There's an interesting article from Bill Coats on Stltoday.com about Rams linebacker David Vobora today. The third-year pro – who entered the league as Mr. Irrelevant out of Idaho – has two storylines this offseason: clearing his name after last year’s four-game suspension for a positive performance-enhancing drug test, and regaining his starting position.
For clearing his name, Vobora is suing the company that provided what he says was a tainted workout supplement. Vobora asserts that he called the NFL substance hotline and got approval for every ingredient listed in the supplement. For damages, he is seeking the $90,588 he lost in compensation during the suspension.
Regarding his starting job, Vobora has an uphill battle. He played strongside linebacker in the Rams’ depleted front seven last season. But in spring, St. Louis signed veteran Na’il Diggs, who grew close to defensive coordinator Ken Flajole when Flajole was the linebackers coach in Carolina. Diggs is a stout run-stopper and, frankly, a better option at this point. Vobora, while a quick-closing, fundamentally-sound tackler, doesn’t always thrive in high-traffic areas (he has trouble locating assignments). Vobora could challenge new weakside linebacker Bobby Carpenter except he lacks the speed to play in space.
The Rams currently have Vobora working behind middle linebacker James Laurinaitis. If he stays there, he’ll only see special teams action in 2010. But at least Vobora has gotten an opportunity to learn multiple positions. Considering he lacks the athletic tools to start, becoming a utility backup gives him the best chance at getting on the field.
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