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Quinn leaves mark in Rams exhibition opener

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rams defensive end Robert Quinn, left, tries to get around Colts offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo during Saturday's preseason game in St. Louis.
(TOM GANNAM ~ Associated Press)
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn still remembers the first big hit of his college career at North Carolina.

Now the Rams' first-round draft choice has a professional memory to hold on to.

Quinn recorded one of the hardest hits of the night Saturday when St. Louis rolled to a 33-10 win over Indianapolis in the exhibition opener for both teams.

Quinn muscled into the Colts backfield and smashed running back Darren Evans to the turf for a 2-yard loss late in the second quarter. The sound of the hard contact reverberated throughout the stadium and brought a crowd of 55,461 to its feet.

"It felt good," Quinn said. "Kind of reminded me of my first big hit in college. Definitely a memorable experience."

Quinn, who is 6 foot 4 and 265 pounds, recalled a similar hit against Rutgers during his freshman season.

"There are things you are always going to remember -- and this was one of them," he said.

Quinn turned in a few other noteworthy plays Saturday. He took an estimated 20 snaps and posted a quarterback pressure in addition to the solo tackle.

Quinn also had a chance at a safety in the second half but slipped to the ground in the end zone.

Quinn, the 14th overall selection in the draft, missed the first few days of camp due to a knee injury suffered while working out on his own. He quickly has made up for lost time.

"He got off to a shaky start only because of the issue with his knee," St. Louis coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "But he's worked his way back into shape."

Quinn is pleased with his progression, giving himself a "B-plus," so far in camp. Spagnuolo expects the pass-rushing specialist to get even better in the coming weeks.

"I think he'll start to play a lot faster once he knows what he's doing," Spagnuolo said.

Quinn started 24 of 25 games during a two-year stint at North Carolina where he recorded 13 sacks. Quinn was suspended before the 2010 season for accepting improper benefits from an agent.


* Veteran kicker Josh Brown, who booted a 60-yard field to close out the first half Saturday, is hoping to get a shot at the record for the longest field goal in NFL history. Jason Elam of Denver booted a 63-yarder Oct. 25, 1998. Tom Dempsey hit a 63-yarder Nov. 8, 1970. "I feel like if the opportunity comes up, I can break the record," Brown said.

* Starting offensive tackle Rodger Saffold tweaked his back early in Monday's practice. "Hopefully, he can get some treatment and get back out here tomorrow," Spagnuolo said. Saffold has had back issues in the past.

* Guard Jacob Bell (slight knee sprain) missed practice as well.

* Linebacker James Laurinaitis returned to practice Monday after missing several days with a pectoral muscle injury.

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