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  • Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week

    Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week





    August 7, 2004









    By KEVIN CAPIE

    of the Journal Star



    MACOMB - Three days of joint workouts between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears come to a close this morning with a 10:30 a.m. scrimmage at Hanson Field.

    For both teams, the goal of today's scrimmage is to continue the progress that has been made from the first day of practice when camp opened.

    "We want to improve our team. We're not keeping score," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "We came up here to have some good practices against a good team, and we're getting that type of work done."

    The Rams will use today's scrimmage to work in some of the younger players.

    "We're going to take a look at our inexperienced players," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "We're going to make sure that the younger players get some repetitions."

    Getting closer: It is rare in today's NFL that a team would take a flier on signing an injured player as a free agent while that player is still rehabbing from the injury.

    That's exactly what the Rams did during the offseason in signing defensive tackle Bernard Holsey, who started all 16 games last season for Washington. He had surgery in February to repair his injured quadricep.

    Holsey began working out on Friday and hopes to be able to play by the end of the preseason.

    "It's a little frustrating right now," Holsey said. "The guys are out there sweating, but I can only do a limited number of things."

    What wasn't frustrating was when the Rams called expressing interest even though he was injured.

    "That was amazing," Holsey said. "I wasn't expecting to hear from any teams until August. I appreciate that they called. I'm sure I would have had some more interest, but they called first."

    Said Martz: "He's played at a really I level. I've seen him play and our scouts really liked him."

    Holsey's return comes at a time when the Rams need some more depth after defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy suffered a broken foot during Thursday's afternoon workout. He is expected to miss three to four months.

    "He just put his foot on the ground, there was no contact or anything," Martz said. "Hopefully we'll get him back halfway through the season."

    Points of emphasis: Officials have been working with the Bears and Rams this week.

    They're going over some of the rule changes, as well as the rules that haven't changed but will be emphasized this season.

    The biggest point this year that will be enforced is not allowing defenders to intentionally contact receivers 5 yards past the line of scrimmage.

    "The players will start to adjust to it," referee Bernie Kukar said. "During practice we'll point out to them what they can't do, in the preseason games we'll call it and then they'll adjust by the regular season."

    Replay this season also has been slightly modified to allow a team three challenges if they correctly challenged their previous two and have a timeout remaining.

    Even with this and the points of emphasis, not everything will be called.

    "We're going to miss stuff," Kukar said. "We're not perfect."

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Bears, Rams scrimmage caps week

    Can I get nervous now??????? :disappoin

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    • RamDez
      Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener
      by RamDez
      Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener


      Associated Press



      MACOMB, Ill. - After three days of joint practices, the St. Louis Rams outplayed the Chicago Bears during a scrimmage at Western Illinois University's Hanson Field Saturday.

      The Rams unofficially won the scrimmage 12-6, though no score was actually kept during the 90-minute workout.

      Both teams held out several starters. Quarterback Marc Bulger and running back Marshall Faulk did not see action for the Rams while linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is nursing a hamstring injury, and wide receiver Marty Booker and others sat out for the Bears.

      The scrimmage also provided a chance for new Chicago coach Lovie Smith to put his team up against the Rams, where he worked as defensive coordinator before taking the job with the Bears.

      Smith said after the scrimmage, "We know we have a long ways to go. We get a chance to play them again next week with hopes that we'll have a better team on the field playing against them."

      The Bears will visit the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Thursday to take on the Rams in the preseason opener.

      The Rams went on offense first in the controlled scrimmage as former Bears quarterback Chris Chandler marched the Rams 70 yards in a drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Arlen Harris.

      Bears starting quarterback Rex Grossman directed the first three series before backup Jonathan Quinn engineered the last two drives.

      Rams rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker hit Kevin Curtis for a 35-yard touchdown later in the scrimmage.

      Then Quinn guided the Bears to their only score when he connected with Gabe Reid on a 5-yard scoring toss.

      One of the biggest ovations of the morning came when former Western Illinois star Russ Michna took the field for a few plays with the Rams offense.

      Rams coach Mike Martz said Michna had two good passes. "Unfortunately, one of them was dropped. He's a good little player. He's not a camp arm. I'm excited that we have him."

      Michna is in the Rams camp as the fourth quarterback after signing with St. Louis as an undrafted free agent in June. Michna said after playing that he appreciated the crowd's response. "It's great to know that they still appreciate what you did for them."

      Martz said a scrimmage like the one against the Bears can provide a player an opportunity to show he deserves a spot on the roster. "We're not going to eliminate somebody because of what they've done in this scrimmage. What we can do is look a little harder at a guy," he said.

      Notes: Martz said the Rams will not practice Sunday to give his players a break. They will hold a workout Monday afternoon and a meeting Monday night in Macomb. Martz said, "We've had a terrific camp up here and they've worked...
      -08-08-2004, 12:55 AM
    • RamDez
      Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'
      by RamDez
      Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'





      August 7, 2004

      BY BRAD BIGGS STAFF REPORTER

      MACOMB, Ill. -- Mike Martz angrily has defended his friend Lovie Smith for the outbreak of hamstring fever that has surrounded the training camp of the first-year Bears coach.

      What has been missed is that no one has called Smith's practices too grueling. Instead, it has been questioned whether the major weight loss emphasis, combined with the increased running, has led to some of the problems.

      ''For crying out loud,'' Martz railed. ''That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I guess all these people who write that must be medical doctors. You think? You've got to be kidding me. I mean, this is just a bad run. Maybe they're not used to practicing that hard. Who knows? I know we've been through it. We've had six, seven, eight guys [sidelined with pulled hamstrings].''

      Running back Adrian Peterson sat out of both practices Friday as his hamstring tightened up. According to Smith, wide receiver Justin Gage and reserve safety Bobby Gray will be back from their hamstring injuries this week and should be ready for the exhibition opener Thursday in St. Louis.



      FILLING IN: With Peterson and Anthony Thomas (ribs) out and Dwone Hicks gone from the team, fullback Jason McKie has stepped in and worked as a halfback. What is most interesting is that he was chosen over Rabih Abdullah, who had a failed experiment as a third-down back last season.

      ''I'm just helping out right now,'' he said. ''But I'll do whatever they need me to be.''

      McKie never has been a true halfback, having been the fullback in a Wing-T offense at Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High. He did carry the ball in short-yardage situations at Temple. Even more telling, however, is that he has been used on special teams as the off-side returner. The 5-11, 240-pounder has good speed but isn't elusive by any means.

      ''The way our returns are designed, we're straight ahead,'' special-teams coach Dave Toub said. ''We want to catch the ball and get up the field right away. That kind of fits his running style.''

      Toub said rookie Bernard Berrian has a ''good shot'' at replacing Jerry Azumah as the main kick returner. Ahmad Merritt and Nate Vasher are also in the mix.



      BAD OMEN: If the afternoon practice Friday was a sign of things to come, the Bears' offense is going to have a real struggle with the Rams' defense in the scrimmage this morning. Neither the first nor second team could pick up a first down in the two-minute drill, with offensive coordinator Terry Shea calling a run on first down both times. The Rams seemed to make twice as many big plays as the Bears.



      NO WRONG: Smith did not think anything was wrong with allowing Azumah to practice in
      ...
      -08-07-2004, 01:57 PM
    • RamWraith
      Tuesday Notebook
      by RamWraith
      By NICK WAGONER
      Staff Writer

      When the Chicago Bears came to Macomb for a series of practices capped off by a scrimmage this past week, everyone assumed it was simply a matter of Rams’ coach Mike Martz calling Bears’ coach Lovie Smith and asking.

      That assumption would be wrong. Sure, Martz did ask Smith to come to Western Illinois University, but there is another reason for the added workouts with the neighbors to the north and John Oswald is his name.

      Oswald is in his third decade with the team and the Vice President of Operations since 1992. Every time the Rams go on a road trip, Oswald makes it happen. When the team moves its entire organization to training camp, Oswald makes it work.

      It was no different this past week, when Oswald brought the Bears and Rams together in Thompson Hall for three days seamlessly. Martz was one of the first to credit Oswald for his efforts. “Let me just say this,” Martz said. “John Oswald really orchestrates this whole thing. He is the one that does all of this. By golly, he does a fantastic job.”

      Oswald helped put together the scrimmage with Tennessee in 2000, so he had some experience doing it, but there were a few new wrinkles this year. The setup was similar in that the Titans and Bears were put in Western Illinois’ locker room, training room and equipment room.

      The biggest difference, though, was a change made in Thompson Hall. In 2000, there was no cafeteria for the teams to share, so they ate on the 18th floor. Since then, Western Illinois has put in a new cafeteria that has more than enough room for two football teams and their staff.

      Oswald said he can’t take all of the credit for the planning. “We started from when they check in to when they check out, what exactly is their schedule going to be like,” Oswald said. “We go through it piece by piece and then we incorporate the university here which is very helpful. “There were a wide range of people that really assisted with the scrimmage itself.”

      The university provided the teams with security, transport vans and set up meeting rooms. Like with any meeting involving that many people, Oswald said there were a few hiccups along the way and there will be a meeting to evaluate those mistakes so the problems can be corrected in future scrimmages.

      Oswald said he is always on the lookout for another scrimmage opportunity, so he can do his part to help break up the monotony of camp. “Overall it went off without a hitch,” Oswald said. “I give all the credit to the university and the city of Macomb.”

      Those two entities deserve credit for helping, but, as Martz said, without Oswald in a leadership role, it would have been difficult.

      ROSTER MOVE: Offensive guard Jason Lenzmeier arrived to give the Rams another body on their thinning offensive line. Lenzmeier got word of the opportunity while in Boise,...
      -08-12-2004, 05:42 AM
    • Nick
      Bears LB Roquan Smith remains only unsigned 2018 NFL Draft pick
      by Nick
      Draft pick Smith's holdout among issues facing Bears
      GENE CHAMBERLAIN | Associated Press
      Monday, August 13, 2018 1:10 am

      BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – It has become a familiar refrain for Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy. He has often repeated the words “nothing new” over the past 31/2 weeks regarding contract talks with first-round draft pick Roquan Smith.

      Nagy's first training camp with the Bears concluded Sunday, and it remains uncertain when defensive coordinator Vic Fangio can plug the former Georgia linebacker into the lineup.

      That's not the Bears' only problem as they head into a week of practices in Denver before playing the Broncos on Saturday in their third preseason game.

      Asked Sunday if missing all of camp would limit Smith's ability to be defensive field general on opening day, Nagy did not mince words.

      “I think it does,” Nagy said. “You're playing at that position and there are a lot of calls that go on, very similar to a quarterback, there's a lot going on. But I have full confidence in Vic and his staff that when he does get here, they'll get him up to speed and whenever that is, we'll see.

      “But again, that's why we all get paid as coaches is to try to help our players out as much as possible and that's kind of where we're at.”

      Neither the Bears nor Smith's agents have openly discussed the reason for the standoff.

      The Chicago Tribune reported that the sticking point in talks is the Bears' refusal to give up the right to reclaim some of Smith's guaranteed bonus if he is suspended for an on-field rules violation outside the parameters of a football play.

      Smith is the only unsigned player in the 2018 NFL draft class. The Bears haven't had Smith around since their June minicamp.

      “I think he knows that he's to be in shape,” Nagy said. “I think he knows that.”

      The Bears have two veteran inside linebackers on the field: Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski.

      Players say they've avoided turning the holdout into a distraction.

      “It's pretty easy,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “I mean, we can't make him appear out of nowhere. You play with what you got and go forward.”

      Their other big problem revolves around the offense.

      Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled in the new offense with interceptions in practice, then went 2 for 4 for 4 yards in his first effort against Cincinnati in a 30-27 loss Thursday night.

      “It's not rocket science to know that we need to be better in that,” Nagy said. “It's my job to make sure am I calling the right plays. It's their job to make sure they execute when they get those plays to come in.”

      Wide receiver Allen Robinson and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel did not play Thursday. Also absent was starting running back Jordan Howard.

      Robinson called camp a successful indoctrination to a complicated...
      -08-13-2018, 06:59 AM
    • RamDez
      Getting ready for the Rams
      by RamDez
      Getting ready for the Rams
      By JOHN BARACANI

      Eagle News Editor

      Fred Adair remembers the summer of 1996. That was the first year the St. Louis Rams held their training camp in Macomb. At the time, Adair – WIU's grounds maintenance foreman – wondered if it might be the last.

      After the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO) invested $250,000 for the construction of two practice fields and the Rams decided on Macomb as their summer home that year, WIU's grounds department was left with about a month and a half, according to Adair, to prepare for the team's use of the fields. In this the ninth year the Rams will call Macomb home for just under a month, and field preparation is a spring-long undertaking, with demands one would expect from an NFL team.

      "The first year they were here we didn't have grass on the sidelines and we had to haul mulch in and put it along the sidelines," Adair said. "There was water everywhere. The sidelines weren't done so we hauled mulch for a week. The day before they came it rained like two inches; we wondered why we ever got into this."

      The hard work – which, among many other duties, includes reseeding, fertilizing and aerating two practice fields once Western has finished using them in the spring – has proved fruitful. Since that first year, hundreds of thousands of Rams devotees have visited Macomb to catch glimpses of such star players as Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt.

      “It’s quite an extensive process in terms of the preparation," said Larry Mortier, Western's vice president of advancement and public services assistant. "We have a number of areas on the campus that are involved on a planning committee that has been in place going on nine years that the Rams have trained here."

      In addition to Western's grounds department, several other areas on campus – as well as within the city of Macomb – contribute to what Mortier calls a "joint venture."

      "That coordination is extremely important to make it all happen in a very positive way and create the most productive environment for the Rams," Mortier said, adding that MAEDCO's contribution was crucial to bringing St. Louis to Macomb. "We have received some very positive comments about our ability to do that, and that has led to their return each year.”

      “We just saw this as an opportunity that should not be missed," said MAEDCO Executive Director Kim Pierce of her organization's contribution toward the practice fields. "The partnership between the university, the city, the county and MAEDCO was great. We all pulled it together. You see what’s happened; this is our ninth year celebrating. It’s been a great, great venture for us."

      While in Macomb this year from July 28 through Aug. 20, the Rams will make use of 10 floors...
      -06-30-2004, 03:38 PM
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