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Rams Set to Unveil Everett Era : Rookie Quarterback Will Debut Against Patriots or Saints

November 13, 1986|CHRIS DUFRESNE | Times Staff Writer

For rookie Ram quarterback Jim Everett, the waiting has been the hardest part.

But all that changed Wednesday, when Ram Coach John Robinson announced that Everett would play either this Sunday against New England or the following week against the New Orleans Saints.

How much Everett will play or when he will enter either of the home games remains a secret.

"I want people to say 'Oops, he's in the game,' and then 'Oops, he's out of the game,' " Robinson said.

It is clear, though, that Robinson has changed his previous vow only to play Everett in a lopsided game.

Robinson, not wanting to tip his hand, was very vague in explaining just how Everett might be be used.

"I don't think New England is quaking in its boots thinking, 'What if they put No. 11 in,' " Robinson said. "But if we started him, they'd get a whole different type of focus."

Everett, whose rights were obtained from the Houston Oilers on Sept. 18, has patiently been waiting for some good news.

"I'll try and be ready," he said with a grin after Wednesday's practice. "It makes me excited that they're interested in me playing. That makes me very excited."

With the Rams involved in a close divisional race, Robinson has not had much time to work Everett into the first-team offense.

But at Wednesday's practice, Everett received a considerable amount of work with the first team.

"I know all the running offense," Everett said, "And I've got down about 10 passing plays. That's really quite a few. The thing is just to get a basic grip on the whole offense."

Considering the plight of the Rams' pass offense, which ranks last in the National Football League, Everett thought his day might have come a little sooner.

Before the Rams' game with Detroit on Oct. 19, Robinson had designed a series of eight plays that Everett could run.

But the Rams, who barely won the game (14-10), couldn't build a big enough lead to give Everett a chance.

Robinson did not want to risk playing Everett the following week in an important divisional game against Atlanta or in the next two road games against Chicago or New Orleans.

"I was kind of put on the back burner for a while," Everett said. "But things are coming along as anticipated. Coach Robinson wants me to go in under positive circumstances. In the long run, I will thank him for that."

Robinson wanted to wait for a home game to play Everett, when the environment was right.

"If he does well, he might play longer," Robinson said. "But it was illogical for me to put him in one Sunday and say 'play.' We had to try to do it right."

But it's clear that Robinson can't wait for the Everett era to begin.

"He's perfect for everything we want," Robinson said of Everett. "He can take the position as far as it can go."

Several Rams spent about six hours Tuesday night laying down the sound track for the team's upcoming video, "Let's Ram It." The video is being produced by the same company that made the Chicago Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle."

Among the Rams starring are running back Eric Dickerson, guard Dennis Harrah, wide receiver Ron Brown, tight end David Hill, linebacker Carl Ekern, defensive end Gary Jeter, safeties Nolan Cromwell and Johnnie Johnson and cornerback LeRoy Irvin.

"David Hill was the best singer," Irvin said. "And we didn't say anything about a Super Bowl in it."

The Rams will film the actual video next Tuesday at a studio in Santa Ana. No release date has been announced.

Ram Notes

The Ram defense again ranks first in the NFL this week. The Rams are third against the pass and ninth against the run. . . . Running backs Eric Dickerson of the Rams and Craig James of New England will face each other for the first time Sunday. Dickerson and James, of course, were teammates in the famed Pony Express backfield at Southern Methodist University. . . . New England kicker Tony Franklin leads the NFL in scoring with 100 points, which is 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Chicago's Kevin Butler. . . . Patriot All-Pro linebacker Andre Tippett is out for at least another three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. . . . Wide receiver Ron Brown, who suffered a mild concussion in last Sunday's loss to New Orleans, complained of dizziness Wednesday morning and did not practice. If Brown is unable to play Sunday, he'll be replaced by Kevin House.

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