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  1. #1
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    Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    reducing injuries
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Mar. 25 2008

    The Rams open their offseason conditioning program today with an emphasis on
    innovation and injury prevention. Besides the usual weight training, running
    and conditioning work, the Rams are bringing in several guest instructors:

    A "core" specialist in weight training. "This is a person who works on the
    core strength of the body ... just working on the center part of your body,"
    coach Scott Linehan said.

    A speed trainer. "We're going to teach everybody how to try to get faster,"
    Linehan said. "Especially our 'skill' players."

    A specialist in hand-to-hand combat. "Everybody other than maybe the
    quarterbacks has to have some kind of hand-to-hand combat skill," Linehan said.

    For example, hand placement is essential to offensive linemen in fending off
    pass rushers. Wide receivers need to use their hands effectively to beat press
    coverage by defensive backs.

    "So we're trying to be much more innovative," Linehan said. "We wanted
    something different. Really create the interest that gets players excited and
    gets them here."

    That's "here" as in present at Rams Park, working out during the spring. Per
    league rule, the NFL offseason conditioning program can last a maximum of 14
    weeks, with four sessions allowed per week. Although players are expected to
    attend, the program technically is voluntary.

    Most of the 60 Rams players under contract are expected to participate this
    week. A few players have been excused this week or next, Linehan said. Some are
    taking family trips because their children are on spring break from school.

    A usual day's workout consists of an hour or more in the weight room and about
    an hour of field work spent running, conditioning, and doing agility drills.

    "This year, I'd like to kind of create a competitive situation each week with
    these guys," Linehan said. "You know, having groups competing against groups."

    There's more behind this year's innovative twists than simply making the
    offseason program more interesting. After a 2007 season that was wrecked by
    injuries, the Rams have looked long and hard at ways to prevent them.

    Some time this spring, the Rams plan to install a sand pit at the edge of their
    outdoor practice fields.

    "One of the concerns is the high ankle sprains," Linehan said. "So we're going
    to start doing some (sand drills)."

    The sand pit "might be about 40 yards long," Linehan said. "You can sprint in
    it, but you can also get groups in it and do some stationary stuff and work on
    (strengthening) the ankles."

    Rams center Brett Romberg, who sat out seven games last season because of
    injuries to both ankles, actually suggested installing a sand pit to the Rams'
    strength and conditioning staff.

    Romberg attended the University of Miami and has been using a 60-yard sand pit
    at the Hurricanes' complex this offseason along with former college teammate
    Jeremy Shockey, the tight end for the New York Giants.

    "After we work out, we're in the sand box," Romberg said. "We're doing jumps
    and sprints and explosive stuff. At Miami, I couldn't remember a high ankle
    sprain. So I do feel that the sand pit strengthens the ankles. Especially when
    you go in there with bare feet. ... It makes a difference. I highly recommend
    the sand pit."

    After left tackle Orlando Pace and tight end Aaron Walker suffered
    season-ending shoulder injuries in 2007, the Rams have designed some
    supplemental lifting to help prevent labrum tears and rotator cuff injuries.

    But no matter how much preventative work is done in the spring, Linehan also
    realizes that there's an element of luck and unpredictability to injuries.

    "The scary thing about that is a couple of guys that hurt their shoulders
    probably did the most shoulder work (in the weight room)," Linehan said. "So I
    don't know. Maybe we should institute the Jon Gruden rule and just tell
    everybody they can't get hurt. I like that."

    jthomas@post-dispatch.com | 314-340-8197


  2. #2
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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    Alright....the boys are going to get to play in the sand box.

  3. #3
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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    hey, if it takes a voodoo woman to come out there, do her dance and throw some chicken bones around to help the Rams avoid injuries I'm all for it.

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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    It is nice to see some innovation in our S&C regime (if a little belated). "Hand-to-Hand" combat? Oh hell yes! Injury prevention is obviously high on our list of off-season training priorities. I am suprised (not really) that the NFL hasn't done a comprehensive review of common injuries, the causes, and possible preventive measures. Injuries must cost...alot of millions of dollars each year. Train hard, and train smart. GoRams!

  5. #5
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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    I'm actually very very pleased by this news. First, they're taking suggestions by young players seriously, and then acting on them. I'm sure if you asked other "U" guys around the league, they would have praise for the sandbox too. This sounds like a very cheap, but effective way at helping the health of the team.

    Even better is that they're actually thinking outside of the box, here. I've never heard of a team bringing in a combat expert before, but you know, it makes a whole ton of sense! I think it could definitely be expanded to a whole hand-based martial art class. The Rams could get all Zen on the other teams. Hopefully the speed trainer will help Holt get some of his lost speed back, and help some of the slower guys on the team get faster too. Can anyone else think of an otherwise unorthodox training method?

    Linny just made me excited. I'm scared!

  6. #6
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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    While I have never heard of a team doing it, I seem to remember someone on the 1999 RAMS that was being trained in hand to hand for just this reason. I am pretty sure he was on DEF. He swore by it.
    This space for rent...

  7. #7
    keith m. klink Guest

    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    YES, AQUA therapy ! this is a great workout , it helps with your strenght , balance , correct technic's on running motion and is ultra low impact .

    Things like this will help build and use new muscle groups that the RAMS have never used before . the core training and the martial arts and sand training , these guy's are going to come out of camp as monsters and their confidence level's will be very high .

    when LINEHAN came to the RAMS he was saying and doing almost everything right which gave us all some hope and a belief that things will be great again . i'm hoping that last year was a big fart and we are going to get a DO-OVER this year . this could be a great thing , and this is thinking out of the box as previously stated , that might really help this team get its MOJO back .

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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    This is great news. Linehan really wants this job.

    I think we're in for a MUCH better season than last. This has been a good offseason so far. If Chris Long is selected in the draft with Manningham in the second round...I think we're in for it this year.

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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    I've never heard of a team bringing in a combat expert before, but you know, it makes a whole ton of sense! I think it could definitely be expanded to a whole hand-based martial art class.
    Well .. given this new trend .. if we can't outscore the opposition, we can at least beat the snot out of em while we're losing ..

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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    I'm very pleased by this news. It's a step in the right direction, as for what it might really amount to only time will tell. But with the new innovative attitude & some luck the team can stay some what injury free.
    The core strengthening will do wonders for the boys in the trenches if they don;t already have this in there workouts. Nice to see the hand to hand also, maybe they will be grappling soon too.

  11. #11
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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG-BLUE View Post
    I'm very pleased by this news. It's a step in the right direction, as for what it might really amount to only time will tell. But with the new innovative attitude & some luck the team can stay some what injury free.
    The core strengthening will do wonders for the boys in the trenches if they don;t already have this in there workouts. Nice to see the hand to hand also, maybe they will be grappling soon too.
    Actually, grappling classes should be mandatory for all of our linebackers and defensive backs! Lord knows we need some better tacklers out there!

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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    A specialist in hand-to-hand combat. "Everybody other than maybe the
    quarterbacks has to have some kind of hand-to-hand combat skill," Linehan said.
    I'm really looking forward to seeing the Rams linemen execute Pai Mai's 5-Palm eploding heart technique. (Nick, tx, there's a movie reference for you.)
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey View Post
    While I have never heard of a team doing it, I seem to remember someone on the 1999 RAMS that was being trained in hand to hand for just this reason. I am pretty sure he was on DEF. He swore by it.
    From what I remember it was D'Marco Farr who was training in hand to hand combat.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


  14. #14
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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    Well this is turning into a great offseason as ive said before.

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    Re: Workouts Focus on Reducing Injuries ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    A specialist in hand-to-hand combat. "Everybody other than maybe the
    quarterbacks has to have some kind of hand-to-hand combat skill," Linehan said.
    Actually, if we don't get healthier and better on the OL the QB's might benefit by some kind of hand-to-hand combat skills.

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