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Thread: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

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    St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    St. Louis, MO (Shane Gray, Missouri Sports Magazine) – After a day off following Saturday’s first ever Fan Fest at the Edward Jones Dome, the St. Louis Rams returned to the Continuity X Training Center on Monday to resume camp in preparation for their rapidly approaching preseason opener at the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

    A good crowd gathered in Earth City today for this, the first session of the second week of camp.

    Head coach Jeff Fisher seemed pleased with today’s practice.

    “You know, we had a great day,” Fisher said. “The weather, the humidity’s down, we had a great day. They took care of themselves and we had a couple treatment sessions yesterday.”

    “We got through the weekend, installed some things, worked on and some situational things and got the crowd involved a little bit,” Fisher continued. “So we’ll put the shoulder pads on the next two or three days.”

    Fisher also shed some light on former Green Bay Packers center Scott Wells, who made the Pro Bowl following last season and was added via free agency to shore up the interior offensive line and help make critical pre-snap adjustments.

    “Doing well inside, doing very well,” Fisher said in regard to Wells. “He is taking every walk through rep we run so from a football standpoint, he’s not behind whatsoever. He’s actually doing very well. He’s on pace. He will be able to participate at some point in the preseason.”



    Performances of Note


    Greg Salas: The second year receiver from the University of Hawaii continues to be a rock of consistency. He has performed well throughout camp and catches everything thrown his way. Working primarily in the slot a season ago, Salas seems to have transitioned seamlessly to lining up predominately outside.

    Salas had several nice plays, including one where he got behind the defense for a deep touchdown and another where he had a nice catch on a deep out.

    Robert Quinn: A 2011 first round pick, Quinn continues to impress and look exceptionally quick off the edge, providing consistent pressure. St. Louis has a real chance of having two defensive ends, Quinn and Chris Long, who post double digit sacks this Fall.

    Steve Smith: Smith, a 2009 Bowl receiver for the New York Giants, looks to be all the way back from 2010 microfracture surgery. If he is not all the way back, he is darn close.

    Today, Smith made a great leaping catch on one play and a quick move to get open on another. On yet another route, Smith got behind cornerback Bradley Fletcher and safety Darian Stewart, however, the pass from Sam Bradford was just out of range and he was unable to reel it in.

    Isaiah Pead: Rookie running back Isaiah Pead continues to look good in both the running and passing game. In the running game, he displays good patience, burst and a nice jump cut. In the passing game, he can run after the catch and make plays from the wide receiver position. It is not uncommon to see him run deeper routes than most running backs typically do.

    Austin Davis: The rookie quarterback from Southern Mississippi, the same school that produced the legendary Brett Favre, made some nice impressions today. He had some nice throws and displays a nice play action run fake.

    Run Blocking: The run blocking seems to get better by the day, and that trend continued this afternoon with the offensive line consistently opening up some big holes for Rams running backs.



    Progressing

    Pass Blocking: Although still a work in progress, the offensive line seems to be making some minor improvements in regard to pass protection. As the season approaches, St. Louis hopes this development continues.



    Mixed Review

    -Rookie wide receiver Brian Quick may have made the play of the day today, going up, up, up for a pass against cornerback Trumaine Johnson. On the play, Quick fully extended well above Johnson and secured the ball before crashing to the ground. On another play, however, Quick was completely lost, prompting wide receiver coach Ray Sherman to tell him to “go somewhere fast.”

    Essentially, it seems Sherman was saying if you forget where to go, go somewhere at full speed and attempt to still make something happen. That is better than the alternative, which saw Quick jog a bit before stopping, unsure of what to do or where to go.

    On another note, it was interesting to see Quick work a little in the slot today. I will have to see if that continues.



    Tough Day


    Kellen Clemens: Clemens was erratic for the second consecutive day, throwing several off target passes with at least a couple being too high for receivers to get a hand on. On one play, wide receiver Danario Alexander was open deep across the middle, but the ball was thrown too high for even the 6’5″ DX. Hopefully, Clemens’ accuracy will improve in the coming days.



    Notable Plays


    -Alex Hoffman-Ellis, a rookie linebacker from Washington State, had another interception today. That is at least the second he has had during camp thus far. He seems to possess some solid hands.

    -Rookie wide receiver Chris Givens made a nice comeback catch on Cortland Finnegan in tight press coverage. It was good to see him make a play in that situation, especially with many feeling press coverage might be something he struggles with out of the gate during his rookie season.



    Other Observations


    -Assistant head coach Dave McGinnis helped amp up the crowd today when situational work dictated that the Rams offense start from the one yard line. McGinnis continually implored the gathered fans to make some noise, garnering some nice results from the boisterous fans.

    -Veteran offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka continues to work as the starting left guard and seems to be holding up well.

    -The Rams rotated a lot of receivers with the first team offense. Among those I saw running with the first unit included Danny Amendola, Greg Salas, Brandon Gibson, Steve Smith, Austin Pettis, Danario Alexander, Chris Givens and Brian Quick. The battle for pecking order and roster spots at wide receiver is certainly far from over.

    -6’7″ defensive tackle Matthew Conrath took some reps with the first team defense.

    -Wideout Danny Amendola expressed some intense frustration after one play in which he was open, but the ball, thrown by Kellen Clemens, was out of reach.

    -Right tackle Jason Smith, who has performed well in the ground game to this point, seemed to make at least a little progress in regard to pass protection. Today, Chris Long was seen in the backfield with less frequency. For the Rams offense and Sam Bradford’s sake, let us hope this enhancement becomes a trend.

    -Safety Darian Stewart, who returned to practice today, rotated with fellow safety Craig Dahl opposite of Quintin Mikell. Interestingly, Stewart and Dahl were also paired together at times with the first team defense.

    -Defensive end Eugene Sims showed a good pass rush around the left tackle on multiple occasions.

    -Both kickers, rookie Greg Zuerlein and one year veteran Garrett Lindholm, had nice days.

    -Dump offs to the running backs occurred with frequency today.

    -For the first time this camp, wide receiver Danario Alexander participated in 11 on 11 drills. I will have much more on DX in a separate feature tomorrow.



    Injuries/Inactives

    Several players returned today, including a trio of cornerbacks: Josh Gordy, Jerome Murphy and Kendric Burney. Tight end Lance Kendricks was back, but limited. Left tackle Rodger Saffold was also back, but only worked on individual drills.

    Those out today included center Scott Wells and defensive tackle Trevor Laws.


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    Re: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    -The Rams rotated a lot of receivers with the first team offense. Among those I saw running with the first unit included Danny Amendola, Greg Salas, Brandon Gibson, Steve Smith, Austin Pettis, Danario Alexander, Chris Givens and Brian Quick. The battle for pecking order and roster spots at wide receiver is certainly far from over.
    Chris Givens and Brian Quick as sure things, along with Danny Amendola. Sounds like Steve Smith is back at full speed or close to it. Greg Salas and Brandon Gibson continue to make plays and continue to impress.

    I have not heard much about Pettis good or bad. DX just got back so he needs to stay healthy and make an impact soon. I have Pettis and DX on the outside looking in at this point.

    Can't wait to see Sunday who steps up.

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    Great read, thanks for going to the trouble of writing it all up. I keep reading differing reports about how far along Pead is. I'm looking forward to seeing how he looks on Sunday.

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    I would like to read soon that Scott Wells participated with the first team offense. Am I the only one who is worried about this or are others here concerned as well. I did read we only have to worry if he's not in place by the 3rd preseason game. Call me nervous now. He's incredibly important to the functionality of the offensive line. I hope he's back soon. On another level I wonder if the Rams would have signed him knowing he might be an injury return risk.

    Go Rams!
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    Re: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    I would like to read soon that Scott Wells participated with the first team offense. Am I the only one who is worried about this or are others here concerned as well. I did read we only have to worry if he's not in place by the 3rd preseason game. Call me nervous now. He's incredibly important to the functionality of the offensive line. I hope he's back soon. On another level I wonder if the Rams would have signed him knowing he might be an injury return risk.

    Go Rams!
    Nick brought that up in another thread and I would think it's getting time to worry. The O line needs to put work in together. I hope he's on the field next week.

    Fisher said he was doing all the mental reps inside and was not falling behind...

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    Jim Fadler’s Camp Report –Aug. 7

    First thirty minutes of camp were once again devoted to special teams coverage. Today the emphasis was on kick coverage. the three kick returners that got the most reps were Given, Pead and Amendola. I got a really good luck at Zuerlein’s mechanics. I already commented that he isn’t all that big and he really doesn’t take an enormous swing at the ball to get the incredible distance he has shown so far. What he has is really solid mechanics and discipline. He always keeps his head down, doesn’t ever seem to vary his plant or swing. He gets really good hang time and today was really only punching at the ball to allow the return to happen.

    They also worked on a punt drill where the ball was short kicked and the returner had to catch on a bounce. Amendola looked the best as expected on that.

    Hekker is working as the holder for Zuerlein and late in the day he picked up the snap and rolled out a couple of times and threw the ball.

    QB-They had a about a 10 minute interval where all the throws were deep and Bradford looked much better with a lot more on the ball and actually overthrew several.

    In 7 on 7 Kellen Clemons will break the play continually and roll out to the right taking forever and extending what is supposed to be a quick hitting drill. I might add most of the time it seems when he does this its an incompletion. Rolling out in a structured drill to one side of the field takes away half of your options, defeats the purpose of the drill and just reinforces to me that his decision making is slow and Sam needs to stay on the field.

    RB-Pead got the rap from some observers for a lot of drops Saturday during the Dome workout. There was corner fade in the end zone that was thrown to his right when he was going left that he spun around and dropped. Its a play that I have seen Matt Forte make several times but Pead dropped it. There really isn’t much to go on at this point. But I have noticed that he doesn’t really catch the ball in stride as well as you would like. Even if the pass is on target he tends to stop, catch it and then turn and run. Richardson got on the field today and looked a lot more fluid on pass routes. He is fast but not Pead fast.

    Pead had a great run in 11 on 11 where he “lured” Laurinaitis in with a shoulder fake, got him to bite just a little bit and then floored it to the outside and was just gone. If he is even he is leavin’.

    The Ivy leaguer Schweiger had a couple of nice moments.

    WR-DX came onto the field late but warmed up and had some of the best plays of the day. He played out of the slot quite a bit in 11 on 11 and had one beautiful catch on a slant that was slightly overthrown that would have been a huge gain in a game. I did notice that if he went without a rep for a while he had to go off and jog or stretch to loosen up his legs.

    Quick had some troubles in the red zone drills early and was stripped on a jump ball by the 5:09 undrafted safety Quinton Pointer. He came back in 11 on 11 and ended the practice with a sensational leap and grab in the corner of the end zone on a jump ball.

    Unlike last week Givens ran his short routes with a purpose and caught a skinny post where he broke free and really used his speed. He also caught a couple of slants in the two minute drill. He has made progress .

    Gibson did not practice but played catch off to the side. Smith looked slow on a couple of routes early in the red zone stuff and gave less than a good effort on a post that should have been a TD. He came back later and played better.

    Mike Campbell looked better than Johnson today amongst the undrafted rookies.

    TE-Kendricks ran his seam routes much more effort and speed. The day he was pulled from reps may have been injury related as he sat out the scrimmage and practice after that day. He seems to have concentration issues on his drops where he will jerk his head all over the place, move his hands back and forth and up and down at times. Today his technique was much better and he caught everything thrown his way.

    All the tight ends lined up against the defensive ends today in pass blocking and overall it could hardly have gone worse. The only two that held their own were Cory Harkey a rookie from UCLA and Brody Eldridge a third year man from Oklahoma. If they had a QB back there Hekker might be starting Sunday. Later on they repeated the drill with a tackle in to help and the end was only chipping. That went better and hopefully that will always be the case. The blocking specialist Matthew Mulligan was especially bad.

    Oline-The last time I saw Saffold play he was getting beaten regularly by Quinn and pounding the turf in frustration. Today Quinn was still beating him off the snap. Before Quinn would then duck and spin around or run around Saffold and get right to the QB. Today Saffold countered and was able to get enough depth on his drop to then slam Quinn into the turf.

    The other lineman that really caught my eye and has before was Jose Valdez from Arkansas. He has really good feet and his pass drops are technically perfect. He has received some time with the ones off an don since camp started.

    Dline-I think the best gauge on just how good the Rams front four is will come Sunday when they aren’t going against their own team any longer. Long and Quinn look fantastic but there is always a nagging doubt in my mind about this. Conrath is still the third tackle in but Laws is sitting out right now with an injury.

    Linebackers-Haggan got praise and yells from the coaches on two different occasions. Josh Hull is getting some time with Dunbar with the ones. McIntosh so far gets very little time with the ones.

    DB-Jenkins had at least four tipped passes and since my eyes tend to wander may have had more. He had one especially good play in the two minute drill where he jumped a short hitch to Salas and knocked it way.

    Quinton Pointer is only 5:09 and a rookie from UNLV but I have watched him a lot and he has corner cover skills. He plays bigger and has been in on the special teams coverage units.

    Rodney McLeod since the first practice has been abused time and time again in coverage.

    Fletcher stayed with Givens on a 9 route at one point…that is pretty impressive after all the injuries.

    Finnegan and Amendola get after each other almost every red zone practice. They get very physical with a lot of pushing and contact. Today Finnegan kept him out of the end zone on almost every rep.

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post

    Fisher said he was doing all the mental reps inside and was not falling behind...
    I saw that too and it added that Wells was taking all the walk through snaps. That sounds good, but I would like to hear that he's getting some action in scrimmage with the O-Line so we don't have communication problems once the season starts. Here's hoping for the best.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: St. Louis Rams Training Camp Update, August 6

    One thing I would say about our tackles is that they are going against Chris Long and Robert Quinn. They aren't guys who are easily blocked. I've seen teams triple team Chris Long before, and he still get pressure, so if Jason Smith is doing ok one on one at times, then that's pretty good.

    It's weird that Thomas says the quality of the DL needs to be gauged by how the play against a line that isn't ours, but doesn't credit the OL with having to go against our DL.

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