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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Spagnuolo happy with results of first minicamp

    BY Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Apr. 06 2009
    You have to start somewhere, and for coach Steve Spagnuolo and his Rams, the
    just-completed first minicamp was all about attitude, tempo, accountability and
    the concept of team.

    After five practices over three days, Spagnuolo and his coordinators came away
    with some good first impressions.

    "There was a lot of energy and a lot of great effort, which I appreciate,"
    Spagnuolo said.

    Beyond that, the coaches sensed that the squad was receptive to their coaching
    styles and how they want them to practice.

    "I'm so impressed with the eagerness the players (showed)," offensive
    coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "They're really kind of buying in to what we're
    trying to teach. Their effort and their enthusiasm and their competitive spirit
    was great this camp."

    And why shouldn't it be? After just five victories over the past two seasons,
    the players are eager for anything that will change their fortunes. Besides,
    Spagnuolo arrives with a Super Bowl championship ring from the New York Giants
    and a reputation as one of the game's bright defensive minds.

    "They're very detail oriented. Very team oriented," said defensive tackle
    Clifton Ryan. "I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm going to put my best foot
    forward and show 'em I've bought in."

    In terms of player evaluation, Spagnuolo wanted his staff to come in with an
    open mind and try to focus on what players can do rather than what they can't.
    Conversely, quarterback Marc Bulger said Spagnuolo's message to the players was
    to act like they're rookies again, that is, eager, energetic, with a totally
    clean slate and something to prove.

    As for scheme, Bulger isn't sure how much he saw at minicamp.

    "I honestly don't know ... because I don't know how much is in this offense,"
    he said. "I think they tested us a little bit just to see what we could take,
    and I think everybody did a good job."

    With a new coaching staff, the Rams get three minicamps this spring instead of
    the usual two. Minicamp No. 2 is the first weekend in May, after the draft.

    "We gave them some scheme, but for this camp really the focus was to teach them
    how to practice," Shurmur said. "Teach them the pace and the tempo. Give them
    some scheme so we could see what they can learn. And then we really focused on
    the fundamentals."

    As for personnel, despite all the talk about Jacob Bell switching to right
    tackle, Spagnuolo confirmed that Bell spent the minicamp at left guard.

    Shurmur had some nice things to say about Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, who
    as of now are the starting wide receivers.

    "Donnie Avery, obviously, is tremendously fast and he's quick," Shurmur said.
    "We worked a lot on him getting off the line of scrimmage and getting down the
    field."

    As for Burton, Shurmur said, "He gets in and out of routes very well. Catches
    the ball well. I think he'll be a fine playmaker for us as well."

    On defense, coordinator Ken Flajole played starters Adam Carriker and Ryan at
    both the nose tackle and "3-technique" positions.

    "We wanted to kind of get a better feel for who could be a '3,' and who could
    be a nose," Flajole said. "Who played better out of a lefthanded stance, who
    played better out of a righthanded stance. ... We're trying to evaluate where
    is the best fit for our players that gives them the best chance to be
    successful."

    At linebacker, Will Witherspoon played the weak-side position, with Pisa
    Tinoisamoa at the strong side. Chris Draft was in the middle.

    "I remember the things (Witherspoon) did even prior to coming here, when he was
    at Carolina," Spagnuolo said. "I always thought he was a disruptive, energetic,
    productive, playmaking linebacker. I want to put a lot of pressure on him to
    make sure he's that guy. I think he can do that."

    In the secondary, Spagnuolo liked the communication between starters Ron
    Bartell and Tye Hill at cornerback, and Oshiomogho Atogwe and James Butler at
    safety. A healthy and productive Hill is essential to a successful secondary in
    2009.

    RAM-BLINGS

    There was some confusion Saturday night on the length of quarterback Kyle
    Boller's contract. One team official told the Post-Dispatch it was a two-year
    deal. But executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff, the
    Rams' contract negotiator, confirmed Sunday morning that Boller's deal is for
    only one year.


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    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Spagnuolo happy with results of first minicamp

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    BY Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Apr. 06 2009
    In the secondary, Spagnuolo liked the communication between starters Ron
    Bartell and Tye Hill at cornerback, and Oshiomogho Atogwe and James Butler at
    safety. A healthy and productive Hill is essential to a successful secondary in
    2009.
    I really hope Hill turns it around I would hate to see this pick become a bust after we pass on Culter to get him.
    :ramlogo:

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