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The Rams cut fullback Madison Hedgecock after their first regular-season game of 2007. Two days later, the New York Giants claimed Hedgecock on waivers and plugged the 265-pound lead blocker into their lineup to put additional muscle in their rushing attack.
The Giants were fourth in the NFL in rushing, and after three tough playoff road wins, they'll face New England in the Super Bowl. The Giants were so impressed with Hedgecock's work, they gave him a five-year contract extension worth $5.5 million.
Meanwhile, frustrated Rams fans might wonder why coach Scott Linehan released Hedgecock to make room for Richard Owens, an ineffective H-back.
"Because the head coach brought in a player that he'd had in college, and Minnesota," Hedgecock said Friday on our radio show (KSLG, 1380 AM). "He got rid of me because I wasn't brought in by him. And anything they say doesn't really matter, because that's the truth." Advertisement
True, Owens is a FOSL. (Friend Of Scott Linehan). He had Linehan as offensive coordinator in college (Louisville) and in the NFL (Minnesota).
"They could have at least brought in somebody that was good to replace me," Hedgecock said. "They brought in a guy that didn't dress (for games). And he was the coach's buddy. I don't need that stuff. I don't want to play for a buddy. I want to play for somebody that wants to win."
To Hedgecock, that would be Giants coach Tom Coughlin, whom he calls "a fiery speaker."
"He's pretty boring in my book," Hedgecock said. "I think his players would fall asleep before a game. I can't even be nice about it any more."
Hedgecock remains upset by something Rams teammates told him after his release: Rams coaches disliked his attitude.
"I might be too slow, or not too fast, or too pretty, or whatever you want to call me, but my attitude has never been a problem," he said. "I've never had a bad attitude. To say that is a joke.
"(In 2006) I had a high ankle sprain and a broken thumb and I played the whole year. I don't think I was as highly as effective as I could have been, but I had to play through a lot of pain. That was a rough year for me as far as staying healthy, but I never missed a beat. And then they repay you for playing hard and hurt by cutting you."
Well, Hedgecock got his revenge in the form of respect, a new contract and a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
"I don't know what the Rams were thinking," Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said. "But I'm glad they kicked him out of the house and onto the streets and threw his clothes out. One man's trash is another man's treasure, and St. Louis' trash has most definitely been our treasure."