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Fisk hopes to make impact on defensive line
Veteran says this isn't his final season
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Rams are counting on Jason Fisk providing some depth at defensive tackle, a position depleted by the defections of Ryan "Big Grease" Pickett and Damione Lewis during free agency.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Fisk has played 11 seasons in the NFL. He spent last season with the Cleveland Browns.
Fisk will be inserted into the Rams' defensive tackle rotation along with starters Jimmy Kennedy and La'Roi Glover.
"We brought him in here because of his ability to be a backup nose and play when we need some help in there," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "When people are trying to run the ball at us, he gives us some depth on the line."
The Rams courted Fisk, 33, for almost two months before signing him to a one-year contract Wednesday.
Fisk visited the Rams and the New Orleans Saints. He was scheduled to visit the Oakland Raiders next week.
"I took my time with it," Fisk said of his approach to free agency. "(There's) not too many (seasons) left in me -- I got a few more, I think -- but I wanted to be with a team that I thought had a good chance to win.
"It was a great opportunity for me to come in here and play with a team that has all the talent to do whatever we want."
In previous interviews, Fisk had talked about this being his final season, but now he's saying he'd like to put retirement on hold for a couple of more years.
"You can't set that in stone," Fisk said. "I think this will be my last team that I am going to venture out to.
"Hopefully, if everything works right, it won't be my last year, and I'll get a couple of more in."
Fisk was a seventh-round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 1995. He's has played 166 games, including 110 starts. He started for the Tennessee Titans against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, where he had a sack of quarterback Kurt Warner.
Fisk said he was glad to be playing in a 4-3 defense after playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense with the Browns and the San Diego Chargers.
"Your typical guy that plays that position is about 350 pounds-plus," Fisk said. "I wasn't quite in that mold, so it was a bit of a challenge for me to get used to."
Under the lights
Linehan announced that the Rams will hold night practices during two-a-days in training camp, which open July 27.
Linehan plans on having three practices every two days with a morning and night practice one day and then an afternoon practice the next day.
"With the old school thinking with those two-a-days, they don't have a lot of recovery time, so that afternoon you get a lot of the issues with cramping and all that," Linehan said. "It's what we did at Miami. Nick (Saban) actually did it at LSU, and a lot of teams in the NFL are going to do it."
Linehan said portable lighting will be installed at Rams Park.
"Our camp will go through our second preseason game," Linehan said. "We'll have the lights in here for our first two, and then they'll be gone after that."
Veteran offensive linemen Orlando Pace and Todd Steussie were held out of afternoon practice because of tightness in their calf muscles.
"We have like a calf virus going around," Linehan said. "I think it had a little bit to do with the weather. Cramping ... they have a pretty good ball back there, and they don't want it to become a chronic problem."
• The Rams' offensive linemen ran sprints after practice as offensive line coach Paul Boudreau's punishment for jumping offsides.
"I've always thought that it was a good thing within the group to have some kind of a penalty," Linehan said. "One thing we've really addressed is the pre-snap penalties that were a problem for this team a year ago. We're really putting the hammer down when we don't do a good job."
• Running back Fred Russell missed practice Saturday because of to a stomach virus, while running back Steven Jackson was excused from morning practice because he was serving as the honorary chairman for the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure.
Re: Fisk hopes to make impact on defensive lineOriginally Posted by Paul BoudreauRamsFan16