– The Rams just finished their final Organized Team Activity of the offseason about two hours ago and will break for the weekend before returning next week.
– Next week is the final week of the offseason program but it will be a busy one.
– On Monday, the entire Rams team and coaching staff will join the front office staff in the team’s annual playground build in Fairmont City. This will be the fourth such event in as many years and is one of the team’s signature events in the community.
– On Tuesday, the Rams kick off their final, mandatory, full squad minicamp. The group will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before calling it an offseason.
– The rookie class will stay in St. Louis for a couple of additional weeks before the rookie symposium in Canton, Ohio near the end of the month. Then, there is nothing until training camp starts at the end of July.
– As for the happenings during Friday’s OTA, the Rams got to see some good things and positive strides from some players that have been dealing with injury. WR Danario Alexander and CB Josh Gordy got some work in after being hampered by nagging injuries.
– CB Cortland Finnegan departed midway through practice with an undisclosed ailment. He walked off just fine and it didn’t appear to be anything serious. We’ll see what his status is at next week’s minicamp.
– Aside from that, most of the group was status quo with some guys limited with other guys not participating. C Scott Wells did not practice again. I know plenty of you are wondering what his status is but I assure you it’s not something nefarious. He’s dealing with an injury issue. It’s nothing more than that and he should be fine in time for training camp.
– For the guys on the field, it was a good day for a couple of notable wideouts: rookie Chris Givens and second-year man Greg Salas.
– Late in the practice, the Rams began running their two minute drill. Givens took the top off the defense deep for a long catch down the sideline before stepping out of bounds. On the next play, he turned CB Jeremy Caldwell inside out with a nice corner route for a touchdown from QB Kellen Clemens. It was a nice drive by the second unit.
– Givens continues to impress and told me after practice that he is really focused on improving right now. Although he had a reputation as a great route runner coming out of college, he said it’s something he is working on and something he wants to perfect because this is a whole different level of route running with more advanced concepts. For the record, Givens is playing almost exclusively on the outside and he expects that to continue. Danny Amendola and Steve Smith have done most of the work in the slot.
– Salas is potentially an even more interesting case. He’s been impressive throughout OTAs, which is no small feat considering he’s coming off a serious injury that ended his season early. Not only is Salas healthy, he’s been productive.
– On Friday, Salas worked with the top unit and made some impressive catches from QB Sam Bradford including a diving one-handed number that looked nearly impossible considering the velocity on the ball. Count Salas out of the mix at your own peril but he was coming into his own before his injury last year and looks even better so far this year.
– S Darian Stewart was flying around a bit on Friday as well. He appears to be leaner and is moving faster than he has in either of his first two seasons. He made a nice interception during team work.
– CB Trumaine Johnson continues to show a nose for the ball. Janoris Jenkins is getting a lot of the attention (and with good reason) but Johnson has been very good in his own right. He naturally looks for the ball on every play and has outstanding timing.
– DT Michael Brockers, fresh off signing his rookie contract, said he is getting better every day and believes he will be an “all around” player by the time camp arrives. Of course, he wasn’t in pads and hasn’t been all through OTAs but he showed some burst and a nice move to get to the quarterback for a “sack” during team drills.
– As always, take everything above with a grain of salt. Everything is different when you put the pads on. What happens in June generally has little bearing on what ultimately happens when the final cuts are made.
– Stay tuned for news on more draft pick signings. I expect the Rams could strike deals with Johnson, Brian Quick or Jenkins at any time.
– Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.
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