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Rams Team Report - Aug 24

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  • Rams Team Report - Aug 24

    Rams Team Report
    Yahoo! Sports
    Aug 24, 4:19 am EDT


    It seemed like just another transaction when the Rams acquired wide receiver Laurent Robinson(notes) in a trade with Atlanta before the draft.

    The two teams swapped positions in the fifth and sixth rounds, and Robinson immediately began working to prove to the Falcons they made a mistake by giving up on him.

    Last Friday night, Robinson caught five passes for 65 yards against his former team, and appears to be a lock to start when the season opens Sept. 13 in Seattle.

    Robinson opened OTAs as the No. 3 receiver, then moved up to the first unit when Keenan Burton(notes) suffered a hamstring injury. He opened camp as a starter, and with Donnie Avery(notes) sidelined by a broken bone in his foot, Robinson has become the go-to receiver for both Marc Bulger(notes) and Kyle Boller(notes).

    He had a 50-yard catch from Bulger in the first preseason game, and one for 25 yards from Boller in the second game. In two games, he has seven receptions for 117 yards and has been the target on 10 passes.

    “I feel good,” Robinson said. “I’m just working hard every day in practice, going out there trying to be the best I can be every day, listening to the coach; I mean, and just being coachable and going out there and executing. The offense is great, I’m very confident and comfortable in it, and hopefully I can just continue on in the regular season.

    “It’s a great opportunity here for me. Hopefully I can just step right in, make some plays, and help the team win anyway I can whether that’s by running, blocking, or catching the ball.”

    Robinson acknowledged struggling when he arrived in St. Louis, having to learn a new offense. But he didn’t waste his time in the six weeks after OTAs ended, and training camp began.

    “I went home and I just trained and just got my confidence back,” Robinson said, “After the trade I guess I wasn’t really all that focused. Now I got my focus back and my confidence up and I’m ready to play.

    “I’m just getting a lot more comfortable playing and making catches. In the OTAs I wasn’t doing so well but now I’m just a lot more comfortable and confident so things are going well for me.”

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo likes what he sees.

    “I see a competitive guy,” Spagnuolo said. “When he first got here in the spring like a lot of guys, he was feeling his way through. It was a new team, it was a new system, but I thought he played really well (Friday) night. It was easy to see that.”


    • Falcons running back Michael Turner(notes) picked up right where he left off against the Rams in the second preseason game. In the final game of the regular season last season, Turner rushed for 208 yards.

    Last Saturday, he had 65 yards on seven attempts, including a 43-yard run and 1-yard touchdown. The previous game, the Rams were solid against the run, although the Jets were without their three interior line starters.

    The Falcons mashed the Rams with their large and physical first-team line.

    Afterward, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, “We’ve got a proud group of guys. No matter where the holes were, I’m going to give Atlanta some credit, No. 1. But I do think our guys will tell you that they would’ve liked to have tackled better. That’s just defensive football, and you’ve got to tackle.

    “When you play a good football team like that, well-coached and with good football players, you’ve got to come out and take it to them, and we didn’t really do that.”

    Said rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis(notes), “You know I’d love to see it on film. I mean it’s a lot easier to kind of be able to see it from those two different angles and kind of evaluate yourself. But we had some opportunities to make some tackles that we didn’t make. You know I had a missed tackle down there in the red zone that I got to make. This is just something that we got to build on. And ultimately you want to come out of here with a win. But you know there will be some good lessons from this game.”

    As training camp has advanced, Spagnuolo reduced the live tackling in practice. Asked whether that was a factor in the performance, he said, “I’m not going to do that to myself. I don’t think so. At some point we all know in this league you stop doing live tackling in practice because you got to have guys healthy. I think we will bounce back on that. It wasn’t real good last night, but we’ll get better at it.”

    • The official end of training camp was Sunday (Aug. 23) with the final practice open to the public, so coach Steve Spagnuolo was asked for an overview in terms of accomplishing what he hoped for.

    “I think in a lot of ways we did,” he said. “I’m always jotting down notes, looking to next year on what we could’ve done better. There’s a list there, so we’ll try to improve on it.”

    Players were fine with the physical aspect of camp that included live tackling almost daily and plenty of work in full pads.

    Said safety James Butler(notes), “It’s been a lot of live stuff. And it’s been a lot of running, too. A lot of work. We’re like boom, boom, boom. We’re on the field. We’re off the field. Go to workouts. Go to meetings. … He likes to establish a fast tempo.”

    Added tackle Adam Goldberg(notes), “This is a really physical camp. But at the same time, it doesn’t beat you down because you keep everything moving. Even though we’re banging, we’re hitting, we’re taking people to the ground … at the same time, it’s not lingering on forever. We’re popping from one drill to another drill.

    “Things don’t get dull and old. Coach Spags, he demands a very dynamic practice. And that really does help because you’re doing new things every seven to 10 minutes.”

    One thing that helped was a mild Midwestern summer. Spagnuolo frequently joked with reporters about how he was led to believe how brutal the weather could be. That wasn’t the case.

    Said center Jason Brown(notes), “We’re definitely blessed with good weather. I heard horror stories of how hot and humid it potentially can be.”

    Added long snapper Chris Massey(notes), “I kept telling some of the new guys to get ready. But we’ve had maybe one day where it was like smokin’ hot.”

    Quote To Note: “I don’t think I did a good job getting them ready for that challenge and I’m going to take the hit on that and I think they will respond this week and we’ll get back to the things we do really well. Atlanta had some nice little twists in there in some of their run game. And when they hit that second play of the game for the long run, you know it tends to get you on your heels and we can’t do that. You just got to get back to basics and play football. But we need to get better.”—Coach Steve Spagnuolo, after the Rams’ loss to Atlanta.


    Running back Ahman Green(notes) worked out for the Rams, but club officials insisted he is just on a “ready list” if the team elects to upgrade its backup running back depth. Samkon Gado(notes), who rushed for 93 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown in the preseason opener, played most of the first half against Atlanta and totaled a meager five yards on 12 attempts.

    Defensive tackle Hollis Thomas(notes) feels he’s making progress getting to the weight he wants to be. Thomas was admittedly overweight when he was signed by the Rams the day before training camp opened. “I’ve been able to shed a few pounds since I’ve been here,” Thomas said. “I’m watching what I eat. … I feel like after the next couple of weeks, I’ll be right where I need to be.”

    • WR Brooks Foster(notes), a rookie fifth-round pick, underwent surgery on his ankle Aug. 21, and will be out six-to-eight weeks. Originally, the injury was estimated at four-to-six weeks. It’s possible Foster will be placed on injured reserve next week when rosters are cut to 75 players.

    • LT Alex Barron(notes) returned to practice Sunday after missing almost a week with a knee injury. Barron did not play in last Friday’s preseason game against Atlanta.

    • DT Adam Carriker(notes) did his most practice work Sunday since injuring his ankle in an Aug. 7 scrimmage. Carriker did individual drills, but nothing in team. He is still considered questionable for Thursday’s game against Cincinnati.

    • WR Donnie Avery ran well on the side during practice Sunday, as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot suffered Aug. 7. The injury was originally considered a four-to-six week injury, and the Rams will be sure the bone is healed before clearing him for contact.

    • LG Jacob Bell(notes) remains out as he continues to experience symptoms from the concussion he suffered Aug. 14 against the Jets.

    • RB Kenneth Darby(notes) did not practice Sunday because of a sprained knee.

    Battle Of The Week: The competition for the backup job behind Steven Jackson remains wide open. Samkon Gado, who had a 77-yard touchdown in the first preseason game, played most of the first half against Atlanta and totaled just five yards on 12 attempts. Kenneth Darby suffered a sprained knee and didn’t practice Monday. The winner might not be currently on the team.

    Other Battlefronts: Billy Bajema(notes) solidified his hold on a tight end job with three receptions for 42 yards against the Falcons. Joe Klopfenstein(notes) appears to be fighting a losing battle for a roster spot. … Mark Setterstrom(notes) and John Greco(notes) are both in the mix to be the backup left guard and backup center. … David Vobora(notes) and Larry Grant(notes) are tightly locked in competition for the backup spot at strong-side linebacker.

    Player Of The Week: Wide receiver Laurent Robinson is cementing his status as a starter. Against Atlanta, the team that drafted him in 2007, Robinson caught five passes for 65 yards, including a 25-yard play. In two games, he has caught seven of the 10 passes thrown his way for 117 yards.

    Rookie Report: First-round pick Jason Smith(notes) started at right tackle against Atlanta with Alex Barron sidelined by a knee injury. Smith was back with the second team Sunday when Barron practiced. … LB James Laurinaitis continues to start in the middle, and is cementing his hold on the job.

    Injury Report: DT Gary Gibson(notes) left the game against the Falcons after being hit in the head, but returned to the game and was on the practice field Sunday. … DL James Hall(notes) had X-rays on a bruised sternum, but they were negative, and he practiced Sunday.

  • #2
    Re: Rams Team Report - Aug 24



    • #3
      Re: Rams Team Report - Aug 24

      Robinson must of had a hugh smile on his face after the Atlanta game.


      • #4
        Re: Rams Team Report - Aug 24

        Originally posted by dgr828 View Post
        it's still not the same as brrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuuccceeee!!!!


        • #5
          Re: Rams Team Report - Aug 24

          I believe!:ram:


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          • eldfan
            St. Louis Rams Team Report
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            New Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo promised his team the first few days of training camp would be "a bear," and while the weather wasn't too hot and the two-a-days had just one practice each day in full pads, the intensity was high as well as the hitting.
            During the first two morning practices, the ones in full pads, there were about 30 plays with live tackling.

            After the first day, Spagnuolo said, "We need to find out quickly - you've got to remember again it's a whole new staff and a lot of unknowns - really the only way to find out is to put them in those kind of situations. As we go along here every day we will decide how many of those periods will be live. It was really two periods and about 30 plays of live."

            When questioned further by the media, Spagnuolo winked and said, "Do you think it was tough? I didn't think it was that tough. It was physical."

            Of course, Spagnuolo did admit to something else: "I'm doing this every time. I've got my hands behind my back (crossing fingers)."

            Said linebacker Will Witherspoon, "Usually you don't go live that first day of pads but it's good. You really want to get the feel of hitting again, striking guys again. That was kind of the key point of it and getting the feel of hitting through a guy. It was great. I think it was good for everybody to come out here and just get moving and get in the momentum of the game."

            Added cornerback Ron Bartell, "One thing I have learned over the years is that it's a lot easier to be hard on guys and then kind of back off than it is to be light and try to get hard on guys again. I think he knows what he's doing. He knows when to let up. Right now, it's day two so I think we'll be fine."

            The hitting even included running back Steven Jackson.

            "He's got to get hit, everybody else has got to get hit," linebacker Chris Draft said. "We have got to get ready too. Right now, that's what we have. We have our chance to get out here, run to the ball and be able to tackle the ball. It doesn't matter who has it."

            Players have been running to the ball, gang tackling, and picking up even incomplete passes to run with it to get in the mindset of creating turnovers and making plays. While the defense has been maligned in recent seasons, Spagnuolo believes there's more there than is realized.

            "I think we've got guys with that kind of attitude," he said. "I do believe that. We've got to keep healthy. (But) we've got to do the things out here to kind of get ready for the competition that we're going to face going forward."

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          • r8rh8rmike
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            Sunday's two-hour practice at Rams Park was beginning to wind down when defensive end Leonard Little apparently decided that he could fly. That's what it seemed like to Samkon Gado, anyway.

            During 11-on-11 "team" drills, Little came barreling in, and Gado moved into position to pass block. Suddenly, the 6-foot-3, 267-pound Little took off, literally attempting to hurdle the 5-10 running back en route to the quarterback.

            "It was pretty spectacular," said Gado, who rose up and caught Little in flight. "In a game, he would've jumped right over me."

            At 34, Little is the second-oldest among the 80 players on the roster. "I thought to myself, 'How does he have the energy to do this in his 12th season?'" Gado said. "He said he took his Geritol this morning and was feeling pretty good."

            Gado was feeling pretty good, too, after rushing for 93 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown run, Aug. 14 in the Rams' 23-20 preseason win over the New York Jets. That showing gave him a slight leg up in the three-man competition for the backup job behind Steven Jackson.

            But as Gado pointed out afterward, three preseason outings remained. And No. 2 was far less satisfying for him. He mustered just 5 yards on 12 carries Friday night in a 20-13 loss to Atlanta. He also lost a fumble at the Falcons' 15-yard line late in the first half.

            "It was tough all around," Gado said. "I made a few mistakes that I wish I could have back. But in the end, it's just the nature of the beast; you're going to have games like that.

            "You put that one behind you and you prepare and plan to do better the next game. Thankfully we have another one coming up" Thursday in Cincinnati.


            Although the regular-season opener is still three weeks away, training camp officially ended Sunday. That means that no more practices will be open to the public.

            About 500 spectators showed up Sunday, and they were rewarded afterward with free Rams merchandise. Also, the entire squad walked over to the railing to sign autographs.

            "I'd like to thank all the fans," rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It's been 32 practices, and the people have come out to watch us. ... It really helps us, and we appreciate it. Looking forward, we appreciate all the support they'll give us."


            Injured defensive tackle Adam Carriker took another step in his recovery, participating in individual drills for the first time since he sprained his ankle Aug. 7 in a scrimmage at Lindenwood University.

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          • r8rh8rmike
            Rams Team Report - Aug 10
            by r8rh8rmike
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            Yahoo! Sports
            12 hours, 27 minutes ago

            INSIDE SLANT

            • It has been an emotional two weeks for new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo.

            Preparing for his first training camp as a head coach, and then dealing with the July 28 death of former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.

            Spagnuolo, who was hired as Philadelphia’s linebackers coach in 1999 and coached there for eight years, has often referred to Johnson as his mentor.

            “His imprint is all over this,” Spagnuolo said as Rams camp opened. “Every day, he is in my thoughts. I can hear his voice, gruff and growling, every day.”

            So it was, on the ninth day of Rams camp, Spagnuolo missed the team’s morning practice so he could travel to Philadelphia for Johnson’s memorial service. The timing worked out well because he was able to get back 90 minutes prior to a previously scheduled 6:30 scrimmage.

            “It’ll be one of those days I know I’ll go back and remember for a long time,” Spagnuolo said after the scrimmage. “I think I did the right thing; I’m glad I went to see Jim. It was very, very soothing for me to see all the people that showed up. I can’t tell you the overwhelming display of love for Jim Johnson in Philadelphia.

            “There’s something to be said for having a memorial, having wakes. People need to be around each other. … I felt good about it. And I know Jim’s in a better place … luckily for me all the flights went right.”

            As for the scrimmage, many in the organization wondered about the attendance because fan presence at training camp practices has been small, mostly due to a practice facility that isn’t set up for crowds.

            Conversely, the scrimmage was at the 6,500-seat Lindenwood University field, and the team was pleasantly gratified. Attendance was estimated at 7,500 with fans standing all around the field or sitting on the grass in one of the end zones.

            Said Spagnuolo, “I want to be sure I publicly thank all of the fans here. I thought the turnout was great. That means a lot to the players. … a lot to the coaches, to the organization. Hopefully we can give just as much back with our play.”

            Added executive vice-president of football operations Kevin Demoff, “It was exciting to see people in jerseys, and here early and staying late. It was a great night for the organization. It was a good way to start off what I consider to be the preseason campaign.”

            Camp Calendar: Camp breaks Aug. 23.

            NOTES, QUOTES

            • Coach Steve Spagnuolo admitted he isn’t easy to please when it comes to performance in practice.

            He said, “I’m always going to want it better; that’s just (me). There’s lulls in there, and one of the things we’ve talked about is, we want to be (advancing), and not going up and down. If we can get rid of some of the lulls,...
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          • eldfan
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            The Rams have been in this familiar territory before, entering a practice week unsure whether running back Steven Jackson will be able to play or how well if he does.
            In 2007, he missed four games because of a groin injury. In 2008, he missed one game with a quad injury, returned too soon for a game against Arizona, then missed another three.

            Last season, Jackson emerged from a Nov. 22 game against Arizona with a back injury, and while he missed only one game (Dec. 27 at Arizona), he never practiced except for some brief walk-through plays in Friday practices.

            Now, it is more of the same after Jackson suffered a strained groin against Washington. He also practiced last week on a limited basis for two days because of a minor knee injury.

            Asked if he's optimistic about Jackson playing, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "I don't want to say one way or the other because you've really got to leave it up to the player in this situation. You're talking about a running back with a groin ... but Steven's a warrior. You almost have to pull him back because he'll want to go.

            "I've really got to trust the player and obviously Reggie (trainer Reggie Scott), who I've got a lot of trust in. What you don't want to do is get him out there too soon and set him back, because the whole goal will be to get him to the game on Sunday. It's just a matter of the treatments and making sure we don't make it any worse."

            Jackson was injured in the second quarter against the Redskins and missed the remainder of the game. In the second half, backups Kenneth Darby and rookie Keith Toston combined for 73 rushing yards, and Darby scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run. At one point, Darby carried the ball on six consecutive plays. Toston was playing with a shoulder that was injured on a first-half special teams play.

            "Real solid," Spagnuolo said of their performance. "I thought they both ran really well. Again, you're talking about guys that haven't gotten a lot of reps in the course of the week. But I was impressed with Keith with the shoulder injury, and yet when you watched him run the football you wouldn't have thought his shoulder was hurting and we knew it was."

            Spagnuolo acknowledged that the play of Darby and Toston not only gives them confidence, but also the rest of the offense.

            "We want Steven out there all the time or as much as possible," Spagnuolo said. "But I think it's a boost for the offensive line and those young guys if we can still finish a game out like that, without really one of your best players."

            When it was noted that Jackson referred to the injury as a blessing in disguise because now other teams know the offense can move the ball without him, Spagnuolo laughed and said, "He's a deeper thinker than I am, because I'd rather...
            -09-29-2010, 05:40 PM
          • eldfan
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            by eldfan
            USA TODAY

            When rookie quarterback Sam Bradford had his coming-out party in the third preseason game against New England, he hit big plays to wide receivers Donnie Avery and Brandon Gibson and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui. Bradford seemed to be developing a strong rapport with Hoomanawanui.
            As the Rams prepare for this week's game against Washington after an 0-2 start, two of those players are on the shelf with injuries and the other — Gibson — has yet to be active for a game.

            Avery was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury later in that game against the Patriots. Hoomanawanui suffered a high ankle sprain on his fourth play in the season opener against Arizona.

            After practice Wednesday, Gibson, along with rookie tight end Fendi Onobun and rookie wide receivers Mardy Gilyard and Dominique Curry were getting some extra reps with Bradford. Rookie running back Keith Toston was also part of that group.

            With tight ends Billy Bajema and Daniel Fells potentially out this week, Onobun might make his NFL debut. Gilyard is the most likely to see additional time. Curry played last week on special teams. Gibson could be active depending on the status of Laurent Robinson, who is battling a foot injury.

            Coach Steve Spagnuolo acknowledged on Gilyard that, "We probably should have got him in there a little bit more on Sunday. Things kind of just dictated differently, but he'll get his reps this week."

            Onobun, who played just one season of college football, said, "I've progressed immensely, but I still have a long way to go. I am preparing as if I'll be active this week. I believe it will happen."

            Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said Thursday that Onobun, Gilyard and Gibson have been good in practice this week.

            On Onobun, Shurmur said, "I feel he has the ability to get in there and execute well."

            Bradford said of the tight ends, "We are banged up at tight end a little bit right now, so the tight ends that do play this game, we're going to have to make the most of every rep in practice, we're probably going to have to stay after and get a couple routes, but both guys who are going to go this week, they were here all training camp. We've had plenty of work with them, I've had plenty of work with them, so I feel good about whoever we have at tight end."

            Bradford is confident the offense will be able to move the ball on the Redskins.

            "They're a blitz team, they like to pressure," Bradford said. "We have to be ready for pressure to come from all different positions at any time. But I think if we are prepared for that and we're able to get ourselves protected I think there are some things we can take advantage of just in the way they play coverage down the field.

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            -09-24-2010, 03:41 PM