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  • Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

    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 . . .

  • #2
    Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

    Doesn't say much about Greco or the other guards if journeyman Goldberg is also the first sub at G as well as OT. I wonder if Bell was at LG in that lineup.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

      Hmm. I certainly hope so. Can't have 50+ million riding bench. haha

      And I hope Wade gets the job. I've always liked him. Hill can just go play left bench again for all I care.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

        Originally posted by Azul e Oro View Post
        Doesn't say much about Greco or the other guards if journeyman Goldberg is also the first sub at G as well as OT. I wonder if Bell was at LG in that lineup.
        Greco and Setterstrom have been working primarily at the left guard spot with Bell out. It's possible the Rams may have just preferred to put someone in the line-up from the right side while still giving Greco/Setterstrom reps at left guard.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

          Originally posted by Nick View Post
          Greco and Setterstrom have been working primarily at the left guard spot with Bell out. It's possible the Rams may have just preferred to put someone in the line-up from the right side while still giving Greco/Setterstrom reps at left guard.
          True enough.But to answer my own question, Thomas' latest blurb has Bell back at first string LG at today's practice.

          Didn't Sett start some at RG,though, before or between the injuries?

          I'm sure it's not a big deal at all. Any more than Smith being at RT in a practice is necessarily a milestone.But since we were reading tea leaves, what the heck? lol

          I have to say I'd prefer the OL musical chairs to slow down at this point. Versatility is one thing; being jacks of all trades and masters of none is something else.

          That whole cohesion thing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

            Tye Hill is done! I saw Wade all night make plays against Cincinnati. I thought for a minute it was Steven Jackson out there on defense.
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

              I guess I'm one of the few who hasn't been impressed with Wade. Hopefully I'm wrong and he plays great for us, but I'm not going to jump on that band-wagon quite yet. Oh, and is leading the team in tackles a good thing for a CB?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

                Originally posted by Nick_Weasel View Post
                I guess I'm one of the few who hasn't been impressed with Wade. Hopefully I'm wrong and he plays great for us, but I'm not going to jump on that band-wagon quite yet. Oh, and is leading the team in tackles a good thing for a CB?
                Count me among the few, the proud, the Wade Dissuaders.. lol.
                I see him as a younger Jason Craft; fast and a good tackler, useful as a nickel blitzer and on STs.

                As a starting CB....scary.

                Nice hair,though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Has rookie Jason Smith been promoted to first team? Well...

                  Freakin' Tye Hill! Why not try him as Kickoff or Punt return man? He has a 97 speed rating on Madden 10, lol. Gosh, I was pulling for him to rebound and prove he's a 1st round caliber player...

                  Comment

                  Related Topics

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                  • 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, 01:34 AM
                  • MauiRam
                    Rams' Smith getting more reps with first team ..
                    by MauiRam
                    BY JIM THOMAS
                    Wednesday, August 11, 2010 12:00 am

                    There's still a long way to go before the regular season — 4˝ weeks to be exact. But Jason Smith took another step toward being in the opening day lineup Tuesday at Rams Park.

                    For the first time in training camp, Smith worked with the starting offensive unit during 11-on-11 — or "team" — drills. In fact, he was in with the No. 1 offense for all but the final team period Tuesday afternoon.

                    "It felt great," Smith said. "Just being with the other guys, being with Goldie (Adam Goldberg), and being with Hank (Fraley) and Jason Brown. ... And the new guy, Rodger (Saffold). I'm just really excited I was in the huddle with those guys."

                    As such it was another milepost for Smith — the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft — on the road back from a fractured toe in early June.

                    For his part, coach Steve Spagnuolo downplayed Smith's workload.

                    "It's a day-to-day thing," Spagnuolo said.

                    He pointed out that the Rams had only one practice on Tuesday making it easier for Smith to get extended work. He noted that the Rams spent half the practice in 'shells" — or light padding — which meant less contact.

                    "Every day you get him a little bit more (involved), and then you find out how the foot responds," Spagnuolo said.

                    But even Spagnuolo conceded it was good to see Smith progress to the point where he was working with the starters. (The move of Smith to right tackle seems to be all but a done deal, since that's where he was practicing Tuesday.)

                    "I think it's good for those guys to all be working together, making calls with each other," Spagnuolo said. "We all need the reps."

                    Well, not all the guys were in there working together. Even though Smith was back with the starters, left guard Jacob Bell remains sidelined with a stomach muscle injury. Goldberg — the Rams' Mr. Versatile — had been working at right tackle all camp in place of Smith. On Tuesday, he was in at left guard for Bell.

                    Which means offensive line continuity continues to elude the Rams. Entering camp, it looked like the preferred starting line was Saffold at left tackle, Bell at left guard, Brown at center, Goldberg at right guard, and Smith at right tackle.

                    But that group has yet to take one snap together in camp. When asked how many reps he had taken at right guard in camp, Goldberg responded: "Zero."

                    But Goldberg added, "When that day comes, we'll be ready. Coach Loney and I have been doing this together for a long time. I think he knows what's he's going to get from me, and I know what I'm going to get from him. And he'll get me there."

                    Steve Loney, the Rams' offensive line coach, is in his third season with Goldberg in St. Louis....
                    -08-10-2010, 10:05 PM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Rookie Jason Smith Gets Tutorial
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    Rookie Jason Smith gets tutorial

                    By BILL COATS
                    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                    10/26/2009

                    On just his fifth snap at left tackle as a pro, rookie Jason Smith found out what he'll eventually be up against in the NFL.

                    Part of the Rams' three-man tackle rotation in Sunday's 42-6 loss to Indianapolis, Smith was in for his second series. On second down and 7 from the Rams 11-yard line with about 6 minutes left in the first half, defensive end Dwight Freeney blew by Smith and slammed quarterback Marc Bulger to the turf for a 9-yard loss. If Smith even touched Freeney, it wasn't visible to the naked eye.

                    "It's no secret that Freeney's one of the best defensive ends to ever play the game," said Smith, the Rams' first-round draft pick in April. "Obviously, you give him his respect. ... He's a good defensive end to go against."

                    The Rams have made it clear that Smith, the second overall selection in the draft, is their left tackle of the future. He shared that spot Sunday with incumbent Alex Barron. Smith also spent some time at right tackle, where veteran Adam Goldberg was the starter.

                    That meant that Smith also got a good look at Robert Mathis, who mans the left side of Indy's line. Between them, Freeney (four) and Mathis (one) have been invited to five Pro Bowls.

                    After spending the spring and summer in a backup role, Smith was named the first-team right tackle the week before the regular-season opener. He lasted about six quarters there before suffering a knee injury at Washington.

                    Smith missed two games, got in for a single special-teams play Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota, then split time with Goldberg at right tackle last week at Jacksonville.

                    Asked whether he thought the three-tackle approach Sunday was beneficial, Goldberg took a long pause before replying.

                    "I just take orders. If they tell me to rotate, I rotate," he said. "When they tell me to go in, I try to make all my blocks and execute my assignment. That's really all I can do.

                    "The personnel decisions are up to the head coach and the powers that be. We just play when called upon."

                    Goldberg wasn't on the sideline long. When Richie Incognito went down with a foot injury during Smith's first series at right tackle, Goldberg was back on the field at right guard.

                    Last season, Goldberg was the only player in the league to start at both tackle and both guard spots. So switching positions is almost routine for him. "If the team needs me to play different positions, I'll just try to do whatever I can to help the team win," he said.

                    Such is the mantra for Smith, too, who insists he's "one of those guys that thinks about 'we' and not 'me.'"

                    "Football's football, and whether you line up at left tackle or right tackle...
                    -10-26-2009, 04:04 PM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    St. Louis Rams' Goldberg Helps Future Starter Smith
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    St. Louis Rams' Goldberg helps future starter Smith

                    BY BILL COATS
                    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                    08/18/2009

                    During a short break in practice Monday morning, Adam Goldberg pulled aside fellow tackle Jason Smith, the Rams' first-round draft pick in April, and offered a few pointers on polishing his skills.

                    Goldberg, by the way, is going to lose his job to Smith. Yet Goldberg still wanted to help.

                    "I take that as part of my role," said Goldberg, a seventh-year pro. "But I'll tell you what, (Smith) doesn't need too many tips. He's going to be a really good football player."

                    That's what the Rams were banking on when they made Smith the No. 2 overall selection in the draft. They're also banking on Smith being in the starting lineup at right tackle by the time the regular season gets under way, or soon thereafter.

                    That job is Goldberg's now; he's taken virtually all the snaps there with the No. 1 unit throughout camp. But he realizes that by Sept. 13 in Seattle, he could be relegated to a backup assignment.

                    "To tell you the truth, I really don't think about it, because it's out of my control," Goldberg explained. "What am I going to do about it? All I can do is play. So I'm just going to worry about getting myself to be as good a player as I can be."

                    Goldberg's greatest asset is his versatility. He was the only player in the NFL last season to start at four positions on the offensive line — twice at left guard, twice at left tackle and once each at right guard and right tackle.

                    His teaching ability is pretty impressive, too, Smith noted. "He's been a great help," the rookie from Baylor said. "It helps out a lot when you've got a guy like him around to kind of grab you and bring you along."

                    Still, a young player has to accept that assistance for the benefits to accrue. Smith does, Goldberg stressed.

                    "He's the kind of guy that you like to help out, because he works hard, doesn't take anything for granted, takes good notes, asks good questions," Goldberg said. "He's the type of young player ... you want to see succeed."

                    Even if it ultimately costs you your job?

                    "I use my competitive outlet against the opponent, not against my own teammates," Goldberg said. "My job is to get ready to help the Rams win, and that's playing well at whatever position they decide to put me."

                    WEIGHT WATCHER

                    He hasn't been nicknamed "Slim" yet, but defensive tackle Hollis Thomas reports that his weight-loss regimen is working well. "I've been able to shed a few pounds since I've been here," said the 6-foot Thomas, who arrived just prior to camp more than a few pounds over his listed weight of 340.

                    Thomas, a St. Louis...
                    -08-17-2009, 09:29 PM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Punches Fly Despite N0-Hitting Practice At Rams Park
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    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.
                    -08-10-2009, 09:22 PM
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