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  • Martz expresses some doubts about Turley's health

    Martz expresses some doubts about Turley's health
    By Bill Coats

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/01/2004





    MACOMB, Ill. - As training camp grinds on, the nicks and bruises are starting to pile up. Several Rams spent at least part of the time on the sideline Saturday, as the team resumed two-a-day practices.

    Other than center Dave Wohlabaugh's recovery from hip surgery, none of the injuries appear to be serious. Yet concern is surfacing about offensive tackle Kyle Turley's back, which was operated on in the offseason and kept him on the sideline for minicamp in May.

    On Tuesday, shortly after the players reported to Western Illinois University, Martz scolded those who questioned Turley's fitness. "Kyle's fine. I don't know where this stuff starts," Martz said. "Kyle's injury, that's been resolved for quite some time. He looks like he's in terrific shape."

    On Thursday, Martz said, Turley sat out contact drills because he has some atrophy in a leg caused by numbness from the previous disc injury. Turley participated in Friday's single, full-pads practice, but he missed most of Saturday's drills, and Martz expressed some apprehension.

    "Kyle's got some strain in his back. They're going to look at it through some pictures," Martz explained. He said there were no plans to return Turley, 28, to St. Louis for evaluation but was unsure how long Turley would be out.

    Others limited by minor injuries were tight end Cam Cleeland (hamstring), linebacker Tommy Polley (sprained toe), defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy (back spasms), safety Rich Coady (back spasms), offensive guard Ryan Schau (sprained back) and cornerback Robert Cromartie (hamstring).

    Chandler says Martz runs unique camp

    Seventeen-year veteran Chris Chandler has been to training camp with eight NFL teams. But he has never seen one quite like this.

    Chandler, signed as a free agent in March to back up starting quarterback Marc Bulger, said Martz "challenges everybody mentally as well. The physical part of this camp is one thing, but just all the installation at night and all the stuff we put in every day for the next practice, it's a lot more than any other place I've even been. It's as much exhausting mentally as it is physically."

    Which is saying a lot, because other than 42-year-old punter Sean Landeta, Chandler, 38, is the oldest among the 80 players in camp at Western Illinois University. Still, after four days of vigorous workouts, the 6-foot-4, 224-pound University of Washington product is showing no signs of advanced age. He has also proved that there's plenty of strength left in his arm.

    Though Chandler is learning a new offensive system, Martz said he is adapting quickly. "You know that most everything you do with him, he's going to be able to absorb and retain," Martz said. "He's a quick study, where he doesn't need a whole lot of reps."

    Training camp, Chandler said, "is always something that's fun as a challenge more than anything else, to make it through another one, to go out there when you're tired and you're sore and it's 7:30 in the morning. That challenge, at the end of camp, makes you feel pretty good about yourself."

    The most difficult aspect, he said, is being separated from wife Diane and daughters Ryann Mae, 9, and Skye, 7, for 3 1/2 weeks. "I miss them a lot," Chandler said. "My daughters had their final swim meet, and my 7-year-old didn't understand why I couldn't be there."


    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamDez
    Saturday Notebook
    by RamDez
    Saturday Notebook
    Monday, August 2, 2004


    By NICK WAGONER
    Staff Writer


    After a few days of harm-free football, the injury bug bit St. Louis for the first time on Saturday.

    Tackle Kyle Turley, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy and safety Rich Coady missed both workouts with back spasms. Linebacker Tommy Polley sprained his right big toe and tight end Cam Cleeland battled a slight hamstring strain.

    Coach Mike Martz said he didn’t expect any of his players to miss an extended period of time.

    “The injury list, unless it’s a real serious injury, I just don’t pay a heck of a lot of attention to it,” Martz said. “Whoever shows up out here, we are going to have practice.”

    Offensive lineman Ryan Schau missed practice again with a back sprain. Cornerback Robert Cromartie watched again from the sidelines because of continued hamstring problems.

    LENDING A HAND: Rookie running back Steven Jackson showed the crowd why the Rams’ thought so highly of him in April’s draft. One play after Jackson made a darting, 25-yard burst off right tackle, he made a one-handed catch along the right sideline.

    In the afternoon practice, Jackson did it again.

    Martz said that is the kind of thing he expects from his running backs.

    “That was the big thing about Steven when he came out of college was that he was a complete back,” Martz said. “He certainly has done everything to prove that so far.”

    FIGHTIN’ WORDS: Apparently, one afternoon practice off is all the Rams needed to take the intensity to another level. With each passing practice, something has happened to bring the competition to a new height.

    Saturday was no exception as the morning practice featured the first true fight of camp. About halfway through the workout, fullback Chris Massey met linebacker Tony Newson in a block. After some small shoving and basic blocking, Massey shoved Newson backward.

    Newson came back with a right cross and the fists began to fly. After some swinging by both pugilists, Massey decided to end the fight. He bullrushed Newson and slammed him to the ground as teammates separated them.

    WISH GRANTED: Offensive tackle Grant Williams has taken back his role as the Rams’ starting training camp tackle. With Orlando Pace not in camp, Williams has once again played nearly every down at left tackle with the first team.

    Williams, a 10th year player out of Louisiana Tech, has impressed Martz.

    “Grant, right now, this is the best he has looked since he’s been here,” Martz said. “I can’t tell you how fortunate we are to have him.”





    Sunday Notebook


    By NICK WAGONER
    Staff Writer


    Two days removed from what was described as atrophy in his leg, offensive tackle Kyle Turley left camp Sunday afternoon with pain...
    -08-02-2004, 02:22 PM
  • RamDez
    Martz isn't worried about all the vets on this year's team
    by RamDez
    Martz isn't worried about all the vets on this year's team
    By Bill Coats

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    07/30/2004





    MACOMB, Ill. - The Rams' corps of graybeards - players with 10 or more years of NFL experience - has reached double figures with the additions this season of defensive end Tyoka Jackson, offensive guard Adam Timmerman and center Dave Wohlabaugh.

    Ten is a fairly higher number. For example, the Chicago Bears, who will be in Macomb next Thursday-Saturday to scrimmage with the Rams, have only one 10-year vet on their roster.

    But rather than fret about an aging roster, Rams coach Mike Martz prefers to consider the experience of the group, which has 125 years of playing time in the league. Topping the list are punter Sean Landeta (20 years), quarterback Chris Chandler (17) and safety Aeneas Williams (14).

    "They know how to respond in so many different situations, particularly as the season gets going," Martz said.

    Their presence in training camp helps, too, Martz noted, especially as the number of practices pile up and the aches and pains set in. "When everyone's tired, they know how to respond because they've been here before," he said.

    The roster includes 23 rookies who are being exposed for the first time to the rigors of an NFL camp. And Martz doesn't skimp on the physical demands: On Friday morning, the team went through a hard-hitting two-hour workout in full pads that featured several jarring collisions.

    "It's our place to encourage (the younger players) a little bit, because you can get kind of dogged out," Timmerman said. "For us, there isn't a lot of anxiety about going to practice. But for them, they're kind of worried about it."

    Added Jackson: "Leading by example is what's important. Just having a number (of years) by your name is not where you earn your respect; you earn your respect by showing that that experience has taught you how to prepare properly, how to practice properly, how to get yourself ready to play mentally. And that's what you hope that the young guys can see."

    Turley practices Offensive tackle Kyle Turley, who had back surgery in the offseason and skipped some of the drills Thursday afternoon because of soreness, was fully involved in Friday's single workout.

    Cornerback Robert Cromartie, nursing a minor leg injury Thursday, stayed on the sideline Friday.

    Offensive guard Ryan Shau left early when his back tightened.

    Harris may return punts Arlen Harris, who averaged 23 yards on 51 kickoff returns last season as a rookie, may get more work bringing back punts this year, Martz hinted. "I think after what he went through last year, he could go in and do a good job for us in the punt return," he said.

    Harris returned seven punts for an
    ...
    -07-31-2004, 05:15 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Wrap Up Practice Week
    by RamWraith
    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    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.
    “I’d like to see one step further than we were a week ago in terms of the crispness of it,” Martz said. “I’d like to win every one of them. In the middle of the game, I’m not thinking that this is preseason.”

    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.

    The starters probably won’t play much more than a series or two for fear of injuries. Martz said he chooses not to discuss how much playing time anyone will receive. Martz said Wednesday that running back Marshall Faulk will not participate.

    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.

    Turley left camp in the early stages with problems with a bulging disc in his back. Turley had offseason surgery on his back and tweaked it in the opening days of practice. He has since returned to St. Louis to visit with back specialists, traveled to Los Angeles to see another specialist and Atlanta to see a third doctor.

    Martz said he doesn’t yet know the extent of the injury, but he does know that Turley is upset by the turn of events. Martz said he will have some discussions this weekend about results of Turley’s back reviews and hopes to have...
    -08-12-2004, 11:52 AM
  • RamDez
    Turley remains out of camp with bad back
    by RamDez
    Turley remains out of camp with bad back
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/09/2004





    MACOMB, Ill. - As Rams coach Mike Martz addressed a small group of reporters after Monday afternoon's practice, a cell phone went off.

    "Kyle, is that you?" Martz asked.

    He was joking, of course. Still, the training camp absence of first-team right tackle Kyle Turley has edged into its second week, and it's hardly a laughing matter. No determination has been made on how long he'll be away from Western Illinois University while having his back examined by a series of specialists.

    Martz hasn't been able to reach Turley, but he indicated that Rams officials have spoken with Turley's agent, Tom Condon.

    "Kyle's down in the dumps," Martz said. "This thing isn't as far along as he wants it to be, and he's very, very frustrated. ... I understand what Kyle is going through; I feel for the guy."

    Turley, 28, had surgery in March to repair a herniated disc. He skipped the on-field work at minicamp in May, but participated fully when camp workouts began July 28. Within a few days, he experienced pain in the same spot of the original injury and he was forced to the sideline again.

    Before he returned to St. Louis on Aug. 1, Turley acknowledged that he was concerned about his future in the NFL.

    Turley has been examined by Rams physicians in St. Louis and by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles. He also is expected to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

    Condon could not be reached to comment Monday.

    "We've just got to get a conclusion medically in terms of a course of action he needs to take," Martz said. "Kyle's a guy that's played at an extremely high level his whole career, and now all of a sudden he's got something that's keeping him down. Guys as high-strung and competitive as Kyle is, that's hard to deal with. He'll be much better when he knows what the course of action is and he can focus on that."

    Other absences

    Three other Rams - center Dave Wohlabaugh, offensive tackle Jeremy Phillips and defensive end Kevin Aldridge - also were absent Monday.

    Wohlabaugh, who started every game last season but has missed all of camp, is having further evaluations on his hip in St. Louis and in Ohio, where surgery was performed in March on a torn labrum.

    Phillips, who has been troubled by stingers, returned to St. Louis to have his neck examined.

    Martz said that Aldridge, a second-year player with a shot at making the 53-man roster, had been granted an indefinite leave to take care of "a very serious personal issue."

    Back in business

    Several Rams who had been nursing minor aches and pains were back on the field Monday after a 1 1/2-day break following Saturday's
    ...
    -08-10-2004, 12:56 PM
  • RamDez
    Defensive tackle will be limited first few weeks
    by RamDez
    Defensive tackle will be limited first few weeks


    Associated Press



    MACOMB, Ill. - St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, coming off quadriceps surgery in February, will be limited in practice the first few weeks of training camp.

    Coach Mike Martz said the team knew when they signed Holsey that he'd need some recuperation time. The leg has atrophy from the surgery.

    "He could practice, it just puts him in jeopardy," Martz said. "We were aware of that when we signed him."

    Holsey started every game last year for the Redskins and had 41 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He's expected to compete for a backup job with St. Louis after signing a free-agent contract.

    Offensive tackle Kyle Turley also will be limited for the time being due to offseason surgery for a bulging disc in his back. Martz said Turley had a lot of soreness after practice Wednesday.

    "We're going to watch the amount of reps in the first week," Martz said. "We think he can do everything in the morning and we'll just be cautious with him in the afternoon."

    The Rams had two-a-day workouts the first two days of practice, but will have only one practice, in full pads, on Friday morning. Players will get the bulk of the afternoon off aside from some weight lifting.

    "It allows these guys every third day in the afternoon to get off their feet and recover physically a little bit," Martz said. "You talk to people who train Olympians, everybody always talks about the third day being a day where they need to recover."...
    -07-30-2004, 12:19 AM
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