Rams break camp but not Jackson stalemate
By: Bill Coats
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
MEQUON, Wis. (Camp Day 20/final report)
At about 5 p.m. Wednesday, as the rain-soaked players, coaches and support personnel trudged off Century Field at Concordia University, it became official: Holdout running back Steven Jackson had missed the entire training camp.
The team arrived here July 24, and practices began the next day. The Rams spent 15 days in Mequon and five in Nashville sharing practices with the Titans. All told, they went through 23 practices, plus several walk-throughs, put in about 50 hours on the field and many more in the classroom.
All without Jackson, who so far has run up a $302,320 fine in his quest for a new contract before he heads into the final season of his original five-year deal. Coach Scott Linehan, who refused the let the Jackson situation derail his camp plans, apparently wants to get more involved now.
“This is an obvious break in the action, and we have some time to collect our thoughts,” he said after Wednesday afternoon’s final practice. “I’m going to meet with Jay (Zygmunt) tomorrow and kind of see where we’re at. I’m hoping for the best. I know it will work out soon.”
Of course, Rams officials were saying that three weeks ago.
The early returns on the Mequon experience were positive, at least in Linehan’s opinion.
“The only proof is how it pays off in the end, but I know more about our football team personally just because we’ve been around each other 21 days straight,” he said. “I think it’s been outstanding that way . . . and I know we’re a lot better football team than when we started 21 days ago.”
Notes & quotes:
>>Linehan kept the team on the field Wednesday despite a driving rain over the last 45 minutes or so.
>>Pro Football Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks watched from the sideline Wednesday. He was checking out rookie Chris Long, the 2007 winner of the Ted Hendricks Award, presented annually to the top defensive end in college football.
>>With Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring), Eric Bassey (neck) and Jerome Carter (groin) nursing injuries, the Rams could have just two healthy safeties for Saturday night’s home game vs. the Chargers: Corey Chavous and Todd Johnson. That’s not counting international player Sebastien Sejean, who will spend the season on the practice squad. Sejean had two tackles in brief action vs. the Titans.
All for now . . . reports resume Friday from St. Louis.