Haslett brings back Brown

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ST. LOUIS — The Rams re-signed cornerback Fakhir Brown on Monday after a long and bizarre parting of ways.

Brown was released unexpectedly Sept. 24 by previous coach Scott Linehan. The Rams fired Linehan five days later and replaced him with Jim Haslett.

Haslett has been trying ever since to get Brown back in the fold and finally got his man Monday morning.

"It's good to have him back," Haslett said. "I thought he was one of our better defensive backs, and when he's healthy, he's a pretty good corner. I know he's excited about coming back."

Brown was surprised by the release, a decision that appeared to be solely the decision of Linehan.

But Brown never got an explanation from his former head coach and had to hear the news from his agent, Ted Marchibroda.

"I was very shocked and surprised," Brown said, "due to the fact that I was just getting back out there and getting comfortable because I missed training camp and the preseason. All of a sudden they told me they would release me. There was nothing I could do about it except to move forward, so that's what I did."

Brown said he couldn't pinpoint any sort of hard feelings Linehan might have had for him and hoped that the decision to release him was the result of a shoulder injury that kept him out of training camp and the preseason and not something personal.

"I hope that he did like me, because I liked him," Brown said. "I was hoping it was just a business move by him trying to win, and by me with my shoulder hurt and him thinking my shoulder wasn't going to get well enough to play up to my ability. That's what I am hoping."

On the day Haslett was hired as coach, he called Brown in an attempt to get him back on the team.

Brown had played previously for Haslett in New Orleans, but Brown flinched at making such a quick return to the Rams. Brown received interest from other teams such as Houston, Washington and Tampa Bay and says he came closest to striking a deal with Baltimore.

Ultimately, Brown wanted to know that something like his release wouldn't happen again.

"I told him I would love to come back and play for him, but I would have to talk to some people and make sure I was making the right move because it wasn't Haslett's fault I was gone," Brown said. "I didn't know who was in charge of personnel, and I could easily come back here and get released again. I didn't know. I was just trying to find out what was really going on."

Brown spent the down time working out twice a day at his home in St. Louis and at a local high school.

Haslett stopped short of inserting Brown back as a starter, but said he would "be in the mix." Brown says his shoulder is much better and he expects to get back on the field sooner than later.

To make room for Brown on the roster, the Rams placed cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. on the injured reserve list, ending his season. Manning suffered a broken right foot against the Redskins on Sunday and will have surgery Thursday.

Noteworthy

* The Rams also placed running back Brian Leonard on injured reserve because of a dislocated shoulder. His roster spot has not yet been filled.

* Left tackle Orlando Pace suffered a slight tear in his quadriceps and his status for this week will be determined on a daily basis.

* Receiver Dane Looker has been cleared to return to the field after an abnormality appeared on his CAT scan. He will return to practice Wednesday.

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