Long looks quick in a workout test vs. Tennessee veteran
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/07/2008

NASHVILLE, TENN. — In one-on-one drills, Rams rookie defensive end Chris Long blasted past Tennessee guard Jake Scott on consecutive snaps. Long's burst and quickness seemed to befuddle Scott, a four-year veteran.

Wednesday's shared practices with the Titans provided Long, the No. 2 overall selection in the draft, with his first test against an opponent wearing a different uniform. "I did all right. I did some good things, I did some bad things," Long said. "I'll just keep working, same as every day."

Coach Scott Linehan was kinder in his assessment. "I thought he did good," Linehan said. "He's a work in progress. But the guy is going to be everything, and more. It's just a matter of continuing to come out here and get more and more comfortable with playing in this system."

Long was sporting a new Mohawk haircut like his fellow rookies and was enjoying the workout despite the heat.

"It's fun," he said. "Things come together a little bit easier because you're going against different people. I always like playing against other people."

The regular-season opener is about a month off, and Linehan likes Long's progress. "I'm really happy with where he's at," Linehan said.

Long wasn't interested into delving into self-evaluation. "I never expect or set goals; I just try to work day to day," he said.

HEATED START

Things simmered down at the afternoon practice after some nastiness in the morning workout. A couple of flareups nearly ignited, but they were quickly doused.

"It's that time of year; guys aren't in very good moods out here," Linehan said. "But they corrected it and we finished really good."

INJURY REPORT

The Rams got through Wednesday's sessions with no significant injury issues. Linebacker Will Witherspoon bruised a shoulder in the morning practice, and Chris Draft took his place in the middle for the late workout.

Also, wide receiver Reche Caldwell tweaked a hamstring near the end of the second practice.

Five Rams sat out Wednesday's action: defensive lineman Victor Adeyanju (finger), safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring), wide receiver Donnie Avery (pelvis), tight end Anthony Becht (hamstring) and cornerback Fakhir Brown (shoulder).

WELCOME BACK

Wide receiver Drew Bennett and guard Jacob Bell received warm welcomes from the Tennessee crowd, then huddled with some of their former Titans teammates between practices. Bennett and Bell also were prime interview targets for local reporters.

"It was good to see some of the guys," said Bennett, who came to the Rams last year as an unrestricted free agent. Bell signed with the Rams this past March, also as a free agent.

LOOKER IS SHARP

Veteran wideout Dane Looker got bounced around a few times after catches, but he held on each time. Looker, 32, continues to shine in training camp.

"I'm getting a little older, but my speed feels as good as it always has, and my quickness feels the same," he said. "I try to keep my body healthy and fit, so that when you come to camp, it's not a shock to your system."

STEVEN JACKSON WATCH

—Days out: 13

—Practices missed: 16

—Fine total: $196,508 ($15,116 a day)

RAM-BLINGS

The Rams and Titans will practice twice again today, at 8:15 a.m. (special teams only) and 3:30 p.m. ... Saturday's preseason opener will be televised on KTVI (Channel 2).