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Intense heat during practice tests players' mettle
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Aug. 13 2007
Since leaving Los Angeles for St. Louis in 1995, the Rams have held well over
1,000 practices. According to longtime observers, none was conducted in the
kind of heat that enveloped Rams Park on Sunday.
When the 87-man squad hit the fields at 3:15 p.m., the temperature was a
sizzling 101 degrees. But the humidity stood at just 31 percent, and the
resulting heat index of 105 was just within coach Scott Linehan's guideline for
an outdoor workout.
"It was real good to be out; it's good for our conditioning," Linehan said. "I
think we're past the real tough heat. It's hot enough, though."
Hot enough that newly signed wide receiver Fred Gibson said he "walked out the
door, and I was about to turn back around. I was like, 'What the heck?' I used
to be in Miami ... this feels hotter than Miami."
Guard Claude Terrell didn't mind, though. "I'm from Texas; I'm used to it," he
said. "Just another day at the office."
Defensive tackle Claude Wroten, a native of Bastrop, La., said it felt "like I
was back down in the swamp. It reminded me of some of the days at LSU."
Still, rookie defensive tackle Adam Carriker said the players understood the
need to acclimate themselves to the conditions.
"It was definitely hot. But we're going to play at Tampa and Dallas (in
September), so we've got to get used to the elements," he said. "If you're not
used to the heat, it's going to kill you when you have to play in it."
Two practices are scheduled for today, and Linehan promised that the morning
workout would be open to the public. It begins at 9:20.
"If it changes the next day, for the afternoon practice, we'll just kind of go
day by day" on opening practices, he said. "But I think we should be able to
stay out all week."
LET IT BE HOT
One player who embraced the steamy conditions was linebacker Tim McGarigle.
He's easing back into practice after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury.
"I was actually happy with the weather," McGarigle said. "If it keeps my
hamstring warm, that's fine with me."
The Rams are surprisingly healthy at this point in camp. Only two players sat
out Sunday: wide receivers Dane Looker (back) and Dominique Thompson (ribs).
... The newest Rams addition is Harrison Smith, a 6-foot-2, 199-pound
cornerback. Smith, an undrafted rookie in 2006, was cut by Detroit in training
camp. He signed with Pittsburgh in the offseason but was released July 29. ...
Defensive end Ryan Willis, an undrafted rookie, was let go to create a roster
spot for Smith.
Re: Intense heat during practice tests players' mettle
Anybody know anything on the Harrison Smith guy?
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