Packers: Rams may train in Madison, scrimmage Packers
By JASON WILDE
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- If the St. Louis Rams end up holding their training camp in Wisconsin, they'll likely hold a joint practice with the Green Bay Packers.
And if the Rams do come to Wisconsin, they could be coming to Madison.
The Rams are looking for a new training camp home, and they're considering several University of Wisconsin system schools and sites.
The Rams moved from Macomb, Ill., home of Western Illinois University, to their suburban St. Louis facility in 2005, but Rams coach Scott Linehan wants to go away for camp this year to promote team unity.
Linehan said during Wednesday morning's NFC coaches breakfast at the NFL meetings at The Breakers the Rams are considering UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point and "a place now in Madison maybe where the Badgers used to do training camp," meaning the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Center.
UW hasn't practiced there since 2004, but Linehan's special assistant is Jeff Horton, who spent seven years as the Badgers' quarterbacks coach and who's been put in charge of the search for a new location.
Horton contacted UW associate athletic director John Chadima, who then put him in touch with the O 'Connor Center.
"Jeff called me last week," Chadima said. "I guess I was the conduit.''
Linehan said the Rams first looked at UW-La Crosse, which used to host the New Orleans Saints' camp, and UW-Whitewater, but neither is an option. They're set to visit UW-Oshkosh next week.
"We favored La Crosse because of their facility, but they're going through a renovation, so that's not going to happen, not this year," Linehan said. "We looked at Whitewater, but apparently they 've got a facility issue. (So) we're looking at Oshkosh, Stevens Point and a place now in Madison maybe where the Badgers used to do training camp.''
Linehan said the Rams plan to decide "in the next week to 10 days" whether they will move their camp to Wisconsin. If they do, the teams could practice together in Green Bay, likely in conjunction with the Packers' annual intrasquad scrimmage.
Linehan said practicing with the Packers would be "very beneficial. We'd like to do that. You're changing the competitive nature of the camp, and it's a good break after six or seven days into training camp."
Packers coach Mike McCarthy talked to the Kansas City Chiefs, who hold their training camp in River Falls, last summer but decided against inviting coach Herman Edwards' team to Green Bay. The Packers are adamant any joint workout would have to be in Green Bay, and there would be no reciprocity the following year with the Packers traveling to that team's camp.
McCarthy gave the impression at his breakfast Q&A that he's leaning toward the joint workout. The Packers and Buffalo Bills got together in 2005, Mike Sherman's last year as coach. The Bills came to Green Bay for two practices and a scrimmage at the annual Family Night.
"I talked to Kansas City briefly about it last year, and I just felt the youth of our football team that probably wasn't our best option," McCarthy said. "This year obviously we 're further ahead, so I'm going to talk to Scott here in the next couple weeks. We'll see what happens."
Re: Packers: Rams may train in Madison, scrimmage Packers
I better not catch any of you wearing a blue cheesehead!