New safety Chavous selected one of team's captains

Thursday, September 7, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- Corey Chavous made a fast enough impression on his new St. Louis Rams teammates that they named him a team captain on Wednesday.

The veteran free safety, signed to a free agent deal in the offseason, figures to help stabilize a defense that ranked 30th last season. He's also made himself at home in the locker room, with his boom box belting out rap tunes at the end of practice.

That's a departure from the usually silent scenario during the Rams' 12 seasons in St. Louis.

"We really don't play it too much, but every once in a while we have one of those days where we need a little bit of energy," Chavous said. "It got us through camp, so we play it."

Teammates seemed to appreciate the beat, at least most of them.

"We've been missing that soul over here," cornerback Travis Fisher said. "He brought that soul to the locker room for the DBs. We stay loose and that often carries over to the game, gives us a nice swagger."

Offensive guard Adam Timmerman, though, jokingly wondered whether what he was hearing was "music."

"He did ask for our input, and we need to take him up on that, because we've heard some bad music," Timmerman said. "We've got to have some guidelines."

Chavous, who's entering his ninth season, signed a five-year contract to replace injury-prone Adam Archuleta. He played the last four seasons with the Vikings, three of them when new Rams coach Scott Linehan was offensive coordinator at Minnesota, and last year finished fourth on the team with two interceptions and 90 tackles.

Linehan called Chavous, a Pro Bowl player in 2003 when he had eight interceptions, a "great leader."

"We brought a heck of a safety here," Linehan said. "The first thing is he's a huge upgrade, and he's been very consistent."

Chavous said he just needs to be a piece of the puzzle.

"I hope I bring a certain amount of experience, versatility and overall just a good football player," Chavous said. "I don't want to be any more than I am or any less.

"I've always said I'm probably not great at anything but good at a lot of different things, and hopefully I can show that."

Chavous is one of five new starters on defense, with tackle La'Roi Glover also elected a captain. He has high hopes for a unit that also features newcomers at middle linebacker (Will Witherspoon), cornerback (Fakhir Brown) and strong safety (Oshiomogho Atogwe).

Offensive captains will be quarterback Marc Bulger and wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. Kicker Jeff Wilkins is special teams captain.

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