Bernie on Linehan's Press Conference
* About the unsigned draft picks: "Very optimistic about the signing of our draft picks. I'd be surprised if we don't have them all in with the possible exception of (No. 1) Tye Hill by the time we hit the field Thursday.... I have no reason to believe we're not going to get Tye's deal done. Talks are positive and have moved forward... I'd be surprised, by the end of the week, we don't have everyone here and ready to go."
* And if Hill misses time? "A (rookie) secondary guy, if he misses a week of training camp, he's in for the most confusing time of his life," Linehan said.
* Linehan will use a practice format he culled from Nick Saban in Miami ... 2 practices one day, then 1 practice the next day. He thinks it'll save on the wear and tear and keep the players fresher. It also will help them recover from....
* Full pad workouts ... " we will be in full pads the majority of camp," the coach said. "One message the team will hear loud and clear is we're going to be physical in this camp."
* They have 5 quarterbacks and Linehan indicated they'll be down to 4 by Thursday ... different opinions out at Rams Park about who will go, either Smoker or Fitzpatrick.
* WR/ H -back Joshua Tinch ... who was signed earlier but wasn't ready physically, is ready now.... also K Remy Hamilton was re-signed.
* Best competition... what positions: "all of them," Linehan said. He added he's especially looking fwd to the battles in the secondary, and at LB. "And one of the biggest unknowns we have is who is going to return (kicks and punts) for us." Hagans will get a chance on PR, as will MacDonald and maybe Groce. Kevin Curtis will get a long look at KR.
* Are on the lookout for a No. 2 RB ... didn't rule out Mo Williams. (another Linehan-Vikings connection). But Williams had knee surgery after last season and wouldn't have passed his physical had the Rams signed him sooner. They may take another look. Linehan says Williams was one of his favorite players in Minnesota.
* (side note from other conversations I had at Rams Park: Bennett is still their top choice for a No. 2 back, but if the Saints delay because of the Busch contract, the Rams will explore talks with Tennessee for Chris Brown).
* Interior O-line: "We have guys who are towards the end of their careers in Andy (McCollum) and Adam (Timmerman). We're glad to have them, but young guys have been brought here for a reason -- to compete for starting roles."
* Naturally, he's optimistic. "This team is not far removed from the highest level of the game," Linehan said. "We have the ingredients to get back to being a dominant football team. But we have to go out and earn that."
about Curtis returning kicks...
One thing Linehan said today -- in a quasi shot at Martz -- is that things will change on special teams in terms of what players to use.... he specifically said "in the past" the Rams wouldn't use their 3rd or 4th wide receiver on teams, like a Curtis. But Linehan said he definitely plans to utilize the athletes. He's not going to quarantine anyone. (quarantine is my word, not his).