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Rams release demoted safety Hawthorne

ST. LOUIS (Oct. 13, 2005) -- Safety Michael Hawthorne, who lost his starting job last week in loss to Seattle, was released by the St. Louis Rams.

Hawthorne, signed to a free-agent contract in the offseason, started the first five games at free safety. Mike Furrey replaced him in the second quarter of a 37-31 loss to Seattle and tied for the team lead with a career-high nine tackles, including seven solo stops.

In recent weeks, Rams coaches have been critical of the lack of discipline at the safety position and Hawthorne was out of position on several plays last week. The overall defense has struggled, allowing 81 points in the past two games.

Furrey, a former Arena League player who began his career as a wide receiver and special-teams player, will make his first career start Oct. 17 at Indianapolis. He moved to defense this season.

AP NEWS
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