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Rams Hold Another Physical Workout
ST. LOUIS - It worked for the St. Louis Rams last week, so Wednesday was another good day for full-contact scrimmaging.
The Rams responded to coach Mike Martz's decision to get physical last week with a 23-12 victory Sunday over Seattle for first place in the NFC West, but no one's satisfied. So twice a week for the rest of the season, counting game day, there'll be some heavy hitting.
Players weren't complaining last week, and they're still not.
"This is your job, you have to keep it up," wide receiver Isaac Bruce said. "You can't be on a roller coaster where one week you're up and the next week you're down.
"If there's no consistency there, it just doesn't help the cause."
Linebacker Trev Faulk said practicing physical helps him play that way.
"If that's the formula, if that's what works, that's what we have to continue to do," Faulk said. "The most important thing is on Sunday that we have more points."
To Martz, scrimmaging is a way of emphasizing fundamentals with a team that had slipped in recent weeks. Before beating Seattle, St. Louis had lost consecutive games to previously winless Miami and beat-up New England and the coach detected a loss of passion.
"Sometimes what you see is what you coach, so we had to go back to basics," Martz said. "We've got to block and tackle better, we just do.
"We're not where we need to be, but we're making progress and that's all you can do."
Although Martz twice called out players last week, saying it was up to them which way the season turned, he said the scrimmages are not a form of punishment. On Wednesday, most of the contact involved the scout team offense and the first-team defense.
"You get mad and start taking that stuff out on them, you'll lose your team," Martz said. "Then you need to get out of coaching and get an attitude readjustment.
"It was never about that, it was about getting back to basics and getting your feet on the ground and getting physical again and enjoying that part of the game."
Players never took it that way. Defensive tackle Tyoka Jackson noted that after the Rams lost 31-14 to the Dolphins, Martz gave the team the entire bye week off.
Jackson said it was a matter of trust and loyalty.
"His one concern is the players, and are we ready to play on Sunday?" Jackson said. "When you've got a guy like that you don't question his motives. He felt we had let ourselves down, most importantly, and let our coaching staff down, and you've got to take a hard look when he says something like that."
There's another reason for keeping that edge: There are few dominant teams in the NFC, and every week is a big game.
"There's not room for too much error," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "You look at the rest of the divisions and everyone seems to be 5-4 except for a couple of teams.
"It's going to be a playoff atmosphere from here on out."
Offensive guard Chris Dishman will be out four to six weeks with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee that won't require surgery, leaving Tom Nutten as the starter Sunday against the Bills. Nutten sat out last year and signed late in the preseason.
Re: Rams Hold Another Physical WorkoutOriginally Posted by RamWraithClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
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Re: Rams Hold Another Physical Workout
I've been thinking the same thing.
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