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Thread: RamView training camp report, 7/27/13 (Long)

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    RamView training camp report, 7/27/13 (Long)

    RamView, July 27, 2013
    Training Camp Report from Rams Park

    The potential for offensive excitement in 2013 has Rams fans coming to training camp in record numbers, but after three days, defense is still in charge at Rams Park.

    * QB: Passing game tonight focused a lot more on quick screens and short passes, but Sam Bradford did deliver a couple of long TD passes again, to Brian Quick and Austin Pettis. A couple of bombs came up short and were fairly easy to defend, but I'm pretty sure those were intended jump balls neither receiver (Quick and Chris Givens) played particularly well. Bradford can throw a lot farther than 40 yards with a wind at his back. Actually, that's decent recognition by Bradford; like to have more of that play in the arsenal than trying to force a dumpoff into coverage. Kellen Clemens is still QB2 and apparently thinks he's Colin Kaepernick. He seemed to take off and run every other snap tonight. Good coverage and pass rush are part of that story, but Clemens had a back wide open in the flat one play and scrambled anyway. He also had two forced passes picked off, though I would think him smart enough not to try either one in a real game. Quiet night on the Austin Davis front. Both those QBs have looked very indecisive, especially Clemens tonight, though better blocking especially would be helpful. Tim Jenkins didn't run any 11-on-11, but in goal line drills with the TEs, looked a lot more confident than he did Thursday and stuck some nice throws in tight spots.

    * RB: Hard to evaluate without any real hitting, but it didn't look like the running game would have gotten much of anywhere. The defense tended to have good containment on edge runs. With maybe 1% of precincts reporting, I might project the RB contest to Daryl Richardson for now. Not that Isaiah Pead's doing anything wrong, but Daryl's plays just looked like they had better potential than Isaiah's. Richardson would have snapped off one long run in 11-on-11 and continues to show that smooth footwork in traffic. There was a play where Jared Cook ran a clearing route up the seam and D-Rich was all alone in his wake, but didn't appear to know the ball was coming, and a harmless incompletion resulted. Look for that play again, though.

    * Wide receivers: Tavon Austin had a flurry of activity early in 11-on-11, but I didn't see him get the ball much beyond that. He worked both out of the slot and out on the left flank. Don't remember seeing him in the backfield. Didn't notice a lot of action for Stedman Bailey, either. Pettis burned Trumaine Johnson late in practice for a TD during the 2:00 drill. Quick separated from Janoris Jenkins with a stiffarm that may or may not have been legal for his long score. It was more a ward-off than a push-off so I think it was OK. On a later play, Bradford went deep for Quick, I believe expecting him to go up for it, but Quick let Darian Stewart cut him off and couldn't compete well for the ball at all. I don't know if that's Quick misjudging the ball, failing to identify the situation, or his big shortcoming, failing to take advantage of his size. I didn't see any smaller DBs beat him to the punch on anything, so there's that. Chris Givens was similarly unable to make a play on a deep jump ball; this may all be a question of receivers getting in sync with Bradford. Andrew Helmick didn't flash as much tonight as he had been. Didn't look like he fared very well against man coverage during the goal line drill. The ball really got spread around tonight so I doubt any receiver's at fault for failing to have a bunch of catches.

    * Tight ends: The Rams appear to be blessed with a ridiculously deep TE corps. Jared Cook made the night's best catch, a full-extension sideline grab on an out route. When the receivers split up into wideouts and tight ends for goal line drills on either end of the field, though, Cook worked with the wideouts. Corey Harkey continues to get significant work and has improved noticeably as a receiver. Mike McNeill blocked well and caught well. Lance Kendricks will assume a major role when he gets back. Then, you have somebody show up like Philip Lutzenkirchen, who gets on the field for the first time today and shows nice, soft hands, very good feet, good ability to get turned upfield, enough speed, blocked well... he's a very credible tight end, and he's the fifth or sixth guy. Blocking is going to play a huge role in who makes the roster, and this group could stand to improve there. But it's also the most talented group of TEs the Rams have had in 10 years and possibly even longer.

    * O-line: Some improvement here and there but o-line is still well behind the curve imo. Rodger Saffold loses to Chris Long just about every rep and every snap. As much as I'd love to say hooray for Chris, somebody's got to block Aldon Smith, Cliff Avril, Demarcus Ware, Julius Peppers and (good grief) J.J. Watt this year, right? Punch Rodger backwards, make an inside move, you're on the QB every time so far in camp. I don't have a fair evaluation of Saffold as a run blocker so far; I sure hope that makes a difference. That and the players playing in pads for the first time Monday Scott Wells didn't have to do 1-on-1s tonight. After Robert Quinn burned Jake Long the first time they went head-to-head, they seemed to take it very easy on one another. The starting guards both took 1-on-1 losses, I'd say, with Harvey Dahl getting muscled by Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers getting the jump on Chris Williams. Outquicked him, got to his outside shoulder and had the leverage battle won. Better footwork and technique helped Ty Nsekhe and Sean Hooey look better in 1-on-1 drills. Tim Barnes looked pretty solid there against Brockers (I think) as well. Joe Barksdale, though, continues to have no answer for Eugene Sims' quickness. Matt Conrath absolutely smoked Shelley Smith in one drill. Brandon Washington got away with false starting in drills, still got beaten badly by Garrett Goebel once, and then committed a false start at the start of the 2:00 drill for the twos. I wish there weren't so many legitimately unanswered questions here, because it may take a while to know the answers for sure.

    * Defensive line: The d-line has been impressive from the edges and is now making life even harder for the o-line with its quickness inside. Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford, Matt Conrath just get the jump on people and they are done. Conrath looks every bit as good as he did last training camp when he surprised everyone by getting reps with the first-string. His quickness has been eye-opening. Another eye-opener, and to me the dark horse surprise of camp so far, has been Eugene Sims. I don't know what he's been putting in his Kool-Aid, but I'll have some of that. He's the fourth defensive end and he has looked unblockable much of the time. The ones, and especially the twos and threes, on the d-line have someone winning a one-on-one battle most every snap and affect the play in the backfield. Will this change with everyone in pads and when the defense has to take running plays more seriously? More than likely. Richardson would have had one big play tonight because of a really bad run fit by Alec Ogletree. But thus far the Rams' defensive front has been something to behold.

    * Secondary: Good night for the safeties, possibly not as much for the corners. Rodney McLeod picked off two passes. Quinton Pointer broke up a sideline pass for the first, with McLeod diving for the deflection. McLeod earned the second by jumping an ill-advised sideline pass for Cameron Graham. Darian Stewart made what you'd have to argue were two good plays to break up deep attempts. Jo-Lonn Dunbar (a LB, I know) broke up a pass to Cook that might even have gone as a fumble. On the other hand, Janoris Jenkins, who I think got caught looking into the backfield a little bit, got beaten for a long TD, and Trumaine Johnson gave up another, and in the 2:00 drill, when that kind of thing should never happen. This is another phase of the game that will play out a lot differently as camp progresses, though.

    * Special teams: The special teams period was smack in the middle of tonight's practice instead of the beginning. They focused on punting and punt coverage. A lot of reps with gunners, emphasizing positioning and taking correct angles. Johnny Hekker launched more moon shots than NASA from the other end of the field. If that guy would eliminate the weekly 25-yard shank, he would go to Pro Bowls. Brett Baer also did some punting and wasn't half-bad most of the time, but he has nothing like Hekker's distance and hang time. I still think Baer's going to make an NFL roster, though. Pead and Nick Johnson fielded punts, but I doubt we can make anything of that. No FG or kickoff work that I saw.

    * Strategery: Unless you count Hekker running 11-on-11 Friday, I don't think there's been a trick play in camp yet. There is, though, more variety going on in passing formations than I have the ability to observe. Popular one today was to flank out two tight ends and then motion Austin or one of the RBs outside of them. No noticeable changes in the depth chart other than Chris Williams back at LG1.

    * Cheers: Another perfect day for football practice and another crowd as big or even bigger than Thursday's. (Just heard a reported count of 2,600, which smashes any Rams camp attendance record I know of.) On your way into the practice field, it's like a mini-county fair, with food trucks, skill games, T-shirt booth, deejays, bouncy castle, etc. Rams COO Kevin Demoff did a shift in the dunking booth. You don't suppose there's any way they'd put someone in there dressed as Stan Kroenke, do you? Or, hey, I'd settle for Roger Goodell. Somebody get on that.

    * What's next?: Camp is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; RamView's next planned event is the scrimmage/Rams FanFest at the Dome next Saturday. The pads will have been on; we may get to see some “live fire” in the Dome, and I think it's going to be important by then for the offensive line to get a little caught up with the rest of the team by then. RamView may be paranoid about the o-line for now, but like they say, it's not paranoia when they really are out to get you.

    -- Mike
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    Re: RamView training camp report, 7/27/13 (Long)

    Nice work Mike and good report on the happenings at Rams TC. SO FAR SO GOOD!

    As for Bradford throwing far more that 40 yards ... definitely. According to this analysis by Jaws on our QB (NFL Live), Sammy can deliver the nuclear bomb. And on other mechanics mentioned here, I'm totally confident he has improved and will continue to correct.

    The rest of this video is about comments on the NFC Division.

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    Re: RamView training camp report, 7/27/13 (Long)

    No linebackers?

    ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫
    Your beat still laments the world

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    Re: RamView training camp report, 7/27/13 (Long)

    There's a Ram named Hooey ?

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    Re: RamView training camp report, 7/27/13 (Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    There's a Ram named Hooey ?
    Now, if we could only get a Louie and a Dewey ... at least for training camp!


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    Re: RamView training camp report, 7/27/13 (Long)

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Now, if we could only get a Louie and a Dewey ... at least for training camp!


    LOL.....it's exciting to know The Rams are getting all their ducks in a row. Just didn't realize how literally they were doing it.
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