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Rams' Michael Brockers feels confident but alone during LSU-Auburn week

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers is outnumbered in the locker room this week.

As LSU, Brockers' alma mater, prepares to take on Auburn -- pretty much everyone else's alma mater at Rams Park -- Brockers can barely move without running into a Tiger of the Auburn variety.

The Rams' roster boasts four former Auburn players: running back Tre Mason, offensive tackle Greg Robinson, linebacker Daren Bates and defensive tackle Nick Fairley. That should come as no surprise considering that general manager Les Snead is also an Auburn alum. On the coaching staff, offensive assistant Barrett Trotter is a former Auburn quarterback.

The numbers have actually dwindled from last season when the Rams had former Auburn receiver Emory Blake on the practice squad and linebacker Will Herring on the roster. Earlier this week, former Auburn cornerback Trovon Reed was released from the practice squad.

Even Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who went to Southern Cal, is something of an honorary Auburn guy. His son Trent played his college football there.

On Sundays, the Rams might prefer the "Mob Squad" moniker but on Saturdays, it might as well be "War Eagle."

Normally, the overwhelming Auburn presence doesn't bother Brockers, who likes having a strong SEC presence in the locker room. But it can be a bit daunting during game week.

"It's going to be a little crazy," Brockers said. "We might have a little competition, maybe a wager here and there. For the most part, it's nothing but love for the SEC in general. So I think that's the most important part. We have a lot of SEC guys on this team."

When Brockers says a little wager here and there, he's not kidding. If he took on every bet thrown his way, he could find himself down a lot of money or wearing a lot of Auburn gear. So he acknowledges the need to be selective when dealing with the Auburn contingent during game week.

"I'm not taking all of them, maybe just a couple," Brockers said, laughing.

Brockers noticed pretty early this week that normal trash talk has been particularly quiet after Auburn narrowly escaped a massive upset against Jacksonville State last week. Even Bates, who is one of the most prolific trash-talkers on the roster, has to admit the near-loss has altered his outlook.

"I don't know after Jacksonville State last week," Bates said. "Maybe they were just looking forward to LSU? Maybe Jacksonville State is that good?"

Regarding Bates' first question, sure that's a possibility. But does he really believe the second?

"No, but it could happen," Bates said, laughing.

For similar reasons, Robinson has also stayed out of the fray this week. He said he might propose a deal where the loser would have to wear the school colors of the winner, but that's about it.

"I just want to see them do better than they did last week because they played pretty poor against Jacksonville State," Robinson said. "And it kind of shocked me, so they have me a little down as far as my confidence."

For what it's worth, Auburn visits LSU at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday with LSU currently 6.5-point favorites. So while Brockers might be alone in his battle against the Rams' Auburn empire, the flip side is that a victory would yield a bountiful supply of bragging rights.