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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Apr. 03 2008

    PALM BEACH, Fla. — Rams coach Scott Linehan says the practices will last a
    little longer during two-a-days. The team will train away from the comforts of
    home for the first time since 2004. And if Linehan has his way, the Rams will
    practice and scrimmage against another team in early August.

    If that wasn't evidence enough that Linehan plans a tougher training camp this
    summer, consider this: Linehan wants to play his regulars more during the
    exhibition season.

    "I think camp is (always) tough," Linehan said Wednesday at the NFC coaches
    breakfast. "But yeah, I want it to be challenging. I want it to test our
    limits, and I want it to be competitive. In my personal history, I've felt the
    tougher the camp … the better the team played early."

    Make no mistake, this is all relative. We're not talking about a return to the
    early days of Dick Vermeil, which featured three-hour practices in Macomb, Ill.
    One summer, the Rams spent a whopping 33 days in training camp at Western
    Illinois University — and Vermeil loved every minute of it.

    "You've got to take care of them in practice," Linehan said. "You can't kill
    your team. Nobody does that. But we've got to get 'em ready."

    So Linehan's revived camp approach won't suddenly result in tons of hitting
    during two-a-days. But it's clear he wants more out of his team in late July
    and August — on the practice field and in exhibition games.

    "I think it's as much for the mental side of it as the physical side to have a
    challenging camp," Linehan said. "Not the hitting and all that. But I want the
    nature of everything we do, and the intensity of that, to be increased as much
    as we can."

    With his job on the line this year, Linehan has made several offseason changes,
    from his coaching staff to his roster — and now to the way he'll prepare his
    team for the regular season.

    Perhaps most telling is Linehan's revised approach to exhibition games. For the
    past two preseasons, particularly on offense, Linehan rarely played his
    regulars in exhibition games. He bristled whenever it was pointed out that the
    Rams' first-team offense failed to score a touchdown in either the '06 or '07
    exhibition seasons.

    But on Wednesday, Linehan said, "We haven't talked about it (as a staff). But I
    can see a change in that. Our starters will play more in the preseason.

    "Philosophically, I don't know what we'll do with that last game. I think (the
    starters) will play some in it, though, where they haven't played (in the
    past). But in the first and second game, and the third game, they'll play more
    snaps."

    It might not be significantly more, Linehan cautioned.

    "It might be another series in a game," he said.

    Moving training camp out of St. Louis, and practicing against another team
    during camp, also are key components of Linehan's altered summer approach.
    Things moved rapidly on both fronts this week.

    One day after the Post-Dispatch learned the Rams were planning visits to
    prospective camp sites at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin-Whitewater and Western
    Illinois this month, Linehan said Wednesday that Whitewater is all but out of
    the running.

    "I understand they've got a little bit of a (facility) issue," Linehan said.
    "We've probably eliminated Whitewater."

    But he said Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin-Stevens Point and possibly a site in
    the Madison, Wis., area were being considered, as well as Macomb. Although it
    may be an optimistic assessment, Linehan would like to have a camp site chosen
    before the end of this month.

    As for practice partners, Linehan and other team officials talked to several
    teams during the owners meetings about getting together for joint practices.
    Kansas City and Green Bay, which train in Wisconsin, are interested. Chicago
    coach Lovie Smith, whose Bears train just outside of Chicago, is not.

    On Wednesday, Linehan said Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher is interested in having
    the Titans work against the Rams during camp. The summer after the teams met in
    Super Bowl XXXIV, the Titans visited the Rams for three days of joint workouts
    in Macomb, culminated by a scrimmage.

    Working against another team "enhances the competitive nature of training
    camp," Linehan said. "It brings the interest level up 10 times for the players."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Our starters will play more during the exhibition season. Atta boy Scott.

    For 2 years Linehan played the starters very little to protect against injuries. Last season that approach backfired BIGTIME! As we all know we were decimated with injuries and it didn't seem Drew Bennett or Randy McMichael had the chemistry going with Bulger or the offense. Playing the starters more could backfire too but it's a (you're a loser if you don't and a loser if you do) situation for Linehan.

    Unfortunately Linehan is a slow learner I guess?

    Here's to an injury free training camp and exhibition season.....CHEERS!!!

    SLAP

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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Perhaps most telling is Linehan's revised approach to exhibition games. For the past two preseasons, particularly on offense, Linehan rarely played his regulars in exhibition games. He bristled whenever it was pointed out that the Rams' first-team offense failed to score a touchdown in either the '06 or '07 exhibition seasons.
    I can't believe it took him two seasons of futility and early injuries to figure this one out.

  4. #4
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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    hey moloch...at least he's coming around. So it took two seasons, at least it didn't take three

  5. #5
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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Sounds like he plans to install some new plays for the TE's

    I hope he finds the right balance between playing starters and testing and training rookies. Shame on him for downplaying the rigorous camps of Vermiel. When he has Vermiel's success, he can say that.

    Go Rams!:r

  6. #6
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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Actually Mo, it wasn't two seasons, it was one, and MDE, Vermeil's success occurred AFTER he toned it down.

    Fair's fair guys.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  7. #7
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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Spearking of fair.....

    Decide now if you want to cheer Linehan for this new tough-guy camp approach or not. Because it will be pretty sad if someone cheers Linehan for this today, but busts his marbles if starters get hurt in the pre-season.
    "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

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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    I think its good that he is making camp a little more strict than usual.

    I only hope for the best, I hope is plan to play the starters more doesnt seriously backfire on us.

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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    Actually Mo, it wasn't two seasons, it was one, and MDE, Vermeil's success occurred AFTER he toned it down.

    Fair's fair guys.

    He's been head coach for 2 seasons, right? He's been through 2 training camps, right?

  10. #10
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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Linehan really running a training camp--that is refreshing to here. I wonder if he will have the team in better conditrion too. A Lot I think of the RAMs 07 injury problems was poor conditioning.

    What is remarkably sad about Linehan is that NOW he is making changes. And not for calculated reasons of improving the team but fear of losing his job and has to do something

    Two seasons wasted is an eternity in professionally football

  11. #11
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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Spearking of fair.....

    Decide now if you want to cheer Linehan for this new tough-guy camp approach or not. Because it will be pretty sad if someone cheers Linehan for this today, but busts his marbles if starters get hurt in the pre-season.
    You're right - can't have it both ways .. I'd rather we play all out than play scared. If we we have a game wrapped up early on in the 4th quarter during the regular season, (dream on .. right Tex?) then pull your starters, but after last year, this year's preseason games will afford an opportunity to see if and in what areas we have improved -- if any ..

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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    Sounds like he plans to install some new plays for the TE's
    ROFL... I was going to say, is he testing the limits of how many TE's he can put on the field at once before we are screwed completely.... you beat me to it!

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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Hopefully, SL will push the team a bit more and toughen them up without over doing it. We shall see...

    personally, I think if you worry about getting hurt, that's usually when you get hurt. Can't send out players who are soft and coddled to the field and expect them not to get hurt. it's finding that balance between toughening them up and over-straining
    that counts.

    g'luck Rams... work hard, don't over do it, and kick @$$!

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    Talking Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    No one respects SL. Thats why I think its going to be hard for him
    to succeed.
    Last edited by BEER; -04-04-2008 at 07:46 PM.

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    Re: Linehan hopes to test team's limits in camp

    Quote Originally Posted by BEER View Post
    No one respects LC. Thats why I think its going to be hard for him
    to succeed.
    Who's LC ??

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