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  • Storm prompts team to end camp

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    MACOMB, Ill. - The exodus began about 6 p.m. Thursday, less than an hour after Rams coach Mike Martz abruptly declared an early end to Camp Macomb.

    "We've got a big storm coming in tonight, so I told them to get out of here," Martz said. "I don't want them driving home in the rain in the morning. It's supposed to rain all night and well into (today). So, we wouldn't get anything out of a morning practice out here, obviously."

    The team practiced twice Thursday and was scheduled for a morning workout today before checking out of Thompson Hall and returning to St. Louis. Instead, Martz planned a light practice for this afternoon at Rams Park.

    "We'll reorganize down there," he said. "We had a heck of a camp up here. We came out of this thing healthy; the injury list is minimal compared with what it's been in past years. We've had good tempo, the work's been outstanding. I'm pleased with where we are."

    The Rams will practice Saturday and Sunday evenings. Their second of four exhibition games is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

    Hargrove moves

    Rookie Anthony Hargrove said he'd heard scuttlebutt about his moving to defensive tackle from defensive end. But when it became reality, he still was stunned.

    "It's kind of a shocking thing, something that I never thought really would happen," said Hargrove, the Rams' third- round draft choice. "It's one of those things that's in the back of your mind, but when it happens, you're really just kind of caught off-guard."

    Martz indicated that the strong play of Bryce Fisher and Erik Flowers at right end provided an opportunity to get a look at Hargrove on the inside. He worked at tackle Wednesday and Thursday, and pronounced himself "happy to take the challenge."

    "Coach Martz told me that he thinks the way I come off the ball and the way I play, that's a natural fit for me," Hargrove said. "I think it's going to be a real comfortable move for me."

    Veteran defensive end Tyoka Jackson likes the idea, too.

    "He's 6-4, 285 (or so), probably the strongest dude on the team, as fast as Leonard (Little) ... yeah, I'm cool with that," Jackson said. "He's going to make his mistakes because he's young, he's a rookie. But he's going to make his plays, too."

    Jensen returns

    A long and trying stretch on the injury list finally came to an end for rookie Erik Jensen, who practiced in full pads Thursday for the first time since suffering a sprained knee ligament in the first week of camp.

    Jensen, a seventh-round draft pick, said as time wore on, his frustration grew.

    "You want to come in and show them what you've got. Sitting on the sidelines, you really can't do that," he said.

    A tight end at Iowa, Jensen has been moved to fullback, a position he last played in high school in Appleton, Wis. He said he's somewhat familiar with the hybrid role that many NFL teams use, including the Rams.

    "I did a little bit of H-back stuff in Iowa, but not to the degree that they've got it going here, with the shifts and the movements," Jensen said. He pointed out that at 6 feet 2 and 253 pounds, "I'm kind of an in between tight end and fullback kind of guy. So, it fits me."

  • #2
    Re: Storm prompts team to end camp

    Hargrove's 285 and the strongest guy on the team? That is very interesting.

    It certainly would be ironic if the Rams found the answer at DT not from the group of 1st rounders but rather from a DE drafted in the third round.

    Either way, it sounds like Hargrove's a player.


    • #3
      Re: Storm prompts team to end camp

      I like the new sig, Wraith. :ramlogo:


      • #4
        Re: Storm prompts team to end camp

        Thanks EDM!

        Finally got some new graphic programs after I left my job, so can I play again ;-)

        Originally posted by Evil Disco Man
        I like the new sig, Wraith. :ramlogo:


        • #5
          Re: Storm prompts team to end camp

          Hargrove's move to DT is making me more than just a little nervous, but...
          "Coach Martz told me that he thinks the way I come off the ball and the way I play, that's a natural fit for me," Hargrove said. "I think it's going to be a real comfortable move for me."
          ...he isn't and that's all that really matters. This guy looks better everyday.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.


          Related Topics


          • RamWraith
            Rams rookie loses home in Florida hurricane
            by RamWraith
            By Jim Thomas
            Of the Post-Dispatch
            MACOMB, Ill. - The effects of Hurricane Charley have reached all the way to Western Illinois University. Defensive end Anthony Hargrove, a rookie from Georgia Tech, missed Sunday's Rams workout to be with his family in Florida.

            Hargrove, the Rams' third-round draft pick in April, is from Punta Gorda, Fla.

            "Anthony's family was in that hurricane, and his girlfriend was missing," coach Mike Martz said. "So he flew down there. Fortunately, they had gone to another town and were accounted for once they got down there.

            "But he's got a lot of things to do with his family to help them get back on their feet, into a hotel and what not, because their house is gone basically."

            Martz said he expects Hargrove back tonight.

            Dishman gets time off

            Guard Chris Dishman also missed practice Sunday to tend to matters back home in Nebraska, but under less dire circumstances.

            "When we signed him, he didn't get a chance to say goodbye to his family," Martz said. "So we gave him a day to get back and kind of get his things back in order, like everybody else has a chance to do before they come to camp. The poor guy didn't have a chance to do that, so he needed an opportunity to go back and get some things squared away."

            Dishman, who weighed in at 366 pounds after signing with the Rams, saw some action in the second half Thursday against Chicago. He had some trouble with speed moves in that game, but Martz is pleased with Dishman's conditioning.

            "He's continued to trim his weight down," Martz said. "He's a ways away yet by his own admission. But on those things, you've got to try and be as patient with them as you can."

            Cleeland progresses

            Tight end Cam Cleeland has missed two weeks because of a hamstring injury but is nearly ready to play.

            "He's very close, and would be questionable for this week," Martz said. "But we'll err on the side of caution. We'll try to keep him out this week (against Kansas City) and then get him ready."

            With seventh-round draft pick Erik Jensen (knee) also sidelined, Mike Brake and Ryan Prince have been getting plenty of work as the Nos. 2 and 3 tight ends behind starter Brandon Manumaleuna.

            Rams like weather

            The Rams have had only two practice days in Macomb that could be considered hot - and Sunday wasn't one of them.

            Has the weather for training camp been too mild?

            "I'm never worried about the heat," Martz said. "First of all, we play indoors - it's air-conditioned."

            And the only outdoors game the Rams play this season where warm weather could be a factor is Oct. 24, in Miami.
            -08-16-2004, 05:25 AM
          • RamDez
            Inside Slant
            by RamDez
            The Rams are eager for training camp to start, when they can get the pads on defensive end Anthony Hargrove. The team's third-round pick this year was impressive during offseason work, despite not playing college football last year and the fact he originally arrived at Georgia Tech after playing quarterback and safety in high school.

            But coaches believed he could get his weight from 225 to the 260 range and be a defensive end. He played two seasons there before academic troubles cost him the 2003 season.

            The Rams were so intrigued by Hargrove they sent defensive line coach Bill Kollar to Atlanta to work him out before the draft. The timing worked out so that Kollar met Hargrove at the airport when the player was returning from a visit to Dallas.

            "That's when I knew they really liked me," Hargrove said. "When a coach is going to fly in from another state, pick ME up at the airport, just to work me out for 20 minutes. I thought that was saying a lot."

            Said Kollar, "He's a guy that's got a ton of ability. He's a guy that can run, change direction and all that kind of stuff. But he's just really raw right now."

            Recalling watching Hargrove on tape, Kollar said, "You would see his athletic ability every now and then, when he would actually take off and run. And then when you find out he was 18 and 19, and never played defensive end before, all that kind of stuff makes a huge difference."

            What Kollar really likes is his passion for the game. Hargrove will need it with the way Kollar grinds players on a daily basis. With that desire to improve, Kollar believes Hargrove can contribute as a rookie.

            "We're hoping he can," Kollar said. "It'd be great if he could come in there and give us some pass rush in third-down situations. Or maybe he could end up even playing in base downs. But you really don't know. You're really starting from ground floor. He hasn't done anything for a year and a half, football-wise. But he's an energetic kid that wants to learn."


            —Fourth quarterbacks on summer depth charts are usually nothing more than training camp arms, but Russ Michna might be more than that. Michna led Western Illinois University to two consecutive Division I-AA playoffs, and passed for 3,160 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Michna will feel at home during camp since the Rams train at Western Illinois.

            WIU assistant head coach Mark Hendrickson believes Michna has a chance in the NFL.

            "From my experience, I felt that you have to be physically tougher, very intelligent and an accurate passer to be a quarterback in the NFL and stick with a team," Hendrickson said. "And he has high marks in (all three). His intangibles are off the chart. If you had wires connected to record his heart beat, you'd...
            -07-06-2004, 12:32 PM
          • RamWraith
            Rams Get Back to Work
            by RamWraith
            Monday, August 9, 2004

            By NICK WAGONER
            Staff Writer

            With the return of the Rams to practice Monday afternoon, came the return of many of the injured players who missed valuable time in the past couple of weeks.

            St. Louis, which beat Chicago in a scrimmage 12-6 on Saturday, had Saturday evening and Sunday off. Most of the veterans went back to St. Louis to be with their families, while the rookie and first-year guys stayed in Macomb.

            The opportunity for rest couldn’t have come at a better time for a banged-up St. Louis squad that had as many as 13 missing members at one time. Most of the injuries didn’t heal in the day off, but they improved enough to see a number of the affected players come back.

            Coach Mike Martz said it was necessary to give his team the time it needed to recover. “It’s good to get them back out here,” Martz said. “The first two weeks we really went hard and now we need to get them back a little bit and have a good couple days and get ready to go play the Bears.”

            Monday’s practice was a light workout, with the players in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts). The hardest work of the day came at the end of practice as each position spent time running sprints and doing conditioning work.

            Martz said the choice of outfits allowed many of the players to return when they couldn’t have in full pads. Among the Rams making their return to the field were Leonard Little, Travis Fisher, Jerametrius Butler, Robert Thomas and Anthony Hargrove.

            “By putting them in shells today we could get a lot of them back,” Martz said. “I’m very pleased with where this team is. They’ve got a great attitude…and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

            MORE ON HARGROVE: The rookie defensive end, who had missed most of the past week with ankle and knee problems, returned and showed few ill effects.

            Hargrove was one of the camp’s early standouts showing the speed to blow past any tackle and the power to run them over. Hargrove pushed his injuries a little with his return, saying he tweaked the injury during one-on-one drills, but he refused to sit any more time and completed a couple rounds of sprints.

            Hargrove said it was difficult to watch his teammates practice; knowing an opportunity to play right away is at stake.
            “To be sidelined is a hard thing on me,” Hargrove said. “I’ve been working for this for a year now.”

            In a defensive line drill with a series of dummies, Hargrove proved to be at the head of the class again, despite his injuries. With four dummies lined up closely, line coach Bill Kollar challenged his players to see who could do it the quickest and strongest without falling on their face as some of the lineman had done earlier in the drill.

            Defensive tackle Bernard Holsey served as judge for the competition while he rested his knee. The...
            -08-10-2004, 05:53 AM
          • RamWraith
            Rams Get Back to Work
            by RamWraith
            Sunday, August 15, 2004

            By Nick Wagoner
            Staff Writer

            With less than a week of training camp to go, St. Louis got back to work Sunday afternoon with a spirited workout. After a 13-10 loss to the Bears in their first preseason game in which a number of small mistakes cost them the game, the Rams began to remove the kinks.

            St. Louis had most of the weekend off after the game and returned to Macomb on Sunday morning. The rookies and first-year players came back Friday and the veterans were free to return before Sunday morning’s weightlifting session.

            Now, the Rams will have plenty of time to remove the miscues, as they don’t play another game until an Aug. 23 showdown with cross-state rival Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. Martz said it was nice to get his team back to work and begin correcting the problems that were evident Thursday night. “They ran and lifted this morning to kind of get the blood flowing a little bit,” Martz said. “They get out here in full gear and it’s hard to get used to that when you’ve been off for a little bit, but I thought they did a good job.”

            The practice seemed to run smoothly with the starting offense getting a lot of repetitions. Running back Marshall Faulk took every snap with the first unit and looked strong, showing good burst and vision, as per his usual. Quarterback Marc Bulger continued his excellent camp with some nice completions into traffic and a perfectly thrown deep ball that Torry Holt hauled in for a long touchdown.

            Martz said he can’t be worried about fatigue this late in camp and he likes the way the team came back after having some down time. “They have worked so hard,” Martz said. “You’ve got to recover. You just have to let some of these nicks heals. We have a real tough stretch here after this next week. If you’re going to take a break, now is the time to do that.”

            MISSING PERSONS FILE: A few Rams missed Sunday’s workout for various reasons. Martz said defensive end Anthony Hargrove left to take care of his family and friends in the south who were affected by Hurricane Charley. Hargrove was given the time to ensure that they could find a hotel and that everyone was safe. Fortunately, Hargrove’s family was safe when he got there.

            Chris Dishman also got a little extra time over the weekend so he could get some things in order. When Dishman signed, he reported to camp immediately and had little to no chance to tie up any loose ends at his home in Arizona, let alone say goodbye to his family. Martz excused him to take care of anything outstanding. Hargrove and Dishman are expected back as early as Monday.

            INJURY UPDATE: Pisa Tinoisamoa and Arlen Harris practiced as normal Sunday, showing few ill effects from injuries suffered against the Bears. Tinoisamoa (left ankle sprain) and Harris (slight concussion) didn’t miss any time.
            Robert Cromartie and Cameron...
            -08-16-2004, 05:14 AM
          • RamDez
            Anthony Hargrove hurt
            by RamDez
            Veteran tackle joins depleted line
            By Bill Coats
            Of the Post-Dispatch

            MACOMB, Ill. - Help arrived Sunday night in a big package. A 6-foot-6, 333-pound package, to be precise.

            Tackle Greg Randall, a five-year NFL veteran, hustled from his hometown of Houston to Western Illinois University, signed a one-year contract with the Rams, and was on the practice field Monday morning. Randall was hired to shore up an offensive line that has become short on personnel during training camp.

            "I'm very excited. I'm just trying to come out here and work hard," said Randall, who has huffing and puffing a bit after a full-pads workout that was cut to about 90 minutes because of a thunderstorm. No afternoon practice was scheduled.

            Randall, working at right tackle with the second team, took part in full-contact action. "Obviously, we feel pretty good about him to bring him in like this and throw him in there like we did," coach Mike Martz said. "We put him in a live situation for about 10 plays out here, and he was able to perform pretty well."

            With Orlando Pace absent during contract negotiations and fellow tackle Kyle Turley (back) and center Dave Wohlabaugh (hip) out with injuries, 60 percent of the front five is missing. Grant Williams, Andy King and Scott Tercero have been filling in on the first unit, but depth had become a concern.

            Randall, 26, was New England's fourth-round pick (127th overall) in the 2000 draft out of Michigan State. He started 23 games for the Patriots over three seasons; he played against the Rams in the Super Bowl following the '01 season. He was traded to Houston and started all 16 games at right tackle last year for the Texans, then signed with San Francisco in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

            His time with the ***** was short: He was released in June. "They sent me a letter," Randall said. "Nobody called me."

            More than a month passed before anyone else called, either. "I was a little worried, but you can't get too down about it," he said. "If you don't get picked up, you've got to move on and do something else."

            For now, Randall is undergoing a crash course with the Rams' playbook. "It's tough; there's a lot to learn," he said. "You have to try to figure out what you're supposed to do on a play instead of just relaxing and playing. But it's a great offense."

            Plus, he's trying to get into football shape as rapidly as possible. "Being in pads and then going against people live is completely different from just getting up and running," Randall said. The opportunity to resume his career "means a lot to me," he said. "I'm happy to be here, and I just want to go out here and work hard and try to do my business."

            -08-03-2004, 11:17 AM