In the late 1980s, Vasile and Estera Trinca-Pasat fled Romania, leaving behind their communist-ruled home with nothing but a dream to welcome them to Chicago.
American football was then, understandably, not high on the Trinca-Pasats' priority list, as their son Louis found out growing up.
They were all about church and school,and if we even thought about sports, we'd probably get a butt-whipping.
Two and a half decades after his parents left behind the Dacian ruins trod over by Nicolae Ceaușescu's forces, it was Louis Trinca-Pasat handing out the butt-whippings as an undersized, overbearing defensive tackle at Iowa.
After a huge jump, can LTP make the Rams' 53-man as a UDFA in 2015?
The D-line battle is an interesting one as there's an open spot from the 2014 53-man depth. The Rams went nine-deep on the line with four tackles (Michael Brockers, Alex Carrington, Aaron Donald and Kendall Langford) and five ends (William Hayes, Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Eugene Sims and Ethan Westbrooks). Carrington and Langford have since left while the Rams only brough in Nick Fairley as a certain replacement for the two.
That leaves one spot formerly assigned to a tackle open for a battle between Martin Ifedi (roster preview), Matt Longacre (roster preview), LTP and Doug Worthington (roster preview).
On one hand, LTP has the UDFA buffer. On the other, LTP was expected by some to be a mid-3rd day selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. That he slipped out is likely due to measurables, which as Lis Meinecke from Fox Sports Midwest relayed in her piece on Longacre aren't a huge make-or-break determinant for the Rams, shouldn't persuade Rams fans to dismiss LTP outright.
Chances of Making Final Roster (5/10)
I have LTP as the clear favorite to take that spot over Worthington as a DT and the other DE candidates. So why is he not higher? With some experimentation of sliding ends inside last season, I could see the Rams comfortable with a three-DT rotation heading into week one, assuming (fingers, yall) everyone's healthy. And I don't see Gregg Williams abandoning his three-man front Ruby package any time soon.
So while I've got LTP ahead of the pack here to pick up on that open slot, I wonder if it won't go elsewhere for more necessary position depth and special teams contributions. That being said, I wouldn't bet against LTP making this year's roster.