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Robinson Admits Rams Had a Good Trip

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Kevin Greene’s leg-whip on Raider quarterback Steve Beuerlein Sunday may go down as the biggest trip in the Coliseum since Zola Budd took out Mary Decker.

Remember, it was 10-10 in the third quarter Sunday when the Rams’ Greene, who was locked in a block with tackle Steve Wright, threw out his right leg and tripped Beuerlein for a safety.

The Rams took a 2-point lead on the play and got the ball back on the Raiders’ mandatory free kick, which led directly to a 46-yard field goal by Mike Lansford.

Nice play by Greene, even if it was illegal.

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“Oh, I think you could have called it tripping,” Ram Coach John Robinson said Monday. “But because he was locked up on the guy makes it difficult to call it. Did the blocker push him into it? Was it a reaction off of the blocker? Officials are looking for criteria to call things on. Because he was locked up with the blocker probably made it more complicated.”

Greene’s play probably saved the Rams, though it was too close to a foul for Robinson to give his linebacker too much credit.

“I’d liked for him to knock the blocker down and sack him,” he said. “Then I would have said, ‘Great!’ ”

If you’re reading this Dale Hatcher, turn the page: Robinson isn’t commenting on what might happen when you return from your leg injury in a few weeks.

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“I don’t have to face it,” Robinson said. “So there’s no sense talking about it until I have to face it.”

Of course, it’s no secret what a great job punter Rich Camarillo is doing in Hatcher’s absence. Sunday, he averaged 42.6 yards on 7 kicks, with a long of 56.

But forget those numbers. Kevin Greene’s end-zone sack and safety of Beuerlein would not have been possible had Camarillo not planted a 39-yard punt on the Raider 1-yard line.

Then, with the Rams leading in the third quarter, 15-10, Camarillo launched a 56-yard punt that pushed the Raiders back to their 9.

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“Camarillo had a big day punting the ball,” Robinson said.

Awesome Newsome: Remember the last-second, desperation pass the New England Patriots used to beat the Rams two years ago at Anaheim Stadium? Well, it almost happened again Sunday.

On the game’s last play, Beuerlein, from his own 13, threw it as far as he could down the left sideline. The ball bounced off a group of Ram defenders into the hands of receiver James Lofton.

Only Ram safety Vince Newsome stood between Lofton and the winning touchdown, and he shoved Lofton out of bounds at the 30 after a 56-yard completion, and saved the game.

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“We always find a way to screw things ups,” Newsome said as he ran off the field.

How excited are the Rams about being 3-0?

“I don’t think any of them are carried away,” Robinson said of his players. “We have to stress trying to get better. We’re not good enough, by any stretch of the imagination, to be a real contending team. That’s what I think we want to be. I don’t think we are at this point. I think there’s going to be a point this year when we will be. But we gotta hurry.”

But that doesn’t mean the Rams aren’t a handful--of something.

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“Oh, we’re a handful,” Robinson said. “We’re not dynamic or graceful, but we’re a handful. But we’re so far from a level of sophistication that it’s a joke.”

Robinson said he’d had a few words with Raider owner Al Davis before Sunday’s game.

“I told him I was disappointed he had so much black (in signs and banners) around my stadium,” Robinson said.

Ram Notes

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Cornerback LeRoy Irvin (calf) and guard Duval Love (ankle) were still hobbling Monday and probably won’t practice Wednesday. Both are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. . . . Greg Bell rushed for 109 yards Sunday, the first time in his career that he has had consecutive 100-yard rushing days. Bell had 139 last week against Detroit.

Coach John Robinson called the match between tackle Jackie Slater and Raider star Howie Long a draw. So what do you get for draws? Slater got a game ball. . . . The most sacks the Rams have ever had under Robinson was 56 in 1985. With 21 through three games, the Rams are on a 112-sack pace. Ridiculous? “We don’t expect to continue with an average of 7 sacks for the year,” Robinson said. “That’s not realistic. But we’re putting pressure on the quarterback. We’re doing things that are confusing opponents at times where we’re getting people unblocked, which always helps your ability to sack.”

Oh, another thing about rookie running back Gaston Green. Next week is going to be his week. “I failed again in terms of the amount of time Gaston Green got,” Robinson said. “We got him playing early but just didn’t seem to be able to continue it. Again, we’re very anxious and hopeful he’ll get to play a lot as we go along.” Green carried 4 times for 10 yards against the Raiders. For the year, it’s been 10 carries for 27 yards.

Robinson wouldn’t call Sunday’s chop block against Gary Jeter a cheap shot. “No, no,” Robinson said. “They were just trying to block him. Guys get frustrated, you know. Someone’s screaming at you, ‘Block him!’ No, they don’t play dirty. They’re not a team you’d identify any of that kind of behavior with. At least not in my experience.”

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