St. Louis Rams – Blog

Rams Finish Day Two, Continue Roster Shuffle

Posted by nickwagoner on July 31, 2011 – 10:34 PM

– The Rams finished their second day of practice under scorching hot temperatures but seemed to make it through practice OK.

– Some news on the injury front real quick: DE Robert Quinn did not practice as he arrived at camp with a sprained right knee. For now, he is on the PUP-Non-Football Injury list. He suffered a sprained knee while training in the offseason. He says the injury happened about two months ago and he feels good. But the Rams want to be cautious with him because he hasn’t played in more than a year. He could come off that list and be on the field any day, though.

– CB Mikail Baker did not practice because of a sprained right knee.

– CB Marquis Johnson and FB Brit Miller have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list because they are still recovering from knee injuries.

– Spagnuolo said he thought the team fought through the heat well except for the part of practice following the water break in the middle. A little bit of sluggishness is to be expected with so much rust to chip away but there were quite a few dropped balls and mistakes that followed the break.

– The Rams made the signing of DT Justin Bannan official on Sunday. Bannan provides another wide body for the middle of the defense according to Spagnuolo. He’ll plug right in next to Fred Robbins when free agents are eligible to begin practice on Thursday.

– Spagnuolo announced the trade of G John Greco to Cleveland has become official. The Rams received an undisclosed conditional draft pick in exchange for Greco. Best of luck to Greco with the Brownies.

– The free agent activity hasn’t slowed and the Rams remain active so stay tuned for more updates as they come.

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Robert Quinn Signs, In the House

Posted by nickwagoner on July 31, 2011 – 5:10 PM

– The Rams officially signed first round draft pick Robert Quinn on Saturday night and he was in attendance wearing No. 94 at the team’s walk through on Sunday morning.

– Quinn is able to practice right away and will be worked back into the mix quickly. It’s been a long road for Quinn to return to the game after being suspended last season.

– With that in mind, it’ll take some work to get him up to speed but defensive coordinator Ken Flajole reminded me the other day that the need for Quinn to make a huge impact in all areas of the game right away isn’t necessarily required. With James Hall and Chris Long in front of him, Quinn should be able to focus on one or two things he can do to help right away such as rush the passer while he refines other parts of his game.

– It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on his development throughout this camp.

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First Day in the Books

Posted by nickwagoner on July 30, 2011 – 11:48 PM

– While the Rams were busy shuffling the roster decks Saturday afternoon in the front office, the team of players eligible to practice were hard at work on the field.

– After the morning walk through, the team went through about a two and a half hour practice Saturday afternoon. Heavy rain slowed enough to be outdoors and for a solid turnout of fans to come and watch the workout.

– The Rams had no serious injuries of note in the opening practice but as expected were hit by some cramps. Receiver Danario Alexander was among those players affected and unable to finish practice. The majority of the player ailed by cramps were rookies still looking to find their legs, according to coach Steve Spagnuolo.

– As for the action on the field, the wide receiver competition figures to be heated in this camp and a couple of players fired strong opening salvos. Mardy Gilyard made a couple of big plays, including a long touchdown catch. He’s noticeably trimmed down and looking to insert himself into the battle for a roster spot. Brandon Gibson also plucked his share of passes as he worked mostly with the first unit. Alexander worked opposite Gibson with that group for most of the practice until he was sidelined.

– While the Rams continue to work on adding a backup running back via free agency, Keith Toston took the reps with the second team behind Steven Jackson.

– Ryan McKee and Drew Miller continued to get work with the first team at guard until the Rams can plug Jacob Bell and Harvey Dahl in on Thursday. Hank Fraley also got some work with the first team Saturday.

– Darell Scott is working with the top unit next to Fred Robbins at defensive tackle.

– The Rams are back at it same time tomorrow. Like Saturday, the first 200 fans to arrive will be allowed into the VIP tent area where they’ll receive snacks and drinks. Practice is set for 1:50 p.m. but fans can begin lining up at 12:30.

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Rams Still Working on Roster

Posted by nickwagoner on July 30, 2011 – 10:55 PM

– The Rams finished their first day of practice but the action on the field was rivaled by what continues to go on as the team burns up the phone lines.

– The team made their first wave of free agent signings official as they got signed contracts from G Harvey Dahl, LB Zac Diles, WR Mike Sims-Walker and CB Al Harris on Saturday morning following the Friday night inking of S Quintin Mikell.

– None of those players can practice until the new league year begins per the league rules. That’s expected to be near the end of the week, likely Thursday.

– In addition, coach Steve Spagnuolo said the Rams are working on some “contract things” with S James Butler and G Jacob Bell. Both were at the afternoon practice but did not participate. It’s expected that the pair is working out a new contract with the team.

– The Rams are also close to signing first-round pick Robert Quinn to a deal. Spagnuolo said Quinn was en route to St. Louis and the team was hopeful to have everything signed and completed sooner than later. It’s likely he’ll be available in time for Sunday’s practice.

– Receiver Mark Clayton continues to be a question. He has not re-signed with the team but Spagnuolo says Clayton is not fully recovered from the knee injury that ended his season. The team will keep in contact with him as he continues to rehabilitate.

– Offensive lineman Adam Goldberg is also unsigned but Spagnuolo made special mention of him and noted that the Rams are working to bring him back as well.

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Rams Go Through Initial Walkthrough with Lots of Spectators

Posted by nickwagoner on July 30, 2011 – 4:32 PM

– The Rams just wrapped up their first walk through of this training camp as the initial practice of training camp awaits its start just before 2 o’clock today.

– Moving at a brisk pace that was probably more jog through than walk through, the Rams went for about an hour and 15 minutes. Of course, the Rams didn’t have their full complement of players available because of league rules.

– According to the league, players who sign new contracts cannot begin practicing until the new CBA is approved. That’s expected to happen Aug. 4. As such, the Rams had some new faces and some old ones watching practice.

– Newly signed S Quintin Mikell and CB Al Harris watched the practice from the sidelines after joining the Rams on Friday. They were joined by the Rams’ own exclusive rights and restricted free agents. G John Greco, LB David Vobora, LB Chris Chamberlain, T Renardo Foster, WR Danny Amendola and DE C.J. Ah You all signed their tender offers Friday evening but the rules apply to them as well and they can’t practice until Aug. 4.

– S James Butler also didn’t practice. Since he is not dealing with injury, it’s logical to conclude he renegotiated his contract to stay with the team and since he is under a new contract is also unable to participate in camp yet.

– G Jacob Bell was not present Saturday morning. Not that it means much since it’s a walk through but the Rams used youngsters Drew Miller and Ryan McKee at the two guard spots with Greco and Bell unavailable.

– The Rams remain active in free agency and are expecting to have more moves to announce at some point on Saturday. Stay tuned for official announcements, which won’t come until those players have put pen to paper and made their deals official.

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Free Agency Upon Us

Posted by nickwagoner on July 29, 2011 – 2:54 PM

– Later this evening, the Rams and the rest of the NFL world will officially dive into free agency. While agreements are being struck in various places for guys to sign, there are still a lot of talented players on the market and a lot of guys that figure to shake loose by being released.

– Remember, veteran free agents can’t sign until 5 p.m. CST today and then after that cannot take part in any on field football activities until Aug. 4.

– While maybe the reports haven’t put much out about the Rams, rest assured they are working hard to add to the roster and will have some activity for you when the time hits. Just like anything else, nothing will be public until pen is put to paper.

– Stay tuned for what should be an interesting day.

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Rams Seem Healthy Heading into Camp

Posted by nickwagoner on July 27, 2011 – 10:13 PM

– The Rams will have their full physicals when they report for training camp on Friday but it seems that they will be almost completely healthy in time for the first practice Saturday.

– Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said as much on Tuesday though he also acknowledged that he didn’t have a full report on the team’s players returning from ailments.

– Some players have already spent time with head athletic trainer Reggie Scott. Those players are the ones Spagnuolo feels best about.

“I didn’t get to Reggie on everybody,” Spagnuolo said. “No red alerts right now. You know what, I have to sit down with Reggie.”

Even after that, the Rams will have their full battery of tests on Friday. Which means it’s uncertain if some players will have any restrictions.

“I don’t know that,” Spagnuolo said. “You know, you have the whole PUP status. We’ve really got to reassess them. It’s not really until they get their official physical that you say… which will happen Friday.”

– But it seems that most players rehabbing injuries are in good shape. Receiver Donnie Avery looks to be fit and ready to go and will likely be cleared to go full speed after suffering a season ending injury last preseason. Dominique Curry is another who appears set to go.

– One player to keep an eye on early in camp is linebacker Na’il Diggs. He suffered a difficult torn pectoral injury late in the season and might not be all the way back just yet.

– We’ll have a complete injury update later this week after the physicals.

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Rams Unconcerned with Quinn’s Agent Situation

Posted by nickwagoner on July 27, 2011 – 10:03 PM

– According to a number of media reports, Rams first-round draft choice Robert Quinn recently changed agents just before the negotiation period for teams and their drafted rookie opened. Upon that change, Carl Carey, Quinn’s former agent, filed suit to get a restraining order that would prevent Quinn’s new agents from negotiating a deal with the Rams.

– Quinn subsequently hired Impact Sports, based in Boca Raton, Fla. to replace Carey.

– Complicating issues is the decertification of the NFLPA which left open a maverick world for agents to poach clients with no repercussions.

– While perhaps it could slow negotiations between the Rams and Quinn, general manager Billy Devaney wasn’t worried about what it could mean.

“We’re not freaking out about it,” Devaney said. “Right now, until we’re told otherwise, we have a guy to deal with. If Robert tells us that’s not the case, ‘You’re dealing with this guy,’ then that’s who we’ll deal with. Right now I don’t expect it to be a problem. Now, if we’re five days from now, that’s a problem, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”

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List of Rams Free Agents

Posted by nickwagoner on July 25, 2011 – 10:51 PM

The NFL just sent out the list of players that will be available in free agency beginning this week. Below is the list of players the Rams have that they can re-sign or they have chosen not to re-sign.

Restricted free agents who received qualifying offers from the Rams (compensation required to sign them away)

– LB Chris Chamberlain (7th round choice)
– T Renardo Foster (ROFR)
– G John Greco (3rd round choice)
– LB David Vobora (7th round choice

Unrestricted free agents who have four or more accrued seasons

– WR Mark Clayton
– DB Kevin Dockery
– TE Daniel Fells
– DT Gary Gibson
– OL Adam Goldberg
– DT Chris Hovan
– TE Darcy Johnson
– S Michael Lewis
– WR Laurent Robinson
– DT Clifton Ryan
– TE Derek Schouman

Restricted free agents who did not receive a qualifying offer from the Rams and will be unrestricted free agents

– CB Quincy Butler
– RB Kenneth Darby
– LB Curtis Johnson

The Rams will almost certainly retain all of their restricted free agents through their qualifying offers. Among the unrestricted free agents, Clayton, Goldberg and Gibson are the most likely candidates to return. It’s possible that the three players who did not receive qualifying offers could be brought back for the league minimum but it’s unlikely.

– Keep in mind, the Rams can begin negotiations with all of the players listed above starting tomorrow but cannot sign any until Friday and none of those signings become official until the new league year begins on Aug. 4.

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Rams, NFL Back in Business

Posted by nickwagoner on July 25, 2011 – 8:48 PM

– All sides were smiling Monday as the NFL and NFLPA announced they had come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. And with that, it’s finally time for some football.

– The Rams, as well as the rest of the league will be allowed to open their facilities to players who want to come in for physicals and/or conditioning on Tuesday at 9 a.m. CST. They will open training camp on Friday with the first full practice likely to come Saturday.  Below, I’ve put in the timeline of important dates to know.

– Tonight: The league will publish the 2011 free agency list at 5 p.m. CST.

– Tomorrow: At 9 a.m., players can come to the Russell Training Center for physicals and/or voluntary strength and conditioning. The trade market will also open at that time. In addition, teams can begin negotiating contracts with their drafted rookies as well as sign undrafted free agents.

Teams can also begin negotiating with their own free agents as well as other clubs’ free agents. Teams cannot sign any of those players at that time but can begin discussions.

– Wednesday: Training camp opens for all 10 teams who have a preseason game on Aug. 11. Those teams are Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Jacksonville, New England, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Diego and Seattle.

– Thursday: Training camp opens for all 10 teams that have a preseason game on Aug. 12. Those teams are Atlanta, Cincy, Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Washington.

At 3:01 CST on Thursday, the waiver wire will open for business.

– Friday: Training camp opens for all 10 teams that have a preseason game on Aug. 13. In addition to the Rams, those teams are Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Cleveland, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, the Giants and Tennessee.

At 5 p.m. CST, clubs can sign or extend offers to all free agents. Those players can also begin visiting franchises and cities or have try outs.

Any free agent that signs with a club will not be allowed to practice with his new team until August 4 but will be required to stay with the club and participate in meetings, classroom work and any other non physical activities with the team.

– August 4: The beginning of the new league year at 3:01 CST. All teams must be under the salary cap at this time.

Note: The Rams cannot hold a padded practice until Monday, August 1. In addition, they will not hold an actual practice until Saturday.

– Details on camp and which practices will be open to the public will be released as soon as possible.

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