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Rams notebook: Defensive end Long is ready to go/PD ..
Posted: 04 Sep 2013 23:50 pm
5 minutes ago • By Joe Lyons
Rest easy, Rams Nation. Chris Long is healthy. He practiced Wednesday, and he is looking forward to opening the season against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
“It’s in the past, whatever it was. We’re good,’’ the veteran defensive end said. “In camp, you can get some nicks and you just have to work through them. Coach has done a good job of taking care of me. That stuff’s in the past, and I’m feeling really good.’’
Long sat out three recent practices — league sources told the Post-Dispatch it was merely a tweaked right knee — but took regular turns and looked to be moving well during Wednesday’s workout.
When asked to describe his health, Long said, “It’s fantastic. My health is awesome. I’m looking forward to Sunday; I felt good out there today.’’
Long was not listed on the first injury report of the season. That report, out Wednesday, included the four players who did not practice — tight end Cory Harkey (knee), safety Darian Stewart (thigh), linebacker Jonathan Stewart (hip) and safety Quinton Pointer (thigh).
More good news: The injury report did not include either tight end Lance Kendricks or defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo; both players opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list but have been making steady progress in their return from injury.
For Arizona, tight end Rob Housler (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Cardinals involved in limited practice were running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee), cornerback Javier Arenas (hip), defensive tackle Dan Williams (ankle) and tight end D.C. Jefferson (knee).
SIMS GETS PAID
Defensive end Eugene Sims summed it up perfectly: “Hard work pays off, I guess.’’
Sims, a sixth-round draft choice from Division II West Texas A&M in 2010, has improved steadily in his time with the Rams and was rewarded early this week with a new three-year contract that will run through the 2015 season.
“Being with ‘Fish’ a few more years, I don’t think many players would turn that deal down,’’ the 27-year-old Sims said. “To be around a group of guys like this, from top to bottom they’re great teammates. ... We’ve got a lot of characters, good characters, bad characters — not bad characters, but bad in a good way, you know.’’
Sims is also excited about his continued work with defensive line coach Mike Waufle.
“I learned more in one year (under Waufle last year) than I did in the two years before that,’’ Sims said. “Mike Waufle knows what kind of rush you need, what kind of stance you need. He puts you in situations to perfect your craft.’’
This has been a trying summer for Sims, whose mother passed away during the preseason.
“I had so many emotions this past three weeks; this is a positive one,’’ he said.
A valuable part of the defensive line rotation, Sims played in 13 games and made two starts a year ago, recording a career-best 36 tackles to go along with the first three sacks and interception of his career.
Sims’ signing means that all nine defensive linemen on the 53-man roster are under contract through at least the 2014 season. And the Rams have the rights to all but defensive tackle Cudjo through 2015.
“We’re planning for our future, and we felt it was in the best interest of the club to lock him in for a few more years,’’ coach Jeff Fisher said. “It was good deal for both sides and we’ve got a solid defense front now for a number of years to come.’’
And that’ excites defensive end Chris Long: “It’s beautiful, it’s awesome. It’s just great to have the continuity as a group, not to mention the depth that we have. We have guys who would start a lot of places that are rotational guys here and they’re very important to us.
“For coach ‘Fish,’ (general manager) Les (Snead) and those guys to bring them back, it means a lot. It means they’re investing in our future as a unit.’’
Veteran safety Matt Giordano, who missed most of training camp and preseason with a calf injury, practiced Wednesday. The ninth-year pro played in 16 games and made 13 starts a year ago with the Oakland Raiders. He’s also played for Indianapolis, Green Bay and New Orleans. Another safety, Matt Daniels, playing with a cast on his arm, stretched and not a lot more on Wednesday.
• Looks like Chris Williams and Rodney McLeod have won starting spots at left guard and safety, respectively. The Rams’ unofficial depth chart has free agent rookie Benny Cunningham listed first at kick returning.
NFL TRAVEL IN 2013
When it comes to travel this season in the NFL, the Rams’ projected total of 13,616 miles is near the middle at No. 20.
The information was included in a recent release provided by the NFL.
The other teams from the NFC West will all finish in the top five, with the San Francisco ***** (32,948) at No. 1, the Seattle Seahawks (23,914) at No. 4 and the Arizona Cardinals (20,620) at No. 5. The San Diego Chargers (26,932) and Oakland Raiders (26,240) are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
The five teams with the lowest mileage totals are the Detroit Lions (4,202), the Chicago Bears (4,898), Green Bay Packers (6,190), Cleveland Browns (7,226) and the New York Jets (8,422).
Some other interesting mileage numbers ...
• The total distance traveled by all teams in the regular season will be 473,500 miles.
• Teams in the NFC West have the highest combined total (91,098) among all divisions, followed by the AFC West (85,056), the AFC South (65,820), NFC South (55,926), NFC East (55,914), AFC East (46,168), AFC North (41,054) and NFC North (32,464).• Three West Coast teams — the *****, Chargers and Oaland Raiders — will surpass the mileage required for a trip around the globe (25,000 miles) during this season.
Re: Rams notebook: Defensive end Long is ready to go/PD ..
Fantastic report. Thanks Maui.
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