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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Rams Refreshed After Bye Week

    Rams Refreshed After Bye Week
    By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer


    In bye weeks of recent years past, the thought of getting away for a few days and then coming back to play another chunk of the season might have been a bit daunting.

    But for this year’s Rams, there’s no doubting that though the bye week served its purpose in allowing injured players to heal up and every one a little time to relax, that every one of the 53 players on the roster and the entire coaching staff was eager to get back to work on Monday.

    “I think everybody was ready to roll,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I think everybody…you get to a certain point when you leave. You get in this grind and then you’re away from it for even three or four days, I think your body wants it back in some ways. They probably wouldn’t say that, but I think we were all happy to be back together.”

    So it was that Spagnuolo and his staff put the Rams through about an hour and a half practice Monday morning as his team begins to prepare for Sunday’s game at San Francisco.

    And the team that came back ready to work did so with a little more cache after a bye week that was beneficial for more than just its health.

    Buoyed by losses for fellow division teams Seattle (at home against the Giants) and Arizona (on the road against Minnesota), the Rams sit squarely in a tie with the Seahawks for first place in the NFC West Division.

    That they did so without lifting a finger on Sunday makes no difference but it does drive home the point that as the season enters the second half, all things are possible.

    “It was our goal to win the NFC West, just like Arizona, just like San Francisco did, just like Seattle did,” linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “We are all at the midway point saying it’s there if we can hunker down and get this second half taken care of. We have to keep doing the same things we have been doing, improve on the things we’ve made mistakes on and just keep getting better.”

    Part of the process of getting better comes down to the simple measure of the team’s health. Entering the bye week, the Rams had a list of names on their injury list that would make Santa Claus blush.

    None of those injuries were too serious though and it was expected that the down time should allow those guys time to recover and be closer to full strength when they return than they had been at any point since the season began.

    On Monday, there were still about six or seven players watching from the sidelines but many of them indicated after practice that they’d be ready to play when practice resumes on Wednesday.

    For example, tackle Jason Smith, who had a concussion is symptom free though he hasn’t been fully cleared to participate in all of the practice yet according to Spagnuolo.

    “I think about these guys’ bodies and health all the time,” Spagnuolo said. “I think that’s my job. Sometimes the only way for these guys to get rid of some of these bumps and bruises is just not do this game for a while, and I think the bye week is good.”

    Even for players who don’t have serious injuries, the bye week came at the right time – smack in the middle of the 2010 season.

    “We are definitely hungry,” receiver Danny Amendola said. “We are coming off the bye week and we have momentum from last game and everyone is getting their nicks taken care of.”

    As for how they spent their bye weeks, the common theme came down to relaxation though everyone has a different way of achieving that.

    Spagnuolo returned to Massachusetts to attend the funeral of his high school football coach and then spent Sunday motoring around Forest Park on his moped with his wife Maria.

    Left tackle Rodger Saffold went back to Indiana, his alma mater, to watch the Hoosiers lose a hard fought game against Iowa, pay off some remaining debt and turn the table on some young Hoosiers players by forcing them to do some menial tasks that he usually does for veteran Rams.

    Saffold also spent his Sunday keeping his eye on divisional opponents Seattle and Arizona.

    “Especially the Cardinals game,” Saffold said, laughing. “I saw they were winning I was like ‘Come on, come on Favre.’”

    Favre came through in leading the Vikings to a comeback, overtime win against Arizona, dropping the Cardinals to 3-5. New York’s blowout win at Seattle, dropped the Seahawks to 4-4 and gave them an identical record to the Rams with the Cardinals a game back.

    Entering this week, the Rams and Seahawks are knotted at 4-4 with Arizona at 3-5 and this week’s opponent, the *****, at 2-6.

    Of course, the Rams also enter a difficult stretch of games in which they must find a way to get some wins on the road. After just missing in two of the first three attempts away from home, the Rams will play four of their next five on the road including a three game stretch to end November and begin December.

    In his weekly message to the team, though, Spagnuolo hammered home the point that the standings eight games into the season mean nothing. And though he knows what his team can still accomplish and he doesn’t want them to lose sight of those goals, Spagnuolo also want the focus to stay on the task at hand.

    “I mean I just told the guys…we’re aware of the stats and standings,” Spagnuolo said. “We acknowledge them both good and bad, but we don’t focus on them. We just kind of move on. These guys know we’ve got a pretty tough game on Sunday.”


  2. #2
    berg8309's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Refreshed After Bye Week

    love the part about Saffold rooting on the Vikings

  3. #3
    Flippin' Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Refreshed After Bye Week

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    love the part about Saffold rooting on the Vikings
    I'm pretty sure that was J-Lau (seeing that he's a Vikings fan).

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    Re: Rams Refreshed After Bye Week

    Time to win some road games. Mentally tough teams and good teams win tough division games on the road. I do believe we are a better team than the Whiners but in my opinion we were also better than the Bucs and Raiders too. Offensively we need to stay aggressive and takes some shots downfield no matter who our wr's are. I'm not that confident in us in this game mostly because we have collapsed on the road but there is a first time for everything and what better time than Whiner week.
    Just Fix It

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    Re: Rams Refreshed After Bye Week

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    love the part about Saffold rooting on the Vikings
    Hate the part about Spags and his moped.
    If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.

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