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RAM NOTEBOOK / JOHN WEYLER : Everett Pins Hopes on Dream Receiver

August 24, 1993|JOHN WEYLER

How pressing is the need for another receiver?

Let's check with a man who should know, quarterback Jim Everett. Asked whether the recent rash of injuries to offensive linemen worried him, Everett took another tack.

"All I can focus on is I know we need another receiver," he said. "I rely on the offensive line to give me time to throw, but having a big-time receiver would really help.

"Henry (Ellard) and Flipper (Anderson) will be our starting guys, but sometime during a 16-game season, one of those guys will get nicked and there has to be another guy. So far, in the pack of guys behind them, there hasn't been anyone who really sticks out. There are some guys who can play, but I don't think there's the kind of game-breaker you need."

So what kind of receiver should the Rams try to acquire? A speedy deep threat? A possession type who runs precise routes and always finds a way to get open?

"How about Jerry Rice? Andre Reed?" Everett said, smiling. "Sterling Sharpe. Think about that ."

Well, Everett can dream, can't he? And he says time is not necessarily of the essence. He's willing to help with a crash course on the Ram offense if the front office can get the talent.

"Too late? No way," Everett said. "Film and dinner at my house every night. We'd find the time. Heck, I'll instruct him on the field during the game if necessary."

*

All three starting offensive linemen who were injured Saturday night in Cleveland were unable to practice Monday. Right guard Leo Goeas, left guard Tom Newberry and tackle Jackie Slater all are confident they will be ready for the opener Sept. 5 against Green Bay, though.

Goeas suffered a pinched nerve in his neck when his head was snapped back during Saturday's game against Cleveland. Monday, he was still pivoting his whole body to look in another direction.

"I had a tingling sensation in my arm and neck and some numbness," he said. "It's still real tight and stiff. So far, we've just been icing it, but we're starting some range-of-motion stuff today.

"I don't know how long it will take to heal because this is new to me. I know everything about knees, but I've never had a pinched nerve in my neck before."

Newberry, who suffered a right hip pointer, said he expects to be able to play in the Rams' exhibition finale Saturday night against the Raiders.

"I went down on my hip and lower back and it hurt a lot and then got real stiff," Newberry said. "I got a little worried on the plane ride home, when it got really stiff, but I got it loosened up today and it feels a lot better. It's just a contusion, so I think it's going to be all right."

Slater, who suffered a "turf toe" injury, said his toe was "pretty sore" and it was going to be "one of those day-to-day things."

*

No. 1 draft pick Jerome Bettis, who hasn't practiced since injuring his ankle Aug. 11 during a workout, did some half-speed running Monday and was optimistic about his progress.

"I wasn't putting much pressure on it, I was just trying to get it conditioned to running again," he said. "But I did put a little stress on it and it felt good.

"Now, I'll just do a little more each day and hopefully by Thursday maybe I'll have a good burst and actually get some (repetitions) in practice."

Coach Chuck Knox, not uncharacteristically, was taking a more conservative approach.

"He ran some figure eights with the trainer and he says it feels pretty good," Knox said. "But we'll just have to wait and see, and do a little more each day."

Bettis hardly broke a sweat Monday, but any kind of running was a welcome workout. He's bored with the rehabilitation process and felt lost last week when the Rams were in Ohio working out with the Browns.

"I'm ready to get back to it," he said, flashing a grin. "The ankle feels good and I'm ready to push it a little. They just don't want me to rush out there, hurt it again and then maybe I'm out for a couple weeks of the season. They want me to ease into it. I'm anxious to get out there, but they're telling me, 'Calm down, Jerome, calm down.' "

Bettis said watching Saturday night's game on television was "weird." And he felt like a stranger in a strange land each morning last week when he arrived at Rams Park for treatment.

"The guys were gone and I was just hanging at the hotel," he said.

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