Linehan didn't hear many complaints
BY STEVE KORTE
News-Democrat



ST. LOUIS --
The first day of rookie minicamp -- the NFL's version of freshman orientation -- went off without a hitch for the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.
"It actually was outstanding," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "A great group of guys. I was really happy with the approach, and they maintained the tempo. Nobody complained. Normally you get a little bit of that."

Linehan said there was no grousing among the 28 rookies and four first-year players attending the minicamp as they went through their first two practices Saturday. Linehan said he heard some grumbling last year during his first rookie minicamp as a head coach.

"They complain about not getting enough rest or they're tired or they're cramping," Linehan said. "It's happened."

How does that go over with the head coach?

"Not real good," Linehan said. "I didn't anticipate any (complainers), but I had a few of them last year. You don't last long in this league if you are worried about the wrong things."

Linehan's initial message to the rookies was about making the most of the their opportunity.

"The first thing I do is congratulate them for getting here," Linehan said. "For a lot of guys, it's a dream to make it to that first meeting and to have that locker with your name on it.

"It's not the end, it's a start. It's a start to a shot that you don't want to have any regrets toward. We ask them to really, really make a commitment to this opportunity that they have. It doesn't mean turning into people who don't have a life, but I don't know too many people who have been great at this sport that haven't committed every part they have inside of them to their game."

Linehan said the purpose of the rookie minicamp is to get them a taste of the NFL prior to joining full-squad workouts called Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Tuesday.

"The reason we bring them in this weekend isn't to ruin everybody's Mother's Day," Linehan said. "We are able to keep them here and have them continue on with the vets when they get back from the OTAs."

The Rams' rookies will go through two more practices today and then have an introduction to weight training and conditioning with coaches Dana LeDuc and Brad Roll on Monday.

Linehan said the rookies responded well Saturday to the large amount of information being thrown at them.

"I think what is amazing to me that in a 24-hour period of time we put in approximately 50 plays on offense and 20-30 calls on defense, and then we come out here and have maybe one offsides by both sides," Linehan said. "That wasn't too bad."

Offensive tackle Anthony James from Louisiana Tech was the first injury casualty of 2007 as he sprained the ACL in his knee during the team's first practice. James sat out the second practice.