– Only a couple of hours ago, the Rams wrapped up their Wednesday practice little more than 24 hours after arrival in London.
– Considering the time change and the jet lag, Rams coach Jeff Fisher was pleased with how his team responded on Wednesday morning. They went through about a two-hour practice, mostly on adrenaline as they pushed through fatigue to begin preparation for the Patriots.
– Players were encouraged to spend as much time awake as possible on arrival in London. As such, players looked for ways to find things to do to stay awake. Some such as QB Sam Bradford did the simple things like stay up and watch film as he normally would on a Tuesday though he said he had trouble falling asleep when he did go to bed. Others, such as DE Robert Quinn, went to the movies to try to force themselves to stay awake. Quinn found himself nodding off during a viewing of Taken 2, which while it’s not an Academy Award waiting to happen is also an action movie that shouldn’t be forcing people to nod off. Obviously, it’s a tiring situation for all involved but they responded quickly.
– Fisher wants his team on as normal a schedule as possible this week and elected to bring the team over the pond early to help acclimate to that. They had a regular wake up call at 6:30 this morning and had meetings, a walk through and more meetings before practice. It was difficult to get up and going according to Quinn but once they did, they seemed to be OK.
– Make no mistake, the Rams are here on business. There will be time for some sightseeing and such later in the week when the team moves to a hotel in the city but this team is focused on getting an all important win before the bye week to get back to .500 and position itself to make a run.
– A quick note on the Arsenal facility: it’s absolutely stunning. It’s huge and can hold about 12 football fields, the grass is manicured to the point you could safely eat a meal off of it and the training center has every possible amenity you could want. To a man, every player was blown away by how the facility and practice fields were set up.
– One quirk of playing over here is dealing with a different type of media that doesn’t necessarily have a full grasp on American football. During Fisher’s news conference today, he was asked a series of strange questions about his team. The highlight? He was informed that lions, dragons and princes hold a place in London lore and was then asked to name who on his team would qualify as each. Fisher refused to name a prince, saying he hoped none of his guys fit that royal bill and then proceeded to say James Laurinaitis and Steven Jackson were his lions (note: we’d vote DE Chris Long as a lion in this corner of cyberspace as well, after all he has a giant lion head tattooed on his back). And Fisher said K Greg Zuerlein would be the dragon. Not really sure how he’s a dragon or even what that would mean but such is the situation when asked something so random.
– Bradford was asked the same question and said he thought it would be “a little weird” to call anyone a prince. He too, was counfounded by the dragon question.
– One British reporter challenged Chris Long to an eating and drinking contest after Sunday’s game. The playful Long agreed to the contest and Bradford was asked by the reporter if he had any advice on how to beat Long. Bradford told him he was in for a pretty big challenge.
– Back on the practice field, it was a pleasant surprise to see WR Danny Amendola do some running around in practice. Now, he’s not back to being ready to play this week by any means but Bradford said having Amendola on the field doing anything is a shot in the arm for the team.
– T Rodger Saffold, who is battling a knee injury, also appears to be progressing. He did some running on the side as well. With a bye week coming for the Rams after this week, there could be some major reinforcements on the way for the Rams in time to take on division rival San Francisco in week 10.
– The Rams are staying at a terrific hotel out in Watford area called “The Grove.” The set up is really quite impressive. The Rams support staff, specifically the training staff, the equipment staff, the video staff, the advance operations staff and the I.T. staff did an amazing job in working with the great crew at the hotel to set things up for the week. Anytime you can actually go so far as to set up a working locker room in a hotel meeting room, you’ve probably got your logistics down to a science.
– Rams players will have more meetings tonight and go through the usual work week with another practice at Arsenal tomorrow and one here at The Grove on Friday morning before moving to a hotel in the city.
– A group of Rams employees, myself included are headed to the Arsenal game tonight. The only football I really know is the one the Rams will play on Sunday but tonight figures to be a really cool experience and I plan to write about the whole thing tomorrow for anyone interested.
– In the meantime, thanks for reading and stay tuned for much more coverage on stlouisrams.com tonight.
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