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Monday at Macomb

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  • Monday at Macomb

    Went up to Macomb to catch the afternoon practice and wanted to post a few of my observations.

    Camp runs so smooth from begining to end with all the signal horns in between. The people in the Western Ill/ Macomb area are all incredibly nice.

    Marc Bulger is clearly the number 1 starter for this team. His passes were all excellent and on the money. During seven on sevens and eleven on elevens I think only one ball hit the ground (A Shaun McDonald drop if I remember correctly) I may have caught Smoker on a bad day but he and Michna performed at about the same level during the drills and practices I saw. Both show good arm strength but not the same accuracy and quick release that Bulger has. I think they each threw an Int during drills. Although Smoker threw a beautiful fade route to Manu during a goaline drill (Bulger did as well). Just throwing to the WR during a CB cover drill Michna looked a little shaky. Chandler helped out with the running backs during their drills but didn't get any snaps during the seven on sevens or eleven on elevens.

    Marshall looks fine. Although the running backs weren't running full speed. He also didn't make any big cuts either but he looked normal. Arlen got most of the backup touches and he looks just as fast as last year only larger. Jackson got in on a few of the drills but they were all non-contact.

    Kevin Curtis is better than Dane Looker I'm sorry. Dane looked solid but Kevin is just a budding star. He roasted a couple of CB's during their coverage drills and his concentration and hands are remarkable. Shaun McDonald fielded punts very well and is extremely shifty he didn't get to run any back but just his first few steps after the catch made him look dangerous. He also made a terrific catch on an angled punt from Landeta that was pretty difficult to field. Furrey on the other hand muffed a punt and doesn't look like he's as good as the others (Looker or McDonald). Isaac only practiced a little bit on Monday during seven on sevens but when he stepped on the field you just new he was there. He is just so smooth. Torry is clearly the best wide receiver the Rams have. He outran out caught and out performed anyone who lined up across from him during drills the whole time telling jokes hammin it up and laughing. He makes it look so easy. Look for another big year from him if he can stay healthy.

    I didn't concentrate too much on the O-Line. But some of the one on one drills were very telling. Eric Flowers is quick! During one drill he beat his blocker so quickly it almost seemed like his O llineman just wasn't ready or sumthin Flowers deked and went right around him to the outside while the O lineman pushed at air.. Tyoka put a devestating spin move on another pour soul to get to the quarterback on the very next snap it didn't look fair at all. I thought the drill was just weighted towards the defensive player until I saw another O lineman smother the next D end. I thiink our pass rush is going to be okay this year without Grant. Hargrove didn't practice much he ran out with everyone else but didn't really participate in a lot of drills. I saw Damione Lewis getting driven back five yards off the ball in a few of the drills by the O Lineman. He's defintely not a run stuffer. Kollar doesn't yell at Pickett as much anymore he must be doing something right.

    The linebackers look ready for the season to start. Especially the big three. Pisa looks fast and comfortable. They were in on so many plays they just flow so well together. I hope we can keep Polley after the season because we have the makings of a fine squad. Faulk stood out among the backups.

    Kevin Garrett is so fast! He has tremendous recovery speed and he's going to need it too because his jam at the line is horrible but even when he got beat initially he's able to run under the ball to try and make a play. But he got beat bad during one of the drills after missing a jam. Groce looks a lot more comfortable but he dropped a pass and had to do some pushups during the CB drill to practice INT's. Fisher and Butler took their regular turns during practice and didn't seem to be hurting at all anymore. I'm still little concerened about there size but both of them are more physical than Groce and Garrett and they can run as well.

    Aeneas is well Aeneas what more can you say. I don't see why he won't be even better at safety this year. Arch looked fine as well but our backup safeties leave a lot to be desired.


  • #2
    Re: Monday at Macomb

    Thanks for the report, Mercclass. It's always fun to read those. Welcome to the ClanRam! :ramlogo:


    • #3
      Re: Monday at Macomb

      Nice report Mercclass,
      Sounds like the team is ready for Thurs. I can't wait. :angryram:

      Adm. William "Bull" Halsey


      • #4
        Re: Monday at Macomb

        Thanks for the report!


        Related Topics


        • Nick
          Three Reports on Weds Evening Practice
          by Nick
          From the Herd Board-

          Posted by MoRam
          Last night the Rams held practice on the stadium field. It was nice to be high enough to see the movement everywhere on the field. The practice opened fairly slowly with the usual drills. No pads or hitting. There were several drills to watch. The QBs threw to the receiver corp. The linemen pushed on each other some. The DBs ran coverage drills. Usual stuff.
          After about 20 minutes of drills, they ran walkthroughs. Nothing too exciting.

          Then the teams began to run some plays. You could feel the competitiveness of these guys build not long after this began. It was not supposed to be this intense, but as the plays passed these guys began to compete with each other.

          The receivers looked excellent. In past camps we had so many of the receivers with injuries that you had four or five people to run all the plays. This year I haven't seen any of the recivers gimpy. Bruce and Holt are performing at their usual level and Looker is improved from last year, but everyone is healthy so you have Mcdonald, Curtis, Furry and Coleman to run routes also. Most everyone has been catching balls you would expect caught, but there have been some drops and aa few circus catches by Looker and Curtis. All are up to speed. Looker caught a fairly long throw over the middle that was very well thrown at about 40 yards. It was a good split on the zone by Looker and a well thrown ball by Bulger. A little hope maybe? Chandler has found people nd thrown well. I feel the ball is back there too long, so we will have to see what develops as far as pressure.

          DB must not be well. Fisher and Butler sat all day and didn't do much of anything. Cody was in his usual spot by the trainer. I wish we could find a DB that was full sized. We appear to have very small people at the position across the board.

          The d-line is bigger this year. Lewis and Pickett seemed active in the middle, but this was a scrum, so who knows where we sit until the hitting starts. Kennedy seems to be in a little better shape this year, but I will wait to see something before I add him to the plus column. I didn't see anything to be high or low about so far. There may be a couple of surprises out of camp. Flowers and Hargrove seem agile and quick, but no one is knocking heads yet.

          On the TE front, Manumaleuna seems to have lost a little bulk. Mike Brake is getting some reps there as well as Nick Burly. Brake is in a position to block well most of the plays. If he can blockup to snuff, he will help. He finds his man and gets there almost every play.

          O line is thin. Pace will take a few weeks to adjust again this year after the season starts, so I hope King and Randall develop. I don't see the experience of past years.
          Jackson needs a map still. Once again last night he was on the wrong side for a play....
          -08-05-2004, 10:30 AM
        • psycho9985
          Camp 8/09/05
          by psycho9985
          Noticed that the pace of the drills has picked up again over my last visit over a week ago. You can start to see the players that cannot keep up with the increase in speed and tempo.

          I noticed Parrella right away. He looked good. Spry, actually. The guy is getting up there but he held his own in drills. This is the kind of depth that will really pay off, IMO.

          I noticed Willig pretty quickly, too. The guy is huge. He was standing next to Pace, Grant Williams and Matt Morgan (All three were not dressed, although I think Morgan was earlier) and Willig looked bigger. He is huge. He looked OK in drills although it was apparent that his conditioning could be better. He looked pretty fatigued and the heat was bothering him, I think. Willig was the 2nd team LOT, which could be where he ends up if G. Williams can hold on to the starting ROT job. I can see Willig starting at ROT before long. We shall see. Tucker was hammered again today. Talk about false advertising. The guy looks lost. beat. Get this guy a white flag. Maybe its rust, maybe its the new system. Whatever it is...its got him good.

          I closely watched a RB/FB vs LB drill where the back had to keep the LB away from the QB (tackling dummy). It was spirited. The linebackers were chewing up the backs early, even Faulk was not getting the job done. Jackson and Harris did better than the rest. Cason might as well just put a skirt on. He can't block. period. Claiborne and Trev Faulk were a load. Claiborne took the back with him on his way to the dummy. Impressive. Pisa, Coakley and Pisa were shifty. Chillar bulled his way through a few times. At one point, Jeremy Lloyd was thrown around by Jackson. Coach Vitt (who was very vocal throughout the drill) screamed at Lloyd and told him (loudly) "if he was going to do the drill like that then he might as well stick out his chest, put a target on it and wear a blindfold." Funny stuff. Hedgecock was not with this group. He was with in the TE group. Interesting.

          The receivers vs CBs drill was a one-on-one with Smoker throwing. Smoker had trouble with low and late throws and it really wasnt even his drill. Smoker was not impressive. The drill was predictable. Bruce and Holt (who was dressed and looked fine...better than fine) and Curtis and McDonald all had their way with the CBs. Ivey knocked a few down. He also had an INT later in drills. He is really fighting for a spot. He may get it since the nickel back "leader" (IMO, anyway) was Anderson, but he was cut this morning after violating curfew. You DO NOT get cut for violating this rule a single time. There must have been other stuff. Shame.

          Marmie and Schottenhiemer watched and coached this drill carefully. Schottenhiemer did a lot of talking and pointing things out to players. Marmie didnt say much..some at the end. Marmie appears very, very unmotivating. He's a thinker and a watcher. I hope our defense doesnt pick up...
          -08-09-2005, 05:28 PM
        • Nick
          Thoughts on Tonight's Game
          by Nick
          Again, I'm not one to base my life savings on preseason games. But some of the things I saw tonight worry me.


          -Wow, the first team offense looked confused out there. First of all, the offensive line. I think I could count on one hand the number of times I saw adequate blocking either for a pass or run play. We really miss Pace, and it doesn't look like anyone is really stepping up. All anyone has to do is blitz and the line folds like Swiss.

          -Bulger looked bad. He was lucky to actually have time to throw most of the time, but some of his throws just looked off-target. He and Isaac couldn't hook up on the first drive (although I liked that 17-yard out later in the half), and he gunned that slant to Looker a bit too hard. He looked out of synch and rattled, understandably because of the pressure but still... and held onto the ball too long on some plays. Looked like he didn't even see Barber coming from midfield on that interception.

          -Faulk showed a cutback here or there and looked quick, but didn't do much that I could see. With this line and the blocking we have, Jackson looks much better at this point. He can shed the first guy and gain a couple after that. Given what this line has showed us so far, we may be forced to depend on that.

          -Chandler looked okay but not as sharp as he did against the Bears. Nearly got picked twice on two bad throws (one was probably penalty worthy on the Chiefs DB). Looks like he was suffering from some of the same O-line problems Bulger faced in the first half, but I don't think Chris was being blitzed as much, though.

          -Kevin Curtis looks like he's answering McDonald's performance last game. He's had some nice grabs and has me optimistic about our depth at wide receiver.

          -Just saw the line give up a sack on a three man rush, and not because Chandler was holding onto the ball too long. This is embarassing. SIGN PACE NOW!!!

          -Smoker fumbled the snap. Ugh. Smoker's pass gets stolen by a KC defensive back. Double ugh. Smoker throws into double coverage and would have been intercepted had the DB come down in bounds. Ugh to the third power. On the bright side, I saw Smoker hit a number of guys... that were wide open. I guess that's better than whiffing on some.


          -We can't stop the run to save our life. It's that simple. I don't know what they have to do, but it seemed like our lineman couldn't get off their blocks, and I saw Tommy Polley being taken out of a play by Dante freakin' Hall. DANTE HALL!!! He weighs 100 pounds wet. No wonder Polley's been demoted.

          -Our defensive line has had some problems tackling the quarterback. Little looked like he was in a practice mindset by whiffing on Trent Green early in the game. When Tyoka did get to the QB, he was called for a bogus penalty. Other than that, the D-line hasn't impressed...
          -08-23-2004, 08:49 PM
        • evil disco man
          My Thoughts...
          by evil disco man
          On the game tonight.

          - The team seemed genuinely enthusiastic despite their lackluster performance against the Chiefs and only a three-day break.

          - Once again the Rams burned all their timeouts fairly early, but the call by the officials on the Challenge was bullcrap.

          - Torry Holt was okay, I guess.

          - The offensive line was surprisingly stout. They showed flashes of good run blocking early on and gradually got better as the game went on. The pass blocking was, for the most part, solid. Scott Tercero was horrible at right tackle as usual, Tom Nutten was unfortunately injured soon after he came in, and Chris Dishman was very slow on his pulls, but he's a big fella.

          - I watched Brandon Manumaleuna as he pulled around to block for Marshall on one play, which looked like it would be a good gain, and he completely whiffed on his block.

          - Isaac Bruce was Isaac Bruce.

          - Marshall Faulk (as if I need to say his last name) was solid, but didn't show me anything to prove he hasn't lost a step.

          - Steven Jackson seemed to get quicker and more consistent as the game went on. He carried the team on his shoulders moving downfield on a drive in the fourth. His strength along with his ability to read blocks and react impressed me greatly.

          - Arlen Harris looks to be the same as last year. Boring, slow, but solid, especially for a fourth running back. Same with Dane Looker, minus the "slow" part (maybe?).

          - Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis looked supremely superb. McDonald was quick, fluid, and breaking tackles while Curtis made an amazing catch that was called back (holding) and displayed blazing speed. Those shin splints are a thing of the past, methinks. At this point, Shaun seems to be leading the race for the slot position. I loved the play where he took the handoff as he was motioning across the field and took it around the corner for a first down.

          - Bulger was off-mark on a couple passes as usual, but gave fans some optimism with his impressive play. Chandler was smart, accurate, and efficient as usual. He started off a bit slow (5/10 100 some yards and a pick) but tore it up the Skins' defense later on.

          - Hell, even Jeff Smoker looked pretty good. His first pass was a beauty. As he turned around to roll out, he was met face-to-face with a Redskins defender, but immediately flipped the ball out for a nice completion.

          - Erik Jensen dropped a pass that landed right in his cradle.

          - The defensive line was better than I expected. Leonard made a couple plays, Bryce Fisher was efficient at right end, Erik Flowers was in on a lot of plays, and all three were making tackles against the run. Damione Lewis showed good pass rushing abilities on his late hit (&@%$!). The tackles overall seemed to hold their ground and even clogged the middle (gasp!) on...
          -08-27-2004, 09:26 PM
        • RamDez
          RamView, July 30, 2005 - By Mike Franke
          by RamDez
          RamView, July 30, 2005
          From RamsPark

          By Mike Franke

          Caveat emptor: I've been to several of these and you'd think I'd know what I'm looking at by now, but there's a lot going on and it is very easy to miss things. I'm reporting on a combination of what I saw during offensive drills, 9-on-7 passing drills and the 11-on-11 scrimmage from Saturday morning's practice.

          Position by position:
          * QB: Marc Bulger looks right on, throwing very accurately, squeezing pinpoint passes in between defenders. I didn't get to see a lot of his long ball. I did get to see a lot of Jamie Martin's, which have hang time. Martin also foundered badly against practice blitzes and had a few bad-looking throwaways. He looks a lot more comfortable throwing short passes than anything over, say, five yards. In my opinion he's no lock for the team if the young guys "step up." Except. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't impress me much until he dropped a nice long pass into Brandon Middleton's hands on his last play. And I didn't see Jeff Smoker much in the scrimmages at all. Don't know what's up with that. He served mostly as the QB (target) in pass-rush drills.

          * RB: Stephen Jackson and Adam Archuleta got in the first "fight" of training camp. Jackson, wearing one of the gold "don't touch me" jerseys, gave Arch some kind of forearm shiver, and exceptions were exchanged. Stephen showed his usual ability to weave through traffic, though I'd contend the running game would not have been very successful in a full-contact scenario. Marshall Faulk got some work, but not much heavy lifting. Aveion Cason would have taken a long pass all the way on a play where the defense blew the coverage, and showed nice quickness. In my opinion, he'd be the #3 ahead of Arlen Harris, but Harris didn't look too bad out there himself. Madison Hedgecock dropped the only pass I saw thrown to him, but makes up for that by being a big ol' boy who likes to hit. He probably did the best hitting out there.

          * Receivers: Brandon Middleton had the two most visible plays, snagging a couple of deep balls. Dane Looker had a long catch against broken coverage. Kevin Curtis dived to haul in a long Martin floater along the far sideline, even though he was well-covered. Kid has hands of glue. Dante Ridgeway ripped away a DB's attempt to pick off a bad hot pass and probably would have had a long gainer. Shaun McDonald had a brutal drop of an open long ball. I believe Michael Coleman also had a drop.

          * Offensive line: Maybe Orlando Pace really doesn't need training camp. It doesn't look like he needs it, anyway. Pace mainly toyed with Anthony Hargrove and got an ovation from the crowd (how cool is that?) after one last futile attempt by Hargrove to beat him during one-on-one drills. Right tackle doesn't look nearly as sure. Alex Barron isn’t in camp. Blaine Saipaia looks like the best of the pack; he flattened...
          -07-30-2005, 04:05 PM