1 St. Louis Rams Sign of the times: A pair of outspoken former foes have now joined forces with the enemy

August 31, 2003

Kyle Turley was checking his voice mail from a Maui beach last
March, and what he heard almost caused him to fall off his chair.
"The Rams are interested in trading for me?" the Saints'
rambunctious tackle wondered aloud to his new wife, Stacy. "I
thought those guys hated me."

Shortly thereafter, Jason Sehorn fielded a call to his Dallas
home from his agent, Jimmy Sexton, who informed the former Giants
cornerback that the Rams were interested in signing him. "Are you
sure?" Sehorn asked. "Did you talk to Mike Martz about this, or
did someone else call?"

The outspoken Turley had had his differences with a number of
Rams while New Orleans and St. Louis were forging a spirited NFC
West rivalry that was interrupted by realignment last year.
Sehorn, after criticizing the Rams for lacking patience on
offense following a 2001 game, became a target of Martz's barbs,
including the coach's assertion, "I'd like to line up against
Jason Sehorn every day of the week."

Yet there were the former Ram-slammers, Turley and Sehorn, at
their new team's training camp at Western Illinois in early
August. As they cooled off in a swimming pool, each remarked to
the other, "It's amazing the way things turn around."

Things happen when Super Bowl favorites stumble to a 7-9 season.
Martz, a fourth-year coach under immense pressure to return his
team to prominence, wasn't going to let old grudges stop him from
infusing his roster with new blood. Now he'll get his wish to
have his prized offense line up against Sehorn every day--albeit
in practice. Or at least he will come October, when Sehorn
returns from the broken left foot he suffered early in camp.
Turley, meanwhile, will be counted on to help protect St. Louis's
fine china (quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall
Faulk) from the cracks it suffered in 2002.

"People don't understand players and coaches during the season,"
Martz says. "It's a very highly emotional time, and you make
comments about things you've got no business making comments
about. I thought Kyle Turley was as fierce a competitor as there
was in football, and I wanted him on my team. And Jason Sehorn?
He calls another coach out on how he calls plays? You like that
he's that emotional, and you want guys like that on your side."

Martz, just two years removed from a Super Bowl loss to the
Patriots, can use all the help he can get. Last December, Rams
president John Shaw said that Martz was "definitely under
pressure to win" in 2003.

Injuries were a big reason for St. Louis's decline in 2002, but
now that Warner's right hand and Faulk's right ankle have
apparently healed, the Rams will once again count on a
high-powered offense that oozes bravado and speed. But with
Turley in the lineup, opponents are no longer likely to dismiss
St. Louis as a finesse team, as Turley once did. That much was
made clear early in camp when, during an 11-on-11 drill,
defensive back Aeneas Williams intercepted a Warner pass and
started cruising toward the end zone. Turley ran down Williams
and shoved him out of bounds.

Turley, known for his play-through-the-whistle approach in his
five seasons in New Orleans, was put on the trading block after
the Saints balked at his contract demands. The Rams acquired him
for a second-round pick in 2004, then signed him to a six-year,
$26.5 million deal. "I give Mike Martz a lot of credit," says
Turley. "He was able to put aside all of that crap from the past
and recognize the passion I bring to the game."

Sehorn, a nine-year veteran who was waived by the Giants in March
after struggling with injuries the past several seasons, signed a
one-year, $1 million contract in May, then set about making the
move to free safety. Martz says Sehorn was "everything we'd hoped
he'd be" before injuring his foot, forcing Williams to shift to
safety to replace him. The coach expects Williams to be back at
corner when Sehorn returns.

"Kyle and I are loving it here, and it feels like we belong,"
Sehorn says. "In this league you never know when you'll be
staring the enemy in the face--and he's no longer the enemy."
--Michael Silver

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO GROUND HOG The Rams expect Turley to help revive a running game that sank from fifth in 2001 to 30th last year. COLOR PHOTO: NFL PHOTOS HOLT COLOR PHOTO

UNDER THE GUN

Considered a reach by some when the Rams took him in the first
round of the '02 draft, undersized linebacker ROBERT THOMAS did
little as a rookie to silence his skeptics while starting 10
games on the outside. Now the Rams are moving him to the middle
to replace the disappointing Jamie Duncan; they hope Thomas can
become a tackling dynamo.

ENEMY LINES
An opposing scout's view

"The best player in the league is number 28 [Marshall Faulk], and
he has been for the last three or four years. Pound-for-pound,
he's one of the toughest players in the NFL.... Even if Kurt
Warner isn't healthy, this team is still dangerous. He and Marc
Bulger are very similar guys. Bulger's release isn't as quick as
Kurt's, but he hangs in there and is willing to take a little
more punishment.... Now that James Hodgins is gone, they don't
really have a fullback, but I think they're even scarier when
they go one-back and spread you out.... Isaac Bruce, who was
never a burner, has leveled off a bit, and Torry Holt has risen
to that high level. It's not just speed with him anymore; he can
beat you off a lot of routes and handles press coverage
better.... Which Jimmy Kennedy will we see? At Penn State there
were games he dominated, and other times he disappeared.... Tommy
Polley seems too tall and thin to play linebacker, but he's their
best guy.... They think they can make a safety out of Jason
Sehorn, but I'm not convinced. As a corner he wasn't very
physical.... I'll say this about their defense: It's very well
coached, thanks to Lovie Smith."

SCHEDULE

Sept. 7 at N.Y. Giants
14 SAN FRANCISCO
21 at Seattle
2 8ARIZONA

Oct. 5 Open Date
13 ATLANTA (Mon.)
19 GREEN BAY
26 at Pittsburgh

Nov. 2 at San Francisco
9 BALTIMORE
16 at Chicago
23 at Arizona
30 MINNESOTA

Dec. 8 at Cleveland (Mon.)
14 SEATTLE
21 CINCINNATI
28 at Detroit

SCHEDULE STRENGTH

NFL rank: 28
Opponents' 2002 winning percentage: .457
Games against playoff teams: 7

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2002 statistics

2002 RECORD: 7-9
NFL RANK (rush/pass/total):
OFFENSE 30/2/13
DEFENSE 14/12/13

COACH: Mike Martz; fourth season with St. Louis (31-17 in NFL)

MARSHALL FAULK

POS. PVR ATT. YARDS AVG.
RB 4 212 953 4.5

REC. YARDS AVG. TDs
80 537 6.7 10

KURT WARNER

POS. PVR ATT. COMP. %
QB 10 220 144 65.5

YARDS TDs INT. RATING
1,431 3 11 67.4

TORRY HOLT

POS. PVR REC. YARDS TDs
WR 30 91 1,302 4

BRANDON MANUMALEUNA

POS. PVR REC. YARDS TDs
TE 146 8 106 1

ORLANDO PACE

POS. HEIGHT WEIGHT GMS. STARTS
LT 6'7" 325 lbs. 10 10

ANDY MCCOLLUM

POS. HEIGHT WEIGHT GMS. STARTS
LG 6'4" 300 lbs. 16 16

DAVE WOHLABAUGH[1]

POS. HEIGHT WEIGHT GMS. STARTS
C 6'3" 296 lbs. 12 12

ADAM TIMMERMAN

POS. HEIGHT WEIGHT GMS. STARTS
RG 6'4" 310 lbs. 16 16

KYLE TURLEY[1]

POS. HEIGHT WEIGHT GMS. STARTS
RT 6'5" 300 lbs. 16 16

TROY EDWARDS[1]

POS. PVR REC. YARDS TDs
WR 149 18 157 2

ISAAC BRUCE

POS. PVR REC. YARDS TDs
WR 60 79 1,075 7

DEFENSE

RE GRANT WISTROM 47 tackles 4 1/2 sacks
RT RYAN PICKETT 67 tackles 1/2 sack
LT DAMIONE LEWIS 20 tackles 4 sacks
LE LEONARD LITTLE 44 tackles 12 sacks
OLB PISA TINOISAMOA (R)[1] 129 tackles 6 1/2 sacks
MLB ROBERT THOMAS 37 tackles 0 sacks
OLB TOMMY POLLEY 57 tackles 0 sacks
CB TRAVIS FISHER 61 tackles 2 int.
SS ADAM ARCHULETA 108 tackles 2 1/2 sacks
FS AENEAS WILLIAMS 29 tackles 1 int.
CB JERAMETRIUS BUTLER 2 tackles 0 int.

SPECIAL TEAMS PVR

K JEFF WILKINS 193 37/37 XPS 19/25 FGS 94 PTS.
PR ARLEN HARRIS (R)[1] 408 1 RET. 15.0 AVG. 0 TDS
KR ARLEN HARRIS (R)[1] 408 NO KICKOFF RETURNS
P SEAN LANDETA[1] 52 PUNTS 42.9 AVG.

[1] New acquisition
(R) Rookie (statistics for final college year)
PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 89)

"They think they can make a safety out of Jason Sehorn, but I'm
not convinced."

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)