– The Rams just wrapped up their Thursday afternoon practice and are another day closer to the first preseason contest on Sunday at Indianapolis. After the workout, coach Jeff Fisher gave a little insight into his preseason approach. We’ll touch on that in a minute and have full details in a story tomorrow but first let’s run down today’s happenings.
– Today was a bit of a light practice, almost a walk through pace in the first hour or so as the Rams worked on some situational things.
– Then, the practice kicked in with a lot of running and more work than usual for the third groups. The idea, of course, is that those groups will play more in the preseason games, especially the first one and need some reps. That meant a lot of rookie QB Austin Davis and it will likely mean that on Sunday.
– Not participating because of the usual non-serious soft tissue injuries were WR Danario Alexander, WR Brandon Gibson, S Darian Stewart, CB Bradley Fletcher, RB Steven Jackson and LT Rodger Saffold.
– C Scott Wells (knee) and DT Trevor Laws (leg) also did not practice again. Wells continues to do more and more on the side, even doing some short sprints during today’s workout.
– Barry Richardson spent his second consecutive day at right tackle with the first team and appears to be making a push for the job. We’ll see who comes out with the first team on Sunday but don’t be shocked if both he and Jason Smith get opportunities there.
– With Saffold out, Kevin Hughes took the reps on the left side. As did Quinn Ojinnaka, who bumped outside with Bryan Mattison at LG for some of the reps.
– CB Jerome Murphy is also getting a look with the first team defense in nickel situations. Part of that is because of Fletcher’s absence but it should be noted that Murphy has done some work there in the past couple of days as well.
– This week has been about rookies hitting a little bit of a wall and then bouncing back from it. WR Brian Quick and RB Isaiah Pead, in particular, have had some rough moments in the first week or so of practice but both have come on strong, especially the past three days. Expect to see plenty of both on Sunday in Indy.
– DT Kendall Langford returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday because of an illness.
– As for the preseason games, Fisher gave a little glimpse into his approach.
– First, the Rams starters will all get varying degrees of snaps. Fisher called Jackson by name, saying he’ll likely get less reps than others. That’s because his job is safe and secure. Meanwhile, positions where there are battles going on will see extended periods of play. That means outside linebackers will be running in and out, the aforementioned right tackle spot could see some rotating, safety with Stewart and Craig Dahl will likely be alternating.
– In a general sense, Fisher said to expect about two series or a quarter of play for the bulk of the starters. Some could be more, some could be less.
– But the overriding point is that the young players will get plenty of chances. Fisher said because of the new practice rules, there are less reps for the rookies and in some sense, the preseason games are a great chance to get those players valuable reps. That means you will see a lot of the rookies, both drafted and undrafted and young veterans such as Chase Reynolds, Kendric Burney, etc.
– That’s going to do it for today. The Rams are back on the practice field tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. And be sure to check out some of the great food trucks that will be out here if you come for practice. They’re lined up near the entrance to camp. Thanks for reading.
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– The Rams had perhaps the nicest day of camp so far with a 5:30 practice providing cloud cover and some nice, cool temperatures. The Rams are now just a pair of practices away from their first preseason game. Coach Jeff Fisher and Co. can’t wait.
– On the injury front, WR Danario Alexander sat out as Fisher said he wasn’t “quite” 100 percent yet so the Rams backed him down so he didn’t have a further setback.
– RB Steven Jackson got a day off to rest.
– CB Trumaine Johnson, WR Brandon Gibson and DE Eugene Sims also were held out to rest tight soft tissue areas.
– C Scott Wells continues to work toward recovery. Same for DT Trevor Laws.
– DT Kendall Langford was excused with an illness.
– Still, none of the injuries are serious and Fisher said his team is in good shape heading toward the preseason opener.
– The Rams and Fisher continue to cultivate an environment of competition and nobody is immune to that. On Wednesday evening, Barry Richardson got his first run with the top offense at right tackle with Jason Smith working with the twos. Remember, the Rams have been mixing and matching everywhere but Fisher acknowledged that he wants everyone to step their game up.
“The more familiar he becomes with our system, the better he is,” Fisher said. “So obviously there is a lot of competition all over the roster and Barry is creating some competition at right tackle.”
– With Langford out ill and Laws still recovering from injury, the Rams used a heavy rotation at defensive tackle in his stead. Jermelle Cudjo and Matt Conrath continue to get the first opportunities though Darell Scott worked into the mix as well. Cudjo has had some nice moments in camp and continues to make progress.
– As for the happenings on the field, it was a sharp day for the offense, particularly in the red zone.
– In one sequence during team drills in the red zone, QB Sam Bradford threw two consecutive well places balls in the corner of the end zone to Austin Pettis, who brought both down while covered for touchdowns. With Gibson and Alexander on the sidelines, there are even more opportunities to be had.
– I’m sure that fresh legs make him jump out even more so grains of salt will be appropriate but RB Daryl Richardson contininues to look good in his second day back. The fresh legs make him “pop” a little bit according to OC Brian Schottenheimer.
– WR Brian Quick got tangled with CB Josh Gordy at one point and limped off a little bit. But he bounced back and finished the practice.
– Quietly, RG Harvey Dahl has strung together a long run of solid practices. Having Paul Boudreau, who coached him in Atlanta, back in the lead certainly should bode well for Dahl. That and the fact that his beard is back.
– Another good day for rookie RB Isaiah Pead. He’s shown some resiliency the past two days.
– That’s going to do it for today. Back at it at 3:30 tomorrow. Then a 5:30 practice on Friday before heading to Indianapolis for the preseason opener. As always, thanks for reading.
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