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Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

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  • Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    08.10.2009 11:56 am
    Punches fly despite no-hitting practice at Rams Park
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch



    On a day when coach Steve Spagnuolo dialed back the hitting, going without a live-tackling session for the first time since the second day of St. Louis Rams training camp, the first fight of the preseason broke out. The combatants Monday morning were tight end Billy Bajema and safety James Butler, who apparently felt that Bajema hit him too low. A few punches were thrown, but no damage was done.

    “I’d rather not have it, because it slows down practice,” Spagnuolo said. “But I understand it, because we are getting some hard, physical work done. It got defused pretty quick.”

    Notes & quotes:

    *Spagnuolo confirmed that WR Donnie Avery has a stress fracture in his left foot and is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks.

    *At this time, the Rams aren’t planning to bring in another WR, Spagnuolo said. But that could change.

    *DE Leonard Little (neck) suited up but didn’t take part in team work. Victor Adeyanju took over his spot on the left side with the first team.

    *S Craig Dahl (hamstring) and DT Adam Carriker (ankle) remained out. FB Mike Karney (ankle) again was limited to individual drills.

    *For the second consecutive day, rookie James Laurinaitis took all the reps at MLB with the first unit, and Chris Draft lined up at SLB.

    *Rookie CB Bradley Fletcher picked off a pass from Brock Berlin in 11-on-11s and returned it to the end zone.

    *T Jason Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, had a rough time in one-on-one line drills. Smith is adjusting to the right side after playing LT at Baylor.

    All for now . . . more following the afternoon practice.

  • #2
    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

    Sounds to me like Jason Smith will probably struggle some his first few games until he adjusts to that right tackle spot. Hopefully he can learn it FAST and not become like Alex Barron did when forced to move.
    Also looks like Laurinaitis has that starting spot nailed down. Looking forward to seeing him play!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

      From the bits and pieces that I've read about Jason Smith. He may not even be in the starting line-up on opening day.
      sigpic :ram::helmet:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

        Originally posted by laram0 View Post
        From the bits and pieces that I've read about Jason Smith. He may not even be in the starting line-up on opening day.
        Maybe so. But I think this is just part of the learning curve. I found this snippet in an interview of Joey Porter from last year talking about taking on Pro Bowl rookie Jake Long in camp....
        When explaining why pass rushers can have good seasons at an advanced age, linebacker Joey Porter said, ``The game slows down when you get older. When you're young, you're just getting by on straight-up talent.''
        He's a smart kid. Smith will pick this up. I think he'll be on the RT come week 1. But if not, he will be there soon. Rome wasn't built in a day. Nor was the career of Jason Smith.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

          Smith is a very different guy than barron. Barron was fine as a pass blocker right out of the gate. He wasnt as strong in the running game (and still isnt). Smith is the flip side of that, never have played with his hand on the ground in college. Meanwhile, i have said it before and i will say it again. It was a mistake to cut orlando pace.

          ramming speed to all

          general counsel

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

            Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
            *T Jason Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, had a rough time in one-on-one line drills. Smith is adjusting to the right side after playing LT at Baylor.
            I really think it's a mistake moving him to the other side of the line. I don't see why you wouldn't want to just keep him on the left side

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

              Barron has been on the right side for how long now? Why don't they leave him there and let the rook play the left? I feel they are just making the line confused and less apt to do get it done during the year. You know I bag on Bulger only because Warner was better, but cheese and rice, how the hell is Bulger going to get back to form and play with confidence with Barron and Smith playing in the wrong spots. I know barron was a left Tackle out of college but he's been on the right long enough to let Smith be the LEFT TACKLE!!!!!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                How is Bulger going to feel confident in the pocket after seeing Little run right around Smith every few plays? If Smith is on his blind side, do you think that's going to be better?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                  It happens at practices. Won't be shocked if we are the only team who has had a fight.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                    Originally posted by ScottD413 View Post
                    I really think it's a mistake moving him to the other side of the line. I don't see why you wouldn't want to just keep him on the left side
                    For two very simple reasons, given that they're both left tackles coming out of college.

                    1. Barron is better at pass blocking than run blocking and always will be. He doesn't have the body or the strength for being a strong side, right tackle. He never played right tackle before. He's proven himself at left tackle in the NFL before.

                    2. Smith started as a TE, then played right tackle and then became a left tackle. He's better at run blocking than pass blocking. He's got the strength, body, and nastiness to be a right tackle in this league. He can get help from backs and tight ends on the right side for pass protection whereas he'd be on an island on the left side.

                    If they were both rookies, then Smith would be the right tackle and Barron the left. It's how it should be now.
                    I believe!:ram:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                      Originally posted by RebelYell View Post
                      How is Bulger going to feel confident in the pocket after seeing Little run right around Smith every few plays? If Smith is on his blind side, do you think that's going to be better?
                      You really think this has any bearing on Bulger's confidence? Come on ...

                      We just started man. This guy is just getting his first taste of the NFL and learning lessons from one of the most fierce speed rushers this game has seen. He'll learn magnitudes from Little ...

                      It's more than a month from the season opener. This guy will be in there at RT, and he'll do a fine job ...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                        Originally posted by general counsel View Post
                        Smith is a very different guy than barron. Barron was fine as a pass blocker right out of the gate. He wasnt as strong in the running game (and still isnt). Smith is the flip side of that, never have played with his hand on the ground in college. Meanwhile, i have said it before and i will say it again. It was a mistake to cut orlando pace.

                        ramming speed to all

                        general counsel
                        Not understanding the logic of keeping Pace. When he retires in two years, then what?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                          Originally posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
                          Not understanding the logic of keeping Pace. When he retires in two years, then what?
                          Smith and any other tackle the Rams pick up should be fully online and effective by then. They should have kept Pace to ease the transition over the next year; it would have kept some of the pressure off of the young guys.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                            The quality of play we lose from Pace/Barron to Barron/Smith is pretty significant. Unfortunately, he is getting older and he may not see another season in the league if he takes another injury. The amount of games played from Smith is enough to make up for the quality of play we would have seen from Pace. The future is bright with our line and Jackson, keeping Pace was just not an option.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park

                              Originally posted by PeoriaRam View Post
                              Smith and any other tackle the Rams pick up should be fully online and effective by then. They should have kept Pace to ease the transition over the next year; it would have kept some of the pressure off of the young guys.
                              But it also probably would have kept Jason Brown and Mike Karney off the roster, thereby simply moving the pressure from the outside of the line to the inside of the line.
                              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                              Comment

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                              • Nick
                                Jason Smith sits out part of Friday's practice
                                by Nick
                                Rams Report: Jason Smith sits out part of today's practice
                                Kathleen Nelson
                                Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 10:23 am

                                Rams tackle Jason Smith worked with the offensive line for the first half of practice Friday before moving to the sideline at Rams Park. The early morning session included just rookies and selected veterans.

                                Smith suffered a broken toe in spring workouts, was limited in the first practice Thursday and sat out the afternoon session.

                                "He's getting the things he needs," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He's getting the physical stuff, from a conditioning standpoint, so we're good with that."

                                The only other injury Friday was to safety Darian Stewart, a rookie free agent from South Carolina. Stewart "dinged his shoulder," according to Spagnuolo, who added that the injury did not appear serious.

                                The rest of the veterans were scheduled to check in Friday afternoon and participate in their first workout Saturday at 3 p.m. The session will be at Rams Park and will be open to the public. Admission is free.
                                -07-30-2010, 10:50 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Rams Getting Hurt By Injuries
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Rams getting hurt by injuries
                                By Bill Coats
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                08/10/2009

                                The injury bug, surprisingly kind to the Rams early in training camp, has begun to chomp away.

                                Not only has the team lost its top wide receiver, Donnie Avery, for at least a month with a foot injury, Friday night's scrimmage also produced one season-ending mishap. Safety Eric Bassey, a valuable special-teams contributor, suffered a torn ligament in his right knee and, if he clears waivers, will be placed on injured reserve.

                                Bassey, whose 13 special-teams tackles were third on the club last season, said Sunday that he expected to undergo surgery in about two weeks. He was hurt during a non-contact special-teams drill.

                                "As he was running down, I think he got his leg crossed up with a couple of other guys," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "That's the risk that you run. ... It's a sad thing for Eric, but he'll bounce back."

                                Bassey, 26, is a third-year pro who was signed by the Rams in 2007 as a free agent. A replacement, as yet unidentified, will be added to the 80-man camp roster.

                                Defensive tackle Adam Carriker is expected to be sidelined about two weeks with a sprained ankle, Spagnuolo reported. With Carriker out, four-year veteran Gary Gibson moved up to the No. 1 unit Sunday.

                                Safety Craig Dahl (hamstring) is day-to-day, as is fullback Mike Karney (ankle) a week after he was injured in live tackling drills at practice. Karney did some individual work Sunday.

                                SHAUN SMITH GETS A LOOK

                                Veteran defensive tackle Shaun Smith, released Saturday by the Cleveland Browns, was given a physical exam by the Rams on Sunday. So far, Smith has not been signed to a contract.

                                The 6-foot-2, 325-pound Smith, 27, is a sixth-year pro. He was with the Browns the last two seasons and got into 26 games, including 20 starts.

                                LAURINAITIS MOVES UP

                                For the first time, rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis spent an entire practice with the first-team defense. Laurinaitis manned the middle Sunday morning while Chris Draft moved to strongside linebacker from inside.

                                "I'm happy that (Spagnuolo) had the confidence in me to put me with the first group," said Laurinaitis, a second-round draftee. "But nothing changed from my mind-set. I'm going out there still trying to learn, still asking lots of questions and trying to get better."

                                Spagnuolo cautioned that the promotion wasn't necessarily permanent.

                                "That'll be an ongoing evaluation," he said. "Just like we're doing at a lot of other positions, moving guys around, just trying to find a comfort level. We'll do it with the (offensive) line, we'll do it with the linebackers, we'll do it at safety now with the injuries."

                                Still, Spagnuolo acknowledged...
                                -08-10-2009, 01:48 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Rams put on pads, pound away in “physical” practice ..
                                by MauiRam
                                08.01.2009 11:25 am
                                By Bill Coats
                                St. Louis Post-Dispatch

                                After Friday’s relatively short and undemanding full-squad practice, one had to wonder about St. Louis Rams rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo’s promise of a tough training camp. One wag said it like Club Med at Rams Park.

                                That all changed Saturday morning, as Spagnuolo directed a two-hour workout with the players in full pads. It featured two periods of “live” 11-on-11 drills, totaling about 30 plays. That meant it was open season on everyone but the quarterbacks, and some hard tackles and fierce collisions were the result.

                                “I didn’t think it was that tough. It was physical,” Spagnuolo said afterward. “We need to find out quickly –- you’ve got to remember, it’s a whole new staff and a lot of unknowns — and really the only way to find out is to put them in those kinds of situations. As we go along, we’ll just decide every day how many of those periods will be live.”

                                In other words, expect more hitting as the preseason continues, a vast departure from previous Rams training camps.

                                Cornerback Ron Bartell endorsed the approach. “I think it gets guys a little bit more focused, gets them pepped up,” he said. “The fans certainly enjoy it; I don’t know if Steven (Jackson) likes it too much. But it’s something I think we need, just to get that contact out of the way, get used to doing it. That’s what we get paid to do: tackle. . . .

                                “It’s a new feeling around here. I think guys are welcoming the challenge. (Spagnuolo) said camp was going to be tough, and we’re ready.”

                                Notes & quotes:

                                *For the first time since the Rams drafted him No. 2 overall in April, Jason Smith took some reps at RT with the first team.

                                *DE Chris Long was flying around the field during the live work.

                                *David Vobora was with the first-team defense at strongside linebacker. Larry Grant was with the “ones” on Friday. They’ll likely alternate there for a while.

                                *In the practice-ending special-teams period, Derek Stanley, Donnie Avery and Ronald Curry fielded punts. The team didn’t work on kick returns.

                                *S Oshiomogho Atogwe dived in front of Avery for an interception, then hopped up and sprinted to the end zone.

                                *WR Nate Jones made a pretty one-handed grab in the end zone during red-zone drills.

                                *G John Greco returned to practice after missing Friday’s workout because of cramps suffered in the morning conditioning run. He was at RG with the No. 2 line, along with C Mark Setterstrom, LG Roy Schuening, RT Smith and Adam Goldberg, and LT Phil Trautwein.

                                All for now . . . more following the afternoon practice.
                                -08-01-2009, 02:12 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Smith is striving to be a starter ..
                                by MauiRam
                                By Bill Coats
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                08/29/2009

                                Training camp is winding down, the regular-season opener is barely two weeks off, and the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft still hasn’t earned a promotion to the first team. If that’s bothering Rams tackle Jason Smith, he isn’t letting on.

                                “Coach told me when I first got here that there are a lot of steps you have to do to be a part of this team, and then there are a lot of steps you have to do to get on the field,” Smith said Friday. “I just want to take the proper steps.”

                                Smith saw extended action Thursday night in the Rams’ 24-21 preseason victory at Cincinnati at both right and left tackle — but mostly with the second team.

                                “I thought he played more aggressive than he did last week. I was pleased to see that,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. But he hedged when asked when Smith might be ready to ascend the depth chart.

                                “I don’t know that yet,” Spagnuolo said. “It depends on everybody around him, who’s playing where and how the rest of the guys are doing. We’ll just keep him on course.”

                                Alex Barron is the starting left tackle, and that isn’t likely to change. Veteran Adam Goldberg has been manning the right side most of the time, with Smith contributing here and there.

                                A left tackle in Baylor’s spread formation, Smith is adjusting to a different side and a different scheme as well as the leap to the NFL.

                                “It’s a new deal: a new position, new playbook, new everything,” he said. “But the more reps you get at something, the more comfortable you get, the better you get at it.”

                                Like Spagnuolo, Smith is willing to be patient.

                                “I never look at my draft status or what (outside) people think,” he said. “I feel that I’m progressing at a steady pace.”

                                INJURY UPDATE

                                Guard Jacob Bell (concussion) and defensive tackle Adam Carriker (ankle) are expected to practice this week and could play Thursday night when Kansas City visits the Edward Jones Dome. Carriker has missed all three preseason contests; Bell was injured on the first series of the opener at the Meadowlands.

                                Quarterback Marc Bulger, recovering from a broken pinky on his right (passing) hand, is scheduled to throw this week, although he might not take snaps.

                                A status update wasn’t available on the ankle injury wide receiver Keenan Burton suffered vs. the Bengals or safety Craig Dahl’s sore hamstring. Also, Spagnuolo reported that cornerback Justin King “has got something with his thumb that we’re going to have X-rayed.”


                                FLAJOLE MOVES UP

                                After being on the sideline for the first two contests, defensive coordinator Ken Flajole watched from the press box at Paul Brown Stadium. Linebackers coach
                                Paul Ferraro replaced Flajole on the field.

                                “Part of the whole preseason, not...
                                -08-29-2009, 02:34 AM
                              • Nick
                                Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...
                                by Nick
                                Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well . . .
                                By Bill Coats
                                St. Louis Post-Dispatch
                                08.30.2009 5:24 pm

                                Make of it what you will, but some sideline observers found it curious that with Richie Incognito held out of St. Louis Rams practice Sunday because of a mild knee sprain, Adam Goldberg took over his spot at right guard, with rookie Jason Smith stationed at right tackle with the first-team offense.

                                Goldberg had been working almost exclusively at tackle during training camp, and most of the time on the right side with the No. 1 unit. Smith was being used mostly in a backup role, getting snaps on both sides of the line.

                                Could it be that Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft, finally has been promoted to the starting lineup? Tight-lipped coach Steve Spagnuolo provided no info. But we’ll see what happens over the next couple of days.

                                Notes & quotes

                                *Spagnuolo was pleased with the team’s first practice since Thursday night’s preseason win at Cincinnati. “I thought they got after it pretty good,” he said. “Sometimes after two days (off) you’re a little sluggish coming out, but this team has continually responded.”

                                *QB Marc Bulger tested the broken pinky finger on his right hand, tossing 21 passes before practice began. He didn’t take any snaps from center.

                                *FB Mike Karney left early with soreness in the ankle that he sprained earlier in camp and kept him out for about two weeks.

                                *X-rays of CB Justin King’s thumb were negative, and he practiced without any apparent problems. WR Keenan Burton, who tweaked an ankle vs. the Bengals, also participated fully.

                                *DE Leonard Little (knee) was kept out of team drills and remains day-to-day.

                                *Plenty of tickets are available for Thursday night’s preseason finale vs. the Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome. Go to for The official site of the St. Louis Rams - Home Page for information.

                                *S David Roach, fighting for a roster spot, made a pretty, leaping interception of a Keith Null pass in the 11-on-11 session.

                                *Although Spagnuolo wouldn’t acknowledge as much, it appears as if Jonathan Wade is making a serious challenge to Tye Hill for the first-team CB spot alongside Ron Bartell. Wade has a team-high 12 tackles in the three preseason games; Hill has two.

                                All for now . . .
                                -08-30-2009, 09:06 PM
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