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  1. #1
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    Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    08.10.2009 11:56 am
    Punches fly despite no-hitting practice at Rams Park
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch



    On a day when coach Steve Spagnuolo dialed back the hitting, going without a live-tackling session for the first time since the second day of St. Louis Rams training camp, the first fight of the preseason broke out. The combatants Monday morning were tight end Billy Bajema and safety James Butler, who apparently felt that Bajema hit him too low. A few punches were thrown, but no damage was done.

    “I’d rather not have it, because it slows down practice,” Spagnuolo said. “But I understand it, because we are getting some hard, physical work done. It got defused pretty quick.”

    Notes & quotes:

    *Spagnuolo confirmed that WR Donnie Avery has a stress fracture in his left foot and is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks.

    *At this time, the Rams aren’t planning to bring in another WR, Spagnuolo said. But that could change.

    *DE Leonard Little (neck) suited up but didn’t take part in team work. Victor Adeyanju took over his spot on the left side with the first team.

    *S Craig Dahl (hamstring) and DT Adam Carriker (ankle) remained out. FB Mike Karney (ankle) again was limited to individual drills.

    *For the second consecutive day, rookie James Laurinaitis took all the reps at MLB with the first unit, and Chris Draft lined up at SLB.

    *Rookie CB Bradley Fletcher picked off a pass from Brock Berlin in 11-on-11s and returned it to the end zone.

    *T Jason Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, had a rough time in one-on-one line drills. Smith is adjusting to the right side after playing LT at Baylor.

    All for now . . . more following the afternoon practice.


  2. #2
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Sounds to me like Jason Smith will probably struggle some his first few games until he adjusts to that right tackle spot. Hopefully he can learn it FAST and not become like Alex Barron did when forced to move.
    Also looks like Laurinaitis has that starting spot nailed down. Looking forward to seeing him play!

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    From the bits and pieces that I've read about Jason Smith. He may not even be in the starting line-up on opening day.

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    From the bits and pieces that I've read about Jason Smith. He may not even be in the starting line-up on opening day.
    Maybe so. But I think this is just part of the learning curve. I found this snippet in an interview of Joey Porter from last year talking about taking on Pro Bowl rookie Jake Long in camp....
    When explaining why pass rushers can have good seasons at an advanced age, linebacker Joey Porter said, ``The game slows down when you get older. When you're young, you're just getting by on straight-up talent.''
    He's a smart kid. Smith will pick this up. I think he'll be on the RT come week 1. But if not, he will be there soon. Rome wasn't built in a day. Nor was the career of Jason Smith.
    "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

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    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Smith is a very different guy than barron. Barron was fine as a pass blocker right out of the gate. He wasnt as strong in the running game (and still isnt). Smith is the flip side of that, never have played with his hand on the ground in college. Meanwhile, i have said it before and i will say it again. It was a mistake to cut orlando pace.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    *T Jason Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, had a rough time in one-on-one line drills. Smith is adjusting to the right side after playing LT at Baylor.
    I really think it's a mistake moving him to the other side of the line. I don't see why you wouldn't want to just keep him on the left side

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Barron has been on the right side for how long now? Why don't they leave him there and let the rook play the left? I feel they are just making the line confused and less apt to do get it done during the year. You know I bag on Bulger only because Warner was better, but cheese and rice, how the hell is Bulger going to get back to form and play with confidence with Barron and Smith playing in the wrong spots. I know barron was a left Tackle out of college but he's been on the right long enough to let Smith be the LEFT TACKLE!!!!!!!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    How is Bulger going to feel confident in the pocket after seeing Little run right around Smith every few plays? If Smith is on his blind side, do you think that's going to be better?

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    It happens at practices. Won't be shocked if we are the only team who has had a fight.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    I really think it's a mistake moving him to the other side of the line. I don't see why you wouldn't want to just keep him on the left side
    For two very simple reasons, given that they're both left tackles coming out of college.

    1. Barron is better at pass blocking than run blocking and always will be. He doesn't have the body or the strength for being a strong side, right tackle. He never played right tackle before. He's proven himself at left tackle in the NFL before.

    2. Smith started as a TE, then played right tackle and then became a left tackle. He's better at run blocking than pass blocking. He's got the strength, body, and nastiness to be a right tackle in this league. He can get help from backs and tight ends on the right side for pass protection whereas he'd be on an island on the left side.

    If they were both rookies, then Smith would be the right tackle and Barron the left. It's how it should be now.

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    How is Bulger going to feel confident in the pocket after seeing Little run right around Smith every few plays? If Smith is on his blind side, do you think that's going to be better?
    You really think this has any bearing on Bulger's confidence? Come on ...

    We just started man. This guy is just getting his first taste of the NFL and learning lessons from one of the most fierce speed rushers this game has seen. He'll learn magnitudes from Little ...

    It's more than a month from the season opener. This guy will be in there at RT, and he'll do a fine job ...

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Smith is a very different guy than barron. Barron was fine as a pass blocker right out of the gate. He wasnt as strong in the running game (and still isnt). Smith is the flip side of that, never have played with his hand on the ground in college. Meanwhile, i have said it before and i will say it again. It was a mistake to cut orlando pace.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    Not understanding the logic of keeping Pace. When he retires in two years, then what?

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Not understanding the logic of keeping Pace. When he retires in two years, then what?
    Smith and any other tackle the Rams pick up should be fully online and effective by then. They should have kept Pace to ease the transition over the next year; it would have kept some of the pressure off of the young guys.

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    The quality of play we lose from Pace/Barron to Barron/Smith is pretty significant. Unfortunately, he is getting older and he may not see another season in the league if he takes another injury. The amount of games played from Smith is enough to make up for the quality of play we would have seen from Pace. The future is bright with our line and Jackson, keeping Pace was just not an option.

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    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Smith and any other tackle the Rams pick up should be fully online and effective by then. They should have kept Pace to ease the transition over the next year; it would have kept some of the pressure off of the young guys.
    But it also probably would have kept Jason Brown and Mike Karney off the roster, thereby simply moving the pressure from the outside of the line to the inside of the line.
    "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

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