Going back to Minnesota no big deal for safety Chavous

Saturday, December 30, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- Returning to Minnesota gives St. Louis safety Corey Chavous no special motivation for Sunday's game.

The Rams will play at Minnesota and need a win to retain a chance of reaching the playoffs. St. Louis also needs the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons to lose.

Chavous is in his first year with the Rams after signing as a free agent from Minnesota. However, being a former Vikings player is not a motivational tool for him.

"I think by the time you're with your third team, you can get motivated against a couple of different teams," Chavous said. "It's not different than playing against Arizona. In terms of extra motivation, I think it will be more of a memory thing for me than anything.

"Getting a chance to go back there kind of brings back memories of the good times that I had there. There's not motivation in terms of a negative. The only motivation I have is to try to win and get to the playoffs."

Chavous, one of the team captains, has fit in well with the Rams and likes playing in St. Louis.

"I've definitely been happy here," Chavous said. "This is an organization with a lot of good people and I've really enjoyed myself this year, and I'll continue to. I think we are a program definitely on the right track and the best thing about it right now is the fact that we still have a chance to do something this season, and that's more positive than anything."

Chavous, who is in his ninth season and was a Pro Bowl player in 2003, signed a five-year contract to replace injury-prone Adam Archuleta. He played the last four seasons with the Vikings, three of them when current Rams coach Scott Linehan was the offensive coordinator.

Earlier in the week, his teammates voted him the Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game award recipient. The honor is given to a player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, work ethic and commitment to his teammates.

The award was well deserved, Linehan said.

"It's not rah-rah stuff with Corey," Linehan said. "Corey's all about business and doing things the right way on a daily basis. And he's a great example to our younger players."

Chavous is second on the team in tackles with 111. He also has a sack, an interception and two fumble recoveries.

One thing Chavous said he enjoys is helping the young talent in the secondary. He recalls when he was new in the league and leaned on veterans for guidance.

"The guy for me was Aneas Williams," Chavous said. "He was a guy that had a demeanor and approach that was different from everybody else, and that was a great reason why he was the player that he was. There were several other guys like Kwame Lassiter, Tommy Bennett, Jamir Miller, and Ron McKinnon.

"There were several guys that I had a chance to learn from in Arizona. There were a lot of veterans there, and I really appreciate everything they did for me."

Now, he tries to pass some of his knowledge along if asked.

"I think the biggest thing is I'd like to see the young guys develop around me. Those guys have done a great job this year," Chavous said. "Seeing O.J. [Atogwe] and how many plays he's made, Ron [Bartell] has been stepping up lately, Tye [Hill] has had a good year, and certainly Fahkir [Brown] has been a joy to work with because of his competitiveness and basically being one of the most underrated corners in the league.

"Jerome Carter has stepped in and done very well, and Travis Fisher [played well] before he got hurt. I've enjoyed playing with those guys. That was the reason why I came here, to get the chance to play with guys that have a lot of potential and room to grow and certainly they have."


* Receiver Isaac Bruce has been selected as the Rams Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient. The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is a prestigious honor recognizing a player for his community service as well as his on-the-field performance.

* The status of ookie defensive end Victor Adeyanju will be a "game-day" decision, Linehan said after practice. Adeyanju is listed as questionable. He has been practicing with a new cast on his broken arm.

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