BEREA, Ohio - Sarah Thomas starts the day at her second job by tucking her long blond hair inside her cap, so she doesnt get noticed. On a football field, thats impossible. Thomas doesnt consider herself a pioneer, just "one of the guys." But as one of two female officials in the NFLs officiating development program, Thomas has a chance to break barriers in a male-dominated profession. This week, Thomas, a former college basketball player, current college official and mother of three whose full-time job is as pharmaceutical sales representative, worked with a crew of officials during Browns mini-camp. Like the players, she worked on improving her skills and honing her craft. One day, she hopes to be on the field with the pros. But not because of her gender. "I am a female, but I dont look at myself as just a female," she said. "I look at myself as an official." Thomas began her officiating career in 1996, when an NFL scout spotted her working a high school game. From there, she joined Conference USA and was invited to join the NFLs developmental program, now in its second year. Thomas worked some training camps and preseason games last season. The next step is a regular-season game, and the earliest that can happen is 2015. Its not her call, so to speak, but Thomas believes shes ready. If this week was any indication, Thomas could be on her way. "Shes done a good job," Browns coach Mike Pettine said after practice Thursday. Pettine believes its time for the league to welcome female officials. "If shes efficient and good at what she does, I have no issues with it," Pettine said. "I think the best compliment somebody paid to her was when someone said, What did you think of the female official? And they said, Theres a female official out here? I thought she was on point." Browns cornerback Joe Haden joked that Thomas was a little whistle happy. "She was calling everything," Haden said, smiling. "I couldnt snap on her. I was chilling." Thomas said her goal is to blend in. She doesnt want to stand out because of her sex — or worse, because shes not competent. Shes dedicated to being a solid, fair and mostly unseen, which is why she pulls her hair up under her cap. Still, sometimes players do a double take when they see her on the field. "I think sometimes they go What is that?" she said. "Yes, I do tuck my hair and at first I really wasnt too sure why. But I get it. We dont want to be noticed and anything I can do to blend in — I like it when I leave the field and people go I told you that was a girl." Thomas has two boys and an 18-month-old girl. She said her sons are most interested in her nabbing some NFL attire or autographs, "I cant do that," she said. Her children have never thought about their mom being anything other than an official, so they dont really grasp that she could make history as the NFLs first female official. "They just know mom officiates and its nothing foreign to them or pioneering or anything," she said. "I do this." ___ AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org Larry Andersen Jersey . Its the games against the leagues struggling franchises that have proved to be an issue. Lenny Dykstra Jersey . - First-timer Chris Harris Jr. http://www.philliesrookiestore.com/Phill...on-Kids-Jersey/. - Andre Drummond had his best night on the boards. Clay Buchholz Jersey . RAPTORS STRUGGLING: The bottom line is the true test in sports isnt just how you handle failure, but how you handle success. Darren Daulton Jersey . The trade deadline is Monday, Mar. 2 at 3pm et/Noon pt. TRADES COMPLETED SINCE OCT. 1, 2014: Feb. 15, 2015 Toronto Maple Leafs acquire: F Olli Jokinen, F Brendan Leipsic, 1st Round Pick (2015) Nashville Predators acquire: D Cody Franson, F Mike Santorelli Feb.Though the offense has sputtered since quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a season-ending knee injury against the St. Louis Rams one month ago, the Arizona Cardinals remain atop the NFC standings. But to build on a much-needed victory and avoid a third straight road loss Thursday night - while missing their leading passer and rusher - the Cardinals must prevent St. Louis from becoming the first team in 38 years to shut out three straight opponents. For some teams, (playing in December) doesnt mean a damn thing except the seasons almost over, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. This one means a lot because everything rides from here on in, so every game is a real playoff game, especially in the NFC. Arizona (10-3) has four offensive touchdowns in four games since a 31-14 win over St. Louis on Nov. 9, when Palmer tore his ACL while being sacked by safety Mark Barron in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals werent an offensive juggernaut with Palmer under center, though they recorded at least 24 points five times while going 6-0 in games he started. They scored at least 20 in the three Drew Stanton started as Palmer was sidelined with a shoulder problem earlier this season, but have averaged 14.0 during his latest starting stint as hes thrown five interceptions in four games. Top rusher Andre Ellington also struggled after Palmer went down, and he was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week with a hip problem. However, his replacement, second-year back Kerwynn Williams, came through with 100 yards on 19 carries in his third NFL game Sunday in a 17-14 home victory over Kansas City. I didnt know what my role was going to be, said Williams, who had never touched the ball prior to Sunday. I just wanted to be prepared whatever it was. The Cardinals avoided a third straight loss and remained one game ahead of Seattle in the West. They also own the tiebreaker over Green Bay for the top spot in the conference. Arizona, which fell 19-3 at Seattle on Nov. 23, hosts the rematch next weekend. The Cardinals know they first face a tough task against the Rams (6-7), who have allowed 34 points while going 3-1 since losing at Arizona. They outscored Oakland and Washington 76-0 in the last two weeks. No team has blanked three consecutive opponents since the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers. Theyre playing as good a football as anybody now, Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell said. Its a divission game, a team you know.dddddddddddd. They know us, guys youve played against multiple times. Its going to be a good football game. Though the Rams latest conquests came against two of the leagues lowest-scoring teams with a combined 5-21 record, theyre confident that dominance can continue against the offensively challenged NFC leaders. I want to see it again, said coach Jeff Fisher, whose team held Washington to 206 total yards in Sundays 24-0 road victory. We need to keep playing, keep preparing the way we are. St. Louis allowed 244 yards in a 52-0 rout of the Raiders on Nov. 30, part of an impressive three-game winning streak at home. The other two victories were against last seasons Super Bowl participants, beating Seattle 28-26 and holding Denver to its lowest point total of the season in a 22-7 win. The Rams limited the Cardinals to a season-low 28 rushing yards on 22 carries last month and have allowed an average of 58.7 while winning four of six. Weve been locked in and just getting better and tightening up on all the little plays that were hurting us, safety Rodney McLeod said. St. Louis has recorded 13 sacks in the last two games, including 4 1/2 by defensive end Robert Quinn. Guys are playing lights-out right now, said Quinn, who has 10 1/2 sacks on the season. Hopefully, we just keep it going. The Rams have recorded more than 20 points in four straight games after doing so three times in the first nine. Theyve returned two interceptions and a punt for touchdowns in those four. Shaun Hill has completed 62.0 percent of his passes with six TDs and two INTs while starting the last four games. He earned the job after Austin Davis struggled against Arizona last month, when Patrick Peterson had a 30-yard interception return for a TD and Antonio Cromartie took back Davis fumble 14 yards for a score. Five of Petersons 14 career interceptions have come against the Rams. Arizona has allowed an average of 16.5 points in the last six games, though the only time it yielded more than 20 during that stretch came in a 29-18 loss to Atlanta on Nov. 30 in its most recent road contest. Larry Fitzgerald caught a season-high nine passes for 112 yards against the Rams last month and has 29 catches for 288 with three TDs in the last three meetings. In that same span, Rams tight end Jared Cook has 274 yards and three scores. He had two TD receptions Sunday. 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