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Chargers Keyed on Rams' Amendola

Sans Clayton, Rams rookie QB likes young receiver

By Michael Gehlken
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 1:13 PM PDT
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Danny Amendola #16 of the St. Louis Rams tries to outrun the tackle of Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions on October 10, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Eric Weddle is paid to be the Chargers' free safety. For a brief moment this week, he doubled as a tenured professor.

The day's lesson: “How to stop an offense.”

“You've got to take away what the offense likes,” Weddle said. “Make them be in a situation they don't like to be in.”

How to stop the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, then, ought to be no mystery. As usual, the Rams like to feed the ball to their workhouse running back, Steven Jackson. This year, they like throwing the ball to a young wide receiver, too.

The mere mentioning of Danny Amendola, 25, as being “the main guy” to the St. Louis passing game brings the teacher to laughter.

“Nineteen balls they threw at him (last week),” Weddle said with a smile. “That's a lot.”

Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford doesn't disguise his affection. The first overall draft pick is without wide receiver Mark Clayton, his favorite target who suffered a season-ending knee injury in last week's 44-6 road loss to Detroit.

Without Clayton, Bradford now likes Amendola. At 5-foot-10 and 186 pounds, the second-year wide receiver looks more like Average Joe than Andre Johnson, but he still had 12 receptions for 95 yards against the Lions.

On the season, he has a team-high 33 catches for 303 yards with 12 punt returns for 105 yards.

“I think Danny does a lot of things for us,” Bradford said in a Wednesday conference call. “He's a very smart football player. He understands coverages. He understands how to get open against different looks, and I think he's very, very quick — very shifty. He gets in and out of breaks extremely quick. He usually gets good separation. I like about everything about his game.”

Until, the Chargers hope, Bradford is forced to like someone else.

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