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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Newman Stands Out Despite Injury

October 21, 1994|T.J. SIMERS

Safety Anthony Newman, the hero in the Rams' 17-10 victory over the Giants last week with a game-ending interception, said in six years of practicing against Jim Everett he never intercepted an Everett pass.

"We'd go No. 1 defense versus No. 1 offense in training camp and then I'd play on the scout team and I never picked Jim Everett," Newman said. "A lot of times you're out there and it just happens, Chris Miller throws a ball and you intercept it. I'm definitely due."

Newman seriously injured the little finger on his right hand before last week's game and made the key interception with his right hand so heavily bandaged it looked like a club. This week he will attempt to play with only his last two fingers protected by a cast.

"The throbbing has stopped, but I'm very conscious of it," Newman said. "I don't shake hands or open doors, and I need help putting on my shoulder pads and snapping my chin strap."

Despite the inconveniences, Newman played against the Giants and has continued to practice effectively.

"When he slit his finger and that bone was sticking out, there was still no doubt in his mind that he was going to play," said Joe Vitt, Ram assistant head coach. "It wasn't up to the doctors, it was up to Anthony and it shows what kind of attitude he has."

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Jim Erkenbeck, Ram offensive line coach, worked previously as offensive coordinator for Jim Mora's Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars in the USFL, and Erkenbeck said Mora will not allow the New Orleans Saints to pack it in because of two consecutive losses and a 2-5 record.

"There's absolutely no chance of that; there is no panic in this guy," Erkenbeck said. "When the bullets start flying, none of it fazes him."

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Defensive tackle Jimmie Jones missed practice with a sore hip, but Coach Chuck Knox said he will play against the Saints. . . . Tom Newberry has been promoted to offensive team captain while Jackie Slater recovers from a torn triceps muscle. Knox said Slater is expected to be ready to play again after the bye next week. . . . Knox said rookie wide receiver Isaac Bruce continues to improve, but Jessie Hester remains the starter opposite Flipper Anderson. . . . Rookie Wayne Gandy will start again at right tackle although Knox said Darryl Ashmore "just needs to get bumped around and gain some confidence." Ashmore, who was projected to start at right tackle this season, injured a knee earlier. Center Bern Brostek remains on crutches with his broken leg in a cast. The team hopes to have him return in three to five weeks.

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