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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams Kick off Full Squad Mini-Camp

    Thursday, June 2, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    Old and new faces alike will converge on Rams Park this weekend for the team’s mandatory full squad mini-camp.

    The mini-camp runs from Friday to Sunday, including five two-hour practices interspersed with about 11 hours of meetings.

    How those faces come together in the next six months will determine how far this year’s edition of the Rams advances in January’s playoffs. The coming together of this team begins now, according to coach Mike Martz.

    “It’s like that television program “(Orange County) Choppers” where they make those motorcycles…you have all these parts by themselves and the end product turns out pretty impressive,” Martz said. “I think that’s where we are headed, so we are trying to put this together piece by piece.”

    This year’s mini-camp will be unlike any in Martz’s tenure as the roster turnover has been higher than every year Martz has been in charge. The Rams have made a plethora of roster moves, doing everything from getting two starting linebackers (Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley) to drafting a new punter (Reggie Hodges).

    Those moves could mean more success on the field, but a big part of that is how those new faces unite with many of the old ones.

    “This is the beginning of everything,” Martz said. “Usually you turn your roster anywhere from 20 to 30 percent over every year. For us, it’s probably at least that, maybe more. You are starting to develop a personality with this team and then you want to get grounded first and foremost in the fundamentals and spend more time and focus on developing these guys at their position and their skills before you move into these schemes.”

    The personality of the whole is ultimately decided by the sum of the parts. While last month’s rookie mini-camp is more designed to let the rookies get their feet wet by learning some of the basic formations and techniques, this mini-camp is when things will be ratcheted up another notch.

    The entire squad from All Pros such as receiver Torry Holt to undrafted rookies such as Zach Bray will attend this weekend and all will be asked to do the same things.

    Through the many offseason moves that St. Louis has made there has been an underlying theme of competition. The Rams have brought in quantity in an effort to promote that competition. While most of that will be sorted out later, this is where things start to take form according to Martz.

    “It’s hard to compete for anything out here in shorts in terms of winning a job,” Martz said. “This is really kind of a classroom and getting the core of what we do in place. Then, when camp comes around, you put it in, you know it, you’ve learned it, the skills have been developed and now it’s time to compete. Without doing that, you can’t compete against somebody if you don’t know (what you’re doing). You are going to look slower, you are going to look confused and your skills won’t be developed. You want to get each individual up to their potential before you put them in an environment where they are going to compete.”

    The competition really can’t begin at many of the positions, particularly the offensive line, because of a number of injuries. The offensive line, a group that was ravaged by injuries a season ago, will have as many as six players not participating in the majority of the mini-camp work.

    Centers Andy McCollum and Scott Tercero, guards Adam Timmerman and Richie Incognito and tackle Grant Williams are among those who won’t be able to take repetitions this weekend.

    Incognito, whom the Rams drafted in the third round despite a serious knee injury, will be in St. Louis for the first time to participate in meetings and begin learning the system.

    “He’ll be here, but he is not going to participate,” Martz said. “I don’t have any expectations on that whatsoever. When we have him, we have him.”

    Others who might be limited by injury this weekend include safety Adam Archuleta. Archuleta has battled back problems for most of the past year, but has been participating in organized team activities.

    After mini-camp, the Rams will take to some more OTAs, all of which leads to July’s training camp at Rams Park. Martz, who has been rejuvenated by offseason back surgery, is more than ready to go.

    “There’s no slowing this down now,” Martz said. “Kick it in gear and let’s roll.”


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Kick off Full Squad Mini-Camp

    It’s like that television program “(Orange County) Choppers” where they make those motorcycles. --MM
    As long as things go a little smoother & more professional than at that OCC shop, we'll be fine.


    It's true that Rams 'management' per se, is dealing with many different characters and personalities right now but this is a professional entity, the NFL, mind you, and interaction must be intelligent enough, respectful enough and understanding enough to achieve their goals and become successful.

    It's interesting to see how the NFL, like most other pro sports organizations, have evolved into World Class companies, with Human Resources types of departments, with well established rules and regulations, etc.3.

    Thus the myriad of meetings. "These are our expectations" goes beyond business contracts and X's and O's on the board. Right now, of course, the talks are centered on football.

    Always great to have seasoned pros w/character and discipline to help guide the newcomers. Shape up...


    Wraith, nice signature!
    Last edited by RealRam; -06-03-2005 at 02:51 AM.

  3. #3
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Kick off Full Squad Mini-Camp

    Too bad some teams lose track / foul-up their "Human Resources" side of the organization.

    The latest bungle of the Friskies. :tongue:

  4. #4
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Kick off Full Squad Mini-Camp

    I can't wait! I'm jonesing for some football news!

    “It’s like that television program “(Orange County) Choppers” where they make those motorcycles…you have all these parts by themselves and the end product turns out pretty impressive,” Martz said. “I think that’s where we are headed, so we are trying to put this together piece by piece.”
    That's one of the few TV Shows I actually watch. Any American Chopper fans here at ClanRam?

  5. #5
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Kick off Full Squad Mini-Camp

    Quote Originally Posted by ZigZagRam



    That's one of the few TV Shows I actually watch. Any American Chopper fans here at ClanRam?
    I watch it. I only wish they would stick to making bikes and knock off all the melodrama. Keep Mikey around for comic relief, but other than that just build the bike.
    "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

  6. #6
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Kick off Full Squad Mini-Camp

    You should check out their website. You can get 360-degree views of many of their theme bikes. It's unbelievable what those guys can do.

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