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Let the training camp info begin!
Rams report to training camp today
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
Tuesday, Jul. 26 2005
In the ever-changing landscape of the National Football League, only six head
coaches have been with their current teams longer, including just two in the
NFC - Seattle's Mike Holmgren and Philadelphia's Andy Reid.
By now, Mike Martz has an established way of doing things, whether it's calling
a game or running a training camp. But like his coaching counterparts
throughout the league, Martz is constantly tweaking things.
Most obvious among the "tweaking" is the fact that the Rams have returned to
St. Louis after nine seasons of training camp at Western Illinois University in
"I'm really looking forward to it," Martz said Tuesday. "Just the fact that
you're going to be in a familiar environment and not have all of the lugging it
up there (to Macomb) and then coming back, and having to make do in certain
"If we were going to go away to camp, that's where we would go. But everything
is going to be a little more familiar here, obviously. It'll give the fans a
chance to come out and watch us, which was out of the question up there for a
lot of people. Now, anybody in town can come out and see us practice in the
morning. I think that's real good.
"And it's familiar surroundings for these players. Now, if you give them a
night off, they can go home. And the coaches can go home at night. I think
that's emotionally less draining, and then physically less draining not having
to make that drive up and back all the time."
Beginning with Thursday's practice, 15 morning sessions at the team's Earth
City facility will be open to the public from 8:30-10:30. Afternoon practices
will be closed to the public, largely because of more tweaking by Martz: To a
large degree those will be lighter workouts. In addition, many of the afternoon
sessions will be held in the team's indoor facility - which has no place to put
spectators - in an effort to beat the heat.
"The afternoon (practice) is more of a meeting, and a lot of mental stuff in
the indoor facility because of the heat," Martz said.
More NFL teams are straying from the traditional training camp concept of
two-a-days. Switching to lighter afternoon practices is a move by Martz in that
"You can't afford to lose players like this to injury," Martz said. "Having two
heavy practices (a day) is more for coaches than it is for players. It's to
ease some trepidation that you might have about something as a coach.
Repetition, repetition, repetition. It's what we've all been drilled on. But
repetition's fine if it's at a different pace, too."
Martz also has done some tinkering with the depth chart since the team's full
squad minicamp in early June:
Roland Williams enters training camp as the starting tight end ahead
of Brandon Manumaleuna.
"I know Roland was a good player when he played with us before (from 1998
through 2000)," Martz said.
But Martz thought Williams looked faster in the spring than he ever has in a
Rams uniform, and caught the ball better than Martz remembered.
Blaine Saipaia begins camp as the starter at right offensive tackle,
ahead of first-round draft pick Alex Barron. Barron, who remains unsigned, was
installed as the starter immediately after the draft, but struggled with the
information he had to absorb and with technique issues.
"Overwhelmed is probably the best term for it," Martz said. "He panicked a
little bit, which is understandable."
The Rams believe they can afford to keep Saipaia at right tackle - instead of
competing with Rex Tucker for the left guard spot - because they signed veteran
Tom Nutten to a one-year, $665,000 contract on Tuesday.
Adam Archuleta begins camp as the starting free safety,
with rookie Jerome Carter entering camp as the starting strong safety.
Although the job duties of the strong and free safeties have been blurred in
defensive coordinator Larry Marmie's system, it's worth noting that Archuleta
has been the team's strong safety since entering the league in 2001.
The Rams have a plethora of other safety candidates, including free-agent
pickups Michael Hawthorne and Michael Stone, but for now, it's Archuleta and
Carter, a fourth-round draft pick from Florida State.
"In our estimation, those are our two best safeties at this point," Martz said.
"That's where we're going to start, and however it works out, it works out."
Archuleta finished the 2004 season with what was diagnosed as a herniated disc
in his back, but won't be limited at the start of camp, Martz said.
The same can't be said for right guard Adam Timmerman, who ended the '04 season
with foot, knee and shoulder injuries.
"We're going to keep Timmerman out of a lot of things initially," Martz said.
"We'll keep him in shorts and helmet for the first few weeks or so, just 'cause
he's had so much wear and tear on his body. It finally caught up with him. And
he's such a good player that he doesn't need all the reps."
So for most of the camp and preseason, Darnell Alford will work with the first
unit at right guard.
ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!
Re: Let the training camp info begin!Originally Posted by NickSeiler
Re: Let the training camp info begin!
Training camp aint started yet, lets see what happens
Re: Let the training camp info begin!Originally Posted by RamsFanSam
The starters in week 1 will be completely different anyway, so the opening of camp probably doesn't mean much."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Let the training camp info begin!Originally Posted by HUbison
Sounds like I am big enough, not in any worse shape than Timmerman was at the end of last season except for age, and I used to live in Brooklyn.....Brooklyn, Illinois, , that is. The way I figure it is if a hillbilly like me can live there, I must be tough enough. Revolvers, Tasers, and ball bats are illegal on the field. Choke holds are allowed only if you played in SB XXXVI, and were not playing for the Rams. I might be weak in the defense.
Oh, well, I know I'd play better than 90% of the whiners!!!
Seriously, why I am a bit concerned is because I have seen most of these guys play. My big worry is why is Saipaia is still being named as a serious contender. Manu may not have been perfect, but he's still valuable. And at safety, well, how can they say Arch if they haven't seen him perform since his 'rehabilitation'?
Well, you guys kinda calmed me down a bit. This was the first thread I read when I woke up. News like this shouldn't be read before the first pot of coffee.... :drunk: