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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Rams ponder training camp sites

    Rams ponder training camp sites
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/02/2008

    PALM BEACH, Fla.--Picture this: One week into Rams training camp in early August, a scrimmage against Green Bay. . .in Lambeau Field. . .before nearly 70,000 Cheeseheads (and a few Rams fans).
    It could happen if the Rams end up training in Wisconsin this summer. Team sources told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday that a delegation of Rams officials will visit the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh later this month, exploring the possibility of holding training camp at one of those sites.

    Plans call for a Rams delegation, headed by Jeff Horton-- the special assistant to head coach Scott Linehan-- to visit Wisconsin-Oshkosh on April 13 and Wisconsin-Whitewater on April 14. The Rams may make a pit stop at the main University of Wisconsin campus, in Madison, during that trip.

    Later that week, on April 16, the Rams are scheduled to visit Western Illinois University in Macomb, where the Rams held training camp from 1996 through 2004. The team held camp at their Rams Park facility in Earth City the past three summers. But Linehan wants to get away this year--ideally to a venue conducive to holding joint practices and/or a scrimmage with another NFL club.

    On the premise that they end up somewhere in Wisconsin, the Rams have talked to Kansas City and Green Bay about the possibility of getting together in early August.

    "I said Iím open to it," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday.

    But the Rams would have to come to Green Bay -- the Packers hold training camp at their year-round facility.

    "We have a unique environment, so Iím not going to disrupt that because our commitment to our fans-- weíll never take a team out of Green Bay," McCarthy said. "I expressed that to Scott (Linehan)."

    McCarthy said he wonít make a decision on the subject until the exhibition schedules come out later this month.

    Kansas City coach Herm Edwards also is interested in joint workouts with the Rams.

    "Weíd like to try to get that done if we could do it," Edwards said Tuesday. "I donít know if (the Rams) have made a commitment to go (to Wisconsin) yet. But if they do, weíd like to try to go practice with them."

    Edwards likes the idea of working against another team on the weekend prior to his preseason opener.

    "Itís good for your young players, because youíve been practicing against yourself," Edwards said. "After about two weeks, you get a little stale. You get tired of hitting each other. When you go practice against somebody else, the tempo, the speed (is different). They get to see another jersey before they actually play a preseason game."

    In terms of geography, training in Oshkosh would favor working against the Packers, as opposed to Whitewater.

    Oshkosh, located in east-central Wisconsin, is 50 miles from Green Bay; Whitewater, in the southeast part of the state, is 140 miles from Green Bay. Neither prospective site is close to River Falls, summer home of the Chiefs, and situated on the western edge of Wisconsin, bordering Minnesota.

    Oskhosh is 246 miles from River Falls; Whitewater is 279 miles from River Falls.

    ---Coach-to-defense system passes---

    Team owners approved a measure Tuesday to install a coach-to-defense communications system next season similar to the coach-to-quarterback system already in use in the NFL. The measure passed by a vote of 25-7. The Rams were among the "no" votes, along with Green Bay, Oakland, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Washington.

    Each team must designate a "primary" and a "backup" player to wear the specially designed helmet during games. Only one player can be on the field at a time wearing the helmet. Linehan indicated that middle linebacker Will Witherspoon probably would be the Rams "primary" user. Linehan mentioned weakside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa or one of the Ramsí starting safeties as the possible "backup" user.

    The backup can only wear the helmet if the primary user is out of the game. But Linehan said even that system could have its glitches, which is why the Rams voted against the proposal.

    "What if itís a key play and the (primary) playerís shoe comes off and he has to leave the game?" Linehan said.

    Under the coach-to-defense system, Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett would be able to send in the signals from his headset into a mini-speaker in the designated playerís helmet. The system would all but eliminate the need for hand signals from the sideline _ you know, the kind illegally taped by Bill Belichickís New England Patriots.

    ---Speaking of Belichick---

    The menu at the annual AFC coachesí breakfast included pastries, bacon, omelets, and grilled Belichick. The Patriotsí coach drew the largest crowd of reporters Tuesday morning among the AFC coaches in attendance, and many of the questions sent his way dealt with the "Spygate" controversy.

    Including, of course, the Super Bowl week allegation that New England illegally taped a Rams walk-through practice the day before Super Bowl XXXVI six years ago.

    "Whatever the allegations are, Iím confident thatís not true," Belichick told reporters.

    Belichick said he had almost no interaction with Matt Walsh, the former member of the Patriotsí film crew who has intimated he has further knowledge of illegal taping done by the franchise, particularly as it pertains to the Super Bowl against the Rams.

    As for the Walsh-related allegations, Belichick said, "It totally came out of right field to me. . . .Iíve never seen a tape of another teamís practice --ever-- in 34 years of coaching, and certainly not that one."

    Belichick said heís never asked anyone to tape a practice.

    When asked if he gets angry when people say the Patriotsí titles are tainted because of "Spygate," Belichick replied, "Everybody is entitled to an opinion. I canít control what everybody thinks. Iím not going to try to do that. Iím just going to do what Iíve done since September of last year (when the first ĎSpygateí allegations surfaced), which is to do the best I can to coach our football team, preparing for the game, running an organization that is efficient and competitive with the other 31 teams in the league."

    Both Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly apologized to league owners Tuesday for the "Spygate" controversy.

    ---Hair issued tabled---

    Team owners on Tuesday tabled a proposal that would have required players with long hair to keep their locks from obstructing the view of their jersey number or jersey nameplate. The issue, proposed by Kansas Cityís Edwards, will be reconsidered in May.

    "In our opinion, itís a violation of the dress code," Edwards said. "Weíre not saying itís a safety issue. . . .Weíre just saying itís no different than when we tell players they have to keep their jersey (tucked) in, or they have to wear their socks a certain way. Itís part of the uniform.

    "Weíre not saying guys have to cut their hair. Weíre not saying guys canít wear dreadlocks."

    They would just have to tuck their hair into their helmet. Surely, Rams running back Steven Jackson does not approve.

    ---Play dough---

    Pittsburgh offensive tackle Willie Colon earned a league-high $309,534 in performance-based pay for the 2007 season.

    The performance-based pay system, instituted in 2002, creates a fund to supplement a playerís regular salary. Under the formula, lower-salaried players who see a lot of playing time in a particulars season receive the most performance-based pay.

    The top Rams players in terms of performance-based pay in í07 were offensive lineman Milford Brown (now with Carolina) at $218,000, and safety Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe with an extra $175,000 of income.

    ---Ram-blings---

    _ Cal-Berkeley wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Toledo offensive tackle John Greco will pay pre-draft visits to Rams Park later this month, according to league sources.

    _ Quarterback Gus Frerotte, who backed up Marc Bulger the past two seasons in St. Louis before getting released at the end of February, is close to signing with the Minnesota Vikings.

    _ After missing the first week of the offseason conditioning program while on a trip, Bulger has been working at Rams Park this week.

    _ Among the most recent free-agent pickups for the Rams, cornerback David Macklin will wear jersey number 27, and wide receiver Reche Caldwell will wear No. 17.

    jthomas@post-dispatch.com/314-340-8197


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams ponder training camp sites

    So the RAMS payed Milford Brown $218,000.00 extra for playing OLE'?

  3. #3
    Mooselini's Avatar
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    Re: Rams ponder training camp sites

    Good to see that teams want to practice and get in the game early. Hopefully this allows the Rams to see how Saunders' system will work with our squad.

    I like this alot.


    HAHA, Gus Frerotte getting signed...makes me laugh.

  4. #4
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams ponder training camp sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    .
    HAHA, Gus Frerotte getting signed...makes me laugh.
    Poor old Gus .. Not too many QBs would have had success playing behind the line the Rams served up last year. Having said that, I will add that Green although perceived to be fragile, is an upgrade - particularly given his familiarity with Saunders's offense.

  5. #5
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams ponder training camp sites

    *bump*

    My sister, who attends Concordia University-Wisconsin in Mequon (about 10 miles North of Milwaukee) called me today to say that the Rams came by this week to check out the facilities there.

    She also said that she heard Western Illinois is not going to be a likely site. Same with Wisconsin-Whitewater

    It sounded like they liked the facilities, but they have minor concerns about being so close to Milwaukee (i.e. nightlife).

  6. #6
    woody1351 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams ponder training camp sites

    im from macomb and i hope they come here.

  7. #7
    TheBritishRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams ponder training camp sites

    May i suggest Bath University? It maybe slightly out of the way, but if it's good enough for the England Rugby team then i think it's good enough for the Rams

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