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RAM NOTEBOOK : Gilbert Becoming a Show--and Run--Stopper

September 27, 1993|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

HOUSTON — Ram defensive tackle Sean Gilbert continues to demonstrate each week what a dominating player he has become.

Gilbert not only had two sacks Sunday to run his total to six, but he regularly took on two blockers and stopped running back Lorenzo White for no gain on fourth and one from the Rams' six-yard line in the fourth quarter.

Gilbert had seven tackles and knocked down a pass.

"We're growing here with a different mentality," Gilbert said. "If we give up a play or things aren't going well on offense, it doesn't matter. We have to go out and play defense and stop the other team."

Gilbert, who knows how to apply heat to the quarterback, was asked about the pressure quarterback Jim Everett played under Sunday.

"That's how it is," Gilbert said. "That's why they have the bandwagon. It's like having a transfer: I want to get on that bus now.'

"We believe in Jim and we're going to play week in and week out with him. We don't put him down when something goes wrong. You can't just pinpoint one guy and say it's his fault."

Everett became the first quarterback since Denver's John Elway to throw for more than 300 yards against the Oilers' defense. Elway did it Oct. 6, 1991.

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Another Vote for Jim: Tackle Irv Eatman heaped more praise on Everett.

"Their defense tries to intimidate quarterbacks," Eatman said. "Their whole premise is to have quarterbacks look at film and say, 'Oh, my God, I'm going to get killed.'

"But he took whatever hits they gave him, and after awhile, they stopped trying to blitz him because they were getting smoked by him. I know people have been giving him a lot of flak about not standing in there, but he stood in there as well as anybody today."

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Tough Debut: Punter Paul McJulien made his debut and averaged 36 yards per punt. Don Bracken averaged 38.3 before being released.

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Keeping 'em Guessing: Running back Russell White, who has been confined to returning kickoffs, tried to add excitement to the game.

On the opening kickoff, White fielded the ball at the six-yard line with one foot out of bounds. The officials ruled the kick was out of bounds and the Rams were awarded the ball at their 35-yard line.

In the second half, White took a kick at the goal line, hesitated and then ran it back. White turned what might have been a disastrous decision into a 35-yard return, the team's longest of the season.

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Love that AFC: The Rams are 2-0 against AFC Central teams, 0-2 against the rest of the league.

The Rams have two more games scheduled against AFC Central teams: Cleveland and Cincinnati.

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The Good News: To date, running back Cleveland Gary has not fumbled the ball.

The bad news: So far, when asked to run the ball, he hasn't gone anywhere. Gary came into Sunday's game averaging 2.3 yards per carry. Against the Oilers, he ran 15 times and picked up 25 yards for an average gain of 1.7 yards.

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Silence is Golden: An unusually quiet Astrodome crowd of 53,072 did break into one chant in the second half.

"Cody, Cody, Cody," fans chanted in support of backup quarterback Cody Carlson.

Starter Warren Moon said he could hear the chants each time he walked to the sidelines.

"You can't tune it out because it's so loud," Moon said. "But I've been booed a lot before and I'm sure I'll be booed a lot more before my career is over."

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Missing in Action: Houston wide receiver Curtis Duncan's streak of 85 consecutive regular-season games played ended. Duncan sat out after injuring his foot last week against San Diego.

Duncan had not missed a game since Dec. 13, 1987, when he sat out against New Orleans with a knee injury.

Leonard Harris, Duncan's replacement in the starting lineup, didn't catch a pass.

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Going Deep: Moon's 80-yard touchdown pass to Ernest Givins in the third quarter was the Oilers' longest pass play since Dec. 16, 1990, when Moon threw 87 yards to Haywood Jeffires against Kansas City. It also tied for the second-longest reception of Givins' career. His longest was 83 yards against Cleveland in 1987.

Ram Notes

Tony Zendejas' unsuccessful 47-yard field goal attempt that hit the right upright ended a streak of eight consecutive field goals, including five this season . . . The Rams' victory gives them a 1-2 road record this season and a 7-20 record over the past three-plus seasons. They haven't had a winning road record since 1989, when they went 7-4 and reached the NFC championship game . . . The Rams are 3-1 in the Astrodome and 18-15 in all domed stadiums.

Times staff writer Mike Reilley contributed to this story.

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