Tight end candidates abound ..
BY KATHLEEN NELSON
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Expect a crowded and spirited competition at tight end through the rest of the Rams' organized team activities and training camp. The addition of Brody Eldridge gives the Rams nine candidates for the position.
"We've got all shapes and sizes," coach Jeff Fisher said, adding that tight ends coach Rob Boras "is doing a great job with them. It's a very important position in our offense. You need flexibility, and they need to be able to be interchanged, sometimes at the fullback position, sometimes you spread them open. ... We're pleased so far."
Eldridge, 6-5 and 265 pounds, will be reunited with Sam Bradford, his quarterback at the University of of Oklahoma. A fifth-round pick of the Colts in 2010, Eldridge appeared in 27 games the past two seasons, starting 16, catching 14 passes for 84 yards. Indianapolis cut Eldridge last week to make room for quarterback David Legree, an undrafted rookie from Hampton.
Eldridge "was hurt a little bit at Indy, missed some games," Fisher said. "Really very athletic. Just a strong, big target and a very good blocking tight end. That's one of the things we're going to do. We're going to continue to watch the waiver wire and if we feel like somebody can come in and help us, we're going to give them a look."
ROOKIES AMP IT UP
Fisher has installed about 70 percent of the offense and defense, so the Rams have progressed to situational schemes. Among the situations Wednesday was some goal-line work, complete with crowd noise. Rather than hook up the PA system with taped sounds, Fisher went live. The rookies stood behind the end zone, yelling at the top of their lungs in an attempt to distract the starters on offense and defense.
"Sometimes it gets loud. You need to be able to communicate and execute in the huddle," Fisher said. "We had a fairly good rookie class voice-wise. I could have got some more out of them. ... It's a lot less expensive. It's easy. You can turn it on and off."
Running back Steven Jackson got a kick out of the drill.
"It was a good exercise," he said. "It allowed the rookies to be useful and allowed the veterans to get some work done."
Defensive tackle Michael Brockers, the Rams' first-round pick, was used sparingly Wednesday. "We just backed him down a little bit," Fisher said. "There's a number of younger players that are sore and we just don't want to risk anything." ... Center Scott Wells was excused from practice.