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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Knox Appoints New Spokesman

September 25, 1993|T.J. SIMERS

Is the pressure of two losses in three games and a quarterback controversy starting to weigh heavily on Coach Chuck Knox?

After Friday's practice, Knox was asked a routine question in advance of Sunday's game with the Oilers: "In light of all the talk about quarterback Jim Everett this week, how do you expect defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan to attack your offense?"

Knox's reply: "You'll have to ask Buddy Ryan."

Knox was asked again: "But what about your expectations?"

Knox's reply: "I said you'll have to ask Buddy Ryan. OK? Thank you."

End of interview.

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The Rams released wide receiver Richard Buchanan, who has been their punt returner in the first three games, and promoted defensive back Courtney Griffin from the practice squad.

Cornerback Darryl Henley, who suffered a cut leg in practice Friday, will replace Buchanan as punt returner and will be backed up by wide receiver Henry Ellard and defensive back Steve Israel.

If Buchanan clears waivers, the Rams are expected to re-sign him and add him to their practice squad.

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Linebacker Shane Conlan, the team's leading tackler a week ago and highest-paid defensive player, will spend most of Sunday in Houston on the sideline.

The run-and-shoot offense employed by the Oilers usually forces defenses to replace the middle linebacker with an additional defensive back.

"With the kind of game Conlan played last week, it's an absolute sin to not have him on every down against this team this week," said Joe Vitt, Ram assistant head coach. "I guess you get to get him healthy another week."

The Rams will go with extra defensive backs in hopes of stopping the run-and-shoot, but Conlan said while playing in Buffalo the Bills chose to employ their regular defense against Houston.

"We were using extra DBs at first, but then we went back to our regular defense in the second half when we were doing so well," Conlan said. "In Buffalo we were playing zone, because you can't play man-to-man coverage. In Buffalo I think the linebackers were more accustomed to the drops (in pass coverage) than some of the secondary guys."

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