Rams' Saffold improving at right tackle

12 hours ago • By Joe Lyons jlyons@post-dispatch.com

When the Rams signed four-time Pro Bowler Jake Long as a free agent to play left tackle, it meant that incumbent Rodger Saffold would be making the shift to the right side.

Although Saffold remained quiet, his representatives expressed their displeasure with the signing of the former Miami Dolphin and suggested that Saffold would not be opposed to a trade.

But Saffold is back and working as hard as ever.

“This game is a business; that’s just the way it is,’’ said Saffold, a Rams’ second-round draft choice in 2010. “I talked to my coach and basically they told me that they had a lot of faith in me to play right tackle and try to use my versatility as an advantage for the team. I went home, back to Cleveland, just to get away from football for a little bit.

“But I came back ready to work. I’m a hard worker; I’m a loyal guy to my team.’’

Adjusting to a position that he has not played since his freshman year in high school, Saffold is focused on making steady improvement.

“It’s just a matter of getting used to it, the muscle memory, the change in stance,’’ he said following Thursday’s Organized Team Activities in Earth City. “Honestly, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it was going to be. As far as the smaller details, that’s what I’m constantly working on. It’s just the second day out here, so I just want to continue to work and to learn.

“I think I got better today than I was yesterday and I intend on getting better again tomorrow.’’

Rams coach Jeff Fisher is confident that Saffold can handle the switch and thrive on the right side.

“Football’s football. Responsibilities are the same,’’ the coach said. “He’s just at the point of attack when the ball goes to the right now. He’s done a great job since we switched him over.’’

Tornado relief effort

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has teamed with the city of St. Louis and a marketing and event production company, Switch + Contemporary, to help provide aid to his hometown following Monday’s devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma City.

Donation sites will be set up today from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at Loughborough Commons, at Interstate 55 and Loughborough, and at Kirkwood Commons, Interstate 44 and Lindbergh. Items that are needed include non-perishable food, size “C” and “D” batteries, candles, cleaning supplies, baby items, pet supplies, blankets, building and packing materials and bottled water.

“Thankfully it didn’t hit in our part of town,’’ said Bradford, who was in Oklahoma City on Monday. “But it’s still hard to see something like that happen in your hometown.

“We’re trying to fill these three trucks – these people need anything and everything – to take down to Oklahoma City on Saturday. If you can donate anything, there are thousands of families back home right now who have literally nothing.’’

Bradford, who starred at the University of Oklahoma, and a buddy were on his patio in north Oklahoma City when they heard the warning sirens.

“We turned on the news,’’ he recalled. “The tornadoes were well south of us and the meteorologists were saying that this was going bad in a hurry. They knew what was coming. To see the actual tornado live on TV and know what it’s doing on the ground. I think that’s the hardest part because you know that every second, every minute, there are people who are losing their homes and losing all their belongings.’’