Originally written on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 7/12/13
ST. LOUIS -- Rodger Saffold wasn't pleased. The position was a part of his identity. In the 47 games the St. Louis Rams had played since 2010, he had started there 35 times.Only injuries had kept No. 76 from his place. He was the Rams' left tackle, a title synonymous with big money and respect. He was the protector of star quarterback Sam Bradford's blind side. Until suddenly, without a chance to fight for it, the job was no longer his. "I think it was more of a shock than anything," St. Louis Rams offensive line coach Paul Boudreau said. "He had some moments, as we will say in our room." When the Rams signed former Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long to a four-year, 34 million contract in late March, the team described the acquisition of the elite lineman as a no-brainer. Long was the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, a 6-foot-7, 319-pound mountain of a man who had made four Pro Bowls in five years. The team celebrated while Saffold wrestled with the request he knew would come...
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