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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Players settle in at Rams Park

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    07/27/2006



    Defensive end Brandon Green carried a shiny acoustic guitar. "It's kind of a pressure release. I'm not very good, but I can play enough to entertain myself and annoy others," Green explained.

    Defensive tackle La'Roi Glover toted a cache of personal items - "got the soap, got the gel." Plus his "toys" - "got the PlayStation, got the XBox 360."

    Such was the activity Wednesday morning, as the Rams players began showing up at the Holiday Inn in Earth City. Creature comforts were a high priority as they settled in for nearly a month at training camp.

    Cornerback Travis Fisher made sure to pack comfortable footwear. "You can't wear regular shoes, because your feet are going to be sore," he explained. "And you've got to have the Epsom salts" for relieving the aches that soon will surface.



    After check-in, the players attended a 1 p.m. meeting in the auditorium at Rams Park, with new coach Scott Linehan the featured speaker. More meetings were next, followed by a team dinner, and then more meetings.

    Today, the real grind starts: Two practices are planned, at 9:35 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. A single practice is set for 3:15 p.m. Friday. That basic schedule - two practices one day, then one practice the next - will be followed throughout most of camp.

    "It'll be a lot of fun to watch things get put together, watch the adjustments that everybody has to make, players and coaches alike," Linehan said. "We'll see how the team grows. ... The ultimate goal is be as ready to go and as healthy as possible for the (regular-season) opener against Denver" on Sept. 10 at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Keeping an eye fixed on the regular season is a key part of surviving the rigors of camp, according to wide receiver Kevin Curtis. "Just think about those games," he said. "Training camp can be grueling, but there's still that excitement for the season to get going."

    The team is training at Rams Park for the second year in succession. The previous nine years, the site was Western Illinois University. No one, it seems, is eager to return there. "This compared to a college dorm room? Oh, yeah, any day of the week," offensive lineman Richie Incognito said.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger said, "It's a better feeling coming to Rams Park than it is Macomb. We're excited. We're in St. Louis, we have a new coach, a lot of new guys on defense and we've got a (preseason) game in two weeks. We're ready to go."



    Excited ... ready ... but fun? Not for most. The worst aspect of camp is ...

    "Waking up between 5 and 6 in the morning, and then sitting in meetings for two or three hours." - cornerback Kevin Timothee

    "The heat. And the long hours get kind of tough after a while." - Green

    "Being away from the family. You're concerned about how it's going there, but you've got to be here. That's the hardest thing for me. I just miss my family." - center Andy McCollum

    All concede, though, that camp is a necessary evil.

    "It's important for us all to get back together," Bulger said. "The heat's not real fun, but ... it's just something you go through if you're in football."

    Added running back Steven Jackson: "To be honest, I dread it. I truly do. But it allows the coaching staff and the team to get to know each other, to go through kind of a bonding situation, where you're all grinding through a tough process.

    "It lets everyone know it is time to play football."


  2. #2
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
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    Re: Players settle in at Rams Park

    Today, the real grind starts: Two practices are planned, at 9:35 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. A single practice is set for 3:15 p.m. Friday. That basic schedule - two practices one day, then one practice the next - will be followed throughout most of camp.
    Id be sore too if I had that many practices... Im glad im not in the NFL yet.

    Waking up between 5 and 6 in the morning, and then sitting in meetings for two or three hours.
    Wow!! I could never do that!

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