Wednesday, August 3, 2005

By Nick Wagoner
Senior Writer

For fans in St. Louis, the opportunity to see their Rams up close and personal became a reality when the team moved its training camp back to Rams Park. But the opportunity to see an opposing team in the same light is probably not going to happen any time soon.

After spending about a week in last year’s training camp working out with the Chicago Bears in Macomb, coach Mike Martz said Wednesday that he didn’t expect to have another team join the Rams in Earth City for a scrimmage either this year or for the foreseeable future.

“When you scrimmage another team, you have to be very careful of who it is, very selective,” Martz said. “Because they are going to take a different approach than we do and we don’t want to get anybody hurt. You don’t want that scrimmage to be too competitive. You just want to look at personnel and different looks. There are just too many negatives to it.”

In years past the Rams have held scrimmages against the Colts and the Titans. In many of those scrimmages and workouts, a number of fights have broken out and, subsequently, a number of injuries have been suffered.

The tradeoff, of course, is the opportunity to create a competitive environment and break up the monotony of training camp. But those positives aren’t enough to outweigh the negatives, according to Martz.

“Every time we have scrimmaged somebody there is always something happening,” Martz said. “That’s the nature of the beast. You have fights going on and guys getting injured. I just don’t want to do that anymore.”

Further complicating a possible scrimmage is the logistics of what it would take to house and feed another team at Rams Park. In Macomb the Rams had the advantage of using a dorm so there was plenty of room for the opposing team to lay their head and night and feed their face during the day.

In Earth City, there are a limited number of hotel rooms and there is only one locker room at Rams Park. Obviously, that locker room is reserved for the home team.

“I think we have just enough for the one team,” Martz said. “I have no interest in ever doing that. I just don’t want to do that.”

SCRIMMAGE SETUP: The Rams will change their pace a little on Saturday when they move their show to Washington University for a scrimmage at Francis Field.

The scrimmage, though, is a scrimmage in name only. There will be no contact in any of the drills. Martz said the scrimmage is more like a normal night practice than anything.

“That’s going to be a Scripted kind of a dress rehearsal,” Martz said. “It’s not a competitive thing at all. It’s a practice. We are not moving the chains. It will be just Scripted plays and situations, just looking at guys, getting ready for a game environment.”

The scrimmage will consist of about 48 plays, some work on the kicking game and a little bit of seven on seven passing drills.

INJURY UPDATE: There were no changes to the injury report Wednesday. Receiver Torry Holt said Tuesday that he is closer to getting back and he isn’t worried about the stiffness in his lower back.

Joining Holt on the sidelines were cornerbacks Travis Fisher (groin) and Jerametrius Butler (bruised knee), running back Dusty McGrorty (knee strain) and defensive lineman Brian Howard (hamstring tightness).

BARRON WATCH: There was nothing to update on first-round choice Alex Barron on Wednesday afternoon.

A report out of Minnesota said that defensive end Erasmus James had yet to sign with the Vikings because the two draft choices sandwiched around him had yet to agree to deals. Of course, Barron might be waiting for James to sign.

At this point, the contract negotiations could carry on until somebody decides to blink. With each passing day, Barron continues to cost himself a chance to start this year. Grant Williams continued to play right tackle during Wednesday’s workouts.

JUST VISITING: The Rams welcomed some special visitors to practice Wednesday morning.

The McEntee family, the family of the slain Kirkwood police officer, took in the sessions. They were joined by the University City Children’s Center.

The U-City Children’s Center is a personal favorite spot for cornerback Kevin Garrett. Garrett recently celebrated his 25th birthday and the kids presented him with a birthday cake and banner.

The daily attendance checked in at 1,387.