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  1. #1
    evil disco man's Avatar
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    Arrow Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    June 4, 2009 2:16 PM

    Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

    ST. LOUIS -- The first 500 words that came to mind after watching the Rams practice on a bright, sunscreen-recommended morning at Rams Park:

    * It's quiet out there. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said they've installed about 60 percent of the defense. There's a lot to learn. I was with the ***** this week and they have a veteran defense playing in the same system. There was lots of chatter. Here, the coaches are the ones you hear, not players.

    * Saw a pass slip through Joe Klopfenstein's hands. One play during a June minicamp isn't going to determine much, but Klopfenstein can't afford to give the Rams any additional reasons to part with him.

    * First-round choice Jason Smith looks the part. They're working him at backup left tackle. Alex Barron is still the favorite to start there. Smith will presumably start on the right side and eventually move to the left side. Spagnuolo said he believes in making the rookies earn it. That's why James Laurinaitis remains buried on the depth chart. Expect both to start this season. The Rams are too young to leave their best young players on the bench.

    * Adam Carriker is healthy and it's making a difference. He looks quicker. Spagnuolo's defense features left and right defensive tackles. They've got Carriker working at left tackle only. He'll move from the nose to the three-technique spot depending on what the offense does. Carriker thinks there's benefit to settling on one position -- left tackle -- and staying there all season.

    * The offense might be new to the Rams' offensive players, but it's familiar to the rest of the division. It's a West Coast-style system with West Coast terminology. Coaches called out the same personnel-group names Mike Holmgren's staff used in Seattle. Calls of "zebra" had nothing to do with the officials in striped shirts monitoring practice. That's the West Coast call for one back, one tight end and three receivers.

    * Why haven't the Rams done more to shore up the situations at receiver and running back? They're tight against the cap and evaluating younger players. It appears as though they're saving what little cap space remains while they evaluate positions. They could always add a player later in the process.

    * Steven Jackson's sense of humor shined through as he ran past reporters on his way to the locker room after practice. "I'm the one buying the team," he joked.

    * Play of the day: Marc Bulger threading a touchdown pass to tight end Randy McMichael in the back of the end zone. McMichael isn't a great receiver or a great blocker, but he's good enough at both to stay on the field -- if he can bounce back from a broken leg and stay healthy this season.

    * Honorable mention: Third-round pick Bradley Fletcher picked off a pass from Brock Berlin over the middle. Safety Craig Dahl picked off Kyle Boller. Receiver Laurent Robinson made a leaping grab in the end zone, but he might have been out of bounds.

    * Spagnuolo moves quickly and always looks like he's got somewhere to be. Elapsed time for his post-practice interview session: 3 minutes, 37 seconds.


  2. #2
    bruce4life's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    WOW Sando didnt say anything to disrepsect us as he usually does...

  3. #3
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by evil disco man View Post
    June 4, 2009 2:16 PM



    * Steven Jackson's sense of humor shined through as he ran past reporters on his way to the locker room after practice. "I'm the one buying the team," he joked.
    we can only hope

  4. #4
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    *RB Steven Jackson reports that he’s “much stronger” after working with new strength coach Rock Gullickson.

    I'll betcha opposing linebackers and safeties are glad to hear this....
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    AtlantaRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Since when is McMichael not a great recieving TE? Two years ago he was used just as a blocker, and last year he was hurt, but his years in Miama IIRC were always great for a TE..did I miss something?

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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaRamFan View Post
    Since when is McMichael not a great recieving TE? Two years ago he was used just as a blocker, and last year he was hurt, but his years in Miama IIRC were always great for a TE..did I miss something?
    McMichael has ALWAYS had average hands. In 2007 he dropped several easy passes that ended drives. People seem to confuse his 2004 production with greatness.

    Oh and if you talk to Dolphin fans, they'll tell you he broke hearts with his endzone drops.

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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    I hope McMichael becomes a very productive player. He's good enough, but we want great. I hope he gets there. We have Fells too, who is a pretty solid TE. Two solid TE's is always great.

    Good to hear about Carriker. He's actually going to be the player I'm watching this season. And Tye Hill if he's a starter.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce4life View Post
    WOW Sando didnt say anything to disrepsect us as he usually does...
    Yeah, that's the first thing I thought when reading this. Good sign?

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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by evil disco man View Post
    June 4, 2009 2:16 PM

    I was with the ***** this week and they have a veteran defense playing in the same system. There was lots of chatter. Here, the coaches are the ones you hear, not players.

    i hope this makes the difference in the regular season

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    WhinerFan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by unorthodox1999 View Post
    i hope this makes the difference in the regular season
    Pretty sure it is not a good thing to only hear the coaches, rather than the players communicating to each other. I think that was Sando's point.

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by WhinerFan View Post
    Pretty sure it is not a good thing to only hear the coaches, rather than the players communicating to each other. I think that was Sando's point.
    Actually, I think his point was that the Rams have a young team, concentrating on learning a new system under new coaches as opposed to the whiners having veterans already familiar with an existing defense. The fact that Rams players are focused on the task at hand under the direction of the a new staff is a good thing.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    * Saw a pass slip through Joe Klopfenstein's hands. One play during a June minicamp isn't going to determine much, but Klopfenstein can't afford to give the Rams any additional reasons to part with him.
    I've been probably as big a Klopfenstein fan as anyone. Loved him in the second round coming out of college. I thought he had a solid rookie year and was going to get better, but I think getting pushed behind McMichael on the depth chart and then being somewhat miscast as a situational blocker has really hurt his confidence. He might be best served with a new start on another team.

  13. #13
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    McMichael has ALWAYS had average hands. In 2007 he dropped several easy passes that ended drives. People seem to confuse his 2004 production with greatness.

    Oh and if you talk to Dolphin fans, they'll tell you he broke hearts with his endzone drops.
    no way.. man he's got good hands in madden? And that's always pretty realistic...

  14. #14
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Quote Originally Posted by bigtiger737 View Post
    no way.. man he's got good hands in madden? And that's always pretty realistic...
    Thats funny

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Thoughts, observations from Rams practice

    Gotta go with r8rh8rmike's interpretation of the "chatter" observation. And since The Whiners pass D was just as bad as ours last season, I have to wonder whether all the gabbing at their OTAs is their teeth vibrating in fear and cold confusion, rather than productive communication.

    It also strikes me as encouraging that our offense is practicing against an NFL-wide accepted defensive system rather than Haslett's which clearly confounded no one except our own players after the first kick off the last few years. Remember how encouraging the noises were from Rams TC last year until we scrimmaged against The Titans?

    Btw, Randy Mc's average stats over 5 years with Miami would have put him in the top 10 TEs last year. And that was with some pretty blah QBs like Feeley, Fiedler, and Frerotte. Maybe he'll never be Gonzalez or Sharpe but he has demonstrated some pretty good productivity through his career.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -06-07-2009 at 03:50 AM.

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