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Rams Top Pick Quinn Preparing For 1st NFL Sack

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Defensive lineman Robert Quinn practices during Rams Camp 2011. (Getty/Dilip Vishwanat)

Defensive lineman Robert Quinn practices during Rams Camp 2011. (Getty/Dilip Vishwanat)

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams’ first-round pick didn’t dress for the season opener. C.J. Ah You’s wrist injury has given Robert Quinn an opportunity in Game 2.

Quinn, taken 14th overall in the April draft, is expected to make his debut Monday night on the road against the New York Giants.

Ah You hurt his wrist in the season-opening loss to Philadelphia. He had a pin inserted in his wrist during an operation this week and will miss at least one game.

The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Quinn was just the third first-round draft choice for St. Louis to be listed inactive for the first game. He missed the first few days of camp due to a knee injury suffered while working out on his own.

Still, not dressing for the opener against the Eagles caught Quinn off guard.

“It’s just one of those things,” Quinn said. “Once you find out, you’ve just got to realize you have to support your teammates. It’s still a team sport. Of course, everybody wants to play.”

That’s all behind Quinn now. He’s worked hard this week to show he can get the job done.

“I feel like I’ve had a pretty good week of practice,” Quinn said. “I’m pushing myself a lot harder. I put pressure on myself every day. I guess I’ve got a little more focus on the little things.”

He has caught the eye of his coaches.

“Robert’s done a nice job,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “He actually did something working as a scout team player. Now, he got plenty of reps with the Rams defense. But I thought he was pretty impressive.”

Defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said Quinn did a good job in practice this week.

“Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to dial him up a little bit and give him a chance to play and see what he can do,” Flajole said.

That’s what Quinn wants — to get on the field. Playing on Monday night makes little difference to Quinn.

“It doesn’t matter if it was a Tuesday, Wednesday or a Thursday, football is football,” Quinn said. “That’s the easiest way to look at it. You put the pads on and go out play football. They’re keeping score and we’re playing to win.”

The Rams wanted Quinn for his pass-rushing skills. He recorded 13 sacks in 25 games at North Carolina. In the preseason, Quinn had a sack and blocked a field goal in a win over Kansas City.

Learning the defense is an ongoing situation, Quinn said. Spagnuolo said the transition might be more difficult for Quinn given he did not play his senior season at North Carolina.

“Being here for a little while, it’s getting easier for me,” Quinn said. “I’ve had a lot of reps in practice. You find something to work on everyday, no matter if you’re a first-year player or a 20-year vet.”

Getting that first NFL sack is something Quinn said he has thought about.

“I’ve been thinking of some kind of celebration for the first NFL sack,” Quinn said, laughing. “I haven’t really concluded what I’ll do. It’ll probably be a spur of the moment thing. I’ll probable just get up and walk back to the huddle, knowing me. But I’ll take a ‘W’ over a sack.”

NOTES: Game-day captains for Monday’s game will be DT Fred Robbins and OG Harvey Dahl. “We want the biggest guys we can get out there for the coin toss,” Spagnuolo quipped. … TE Michael Hoomanawanui (calf) is likely to return to action against the Giants.

Copyright Associated Press

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