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  • Thursday Notebook

    Thursday Notebook
    Friday, July 30, 2004


    By NICK WAGONER
    Staff Writer


    Training camp always begins a few days before the real training begins. The Rams moved into Thompson Hall on Tuesday afternoon and had their first pair of practices Wednesday, but it wasn’t official until they strapped on the pads Thursday morning.

    When the hitting begins, the intensity picks up and the real grind of camp starts. St. Louis reverted to the shells (shoulder pads and helmets) in the afternoon, but will go full pads for the only practice Friday morning.

    Coach Mike Martz said the addition of pads helps, but it is too early to judge his players based on one practice in them.

    “The whole idea is watching it is we are still so far away from being in football shape,” Martz said. “It’s a collision game. We want to find out from some of these guys who is committed, who isn’t and who is willing, who isn’t.”

    There were no noticeable skirmishes in any of the first four practices, but the speed and hitting levels went up with the pads. St. Louis will practice once Friday in the morning, giving the players an opportunity to rest in the afternoon. Martz said the idea of taking every third afternoon off came from studying the training regimen of Olympic athletes.

    The Rams will do some weightlifting and special teams classroom work in the afternoon.

    “We usually do fieldwork with the special teams, but we can do most of that in the classroom,” Martz said. “It allows these guys, every third day in the afternoon to get off their feet and recover physically a little bit.”


    INJURY UPDATES:


    The first two days of camp have been relatively injury-free. All of the injuries suffered have been minor.

    Tackle Kyle Turley took it easy in both practices because of some muscle deterioration in his leg.

    Defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, coming off surgery on his quadriceps, has missed some time as well. Holsey is attempting to regain strength in his leg and most likely won’t play at full speed until that happens.

    Offensive guard Peter Heyer, who the Rams signed as part of the NFL International Development Squad program, missed practice Wednesday. Heyer went through some tests Wednesday night, but Martz said the trainers ruled out any major problems.

    Cornerback Robert Cromartie left Thursday’s afternoon practice with what Martz described as a minor hamstring pull.


    EARLY IMPRESSIONS:


    Rookie defensive end Anthony Hargrove has been one of the early standouts in camp. His burst off the ball and strength drew praise from line coach Bill Kollar numerous times in both practices.

    Martz even called Hargrove out to participate first in a drill in the morning session. After the late practice, Martz said Hargrove has talent, but downplayed his early showing.

    “We have a long time before we start going through evaluations on any rookies,” Martz said. “I have to check myself because we all want to evaluate after every practice. Coaches are notorious for that.”

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Thursday Notebook

    The team looked good Thursday and Friday both. Obviously a lot more hitting on Friday which really got me ready for the season. Here's a few things I noticed.

    1. Kevin Garrett looked good. Great wheels and an eye for the ball.
    2. A darkhorse CB? Dwight Anderson. He held his own alongside Fisher, Butler, etal.
    3. D-lew has put on more weight than any other lineman. He can't be more than 5-10 pounds lighter than Pickett and Kennedy.
    4. Speaking of Kennedy, he looked to be getting a better push on the line.
    5. Hargrove is quick. If he can pick up on his technique we will see him soon.
    6. Curtis' has better hands than some give him credit for. He will be our 3rd this year.
    7. A darkhorse WR? Brian Sump. This guy is the size of a chihuahua, but has the quickest first step in camp.

    While at camp, I managed 21 autographs for my son (yea, right my son). Ok, really they are for my son, but since he's only 6 months I had to get them for him. And let me say, most of the Rams were pretty nice to the 100 or so fans that waited after practice for signatures. Some really stood out. Pisa T., Dane Looker, Andy King, Kevin Garrett, & Grant Williams really impressed me. These guys patiently waited to sign every single autograph that was wanted from them. And did so with a smile. Pisa & Dane even stopped to play with my kid for a couple of minutes. Andy King actually thanked each fan for coming out to practice. But they weren't the only ones that were actively signing. Bulger, McCollum, Chandler, Holsey, Pickett, Bruce, D-Lew, Kennedy, Turley, Arch, Coady, Jensen, Morgan, Little & Polley all signed for anybody that wanted one.

    For as great as these guys are on the field, they are equally impressive off the field. My son and I thank them.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Thursday Notebook

      Originally posted by HUbison
      The team looked good Thursday and Friday both. Obviously a lot more hitting on Friday which really got me ready for the season. Here's a few things I noticed.

      1. Kevin Garrett looked good. Great wheels and an eye for the ball.
      2. A darkhorse CB? Dwight Anderson. He held his own alongside Fisher, Butler, etal.
      3. D-lew has put on more weight than any other lineman. He can't be more than 5-10 pounds lighter than Pickett and Kennedy.
      4. Speaking of Kennedy, he looked to be getting a better push on the line.
      5. Hargrove is quick. If he can pick up on his technique we will see him soon.
      6. Curtis' has better hands than some give him credit for. He will be our 3rd this year.
      7. A darkhorse WR? Brian Sump. This guy is the size of a chihuahua, but has the quickest first step in camp.

      While at camp, I managed 21 autographs for my son (yea, right my son). Ok, really they are for my son, but since he's only 6 months I had to get them for him. And let me say, most of the Rams were pretty nice to the 100 or so fans that waited after practice for signatures. Some really stood out. Pisa T., Dane Looker, Andy King, Kevin Garrett, & Grant Williams really impressed me. These guys patiently waited to sign every single autograph that was wanted from them. And did so with a smile. Pisa & Dane even stopped to play with my kid for a couple of minutes. Andy King actually thanked each fan for coming out to practice. But they weren't the only ones that were actively signing. Bulger, McCollum, Chandler, Holsey, Pickett, Bruce, D-Lew, Kennedy, Turley, Arch, Coady, Jensen, Morgan, Little & Polley all signed for anybody that wanted one.

      For as great as these guys are on the field, they are equally impressive off the field. My son and I thank them.
      Good job, keep them coming

      __________________________________________________________
      Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Thursday Notebook

        Originally posted by RamDez
        Good job, keep them coming
        That reminds me. I forgot to mention a couple of other things.

        1. If Bruce or Aeneas have "lost a step", somebody forgot to tell them. They are busting butt like they're fighting for a roster spot.
        2. The guy that the entire defense looks to for answers is Tyoka Jackson. Whenever there is a question anywhere on the defense, players and coaches alike keep turning to Tyoka. He has turned out to be quite to mentor to the younger guys.
        3. Was anyone aware that the other players refer to Marc Bulger as "Booger"? I'm not kidding. I thought I kept hearing players yell out Booker. I didn't know of a Booker on the roster. Then I finally understood Booger, but had no idea who they were yelling at. Then after practice, I heard a kid ask Chandler how he felt about mentoring the "young guys" at QB. Chandler said "there's not much mentoring to do, Booger has this offense down". So our starting QB is...Marc "Booger" Bulger. :redface:
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Thursday Notebook

          Tyoka Jackson is a mainstay on the defense. He may not start, but he's not forgotten.

          Kevin Garrett looking solid huh? Hmmmm, has someone picked him for a sleeper yet?

          LOL

          Comment

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          • Nick
            Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD
            by Nick
            Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session
            By Bill Coats
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            Tuesday, Jun. 07 2005

            Rams coach Mike Martz might have surprised himself more than anyone when he
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            the team's time on Rams Park fields for the three-day minicamp, something any
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            But Martz was so happy with the progress he'd seen in the first three workouts,
            he felt comfortable giving his troops the afternoon off after a tough 2
            1/2-hour morning session in 90-degree heat. "To take a practice and not use it
            indicates you're pretty pleased," he explained.

            Martz's degree of satisfaction remained high after a two-hour practice wrapped
            up minicamp Sunday afternoon. "We're way ahead of the curve from where we've
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            most of the time (for offseason workouts), which is highly unusual for any
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            "I can honestly say that I am pleased with the progress everywhere, which is
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            "Absolutely. You can see it out there," third-year linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa
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            in these practices than we've had since all the time I've been here in
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          • RamWraith
            The Journey Begins: Rams camp opens
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch
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            MACOMB, Ill. - Armed with air mattresses, extra pillows and assorted creature comforts, Rams players arrived for training camp Tuesday with a mixture of dread and delight.

            Dread for the regimen of two-a-days that begins anew this morning on the practice fields of Western Illinois University. Delight in the renewal of friendships and the anticipation of the season that lies ahead.

            "Camp is camp," linebacker Robert Thomas said. "It's the toughest thing you go through during the football season. You'd rather be at home, rather be in your own bed. But it brings us together as a team, through something that you've got to fight through together."

            "It's time," said Arlen Harris, who will try to make the switch from tailback to fullback this season. "Sitting at home, you can only work out so much. So I was ready to go."

            Harris spent part of his summer in the tropics of Aruba. Thomas went boating on Lake of the Ozarks. Defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson hopped into the family truck with his wife, daughter and niece, and headed for Christmas, Indiana.

            "It's an area where it's Christmas every day of the year," Jackson said. "We stayed at the Santa Claus Inn."

            But as of Tuesday night, the residence for 80 Rams players is the Thompson Hall dormitory, known for its frigid air conditioning and lumpy mattresses.

            "Probably the worst thing about staying up here is the beds that we have to sleep in," long snapper Chris Massey said. "Too short, too narrow, not too comfy."

            Massey made the drive from St. Louis with 67.

            "They closed some exit I usually take on 67, so that made us go nine extra miles," Gordon said. "We took out that map. But we figured it out."

            Safety Adam Archuleta made a fashion statement as he lugged his things into Thompson - he was sporting a blue and white headband.

            "I just felt like rockin' a headband today," Archuleta said, somewhat defensively.

            The Rams open practice this morning with all seven draft picks signed and on the field. Only franchise player Orlando Pace, in the midst of another contract stalemate, will be missing in action.

            "We've got an Orlando watch out - out there on the highway," coach Mike Martz joked. "When 'Big O' gets here, we'll love him to death. I understand what he's going through. I really do. It's hard for coaches. But it is what it is. We're not going to change it. Why worry about it?"

            Center Dave Wohlabaugh, still feeling the effects of offseason hip surgery, will be the player most limited in practice.

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            -07-28-2004, 06:34 AM
          • RamWraith
            Rams Wrap Up Practice Week
            by RamWraith
            Thursday, August 12, 2004

            By Nick Wagoner
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            No, Rams’ coach Mike Martz didn’t have his days mixed up. With their first preseason game only a day away, the Rams wrapped up a relatively light week of practice the day following what was probably their toughest workout.

            Coach Mike Martz said Tuesday’s practice was the equivalent of a regular season Wednesday practice. The practice lasted nearly three hours, with St. Louis working hard every step of the way.

            “We’re trying to teach our guys about a regular, in-season Wednesday practice and these are always chaotic because guys don’t understand the scout teams, the changing of getting in and out of the huddle, the speed, the focus, all that kind of stuff,” Martz said. “We’re trying to get them ready for Thursday night. In these Wednesday practices before the first game, (we) attempt to teach all these new guys about game preparation and bring them along the best we can, so it was okay.”

            Wednesday’s actual practice was slightly more reserved, lasting a little more than two hours. Now, the Rams turn their attention to Thursday night’s preseason game against Chicago. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome.

            The Rams will not practice Friday and Saturday and returns to Macomb for practice to begin Sunday. There will be a week of practice next week before camp breaks after a morning workout Friday.

            Martz said his team is ready to get in some real game action after a tough pair of weeks of training camp.
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            PT FOR THE ‘ONES’: Martz won’t predict how long his starters or any of his team will play, but did say he expects starting quarterback Marc Bulger to play.

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            TURLEY TALES: The Rams medical staff heard from offensive tackle Kyle Turley’s agent earlier this week, but there were no updates on Turley’s condition.

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            -08-12-2004, 11:52 AM
          • RamWraith
            Friday Notebook
            by RamWraith
            Friday, July 30, 2004
            By NICK WAGONER
            Staff Writer

            With the third day of practice came an additional influx of intensity and another chance for some of the young players to impress the coaches.

            The Rams practiced in the morning, getting the afternoon off. St. Louis will use the free afternoon to workout and go to meetings. Every third day, the Rams will have one practice leading up to the break of training camp Aug. 20.

            Perhaps the extra rest awaiting the Rams on Friday afternoon signaled to coach Mike Martz an opportunity to kick up the hitting. St. Louis went “live” about halfway through practice, opening up the tackling for the younger players.

            Martz said the hitting is a big part of football, so it was only natural for the team to step it up.

            “That’s what this game is about, contact,” Martz said. “It’s time to get things rolling pretty good. It’s an attitude.”

            None of the first unit offense participated in the live 11-on-11 drills, but it did provide a few fireworks for the fans.

            Rookie safety Jason Shivers had one of the hits of the day, nailing Adam Matthews in the backfield. Shivers said the chance to do some real hitting was one he had been waiting for.

            “To get in and mix it up for me, my first big hit as part of the Rams’ organization felt good,” Shivers said. “I’m a safety, that’s what I am supposed to do. I’m supposed to bring the wood, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

            Shivers wasn’t the only safety to deal a big blow Friday morning. Justin Lucas dropped rookie tight end Erik Jensen on a pass play over the middle. The hitting drills were probably the liveliest part of camp so far; drawing many oohs and aahs from the crowd.

            INJURY CHECK- Offensive lineman Ryan Schau left practice early with what Martz described as cramping in his back. Martz said the injury was minor and doesn’t expect Schau to miss much time.

            BULGER BETTER? - Quarterback Marc Bulger wowed the crowd in the morning practice, throwing accurate deep passes and zipping the ball through traffic to receivers in stride.

            Martz said Bulger is noticeably better than last season, a year in which Bulger went to the Pro Bowl and won MVP honors.

            “I do know that he is markedly improved,” Martz said. “There is no hesitation in anything he does
            -07-30-2004, 03:30 PM
          • RamWraith
            Easy does it, Martz says, for practice at WU
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            Friday, Aug. 05 2005

            It was billed as a scrimmage when the Rams' training camp schedule was
            announced in mid-June. But that's not what will take place at 7 tonight when
            the Rams gather at Francis Field on the campus of Washington University.

            "It's not a scrimmage," coach Mike Martz said Friday. "There's no tackling.
            We're not charging any money for it. It's just practice. It's kind of like what
            happened out here today."

            Well, not exactly, but for fans who attended night practices at Hanson Field in
            Macomb when the Rams trained at Western Illinois University, it will look very
            familiar.

            During 11-on-11 "team" periods, the Rams will have coaches in the press box,
            headsets working and players standing on the sideline when not participating in
            a play. Substitutions will come on and off the field as they would in a game.

            "It's kind of like a (game day) dress rehearsal," Martz said.

            With limited contact.

            "It's not a competitive thing at all," Martz said. "We're going to do 48 plays
            and the kicking game and some seven-on-seven (drills)."

            With the Rams' preseason opener against Chicago just six days away, Martz also
            wanted to work at night; hence, the decision to work at Francis Field. (The
            Rams Park outdoor practice fields aren't lighted.)

            Admission is free at Francis Field, which seats 3,300. Parking is free, with
            spectators encouraged to park on the east end of campus near Skinker Boulevard.
            No video cameras, coolers or alcohol will be allowed. Concession stands will be
            open in the stadium.

            Spectators are asked to bring new school supplies to benefit the St. Louis
            Public Schools; they will be collected as fans enter the stadium.

            Normally, this is the time at training camp when the Rams scrimmage against
            another team. In six of the Rams' first 10 years in St. Louis, they have
            practiced and scrimmaged against another team:

            Last year, it was the Chicago Bears in Macomb.

            In 2000, the Tennessee Titans worked against the Rams in Macomb.

            In 1997, 1998, and 1999, the Rams worked with the Indianapolis Colts
            on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.

            In 1996, the Rams worked against the Bears in Platteville, Wis.

            As he enters his sixth year as head coach, Martz says he no longer is
            interested in joint practices and scrimmages with another club.

            "I just don't want to do it anymore," Martz said. "It's just not worth it. It's
            a fight to keep your guys healthy, and then you throw them in that environment; ...
            -08-06-2005, 05:15 AM
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