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  • Rookies look back at dealing with camp

    Rookies look back at dealing with camp
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 21 2004

    Camping out was a new experience for rookie Steven Jackson, the Rams' top draft
    choice; his Oregon State team held preseason workouts on campus. So, how did
    Jackson like his first trip to Macomb, Ill.?

    "It's good to get home," Jackson said emphatically Friday, the day after the
    team broke camp at Western Illinois University. Jackson said the first thing he
    did after returning to St. Louis was "lie down on my bed and get a good night's
    rest."

    The Rams spent 3 1/2 weeks in Macomb, interrupted only by a one-day trip back
    on Aug. 12 to play Chicago in a preseason game at the Edward Jones Dome.
    Otherwise, they were exiled in McDonough County.

    The veterans were well-versed in training camp. The rookies, though, needed
    some indoctrination. "You really don't know what to expect coming in," said
    safety Jason Shivers, a fifth-round draft pick from Arizona State. "It was a
    little long, and I didn't want to make it any worse just by thinking about it.
    So I just told myself, 'We're going to take it day by day.'"

    Jackson said the "days kind of ran together. At times, you didn't know what day
    of the week it was or what time it was. You just knew that you had to do
    football."

    One of the major adjustments, Shivers said, was returning to a dormitory
    setting, with community showers, bathrooms and tiny rooms with lumpy
    mattresses. "That sort of took me back to college, being in that little square
    box," he said. "But we're really not in there that long, with meetings and
    practice and your daily regimen. It was just a sleeping quarter."

    Jackson said the experience helped him understand why coaches take their team
    out of town to prepare for the regular season. "I can really see the meaning of
    a camp," he said. "A lot of coaches believe camp is for guys getting together
    and bonding, and that's where you form the team. It's something that you just
    have to experience for yourself."

    The Rams will hold evening practices tonight and Sunday in preparation for
    their Monday night preseason game in Kansas City.
    McCollum returns to center

    After a one-year stint at left guard, veteran Andy McCollum is back at center,
    where he started 48 consecutive regular-season games for the Rams from 2000
    through 2002. Dave Wohlabaugh, the team's center last season, was waived this
    week because of a lingering hip problem.

    McCollum, who has said he doesn't prefer one position over the other,
    emphasized that the circumstances under which he returned to center were less
    than ideal. "That's just how it worked out; it's pretty strange," McCollum
    said. "It was unfortunate with that injury that Dave had. It's sad to see him
    go. I consider him my friend."

    Although the offensive line has been thinned out significantly by of injuries,
    McCollum is optimistic that the group will come together by the time the season
    opens Sept. 12.

    "We've got some guys stepping up, these young guys who are learning the
    system," he said. "You can see how well they did last week against Chicago.
    Scotty (Tercero), Andy (King) and all those young guys are doing a pretty good
    job. So, don't count those guys out, because they can play. ... If we need them
    to play for the whole season, I'm sure they'll do a great job."

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamWraith
    Veterans may have easier time this year
    by RamWraith
    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat

    ST. LOUIS --
    Running back Steven Jackson reported for the St. Louis Rams' training camp wearing an "I Believe" T-shirt from the team's advertising campaign.

    "I thought it was appropriate to wear it today because it's a new season, a new start," Jackson said.

    Jackson and the rest of the Rams were in good spirits as they started the necessary evil known as training camp.

    "I hate camp, but I know it's needed for the variety of guys to get to know each other, get the team all on the same page," Jackson said. "I've had a couple of veterans say that it helps you harden your body for the abuse that you are going to take during the season. But me myself, I hate it."

    Jackson said the worst part of training camp was two-a-days.

    Under the practice schedule initiated by Rams coach Scott Linehan last year, the team will alternate two practices (morning and night) on one day with one practice (afternoon) the next day.

    "Two practices a day, that's the hard part," Jackson said. "Once you get one practice out of the way, you're fine. Then after you take a nap between practice, you don't feel like getting up and doing the same thing over again."

    Linehan said he was going to budget the practice time of his over-30 players this year.

    "Whenever a veteran player can hear news like that, it brings a little bit of a smile to his face," said defensive tackle La'Roi Glover, 32. "Whenever you give a veteran a bone, we really appreciate it."

    Rams center Andy McCollum, who is the oldest player on the team at 37, reacted with disbelief upon hearing that Linehan was planning to ease up on the veterans.

    "You have that documented," McCollum said. "I haven't got that memo, and I doubt I will. That's OK."

    Glover said he remembers veterans getting a break during training camp his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders in 1996.

    "When I was a rookie, if you were 30-plus, you only practiced one time a day," Glover said. "What happened to those days, huh?"

    Glover said the oldest guy on offense and the oldest guy on defense were allowed to sit out one practice during two-a-days when he was with the New Orleans Saints.

    Reminded that wide receiver Isaac Bruce, the longest tenured Rams player as he enters his 14th season with the club, had his load lightened a little in training camp last year, Glover said, "Isaac is the franchise, I'm not going to question that one."

    Glover said his training camp survival kit includes his laptop computer.

    "I'm always on the Internet checking stuff out, e-mailing, trying to stay in touch with family and friends," Glover said....
    -07-27-2007, 01:15 PM
  • RamWraith
    Players settle in at Rams Park
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    07/27/2006



    Defensive end Brandon Green carried a shiny acoustic guitar. "It's kind of a pressure release. I'm not very good, but I can play enough to entertain myself and annoy others," Green explained.

    Defensive tackle La'Roi Glover toted a cache of personal items - "got the soap, got the gel." Plus his "toys" - "got the PlayStation, got the XBox 360."

    Such was the activity Wednesday morning, as the Rams players began showing up at the Holiday Inn in Earth City. Creature comforts were a high priority as they settled in for nearly a month at training camp.

    Cornerback Travis Fisher made sure to pack comfortable footwear. "You can't wear regular shoes, because your feet are going to be sore," he explained. "And you've got to have the Epsom salts" for relieving the aches that soon will surface.



    After check-in, the players attended a 1 p.m. meeting in the auditorium at Rams Park, with new coach Scott Linehan the featured speaker. More meetings were next, followed by a team dinner, and then more meetings.

    Today, the real grind starts: Two practices are planned, at 9:35 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. A single practice is set for 3:15 p.m. Friday. That basic schedule - two practices one day, then one practice the next - will be followed throughout most of camp.

    "It'll be a lot of fun to watch things get put together, watch the adjustments that everybody has to make, players and coaches alike," Linehan said. "We'll see how the team grows. ... The ultimate goal is be as ready to go and as healthy as possible for the (regular-season) opener against Denver" on Sept. 10 at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Keeping an eye fixed on the regular season is a key part of surviving the rigors of camp, according to wide receiver Kevin Curtis. "Just think about those games," he said. "Training camp can be grueling, but there's still that excitement for the season to get going."

    The team is training at Rams Park for the second year in succession. The previous nine years, the site was Western Illinois University. No one, it seems, is eager to return there. "This compared to a college dorm room? Oh, yeah, any day of the week," offensive lineman Richie Incognito said.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger said, "It's a better feeling coming to Rams Park than it is Macomb. We're excited. We're in St. Louis, we have a new coach, a lot of new guys on defense and we've got a (preseason) game in two weeks. We're ready to go."



    Excited ... ready ... but fun? Not for most. The worst aspect of camp is ...

    "Waking up between 5 and 6 in the morning, and then sitting in meetings for two or three hours." - cornerback...
    -07-27-2006, 04:59 AM
  • RamDez
    Rams find Camp Macomb was much cooler than usual
    by RamDez
    Rams find Camp Macomb was much cooler than usual
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Saturday, Aug. 21 2004

    For the Rams, Camp Macomb '04 is best summed up by one lingering snapshot. It
    was Thursday morning, on what turned out to be the last day of camp for the
    team at Western Illinois University.

    And there, doing his thing in the Rams secondary, was No. 35, Aeneas Williams .
    . . in sweatpants!

    Think about that for a moment. Training camp. Mid-August. Midwest. Sweatpants.

    So much for the dog days of August. In their 10 summers since the move to St.
    Louis, this has been the Rams' coolest training camp.

    "By far," head trainer Jim Anderson said. "I think we had maybe two (hot) days.
    We had that one Friday that was kind of in the low 90s and pretty humid a
    couple of weeks ago."

    And a couple of days where the temperature may have reached the mid-80s. But
    that was about it.

    "In past summers, it's been upper 90s and even up in the 100s on a few days. We
    just didn't have anything near that this year. Other than those (few) days, you
    couldn't have asked for a better camp."

    Gone are the days when tight end Troy Drayton collapsed in the dinner line
    because of dehydration. When offensive tackle Ryan Tucker sweated off 10 to 12
    pounds per practice. Or when Anderson's training staff would work overtime
    after practice administering IVs to restore fluids.

    "There were times when we'd do 10-12 IVs after a practice on a hot day,"
    Anderson said. "We didn't do one IV this year - not one. That's just pretty
    much unheard of for this part of the country."

    The weather, says middle linebacker Robert Thomas, "has just been a blessing."

    Some days, the Macomb weather was almost too cool, according to wide receiver
    Torry Holt.

    "It's kind of tough in the afternoons when it's cool like that," Holt said. "It
    takes a minute for the muscles to get going, and strains and different things
    like that can happen."

    Despite the resort weather, Camp Macomb '04 was hardly a, pardon the
    expression, country club.

    On that same cool morning last Thursday, defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson was
    dripping sweat when he spoke to reporters after practice. "Well, with Bill
    Kollar, he's going to find a way to get you wet," Jackson said. "That's not an
    issue."

    Kollar is the Rams' defensive line coach.

    "Camp is still rough no matter where it is," Jackson said. "But the weather can
    make it either extra rough, or tolerable. So this year, it was pretty tolerable
    with the weather."

    ...
    -08-22-2004, 12:06 AM
  • MauiRam
    10 Buirning Issues for Camp ..
    by MauiRam
    Burning Issues for Camp
    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Ten Burning Issues as the Rams Head to Training Camp

    1. A Short Memory

    At the end of a forgettable season, the Rams wanted to do nothing more than forget about the 3-13 season that was.

    Even in the immediate aftermath of the season-ending loss to Arizona, quarterback Marc Bulger made it a point to emphasize his desire to put 2007 behind him as quickly as possible.

    The Rams made the most of the offseason, using it as an opportunity to sweep away any thoughts of last season while still using it as motivation for 2008. The team made some major changes to the coaching staff, adding six new coaches, and re-assigning others to new positions.

    A big part of this training camp will be getting the new coaches and players ingratiated with the holdovers.

    “That’s part of being around each other,” Rams coach Scott Linehan said. “We have been around each other preparing for this season with OTA’s, office hours the way they are working, and guys putting in time. I think that’s another great benefit of being together with new people and new staff, you get to know each other better and spend time together. You have to have an idea of who you’re getting in the trenches with. That will be a big part of our training camp as well for sure.”

    Included in the myriad offseason changes were big money additions on the offensive line, a new kicker and a pair of veteran signal callers.

    With all of those moves made, the Rams are hoping that questions about 2007 can be left there and the optimism that inherently is included with a new season will take over soon after arrival in training camp.

    From an outside perspective, new offensive line coach Steve Loney is doing his best to ensure that his unit is unconcerned with the past and focused on the future.

    “I have nothing to draw upon,” Loney said. “As for the mindset, we tear the rearview mirrors off the car and just go ahead and move forward. I know obviously there are problems any time you are 3-13 but I guess my approach is to not think about that or compare it. We just have to do things the best we can.”

    2. Keeping the Pace

    There might not be a more important cog in the Rams offense than left tackle Orlando Pace. But Pace is coming off a second consecutive season ending injury, this time it was a shoulder that cost him almost an entire season after he injured it in the opening moments of the season opener against Carolina.

    Pace can still perform at a Pro Bowl level when healthy but hasn’t had the opportunity to do it in a while.

    The Rams opted to bring Pace along slowly in the offseason, rehabbing his shoulder in hopes he could be ready for the start of training camp. It doesn’t...
    -07-23-2008, 09:54 AM
  • RamWraith
    Leckey happy to show his versatility in line
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Aug. 15 2008
    Last October, running back Steven Jackson was flabbergasted when he got a look
    at Nick Leckey, the Rams' newly signed offensive lineman. "I'm bigger than
    him," Jackson blurted. "I asked him how much he weighed, and he said, '290,
    295.' I said, 'If he's 295, then I don't even want to know how much I weigh.'"

    Jackson's current weight is undetermined, because he's holding out for a new
    contract. But Leckey has been in attendance from Day One and was one of the
    pleasant surprises in training camp, which concluded Wednesday in Mequon, Wis.

    Coach Scott Linehan made a point near the end of camp to single out Leckey for
    his stout performance.

    "He's played good; when we played down there in Tennessee, those two days (of
    shared practices with the Titans last week), he really played good," Linehan
    said. "They have good, physical tackles, and he blocked the heck out of them."

    Leckey appreciated the praise, but shrugged it off quickly. "You can't let it
    get to your head," he said. "But it's definitely nice to prove that your play
    is turning some heads."

    A long shot to make the 53-man roster coming into camp, Leckey worked at center
    with the "ones" — the first-team offense — recently while Brett Romberg's
    broken hand heals. And he fit right in.

    "Every day you go out — even when I was (with) the 'threes' and 'twos' — in
    your mind, you go, 'OK, you've got to think of yourself as a 'one,'" Leckey
    said. "After you think about it, you're already focused and you're already
    prepared. So when an injury and such happens, you're ready to jump in."

    The 6-foot-3 Leckey, 26, played in 44 games, with 20 starts, over the 2005 and
    '06 seasons at center for the Arizona Cardinals, for whom he was a sixth-round
    draft choice in 2004. He was unceremoniously released after the second game
    last year.

    The Rams signed him Oct. 16, but he was inactive for three games before
    mounting injuries on the offensive line got him onto the game-day roster. He
    wound up starting three games at right guard, a position he hadn't played
    before.

    Center, Leckey says, is where he feels at home. "I definitely am more
    comfortable there," he said. "I made the transition my senior year of college
    (at Kansas State), moved from left guard to center, and I've played center ever
    since I got into the league."

    However, he realizes that the more versatile he is, the better chance he has of
    earning a spot on the team. "I feel like that's always how it's going to be for
    me; I've always got to struggle,"...
    -08-15-2008, 04:23 AM
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