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    Rams Team Report (6/23/06)

    Rams Team Report
    6/23/2006
    By Jim Thomas
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: New offensive line coach Paul Boudreau is quickly putting his stamp on that unit. Boudreau is stressing more of a power blocking, physical approach to line play than has been employed at the past at Rams Park -- all of which could foreshadow a greater commitment to the running game in 2006. A concerted effort is being made to cut down on the false start penalties that plagued the team last season. To get that point across, offensive linemen were running post-practice sprints at the recent full-squad minicamp. Veteran linemen such as C Andy McCollum and RG Adam Timmerman will welcome more of a commitment to the running game. RT Alex Barron must show he is ready to handle the more physical approach after a good offseason in the weight room. . . .

    QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jeff Smoker were expected to compete in training camp for the No. 3 spot. But neither player was impressive in the spring minicamps, which probably led to the decision to trade a conditional draft pick for journeyman Dave Ragone. All head coaches, particularly ones with an offensive background like Scott Linehan, like backup quarterbacks they have worked with before, and Linehan worked with Ragone at the University of Louisville. The team could take five quarterbacks to camp, with QB Gus Frerotte still serving as the top backup to starter Marc Bulger.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Rookie or not, the Rams need DE Victor Adeyanju to be a part of their defensive line rotation at end this season. The plan is for him to spell former Pro Bowl DE Leonard Little on running downs. Adeyanju (6-4, 268) has decent size with a frame that could easily add five to 10 pounds. He has some quickness and athleticism, but must work on his strength, use of hands and moves. It will be on-the-job training, because the only other backup to starters Little and DE Anthony Hargrove is Brandon Green. There will be growing pains, but Adeyanju should benefit immensely from going up against RT Alex Barron and LT Orlando Pace in practice every day once training camp starts.

    REHAB UPDATE: OLB Dexter Coakley did much more than expected at the full-squad minicamp, his first extension practice action since suffering a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle Dec. 4 against Washington. Coakley had seemed a little stiff in earlier workouts but moved around fluidly both in terms of change of direction and straight-ahead speed. Although he's listed as the backup behind LB Pisa Tinoisamoa at weakside linebacker, Coakley will provide valuable depth and leadership and will be the first player off the bench if somebody gets hurt.

    INSIDE DISH: Jay Zygmunt, president of football operations, was at the center of the front-office feud with former head coach Mike Martz. But while Martz's contract was terminated, Zygmunt has more power than ever in St. Louis. His stamp has been on every major move the team has made in the offseason, including the recent hiring of former Carolina Panthers director of college scouting Tony Softli as vice president of player personnel. It will be interesting to see how Charley Armey, the team's general manager since 2000, will react to his lesser role of vice president of pro personnel in the recent round of front office restructuring at Rams Park.

    WIDE RECEIVERS ANALYSIS: A. Torry Holt is among the top half-dozen receivers in the game; Isaac Bruce can still get it done; and Kevin Curtis has emerged as a threat.


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    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams Team Report (6/23/06)

    QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jeff Smoker were expected to compete in training camp for the No. 3 spot. But neither player was impressive in the spring minicamps, which probably led to the decision to trade a conditional draft pick for journeyman Dave Ragone.
    This answers our question about why another QB.

    RT Alex Barron must show he is ready to handle the more physical approach after a good offseason in the weight room. . . .
    Somehow, I don't think Barron will have a problem roughing up defenses and getting physical.

    A concerted effort is being made to cut down on the false start penalties that plagued the team last season.
    We need this!

    New offensive line coach Paul Boudreau is quickly putting his stamp on that unit. Boudreau is stressing more of a power blocking, physical approach to line play than has been employed at the past at Rams Park -- all of which could foreshadow a greater commitment to the running game in 2006.
    Forgive my confusion, but wouldn't the power blocking approach like this also be indicative of massive QB protection for long pass plays? I remember seeing articles that stressed the accuracy of Bulger when passing for 20 yds or more, and with our WR's speed, why would the 'power blocking' be solely for the running game? Someone posted an article which led me to believe that the Rams would be employing fewer seven-step drops that expose Bulger, and maybe I'm not awake enough to follow this, but if the O-line is getting into hands-on domination, wouldn't Bulger have more time in the pocket without threat of being sacked?

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