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Miller longs to Freak out again

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Posted: Thursday January 27, 2000 04:57 PM


Contrary to popular belief, Rams offensive lineman Fred Miller said Sunday's rematch with Titans defensive lineman Jevon Kearse is not his worst nightmare. That's probably because Miller's already lived through that on Halloween at Tennessee's Adelphia Coloseum. Going up mainly against Kearse, Miller was flagged for six false start penalties and one holding call, not to mention another holding penalty that was declined.

In Miller's defense, Rams coach Dick Vermeil said the crowd noise, and not Kearse alone, contributed to Miller's foul play.

What is certain is that Kearse was so impressed with the way he handled Miller, the rookie said after the game he wasn't talking trash; he was merely laughing out loud at his opponent.

Said Miller, "It's not a mental hangover from the game. Really I forgot about the game in a couple days."

When they thought it would be appropriate, Miller's teammates reminded him.

Said Adam Timmerman, "At first we said we're behind you all the way. That's important. Later on, he's taken a little flak. His gag Christmas gift was some yellow flags and a Jevon Kearse football card."

Miller said the memory of that day won't have any affect on how he plays against Kearse in the Super Bowl. And his coach agrees.

"I don't think it will be a mental problem. If Fred Miller doesn't move his feet properly and jam properly he'll have a problem," Vermeil said. "If we do things intelligently and he does things fundamentally right it won't be the factor it was last game."

And so on

Miller was not the only one who had a bad day against the Titans in October. Kicker Jeff Wilkins missed a 38-yard attempt to tie the score with seven seconds to play. Wilkins is scheduled for surgery on his plant leg two weeks after the Super Bowl. He's kicking with pain now, but Vermeil does not anticipate having to make a change. On Thursday, Wilkins said he's been thinking all week about getting a chance to kick the game-winner against Tennessee and making amends.

Related information
Rams Report: Five players recall L.A. roots
Day at a Glance: The Rams can hit, too
Daily Buzz: reporters cover Atlanta
Titans Report: Applying the three A's
Super Bowl Scene: Dealing with signing
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