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  • Bulger Says Arm Is Strong/Other Camp Notes

    NOTEBOOK: Bulger says arm is strong
    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/12/2009

    Nearly two weeks into training camp it's not unusual for players to get "camp legs." Or quarterbacks to get "camp arm."

    But Rams quarterback Marc Bulger reports no arm fatigue heading into Friday's preseason opener against the New York Jets.

    "They've been keeping a 'quote' pitch count for me," Bulger said Tuesday. "I've only been in the 60s or 70s (in throws) for practices, which has been great for me. I've thrown a lot more, I think, in the past."

    The Rams have had more two-a-day practices this camp than in the past. So although Bulger is throwing less each practice, the Rams have had more practices. Even so, Bulger says his arm "hasn't gotten sore yet. It feels fresh, so I think they've done a great job with that."

    LIFE WITHOUT AVERY

    Bulger said the missed practice time with Donnie Avery hurts more than the preseason games the wide receiver will miss with his fractured foot.

    "The (missed) reps with him is definitely going to affect us," Bulger said. "It's not a good thing when you have young guys like that in a new offense — and we're trying to get our timing down — and he's going to miss this time."

    As for the rest of the wide receiver corps, Bulger said, "There's a lot of competition. Guys are flying around. I think their legs are getting a little bit tired. But Coach has cut back a bit, so we're starting to get those (legs) back. But it's been a grind installing the whole offense."

    NO DOUBTING THOMAS

    Although progress has been relatively slow, coach Steve Spagnuolo still feels defensive tackle Hollis Thomas can round himself into playing shape in time for the regular-season opener.

    "He's coming around," Spagnuolo said. "We need to knock his weight down a little bit. Him and I have talked. He's working hard at it. I do think he is still a little rusty. I know he's not the player that (he was) when we were together back in Philadelphia, but I still think he's a good football player, and I think he'll get there."

    STANLEY STEAMER

    In terms of catches, wide receiver Derek Stanley may have had his most productive practice of camp Tuesday morning. He's continuing to round into form following knee surgery last winter. But as Spagnuolo sees it, Stanley's progress has as much to do with working on the finer points of the game as anything physical.

    "Derek is becoming a detail guy, which we felt he had to do. And I think the details are paying off," Spagnuolo said. "He's catching the ball well; he holds it a lot better now. He's a talent. We've just got to get him out there in games and see what happens."

    Spagnuolo said Stanley has improved his route running and ball security. Spagnuolo also has stressed the importance of finishing routes to Stanley. "Finish that thing like you want to score every time they throw it to you," Spagnuolo said. "To his credit, he's responded."

    INJURY UPDATE

    LB Chris Draft missed Tuesday's morning practice after taking a shot to the throat Monday. But he was back on the field for Tuesday afternoon's practice.

    CB Tye Hill couldn't finish the morning practice after experiencing swelling in his right knee — it's the same knee that needed surgery last season.

    FB Mike Karney (ankle) continues to increase his workload, getting reps during 11-on-11 "team" drills for the second day in a row.

    After missing Sunday and Monday practices with a hamstring injury suffered in the Lindenwood scrimmage, S Craig Dahl returned to practice for limited work Tuesday.

    DT Adam Carriker (ankle) missed his third straight day of practice and almost certainly will miss the Jets game.

    RAM-BLINGS

    The Rams went full pads once again in the morning Tuesday. After skipping live tackling work Monday, Spagnuolo dialed up a live tackling period Tuesday morning. ...Tuesday afternoon's session was special teams only, the second time in three days the Rams went special teams only in the afternoon. ... Keenan Burton has been working as a punt returner this week.

  • #2
    Re: Bulger Says Arm Is Strong/Other Camp Notes

    "The (missed) reps with him is definitely going to affect us," Bulger said. "It's not a good thing when you have young guys like that in a new offense — and we're trying to get our timing down — and he's going to miss this time."
    This is what concerned me most about Avery's injury. He's going to heal, but he was already on a learning curve as far as route running and the all important aspect of timing, so this further complicates things. Trying to learn a new offense at the same time certainly doesn't help. The sooner he's ready, the better.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bulger Says Arm Is Strong/Other Camp Notes

      "CB Tye Hill couldn't finish the morning practice after experiencing swelling in his right knee — it's the same knee that needed surgery last season."


      "Bulger said the missed practice time with Donnie Avery hurts more than the preseason games the wide receiver will miss with his fractured foot.

      "The (missed) reps with him is definitely going to affect us," Bulger said. "It's not a good thing when you have young guys like that in a new offense — and we're trying to get our timing down — and he's going to miss this time."

      As for the rest of the wide receiver corps, Bulger said, "There's a lot of competition. Guys are flying around. I think their legs are getting a little bit tired. But Coach has cut back a bit, so we're starting to get those (legs) back. But it's been a grind installing the whole offense."

      It don’t look like Hill will work out for us he can not shake the injury bug among other things.

      Reading between the lines Bulger don’t sound like he have a lot of confidant in the WRs group.
      :ramlogo:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bulger Says Arm Is Strong/Other Camp Notes

        The good thing I read out of this is that Marc's arm isn't sore - meaning our offense must not be pass-happy. Fewer passes means fewer turnovers, and fewer turnovers means better chances to slam the ball into the endzone.

        Two more days, guys, just two more days...then we can see what we have.
        temp_4394_1467243487543_20
        RAMS!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bulger Says Arm Is Strong/Other Camp Notes

          Carriker is still hurt? Jesus....what the hell is wrong with him and Tye Hill?

          Comment

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          • r8rh8rmike
            St. Louis Rams Offense Back Together
            by r8rh8rmike
            St. Louis Rams offense back together

            BY JIM THOMAS [email protected]

            09/10/2009

            Quarterback Marc Bulger took snaps under center for the first time in 3½ weeks. Rookie Jason Smith has been officially named the starting right tackle.

            So for the first time since the start of training camp, the entire Rams offense — starters and key contributors — was in place and on the field Wednesday.

            "We had a comment in the huddle today," tight end Randy McMichael said after practice. "It was like, 'Wow, we're all together again, finally, after a long layoff.' "

            Just in time for opening day in Seattle.

            "It was almost like: We're back," wide receiver Derek Stanley said. "It feels good. I think we've got big things coming up this year. Everybody's working hard, paying attention to the little things. Everybody's got that desire to win."

            Smith's "promotion" was no great surprise. It had become increasingly obvious over the past week or so that the No. 2 overall draft pick from Baylor would open the regular season in the lineup.

            "Obviously, it's a privilege to be able to say I'm going to (start) for the St. Louis Rams," Smith said. "The main thing is just proving myself and just being part of a great offensive line."

            There was more uncertainty about Bulger and the broken little finger on his throwing hand. Bulger has thrown the ball well lately, but the final test was taking snaps under center. By all accounts, he passed that test Wednesday in practice.

            "It went well, and I think we're where we want to be," Bulger said.

            Although listed as limited participation on the team's official injury report, Bulger said he took part in every drill in practice. However, he didn't take 100 percent of the snaps in every drill.

            "But it wasn't because of discomfort," Bulger said. "It was to keep Kyle (Boller) going. I was happy with the amount of reps I took."

            So no discomfort?

            "I wouldn't say no discomfort," Bulger said. "But it was bearable, and it's not going to affect whether I can get the ball (from center), which is a good thing."

            Bulger confessed to some anxiety about taking his first snaps since the one from center Jason Brown on Aug. 17 resulted in the broken finger.

            "Sure. I definitely lost some sleep over it," Bulger said. "You kind of worry that that first snap isn't going to go how you want it. You don't want to let your teammates down."

            But 20 minutes into taking snaps during practice, Bulger said he felt confident again. "It was good to be back out practicing," he said.

            From his, uh, end of things, Brown said everything went well...
            -09-10-2009, 03:11 PM
          • HUbison
            Bulger gets an early start in Rams camp
            by HUbison
            Bulger gets an early start in Rams camp

            ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
            07/31/2009


            The last time the Rams staged training camp in Earth City, quarterback Marc Bulger reported a day late because of a minor contract dispute.

            Two years later, Bulger showed up a day earlier than most of the squad. He was on the field Thursday for two practices that included the three other quarterbacks, rookies and selected veterans. Some 34 players in all helped kick off Steve Spagnuolo's first camp as a head coach.

            "Great day, a great day to be playing football," Spagnuolo gushed.
            Bulger, who received a six-year, $65 million extension in 2007 that made him the highest-paid player in franchise history, was only too happy to check in on the eve of the first full-squad workout.

            "It was nice, something we've never done before," he said. "It just knocks the rust off a little bit ... before we really start" today.

            As he prepares for his seventh season as the Rams' first-team QB, Bulger, 32, acknowledges feeling a sense of urgency. He's learning another new system — this time, it's the West Coast-style offense new coordinator Pat Shurmur brought from Philadelphia — and is acutely aware that a third consecutive finish in the NFC West cellar probably would prompt a major overhaul in 2010 that could include a search for a new quarterback.

            "It's not just me; I think getting all 11 guys on offense working as one is the most important thing," Bulger said. "We've got to try to stay injury-free so we can hit the season full-stride. We can't have guys missing practices, we can't have guys not studying.

            "It's going to be an intense camp, as Coach Spags said, and I think that's going to be a good thing. ... We have to come out of the gate flying this year."

            If an early gauge of enthusiasm at Rams Park is a true indicator, that goal might be achievable.

            "There's a new atmosphere; things have changed a lot," Bulger noted. "I saw a lot of guys early in the week hanging around the building, which is different. I think everybody is excited to get going."

            Donovan McNabb flourished with the Eagles in the same offensive system. But, Bulger pointed out, "That doesn't mean that I'll have great success in it. We all want that, but Donovan can do certain things athletically that I can't, and I think there are some things I can do that maybe he can't.

            "So, it's just going to be a matter of finding out what I can do well in this offense. I think we all know 39 (running back Steven Jackson) is going to be the center point of it."

            SHORT SESSIONS

            Thursday's workouts were short: 1 hour 15 minutes in the morning and just over an hour in the afternoon. Asked whether he'd like all training camp practices...
            -07-31-2009, 07:48 AM
          • eldfan
            St. Louis Rams making progress as team after minicamp
            by eldfan
            St. Louis Rams making progress as team after minicamp

            May 3, 2009 - Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo talks with quarterback Marc Bulger at the end of practice during the Rams' second minicamp. (Chris Lee/P-D)BY JIM THOMAS
            ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
            05/05/2009

            With the draft behind him, most of the roster shaping complete, and two minicamps under his belt, Steve Spagnuolo is feeling more and more like a football coach these days.

            "The makeup of the team starts to formulate a little bit clearer," he said. "Because unless something really dramatic happens between now and training camp — or the opening game against Seattle — this is the team."

            The Rams will continue to tinker with personnel, and the bottom fifth of the roster may churn over even after the regular season starts. But most of what constitutes the final 53 — the opening-day roster — was on the field over the weekend at the Rams' May minicamp.

            It would be easier for Spagnuolo to nurture that sense of "team" if he knew everyone's name. But with 21 draft picks and rookie free agents on the field for the first time, as well as assorted street free agents and tryout players, Spagnuolo had to peek at a copy of the roster on the practice field.
            "I'll be honest with you, every once in a while I've got to do that," Spagnuolo said. "That's why I've got (a roster) in my back pocket right here. It's been a challenge to try to get the faces and the names figured out."

            It's still all that fresh for the new coach of the new-look Rams. To date, the Rams are only halfway through their first offseason program under Spagnuolo. The lighter practices known as organized team activities, or OTAs, don't start for another two weeks. Then there's the June minicamp before the team breaks for about a month before the start of training camp.

            Even the veterans are still getting used to Spagnuolo's personality and practice-field demeanor.

            "He's definitely fiery," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "He asks a lot and he expects a lot. He sees a lot of potential that we have on this team ... that's been untapped that we haven't reached yet. So he's just trying to bring that out the best way he can."

            Attendance has been impressive, not just for the two minicamps held so far, but also for the weight training and conditioning that comprises the offseason conditioning program. Then again, if you don't want to show up and impress a new head coach, something's wrong.

            "Yeah, I guess the test will be next year, right?" Spagnuolo said, laughing. "If they're not coming back (next year) that means they didn't like what's going on."

            On defense, Spagnuolo said even some of the veterans' heads were spinning Sunday because he introduced some of the team's red zone schemes....
            -05-05-2009, 10:35 AM
          • r8rh8rmike
            Injuries Add Up For Rams
            by r8rh8rmike
            Injuries add up for Rams

            BY JIM THOMAS
            ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
            10/08/2009

            Coach Steve Spagnuolo entered the week hoping for a little luck on the injury front.

            "We do have to get healthy," he said Monday. "We've got some guys that are banged up. We need to get some guys back."

            Instead, things went the other way Wednesday at Rams Park. Both starting wide receivers, Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, couldn't finish practice because of what Spagnuolo termed sore hamstrings. Backup safety Anthony Smith, who spent most of the San Francisco game with the starting defense following Craig Dahl's concussion, couldn't finish practice because of an Achilles tendon problem.

            All told, the Rams' official injury report had seven players listed as limited participation. Six are potential starters Sunday when the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings visit the Edward Jones Dome.

            "We got a little more dinged today," Spagnuolo said following Wednesday's practice. "It's that time of the year in the NFL. Guys are going to be sore. They've just got to fight through 'em, and our guys are doing that."

            To cut down on wear and tear, the Rams weren't in full pads Wednesday, usually the one day of the week where most teams work in full gear during the regular season.

            Among the walking wounded, cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh) and Dahl appear the most ready to play Sunday ... just in time for Brett Favre.

            "It feels 10 times better — the week off really helped," said Bartell, who missed his first game since high school Sunday against San Francisco because of his thigh injury. "I feel like with the next four or five days, I'll make enough progress to play. I have every intention of playing and starting Sunday, and helping us win. So barring no setbacks, I'll be playing."

            Dahl, the starter at strong safety until James Butler (knee) returns in a week or so, suffered his concussion in the first quarter against the *****. "On a tackle I had made, I got hit in the side of the head by the running back," Dahl said. "I came up fine, but just a little disoriented. Could tell things weren't right. I stayed in the rest of the series and then came out."

            But Dahl passed the "baseline" memory and cognitive skills test Tuesday, a necessary first step for players returning from concussions. If he gets through the practice week without any post-concussion symptoms, he will be back in the lineup against Minnesota.

            Things aren't as clear cut at quarterback, where Marc Bulger is trying to work his way back to game readiness after suffering a bruised rotator cuff Sept. 27 against Green Bay.

            Last week, Bulger had test results sent to noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews for a second opinion on his injured right shoulder....
            -10-08-2009, 09:05 AM
          • r8rh8rmike
            Rams QB Bulger Back At Practice After Injury
            by r8rh8rmike
            Rams QB Bulger back at practice after injury


            EARTH CITY, Mo. (AP)—Rams quarterback Marc Bulger took the first step Sunday toward returning to the playing field.

            Bulger, out since Aug. 17 after fracturing the pinky on his throwing hand, threw 21 passes in a side session at the morning practice. Coach Steve Spagnuolo didn’t watch the session, but said offensive coordinator Dick Curl was pleased with the performance.

            “The plan is to see what it feels like tomorrow morning, after having had the 21 throws,” Spagnuolo said. “Then go from there.”

            Spagnuolo also was noncommittal regarding Bulger’s status for the final preseason game Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs. He has already missed the past two games.

            “It all depends on where he is,” Spagnuolo said. “You’d like to build for Thursday, but if he’s not ready to we’re not going to.”

            Bulger, who only speaks to the media on Wednesdays, didn’t take any snaps during Sunday’s session and is on target to start the opening game on Sept. 13 at Seattle. He fractured his pinky after taking a snap from center Jason Brown. X-rays were negative for a break and the injury didn’t require Bulger to wear a cast.

            “He said it felt OK, but that’s all we had planned on doing just to see where he was,” Spagnuolo said.
            -08-30-2009, 03:06 PM
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