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  1. #1
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    Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    Rams Ready for Training Camp
    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    After a long and, at times, tedious offseason that saw a large makeover to the roster and an almost complete overhaul of the coaching staff, its time for the Rams to put their new product on the field.

    As a fresh breeze of enthusiasm blows through Rams Park, the team will report for the first training camp under coach Scott Linehan on July 26 with the first official practice set for the morning of July 27.

    The time is here, its time to get to work, Linehan said. I think the general feeling and consensus in the whole organization is excitement. Its an exciting time, its new for me, its new for our coaching staff, our management. We have a whole new slate so to speak. It will be a lot of fun to watch things get put together.

    With Linehan in place as the head coach, things will be slightly different around Rams Park for this years training camp. Whereas the Rams have done the traditional two-a-day practices during most of their recent camps, Linehan is putting a premium on health and the quality of the practice.

    That means instead of having two practices nearly every day with one in the morning and one in the afternoon, the Rams will go to a two practice one day, one practice the next policy.

    On days when there are two practices, the Rams will begin the first practice at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 11:30. Then, instead of an afternoon practice, the Rams will have meetings and plenty of downtime before the night practice which will begin at 7:45 and end at 9:45.

    On days following a two-practice day, the Rams will go to one practice the next day scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and lasting until 5:15 p.m. Linehan got the idea from his former boss, Miami head coach Nick Saban when he was the offensive coordinator there last year.

    A lot of teams are going to it where you get in two practices one day and one the next, Linehan said. Theres a lot of ample time for recovery between practices. What happens is you get in these two a day schedules and you get to that point of no return where you have a morning practice and an afternoon practice and a morning practice and a special teams practice and theres not much recovery time. If you ever notice these guys and you catch them after practice, they are hustling to get treatment, trying to eat, they have a position meeting to get to. What happens now is the players have plenty of time to get treatment, plenty of time to eat, hydrate and go rest.

    After a strenuous offseason conditioning program, Linehan expects the Rams to be in excellent football shape and ready to perform once camp begins. At this point, the Rams enter camp about as healthy as possible with the exception of running back Marshall Faulk and linebacker Trev Faulk.

    Marshall Faulk is likely out for the season after he completes knee surgery scheduled for this week. Trev Faulk is recovering from a back operation and will be evaluated Wednesday to determine his status for camp and beyond.

    Other than that, the Rams are relatively injury-free and Linehan hopes that the new practice setup will keep it that way.

    It gives us more time to prepare and the players much more time to recover, Linehan said. I think its really good for the players who have things they have to manage as far as a nagging problem or an older player has a history of a nagging problem as far as getting through camp and staying healthy.

    Before camp begins, though, the Rams still have some roster issues to work through. There is still some work to do when it comes to signing the rookie class, a group in which four of the 10 draftees have been signed. Seventh-rounders Mark Setterstrom, Tony Palmer and Tim McGarigle and fourth-rounder Victor Adeyanju are signed, leaving all of the first-day picks and fifth-round choice Marques Hagans unsigned.

    With about 24 hours before reporting time, Linehan is confident that all or most of the deals will be done on time.

    Im very optimistic about the signing of our draft picks, Linehan said. We have four signed at this point. Id be very surprised if we dont have everybody, but maybe Tye (Hill), by this Thursday morning practice. The goal is to have them in to not miss anything. You know how things go. Wed like to have them out for every practice and have them all here.

    Hills status as a first-round choice always makes it less certain as the rest of the first-round choices have to sign first so he can be slotted into a salary range. Even with that, Linehan expects Hills deal to be done shortly.

    I have no reason to believe that we arent going to get Tyes deal done, Linehan said. Things are starting to pick up a little bit with him. The talks have all been very positive. You know how it goes, once everybody else starts signing, you can take the anxiety away from the players and their agents that they are doing the right deal for their players. Id be surprised if by the end of the week we dont have everybody here and ready to go.

    In addition to the rookie class, the Rams still have to trim away a couple of players from the roster. Pending physicals, St. Louis has added kicker Remy Hamilton and receiver Joshua Tinch and released tight end Jonathan Williams.

    The Rams made another roster move Tuesday when they released quarterback Jeff Smoker. That leaves the team with four signal callers heading into camp: Marc Bulger, Gus Frerotte, Dave Ragone and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    While there will be many new faces around Rams Park and a new training regimen in place, there is one point that Linehan is ready to get across to his team.

    I think the one message the team will hear loud and clear is we are going to be very physical in this camp and we are going to require a lot out of them as far as finding out how good of a team we are going to be as far as tackling, being ball secure, being able to handle the adversity of the heat and soreness and all that, Linehan said. Thats a big part of what a training camp should be.

    As always.....

    GO RAMS!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    That means instead of having two practices nearly every day with one in the morning and one in the afternoon, the Rams will go to a two practice one day, one practice the next policy.
    Interesting plan. Sounds like there are a lot of benefits for the players, but hopefully missing that fourth practice every two days doesn't show up negatively on the field.


    The Rams made another roster move Tuesday when they released quarterback Jeff Smoker. That leaves the team with four signal callers heading into camp: Marc Bulger, Gus Frerotte, Dave Ragone and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
    Not really shocked that it was Smoker. Fitz at least saw the field and showed something last season. I don't think Smoker has even attempted a regular season throw. The real battle is going to be whether Fitz can beat out Ragone for the #3 job, because you have to assume the guy we traded for is the frontrunner there.
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    In my humble opinion if one of the 4 is not retained after training camp. I think the weakest link will be Dave Ragone
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  4. #4
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    2 a days. 1st practice from 9:30am to 11:30 am, then meetings and the last practice from 7:45pm to 9:45pm ? That's a long day without taking into consideration the time the players must arrive in the morning to get ready for that 1st practice. Then the time it takes to depart for the evening. I know these guys are very well paid and all, however that has nothing to do with keeping them fresh & healthy. Those 2 a days sound like a real grind to me.

    :ramlogo:

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    Was Dave Ragone playing in NFL Europe?

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    Yes, last year.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    he's making the roster though... we traded what a 7th for him... its just a 7th round pick but we gave up something for him, he will make the roster...

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    The pick we traded for Ragone is conditional. We don't owe them anything if he doesn't make the roster. On the other hand, I don't think we would have bothered with it if the coaches didn't think highly of him.

  9. #9
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    I still look at it this way, if we have to start our third string QB again this year we are in trouble.

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams Release Smoker- Camp Article

    Good point Tx. I hope the #3 never has to seee the field like last year.

    I like Fitz, but if Ragone beats him out, the team we be better off - even if the 3rd QB never sees the field.

    Still pulling for Fitz... kid has some moxie!

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