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  1. #1
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    Rams Players Hoping To Stay Busy

    Rams players hoping to stay busy

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    A one-week extension in labor negotiations between NFL players and club owners may be a positive development. But just in case, Rams offensive players have talked about getting together under a lockout to work out on their own. The venue for such workouts just could be Texas.

    "Most of us (receivers) are training down in Texas," Rams wide receiver Danario Alexander said Friday. "Me, Donnie Avery, and Fendi (Onobun) are all in one place. Danny Amendola's going to be down there, and Mark Clayton's going to be in Dallas."

    Quarterback Sam Bradford lives in the Oklahoma City area, so he's practically in the neighborhood. During a round of interviews in Dallas during Super Bowl week, Bradford mentioned the possibility of getting the team's receivers together in a lockout situation.

    "I'm sure we're going to get together," Alexander said. "Sam is going to get us all together and we'll go probably a week or two, just working on routes and stuff like that."

    Under NFL guidelines, official offseason conditioning programs throughout the league can start no earlier than March 14 or a week from Monday. But if there's a work stoppage, no workouts will be permitted at team facilities, and no contact will be allowed with a player's coaches or trainers. Players would be on their own in terms of offseason training.

    The importance of offseason work is more critical for a team such as the Rams, particularly on offense with a young quarterback in Bradford, a young receiver corps and a new coordinator in Josh McDaniels. Rams offensive players don't yet have their new playbook, Alexander said, but they have been given some materials.

    "They changed the language and stuff like that," Alexander said. "So it shouldn't be too hard to pick up. We've got the whole offseason to catch on to it."

    Alexander met McDaniels shortly after he was hired by the Rams to replace Pat Shurmur.

    "He seems like a real good guy," Alexander said. "He's young, full of energy. And I'm ready to play for him. He likes to throw it deep. The guys like Randy Moss and Brandon Lloyd, the success that they've had in the offense that we're in, it makes your eyes light up."

    Alexander spoke Friday from Fairway Elementary School in Wildwood. He accompanied former University of Missouri teammate and current Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin there as part of Reading Week in the Rockwood School District.

    Alexander read Green Eggs and Ham to third-graders. In a class assignment two years ago, then first-grader Justin Watson identified Maclin a Kirkwood High graduate as the one person in the world he would like to meet. Maclin learned of this, and has been visiting Watson's class every year since then. He brought Alexander along this time.

    Earlier in the day, they spoke to Eureka High School students about the importance of making good choices as part of the "I Choose Success" program at the school for at-risk males.

    "If I wasn't playing football, this'd be more of the road I'd be doing, whether it be talking to older at-risk kids or younger kids," Maclin said. "Just letting 'em know that no matter what circumstances you come from, no matter what kind of environment you're in, you can make good out of it. Even if that means asking for a little help don't be ashamed to do that. Nobody's laughing at you. You're only getting help to get to a better place."

    At the elementary school, following Alexander's reading, the third-graders peppered Alexander and Maclin with all kinds of questions.

    Is Bradford nice to you? That one was for Alexander.

    Were you mad when Donovan McNabb was traded? That was for Maclin.

    Both players were asked what activities they liked besides football. Dominoes, was Maclin's answer. A female student asked Maclin if he was married.

    Alas, neither player was asked about the negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement. Even though they were "in class" most of the afternoon, Alexander and Maclin knew about the one-week extension.

    "Hopefully, they get something done within this week so we can be employed," Alexander said, laughing.

    If the labor impasse reaches the lockout stage players will no longer have their health insurance provided for by the league. "But I'm still young enough to get under my mom's," Alexander said. "So I'll be pretty good."

    Offensive lineman Adam Goldberg is the Rams' player rep to the NFL Players Association, and he keeps his teammates updated on developments in the negotiations, usually via e-mail. Rams players haven't met as a team on the topic since the season ended.

    Although generally aware of what's going on, Alexander hasn't followed the nuts and bolts of the negotiations. "Because you know it can be kind of stressful just seeing that you're going to be out of work basically," Alexander said. "I just try to keep a positive mind about the whole thing. Hopefully we get something done sooner than later."

    Maclin, who has become a fixture in the Eagles' offense during his two NFL seasons, is taking kind of a 'show-me" attitude to the negotiations.

    "I hope that they're not just delaying (a lockout) for show," Maclin said. "Because they may be saying one thing and in reality we're still a thousand miles away from a deal. Who knows?

    "I just don't want to be somewhere, hardcore in the middle of training, and have to up and leave and go somewhere else, you know what I mean? So if it's one of those things where we're going to be locked out, then lock us out and let us train. Let us get on our daily routine where we're at."

  2. #2
    Trevor's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Players Hoping To Stay Busy

    Its good that they are taking initiative and working out on their own in case this lockout happens.. Shows that they want to win next season so they have to keep practicing!

  3. #3
    AlphaRam Guest

    Re: Rams Players Hoping To Stay Busy

    Offensive lineman Adam Goldberg is the Rams' player rep to the NFL Players Association, and he keeps his teammates updated on developments in the negotiations, usually via e-mail. Rams players haven't met as a team on the topic since the season ended.
    I'm glad he's good for something....

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