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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    By Tony Softli
    Published: May 26, 2011 @ 9:24pm

    Tony Softli covers the Rams and the entire NFL for 101 ESPN and 101Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SoftliSTL.

    With the conclusion of Camp St. Louis, the Rams' player-organized workout sessions, in my opinion, they were a major success in several ways. When people deal with conflict, adversity, frustration, struggle and competition, leaders are born.

    While Steven Jackson is the workhorse for the Rams, the face of the franchise is quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford reached out to James Laurinaitis (the leader on defense) and Ron Bartell with the idea of bringing their teammates to St. Louis for a week of workout sessions.

    When I asked Bradford if he had a message for Rams fans during this frustrating time of uncertainty between the NFL and NFLPA (the longest-lasting labor dispute in NFL history), he replied, "We are working, working hard as an offense. This is not our first time getting together and we will continue to get together. It was a lot of fun this week, good to see everyone again. We got a lot of good work in, and I've only seen a couple of guys since we broke in January. Even though we can't do it with our coaches, it feels good to get on the field and get some work in."

    Bradford came to the NFL with leadership qualities. I spoke to his high school coaches, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and several assistant coaches with the Sooners, and it was like a broken record. They all said that Bradford is a very good leader. What I witnessed in the three days of sessions backed up everything they said. The final day was rained out, but Bradford took the receivers inside the gym for route-running and continued classroom work.

    This second-year player is developing into the team leader and I'm sure he will be voted offensive captain. The old saying is that, "The cream rises to the top." Bradford was in control, gave guidance and direction and challenged his teammates to push themselves to get better. He made this statement when asked about the workout sessions: "It's an opportunity for me and this offense to get better. If we put the work and time in we will be a better offense."

    They worked on formations, protections and ran routes after routes after routes, to achieve the timing and anticipation along with perfection that Bradford was working so hard to achieve.

    As a former coach, I observed that the player workouts were extremely organized both offensively and defensively. Players were working over and around dummies, through ropes and pushing each other through motivation and hustle. Some folks in the community stopped me while I was filling my SUV and asked, "How does the flag football look with the Rams players?" I quickly whipped their minds free of that thought when I told them about Bradford and the other players.

    While the complete roster was not present, the players that flew into St. Louis for these workout sessions bonded during this time of frustration. They built team unity and forged a sense of togetherness that will carry over to the season, whenever that may be.

    News and Notes

    *While Steve Jackson was not present, he is a war daddy and always, I repeat, always comes to camp in shape, focused and ready to go. While the team missed his presence and leadership, he will be ready when the whistle blows on the lockout ending.

    Mardy Gilyard was a no-show. It is my understanding from a source he had a close friend pass away and decided to attend the services. I'm still working to confirm if that was truly the case. John Greco was not in attendance. For two players that are on the bubble and will be in a dogfight to make the 2011 roster, making at least an appearance would have helped their cause.

    *The Josh McDaniels playbook questions were answered by Bradford: "After I received it, I feel pretty good since I got it. I know it is a matter of getting the reps, you can look at the paper all day, but until you get on the field, run through it, you don't know how it plays out, timing on the field and the more work the more comfortable I get."

    Rookie Watch

    *Robert Quinn returns to the states after spending a week in Haiti with the JBF Global Ambassadors, helping in the rebuilding process after the 2010 earthquake that devastated that region.

    *Lance Kendricks ran around like a man possessed, catching everything in his area and displayed the size-speed combination that safeties will struggle with covering deep.

    *Austin Pettis was a day late, but showed why Rams scouts coveted him. He has natural receiving skills to snatch the ball out of the air, although he is extremely raw in routes. I like his size and the ability to play both inside and out.

    *Greg Salas is very smooth in movement. Like Pettis he will need route refinement. He has good field awareness and presence along with natural receiving skills, hand-eye coordination and the ability to pluck the ball at its highest point.


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    Mardy Gilyard was a no-show. It is my understanding from a source he had a close friend pass away and decided to attend the services. I'm still working to confirm if that was truly the case. John Greco was not in attendance.
    Yikes. Probably not the best decision.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  3. #3
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    Apparently Gilyard wants to be traded.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  4. #4
    Flippin' Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    Apparently Gilyard wants to be traded.
    I'd be happy if we can at least get something out of him. Just hearing him not report to practice got me fired up (in the bad way) and he seems to have the JaMarcus Russell attitude, a lot of untapped potential but doesn't seem to want to make it his all.

  5. #5
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    Guys for the love of god let's lay off Gilyard. It's being reported that Gilyard did not show up because he lsot one of his best friends, Gilyard even stated on his twitter that his friend had died and he was attending the funeral.

    "Jus lost one of my best friends chilli y'all plz stop the violence"--23 May

    Gilyard is also still rehabbing his wrist that's apparently really been giving him problems. Gilyard said on his twitter that he still hasn't gotten full range of motion back as of 10 May,

    This notion that Gilyard is like sitting at home eating cheetohs or something is starting to get me fired up myself....

  6. #6
    Flippin' Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Guys for the love of god let's lay off Gilyard. It's being reported that Gilyard did not show up because he lsot one of his best friends, Gilyard even stated on his twitter that his friend had died and he was attending the funeral.

    "Jus lost one of my best friends chilli y'all plz stop the violence"--23 May

    Gilyard is also still rehabbing his wrist that's apparently really been giving him problems. Gilyard said on his twitter that he still hasn't gotten full range of motion back as of 10 May,

    This notion that Gilyard is like sitting at home eating cheetohs or something is starting to get me fired up myself....
    I really hope I'm wrong to be perfectly honest, it's just that I've had high hopes for the kid and I thought he would immediately go making up for the opportunities given to him when he had significant miscues last season but the fact that reports say that he's been given cluster****-loads of sympathetic excuses (i.e. wrist injury and death of a close friend) has got me disappointed in him and hey, when Brett Favre's dad died, he still decided to play a good game for his old man. Either he's just very unlucky or is mentally incompetent of working in the NFL universe. I hope the next time I hear a recent report about him is that there is a significant learning curve out of the playbook.

  7. #7
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Guys for the love of god let's lay off Gilyard. It's being reported that Gilyard did not show up because he lsot one of his best friends, Gilyard even stated on his twitter that his friend had died and he was attending the funeral.

    "Jus lost one of my best friends chilli y'all plz stop the violence"--23 May

    Gilyard is also still rehabbing his wrist that's apparently really been giving him problems. Gilyard said on his twitter that he still hasn't gotten full range of motion back as of 10 May,

    This notion that Gilyard is like sitting at home eating cheetohs or something is starting to get me fired up myself....
    I'm fine with giving Mardy some slack for what happened last year & the jokes have been a little harsh but I'm not inclined to give him a pass here. This was a 3-4 day deal. By all means, attend the funeral, maybe a couple of days to support the family, but a complete no-show is more than a little disrespectful to your teammates, don't you think ? SJ has earned that right. Gilyard has not,imo.

    And since when do you need full range of motion in a wrist to sit in a classroom for installation or to run routes, for that matter? THAT was what was important here, not the physical act of catching balls.Never mind the whole bonding/commitment thing.

    The jury's still out but it's gonna take a 12 Angry Men-like turnaround for me to believe that Mardy "gets it".


    And what the heck is up with Greco?!

  8. #8
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    God forbid a player miss informal workouts because his friend was killed. I'm sure Gilyard would benefit the most out the WRs to attend, but give him a freakin' break. The trade talk is nothing but rumors, spurned by a fake Twitter account, as far as I've seen. He wouldn't get anything in a trade, so I doubt those rumors are true.

    Greco? Linemen get nothing out of these practices. That's been re-iterated in these reports.

    Just because these are two players we'd like to step up doesn't mean we should single them out for not being there, or that they're being lazy during the lockout. Half the roster wasn't there.

  9. #9
    AtlantaRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    I think both sides of this apparently polarizing issue can be true. He had a virtually non-existent rookie year after (if I remember correctly) not being able to attend camp on time. He couldn't learn a playbook over 16 weeks that Clayton seemingly learned overnight. McDaniel's playbook is going to be much more complex, and it's compounded by the quickly approaching shortened training camp and possibly season. (correct me if I'm wrong here)

    No matter how you look at it, Gilyard is behind the 8 ball. All of his reasons are probably 100% legitimate and I have seriously doubt that he's lazy. I do feel for the guy. But that doesn't change the fact that the Rams just drafted 2 rookies who fit the new scheme better, and are now ahead of him in learning the new playbook. No one here is rooting for him to fail, but I would be very very surprised if he makes the roster (unless they expand it).

  10. #10
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Camp St. Louis Comes to an End ..

    Quote Originally Posted by evil disco man View Post
    God forbid a player miss informal workouts because his friend was killed. I'm sure Gilyard would benefit the most out the WRs to attend, but give him a freakin' break. The trade talk is nothing but rumors, spurned by a fake Twitter account, as far as I've seen. He wouldn't get anything in a trade, so I doubt those rumors are true.

    Greco? Linemen get nothing out of these practices. That's been re-iterated in these reports.

    Just because these are two players we'd like to step up doesn't mean we should single them out for not being there, or that they're being lazy during the lockout. Half the roster wasn't there.
    I guess we have to disagree on the funeral excuse. The Rams are certainly more likely to have the accurate take on this kid's commitment, etc. I just don't see it as a positive sign.The smarter move would have been to pro-actively state that he regretted not being there but had this reason, not sheepishly defending himself after the fact when criticized or just say nothing. As you say, others did not attend. I'd like to see him handle his business in a more mature fashion. Just an opinion based on what we know. Maybe I'm wrong but he created the chance that he could be viewed as making excuses. Not smart for a guy fighting for a job,imo. Furthermore, his agent is either a fool who should be fired or is really peeved right now, I'd guess. When are these guys gonna learn that premature twitteration is never a good thing.

    And as for Greco, since the installation certainly affects the O-line, I don't think that linemen excuse applies here. For DL, yes, but not when you need to get protections right,etc. And most of the OL were there as well as the bulk of offensive skill players,no ?

    I'm not some gung-ho nutjob who thinks my team's players should sacrifice themselves & everything in their lives to the greater glory but we all know that the difference between the successful guys and the rest usually has just as much to do with commitment and taking every opportunity to make it impossible for the team to cut you as athletic ability. Assuming these kids realize that is just as crazy as assuming they are willfully lazy or stupid. They're just immature & often overly-cocky young men. Watch any Hard Knocks series & you see guys blow their chances in just this fashion.

    It's not a big deal in itself but , for both guys, I think it has to be viewed as a missed opportunity at best.Especially with so many other guys making the extra effort & a a coach with Spags' values.We'll see who shows up in Phoenix, I guess..lol...
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -05-31-2011 at 11:51 PM.

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