knew you didnt think he was ready. Did not mean for it to come off like that.

    He is flat out not ready. Not sure if his footwork is fast enough either. Youre right, he maybe better suited for guard.