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Training Camp Position Breakdown: DT

The top 4 defensive tackles appear to be set, but an upstart is trying to crash the party and force the Rams to keep 5 DTs.

Clifton Ryan – Ryan is the Rams best starter at defensive tackle and is the Rams starter at RDT or 3 technique defensive tackle. He is a solid starter, but he is still young and could get better with more experience. He can not do it alone as 2009 proved, so the rest of the DTs are very important for the Rams run defense.

Gary Gibson – Gary Gibson was picked up in an under the radar acquisition before the 2009 season and was named the starter over former 1st round pick Adam Carriker before he was lost for the season a few weeks into the season. He’s a big body at 300 lbs and feisty competitor in the trenches. He will rotate with Fred Robbins while clogging the space in the front of the Rams defense.

Rest of the DTs are after the jump!

Fred Robbins – Fred Robbins was a fairly large acquisition for the Rams because they had very few veteran free agent pickups in the offseason. Robbins and Coach Steve Spagnuolo know each other very well from their time in New York with the Giants. Robbins will be a solid part of the Rams tackle rotation with Gary Gibson, possibly starting Week 1. He’s 33, so he’s on the downside of his career, but still a very valuable piece for the Rams defense.

Darell Scott – Scott was forced into the Rams lineup in 2009 when he was not quite ready and it showed. He’s big, tall and talented at the 3 technique or penetrating defensive tackle. He will backup and rotate in with Clifton Ryan. He’s only 24 and two years younger than Ryan and he should continue to improve as he learns how to use his talents.

Jermelle Cudjo – What can you say about Cudjo? A fantastic name and so far in training camp a great story as he pushes the Rams top 4 defensive tackles. Cudjo does not have a left or right designation on the Rams official team roster yet, but if his penetrating moves and 2 tackles for loss in the first preseason game with his small for a DT frame at 6’2” 299 lbs are any indication I think he would rotate in with Scott and Ryan. Cudjo is an underdog story if I have ever seen it and I’ll be rooting for him to stick around with the Rams even if it is with the practice squad.

Ernest Reid – “EJ” Ernest Reid graduated from the University of Mary. Yes, you heard that right, Mary. He made the training camp roster from the Rams tryout day. With the early play of Cudjo, he finds himself on the outside looking in on the roster crunch at DT. But, he is helped by the IR status of the next player.

Chris Hovan (IR) – The Rams put Chris Hovan on the IR with a back injury because they just couldn’t spare the roster spot without knowing how long until he returned to practice. After a few great years, Hovan has not played up to those standards recently and is on IR for the Rams in 2010.


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