ST. LOUIS — From the practice squad to the starting lineup, Mark Setterstrom has moved quickly to establish himself with the St. Louis Rams.
A seventh-round draft pick (242nd overall) out of Minnesota in 2006, Setterstrom was inactive for the first nine games last season. He made his NFL debut Nov. 19 against Carolina at right guard, and started the season’s final three games. He will start on the left side when the Rams open the season Sept. 9 at home against Carolina.
“That first year was an adjustment period,” Setterstrom said Wednesday after practice. “I’ve taken the coaching that I was given and the points from the older guys and my confidence to get here. Using all that, I feel a lot better this year.”
The Rams travel to Oakland on Friday for their third preseason game. Both teams are 1-1.
Coach Scott Linehan revealed Wednesday that Setterstrom also will play some center against the Raiders.
“From where he was, inactive, to playing the last three games as a starter, we are at the point now where we have confidence to work him a little bit at center,” Linehan said. “In this game, we’re going to play him a series or two at center so we have an emergency plan in case something happens during the year.”
The move surprised Setterstrom, who has never played center.
“I don’t know what’s up,” he said. “The motto around the NFL is the more you do, the better. Any way I can help the team and anything they think I can help the team with, I’m going to try.”
Linehan, impressed by Setterstrom’s toughness and competitiveness, said he was surprised he has moved up so quickly.
“I thought he was capable of being a heck of a player,” Linehan said. “He was a great player in college. I always felt he was going to end up being a guy who was going to end up playing for us.”
The experience last season “takes the butterflies out of it for me,” Setterstrom said. “I get excited for every game. Now, that I’ve played a few games, I’ve got to raise my level up even more.”
On the left side, Setterstrom lines up beside tackle Orlando Pace, a perennial Pro Bowl player.
“Working with Orlando for a whole camp has really helped out a whole lot,” Setterstrom said. “He’s a Hall of Famer. It’s great having that type of player out there helping me.”
NOTES: G-T Todd Steussie practiced Wednesday after missing the last two days with a minor neck injury. ... G Richie Incognito (high ankle sprain) did not practice and is doubtful for Oakland. S Jerome Carter (midfoot sprain) did not practice for the third day and is doubtful as well. ... Linehan said Brett Romberg will start at center but veteran Andy McCollum will see playing time, too, as they compete for the starting job.