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Thread: Fadler Ram notes
Fadler Ram notes
Rams Training Camp--July 29
By Jim Fadler
I try and make the preseason training camp as much as my work schedule and single father status will allow me. Today I had the pleasure of taking my youngest son (who is 9) to his first training camp and once again seeing the adult world through young eyes.
He as terribly impressed with the whole thing and especially the size of the players. As he put it..."Orlando Pace seems almost skinny on TV."
Orlando Pace, Todd Steussie, and Andy McCollum were kind enough in the oppressive St. Louis humidity to sign autographs for my son and the rest of the crowd. I have no idea how many people were there but I thought it an unusually large crowd for Sunday morning.
The practices are set up at the Earth City complex right outside of North St. Louis County and just before the Blanchette Bridge. They have tents set up that sell both refreshments and Rams gear (including my by now de riguer Rams Cheerleaders Calender).
I went last year and several previous years and always am in awe of the players ability to practice twice a day in the heat and humidity of a St. Louis summer.
This place holds the heat well (courtesy of Casey Stengel).
What I get from camp is not definitive statements about a player's ability, I don't claim to have the ability to see a bust in a high draft pick this early and think it nonsense for those who do. But what I do get is impressions of how well a rookie was coached, how well he understands his new league and what it demands, and general impressions on where and how a player is going to be used in the upcoming season.
Bulger still impresses with his quickness in deciding where to go with the ball, his touch and release. He can lay the ball just over a defender as well as anyone in the game right now. Frerrotte showed off his superior but erratic arm on several long throws. Fitzpatrick still has that tendency to muscle up when he throws and it delays his release way too long. At one point I saw Linehan work on his mechanics after a series.
My son wanted to watch nothing but his favorite player Steven Jackson but I already know what he can do and I spent my time watching the rest. Travis Minor and Brian Leonard got in a lot of work as a stand in on third down. Leonard catches the ball with his hands and not to his chest. He looked very agile in cone drills and had a burst outside when he ran the ball.
The reserve that impressed me the most was Rich Alexis a third year man out of Washington. He goes at 234 and looked quick and strong running the ball.
Nothing was truly at full speed today and its hard to know what you are seeing when it is like that. The rookies and free agents tend to go harder than the veterans on days like this but I remembered Alexis more than any other running back out there.
I saw quite a few double tight end sets with Klopfenstein in motion to the wing as a wide out. The end of practice had about a thirty minute Red Zone scrimmage with all squads changing in and out. I watched McMichael quite a bit...he is an athlete and obviously more schooled than Klopfenstein but the younger player made the best play in that drill.
Dominique Byrd looks a bit lighter than last year and the fastest of the three.
Dante Hall was used as the fourth man when they went to a four receiver set. Bennett uses his body and size very well to shield the ball and was unstoppable on slants. Bruce had the best catch of the day plucking a ball over Fakhir Brown that Bulger dropped out of the sky. I tried to pick up an impression of Derek Stanley but he was in and out so much that I don't know where he is yet. Marques Haggans looks like he has a lot more confidence than before and made some nice catches out of the slot.
Andy McCollum is not limping, looks a bit leaner ( a relative term that) and was the starting center for most of the plays...Romberg subbed in for about 25% of the snaps. The starters were Pace and Barron, Setterstrom and Incognito along with McCollum.
What a surprise I spent most of the morning watching Adam Carriker. He looks too long to play on the nose but overall its hard if not impossible to get excited. Even when he gets blocked he keeps his feet moving and churning. He plays with a good hand and arm extension. He does tend to lean into the point of attack and leverage his weight into the pile. For the most part he played on the center but in one package he and Glover were split in a one gap scheme. It was mostly a three man rotation with Glover, Carriker and Wroten rotating with the first unit. I did see Wroten come in once where Glover slid over to the nose.
Victor Adeyanju plays with such great leverage and comes in low and knocks the offensive tackle off balance. If he could just develop a pass rush move he could easily start. The ends were never really going full speed that I could see but James Hall did make one very nice play in the backfield on a running play.
This was the unit I actually watched the least in unit drills...what I did see was the same old right left alignment without anyone playing over the tight end. Jamal Brooks is now back and the only one I really noticed.
Bartell and Hill started with Brown subbing in. The word on his suspension is that he refused to take the test...which isn't the same as flunking but is the same as punishment.
The player that stood out to me the most was Jeffery Dukes a safety in his first year out of Alabama...undrafted and 6:01 and 207 pounds. He popped the sled harder, showed some speed and pop.
Jonathan Wade did not do anything no matter how much I watched him and no matter how much I was mentally pleading for him to play like Gary Green or Jerry Gray.
Jerome Carter looked good in the passing drills and I would hope that he gets a shot at the starting job at strong safety.
I don't think that Wilkins did anything beyond catching punts...both punters did a very good job. Hall worked at both KR and PR. There were lots of guys auditioning for the secondary role.
Just a couple of other notes...when defensive line coach Baker got within earshoot I had to explain to Michael that football is not a game for the timid...and special teams coach Al Roberts doesn't like anyone and made the punting team stay after the rest of the squad left.
-07-30-2007 #2z.nrd Guest
Re: Fadler Ram notes
It;s good to read ole Jim again. He always had a keen eye.
Re: Fadler Ram notes
Glad to hear Dukes had a good day! Alabama fan here, hoping he has a chance to help our team!
-07-30-2007 #5Country Guest
Re: Fadler Ram notes
I can't wait for the season to start I have the 2nd pick in fantasy football and when Steven Jackson rushes for 2000 yards I will be laughing all the way to the bank.
-07-31-2007 #6RamsFan16 Guest
Re: Fadler Ram notes
Great to hear that Jerome Carter is impressing. I've been hoping he breaks out and can prove he is a starting quality safety.
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