2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Veteran Witherspoon happy to be back with Rams

    2013-08-03 02:46

(Eds: With AP Photos.)

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Will Witherspoon's return gave the St. Louis Rams veteran insurance at linebacker and a mentor for first-round pick Alec Ogletree.

It also put Witherspoon much closer to the farm where he's raising grass-fed beef.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Witherspoon signed July 18 with St. Louis to begin a second stint with the Rams.

``It's good to be back. The history I have with coach (Jeff) Fisher was a big reason I came back,'' Witherspoon said. ``I have my farm in Owensville. I had a lot of reasons to come back. I like it here.''

His main role will be to provide veteran experience behind Ogletree and younger veterans James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar at linebacker.

``He's going to bring a senior, veteran leadership,'' said Tim Walton, the Rams' defensive coordinator. ``He's played the game for a long time, gives you depth at multiple positions. That leadership and experience is valuable in this thing.''

Witherspoon, who will be entering his 13th season, said he is fine playing the leader.

``I see myself playing a blended role,'' Witherspoon said. ``I'll be teaching guys, educating guys and helping out on the field when asked ... just being an all-around true vet.''

That's what Fisher wanted when he added Witherspoon to the roster.

``Will is a vet. He understands what to do and how to do it,'' Fisher said. ``He's acting like he's been here for a couple of seasons.''

Witherspoon played in 54 games for the Rams from 2006-09. In his first season, he played in all 16 games and recorded a career-high 113 tackles and three sacks. In 2007, Witherspoon recorded 110 tackles and a career-best seven sacks and was chosen the team's MVP.

However, Witherspoon's tenure in St. Louis ended Oct. 20, 2009, when he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round draft pick in 2010. At the time, the Rams were in dire need of help at receiver.

``Part of it I knew was business, but part of it left me bitter,'' Witherspoon said about the trade. ``At the same time, you know, time heals everything. I think now the trade only helped me in my career and gave me other opportunities. It's all come full circle.''

Witherspoon turns 33 on Aug. 19. He is the oldest player on one of the youngest teams in the NFL.

``You know, they called me `Pops' last year in Tennessee,'' Witherspoon said. ``I'm fine with that. I find it hilarious.''

Age does have its privileges.

``I got the first parking spot because of that,'' Witherspoon said. ``That has definitely been the perk of being on a young team. I've got the shortest distance from my car into the building.''

Witherspoon's experience is meant to be passed along to Ogletree, the 30th overall pick in the first round. Besides being linebackers, both also played at Georgia.

``When he first got here, he came up to me and said who he was and that he was looking forward to playing with me,'' Ogletree said. ``We've had a lot of conversations. He talks to all the guys. He's a great veteran.''

Witherspoon said he likes what he sees in Ogletree.

``I think mentoring him is a big part in my job here,'' Witherspoon said. ``I talk with him about his skill set and what he can do better. We all can see he's got a lot of talent and a lot of great ability. He's just got to put it all in the right place. Raw is the best way to put it. College kids are always raw.''

While Witherspoon wants to keep playing, he is looking ahead to a career after the NFL. He has a cattle operation about 90 minutes southwest of St. Louis called Shire Gate Farm.

``I started that in 2006 when I was here and bought the property and got in the cattle business,'' Witherspoon said. ``It was about 180 acres and I've grown it 900 acres or so. I keep about 200 head of cattle. We produce grass-fed beef.

``We've got some products coming out. Hopefully, we'll see it on the shelves soon. In the last couple of offseasons, I've (gone to) food shows to understand what people want, what retailers want. I try to see the whole picture from hoof to plate.''

---

Online: AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org/

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group