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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Plenty of action on Day One

    By Bill Coats
    07/27/2007 3:49 pm
    By BILL COATS

    The sky was overcast, but the mood was decidedly sunny when the Rams hit the practice fields Friday morning. And not just because of the anticipatory buzz that always envelops the first practice of training camp.

    On this day, there were two other reasons for celebration among the team and its fans. One, quarterback Marc Bulger was on the field and about to sign a contract extension. Two, defensive lineman Adam Carriker, the club’s first-round draft choice, had agreed to terms.

    Thus, all the pieces were in place as preparations began for Scott Linehan’s second season as head coach. Each of the eight draft picks was signed, Bulger was locked up for six more years, and everyone was healthy — no one was wearing a red “hands off” jersey.

    Those kinds of conditions are unusual for the Rams, as well as most teams. Often, a draft choice or two are late to camp, as their agents negotiate deals. And it’s not uncommon for a veteran to hold out in a contract dispute.

    On Friday, the Rams were one happy family.

    The players were in full pads for the morning practice, and the activity was crisp. Bulger looked sharp, accurate as usual with his throws. But Linehan was most pleased with second-year cornerback Tye Hill, who made several plays in coverage.

    Linehan couldn’t help but smile when he said Hill “looked why we drafted him in the first round last year. I think he’s ready to take his game to a new level.”

    Linebacker Chris Draft, an offseason pickup, left practice after about 15 minutes. He suffers from asthma and was struggling.

    “It’s something he’s had his whole life,” Linehan explained. “He’s had to deal with it at times, and right now he’s having problems with it. So we just kept him out of practice, and we’ll take him to the hospital and just make sure everything’s checking out. It’s happened before, and we just have to keep an eye on him. This time of year when it’s humid, it shows up a little more.”

    Other first-practice notes:

    >>Wide receiver Torry Holt, who had offseason knee surgery, was moving well. Holt said Thursday that there still were some “sore spots” in the joint but that he was happy with his progress.

    >>Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who was limited during the offseason program and minicamp after undergoing shoulder surgery, was full-go.

    >>Tackle Orlando Pace, who had surgery on a torn triceps last season, showed no ill effects from his injury,

    >>With Carriker unable to practice because his contract hadn’t been finalized and signed, fifth-round draft pick Clifton Ryan worked with the first team at nose tackle.

    >>As expected, Ron Bartell was with the No. 1 unit at right cornerback. The starter there last year, Fakhir Brown, has been suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Brown was at practice, and he also is permitted to play in the preseason games. His ban begins Aug. 31, and unless his appeal is successful, he will be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 1.

    After practice, Bulger, agent Tom Condon, Linehan and Rams general manager Jay Zygmunt sat together behind microphones in the auditorium at Rams Park and discussed Bulger’s $65 million, which includes $27 million in guaranteed money.

    Condon said the contract puts Bulger in the “upper echelon” of the league’s best-paid QBs. Zygmunt confirmed that it also makes Bulger the highest-paid player in Rams history. “And deservedly so,” Zygmunt said.

    After Bulger referred a couple of times to him as “Mr. Zygmunt,” Zygmunt interrupted him and said, “Excuse me, it’s Jay.” To which Bulger replied, “It’s ‘mister’ today.”

    Bulger didn’t show up for a team meeting Thursday; Linehan excused him so that he could spend the time meeting with Condon. Bulger faced the possibility of being fined $14,000 per day if he held out from camp.

    Although Bulger emphasized that possibility was very slim, Linehan nevertheless spent a sleepless night Thursday. When he saw Bulger on Friday morning, he shot him a look.

    “He knows I’m not a big yeller and screamer, but I looked at him like, ‘I didn’t sleep last night; you owe me. Not financially, but for all the heartache you gave me last night,’” Linehan said. “But I trusted him. I don’t think anyone doubted for a minute, to be really honest with you, that he would be here. Marc wants to help this team win a championship, and he knows that to do that, he’s got to be out here.”


  2. #2
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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    Let's hope our guys can continue to stay healthy.
    Glad to hear last year's injuries are wearing off (Pace, Pisa, Holt)!

  3. #3
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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    I read that Alston is getting yelled at alot. Day one and everything, this probably isn't anything to worry about, but still, sure need him to contribute.
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    Pleasant dreams Scott Linehan.

  5. #5
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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    I read that Alston is getting yelled at alot. Day one and everything, this probably isn't anything to worry about, but still, sure need him to contribute.
    Who was yelling at him? Certainly not mild mannered Jim Haslett?

  6. #6
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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    it doesnt matter if Alston is getting yelled at a lot.

    What matters is how he takes it. Is he the type of guy that gives up when he gets yelled at, or the type that would be spurned on to improve himself?

  7. #7
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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    it doesnt matter if Alston is getting yelled at a lot.

    What matters is how he takes it. Is he the type of guy that gives up when he gets yelled at, or the type that would be spurned on to improve himself?
    There's no "crying" in football!

  8. #8
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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    Or shipping..

  9. #9
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    Re: Plenty of action on Day One

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    There's no "crying" in football!
    Or shipping..:\

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