By Bill Coats

NASHVILLE, TENN. — Four generally high-spirited practices against the Tennessee Titans yielded the results that coach Scott Linehan was seeking when he brought his team here from Wisconsin.

"It was a great two days," he said. "We got a lot of things done working against another team, and I was really happy with the progress we made. We're not where we want to be yet, but ... we play them Saturday night, and I'd like to see us take the improvement I think we've made — and I'm sure they feel the same way — into a very competitive football game."

The preseason opener for both clubs is scheduled for 7 p.m. at LP Field. It will be televised on KTVI (Channel 2) in St. Louis.


Though he chose his words carefully, Linehan made it clear he was pleased that his troops stood up to the Titans in Wednesday morning's fight-filled practice.

"You don't want to see a melee, you don't want to see a bunch of crazy stuff, you want to see guys getting things done and handling things right, showing class and all that," he said. "But I really saw a lot from our football team on that day. And after (the skirmishes), they went back to business and it was practice. ...

"That's what you want. It shows the fight in our team, and I mean that in a team sense, certainly not in a dirty sense."


Linebacker Will Witherspoon skipped the contact work after bruising his shoulder Wednesday. "It was just sore," Linehan said. "We decided to hold him out so he'd feel better" Friday and be able to suit up for the game Saturday.

Running back Antonio Pittman, nursing a bruised thigh, had limited reps. "It wasn't feeling 100 percent," Linehan said. "We're going to work the therapy hard in the next 48 hours so he'll be ready to go Saturday night."

Not practicing were defensive lineman Victor Adeyanju (finger), safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring), wide receiver Donnie Avery (pelvis), tight end Anthony Becht (hamstring), cornerback Fakhir Brown (shoulder) and tackle Julius Wilson (calf).


—Days out: 14

—Practices missed: 18

—Fine total: $211,624 ($15,116 per day)


The Rams will hold a closed practice this afternoon at LP Stadium, site of Saturday's contest. ... The team will return to Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., after the game for four more days of work, then break camp Thursday and travel to St. Louis.