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  • T Randall Joins Rams

    T Randall Joins Rams
    Monday, August 2, 2004


    By NICK WAGONER
    Staff Writer


    Maybe the phone line was down. Perhaps nobody had his number. Whatever the case, offensive lineman Greg Randall is back in the NFL with something to prove.

    One day after Kyle Turley left training camp in Macomb, Ill., to return to St. Louis for back examinations, Randall made his debut as a Ram. With Orlando Pace, the other starting offensive tackle, stalled in contract negotiations, St. Louis desperately needed some depth on the offensive line.

    Enter Grant Williams. Williams, who has made a living as the official left tackle of Rams’ training camp and the team’s third tackle, told coach Mike Martz about a mammoth tackle with Super Bowl experience, who just happened to be a free agent.

    Martz said Randall looked as good as a player who hasn’t practiced yet can.

    “Obviously, we feel good about him,” Martz said. “This guy just came in last night and he was able to perform pretty well.”

    Randall, who enters his fifth season out of Michigan State, stands 6-feet-6 and tips the scale at 333 pounds. He spent the 2003 season with Houston, starting every game at right tackle. He also started on the New England team that beat the Rams in the 2001 Super Bowl.

    Randall signed with St. Louis on Sunday and arrived in Macomb on Sunday evening. The Rams released kicker Dillon Pieffer to make room for Randall. It came as somewhat of a surprise that Randall was without a job as long as he was. San Francisco released him in June; only it didn’t do it the conventional way. There was nobody sent to tell Randall the coach wants to see him.

    Instead, Randall received a letter in the mail from the *****. The letter told him his services were no longer needed and Randall began the process of looking for a new job. St. Louis fit the bill and contacted Randall at home in Houston. He quickly agreed to a one-year contract. He said he is looking forward to his shot at the Rams’ NFC West rivals, but he has other worries right now.

    “The main thing is just trying to learn the system and get the offense down,” Randall said.

    Martz said the Rams might add another lineman, with former Arizona interior lineman Chris Dishman a possibility. The Rams had yet to contact Dishman on Monday morning.

    RAINING ON THE RAMS: For the first time since camp began Wednesday, the weather didn’t cooperate with St. Louis’ morning practice. Thunder, lightning and steady rain was the order of the day.

    Martz said the Rams cut practice a little short because of worries about the lightning. Practicing in full pads, St. Louis went live in the 11-on-11 drills at the end of practice. Martz eliminated the 7-on-7 drill and a few others.

    Linebacker Robert Thomas made a diving interception in the 11-on-11 that drew cheers from the crowd and an enthusiastic response from linebackers coach Joe Vitt.

    SPECTATOR SPORT: Cornerbacks Travis Fisher (sprained ankle) and Jerametrius Butler (hamstring tightness) returned to practice after missing Sunday’s afternoon workout.

    Cam Cleeland (hamstring), Tommy Polley (toe) and Brandon Spoon (hamstring) watched the workout from the sideline. Dave Wohlabaugh (hip), Ryan Schau (back) and Robert Cromartie (hamstring) missed practice again. Rich Coady also missed another practice with back spasms.

    Defensive end Anthony Hargrove appeared to get cramps during the final drill, but Martz said he was fine.

    __________________________________________________________
    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, 01:22 PM
  • RamDez
    Rams Head Home
    by RamDez
    Rams Head Home
    Friday, August 20, 2004


    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    With the quickness of a Marshall Faulk cutback, coach Mike Martz ended the Rams’ 2004 training camp about 5:15 Thursday evening. Martz cited a major storm brewing in the Macomb area as the reason for the abrupt end.
    “I told them to get out of here tonight,” Martz said. “I don’t want them driving home in the rain in the morning. We wouldn’t get anything out of a morning practice here, anyway.”

    The players and coaching staff will leave for St. Louis on Thursday night and probably have a practice Friday afternoon at Rams Park. The end of camp signals the next step in the drive toward the regular season. St. Louis will play cross-state rival Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night.

    The regular season kicks off Sept. 12 against Arizona at the Edward Jones Dome. Martz said he is more than satisfied with the work the team put in at camp. “We had a heck of a camp up here,” Martz said. “The injury list is minimal compared to what it’s been in past years. I’m pleased with where we are.”

    WOHLABAUGH GONE: It was a disappointing ending for center Dave Wohlabaugh, who spent 2003 starting in the middle of the Rams’ offensive line.

    St. Louis cut ties with its injured center Wednesday night. Wohlabaugh had surgery on his hip in March and was not expected back for at least three or four months.

    Wohlabaugh had not practiced with the team during this training camp and was likely going to miss the entire season. He recently traveled to Ohio to have the hip check out again, but the results were not positive that Wohlabaugh would play again this year or any other.

    With his tenure in St. Louis ending, so too, might his career. Wohlabaugh signed with the Rams on Feb. 28, 2003. Wohlabaugh was entering his 10th season in the league. Andy McCollum, who started at left guard for the Rams last season, moved back to center at the beginning of camp.

    McCollum said he feels comfortable playing his original position again, but he is sorry to see his friend and linemate struggle with injuries. “It’s just unfortunate, the injury that Dave had,” McCollum said. “He’s only been here a year, but I consider him a friend of mine.”

    TIGHT COMPETITION: Brandon Manumaleuna seems to be the only tight end that has wrapped up his position, though a return from hamstring problems by Cameron Cleeland could bring the competition into focus. Manumaleuna looks like he is in better shape, showing better burst off the ball and making some difficult catches in traffic.

    Martz said Manumaleuna’s offseason efforts are paying off handsomely. “Brandon has come a long way,” Martz said. “First of all, he has lost a lot of weight. He’s done a terrific job, in terms of being a receiver and a significant blocker. The thing about him is that he has been consistently excellent,...
    -08-20-2004, 11:19 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."...
    -07-29-2004, 11:19 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, 10:52 AM
  • RamDez
    Dishman is back after a visit home
    by RamDez


    Dishman is back after a visit home
    By Bill Coats

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/19/2004


    MACOMB, Ill. - When the football players at Lincoln (Neb.) North Star High saw Chris Dishman's Hummer parked outside the weight room early one morning this week, they figured he'd be coaching their team again.

    "They thought I was released," Dishman said after Wednesday afternoon's practice at Rams training camp. "They (said), 'Geez, you already got cut?'"

    No, Dishman is still with the Rams, vying for a job on an offensive line badly lacking in personnel. But he had some unfinished business that needed to be addressed, so he left for his Garland, Neb., home after Thursday night's preseason game in St. Louis and returned to Western Illinois University about noon Wednesday.

    "Just a lot of personal stuff," said Dishman, who had decided to retire after seven NFL seasons before Rams coach Mike Martz persuaded him earlier this month to accept a one-year deal and report to camp. Dishman said it seemed like a good idea at the time, but . . .

    "My kids, I didn't get to say goodbye to them," said Dishman, 30, a father of two. "It was getting tough for them, crying every night and calling me up and telling me they wanted me to come home. It started to make me (wonder) if . . . my retirement wasn't a bad plan. The money's all good and everything, but when you've got kids at home, the money doesn't really mean anything to you."

    Although Dishman acknowledged that "definitely there were second thoughts," he emphasized that he never seriously considered re-retiring. "My wife and my dad both said, you signed a contract, don't back out like some of those guys," he said. "I was raised that way. There was no way that I wasn't coming back."

    But he wanted to see his children again, as well as his extended family at North Star, where he'd been serving as an assistant coach. "I went up and saw them practice," he said. "I let them know why I wasn't there personally. Calling them on the phone, I think, is inconsiderate when you've spent four months with these kids.

    "Some of them don't have fathers. It's not a troubled group, but it's a new school there, so they're getting kids there from all over town. If you're a role model to them, you need to go back and show them your face and tell them you haven't forgotten about them."

    Two players are hurt

    Two more Rams went down with injuries Wednesday, but Martz reported that neither player was seriously hurt. Offensive tackle Grant Williams, who probably will be in the lineup when the Rams open the regular season Sept. 12, turned his right ankle in the morning practice and skipped the afternoon workout.

    Cornerback DeJuan Groce appeared to be much more
    ...
    -08-19-2004, 01:49 PM
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