Friday, August 1, 2008
Nick’s Notes: August 1, 2008
MEQUON, Wis. –
Notes from Friday Afternoon
- The afternoon session was cut short by some ominous weather moving into the Mequon area. For the first time in this camp, Mother Nature struck. Swirling dark clouds and large rain drops pelted the area for a brief time but only early enough to end the practice about 30 minutes early.
- Before the short storm hit, the Rams were able to get plenty of work in and looked sharp again. Quarterback Marc Bulger has strung together three straight good practices and is looking more comfortable in the offense every day.
- The play of the day award went to Bulger and fullback Russ Weil. With fellow fullback Dan Kreider nursing a sore knee, Weil has been getting a long look in about every formation as a lead blocker. On this play, though, Weil floated a deep sideline pass to Bulger that was right on the money and drew oohs and aahs from the crowd and delighted cheers from the team.
- We’ll have complete coverage of Saturday’s scrimmage here at stlouisrams.com with plenty of notes, quotes, anecdotes and features to devour.
Notes from Friday Morning
- The Rams are closing in on the first mile marker of the preseason, the annual intra-squad scrimmage that coach Scott Linehan prefers to have after about a week of practice.
- The team completed the morning session with another crisp performance even in what was probably the hottest day of camp so far. The good news beyond the sharpness of practice was the return of more formerly injured players. Cornerback David Macklin (hamstring), center Brett Romberg (hand) and receiver Marques Hagans (hamstring) returned to the practice field, joining cornerback Tye Hill (quad) and receiver Drew Bennett (knee), both of whom returned on Thursday afternoon.
- No need to fret about the fact that defensive tackle La’Roi Glover, tackle Orlando Pace and receiver Torry Holt were limited in Friday’s practice. All three were given a “veteran’s day off.” In other words, their advanced experience and age earned them a little down time.
- Linehan reported that Pace says he “feels good” about where he is in his recovery.
- For anyone looking to attend Saturday’s scrimmage, take note that it has been moved to 9:50 AM.
- fullback Dan Kreider is suffering from a knee ailment and was also limited in Friday’s practice.
- An NFL officiating crew made its annual stop at Rams training camp and spoke with the media Friday morning. The custom is for the officials to come to camp, officiate during team drills and seven on seven passing drills and meet with the players and coaching staff to give them a better idea on some of the rules and adjustments. They also take time to meet with reporters and show a tape that stresses the new rules and points of emphasis for the season.
- A few items of note as far as rule changes. The force out by a defensive back on a receiver is no longer an issue. The only way a player will get a force out is if they are grabbed by the defender and carried out of bounds. So, a cornerback could now simply shove a receiver out of bounds to prevent a catch.
- There is no longer a penalty for incidental face masks. In other words, all facemask penalties will now be of the 15-yard variety and must involve some sort of grabbing and twisting to receive a flag.
- Those were perhaps the two most intriguing rule changes but there were some others including the addition of replay for field goal attempts that involve anything below the top of the uprights to the crossbar vertically and from the outside of the uprights in horizontally.
- Points of emphasis for this year include watching for offensive facemask penalties (particularly on ball carriers), taunting and ensuring that players have their chin straps fastened for every play.
- The officials will be in town for one more day, working Saturday’s scrimmage.
- That’s all for now but I’ll be back with more and some practice tidbits following the afternoon session.