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Rams CB Sam Shields Reflects As He’s Back in Pads Nearly Two Years After Concussion

Sam Shields thought hard about quitting football during his darkest, saddest days at home in South Florida over the past two years.

As a former undrafted free agent who became a Pro Bowl cornerback and a Super Bowl champion with Green Bay, Shields knows all about overcoming tremendous odds. Four recorded concussions and the ensuing months of agonizing headaches were a daunting obstacle to be surmounted — and moreover, he wasn’t even sure if he should.

With the support of his friends and family, Shields eventually decided he couldn’t just stop. He had to play again, and he’s taking a shot with the Rams.

“I have a tough mind,” Shields said after stepping off the practice field at UC Irvine in full pads. “I’m not going to lie. I guess that’s just a gift that I have, and that’s an important thing on your body. I’ve been through a lot. I took time off, and now I’m here and I’m doing a hell of a job.”

Shields wore pads Sunday for the first time since Sept. 11, 2016, when he suffered the final concussion that kept him out of football for nearly two full seasons. He is already drawing attention during the first few days of camp with the defending NFC West champion Rams, who added him to a well-stocked defensive secondary last March while allowing him to recapture his career.

Shields is 30 years old now, but his body is completely healthy, and he says his mind is clear. In fact, his biggest physical obstacles these days are the braces on the back of his teeth, slightly altering his speech.

He realizes the odds he’s facing, and he isn’t naive about the potentially catastrophic damage from another major head injury. Shields still wants to be part of a team again after seven seasons with the Packers, who cut him in February 2017.

“I had a year and a half to think about it, to be with my family,” Shields said. “So I definitely had enough time to think about it, and I think I made the right choice.”

Rams Ink Running Back Todd Gurley to Four-Year Extension

The Rams have singed their best player to a new deal, as today the team inked play making running back Todd Gurley to an extension for four seasons worth $60 million.

Gurley had a huge 2017 for the Rams, rushing for 1305 yards and 13 scores, while catching 788 yards worth of passes for six more touchdowns.

Rams Road To A Second Straight NFC West Title Won’t Be An Easy One

Not many people saw the run the Rams went on in 2017 coming, and the season was one filled with excitement as the team won the NFC West, and then used the offseason to build for the 2018 season and beyond.

There’s plenty of excitement around the team, and if you look at American Football Betting you will see that the Rams this season are projected to be one of the top teams in the NFC with many thinking that this is the team that will represent the team in the Super Bowl come February of 2019.

The Rams this season will look to build on their successful 2017 by taking on the AFC West, meaning they will play games against the Raiders, Chargers, Broncos and Chiefs, as well as some huge NFC matchups against the likes of the Vikings, Packers and Saints.

If you take a look at the teams schedule, the road to winning the NFC West as well as getting deep into the postseason won’t be an easy one, as the Rams have a number of huge games on their schedule.

The opener will be an interesting affair against the Oakland Raiders in a game played at on Monday night football on the road. Oakland is looking to make a big splash with new head coach Jon Gruden, and this is going to be a huge opener for the Rams to try and build momentum.

The next big game is week four, as the Rams will be back at home to host the Minnesota Vikings, as team that last season got to the NFC Title Game before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles.

This will be a Thursday night game played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and it will be a chance to have the national spotlight on the Rams for this early season matchup with one of the contenders in the NFC.

One final huge game on the Rams slate is a matchup against the very team that won the Super Bowl last season, the Eagles, which will come up on Sunday Night Football on December 16th at home.

The Rams road to get that NFC West crown for a second straight season won’t be easy, but winning these games is a great start, as they will have some other huge games on the schedule like matchups with the Bears, Chiefs and Chargers in a game that will feature two teams from Los Angeles going up against each other.

The team won’t have an easy November, as they will face Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, two quarterbacks that will push and test the new look Rams defense.

Wade Phillips will have to have his players well prepared for that month, as well as those early tough games on a schedule that will test this team all season.

Can the Rams Offense Get Even Better? Robert Woods Thinks So

The Rams’ offense ranked first in the league in scoring last season.

Wide receiver Robert Woods thinks is can get even better under second year coach Sean McVay, Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It’s how can we improve in other ways just to be ready for the season,” Woods said. “We’ve got it. We’re loaded up and just fine-tuning.”

Woods is expected to once again be the dean of a receiver corps that lost Sammy Watkins to free agency but gained Brandin Cooks in a trade.

Woods, Cooks and second-year pro Cooper Kupp will begin training camp as starters, with Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas and Josh Reynolds competing for playing time.

Cooks, 24, was acquired in a deal with the New England Patriots. The four-year veteran had more than 1,000 yards receiving twice in three seasons with the New Orleans Saints and also last season with the Patriots. He has 280 receptions, 27 for touchdowns, in his career.

Cooks embraced the opportunity to join a team that averaged a league-best 29.9 points last season. He is expected to add deep-threat capability that Watkins flashed but did not consistently provide in his only season with the Rams.

“Coming here from a distance, you knew this offense was special,” Cooks said. “You always wonder why. And now, you get here and you’re finding out all the reasons why that’s the case. It’s great to be able to come in here and have some freshness to it.

Rams Announce Dates for 2018 Training Camp

The Rams are set for their 2018 training camp, as the team has announced their dates for not only camp but also their open practices for the public.

Here’s the entire slate for training camp as the Rams look to repeat as the NFC West Champs and take another step forward to the Super Bowl.

Could RB Adrian Peterson Come to the Rams This Summer?

One running back that still does not have a home with training camp less than two months away is that of Adrian Peterson. He recently stated that one team that might have his eye is that of the Rams, a team that could use a quality running back behind possible MVP Todd Gurley.

Former Rams Coach Chuck Knox Passes Away at Age 86

Former Rams, Seahawks and Bills head coach Chuck Knox has died at 86. The Seahawks confirmed Knox’s passing on Sunday.

Knox coached the Seattle Seahawks from 1983-1991, leading them to winning records in six of nine seasons. Knox’s Seahawks got off to a hot start, winning nine games and reaching the AFC Championship Game in the coach’s first season at the helm, and won 12 games the following season before a Divisional round exit.

Seattle posted a 3-4 playoff mark during his tenure. The coach who finished with an 80-69 record in Seattle was inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor in 2005.

The coach also led the Los Angeles Rams in two different stints, from 1973-1977 and 1992-1994, compiling a 69-48 record combined between those two spans. Knox posted five straight seasons with double-digit wins in his first stint before leaving for Buffalo in 1978, where he coached the Bills through 1982. Knox returned to a much different Rams franchise in 1992, failing to win more than six games in a season before he was fired in January 1995.

Knox cut his NFL teeth as an offensive line coach with the New York Jets from 1963-1966 and Detroit Lions from 1967-1972. He finished his 22-year head-coaching career with a 186-147 regular-season record and a 7-11 mark in the postseason.

Rams Denied Request from NFL to Wear More Throwbacks in 2018

The Rams have asked the NFL if they could wear their throwback uniforms more in 2018, and the NFL has stated they will not let them, a major letdown to many old school Los Angeles Rams fans everywhere.