NFL Wire News

Reynolds gets his chance on Rams’ offensive line


The Sports Xchange

By Howard Balzer

EARTH CITY, Mo. — The St. Louis Rams return from the bye with Garrett Reynolds set to start at right guard after Rodger Saffold was lost for the season because of a shoulder injury suffered in Week 5 against Green Bay.

Reynolds has 27 starts in the NFL, and Rams line coach Paul Boudreau was his coach with the Falcons. After Reynolds replaced Saffold in the game against the Packers, head coach Jeff Fisher said things seemed to “calm down” on the line.

The elder statesman on the line at the age of 28, Reynolds acknowledged being “the older guy and try to bring some these young guys along. I just get in there and remind guys to stay calm and let’s keep rolling. It’s a long game, and just stick together. That’s the most important thing: just stay together and keep pushing.”

Although he was new to the team this offseason, Boudreau knew Reynolds would be able to help the younger players in the group. Boudreau told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch during the summer, “He knows me, and he knows when I’m (upset). He knows when we’re doing OK. So he’s kind of been my helper as far as getting ’em together off the field. He’ll say, ‘We’re all going out, we’re gonna have pizza and beer. And if you don’t show up, you’re gonna pay the bill.'”

It also helped that Reynolds knew what to expect from Boudreau.

“It’s easier to come in and understand the scheme,” Reynolds said. “Even though it’s gonna be a little bit different, you can relate it back to, ‘Hey, it’s something I did a couple years ago.'”

When he signed with the Rams, he understood his role after playing all the line positions except center at one time or another. But, right guard is where he played the most.

“Nothing was ever said to me (about the specific role), but that’s kinda the person I’ve always been,” he concluded. “Wherever you need me, throw me in, and I’ll be ready to roll.”

–The Rams used the bye-week practices to get a lot of reps for younger players, especially on the offensive line, that don’t normally get them.

Said head coach Jeff Fisher, “What we did the last three days is, we put a number of the younger players in position to compete on the field against the defense and that’s important. We do as good of a job as we can with their reps as scout-team players during the preparation week. We got them in there with the first offense. We got them in there with our stuff. I switched things up and I let the twos go against the first-team defense and so it’s valuable experience for them. And that’s part of the bye week.

“Those are kind of the hidden things that take place that aren’t often talked about. It’s getting the younger players the much needed reps. When we end up resting a (cornerback) Janoris (Jenkins), the younger corners are going to get reps, full-speed reps with the starters. So, we got a lot of good reps. You don’t want them to fall behind and you don’t want them to get in this funk to where they don’t see an opportunity to play. We took full advantage of this opportunity the last few days.”

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