View Full Version : Football Concern for Green overstated (STL Post)

08-28-2008, 08:27 AM

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Concerns over Green are greatly overstated
http://images.stltoday.com/stltoday/resources/trent625aug27.jpgJuly 28, 2008 -- Rams quarterbacks Trent Green (right) and Marc Bulger during Rams training camp at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, Wisc. (Chris Lee/P-D)

By Jim Thomas (JThomas@post-dispatch.com)

When Tennessee safety Vincent Fuller slammed into Trent Green for a sack 2 1/2 weeks ago in Nashville, more than a few observers held their breath in the press box at LP Field.

Would this be it? Would the next sight be the ground crew sweeping up the remains of Green, shattered in a million pieces like some cartoon character?

"It's funny," Green said. "I've had a few people who said that. Even a couple plays before ... where the guy kind of went low on me, everybody started going back to the knee questions. Quite honestly, when I'm out there playing, I don't even think about all that."

He just got up, dusted himself off and headed to the sidelines. The sack had come on a third down. <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"> <!-- // begin DisplayAds("Frame1","",""); // --> </script><script language="JavaScript1.1" src="http://oas-central.realmedia.com/RealMedia/ads/adstream_jx.ads/www.stltoday.com/sports/rams/1847084690@Frame1" type="text/javascript"></script><iframe id="BannerAd" src="http://view.atdmt.com/M0N/iview/106692736/direct/011568435613?click=http://oas-central.realmedia.com/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/www.stltoday.com/sports/rams/L28/1568435613/Frame1/Postnet/SprintCentroROS300x250-080108/SprintCentroROS300x250-080108atdmt.html/52624f463345686e7a49414144705236?" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0" leftmargin="0" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="250" scrolling="no" width="300"> <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"> document.write('http://view.atdmt.com/M0N/view/106692736/direct/011568435613 (http://oas-central.realmedia.com/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/www.stltoday.com/sports/rams/L28/1568435613/Frame1/Postnet/SprintCentroROS300x250-080108/SprintCentroROS300x250-080108atdmt.html/52624f463345686e7a49414144705236?http://clk.atdmt.com/M0N/go/106692736/direct/011568435613)'); </script> </iframe> <!-- _RM_EMPTY_ is to be sent from third party server -->

Of course, when your previous two seasons ended prematurely because of concussions the second of which some thought might be career-ending it's only natural to wonder if the next hit will be the last Green absorbs as a professional athlete.

Natural, that is, to anyone working outside of Rams Park.

If there were any concern about Green's ability to withstand the violence of a pass rush, the team never would have signed him to a three-year, $8.9 million free-agent contract in March.

"That decision was made a long time ago," coach Scott Linehan said. "It's like getting back on a horse. You just get back out there. It's the game of football. You can't worry about that stuff."

Green, 38, hasn't been on the horse much this preseason. He played one series (six plays) against Tennessee, followed by half of one series (five plays) against San Diego. But that's been it until now, that is.

Linehan announced following Tuesday's practice that Green will start the Rams' preseason finale Thursday in Kansas City.

"This gives him a chance in a game to go out and find his rhythm," Linehan said. "So he's not going in the season cold without reps if we ever called upon him.

"You can't assume that just because he's a vet that knows the system, that he can just go out there and turn it on. Although I would bet on him more than a lot of guys."

To some degree, it actually was that kind of thinking that limited Green to just 11 snaps and eight passes until now. Green worked with offensive coordinator Al Saunders and quarterbacks coach Terry Shea for five of his six seasons in Kansas City.

Green knows this offense better than anyone else at Rams Park. Saunders knows what Green can do what plays he likes and doesn't like, how he makes certain throws better than anyone in the building.

"I've been with Trent for five years in game-like situations, and he's been to a couple of Pro Bowls," Saunders said.

Saunders says his main two jobs as an offensive play-caller are to get the running back in rhythm and the quarterback in rhythm. Entering camp, he didn't know starter Marc Bulger nearly as well as Green, so Bulger played a lot more in the first three exhibition games. Also, Saunders needed to see No. 3 quarterback candidates Brock Berlin and Bruce Gradkowski in game situations. So they have played a lot more than Green, too.

"I can get Trent in rhythm in a day," Saunders said, snapping his fingers.

Bulger is in rhythm following his 18-for-25, two-touchdown performance against Baltimore. So Bulger will not play Thursday. Green will play only as long as the first offensive line is on the field against Kansas City.

Being that Green played for Kansas City from 2001 to 2006 following a trade from St. Louis, a start at Arrowhead Stadium is meaningful. But this is the preseason, and Green already had his "homecoming." He started for Miami last preseason at Kansas City, completing four of seven passes for 41 yards.

But make no mistake, preseason or not, Green enjoys being out there.

"I love playing," he said. "That's why I keep coming back. ... I've told all three of them Scott, Al, and Terry I'll take whatever (playing time) you want to give me. And however that works out, I'm comfortable with it."

For the first time since 2000 the final season of his original two-year stint in St. Louis Green enters an NFL campaign as a backup. But because of Green's past association with Saunders and Shea, there has been speculation that Bulger will be on a shorter leash this season if he struggles.

Still, Green hasn't been walking around Rams Park throwing banana peels at Bulger's feet.

"I know what I was brought here for, and I've made that very clear to (Bulger)," Green said. "Scott's made that very clear to him. I'm here as an insurance policy. A support system for him and the team. And to be ready if they need me. So I think we all kind of know our role."

Can Green be ready if called upon? At age 38, is it safe to assume he's still the same quarterback he was even three years ago when he earned his second Pro Bowl berth?

"I'd like to think I am," Green said. "I still feel like I can make every throw. I still feel like I'm mobile enough to buy time in the pocket. I'm not going to sit here and say I can outrun many guys any more. That all changed in '99."

That's when Rodney Harrison came crashing into Green's knee during a preseason game at the Edward Jones Dome.

jthomas@post-dispatch.com | 314-340-8197

08-28-2008, 08:49 AM
He's a ticking timebomb. One good hit and he's done for. If it's another concussion he'll never remember even playing for the Chiefs.

Bill Lundberg
08-28-2008, 09:04 AM
I hate to say it but I miss Trent. Great guy and an above average QB when healthy. He was nothing but a stand up citizen during his tenure in KC. I will always root for him when he's not playing KC.

08-28-2008, 09:07 AM
yeah. agreed. Standup guy hope he goes out on top...doesn't turn his head into mush.

Trent Green .... STL local Vianney HS hero. may have some of folks/friends at Arrowhead tonite who knows.

08-28-2008, 09:31 AM
he'll always be a favorite of mine

Chief Chief
08-28-2008, 11:12 AM
C'mon now...

Does anyone here seriously believe KC's pass rush will threaten the career of TG?

08-28-2008, 12:54 PM
Our great Oline made him look well above average.