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Thread: Inside Slant
—As the dust cleared from the Rams' rookie minicamp the weekend of April 29-May 1, coach Mike Martz was pleased with what he saw, especially from the team's 10 draft picks in attendance.
The only player absent was third-round choice Richie Incognito, who underwent knee surgery April 28.
"I think this is probably as fine a crew as we've had in," Martz said. "It's really exciting to see these guys. In shorts, everything out here looks good. Who knows? We'll see if they can play under the pressure and deal with everything that happens in the NFL. But it's a good start. I'm really pleased with them.
"The neatest thing is that these guys come into the league to learn. They are completely open. You have an opportunity to bring these guys in what you think is the right way. You give them a great opportunity for success. We have a different approach than some people with rookies. We try to create the best environment for these guys as we possibly can. There is a lot of stress involved for a young player in this league with all the media attention, which is different from 15 years ago. You try to do as much for them as you can."
Seventh-round pick Ryan Fitzpatrick was pleased with the attention he received, considering he was the only quarterback at the camp. He also had a lot of individual attention, from Martz to offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild to quarterbacks coach John Ramsdell.
"There was a lot thrown at us at once," Fitzpatrick said. "It was good to get in here and learn from the quarterback coach. I can sit down and learn it at a slow pace. When the veterans come in, they teach the smartest guy. They teach the guy that knows the most so there's not going to be a lot of individual, slow type stuff."
The rookies will join the veterans starting May 17 for on-field work (OTAs, which are organized team activities) as part of the offseason program, followed by the June 3-5 full-squad minicamp. The veterans won't have had any on-field work until then.
"The OTAs that we do before minicamp are kind of a watered-down version of what we do after minicamp," Martz said. "So, it's really kind of a ground-gaining or just kind of a gradual process to get these guys re-involved. We really felt like not doing any field work until May was beneficial to get these guys some rest, to get them away from the football aspect. Let them lift and run and get physically back."
Two rookies, Fitzpatrick and third-round safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, won't be able to attend until later because of their semester schedules in college. Fitzpatrick will report at the end of May after his finals. Atogwe won't be available until around June 8.
—When the Rams selected guard Richie Incognito in the third round of the draft, coach Mike Martz said his recovery time from knee surgery would be 3-4 months. However, after the surgery was performed April 28, Martz said the timetable is now 4-6 months.
"We feel eventually, we're going to get a really good player there," Martz said. "If you rush one of those things, then you just compound it. So when he's back, he's back."
—Left tackle Orlando Pace, who signed a long-term contract in March after two years as the franchise player, is now one of the team's captains. During the previous two years, Pace missed all of the team's offseason work, as well as training camp.
After signing the seven-year deal, Pace has been present for the team's offseason program.
Other captains are running back Marshall Faulk, guard Adam Timmerman, defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson and linebackers Pisa Tinoisamoa and Dexter Coakley. Coakley is the only newcomer, having signed in March after being released by the Dallas Cowboys.
A special teams captain is still to be named.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a very intelligent class. You can see that in the classroom when you watch them. They transfer it out here. You get a sense of the personalities — the competitiveness and the intensity. We kind of overload them mentally right now, and it's kind of on purpose. You kind of see how they deal with it. From a mental aspect, this is a pretty unusual. They've soaked up an awful lot of information." — Coach Mike Martz on the quality of the team's draft class.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Zack Bronson; TE Cam Cleeland; OG Chris Dishman; S Antuan Edwards; DE Erik Flowers; OG Tom Nutten; S Aeneas Williams.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: OG Darnell Alford; CB Dwight Anderson; LB Trev Faulk; WR Mike Furrey; FB Joey Goodspeed; RB Arlen Harris; WR Dane Looker; LB Jeremy Loyd; QB Jamie Martin; LS Chris Massey; OT Orlando Pace; OT Blaine Saipaia; P Kevin Stemke; OG Scott Tercero; LB Drew Wahlroos.
PLAYERS ACQUIRED: LB Chris Claiborne; LB Dexter Coakley; CB Terry Fair; S Michael Hawthorne; DB Corey Ivy; S Michael Stone; OG Rex Tucker; DE Jay Williams; TE Roland Williams.
PLAYERS LOST: QB Chris Chandler; S Rich Coady; DE Bryce Fisher; OG Matt Lehr; LB Tommy Polley.
-05-09-2005 #2sbramfan Guest
Re: Inside SlantWhen the Rams selected guard Richie Incognito in the third round of the draft, coach Mike Martz said his recovery time from knee surgery would be 3-4 months. However, after the surgery was performed April 28, Martz said the timetable is now 4-6 months.