Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rookie mistakes. String them together and you'd have a great stand-up routine. Take Rams second-round pick Brian Quick and his headphones. Please.

Last week, Quick attended the Rookie Premiere with a couple of other Rams draft picks, fellow wide receiver Chris Givens and running back Isaiah Pead. The event was organized by the NFL Players Association and included time for 36 of the league's rookies to sign their trading cards, meet former players and learn about the union. The NFLPA also arranged for flights to and from Los Angeles and nearly sent coach Jeff Fisher into a tizzy. The event forced the trio to miss the first week of OTAs, the organized team activities at which Fisher is installing the teams' offensive and defensive playbooks.

"Quick got to fly a redeye back from the rookie premiere, and so of course I overreacted: 'What are you doing putting the guys on the redeye?'" Fisher said. "Well, he had his headphones on at the gate. Didn't hear the gate change, so he missed his flight."


"I was waiting for three hours, so I had to listen to something. But I don't want to make excuses," Quick said. "They made an announcement, but my headphones were loud. It's a big airport. There were five of us that missed the flight. I've learned from my mistakes and moved forward."

Because class still is in session at the University of Cincinnati, Pead returned to school. The wide receivers spent Monday in Fisher's version of study hall, the film room at Rams Park, catching up on what they missed. Quick said the two paired up to get back up to speed.

"It makes it a lot easier. We have each other in the film room," he said. "When it's done, we go over everything we're supposed to know and quiz each other."

They also took the field for OTAs through the week and got extra work after practice with quarterback Sam Bradford.

"We would have loved to have had them here last week for the two OTAs that they missed, but at the same time, I don't think missing those two OTAs is going to kill them," Bradford said. "They were caught up. They know what we were doing. Everything we installed they should be fine with."

Bradford said he was a fan of more than their study habits. A fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest, Givens is known for his speed, about 4.35 seconds for the 40-yard dash; Quick, 6-3 and 220, has learned to use his size.

"Givens first of all is extremely fast," Bradford said. "I think he's a guy that defenses are going to have to be extremely aware of. If they fall asleep on him for a half-second at all, he's going to be by them. I think that's nice to have, just that added speed. Then Quick, it's just extremely impressive watching him move. As big as he is, as tall as he is, he gets in and out of breaks really well."

Both realize, though, that the level of competition has jumped several notches and that both have room for improvement. The fact that they were draft picks earns them no bonus points. Quick said he'd continue to work extra time with Bradford. Givens said he was willing to work on his own to sharpen his route running.

"That's probably the biggest difference, being just one of the guys, not being the main guy on offense," Givens said. "Having to prove myself all over again, having to learn the plays, running the right routes not making any mental errors, those are the biggest things. Taking what I learned in college and building on that."

And pumping up the intensity, not necessarily the volume.