Lewis in Rams’camp, Miller still hobbling
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Aug. 3, 2005 - Two former Sulphur Springs products are in NFL training camps this week, though one showed up on crutches.

Damione Lewis, who is entering his fifth year with the St. Louis Rams, reported to training camp healthy and is fighting for a starting position at defensive tackle and could even be used at defensive end as the Rams try to get more size on the field, according to the Rams' website.

Lewis (6-2, 301) will see plenty of time on the field, whether in the starting lineup or not, as the Rams use a changing rotation. He finished last season with 46 tackles (36 solos) and was third on the team with five quarterback sacks.

He was the 12th player taken in the 2001 draft after completing his career at the University of Miami.

The Rams are practicing for the first time at their facility outside St. Louis, which is the midst of a scorching heat wave. The proximity to his home in St. Louis is good for Lewis, whose wife is expecting a child, but the heat is a factor.

"It's a grind, but that's what makes you better; that's what makes you mentally tough," he told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "Then when the preseason (games) come, that's how you get into game shape and then you're ready for the season. So it's like a three-phase process."

Caleb Miller, who is entering his second season with the Cincinnati Bengals, has been unable to practice at the Bengals' camp in Georgetown, Ky., after three offseason ankle surgeries. The early prognosis was that he could miss two to four weeks of training camp after having the final arthroscopic procedure on Friday.

A third-round pick last year out of Arkansas, Miller injured his ankle in the opening game of 2004 and had difficulty with it all year though he missed just three games. He had two postseason surgeries to clear out both ankles early in the summer, but didn't feel the problem was corrected.

"The doctors always can't see everything, but I wanted an MRI and it showed something," he said. "I played terrible last year. I never played like that in high school. I was minus 100 percent."

Miller, who has put on about five pounds in the offseason to reach 230, had 35 tackles last year (22 solo) with a fumble recovery at middle linebacker.

Tyreo Harrison, who was a sixth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002, has not been claimed by an NFL team after the Houston Texans released him in May. After playing for Green Bay in 2004, Harrison was signed by the Texans to a futures contract in March, but the team later released him.

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