– The Rams are just off the field for Wednesday’s minicamp practice and are now just one day away from wrapping up the offseason program.
– Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going to happen in the next week or so:
On Thursday, the Rams will go through a full squad practice in the mid-morning. When that is done, so are the veterans and the coaching staff. They will all be excused and part ways for the rest of the offseason. Now, all of the vets will have conditioning programs to follow and work on but they won’t have official duties back here until they return for training camp at the end of July.
The rookies will stick around for another week and take part in rookie week next week. The rookie week orientation is intended to get the young players acclimated to St. Louis and will include presentations on money management and much more. In addition, the rookies will be going to Joplin with the entire staff to participate in the Governor’s Challenge, where the Rams will begin construction on five homes in the Joplin area.
The undrafted rookies can then depart next Friday while the drafted rookies head to Ohio for the rookie symposium. When that’s done, everyone is done until training camp begins. The rookies will return to St. Louis a few days before the veterans for a couple of days of camp acclimation before starting.
– On to today’s news and notes.
– As you might have read in this space, WR Brian Quick signed his rookie contract today, a four-year deal. The Rams now have just CBs Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson unsigned. Both are expected to be done sooner than later.
– RB Steven Jackson did not attend today’s practice. He had an excused absence: he’s giving the commencement speech at his old high school El Dorado High in Las Vegas.
– For those that read my chat I mentioned the other day that a free agent linebacker would be in town this week. Well, he’s here: Veteran LB Rocky McIntosh is participating in minicamp and wearing No. 59. McIntosh is a six-year veteran out of Miami, who was a second round pick in 2006. He’s only 29 but had some injury issues early in his career. He spent all six of his NFL seasons with the Redskins.
– No word yet on whether McIntosh will be signed but the Rams get another practice tomorrow to get a look at him before making a decision.
– Owner/Chairman Stan Kroenke was in the building on Wednesday. He spent time with COO Kevin Demoff, GM Les Snead and Coach Jeff Fisher after practice.
– As for the happenings on the field, WR Danario Alexander had another nice day. He went up and made a play on a couple of deep balls thrown his way, coming down with them for big gains. When he’s healthy, he brings a dimension nobody on the roster (save for potentially Quick) can bring. He’s had a good week or so since returning from a hamstring ailment.
– With Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold limited in team drills, the Rams have been using Barry Richardson at right tackle and Quinn Ojinnaka at left tackle. While it’s clearly too early to panic, the Rams didn’t get much time with their top offensive line working during the offseason program. In fact, only guards Harvey Dahl and Bryan Mattison are expected regulars that have been present and playing in team drills this whole time and, of course, Mattison is embroiled in a competition for the left guard job with rookie Rokevious Watkins and others.
– TE Lance Kendricks tweaked his ankle going for a deep ball down the middle the other day but told me after practice it’s nothing to worry about. He’ll be good to go for training camp.
– Kendricks has bulked up some, too and said he’s now checking in at around 250 pounds. He played closer to 245 pounds last season.
– Fisher has been fairly even keeled for most of the offseason but did get a little riled up at rookie WR Chris Givens during a two minute drill. Givens caught a pass and put a move on S Darian Stewart then ran down the field to “finish” the play. But he didn’t get back to the line of scrimmage quickly and when he threw the ball back to keep the “drive” going it bounced away and halted the momentum of the drive. Fisher didn’t go off but let Givens know that during a two minute, hurry up drill, a little urgency is needed.
– QB Sam Bradford gave his thoughts on a variety of topics in meeting with the media today. Bradford said the offense has been installed and pointed out it’s been installed “more than once.” Most of this week has been a refresher course and a chance for he and his teammates to brush up on the offense again before departing for the next five or six weeks.
– Bradford was asked if he was comfortable in the offense yet but said he isn’t all the way there and likes that this year, he can take a little more time before making that proclamation. Presumably, he has more time because he’s actually had a full offseason program to learn and he still has training camp to get fully acclimated.
“It is nice. It’s nice to be able to come out here and make mistakes,” Bradford said. “And then go in the film room and talk to (offensive coordinator Brian) Schotty (Schottenheimer) and (quarterbacks coach Frank) Cig (netti) and talk about those mistakes and learn from them and then come out here the next day or the following day and correct them and get everybody on the same page. Whereas last year, I’m not really sure we had that opportunity. If there was an install one day then the next day we couldn’t spend much time going back. We had to keep pushing and putting stuff in. This year, I feel like the process has been able to slow down a little bit and we have really been able to get into detail in what we’re doing.”
– Bradford, who is an Oklahoma City native, is a big fan of the Thunder and is paying close attention to the NBA Finals as they take on the Thunder. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night but Bradford said he won’t be able to make it back to attend. He did say if the series got back to OKC for a potential game 5, he planned to try to attend.
– What Bradford does have planned for the next six weeks or so is a detailed plan of work he needs to do. He said he has three days per week scheduled to throw but also has a finite plan for watching film and staying in his playbook. When he and the Rams return in July, they want to be able to hit the ground running on both sides of the ball.
– That’s going to do it for today. As always, any observations need to be taken with a grain of salt since they aren’t in pads and we are in June. Thanks for reading and we’ll be back tomorrow to wrap this thing up.
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