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  1. #1
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    Rams See Sights But Focus On Business

    Rams see the sights but focus on business

    11 hours ago • BY JIM THOMAS •

    LONDON • The Rams have some time for sightseeing during their week abroad. On Tuesday, following their "Play 60" community service event with area youths at Regent's Park, several players walked the streets of London — still in their Rams warmup gear from the event — soaking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant, diverse metropolis.

    "So we kind of stood out," said Chris Long, a 6-3, 276-pound defensive end.

    Only a couple of passers-by recognized them, kind of.

    "They asked: 'Do you play for that American football team?' " Long said.

    On Wednesday evening, several members of Stan Kroenke's American football team watched Stan Kroenke's English soccer team play host to the Schalke 04 squad from Germany at Emirates Stadium.

    And following Friday's practice session, the entire team is going on a field trip to the Tower of London.

    "Which I'm pretty excited about," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "I think the crown jewels are there."

    But if they didn't already know, coach Jeff Fisher reminded the team of why it's in London at the start of the workday Wednesday morning.

    "They know it's a business trip," Fisher said. "They know the reason we're here."

    "We're here to win a game," Bradford said. "Coach Fisher made that very apparent in our meeting this morning."

    At The Grove, the posh estate in the English countryside that is housing the team for most of the week, are all the comforts of Rams Park. Namely, meeting rooms, a training room, even a locker room.

    "And as soon as you step in that locker room, the training room, it's business as usual," Long said.

    The Rams dressed in that locker room, then took a 30-minute bus ride for practice at the Arsenal soccer facility. It was a spirited and energetic practice, jet lag be damned, in preparation for Sunday's game at Wembley Stadium against the New England Patriots.

    "That's precisely the reason we elected to come over earlier in the week, so that we could get the players not only adjusted to the travel but also to the time zone change," Fisher said after Wednesday's practice. "So I was very, very pleased with their response this morning and the way they practiced today considering we arrived here (Tuesday)."

    But in addressing more than 50 journalists — or about twice the contingent that might be at Rams Park on any given Wednesday — Fisher went beyond simply stating that the Rams were in London to take care of business.

    Playing under a larger spotlight than they'd see back in the States, in a game designed to raise the profile of American football internationally, Fisher said: "It's an opportunity for us to spread the word that I'd like to say — maybe the Rams are back. So that was the thing that was exciting for us. Now of course we have to play well. The entire organization, starting with Mr. Kroenke our owner, Kevin Demoff, and everybody's excited to be here."

    Maybe the Rams are back.

    Fisher rarely goes big-picture and is realistic when assessing where his team is at, so those were interesting words — kind of a peek under the hood.

    "We're excited about the start, but we've only begun," Fisher said. "We've got the No. 1 picks in the next couple years which are gonna help us. We're not opposed to changing this roster on a weekly basis if we get an opportunity. So the building process is ongoing. Nobody told us that we couldn't compete for the division this year when both of us accepted the job."

    Fisher was referring to general manager Les Snead as well.

    "So that's what we're doing," Fisher said. "Obviously, we're disappointed in the losses. There's a couple of them that could've gone the other way. But we can't change that. We're moving forward. And the thing that I like about this team is that they are very consistent from the standpoint of taking one game at a time and not looking ahead. They're very focused on this one. They understand what their challenges are and so we'll move on."

    The challenge at the moment is that the Rams (3-4) are smack in the middle of the toughest stretch of their schedule — Green Bay last week, New England this week and a trip to San Francisco following the bye.

    There were some meat-and-potatoes questions for Fisher in his first news conference of the week in London, including one on the challenges of possibly playing in the rain Sunday.

    Fisher flashed his dry sarcasm when he replied to the British questioner: "Well, we've got rain in the U.S., also."

    A few minutes earlier, Long's question-and-answer session somehow ended up with him challenging a British reporter to an eating contest after Sunday's game. Or maybe it was vice versa. (Although Long is far from the biggest Ram, there seems to be some fascination over the size of many of the players.)

    Bradford was asked to handicap the eating match by the British challenger. "I think you're in for a real test," Bradford replied. "I haven't seen you eat and drink, but I've seen Chris eat and drink. And it's pretty impressive. I think he could (be on Fear Factor), especially with the drinking."

    But the award for strangest question of the day came when Fisher was informed that lions, dragons, and princes all figure into the imagery of England, and then asked to name the lion, the dragon and the prince on the Rams' roster.

    Temporarily flummoxed by the question, Fisher regrouped.

    "We've got more than one lion," he said. "We've got one on offense and one on defense, and that would be James (Laurinaitis) and 'Jack' (Steven Jackson). The dragon? Probably our kicker (Greg Zuerlein).

    "No princes, though. I hope we don't have any princes."

  2. #2
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Rams See Sights But Focus On Business

    We're not opposed to changing this roster on a weekly basis if we get an opportunity.
    Rams have added four linemen late. Does anyone think one of these guys will be starting next year?

    Chris Williams

    Shelley Smith

    Wayne Hunter

    Joe Barksdale

  3. #3
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams See Sights But Focus On Business

    Here's a strange little omen for you.

    Back in the dark ages, I went to a boarding school in England. A small school divided into four dormitory houses of about 75-80 students, we had sports competitions among them every term.My house was a traditionally maverick group; some brilliant athletes but seldom enough to field a strong team for rugby, football,or cricket so we usually acquitted ourselves only modestly against the jock powerhouse which was usually School House.

    The autumn term, when we played rugby, of my final year was thought likely to be no exception. But that year,our juniors were unusually good, & won their four team "division". It was up to the seniors to bring home the championship but few had confidence we would. It all came down to the last match vs School House. On paper, it should have been a massacre; they had 10 of the best rugby players, we had two.

    They threw everything at us; brilliant individual runs, three man scrums, tricksy set pieces & scissor moves & lots of nasty extra-curriculars but we tackled ferociously, outworked them, and generally played with passionate teamwork, each individual willing to do whatever it took not to let each other and our house down. And, improbably, we had managed to secure a slight lead in a low-scoring game as it came close to the end. There was a final, seemingly interminable, assault on our goal line but we held them off with sheer willpower.The whistle finally came & I heard a great roar from the crowd but all I could see were these young men I'd lived with, broken bread with, shared all the trials and tribulations of adolescence with for five years, all exhausted, many literally bloodied, but every look I got made it clear that a special bond had formed beyond all of that . It may seem silly now but it was one of the proudest moments of my life.Some of us were & remain close friends, some barely tolerated one another in everyday life, but in that sweet moment, we were that few, that happy few, that band of brothers.We were champions. We were Grove.

    Nice choice of hotel, Mr Kroenke.

  4. #4
    gap's Avatar
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    Re: Rams See Sights But Focus On Business

    Cool Story Bro.


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