2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Saffold adjusts to playing right guard for Rams

By WARREN MAYES - Associated Press
    2013-11-22 16:27

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Rodger Saffold is open to change, to say the least.

He began his NFL career as the St. Louis Rams' left tackle, then made room for Jake Long and moved to the right side to start this season. Now he will make his second start at right guard in place of injured Harvey Dahl against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

At 6-foot-5, 314 pounds, Saffold hasn't played guard since middle school in Cleveland.

''I was in the seventh grade playing for the Heskett Hornets the last time I was a guard,'' Saffold said Friday after practice. ''Then I went to tackle and had been there ever since until now.''

Saffold, the 33rd pick overall in the 2010 Draft, started at right guard in the Rams' 38-8 victory over Indianapolis. He will be there against Sunday against the visiting Bears as St. Louis comes off its bye week.

The talent Saffold has made the adjustment possible, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

''When you've got athletic ability, which he does, and strength and power and foot agility, it's a matter of just learning what to do,'' Fisher said. ''Just get in the book and understand it. You play one position with a very good understanding of what your buddy does next to you, so that's very helpful.''

It's been a difficult journey this season for Saffold. He suffered a knee injury in Week 2 against Atlanta. Backup tackle Joe Barksdale filled in well for Saffold while he recovered. Saffold missed four games.

Saffold was unable to wrest his starting job back when he returned in Week 7 for the game against Carolina. The two tackles rotated in the next three games at right tackle. Dahl hurt his knee in the loss to Seattle on Oct. 28. Shelley Smith started in Dahl's place against Tennessee.

In the following game against Indianapolis, Fisher decided to move Saffold to guard. Fisher was pleased with what he saw in the victory over the Colts.

''Well, I thought he did a great job, obviously, in the game against Indianapolis,'' Fisher said. ''I think the bye week certainly helped to get him more comfortable with it, but doing a good job. You talk about a guy with great hip flexibility, the ability to bend and strike people.

''He's doing really, really well, so very pleased with where he's at. Again, the bye week and this week's been good for him just getting more and more comfortable.''

Saffold, who wears Orlando Pace's old number, is set for unrestricted free agency after this season. He had been the left tackle before the Rams made a big free agent signing in the offseason to get Long to play the position. Saffold switched to the right side.

The decision to switch Saffold to guard was made to get the five best linemen on the field.

''They were just like basically, `Hey, we want you to play guard so we can get everybody on the field,''' Saffold said. ''I try to do what I can to help the team win.''

So Saffold is a guard after 37 starts at tackle in his four seasons with the Rams.

''This is a new challenge,'' Saffold said. ''Everything is going real well. I'm getting a lot of help from (center) Scott Wells. I get advice from Harvey, too, so that makes it a lot easier for me.''

Saffold was agreeable to move around the line, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said.

''Absolutely, he's been great,'' Schottenheimer said. ''I think he likes it in there and we all just want to find a way to win.''

The difference from tackle to guard is one of space, Saffold said. The area is more confined. He compared it to being in a phone booth.

The speed is different on the interior of the line, too. Things happen faster, Saffold said.

''Playing guard is tougher than it looks,'' Saffold said. ''I have a lot of respect for what Harvey Dahl and (left guard) Chris Williams do. I just want to keep getting better.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group