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    Final Notes from Friday

    Final Notes from Friday


    By: Howard Balzer
    Gridiron Gateway
    Date: Jun 10, 2006

    The St. Louis Rams wrapped up an interesting day one of their final mini camp on Friday at Rams Park. Scott Linehan spoke to the media after practice and had much to say about Marshall Faulk and the status of the squad....

    The Rams concluded the first day of their training camp with quarterback
    Gus Frerotte on the sideline. The backup to Marc Bulger experienced back spasms
    lifting boxes while moving, according to coach Scott Linehan.
    First asked about Frerotte, Linehan joked, "He's old." The coach then told
    of the back issue, adding that it bothered him Friday morning so he was kept
    out in the afternoon. Linehan said Frerotte should be able to practice
    Saturday.

    *Cornerback Jerametrius Butler is recovered from the knee injury that
    sidelined him for the entire 2005 season, but he was on the sideline Friday
    because of a slightly torn hamstring.
    However, Linehan downplayed the problem, claiming Butler could play if it
    was during the regular season.

    *Linehan revealed for the first time that linebacker Trev Faulk underwent
    back surgery during the off-season. When Faulk did not participate during the
    team's April mini-camp, Linehan said only that Faulk's back was bothering him.
    He is, according to Linehan, expected to be ready for training camp.

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    Re: Final Notes from Friday

    Notebook: Faulk needs to decide on future, coach says
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Jun. 10 2006

    Whether sore-kneed Marshall Faulk figures into the Rams' plans for the 2006
    season needs to be determined soon, Scott Linehan said Friday. For now, though,
    the decision rests solely with Faulk, the new head coach added.

    "Only he knows how he feels, his own body," Linehan said. "Guys that have
    played at such a high level for so many years and have taken so many hits,
    sometimes it starts to wear you down a little bit. And he's trying to figure
    out how he can manage it."

    Linehan is directing his third spring minicamp, and Faulk remains in absentia.
    The 33-year-old running back underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees in
    February and has been slow to recover.

    "He came in and visited with me two weeks ago, and he told me one of his knees
    isn't responding well; it just isn't ready," Linehan said. "It's frustrating
    for him, I know, and we're hoping that he's able to get it resolved and things
    start coming around for him. We've just got to do business as usual."

    Faulk, a 12-year veteran who last season backed up Steven Jackson, has been
    unavailable to reporters. His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, called Linehan on
    Thursday and informed him that Faulk was "physically unable" to participate in
    minicamp.

    Asked if he'd prefer that Faulk at least attend meetings and observe from the
    sideline, Linehan said: "On one hand, yes. But on the other hand, he's dealing
    with something bigger than meetings and that. I think he's coming to terms with
    whether he can do it."

    That is, whether it might be time to hang up the cleats. Although Linehan said
    Faulk hasn't indicated to him that he's considering retirement, the issue will
    have to be addressed as the start of training camp draws closer.

    "Marshall knows our sense of urgency on it," Linehan said. "That's why we're
    trying to come to a conclusion."

    Linehan emphasized that his relationship with Faulk is solid. "There's really
    no problems, rifts, anything. I think he's just got to come to a personal
    decision on whether he's going to keep going," he said. "I'm just like anybody
    else, coming into it. I've been a fan of his. It's almost like, I don't want to
    come to that conclusion myself, either.

    "I know it's going to be a sad day for all of us if he, indeed, is
    contemplating not playing anymore. But that's life, that's reality. And reality
    is, time does start to catch up to you."

    Happy days for Bulger

    This is an enjoyable time of year for quarterback Marc Bulger. He can work on
    his golf game - he's a 4 handicap - while also honing his football skills in a
    stress-free atmosphere.

    "It's so much more relaxed in the offseason," said Bulger, who is preparing for
    his sixth NFL season. "The tempo is less, the coaches are in a better mood, and
    there's not any pressure. You're just enhancing your skills and learning the
    system."

    Bulger and his 83 teammates are plenty busy this weekend, though. Two practices
    were held Friday, with two more scheduled for today and a final minicamp
    workout set for Sunday morning. After organized team activities (OTAs) -
    essentially, light practices - on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the team
    will break until July 26, when players are to report for training camp.

    Ram-blings

    Defensive end Clifford Dukes has been released. Dukes spent most of last season
    on the practice squad. ... Rookie linebacker Jon Alston, a third-round draft
    choice from Stanford, is ineligible to participate in minicamp because Stanford
    is on a quarters system and the senior class hasn't graduated yet. ...
    Cornerback Fakhir Brown had two interceptions in the afternoon practice. ...
    Backup quarterback Gus Frerotte sat out the second session because of back
    spasms. ... Kicker Remy Hamilton, signed as a free agent this week, was excused
    from minicamp.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Final Notes from Friday

    Cornerback Jerametrius Butler is recovered from the knee injury that
    sidelined him for the entire 2005 season, but he was on the sideline Friday
    because of a slightly torn hamstring.
    However, Linehan downplayed the problem, claiming Butler could play if it
    was during the regular season.

    ...

    Cornerback Fakhir Brown had two interceptions in the afternoon practice.
    Interesting situation to keep an eye on, since numerous fans have seemingly already written Butler in as a starter in pen on their depth charts going into 2006.

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    Re: Final Notes from Friday

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Interesting situation to keep an eye on, since numerous fans have seemingly already written Butler in as a starter in pen on their depth charts going into 2006.
    I think that all said and done it will still be Butler and Brown starting. Now I know its Mini Camp but doesn't Brown having two interceptions have to be a positive sign for the D or a Negative for the O?
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    Re: Final Notes from Friday

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    I think that all said and done it will still be Butler and Brown starting.
    That may be the case, but Butler still has to earn the job, and he's not going to do it while injured. The point many of us (GC and myself, in a lot of instances) were making was that Butler has to prove he's the same player that he used to be, or at least better than the other bodies at CB. He still hasn't done that. Hopefully he will.


    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    Now I know its Mini Camp but doesn't Brown having two interceptions have to be a positive sign for the D or a Negative for the O?
    I don't think it's really much of a sign either way. If anything, it probably shows that Brown has his sights set on proving himself. But him having two picks shouldn't cause Chicken Littles to start running around about the decline of the offense, nor should it cause people to start talking up the defense.

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    Re: Final Notes from Friday

    A slight hamstring tear. Not good. He could play if it was the regular season. So what. How well could he play. What is the risk that it becomes a serious injury? This is the type of thing that i always worry about in mini and training camp. A "slight" warning to those he think butler is going to be just fine. Again, i hope he is fine and if he is i agree he will be a starter, but i think its just too early to tell with the knee and hamstring problems for guys who depend on their speed and abilty to change direction quickly are not a good thing.

    As for interceptions in a mini camp practice, i view that as a perfect example of reporting on non news and irrelevant in the extreme in evaluating future contributions. It is not the basis on which to draw even the most minor conclusions about anything, offense or defense.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Final Notes from Friday

    I would go as far as to say, that if Butler wins a starting job, we still have some upgrading to do at CB.

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