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Thread: Rams Team Report - Aug 24
Rams Team Report - Aug 24
Rams Team Report
Aug 24, 4:19 am EDT
It seemed like just another transaction when the Rams acquired wide receiver Laurent Robinson(notes) in a trade with Atlanta before the draft.
The two teams swapped positions in the fifth and sixth rounds, and Robinson immediately began working to prove to the Falcons they made a mistake by giving up on him.
Last Friday night, Robinson caught five passes for 65 yards against his former team, and appears to be a lock to start when the season opens Sept. 13 in Seattle.
Robinson opened OTAs as the No. 3 receiver, then moved up to the first unit when Keenan Burton(notes) suffered a hamstring injury. He opened camp as a starter, and with Donnie Avery(notes) sidelined by a broken bone in his foot, Robinson has become the go-to receiver for both Marc Bulger(notes) and Kyle Boller(notes).
He had a 50-yard catch from Bulger in the first preseason game, and one for 25 yards from Boller in the second game. In two games, he has seven receptions for 117 yards and has been the target on 10 passes.
“I feel good,” Robinson said. “I’m just working hard every day in practice, going out there trying to be the best I can be every day, listening to the coach; I mean, and just being coachable and going out there and executing. The offense is great, I’m very confident and comfortable in it, and hopefully I can just continue on in the regular season.
“It’s a great opportunity here for me. Hopefully I can just step right in, make some plays, and help the team win anyway I can whether that’s by running, blocking, or catching the ball.”
Robinson acknowledged struggling when he arrived in St. Louis, having to learn a new offense. But he didn’t waste his time in the six weeks after OTAs ended, and training camp began.
“I went home and I just trained and just got my confidence back,” Robinson said, “After the trade I guess I wasn’t really all that focused. Now I got my focus back and my confidence up and I’m ready to play.
“I’m just getting a lot more comfortable playing and making catches. In the OTAs I wasn’t doing so well but now I’m just a lot more comfortable and confident so things are going well for me.”
Coach Steve Spagnuolo likes what he sees.
“I see a competitive guy,” Spagnuolo said. “When he first got here in the spring like a lot of guys, he was feeling his way through. It was a new team, it was a new system, but I thought he played really well (Friday) night. It was easy to see that.”
• Falcons running back Michael Turner(notes) picked up right where he left off against the Rams in the second preseason game. In the final game of the regular season last season, Turner rushed for 208 yards.
Last Saturday, he had 65 yards on seven attempts, including a 43-yard run and 1-yard touchdown. The previous game, the Rams were solid against the run, although the Jets were without their three interior line starters.
The Falcons mashed the Rams with their large and physical first-team line.
Afterward, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, “We’ve got a proud group of guys. No matter where the holes were, I’m going to give Atlanta some credit, No. 1. But I do think our guys will tell you that they would’ve liked to have tackled better. That’s just defensive football, and you’ve got to tackle.
“When you play a good football team like that, well-coached and with good football players, you’ve got to come out and take it to them, and we didn’t really do that.”
Said rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis(notes), “You know I’d love to see it on film. I mean it’s a lot easier to kind of be able to see it from those two different angles and kind of evaluate yourself. But we had some opportunities to make some tackles that we didn’t make. You know I had a missed tackle down there in the red zone that I got to make. This is just something that we got to build on. And ultimately you want to come out of here with a win. But you know there will be some good lessons from this game.”
As training camp has advanced, Spagnuolo reduced the live tackling in practice. Asked whether that was a factor in the performance, he said, “I’m not going to do that to myself. I don’t think so. At some point we all know in this league you stop doing live tackling in practice because you got to have guys healthy. I think we will bounce back on that. It wasn’t real good last night, but we’ll get better at it.”
• The official end of training camp was Sunday (Aug. 23) with the final practice open to the public, so coach Steve Spagnuolo was asked for an overview in terms of accomplishing what he hoped for.
“I think in a lot of ways we did,” he said. “I’m always jotting down notes, looking to next year on what we could’ve done better. There’s a list there, so we’ll try to improve on it.”
Players were fine with the physical aspect of camp that included live tackling almost daily and plenty of work in full pads.
Said safety James Butler(notes), “It’s been a lot of live stuff. And it’s been a lot of running, too. A lot of work. We’re like boom, boom, boom. We’re on the field. We’re off the field. Go to workouts. Go to meetings. … He likes to establish a fast tempo.”
Added tackle Adam Goldberg(notes), “This is a really physical camp. But at the same time, it doesn’t beat you down because you keep everything moving. Even though we’re banging, we’re hitting, we’re taking people to the ground … at the same time, it’s not lingering on forever. We’re popping from one drill to another drill.
“Things don’t get dull and old. Coach Spags, he demands a very dynamic practice. And that really does help because you’re doing new things every seven to 10 minutes.”
One thing that helped was a mild Midwestern summer. Spagnuolo frequently joked with reporters about how he was led to believe how brutal the weather could be. That wasn’t the case.
Said center Jason Brown(notes), “We’re definitely blessed with good weather. I heard horror stories of how hot and humid it potentially can be.”
Added long snapper Chris Massey(notes), “I kept telling some of the new guys to get ready. But we’ve had maybe one day where it was like smokin’ hot.”
Quote To Note: “I don’t think I did a good job getting them ready for that challenge and I’m going to take the hit on that and I think they will respond this week and we’ll get back to the things we do really well. Atlanta had some nice little twists in there in some of their run game. And when they hit that second play of the game for the long run, you know it tends to get you on your heels and we can’t do that. You just got to get back to basics and play football. But we need to get better.”—Coach Steve Spagnuolo, after the Rams’ loss to Atlanta.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Running back Ahman Green(notes) worked out for the Rams, but club officials insisted he is just on a “ready list” if the team elects to upgrade its backup running back depth. Samkon Gado(notes), who rushed for 93 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown in the preseason opener, played most of the first half against Atlanta and totaled a meager five yards on 12 attempts.
Defensive tackle Hollis Thomas(notes) feels he’s making progress getting to the weight he wants to be. Thomas was admittedly overweight when he was signed by the Rams the day before training camp opened. “I’ve been able to shed a few pounds since I’ve been here,” Thomas said. “I’m watching what I eat. … I feel like after the next couple of weeks, I’ll be right where I need to be.”
• WR Brooks Foster(notes), a rookie fifth-round pick, underwent surgery on his ankle Aug. 21, and will be out six-to-eight weeks. Originally, the injury was estimated at four-to-six weeks. It’s possible Foster will be placed on injured reserve next week when rosters are cut to 75 players.
• LT Alex Barron(notes) returned to practice Sunday after missing almost a week with a knee injury. Barron did not play in last Friday’s preseason game against Atlanta.
• DT Adam Carriker(notes) did his most practice work Sunday since injuring his ankle in an Aug. 7 scrimmage. Carriker did individual drills, but nothing in team. He is still considered questionable for Thursday’s game against Cincinnati.
• WR Donnie Avery ran well on the side during practice Sunday, as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot suffered Aug. 7. The injury was originally considered a four-to-six week injury, and the Rams will be sure the bone is healed before clearing him for contact.
• LG Jacob Bell(notes) remains out as he continues to experience symptoms from the concussion he suffered Aug. 14 against the Jets.
• RB Kenneth Darby(notes) did not practice Sunday because of a sprained knee.
Battle Of The Week: The competition for the backup job behind Steven Jackson remains wide open. Samkon Gado, who had a 77-yard touchdown in the first preseason game, played most of the first half against Atlanta and totaled just five yards on 12 attempts. Kenneth Darby suffered a sprained knee and didn’t practice Monday. The winner might not be currently on the team.
Other Battlefronts: Billy Bajema(notes) solidified his hold on a tight end job with three receptions for 42 yards against the Falcons. Joe Klopfenstein(notes) appears to be fighting a losing battle for a roster spot. … Mark Setterstrom(notes) and John Greco(notes) are both in the mix to be the backup left guard and backup center. … David Vobora(notes) and Larry Grant(notes) are tightly locked in competition for the backup spot at strong-side linebacker.
Player Of The Week: Wide receiver Laurent Robinson is cementing his status as a starter. Against Atlanta, the team that drafted him in 2007, Robinson caught five passes for 65 yards, including a 25-yard play. In two games, he has caught seven of the 10 passes thrown his way for 117 yards.
Rookie Report: First-round pick Jason Smith(notes) started at right tackle against Atlanta with Alex Barron sidelined by a knee injury. Smith was back with the second team Sunday when Barron practiced. … LB James Laurinaitis continues to start in the middle, and is cementing his hold on the job.
Injury Report: DT Gary Gibson(notes) left the game against the Falcons after being hit in the head, but returned to the game and was on the practice field Sunday. … DL James Hall(notes) had X-rays on a bruised sternum, but they were negative, and he practiced Sunday.
Re: Rams Team Report - Aug 24
-08-25-2009 #3Ramer Guest
Re: Rams Team Report - Aug 24
Robinson must of had a hugh smile on his face after the Atlanta game.
Re: Rams Team Report - Aug 24
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