– With the pomp and circumstance of the first day of training camp behind them, the Rams got back to work on Monday afternoon for another two-plus hour training camp practice. Much like the first day, coach Jeff Fisher was pleased with his team’s work.
– One thing the Rams have definitely benefited from early in camp is a nice relief in the weather. Monday was overcast with a short drizzle and kept temperatures down. The players certainly appreciate that.
– On the missing in action list (let’s not call it the injured list yet), the Rams had only one slight change but it was a positive one. G Rokevious Watkins is inching closer to getting back on the practice field full time as his conditioning level has improved. He did not take part in team drills on Monday but he did participate in some individual work. He could return on a full time basis as soon as Tuesday.
– Receiver Danario Alexander (hamstring), running back Daryl Richardson (leg) and C Scott Wells (knee) did not participate.
– As for the practice itself, the Rams had some positive production from some young players on a day when they worked a lot of red zone situations.
– During that red zone period, the offense had some really good signs and a couple of bad ones.
– Rookie WR Brian Quick, who struggled some on Sunday, bounced back with his best day of this young camp (including the three rookie practices last week) and hauled in some nice catches including a beautiful route and catch on a fade in the corner of the end zone during red zone work. Quick isn’t being handed anything in terms of a starting job but Monday was a step in the right direction.
– Fellow rookie WR Chris Givens beat CB Trumaine Johnson on a long ball and appeared to have a touchdown but Johnson recovered to knock the ball loose at the last second. It was one of those double edge sword plays where Givens should have had the ball but Johnson’s effort was impressive.
– Up front, DEs Chris Long and Robert Quinn again seemed to be a step ahead of everyone else.
– One thing that this coaching staff does not tolerate: false start penalties. Any player committing one of those infractions is immediately sent off and replaced. T Jason Smith had one in the red zone and let’s just say OL coach Paul Boudreau did not think too fondly of it.
– Spent some time with WR Greg Salas after practice today. Salas continues to look good out there and is making a seamless transition to the outside after spending most of his rookie season in the slot. Salas told me that he played on the outside quite a bit at Hawaii but was a little rusty early on. He said it’s just a matter of sharpening his technique and getting back up to speed on beating press coverage and other fundamentals that go with taking on corners instead of the occasional linebacker or safety in the slot.
– I mentioned DT Matt Conrath as a guy to look out for as a sleeper on defense. Let me add another name which has been mentioned in the chat before: CB Kendric Burney. He’s not the biggest or the fastest but he’s tough and he’s attached himself to the hip of Cortland Finnegan, a player who was once described in a similar manner. For those that believe the six corners are set in stone and the only question is how they’ll line up, Burney believes he can prove you wrong. I’ll have more on Burney coming in the next few days on the front of the site.
– At linebacker right now, it’s Jo-Lonn Dunbar on the weak side and Mario Haggan on the strong side. Rocky McIntosh is still getting re-acclimated to the defense (he was in it for a short period with Gregg Williams in Washington). When he does, expect the competition to heat up on the outside.
– Nothing new to report on MLB James Laurinaitis and his contract. Stay tuned though because it seems something could happen just about any day now.
– Failed to mention yesterday that Robert Turner is taking the reps with the first team at center right now with Wells out. Some had thought Turner would be in the mix for the left guard job but it seems the Rams prefer him as their inside swingman who can capably backup at either guard spot or center.
– Quinn Ojinnaka continues to get the first look inside at left guard.
– The pads are coming soon and it should be a lot more telling how these guys all stack up once that happens. As always, in the meantime take any observations with a grain of salt.
– Thanks as always for reading. Back tomorrow with more.
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