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The Overlooked Gem at Training Camp

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  • The Overlooked Gem at Training Camp

    It's one thing to watch the Rams practice on fields fairly removed from the immediate vicinity of fans who have ground level or a few feet above the ground to view scrimmages. It's quite another to be able to watch them in a stadium where there is plenty of seating situated high above ground level where you can oversee activities from one vantage point, with Jack Snow's voice coming over the speakers to guide what the fans are seeing on a cool evening under the stadium's lights, making us even more eager for the season to start. (Not to mention the port-o-potties versus real restrooms.)

    Even more than the Bears coming to town (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration), I looked forward to the Rams training camp's evening practice at WIU's Hansen Field on Wednesday, August 4. Just as it had done a couple of years ago, earlier that day it had rained, followed by a lovely cool breeze from the north, adding to the overall feel of real football game.

    Jack adds levity to the event making comments such as he did when the Rams made their stretching run across the field before drills. He kindly noted #67 Andy McCollum and #62 Adam Timmerman, "two old farts bringing up the rear", while also noting veteran #35 Aeneas Williams leading the way.

    Since on these evenings the audience is mainly made up of local yocals, he brought #4 QB Russ Michna to our attention because he played on the same field as Western Illinois University leatherneck's quarterback.

    Jack went on to explain the various drills that were being performed. The best part of practice of course is the scrimmage at the end. They kept them at the same pace (don't even get me started on that OTHER Pace) they use during a game, marked off yards made or loss, TDs attempted or made and threw in the occasional punt or field goal as needed (of course, #14 Jeff Wilkins nailed them all). #10 Marc Bulger lead one "team", #12 Chris Chandler lead the other. Don't ask who won, no score was kept. It's hard to tell when someone is tackled too because this was basically touch football, but most receivers continued to run long after being "touched".

    Next year when you make plans to attend the Rams training camp here in Macomb, for a change of pace, try coming when they hold their evening practice. It really is a treat.