The re-energizing of the Rams - Part II
By Hal Schaeffer | June 13th, 2008
Yesterday I reviewed some of the points that St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill Coats made in his column of June 12, 2008. The thrust of the column was that Rams players were feeling and demonstrating a new energy during minicamp and OTA’s that suggested that the team had put the 3-13 2007 season behind it and was moving ahead in a positive way toward the new season.

In particular, I looked at some of the frank admissions that Scott Linehan had made and how, in my opinion, they seemed to indicate that he now has a healthier and more accurate perception of his job and of himself as a head coach. Overall, Linehan seems more relaxed, focused, and confident than he has been in a long time.

Other than the revelations that Linehan provided, there was little else in Coats’ report on the conclusion of OTA’s that readers of this space didn’t already know. For example, we’ve realized for a while now that the Rams still have some issues at both the cornerback and safety positions, and, at the end of last month, I also reviewed the need for more depth at linebacker. Apparently, none of the issues involving any of these units is any closer to resolution now than was the case before minicamp.

In addition, points that Coats made about the offensive line and the running backs were reviewed here and remain valid. However, he seems a bit more optimistic about Antonio Pittman than I am, maybe because Pittman received an endorsement from Linehan a couple of days ago. But it’s a long way from now to that first game in Philly, so both Pittman and Brian Leonard will have plenty of chances to step up.

One eye-catching item that Coats reported had to do with Leonard Little’s recovery from toe surgery. Any assessment of the Rams defensive line begins with Little, and Rams fans still have a lot of anxiety about his health. To hear, as Coats reports, that Leonard is “flashing signs of his old form” is good news, indeed.

Rams fans have been through a lot in the past 12 months. They deserve some good news. Reports of a new, positive attitude and a sense of energy and commitment in the players are excellent signs of progress in the right direction. There has been much more position competition in practice this year, another development that can only make the team stronger. Coaches seem to be focused on football concerns rather than the behind-the-scenes kind of issues that can erode a team’s morale and sap its play.

We all know how important morale is in a team’s success.

The Rams appear to be in excellent shape in that area right now.

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