Vermeil likes direction Rams are headed

By BILL COATS
Thursday, August 18, 2011

Former St. Louis Rams coach Dick Vermeilvisited training camp today and was asked by coach Steve Spagnuolo to address the team at the conclusion of practice.

"I told them to make sure that they do the best job they can do within the new restrictions of practice," said Vermeil, who is in town to do promotional work for Vermeil Wines. "It's hard to get better working less. So you've got to do a better job in less time than somebody else is doing."

Vermeil believes that the Rams are on the verge of a breakthrough.

"They're on the cusp of getting better. How long it takes to get it done, I don't know," he said. "But they're putting a package together nicely."

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After resting his sore hip for a couple of days, running backSteven Jackson returned to practice today, albeit on a somewhat limited basis. "He never really opened it up," Spagnuolo said. "So he protected it a little bit."

Jackson plans to play in Saturday night's preseason game against Tennessee. He said he hopes to be in as long as the first unit is on the field, which could be most of the first half.

Also, wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker, who has been nursing a sore groin, got more work today and is probable for the game, Spagnuolo said.

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Guard Jacob Bell (knee) sat out today. He had returned to practice Wednesday. Also out were defensive tackleJermelle Cudjo (back) and safety Mikail Baker (knee).

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Although meetings were planned for Thursday afternoon, Spagnuolo gave the players the rest of the day off.

There is no practice Friday. The next open practice will be Monday, at a time to be determined.