September 23, 2018
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Three former Black Bears earn NFL roster spots

Stock photo | Pexels
Stock photo | Pexels
By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Updated:

Former University Maine All-American offensive tackle Jamil Demby went into last Thursday’s 28-0 exhibition loss to New Orleans unsure of his future with the Los Angeles Rams, who chose him in the sixth round of the National Football League draft. He was the 192nd overall pick

But rookie Demby learned this weekend that he will be one of three former Black Bears on an NFL opening day 53-man roster.

Westbrook native Trevor Bates, a linebacker, and Pat Ricard, a fullback-defensive lineman earned roster spots with Detroit and Baltimore, respectively.

And nose tackle Christian LaCouture, who attended Louisiana State University and is the son of former UMaine hockey player Dave LaCouture and his wife, Orrington native Amy Henderson, has captured a slot on the Ravens roster.

“That last preseason game was definitely stressful. I knew anything could happen so it’s amazing to be a part of the roster, be part of something special,” Demby said on Sunday.

Demby is listed on the Rams’ depth chart as the No. 2 left guard behind nine-year veteran Rodger Saffold.

Demby played both guard and both tackle positions during the preseason and got a lot of playing time. He played three-quarters of the first two exhibition games against the Ravens and Raiders, the second half of the third one (Houston Texans) and the entire game against the Saints.

“I moved around a lot. I gained a lot of experience and made a lot of improvement. Playing guard definitely suits me but I also proved I can play tackle,” said Demby who feels his ability to play multiple positions helped his chances.

In evaluating his first NFL training camp, the 6-foot-5, 321-pound Demby said, “Overall, it went well. I started hot. I had my ups and downs.

“It’s all about proving yourself every day…continuing to play fast. And I know I have the ability to play even faster. You have to keep learning and improving,” said Demby who signed a four-year, $2,616,620 contract in June.

Demby said he went into training camp with confidence and that he developed even more confidence through the exhibition games.

“You have to have that and continue to build on it,” he said. “I’ve gotten to play against different types of guys and different defenses. It has been great.”

He said the coaching staff has been very helpful and pointed out that he had the opportunity to practice against Ricard because the two teams had joint practices before their exhibition game.

“It was great seeing him and to see what he’s been doing,” said Demby who recently talked to Bates after they had each found out they had earned a roster spot.

Former All-Colonial Athletic Association defensive end Bates, who was drafted in the seventh round (239th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in 2016 and played in one game for them during the 2016 season, spent last season on the practice squads of the New England Patriots and the the New York Giants before being released by the Giants in December.

Bates was penciled in as the backup middle linebacker on the Lions’ depth chart behind two-year pro Jarrad Davis.

Ricard, who wasn’t drafted, is in his second season with the Ravens.

He was one of just five NFL players to be on the field for 10 or more snaps on offense and defense a year ago as he had 143 plays on offense and 37 on defense.

Used primarily as a blocking back, Ricard did circle out of the backfield and make four catches for 12 yards, two of which went for touchdowns. He was involved in five tackles on defense.

He was listed on the Ravens’ depth chart as the starting fullback.

LaCouture, an undrafted rookie who was the second leading tackler at Louisiana State University last fall with 66 including 8.5 for lost yardage and six sacks, was listed as the number three nose tackle for the Ravens.

LaCouture, who attended elementary school in Camden and Orrington, is behind three-year man Michael Pierce and two-year pro Chris Wormley.

LaCouture’s father played on UMaine’s 1992-93 NCAA championship team.

The Ravens face the Buffalo Bills in their opener 1 p.m. Sunday. The Lions play the New York Jets at 7:10 p.m. Sept. 10 and the Rams take on the Raiders right after that at 10:20 p.m.

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