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Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

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  • Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

    12.30.2009 2:20 pm
    Surprise! Rookie tackle Jason Smith returns to practice
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch


    The St. Louis Rams had a surprise addition to their practice contingent Wednesday. Rookie tackle Jason Smith, out since suffering a concussion Nov. 22 vs. Arizona, was suited up and participated in some light drills. It had generally been assumed that Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, wouldn’t return to the field this season.

    But he passed his follow-up neuro exam and was cleared by the team’s doctors to begin rehab work.

    “It was a great relief to, No. 1, pass the test and then to be able to be around the team, be at practice and . . . be able to do something,” Smith said. “We took the test a couple of days ago, and I was able to pass it. We started taking it one day at a time from there, doing light workouts and seeing how the head reacts.”

    Neither Smith nor coach Steve Spagnuolo has ruled out the possibility of Smith playing Sunday when the ***** are in town. “We’re just taking it day to day, just light activity and progressing as the week goes,” Smith said. “We’ll see what happens this weekend.”

    All for now… more later.

  • #2
    Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

    This IS a surprise. It's great to see that Smith has the fire to get back with the team, but I'm not sure playing him makes sense when dealing with lingering concussion issues. It's only one game and I'd hold him out, let him take the off-season to fully recover and make sure eveything is right. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

      Nice to see him back out there and finally pass the neuro-test, but I don't see much sense in trying to play him this weekend.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

        Originally posted by Nick View Post
        Nice to see him back out there and finally pass the neuro-test, but I don't see much sense in trying to play him this weekend.
        Ditto. The Rams need to take it slow and easy with Mr. Smith.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

          [QUOTE=r8rh8rmike;324662]

          But he passed his follow-up neuro exam and was cleared by the team’s doctors to begin rehab work.

          “It was a great relief to, No. 1, pass the test and then to be able to be around the team, be at practice and . . . be able to do something,” Smith said. “We took the test a couple of days ago, and I was able to pass it. We started taking it one day at a time from there, doing light workouts and seeing how the head reacts.”
          QUOTE]

          It sounds to me more like he's just out there to slowly work himself back into things - not rush back to the field. I would bet he feels like he's just been released from prison and just wants to feel the freedom.
          temp_4394_1467243487543_20
          RAMS!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

            I would want him to sit unless he's 100%. Concussions are things you can't mess around with.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

              Originally posted by Mooselini View Post
              I would want him to sit unless he's 100%. Concussions are things you can't mess around with.
              This.

              However, if he is 100%, id like to see him getting some playing time at LT. Might as well give him some experience there
              @EssexRam_

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

                Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
                This.

                However, if he is 100%, id like to see him getting some playing time at LT. Might as well give him some experience there
                No way should the rams risk him getting a concussion again, sit him out and give him a year to recover... Head injuries take a lot more than a couple weeks to fully heal...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Surprise! Rookie Tackle Jason Smith Returns To Practice

                  Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                  This IS a surprise. It's great to see that Smith has the fire to get back with the team, but I'm not sure playing him makes sense when dealing with lingering concussion issues. It's only one game and I'd hold him out, let him take the off-season to fully recover and make sure eveything is right. It will be interesting to see what happens.
                  I agree Mike, nice to see him back but I don't think it's worth the risk for only one meaningless game,I can't wait to see what he can do for a whole season,I really think he is going to be a big time player.

                  Comment

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                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Jason Smith Leaves Practice Early After Blow To Head
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    Jason Smith leaves practice after blow to head

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                  • r8rh8rmike
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                    By Nick Wagoner
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                    After almost every practice since the Rams made him the No. 2 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, Jason Smith can be found out on the practice field doing two things.

                    First and foremost, Smith has made a habit of staying after practice to work with offensive line coaches Art Valero and Steve Loney on something he feels needed improvement from the just-completed workout.

                    When that is done, about 20 minutes later, Smith can be found hauling around the pads of his veteran teammates.

                    “It’s what I am but I am not doing it just to be doing it,” Smith said. “It’s something that I need to work on that day technically or physically. There’s always something to work on.”

                    Such is the life of a rookie in the NFL. And while those parts of it are normal, Smith’s approach to the game is anything but.

                    The Rams completed their final two a day practice of this year’s training camp on Tuesday afternoon. With that, the team is almost halfway through the preseason and Smith’s development process is in full swing.

                    From the moment he arrived in St. Louis, plenty of people have placed some weighty expectations on Smith but the coaching staff has ignored that and asked Smith to earn his position.

                    Until Tuesday, Smith had extremely limited repetitions with the first team offense as he has worked almost exclusively as the second-team right tackle behind Adam Goldberg.

                    Nothing has been handed to him and Smith has asked for nothing in return. Instead, Smith is lapping up every opportunity to learn the game from his veteran teammates.

                    Nary a player has been more helpful in that regard than Goldberg. Although Goldberg and Smith are technically competing for the job at right tackle, neither seems too concerned with beating out the other.

                    Quite the opposite, in fact.

                    “I take that as part of my role but I tell you what, he doesn’t need too many tips,” Goldberg said. “He’s going to be a really good football player and he’s a great person too, 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. So he’s the type of young player that you want to help and want to see succeed.”

                    The modest Goldberg won’t take much credit for helping Smith learn the nuances of the NFL but Smith is quick to credit Goldberg for stepping into the mentor role.

                    “I feel that if Goldberg wasn’t here I would have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off,” Smith said. “What is the competition? The competition is Rams vs. whoever we play. It’s not amongst each other. Obviously we are going to make each other better by communicating things we see but if he wasn’t here, how far along would I...
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                  • Nick
                    Smith Signs, Ready to Work
                    by Nick
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                    Thursday, July 30, 2009
                    By Nick Wagoner
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                    Jason Smith isn’t the type of person to worry about things outside of his direct. That’s why when it came time to strike a deal on a contract with the Rams, Smith left all of the off the field work to his agents.

                    And so it was that the Rams and Smith found their common ground late Thursday afternoon and agreed to the contract that will have Smith on the practice field when the team begins its first full squad workout on Friday afternoon.

                    “Obviously things have to be done in order for me to be here,” Smith said. “Things I can control, I control. Things I can’t control, I don’t worry about.”

                    Throughout the process of waiting for his initial, lucrative NFL contract, Smith never wavered in his faith that the contract would be completed in time for him to join the rest of the team for the first full squad practice.

                    Smith stayed out of the negotiations and left the work to his agents, Ben Dogra and Tom Condon, and Rams Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff.

                    When the rest of the rookie class stepped on the field for a pair of short workouts on Thursday afternoon, Smith was not with them. But he wasn’t far away.

                    Smith remained calm even as his teammates and fellow rookies went through the paces.

                    “We hire agents when we leave college and if you hire good ones that have a history of doing things the right way, what is there to worry about?” Smith said. “At the end of the day, I am the one that asked them to do this for me. A lot of this is about trust. If I am doing what I can do, what more is there to worry about?”

                    After the two sides reached an accord, Smith went to the Russell Training Center and promptly put pen to paper, making his status as an NFL player official.

                    For Smith, it’s been a long time in the making but he was more excited about what awaits tomorrow than what happened today. There will be no celebrating for Smith in the immediate aftermath of signing his contract.

                    “I have got practice tomorrow and that’s pretty much all I am thinking about,” Smith said. “At the end of the day there is a time and place for everything. Right now I only have time to say ‘What can I do to help my team be better tomorrow?’”

                    Smith left the Russell Training Center after signing the contract and immediately reported to the team hotel in time for dinner and a team meeting.

                    Smith’s timely arrival is perhaps made more important by the fact that he is expected to immediately compete for a starting job at one of the tackle positions.

                    “Football is a very competitive sport and at the end of the day, it’s all about competition and that’s why I play this game,” Smith said.

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                    -07-31-2009, 10:33 AM
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