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  • McGrorty

    McGrorty begins training camp with Rams

    for the Mail Tribune

    Former Southern Oregon University running back Dusty McGrorty began training camp with the St. Louis Rams Wednesday at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

    McGrorty has spent the majority of the summer working out with the NFL team, including lasting through a rookie conditioning camp where one-third of the 30 players were cut. Three or four rounds of cuts are set to occur before the season gets under way.

    "My goals going in — I'm just going to go in there and do the best I can," McGrorty said prior to the first practice. "If it works out, it works out. If not, I have no regrets."

    The three-time All-American set 10 school records and eight regional records at SOU before being drafted by the Rams this spring.

    Over the summer, he has switched from tailback to fullback in order to find a niche with the Rams.

    Going into training camp, McGrorty is third on the depth chart at fullback.

    "I feel pretty confident," McGrorty said. "As long as I know my plays and I don't screw up, I feel pretty confident."

    McGrorty has been injury-free all summer

    "I feel in pretty good shape and everything," he said. "I just don't want to let anyone from home down."

    This week, SOU head football coach Jeff Olson will make the trip back east to watch the former Warrenton High prep star at camp.

    "Coach flying out, that means a lot to me," McGrorty said. "I've been looking forward to that."

    Camp runs through Aug. 20 and will be highlighted by a three-day practice session with the Chicago Bears.

    The Rams' first preseason game will be against the Bears on Aug. 17 in St. Louis.

    Regular-season play begins Sept. 12 against Arizona.

    Two other former Raiders are also in NFL training camps this week.

    Wide receiver Andrae Thurman, who was initially picked up by the New York Giants, was released earlier in the summer. He’s now working out with the Houston Texans. Steve Baker, who led the NAIA punting average in 2003, is with the Oakland Raiders.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

Related Topics


  • RamDez
    Officials in Macomb lament loss of Rams, wish team well
    by RamDez
    Officials in Macomb lament loss of Rams, wish team well
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Apr. 08 2005

    There has been speculation nearly every year that the Rams would not return to
    Macomb. Only this time, it really happened.

    The news that Rams will hold training camp in St. Louis this summer instead of
    Western Illinois University was met with surprise and disappointment by
    university and town officials. A glimmer of hope remained that the Rams might
    return someday.

    "The door will be left wide open, believe me," said Western Illinois vice
    president Larry Mortier.

    "We wish them well," said Kim Pierce of the Macomb Area Economic Development
    Corp. "We're going to miss them. But I hope we see them back in '06. If had to
    bet, I would bet they'd be back here."

    According to Pierce, nearly 200,000 visitors have come to watch the Rams in
    Macomb since 1996. And that meant extra business for area gas stations, shops,
    hotels and restaurants during what normally is a slow time of year.

    "It's normally a roll-up-the-sidewalk time before the fall semester started,"
    said Jim Gardner, owner of the Red Ox restaurant. "With the Rams being here,
    that was manna from heaven."

    But for Rams fans, coaches and players, and journalists covering the team, the
    days of the "ugly steak" - the signature menu item at the Red Ox - are over.
    Quarterback Kurt Warner once picked up a $1,100 dinner tab there after taking
    out the entire Rams offensive line. He then posed for pictures with the sons of
    one of the waitresses - both wearing Warner No. 13 jerseys - sitting on his

    Those kinds of experiences and interaction were priceless for Macomb residents.

    "It's big-time for a small town like this to see pro athletes, and coaches, and
    newspaper people and TV people and such," Gardner said Friday. "You folks down
    there get that all the time."

    Regular visitors to training camp became familiar with the homemade pies at the
    Student Prince, the Mexican food at Diamond Dave's, or the karaoke nights at
    watering holes such as the Parkside.

    Spurred by the arrival of the Chicago Bears for three days for joint practices
    and scrimmaging, Pierce estimated that Rams camp brought in $1 million to the
    local economy last summer. Beyond that, having an NFL team train in a town of
    about 18,000 helped put Macomb on the map.

    "It's phenomenal the national recognition that we got, and just the friendships
    that we made over the years," Pierce said.

    In the final analysis, it was nothing that Macomb did wrong that caused the
    Rams to stay home...
    -04-09-2005, 03:14 AM
  • RamDez
    Rams break tradition and stay close to home for training camp
    by RamDez
    Rams break tradition and stay close to home for training camp

    Morning practice free for public



    ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Rams are making camp in their own backyard this year.

    The Rams' 2005 training camp officially opens with the first practice at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Rams Park in Earth City, Mo.

    Morning practices will be open to the public free of charge. Fans can park their cars for free in the vacant field next to Rams Park.

    Seating will available on the hill that borders the west end of the practice fields, and on bleachers being installed in the south end zones of the practice fields.

    There will be autograph sessions after practice, though those sessions could be more limited than they were in Macomb because the players will be exiting to the locker room opposite the fan seating.

    Refreshments will be available, and small coolers are allowed.

    An information desk will set up at the gate marking the entrance to Rams Park.

    John Oswald, the Rams' vice president for operations, said the team doesn't know whether to expect 50,500 or 5,000 fans at the practices.

    "It's hard to put a number on it because we've never had training camp at this facility before," Oswald said. "People ask me, 'How many people can sit on the berm?' I don't know. Anybody's guess is as good as mine."

    Oswald said a break in the heat predicted for later in the week could boost attendance for the practices.

    "Hopefully, we'll be surprised," Oswald said.

    The Rams are holding training camp in St. Louis for the first time since 1995, their inaugural season in the Gateway City. That year, they held camp at Maryville University.

    The Rams began a nine-year run of holding training camp at Western Illinois University in Macomb in 1996.

    Staying home for training camp has become a trend in the NFL as teams look for more a cost-effective and efficient means of holding camp.

    There are 13 NFL teams that will hold training camp at their normal practice facilities this year. That group includes the two-time defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

    Moving their operations to Macomb was a major ordeal for the Rams, who had to ship five tractor trailers loaded with equipment back and forth.

    "You don't have to move equipment, weights, video equipment and trainers," Oswald said. "They're right where they are the other 11 months of the year."

    Oswald said the main drawback with holding training camp at home is food service.

    Players will eat breakfast, dinner and have a nighttime snack at the team's hotel, the Four Point Sheraton, located about half a mile from Rams Park.

    The basketball court at Rams Park...
    -07-27-2005, 01:08 PM
  • RamWraith
    Shipping Out
    by RamWraith
    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    By Brett Grassmuck
    Staff Writer

    It’s that time of year again, the time when each NFL team comes together, throws on their pads and starts preparing for the upcoming NFL season.

    Training camp is upon us, and this year’s Rams camp will leave the comforts of home for the Lake Michigan-side campus of Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., just north of Milwaukee.

    But how exactly do you move an NFL franchise?

    The short answer is with multiple 18-wheelers and a couple weeks worth of work, and that’s where the A-Mrazek moving company and president David Sabada step in.

    “Being involved in it is really exciting,” Sabada said. “We know that our role is important. We know that we’re responsible to make sure that everything gets (to Mequon) on time so that everyone can concentrate on the job at hand, and that job is preparing for the season.”

    Moving a franchise is nothing new for Sabada and A-Mrazek, as they were in charge of the Rams moves to and from Macomb, Ill., the previous away-from-home site of Rams training camp. A-Mrazek is also in charge of getting the St. Louis Cardinals to spring training each year.

    “It’s unique, but I wouldn’t say it’s new for us,” Sabada said.

    When an NFL team moves, it basically has to take everything but the brick and mortar of its training facility with it. Video equipment, training equipment, field equipment and weight and locker room equipment all has to be packed and transported from the facility to the training camp site.

    Making a move on that large of a scale essentially begins months before even a playbook is packaged up when each department within the Russell Training Center lays out a plan detailing exactly what needs to be moved, where it is to go when it gets there and when it needs to be there.

    Once the plan is in place, it’s up to A-Mrazek to make it happen. To move all the Rams equipment from St. Louis to Mequon, it takes six 18-wheelers, weighing between 25,000 and 27,000 pounds apiece, totaling more than 150,000 pounds of equipment. Sabada said the locker room equipment alone weighs nearly 27,000 pounds.

    “We send up six truck loads, and as you can imagine, that’s a huge project,” Sabada said. “We want to have it there safely, we want to have it intact and we want to have it there on time.”

    Three of the trucks, carrying mostly video, training and weight room equipment, make the trek to Mequon a week before camp starts. The last three, full of locker room, field equipment and the coaches playbooks and computers, head up just a couple days before camp.

    Once the equipment gets to camp, A-Mrazek goes to work putting each piece where it belongs.

    “As you can imagine, this is like putting together a giant puzzle,” Sabada said. “So, we organize it by what building...
    -07-23-2008, 04:08 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams look at Concordia for camp
    by RamWraith
    Cherome Owens
    Issue date: 5/7/08

    The St. Louis Rams have limited its potential summer training sites to UW-Whitewater and Concordia University in Mequon. However, campus Athletic Director Paul Plinske said the Rams are leaning toward Concordia.

    "I have not heard a word from them in about three weeks," Plinske said. "Everything right now is just speculation on whether or not we're still in the mix as a potential site for their preseason training camp or as a backup plan to their efforts in negotiating with Concordia University."

    Concordia's Athletic Director Rob Barnhill said the Rams were impressed with their training areas during the team's visit. Similar to UW-Whitewater, Concordia has made several upgrades to its campus facilities in previous years to increase the Rams' interest.

    "We have a lot of really neat amenities here that would make us an attractive training facility," Barnhill said. "We have a brand new air-conditioned resident hall that sits right on Lake Michigan. We have two synthetic turf fields, as well as grass practice space."

    Allen Prochnow, vice president of finance and administration at Concordia, said the Rams had positive remarks for every campus the team visited and is clueless as to which campus they will choose.

    "I'm just not sure which direction they're going to go," Prochnow said. "Anyone of us can probably do the job for them."

    The Rams have yet to make any announcements to which destination they will choose for their summer training but will inform both campuses before the week is over.

    "We haven't made our decision yet," St. Louis Rams Spokesman Rick Smith said. "We hope to make it in the next few days.
    -05-08-2008, 05:31 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Camp: Cheese please
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Wednesday, Jul. 23 2008

    In 1995, it was hard to go anywhere in Wisconsin in late July and August
    without rubbing elbows with an NFL training camp.

    The Chicago Bears called Platteville home. New Orleans trained in La Crosse.
    The Kansas City Chiefs were based in River Falls. The expansion Jacksonville
    Jaguars camped in Stevens Point. And oh yeah, there was this team called the
    Packers who trained in Green Bay while being quartered in De Pere.

    Throw in the Minnesota Vikings, who trained close enough to Wisconsin (at
    Minnesota State-Mankato) to hold joint practice sessions with the Chiefs, and
    the phenomenon known as the Cheese League was flourishing with six teams.

    The weather was cooler. Hard-core NFL fans could see several teams train in a
    few days' time. And the opportunities for joint practices between teams were
    numerous. Government and tourism officials in America's Dairyland envisioned a
    day when perhaps nine or 10 teams would train there, making the Cheese League
    the gridiron equivalent of baseball's Grapefruit League (Florida) or Cactus
    League (Arizona).

    But the Jaguars trained at Stevens Point for only that summer of '95. The
    Saints ended a 12-year stay in La Crosse following their '99 camp. And the
    Bears pulled out of Platteville following their 2001 camp, ending an 18-year

    All chose to train either at their year-round home facility, or much closer to
    home. The exodus from Wisconsin saw parallels across the league as team after
    team decided to train closer to home.

    Last year at this time, 15 of the 32 NFL teams held training camp at their
    year-round facility. Fifteen trained somewhere within the geographic region of
    their fan base. Buffalo, for example, trains in Rochester, N.Y. The Saints
    train in Jackson, Miss.

    Only the Chiefs, who have been in River Falls since 1991, and the Cowboys, who
    train in Oxnard, Calif., held camp at so-called remote locales, far removed
    from their natural fan base. But now, as the 2008 season is upon us, the Rams
    have reversed the league-wide trend. After training at their year-round
    facility in Earth City the past three summers, the club said "Cheese" (League).

    The team reports to Concordia University Wisconsin on Thursday in Mequon, a
    suburb of Milwaukee.

    "I guess the general theme for the team is we want to do things different than
    we did a year ago," coach Scott Linehan said. "It doesn't mean that (training
    at home) was the reason for the way things went a year ago. But we definitely
    want to approach things in a different way."

    After a 3-13 finish that marked the team's worst...
    -07-23-2008, 04:27 AM