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  • Friday Notebook

    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

  • #2
    Re: Friday Notebook

    PLease read all the fine print!!!

    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Friday Notebook

      Sweet!! Hope that keeps up. I can only assume it will as he continues to develop more rhythm with players and get more comfortable with the first team. But that's great news!

      And I would have loved to see Shivers's first hit. I'm really excited about this guy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Friday Notebook

        Originally posted by NickSeiler
        And I would have loved to see Shivers's first hit. I'm really excited about this guy.
        It was a thing of beauty. The D-linemen (Kennedy & D-lew, IIRC) sucked up the interior O-line and Shivers was in the box and filled the hole. Nailed Matthews 2 yards in the backfield, looked like Matthews was waiting for one hole to open while Shivers was coming through the other. The defense went nuts!
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment

        Related Topics

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        • RamDez
          Bulger feels comfort level in the offense
          by RamDez
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Monday, Aug. 01 2005

          Watching young quarterbacks Jeff Smoker and Ryan Fitzpatrick struggle to grasp
          the intricate Rams offense, Marc Bulger can't help but feel sympathetic.
          Because a few short years ago, he was that guy.

          But now, heading into his third season as the team's top quarterback, Bulger
          has achieved a certain comfort level.

          "I feel as good as I have in a system since I was in college," he said. "There
          were still some issues coming into last year that I really wasn't sure about.
          You'll never completely understand Coach (Mike) Martz's offense, but I feel
          like at I'm the point where I need to be, where if he wants to move on, I can
          move with no problem."

          Despite missing two games with an injury to his throwing shoulder, Bulger
          passed for 3,964 yards last year, a total exceeded only by five QBs. He
          completed 66.2 percent of his tosses and threw for 21 touchdowns, compiling a
          solid passer rating of 93.7.

          Bulger, 28, said that his shoulder, which had to be fortified by cortisone
          injections late in the season, didn't "come around" until almost April. He's
          monitoring it carefully during training camp at Rams Park.

          "It feels good right now," he said. "I don't think it'll be an issue, but I'm
          not getting hit yet, too. I'll probably have another two, three weeks until I
          get hit. But it feels pretty stable."

          Bulger is among the many players who have embraced the move of camp from
          Macomb, Ill.

          "It makes a world of difference being here, just being familiar with the
          complex and the routine," he said. "You're able to get into camp and
          concentrate on football."

          While also stressing the positive effect of having virtually the entire squad
          present earlier in the summer for organized team activities, Martz noted that
          camp is perking along at a faster-than-normal pace.

          "We're way ahead," he said. "I couldn't be more pleased with a football team
          than this football team and how they're approaching their job, their effort out
          here, their attention to detail, their focus ... everything about them has been
          outstanding. It's been a real fun team to be around."

          Injuries mount

          As expected, the injury list is growing as camp wears on, with two more
          starters watching from the sideline Monday. Wide receiver Torry Holt is nursing
          tightness in his lower back, and cornerback Travis Fisher has discomfort in his
          groin, Martz said.

          "I'm not going to practice him until we find out exactly what it is," Martz
          said. "I want to make sure we get it treated right." ...
          -08-02-2005, 12:35 AM
        • RamWraith
          Painful hit on Bulger angers Martz
          by RamWraith
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          08/16/2004
          MACOMB, Ill. - The Rams' afternoon practice came to a sudden and eerily quiet halt Monday when quarterback Marc Bulger was bumped during two-minute-offense drills and wheeled away, grabbing his right arm.

          Defensive end Leonard Little charged in from the left side and shoved right tackle Greg Randall into Bulger, who doubled over and appeared to be in considerable pain as trainers hustled to his side. It turned out to be little more than a scare: A Rams official reported that Bulger suffered a mild bruise.

          "I'm fine," Bulger said later.

          Still, coach Mike Martz wasn't pleased by the close call. When asked by reporters about Bulger's status, Martz snapped: "I don't know. Hell, I'm not a doctor. It just happened 30 seconds ago. ...

          "Defensively, you've got to stop; this is our No. 1 quarterback. (Little) knocked (Randall) back into the quarterback. And the right tackle's got to do a better job of blocking. He just thinks it's a walk-through, I guess."

          Polley is told to prove himself

          Never mind that he's started 36 games in three seasons since the Rams drafted him in the second round in 2001: Linebacker Tommy Polley has been dropped to the No. 2 unit and, Martz said, will stay there until he proves that he deserves to move back up.

          "This isn't just something from a practice or a situation; this is over time," Martz said. "We've discussed this with Tommy.

          "He knows the situation, what he needs to do."

          The move was made after the Rams' 13-10 exhibition-opening loss to Chicago on Thursday. Polley, who declined an interview request Monday, was credited with two tackles. Tony Newson, who has replaced him with the first team, had three.

          Martz suggested that the switch not be over-emphasized.

          "This happens all the time in camp," he said. "We're trying combinations to see what the best combination is. We haven't settled on our final three yet, by any stretch of the imagination."

          Running back update

          Running back Marshall Faulk, recovering from offseason knee surgery, has participated in three consecutive practices for the first time since camp opened.

          Martz, who said before Thursday's game that Faulk was "not ready to play physically yet," is pleased with his progress.

          "He's taking every snap with the 1's (first unit), which is what we thought we'd do this week and see how he feels," Martz said. "Provided that there's no backward movement, he should be fine.

          "When I say that, I mean swelling or soreness, those kinds of things. We'll keep this really close to the vest and make sure that if there are any indications of that, we'll rest him."...
          -08-17-2004, 06:40 AM
        • 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
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Tuesday, Jun. 07 2005

          Rams coach Mike Martz might have surprised himself more than anyone when he
          canceled practice Saturday afternoon. That move eliminated about 20 percent of
          the team's time on Rams Park fields for the three-day minicamp, something any
          NFL coach would be reluctant to do.

          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
          been in the past," he said. "Ninety-five percent of the squad has been here
          most of the time (for offseason workouts), which is highly unusual for any
          organization. They're prepared.

          "I can honestly say that I am pleased with the progress everywhere, which is
          probably a first."

          These aspects stood out:

          * The level of competition was considerably higher than last summer.
          "Absolutely. You can see it out there," third-year linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa
          said. "Whether it's the first or the second team, guys are flying around, even
          the third-team guys when they get out there. They're ready to compete."

          * The quality of the depth at several positions runs deeper. "That's
          the one thing on every squad that you try to have," Martz said. "If you're
          strong at the bottom of your roster with young players, then it's going to put
          a lot of pressure on the stars that you have. That makes you better."

          * The defense, which a year ago was getting its first exposure to
          new coordinator Larry Marmie, was perhaps the most impressive unit during
          minicamp, even though at least five new faces were manning first-team spots.
          "Everybody looked real good; there's a lot of competition," defensive end
          Leonard Little said.

          Martz was particularly enthused about the play of the cornerbacks, even though
          first-teamer Travis Fisher missed the last two practices because of a hip
          injury. "It was outstanding," Martz said. "We had the corners make more plays
          in these practices than we've had since all the time I've been here in
          practice. So that showed up real big, in my opinion."

          * The special teams, under the direction of first-year coach Bob
          Ligashesky, will work often, and hard. "I think the difference...
          -06-08-2005, 02:12 AM
        • RamDez
          Thursday Notebook
          by RamDez
          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....
          -07-30-2004, 12:30 PM
        • Rambos
          Bulger feels comfort level in the offense
          by Rambos
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          08/01/2005

          Rams quarterback Marc Bulger stretches with the backup quarterbacks (from front to back) Jamie Martin, Jeff Smoker and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
          (CHRIS LEE/P-D)



          Watching young quarterbacks Jeff Smoker and Ryan Fitzpatrick struggle to grasp the intricate Rams offense, Marc Bulger can't help but feel sympathetic. Because a few short years ago, he was that guy.

          But now, heading into his third season as the team's top quarterback, Bulger has achieved a certain comfort level.

          "I feel as good as I have in a system since I was in college," he said. "There were still some issues coming into last year that I really wasn't sure about. You'll never completely understand Coach (Mike) Martz's offense, but I feel like at I'm the point where I need to be, where if he wants to move on, I can move with no problem."

          Despite missing two games with an injury to his throwing shoulder, Bulger passed for 3,964 yards last year, a total exceeded only by five QBs. He completed 66.2 percent of his tosses and threw for 21 touchdowns, compiling a solid passer rating of 93.7. Advertisement


          Bulger, 28, said that his shoulder, which had to be fortified by cortisone injections late in the season, didn't "come around" until almost April. He's monitoring it carefully during training camp at Rams Park.

          "It feels good right now," he said. "I don't think it'll be an issue, but I'm not getting hit yet, too. I'll probably have another two, three weeks until I get hit. But it feels pretty stable."

          Bulger is among the many players who have embraced the move of camp from Macomb, Ill.

          "It makes a world of difference being here, just being familiar with the complex and the routine," he said. "You're able to get into camp and concentrate on football."

          While also stressing the positive effect of having virtually the entire squad present earlier in the summer for organized team activities, Martz noted that camp is perking along at a faster-than-normal pace.

          "We're way ahead," he said. "I couldn't be more pleased with a football team than this football team and how they're approaching their job, their effort out here, their attention to detail, their focus ... everything about them has been outstanding. It's been a real fun team to be around."

          Injuries mount

          As expected, the injury list is growing as camp wears on, with two more starters watching from the sideline Monday. Wide receiver Torry Holt is nursing tightness in his lower back, and cornerback Travis Fisher has discomfort in his groin, Martz said.

          "I'm not going to practice him until we find out exactly what it is," Martz said. "I want...
          -08-03-2005, 05:35 PM
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