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Thread: Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

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    Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

    By Brian Feldman / Football STL

    July 30, 2012

    ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Day 2 of Rams training camp is in the books under new head coach Jeff Fisher. It was overcast today with a slight drizzle but still overcast enough to make it less than comfortable outside. Here are observations from todayís workout.

    Keep in mind here that the team is yet to put pads on so itís hard to really get a guage for who is impressing and who is not. Youíre not going to win or lose a starting job on July 30th but you can certainly create good/bad first impressions.

    With that in mind, I havenít liked what Iíve seen so far from Steve Smith. Heís the most veteran receiver this club has and has a 100 catch season in his history. But heís dropped a lot of passes from what Iíve seen. Now, itís impossible to watch every single rep that heís taken so itís feasible that Iíve just had some horrendous luck and only seen his worst plays.

    But during one-on-one drills going against corners with QBís throwing to them, heís had a few drops. On one in particular Smith had those alligator arms where he was a little afraid to go across the middle. The Rams really need Smith if they plan on having a quality receiving corps this season. Iím a believe in rookie Brian Quick for the future and, maybe, Chris Givens. But itís a little early to suggest they can be impact performers. Wide receivers typically take a year or two to get adjusted. Steve Smith is the clubís best bet to be a difference maker this season. Heís that important.

    With rookie offensive lineman Rokevious Watkins having trouble pulling himself away from the dinner table this offseason (Jeff Fisherís words) he didnít make the best first impression. Thatís a shame, too, because left guard is as wide open as any spot at the moment.

    Yes, he is just a 5th round pick...but it wouldnít be a shock at all if he turned it on and stole a starting job. But showing up to camp a couple days ago a tad overweight and not able to pass the conditioning test didnít bode well for his beginning. Iíve said it before and Iíll continue to say it for the next month until the regular season begins.

    The offensive line is the most important part of the season to the Rams in 2012. Sam Bradford has to stay on his feet. Heís just got to. I donít care how good the defense is, I donít care how good the receivers are, I donít care what Steven Jackson does...if the offensive line canít protect Bradford this team wonít succeed. The Oklahoma alum is a huge asset that needs protection. And heís got a left tackle (Rodger Saffold) returning from injury and not the best season himself.

    Heís got a right tackle (Jason Smith) whoís battled injury his entire career and hasnít played well at any point. And he has no idea who his left guard will be. The offensive line is the biggest x-factor of the season to me.

    Listening to coaches and former coaches that are watching practice...the name that keeps getting mentioned for all the right reasons is rookie cornerback Trumaine Johnson.

    Heís the guy that missed his flight from California and, therefore, the first day of practice for rookies. But when you look at Johnson, heís a beast. Someone his size (6í2Ē, 204 lbs) shouldnít be able to move the way he does. If youíve got small corners, theyíre a mismatch against bigger receivers who can simply use their size to shield them off.

    If youíve got big but unathletic corners who canít move...receivers will just run right by them. But if youíve got size AND athleticism like Johnson, itís tough to beat. Now heís just got to go out there and show he has the technique. But the natural physical qualities are clearly there.


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    Re: Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

    Wide receivers typically take a year or two to get adjusted. Steve Smith is the club’s best bet to be a difference maker this season. He’s that important.
    I disagree with this statement with the rule changes receivers can come in have early success. If you can beat the press you are running free.

    I haven’t liked what I’ve seen so far from Steve Smith.
    It's a bit early IMO to say you like or dislike anybody's play. The only receiver I don't like what I'm seeing is DX, because I'm not seeing him.
    Last edited by Rambos; -07-31-2012 at 10:09 PM.

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    Re: Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

    Agreed. Far too early. He can drop all he likes in practice. (Practice? PRACTICE!!! Come on man! 'Alan Iverson') I still think Smith will contribute a ton.

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    Re: Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

    While drops in practice may not be a sign of anything when it comes to game time, it can very well show a diconnect between Smith and Bradford. why is he dropping passes? Is it because he's not where Sam is throwing to? Is it that he's not used to how Sam throws the ball?

    It may be nothing, or it could be something. Only time will tell. I wouldn't pan him until we see him in a preseason game.
    I believe!

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    Re: Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

    I think there is very little the average fan can tell from watching a 1-2 hour workout. It's all good and well to say "this guy looks great' and "this guy caught every ball thrown to him" in a practice session or intrasquad, but at the end of the day it means absolutely nothing. And it has even less correlation as to whether or not said player will be productive for us during the season. You've heard of the term "practice player"- a phrase used to describe a guy who looks great in the workouts but sucks when it counts. You can never really tell.

    As fans, we're all curious about the additions and draft picks and want the regular season to start, and so we follow camp happenings. But the only thing meaningful to me is that we leave camp injury free. You saw how meaningless pre-season was for us last year (Rams 4-0) ; training camp means even less in many respects.

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    Re: Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

    [QUOTE=NJ Ramsfan1;431297 You've heard of the term "practice player"- a phrase used to describe a guy who looks great in the workouts but sucks when it counts. [/QUOTE]

    I did a Google search for "practice player" and Brandon Gibson was the top search result.
    NJ Ramsfan1 and Ramendola16 like this.

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    Re: Day 2 of camp brings more questions than answers for Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    You've heard of the term "practice player"- a phrase used to describe a guy who looks great in the workouts but sucks when it counts. You can never really tell.
    Exactly! The other side of the "practice player" coin is "gamer." We'll have to wait a bit before we can accurately comment on who is and who isn't ..

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