Found August 03, 2013 on
(Eds: With AP Photos.) Will Witherspoon's return gave the St. Louis Rams veteran insurance at linebacker and a mentor for first-round pick Alec Ogletree.
It also put Witherspoon much closer to the farm where he's raising grass-fed beef.
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Witherspoon signed July 18 with St. Louis to begin a second stint with the Rams.
''It's good to be back. The history I have with coach (Jeff) Fisher was a big reason I came back,'' Witherspoon said. ''I have my farm in Owensville. I had a lot of reasons to come back. I like it here.''
His main role will be to provide veteran experience behind Ogletree and younger veterans James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar at linebacker.
''He's going to bring a senior, veteran leadership,'' said Tim Walton, the Rams' defensive coordinator. ''He's played the game for a long time, gives you depth at multiple positions. That leadership and experience is valuable in this thing.''
Witherspoon, who will be entering his 13th season, said he is fine playing the leader.
''I see myself playing a blended role,'' Witherspoon said. ''I'll be teaching guys, educating guys and helping out on the field when asked ... just being an all-around true vet.''
That's what Fisher wanted when he added Witherspoon to the roster.
''Will is a vet. He understands what to do and how to do it,'' Fisher said. ''He's acting like he's been here for a couple of seasons.''
Witherspoon played in 54 games for the Rams from 2006-09. In his first season, he played in all 16 games and recorded a career-high 113 tackles and three sacks. In 2007, Witherspoon recorded 110 tackles and a career-best seven sacks and was chosen the team's MVP.
However, Witherspoon's tenure in St. Louis ended Oct. 20, 2009, when he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round draft pick in 2010. At the time, the Rams were in dire need of help at receiver.
''Part of it I knew was business, but part of it left me bitter,'' Witherspoon said about the trade. ''At the same time, you know, time heals everything. I think now the trade only helped me in my career and gave me other opportunities. It's all come full circle.''
Witherspoon turns 33 on Aug. 19. He is the oldest player on one of the youngest teams in the NFL.
''You know, they called me `Pops' last year in Tennessee,'' Witherspoon said. ''I'm fine with that. I find it hilarious.''
Age does have its privileges.
''I got the first parking spot because of that,'' Witherspoon said. ''That has definitely been the perk of being on a young team. I've got the shortest distance from my car into the building.''
Witherspoon's experience is meant to be passed along to Ogletree, the 30th overall pick in the first round. Besides being linebackers, both also played at Georgia.
''When he first got here, he came up to me and said who he was and that he was looking forward to playing with me,'' Ogletree said. ''We've had a lot of conversations. He talks to all the guys. He's a great veteran.''
Witherspoon said he likes what he sees in Ogletree.
''I think mentoring him is a big part in my job here,'' Witherspoon said. ''I talk with him about his skill set and what he can do better. We all can see he's got a lot of talent and a lot of great ability. He's just got to put it all in the right place. Raw is the best way to put it. College kids are always raw.''
While Witherspoon wants to keep playing, he is looking ahead to a career after the NFL. He has a cattle operation about 90 minutes southwest of St. Louis called Shire Gate Farm.
''I started that in 2006 when I was here and bought the property and got in the cattle business,'' Witherspoon said. ''It was about 180 acres and I've grown it 900 acres or so. I keep about 200 head of cattle. We produce grass-fed beef.
''We've got some products coming out. Hopefully, we'll see it on the shelves soon. In the last couple of offseasons, I've (gone to) food shows to understand what people want, what retailers want. I try to see the whole picture from hoof to plate.''
Online: AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org/
BEST OF MAXIM
The St. Louis Rams knew at the end of the 2012 season that they needed to surround QB Sam Bradford with some weapons if they expected their young signal caller to go to the next level.
TE Jared Cook was one of their free agent targets. A big (6'5, 248) and athletic pass catcher who has just started to become a threat, but the Rams think his upside is considerable.
St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan introduced the game “Smack Cam” to his teammates to get a few laughs as they get through training camp. Here are the rules from the Rams team website: Players only. If any player is at any time wearing team issued Rams gear, he’s
The St Louis Rams have already proven they have a defense that could finish in the top ten when the season ends, but they have shown in the past few seasons that having a solid defense doesn’t necessarily translate into wins. The team still needs play makers on offense to score some points for them.
The Rams made significant signings during the offseason to help move the ball...
Former St. Louis Rams great WR Isaac Bruce stopped by the team’s camp to lend some advice to the team’s young receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
The two former West Virginia players met with former Rams All-Pro WR Isaac Bruce following the team's practice session.
"It's just a blessing to talk to someone like that," Bailey said, via Steve Overbay...
ST. LOUIS -- All the oohs and ahs emanating from the early training camp workouts at Rams Park haven't been reserved for the playmaking of the flashy new receivers and the occasional big hits from the defense.
The punter has wowed the record crowds, too. That's right. The punter. Given a chance to punt in front of last Saturday's record crowd, Johnny Hekker was launching...
Jared Cook blocking for Bradford Photo by Jeff Curry/ USA Today Sports
3. Jared Cook
Heading into the offseason the St Louis Rams needed to surround quarterback Sam Bradford with some firepower on offense. One of the biggest surprises came when they signed tight end Jared Cook to a five-year $35 million deal.
Cook stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 248 pounds, with wide receiver speed...
A lot of questions at the running back position were abound after the departure of star RB Steven Jackson, but things seem to be looking on the upside for the Saint Louis Rams in training camp.
Not one, or two, but three young backs - Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson and 5th round pick Zac Stacy, could form quite a formidable triple threat if things progress the way head coach...
I can’t be covered Juan…
Jared Cook never really lived up to his ability in Tennessee, but gets a fresh start in St Louis with his former coach Jeff Fisher. It came out today that Cook will fill the role left behind Danny Amendola. This is potentially huge news as Cook could be the primary receiving option that was supposed to filled by rookie WR Tavon Austin. Jeff Fisher...
Cornerback has started a bit of whipped cream warfare at St. Louis Rams training camp. Finnegan started the “Smack Cam” movement that involves one person slamming a whipped cream pie into the face of another and it has quickly caught on with his teammates.
Finnegan still boasts the most impressive and creative Smack Cam attacks, including the one you can see above, which victimizes...
As much as fans looks forward to the return of football, for most players, especially veterans, training camp is pretty much a pain in the you know where. In turn, players have to come up with creative ways to pass the time and stay interested in the daily grind of camp. Cortland Finnegan of the St. Louis Rams got a little creative, and thanks to social media, we are able to enjoy...
The St. Louis Rams’ locker room has turned into a massive war of smack cam, and we are loving every second of it. Below are just a few of the videos being posted which feature Rams players putting whipped cream on a plate and smacking a teammate in the face. Simple, right? Some official rules courtesy of the Rams:
The rules are pretty simple: it’s a game for players only....
A shaving cream pie to the face is never not funny. Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan pulled the age-old gag (known on social media these days as the “#SmackCam”) on teammate Chris Long on Thursday while Long was being interviewed live on NFL Network. Finnegan is one of the NFL’s great antagonists, but his targets are usually wide receivers (as Andre Johnson can attest),...
For those of you who haven’t seen it, “smack cam” is one of the latest — and most violent — trends that is sweeping the world of social media. Basically, smack cam consists of people whacking their friends in the face with any item that is readily accessible and posting a short video of it [...]
stlouisrams’s video on Instagram
Brian Quick Puts On the Best Move of Training Camp (Video)
Rams WRs Hauling In TDs at Camp (Video)
Embed by embedinstagram.com