Defensive back plays Vick's role in practice

Thursday, January 13, 2005

ST. LOUIS -- Seldom-used St. Louis Rams defensive back Dwight Anderson has a very big role this week in practice. On the scout team offense, he's playing the part of Michael Vick.

Anderson, an undrafted rookie free agent, sees time primarily on special teams and he's been inactive the last two weeks. But according to Rams coach Mike Martz, he's best suited to mimic the dangerous Atlanta Falcons quarterback heading into Saturday's NFC playoff game.

Martz said Anderson was actually the choice of defensive coordinator Larry Marmie. He kept the defense on its toes -- just what his coaches wanted.

"He really does have speed and quickness, unusual speed," Martz said. "You could see him running around out there, it was pretty good. He does a nice job."

Kennedy fights injury

One defensive lineman who wasn't chasing Anderson in practice Wednesday was Jimmy Kennedy, who has soreness in the right foot he broke in training camp. Kennedy missed half the season with the injury and the Rams for a time had considered placing him on injured reserve.

But Kennedy is expected to return to practice today, and Martz expects the team's 2003 first-round pick to make an impact on game day. He's listed as probable.

"They say we'll have him for the rest of the year, but it's going to be sore for him," Martz said. "It's not an issue for him, so I'm not going to worry about it."

Kennedy will be making his sixth straight start on Saturday. He had one of the big defensive stops late in last week's 27-20 first-round victory over the Seahawks with a 6-yard sack of Matt Hasselbeck.

"I had no idea that he would come back and play as well as he has," Martz said. "I thought he'd help us but he's done more than that."

Road woes

Last week's victory at Seattle raised the Rams' road record to a still abysmal 3-6. Martz's solution is to not mention it.

"Who cares?" Martz said. "Just go and play. You start talking about it, then guys start thinking about it."

Injury report

The Rams have a short injury list, with only defensive end Tyoka Jackson (sprained ankle) and running back Arlen Harris (hamstring) questionable. Receiver Isaac Bruce (groin/hand), running back Steven Jackson (ribs), Kennedy, guard Tom Nutten (knee) and guard Adam Timmerman (foot/knee) are probable.

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