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  • Rams Wrap Up Practice Week

    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 some results by the end of the weekend.

    “He’s very frustrated,” Martz said. “I understand what Kyle’s going through, I feel for the guy. As soon as we can get some sort of answer to his medical situation, I’m sure we can move forward with it.” Center Dave Wohlabaugh is in a similar situation. Martz said he had received word on how Wohlabaugh’s hip tested, but won’t know the details until the weekend.

    O-LINE WOES: The injuries along the offensive line have put the Rams in a precarious position heading into Thursday night. Martz said the team might have only six or seven linemen available for the game. Adam Timmerman might not play because of shoulder soreness and Chris Dishman is battling back spasms. “I’m really concerned about our offensive line,” Martz said. “We are down to the last few standing.”

    INJURY UPDATE: The Rams managed to make it through the week of practices in slightly better shape on the injury front than they had after the scrimmage against the Bears on Saturday. The team hit its low, injury-wise, when end Bryce Fisher left the scrimmage with a sprained ankle.

    In the time since, a number of players have returned to practice, including starters Robert Thomas and Leonard Little.
    Watching Wednesday’s practice with injuries were players who have missed most of camp with injuries. CB Robert Cromartie and TE Cameron Cleeland missed practice again with hamstring problems. Rookie TE Erik Jensen continued to struggle with knee problems. Martz said this past week that Jensen would probably miss 10 days to two weeks, putting Jensen back in practice as early as next week.

    ROSTER MOVE: To make room for guard Jason Lenzmeier, who practiced for the first time Tuesday, the Rams released wide receiver Kelvin Kight. Kight was an undrafted free agent out of Florida. Lenzmeier is the third offensive lineman to sign with the Rams since they moved to Macomb for training camp. Greg Randall and Chris Dishman signed earlier in camp after injuries struck the line.

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  • 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
  • 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
    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,...
    -08-21-2004, 12:19 AM
  • Nick
    Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session - PD
    by Nick
    Rams' progress leads Martz to skip a practice session
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Jun. 07 2005

    Rams coach Mike Martz might have surprised himself more than anyone when he
    canceled practice Saturday afternoon. That move eliminated about 20 percent of
    the team's time on Rams Park fields for the three-day minicamp, something any
    NFL coach would be reluctant to do.

    But Martz was so happy with the progress he'd seen in the first three workouts,
    he felt comfortable giving his troops the afternoon off after a tough 2
    1/2-hour morning session in 90-degree heat. "To take a practice and not use it
    indicates you're pretty pleased," he explained.

    Martz's degree of satisfaction remained high after a two-hour practice wrapped
    up minicamp Sunday afternoon. "We're way ahead of the curve from where we've
    been in the past," he said. "Ninety-five percent of the squad has been here
    most of the time (for offseason workouts), which is highly unusual for any
    organization. They're prepared.

    "I can honestly say that I am pleased with the progress everywhere, which is
    probably a first."

    These aspects stood out:

    * The level of competition was considerably higher than last summer.
    "Absolutely. You can see it out there," third-year linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa
    said. "Whether it's the first or the second team, guys are flying around, even
    the third-team guys when they get out there. They're ready to compete."

    * The quality of the depth at several positions runs deeper. "That's
    the one thing on every squad that you try to have," Martz said. "If you're
    strong at the bottom of your roster with young players, then it's going to put
    a lot of pressure on the stars that you have. That makes you better."

    * The defense, which a year ago was getting its first exposure to
    new coordinator Larry Marmie, was perhaps the most impressive unit during
    minicamp, even though at least five new faces were manning first-team spots.
    "Everybody looked real good; there's a lot of competition," defensive end
    Leonard Little said.

    Martz was particularly enthused about the play of the cornerbacks, even though
    first-teamer Travis Fisher missed the last two practices because of a hip
    injury. "It was outstanding," Martz said. "We had the corners make more plays
    in these practices than we've had since all the time I've been here in
    practice. So that showed up real big, in my opinion."

    * The special teams, under the direction of first-year coach Bob
    Ligashesky, will work often, and hard. "I think the difference...
    -06-08-2005, 02:12 AM
  • RamWraith
    Easy does it, Martz says, for practice at WU
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Aug. 05 2005

    It was billed as a scrimmage when the Rams' training camp schedule was
    announced in mid-June. But that's not what will take place at 7 tonight when
    the Rams gather at Francis Field on the campus of Washington University.

    "It's not a scrimmage," coach Mike Martz said Friday. "There's no tackling.
    We're not charging any money for it. It's just practice. It's kind of like what
    happened out here today."

    Well, not exactly, but for fans who attended night practices at Hanson Field in
    Macomb when the Rams trained at Western Illinois University, it will look very
    familiar.

    During 11-on-11 "team" periods, the Rams will have coaches in the press box,
    headsets working and players standing on the sideline when not participating in
    a play. Substitutions will come on and off the field as they would in a game.

    "It's kind of like a (game day) dress rehearsal," Martz said.

    With limited contact.

    "It's not a competitive thing at all," Martz said. "We're going to do 48 plays
    and the kicking game and some seven-on-seven (drills)."

    With the Rams' preseason opener against Chicago just six days away, Martz also
    wanted to work at night; hence, the decision to work at Francis Field. (The
    Rams Park outdoor practice fields aren't lighted.)

    Admission is free at Francis Field, which seats 3,300. Parking is free, with
    spectators encouraged to park on the east end of campus near Skinker Boulevard.
    No video cameras, coolers or alcohol will be allowed. Concession stands will be
    open in the stadium.

    Spectators are asked to bring new school supplies to benefit the St. Louis
    Public Schools; they will be collected as fans enter the stadium.

    Normally, this is the time at training camp when the Rams scrimmage against
    another team. In six of the Rams' first 10 years in St. Louis, they have
    practiced and scrimmaged against another team:

    Last year, it was the Chicago Bears in Macomb.

    In 2000, the Tennessee Titans worked against the Rams in Macomb.

    In 1997, 1998, and 1999, the Rams worked with the Indianapolis Colts
    on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.

    In 1996, the Rams worked against the Bears in Platteville, Wis.

    As he enters his sixth year as head coach, Martz says he no longer is
    interested in joint practices and scrimmages with another club.

    "I just don't want to do it anymore," Martz said. "It's just not worth it. It's
    a fight to keep your guys healthy, and then you throw them in that environment; ...
    -08-06-2005, 05:15 AM
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