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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Physical play highlights Linehan's camp debut

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Jul. 28 2006

    Scott Linehan would love to report that he slept like a log Wednesday night.
    But that would be untrue.

    "I've got to admit, it wasn't my normal ... when your head hits the pillow you
    go to sleep," Linehan conceded Thursday. "I had a lot more things on my mind.
    But you know, that's part of the deal."

    Welcome to the head-coaching ranks. Between minicamps and the lighter practices
    known as OTAs, Linehan oversaw about two-dozen Rams practices in the spring.

    But Thursday was different - the first day of training camp for the Rams, and
    Linehan's first training camp practice as an NFL head coach.

    "I talked to (Jim) Hanifan the other day and he said, 'You'll always remember
    your first day,'" Linehan said of the Rams' broadcaster and former NFL coach.
    "I'm sure I will. It was more exciting than nervous. You always want things to
    go well. The biggest difference going from a position coach or a coordinator to
    a head coach is you kind of worry about everything. ... You're concerned about
    the big picture."

    Linehan's inaugural practice did not create the buzz that the debuts of Mike
    Martz did six years ago or Dick Vermeil did nine summers ago. The Rams' new
    advertising slogan may be "I believe," but apparently the football public has
    yet to get the message.

    Only a few hundred spectators were on hand Thursday morning in Earth City; the
    announced attendance was 909. It clearly was a smaller crowd than any of the
    open practices last summer, when the Rams trained in St. Louis for the first
    time since 1995.

    Not that Linehan was counting heads. He was too busy working the field. Not
    unlike his predecessor, Martz, Linehan spent almost the entire two hours
    Thursday morning watching and working with the offense.

    "My focus was on the offense somewhat because of all the stuff we had in,"
    Linehan said. "My concern was with the amount of installation we did. You just
    don't want to have the mental errors. I wanted to be there in case we had to
    get something corrected."

    That's one reason why Linehan won't have the players practice in full pads
    until this afternoon. There was too much to think about during Thursday's
    morning and evening workouts to work in full pads.

    "When you're putting in a lot of things in your system, it tends to paralyze
    you a little bit when it comes to how you play and the intensity you play
    with," Linehan said.

    Maybe so, but the tone was physical nonetheless, particularly since the players
    were in just shoulder pads and shorts.

    "It really was (physical) for the first day," offensive guard Adam Timmerman
    said. "You never know what to expect."

    In fact, it was a little too physical at times for Linehan. He didn't like the
    fact that running backs were taken to the ground several times by defenders in
    a 9-on-7 run period. That's how leg injuries happen when players are in shorts.

    Steven Jackson got his helmet knocked off running downfield on one play. On
    another, he was shoved hard out of bounds by new safety Corey Chavous, and
    looked back in surprise.

    "But it's football," Jackson said after practice. "No one got mad out there.
    Everyone understands that. Coach (Linehan) said this team's going to have a new
    attitude, and to me, it's starting today."

    With full-pad practices looming, it will get worse before it gets better. But
    the veterans seem to understand.

    "You have to definitely get that established as far as being physical,"
    Timmerman said. "It's really (Linehan's) first time seeing guys on a practice
    field in pads. So it's going to take a little time before he learns what guys
    can do; what their strengths and weaknesses are. You have to see 'em in pads
    before you know how they're going to play."

    There were some interesting wrinkles on the depth chart, with Richie Incognito
    working with the first unit ahead of Claude Terrell at left guard. Terrell, in
    fact, worked at right guard Thursday backing up Timmerman.

    Fakhir Brown and Travis Fisher got most of the time with the first unit at
    cornerback, ahead of Jerametrius Butler and DeJuan Groce. Ron Bartell worked
    with the third unit at safety. Rookie defensive tackle Claude Wroten worked
    with the starters ahead of Jimmy Kennedy when the Rams were in their nickel
    defense.

    Linehan may have been out of sight Thursday for the defensive players, but he
    wasn't out of earshot.

    "I didn't see much of him with the d-line group," defensive tackle La'Roi
    Glover said. "But you can hear him. He's barking out orders. He's giving guys
    tips and pointers, and things of that nature. He's extremely active on the
    football field."

    "He keeps the tempo going," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "I wouldn't
    necessarily say he's too meticulous about every little thing on the field. But
    if he feels there's a lull in practice or the intensity's not where it needs to
    be, he gets it back up there."


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Physical play highlights Linehan's camp debut

    Fakhir Brown and Travis Fisher got most of the time with the first unit at
    cornerback, ahead of Jerametrius Butler and DeJuan Groce. Ron Bartell worked
    with the third unit at safety. Rookie defensive tackle Claude Wroten worked
    with the starters ahead of Jimmy Kennedy when the Rams were in their nickel
    defense.
    Again, folks, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in this as it pertains to opening day first string. I don't really think Butler is a back-up. In fact, he is probably the best cover man on the roster. Nor do I see Bartell as a 3rd string FS. And as mentioned earlier, Wroten worked with the first string on the nickel sets..........as expected.

    There's still a lot of camp ahead of them, and the only thing I really care about is keeping them healthy. Losing Bentley on the first drill has me all hinked up for our guys now.
    "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

  3. #3
    RamsFan16's Avatar
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    Re: Physical play highlights Linehan's camp debut

    On another, he was shoved hard out of bounds by new safety Corey Chavous, and looked back in surprise.
    Its nice to know thats what our Defense has been told like we've heard, there going to be physical.

    Quote Originally Posted by FoundOnAnotherSite
    Haslett was on the defense and the scrimmage. He was a bit more vocal and at one point screamed for someone (at the end of a drill) to "get the F'n ball"
    Thats good to hear that Haslett actually cares, Marmie woudln't have ever done that.
    RamsFan16

  4. #4
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    Re: Physical play highlights Linehan's camp debut

    Im liking the sound of a more physical Rams. Hopefully we wont be cheap shotting though, i want the Rams to be tough but fair.

  5. #5
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
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    Re: Physical play highlights Linehan's camp debut

    Steven Jackson got his helmet knocked off running downfield on one play. On
    another, he was shoved hard out of bounds by new safety Corey Chavous, and
    looked back in surprise.
    Ahhh; physical football is back in the Rams D. It's been a looooong time.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

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