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  • McGrorty

    McGrorty begins training camp with Rams


    By JENNIFER SQUIRES
    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

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  • 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

    BY STEVE KORTE

    News-Democrat


    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, 02:08 PM
  • 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
    lap.

    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, 04:14 AM
  • 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, 06:31 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Camp: Cheese please
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    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
    run.

    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, 05:27 AM
  • The Special One
    Rams Set for Training Camp in Concordia
    by The Special One
    Rams Set for Concordia
    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer


    The search for a new training camp home is officially over, as the Rams and Concordia University made their summer partnership official Tuesday afternoon.

    Located in Mequon, Wis., Concordia University is approximately 15 miles north of downtown Milwaukee and will provide the Rams a new home after spending the past three summers at home in St. Louis.

    “We were looking for a facility, away from home, where we could train for the upcoming season,” coach Scott Linehan said. “Concordia University Wisconsin provided great fields and facilities that are critical to making an off-site training camp work.”

    Concordia was the frontrunner to be the new summer home for the Rams a few weeks ago after the team sent a delegation of coaches and staff members to investigate.

    The Rams looked at a potential return to Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., as well as the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
    Ultimately, Concordia’s located near the shores of Lake Michigan combined with some impressive new facilities made it the clear cut choice.
    Rams Vice President of Operations John Oswald said Concordia provided the perfect mix of what the team was looking for in a training camp destination.

    “Head coach Scott Linehan and his staff were looking for a site that offered ideal living environment, practice conditions, and adequate facilities, plus a venue that was away from our home base,” Oswald said. “Concordia University Wisconsin fulfilled all of those objectives.”
    For fans looking to get away this summer, Concordia is about 395 miles from the Rams’ training facility in Earth City, Mo. Concordia is a Lutheran school which is home to about 6,000 students.

    And while the Rams are thrilled to have their summer destination finally set, Concordia is just as pleased to have the Rams coming to Mequon.
    “We are very pleased that the St. Louis Rams have selected Concordia University Wisconsin for this summer’s preseason training camp,” Concordia President Dr. Patrick T. Ferry said. “Our state-of-the-art athletic training facility in Mequon is the ideal environment to provide a successful camp for the players and coaches. We are looking forward to having them on our campus and working closely with their coaching staff to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.”

    The Rams will report to Camp Concordia on July 24 with the first practice the next day. Camp will wrap up on Aug. 14.
    -05-21-2008, 10:49 AM
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