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Rams rookie loses home in Florida hurricane
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
MACOMB, Ill. - The effects of Hurricane Charley have reached all the way to Western Illinois University. Defensive end Anthony Hargrove, a rookie from Georgia Tech, missed Sunday's Rams workout to be with his family in Florida.
Hargrove, the Rams' third-round draft pick in April, is from Punta Gorda, Fla.
"Anthony's family was in that hurricane, and his girlfriend was missing," coach Mike Martz said. "So he flew down there. Fortunately, they had gone to another town and were accounted for once they got down there.
"But he's got a lot of things to do with his family to help them get back on their feet, into a hotel and what not, because their house is gone basically."
Martz said he expects Hargrove back tonight.
Dishman gets time off
Guard Chris Dishman also missed practice Sunday to tend to matters back home in Nebraska, but under less dire circumstances.
"When we signed him, he didn't get a chance to say goodbye to his family," Martz said. "So we gave him a day to get back and kind of get his things back in order, like everybody else has a chance to do before they come to camp. The poor guy didn't have a chance to do that, so he needed an opportunity to go back and get some things squared away."
Dishman, who weighed in at 366 pounds after signing with the Rams, saw some action in the second half Thursday against Chicago. He had some trouble with speed moves in that game, but Martz is pleased with Dishman's conditioning.
"He's continued to trim his weight down," Martz said. "He's a ways away yet by his own admission. But on those things, you've got to try and be as patient with them as you can."
Tight end Cam Cleeland has missed two weeks because of a hamstring injury but is nearly ready to play.
"He's very close, and would be questionable for this week," Martz said. "But we'll err on the side of caution. We'll try to keep him out this week (against Kansas City) and then get him ready."
With seventh-round draft pick Erik Jensen (knee) also sidelined, Mike Brake and Ryan Prince have been getting plenty of work as the Nos. 2 and 3 tight ends behind starter Brandon Manumaleuna.
Rams like weather
The Rams have had only two practice days in Macomb that could be considered hot - and Sunday wasn't one of them.
Has the weather for training camp been too mild?
"I'm never worried about the heat," Martz said. "First of all, we play indoors - it's air-conditioned."
And the only outdoors game the Rams play this season where warm weather could be a factor is Oct. 24, in Miami.
"The conditioning part of (camp) is a cardiovascular question, not endurance to the heat," Martz said. "I guess if we played in it often, you'd have to condition for it. We don't play in it. And what happens, if you (practice) in it all the time, you just get run down."
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