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Thread: Thursday Notebook
Friday, July 30, 2004
By NICK WAGONER
Training camp always begins a few days before the real training begins. The Rams moved into Thompson Hall on Tuesday afternoon and had their first pair of practices Wednesday, but it wasn’t official until they strapped on the pads Thursday morning.
When the hitting begins, the intensity picks up and the real grind of camp starts. St. Louis reverted to the shells (shoulder pads and helmets) in the afternoon, but will go full pads for the only practice Friday morning.
Coach Mike Martz said the addition of pads helps, but it is too early to judge his players based on one practice in them.
“The whole idea is watching it is we are still so far away from being in football shape,” Martz said. “It’s a collision game. We want to find out from some of these guys who is committed, who isn’t and who is willing, who isn’t.”
There were no noticeable skirmishes in any of the first four practices, but the speed and hitting levels went up with the pads. St. Louis will practice once Friday in the morning, giving the players an opportunity to rest in the afternoon. Martz said the idea of taking every third afternoon off came from studying the training regimen of Olympic athletes.
The Rams will do some weightlifting and special teams classroom work in the afternoon.
“We usually do fieldwork with the special teams, but we can do most of that in the classroom,” Martz said. “It allows these guys, every third day in the afternoon to get off their feet and recover physically a little bit.”
The first two days of camp have been relatively injury-free. All of the injuries suffered have been minor.
Tackle Kyle Turley took it easy in both practices because of some muscle deterioration in his leg.
Defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, coming off surgery on his quadriceps, has missed some time as well. Holsey is attempting to regain strength in his leg and most likely won’t play at full speed until that happens.
Offensive guard Peter Heyer, who the Rams signed as part of the NFL International Development Squad program, missed practice Wednesday. Heyer went through some tests Wednesday night, but Martz said the trainers ruled out any major problems.
Cornerback Robert Cromartie left Thursday’s afternoon practice with what Martz described as a minor hamstring pull.
Rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove has been one of the early standouts in camp. His burst off the ball and strength drew praise from line coach Bill Kollar numerous times in both practices.
Martz even called Hargrove out to participate first in a drill in the morning session. After the late practice, Martz said Hargrove has talent, but downplayed his early showing.
“We have a long time before we start going through evaluations on any rookies,” Martz said. “I have to check myself because we all want to evaluate after every practice. Coaches are notorious for that.”
Re: Thursday Notebook
The team looked good Thursday and Friday both. Obviously a lot more hitting on Friday which really got me ready for the season. Here's a few things I noticed.
1. Kevin Garrett looked good. Great wheels and an eye for the ball.
2. A darkhorse CB? Dwight Anderson. He held his own alongside Fisher, Butler, etal.
3. D-lew has put on more weight than any other lineman. He can't be more than 5-10 pounds lighter than Pickett and Kennedy.
4. Speaking of Kennedy, he looked to be getting a better push on the line.
5. Hargrove is quick. If he can pick up on his technique we will see him soon.
6. Curtis' has better hands than some give him credit for. He will be our 3rd this year.
7. A darkhorse WR? Brian Sump. This guy is the size of a chihuahua, but has the quickest first step in camp.
While at camp, I managed 21 autographs for my son (yea, right my son). Ok, really they are for my son, but since he's only 6 months I had to get them for him. And let me say, most of the Rams were pretty nice to the 100 or so fans that waited after practice for signatures. Some really stood out. Pisa T., Dane Looker, Andy King, Kevin Garrett, & Grant Williams really impressed me. These guys patiently waited to sign every single autograph that was wanted from them. And did so with a smile. Pisa & Dane even stopped to play with my kid for a couple of minutes. Andy King actually thanked each fan for coming out to practice. But they weren't the only ones that were actively signing. Bulger, McCollum, Chandler, Holsey, Pickett, Bruce, D-Lew, Kennedy, Turley, Arch, Coady, Jensen, Morgan, Little & Polley all signed for anybody that wanted one.
For as great as these guys are on the field, they are equally impressive off the field. My son and I thank them.
Re: Thursday NotebookOriginally Posted by HUbison
Re: Thursday NotebookOriginally Posted by RamDez
1. If Bruce or Aeneas have "lost a step", somebody forgot to tell them. They are busting butt like they're fighting for a roster spot.
2. The guy that the entire defense looks to for answers is Tyoka Jackson. Whenever there is a question anywhere on the defense, players and coaches alike keep turning to Tyoka. He has turned out to be quite to mentor to the younger guys.
3. Was anyone aware that the other players refer to Marc Bulger as "Booger"? I'm not kidding. I thought I kept hearing players yell out Booker. I didn't know of a Booker on the roster. Then I finally understood Booger, but had no idea who they were yelling at. Then after practice, I heard a kid ask Chandler how he felt about mentoring the "young guys" at QB. Chandler said "there's not much mentoring to do, Booger has this offense down". So our starting QB is...Marc "Booger" Bulger. :redface:
Re: Thursday Notebook
Tyoka Jackson is a mainstay on the defense. He may not start, but he's not forgotten.
Kevin Garrett looking solid huh? Hmmmm, has someone picked him for a sleeper yet?
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