Wells Excited for New Opportunity

Posted Mar 22, 2012

Growing up in Brentwood, Tenn. and playing his college football at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville afforded Scott Wells the opportunity to see up close the way Jeff Fisher handles his business.

After going a portion of his young life with no professional football in his home state, Wells saw first hand how the Titans were built in Tennessee and how Fisher was able to bring it all together and eventually make his team a legitimate contender for Super Bowls.

Those memories never faded from Wells and when he hit free agency this offseason, they came rushing back when Fisher and his new team, the Rams, called to bring him in for a visit.

Ultimately, those recollections were a piece of the puzzle that ultimately helped Wells decide to sign a lucrative four-year deal with Fisher and the Rams.

“I’ve followed Coach Fisher since I was in high school growing up in the Nashville area,” Wells said. “I really admired what he was able to do with the Titans when he was here. Really wanted to explore an opportunity to play for him some day, and through free agency, I’ve been given that opportunity.”

Upon his visit to St. Louis, Wells had the opportunity to meet Fisher and offensive line coach Paul Boudreau. Those meetings lived up to the expectations Wells had. When the Rams made Wells a generous offer to make him one of the most well-compensated pivots in the league, Wells decided he couldn’t pass even though he had strong interest from his former team, Green Bay, and his hometown Titans.

“I decided that’s where I wanted to be,” Wells said. “It felt like the right place for me and my family. I was really looking forward to playing with Coach Fisher and following his career. I’m excited about this opportunity to step into this organization and to work with another great quarterback in Sam Bradford, I’m excited about that.”

In landing Wells, the Rams signed one of the premiere offensive linemen available in this year’s free agent market.

The 31-year old Wells has just entered his prime and has graded out as the Packers’ best offensive lineman in each of the past two years, no small feat for a team that has been downright dominant offensively in that time.

Wells was finally rewarded for that production in 2011 when he earned the first Pro Bowl berth of his eight seasons. With Wells in the middle of the line, the Packers have finished in the top 10 in total yards in each of the past six seasons.

A trip to Hawaii followed by a rich free agent contract, not too shabby for a 2004 seventh-round draft choice.

“I think I’ve been a consistent player in Green Bay, really the past three or four years,” Wells said. “I think the center position definitely takes several years to break into the Pro Bowl and you have to be consistent on a year- in year-out basis to get that recognition. I was an alternate one other time and I was finally able to break in this year. A lot of it has to do with team success, having the offense that we had, as well as personal play. I feel that as the team is successful, personal accolades follow, so I think they’re directly related.”

The easy assumption about Wells is that he had a difficult decision leaving a Green Bay team that has been one of the winningest franchises in the league in the past two seasons. The Packers boast an explosive offense and a rabid fanbase.

Meanwhile, the Rams have clearly struggled in recent years and certainly haven’t played near the level of Wells’ former team.

But Wells maintains that he didn’t concern himself much with that and looked more at the big picture. He was a part of a rebuilding process in Green Bay and he has seen it turnaround, making him confident it will happen in St. Louis as well.

“Absolutely,” Wells said. “I like being a part of that. I think Coach Fisher, again, has brought in the right coaches to build something there and he’s got a great foundation with Sam, outstanding quarterback, as well as other players on the team. I’m excited about this, I’m excited to be a part of it and look forward to turning it around soon.”

From the Rams’ perspective, adding another proven winner to the roster is a key piece of the rebuilding process. Surrounded by a number of young players on offense, particularly on the offensive line, Wells can provide an example of what it takes to get a Super Bowl ring.

“Scott has played at a high level for a long time and we feel fortunate that we were able to add him to our team,” Fisher said. “He’s been a part of a program that has won a lot of football games. He’s a leader, and we’re excited about what he brings both on and off the field.”

Wells says he tries to lead by example.

“Well, I consider myself an intelligent player,” Wells said. “I really study the film and study the playbook. I’m very consistent and I think that I bring a level of professionalism that can really help other guys be true professionals on and off the field. Really just try to do everything right in practice and it will carry over into the games.”

Another benefit of adding Wells could be the guidance he can provide to quarterback Sam Bradford. Last season, Bradford was asked to handle a lot for the offense, including checks at the line and making the offensive line calls.

A revolving door in front of Bradford made his task even more difficult. But Wells brings vast experience on the line and has been as reliable as it gets, starting every game the past two seasons and 100 total in his eight-year career.

“I think with my experience in eight years in the NFL in a very complex offense, what should help as far as recognizing defensive pressures and communicating, making sure everybody’s on the right page,” Wells said. “A lot of that comes through practicing with the entire offense and it’ll carry over into the football game. So I look to draw on my experience and try to share that the best I can and be an asset to this team.”

Wells has already been in touch with Bradford via text and says he’s excited about opening holes in the running game for back Steven Jackson.

The last time the Rams signed a high dollar free agent offensive lineman from Green Bay was guard Adam Timmerman. Timmerman just so happened to be coming off a Super Bowl appearance and he also just so happened to be a key piece in helping a downtrodden Rams team turn into a contender.

That line of thinking is probably too far in advance for Wells, though. For now, he’s looking forward to playing for his new coach and helping the Rams return to glory.

“I don’t know,” Wells said. “I hadn’t really thought about that part. I’m just excited about where it’s going. I don’t think it’s important necessarily where the team has been in the past. They have a new coaching staff, they’ve got some new players and I’m excited to be a part of that and look forward to going over there and winning a lot of games.”