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Rams Receiver Rookie Cards Unveiled

Posted by nickwagoner on May 29, 2013 – 7:26 PM

- Rams rookie receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey recently ventured to California for the annual Rookie Premiere where they got a chance to take part in a variety of activities including photo shoots for their first football cards.

- Thanks to the kind people at Panini America, here’s a sneak peek of what the first Austin and Bailey rookie cards look like:

2013-prestige-football-austin

 

2013-prestige-football-bailey

 

- For more information, check out http://paniniamerica.wordpress.com/


Posted in From the Sidelines | 8 Comments »

NFL Announces 2014 Offseason Schedule

Posted by nickwagoner on May 28, 2013 – 4:00 PM

- It’s been speculated and discussed for the better part of the past month or so but the NFL made it official Tuesday afternoon when it announced the set of dates for next year’s offseason, including a new home for the draft (May) and the dates for other key offseason benchmarks such as the NFL Combine, the owners meetings and more, none of which will change in 2014.  

- Below is the official release from the league with all of the details:

NFL teams were notified today that, due to a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held on May 8-10 in New York at Radio City.

The decision was made after discussions with club personnel and key NFL business partners.  No decision has been made regarding the dates of the NFL Draft in 2015 and beyond. A variety of alternatives are being explored, teams were told, including holding the draft at Radio City or at other locations, either in the New York area or in other cities.

The NFL clubs also were informed that there would be no significant changes in the dates of other off-season events next year:

  • Several Regional Combines will be held on various dates from January 24 through February 16, 2014. Some Regional Combines may be held after the National Combine in Indianapolis.
  • The National Combine in Indianapolis will be held from February 18-25, 2014.
  • The new League Year, and the Free Agency period, will begin on March 11, 2014.
  • The Annual Meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida, on March 23-26, 2014.

The change in the date of the 2014 Draft will have no effect on when rookies may begin to report to their clubs, the dates of off-season programs, or the length of off-season programs.  Clubs will have available to them the same number of practice days that they currently have and no changes in the off-season calendar are being considered that would reduce the number of practice days or the overall length of the off-season program.  At this time, changes are not anticipated in the off-season calendar for 2015 and beyond that would reduce the number of practice days or otherwise limit the off-season program.

 


Posted in From the Sidelines | No Comments »

Rams Finish Third OTA

Posted by nickwagoner on May 24, 2013 – 6:15 PM

- The Rams were back on the practice field again Friday afternoon, going through the third OTA on the schedule. They’re nearly a third of the way through the OTA schedule already and now head off for a little bit of an extended break coinciding with the Memorial Day weekend.

- From here, the Rams will not have any OTAs next week though there are some workouts scheduled. The next OTA is scheduled for June 3. The rest of the schedule includes OTAs on June 4, 6, 7, 11, 13 and 14.

- Friday’s practice came under the sunshine after a somewhat chilly, overcast day on Thursday.

- Feature story on RB Isaiah Pead is coming later today but here’s a quick quote from him that gives you an idea of where he is as he approaches a season full of opportunity for a Rams running back.

“I look at it as an opportunity every day,” Pead said. “Whether it’s Steven being gone or somebody getting a question wrong and I get the question right. Every small opportunity that I can capture or see, I try to capture it. This one will be a bigger opportunity but I’m trying to capture it as if it was a small one.”

- Had a chance to catch up with Swiss Army Knife D-lineman William Hayes for a bit today and I’ll have a story on him next week but he offered some insight into his decision to re-sign with the Rams. I’ll save the details but Hayes said he instructed his agent during the process to make a deal work with the Rams. Although he had plenty of interest from other teams and the chance for more money and even a potential starting job elsewhere, Hayes said he had no intention of going anywhere and he did what was necessary to stay in St. Louis.

- As for today’s practice, let’s again issue the usual this is May and what happens now isn’t a big deal disclaimer that needs to go with unpadded practices.

- If you couldn’t tell from the players talking about it, there’s an impossible to miss enthusiasm that permeates the practice field when the team is going through its work. Even DE Chris Long tweeted last night that so far this is the most fun he’s ever had in an OTA. He doesn’t appear to be alone in that.

- QB Sam Bradford and WR Chris Givens had the long ball working today, connecting on at least a pair of deep passes in team drills. For the record, Givens has added muscle and appears to be better prepared for the rigors of playing and playing a lot. He made a diving catch on a deep ball in double coverage that went for about 45 yards.

- From the Department of Redundancy Department: TE Jared Cook. He’s impossible to ignore when he’s on the field.

- It’s clear from watching that the Rams intend to be more high octane offensively. Bradford discussed that possibility yesterday and it seemed it was very likely given the weapons that were added during the offseason.

- That’s going to do it for today.

- Thanks for reading and everyone enjoy your holiday weekend.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 11 Comments »

Rams Roll Through Second OTA

Posted by nickwagoner on May 23, 2013 – 8:20 PM

- The Rams were back on the field Thursday afternoon for OTA No. 2 of the 10 they are allotted for the offseason and today’s workout came through a slight mist and some surprisingly cool temperatures. But the two-plus hour workout was the first OTA open to the media and gave a small glimpse into how things are going in the offseason.

- Coach Jeff Fisher and QB Sam Bradford offered some interesting nuggets after the workout which we’ll get to in a minute but first let’s hit a quick rundown as to who isn’t participating in the early going of OTAs.

- Fisher announced that TE Lance Kendricks had dealt with some knee issues about a month ago and ended up having a knee scope. He said Kendricks is doing well though he didn’t participate today and will continue to rehab.

- Others that Fisher previously mentioned would be limited or not participate in this early part of OTAs are OL Barrett Jones (foot), RB Benny Cunningham (knee) and S Matt Daniels (knee). There are others that are limited in reps a bit but for the most part it seems the Rams are pretty healthy at this point.

- WR Brian Quick also was limited today. Fisher said Quick felt “tight” when he woke up this morning and the Rams wanted to dial him back a bit and limit his work on Thursday.

- A few items for housecleaning that are worth noting:

DE Eugene Sims has switched numbers. He’s now wearing No. 97 instead of 92.

The Rams officially are carrying 90 players on the current roster after making some recent additions, including a handful of the tryout players that they thought enough of to sign to contracts.

Some of the new additions (jersey Nos in parenthesis) include QB Timothy Jenkins (3), WR Scott Pillar (17),  CB Andre Martin (43W), S Don Unamba (45W),  OL Sean Hooey (64B), LB Joseph Lebeau (64W), T Thomas Brown (71B), WR Andrew Helmick (84) and TE Zach Potter  (87).

- Of that group, the most interesting addition is the biggest in Brown. Originally brought in on a tryout basis, Brown didn’t participate in the rookie minicamp after what Fisher called complications with his physical. But Brown got that squared away, did a workout for the Rams in which he played on both sides of the ball and the Rams subsequently signed him. For the record, Brown is listed at 6’10, 385 pounds but Fisher said he actually weighed in at 403 pounds with the Rams. In other words, he’s ginormous. He’s playing right tackle to start out, according to Fisher.

- Fisher was asked about the one game suspension for LG Rokevious Watkins and offered this thought:

“We have been aware of it for quite some time,” Fisher said. “I’m not going to go into specifics of the suspension. We respect the league’s decision but personally and respectfully I disagree with the suspension and the circumstances regarding the suspension. That’s my opinion but we’ll honor the league’s decision.”

- One thing that was instantly noticeable both on the practice field and in his interview after is that Bradford is well aware there’s a leadership void, especially on the offense, that needs to be filled. And he seems more than ready to step into that void. I’ll have more on Bradford and his expanded leadership role in the coming days but it’s worth noting that he was constantly chatting with his young receivers during the practice, especially Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. Bradford says one of the best things about being in an offense for a second year is that he’s comfortable enough to be able to teach the offense to the younger guys because he’s working on details instead of trying to learn everything himself. He also stayed after practice to get in some additional work with Bailey and Austin.

- Disclaimer up front that most of what happens in these OTAs need to be taken with a grain of salt since they aren’t in full pads and not going live on every play but there was one guy on the field in Thursday’s practice that you simply couldn’t miss: TE Jared Cook. He and Bradford have been working together for a little while now and it’s clear their rapport is developing quickly. Cook was all over the place Thursday, especially in the red zone.

- Now is the time for the young, undrafted guys to step forward and make their presence felt as they make a case for the team. It was only one play but LB Philip Steward made an impressive one-handed interception during team drills.

- Story coming today on the transition of Rodger Saffold from LT to RT but Saffold said he thinks it’s coming a bit easier than he anticipated and most of the work is focusing on the details now. He noted that he’s trying to maintain his footwork on the left side as well because there’s always the chance he’d have to slide back in if injuries hit. Fisher said Saffold is doing a good job so far with the transition.

- RB Isaiah Pead is another guy I’ll have plenty more on in the coming days but he expressed relief that he’s here for OTAs this year and is excited about the chance to work in a full offseason. He acknowledged that it set him back a bit coming in late last year because of the graduation rules but he seems well aware of the opportunity in front of him and what it could yield if he does the work.

- More from Bradford on the evolution of the offense: it’s been suspected that the Rams will become more of an uptempo, spread type of offense or at least have more elements of that this year based on their offseason additions. Bradford said it’s certainly a possibility and offered this tidbit:

“I think that’s something that we looked at and obviously had some success with last year,” Bradford said. “We did it out here today on day 2 and last year I don’t even think we got to it in OTAs. The fact that we’ve already put it in, we’ve already worked the mechanics, I think that’s a pretty good indication that’s a direction we’d like to go.”

- That’ll be all for today. Plenty more to come later today as I’ll have a story on Bradford’s involvement in helping out his hometown of Oklahoma City as well as thoughts from Saffold on making the move to the right side.

- Thanks for reading.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 5 Comments »

Bradford Teams Up With Local Partners to Help OKC

Posted by nickwagoner on May 23, 2013 – 3:30 PM

- The Rams are back on the field today for Organized Team Activities and we’ll have plenty of stuff coming from that later today, including more on what you’re about to read from QB Sam Bradford but for now, it’s important to get this information out there.

- Bradford joined the city of St. Louis, mayor Francis Slay, the American Red Cross and Switch+ Contemporary along with some other partners to create #STL4OKC, a donation drive to support our neighbors in tornado ravaged Oklahoma City and its suburbs.

- Bradford and the group made the official announcement late yesterday afternoon.

- We’ll have more with insight from Bradford later today but for now, here’s the important things you need to know:

There will be a goods donation drives today from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Broadway and Spruce, across from Gate One at Busch Stadium in the Tums Parking Lot.

Tomorrow, the goods donation drive will continue from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at two locations: Loughborough Commons at I-55 and Loughborough and at Kirkwood Commons at I-44 and Lindbergh. Each location will have a tractor trailer and will be packed as donations arrived.

Here’s the list of new and pre-packaged supplies that are needed:

Baby items – diapers, wipes, formula, Pedialyte or equivalent

Personal needs – lip balm, insect repellant, bathroom tissue, feminine hygiene products, sunscreen, eye drops, first aid supplies, wet wipes, toiletries

Cleaning supplies – Bleach, disinfectant, paper towels

Building and packing materials – small hand tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, nails, crow bards, saws, screws, work gloves, plywood, duct tape, heavy duty garbage bags, storage containers, nylon rope, large plastic containers, tarps.

Pet supplies – food, kitty litter, pet bowls

Children’s shoes, socks, underwear, clothes sports equipment (balls)

Non-perishable food

Blankets

Bottled water

Batteries (C and D sizes)

Candles

- As always, CASH donations are always helpful and in many instances preferable. You can make cash donations by visiting www.redcrozz.org, calling 1-800-REDCROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Below is the PSA with more information.

- The following companies are taking part in the #STL4OKC project: Switch: Liberate Your Brand, Contemporary Productions, American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis, Fresh 102.5 FM, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Hogan Transport, KMOX, Loy-Lange Box Company and the Veiled Prophet Foundation.

- Thanks for reading and any help you can provide.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

NFL, Microsoft Announce Partnership

Posted by nickwagoner on May 21, 2013 – 7:02 PM

- For NFL fans who are into video games as well as the potential for ways to maximize your NFL viewing experience – and there are many of you based on sales of the Madden video games – the league announced a new partnership Tuesday afternoon that could open up some really exciting possibilities.

- In conjunction with Microsoft’s announcement of its new XBox gaming console, it also announced a new deal with the NFL.

- Below is the release from the league with some details on what this will entail. And I’ll be on the lookout for updates as the product nears its launch date.

Microsoft and National Football League announce multiyear landmark partnership to enhance the game for fans, players and coaches

Introduction of Interactive NFL Experience on Xbox and Surface technology on NFL sidelines to shape the future of football — in the living room and on the field. 

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. and the National Football League (NFL) today announced a multiyear, landmark partnership that will deliver truly unique interactive NFL television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One and leverage Microsoft devices and services to evolve the in-game, sideline experience for coaches, players and other personnel.

“We love the passion that players, coaches and fans bring to the NFL game; it’s what makes the NFL game-day experience so unique,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “We’re excited to apply our passion for technology to the NFL experience, both on the sidelines through the innovative use of Microsoft Surface devices, and for fans through an enhanced NFL viewing experience on Xbox One.”

The agreement provides Microsoft with the rights to create exclusive interactive experiences through products such as Xbox One and Surface, transforming the way fans will experience the NFL in the years to come. The NFL on Xbox will provide fans with an all-new viewing experience through innovations around Skype and Xbox SmartGlass; an all-new, innovative fantasy football solution allowing fans to view players and live competition side by side on a single TV screen; and a personalized NFL destination featuring information about the players, teams and games fans care about most. Xbox also retains the exclusive rights to extend these interactive experiences to tablets, enabling fans to use Xbox SmartGlass technology to enhance game day.

“When we started working with Roger Goodell and the team at the NFL we knew that we could create great new experiences that fans would love,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This partnership will redefine NFL experiences through exclusive and interactive content that you will find only on Xbox. For fans, the NFL on Xbox will provide the most complete way to enjoy live football by bringing the first fully-integrated fantasy football experience to the TV, exclusively through Xbox.”

This partnership also changes the game for NFL teams because coaches and players will soon have access to a variety of cutting-edge Microsoft solutions, including Surface tablets to enhance on-field communications, photo viewing and play calling. Microsoft and the NFL envision a sideline of the future with players reviewing in-game photos from different camera angles directly from the sideline and head coaches calling plays off connected Surface tablets instead of today’s static paper products. With Microsoft technology, NFL coaches, players and other personnel will have the technology they need to improve decision-making and on-field performance.

“From the use of instant replay to the yellow first-down line that has become an important element of the at-home television viewing experience, the NFL is committed to leveraging technology to improve our game for coaches, players and fans,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We’re thrilled to be teaming with a true innovator like Microsoft to shape the future of the NFL game experience, both on-field and in the living room.”

As part of the partnership, Surface by Microsoft branding will appear on NFL sidelines in unique ways, including on the hoods of the official on-field NFL instant replay stations. As part of the relationship, Microsoft will be granted the following designations:

  • Xbox remains “The Official Game Console of the NFL” and will also become “The Official Interactive Video Entertainment Console.”
  • Microsoft is “The Official Sideline Technology Sponsor of the NFL.”
  • Surface by Microsoft and Windows are “The Official Tablet and PC Operating System of the NFL.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

Rams Announce Changes in Personnel Department

Posted by nickwagoner on May 16, 2013 – 9:21 PM

- With the 2013 NFL Draft finished and the scouting department looking ahead to next year, the Rams announced some major re-shuffling and changes in their scouting department on Thursday afternoon.
Below is the release from the team with all of the changes:
 
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Rams have added six new members to the team’s personnel department, and two additional personnel executives have been promoted, General Manager Les Snead announced Thursday.
“Our Player Personnel department has done an outstanding job teaming with our coaching and football operations staffs the past two player acquisition periods in 2012 and 2013, including unrestricted free agency, the draft and with waiver wire claims,” Snead said. “These promotions and additions will make us even stronger going forward as we finish our task of building a consistent winner in a rapid and tenacious manner.”

Taylor Morton
, who spent last season as the team’s Director of College Scouting, was promoted to Director of Player Personnel. Morton joined the Rams in May of 2012. With extensive experience in both pro and college scouting, Morton spent 12 seasons as an area scout with the Atlanta Falcons responsible for both the southwest and southeast regions. Prior to becoming a college scout, Morton served in pro personnel as an advance scout for the Falcons’ opponents. Also, Morton has coaching experience after coaching eight years in the college ranks with stints at Auburn University, Hinds and Pearl River community colleges in Mississippi. 

Brad Holmes
will serve as the new Rams’ Director of College Scouting. Holmes joined the Rams’ personnel department in 2004. He served as the National Combine Scout, covering the Midwest area. He worked as an area scout responsible for the Southeast region for six seasons before Snead promoted him to national scout in 2012. 
In addition, Snead has hired Ted Monago as a national scout. Monago joins the Rams after spending the last 12 years in the Chicago Bears personnel department. From 2001-2012, Monago served as an area scout for the Bears before being named as an executive scout  in 2012 and was responsible for the Southeast conference. Prior to working in Chicago, he worked as an assistant coach at Williams & Mary, where he was responsible for outside linebackers and special teams.
The Rams have also added scouts Danton Barto, George Foster and John Zernhelt, and Snead hired Brian Hill as a scouting assistant and Barrett Trotter as football operations/scouting assistant.
Barto, Foster and Hill recently completed internships with the Rams before their promotions. Barto, who played at the University of Memphis and in the Arena and Canadian Football Leagues, is a former head coach in the Arena League.
Foster was a first round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2003 and played six NFL seasons with the Broncos and Detroit Lions. He also spent time with Cleveland and Indianapolis during his playing career.
Zernhelt has spent the last 36 seasons in coaching at both the professional and college levels. He coached tight ends with the Tennessee Titans from 2006-12, and he was the head coach at The Citadel in 2004. 
Hill coached at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio as a student and graduated in 2011. He held various football operations and scouting positions with the Browns, Chiefs and Titans prior to joining the Rams.
Trotter played quarterback at Auburn University and attended the Rams’ rookie minicamp in 2012 as an invited tryout player. Most recently, he worked as a graduate assistant at Arkansas State University.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »

Rams Wrap Up Rookie Minicamp

Posted by nickwagoner on May 11, 2013 – 7:00 PM

- It came and went as fast as a Tavon Austin cutback but the Rams and their complement of 55 rookies wrapped up their short rookie minicamp on Saturday afternoon after a morning practice sessions that lasted for about two hours.

- The Rams are now done with any and all minicamps in this year’s offseason program. Now, they will turn their attention to finishing the offseason strong with a week of phase two conditioning (field drill work).

- The following week, the Rams will have the entire roster come together for  Organized Team Activities. That’s when the real fun begins.

- There is a slight change in procedure from last year when Jeff Fisher was in his first season as head coach. Unlike that time when every possible get together was meaningful because of the new relationships and chemistry that had to form. This year, there will be no minicamp which may come as a surprise to some but Fisher explained after Saturday’s practice.

“After going through the experience last year, I just felt like we could get by with the OTAs,” Fisher said. “We’ll have 10 OTAs and we are also permitted to have a three-day mandatory minicamp. I thought it was important because of the commitment that they made to have a week off. They come in and work for four or five weeks then come in and take a break for the vets that way we can focus on the rooks. And then it just didn’t leave us time for the minicamp.”

- Fisher went on to say he believes his team can get the needed work done in the time they have without having to go through the strenuous process of the long minicamp days.

“I guess I’m just kind of old fashioned,” Fisher said. “It’s a long day. In the offseason, I don’t think those things are necessary and particularly it relates directly to the commitment they made to the offseason program. They are here every day, they come in early, stay late, they have fun.”

- Saturday’s practice offered much more in the way of cooperative weather and the Rams got to work under sunny skies as they went through another practice. Some good work in seven on seven and some players flashed their ability. T.J. McDonald had a couple of nice moments in coverage down near the end zone in one on ones.

- Fisher praised rookie CB Brandon McGee for his work in the short time he’s been here, noting that McGee is intelligent and seems to be picking up the scheme quick. Fisher also pointed out that McGee is already working at a couple of positions – slot and on the outside.

- The Rams were a bit light on running backs this weekend as fifth-round pick Zac Stacy was not scheduled to arrive until later this afternoon and thus did not participate in either practice. Fellow RB Benny Cunningham (left knee) also did not practice as he continues to recover from injury.

- Incidentally, Cunningham actually played his high school football in Nashville and was an opponent of Fisher’s youngest son, Trent, in their overlapping times there.

“Yeah and they beat my youngest son’s team, I think in the playoffs so we are going to cut his signing bonus in half,” Fisher said, a sly grin creeping across his face.

- Fisher noted yesterday that Cunningham kept jumping off the screen at him when he’d watch defensive film of other players but said he’d have to go back and look at some home made game film of Cunningham sometime.

“I don’t remember him in the game but I’m going to go back and look at my handheld video camera and look,” Fisher said, presumably joking.

- The Rams originally listed 56 players on their roster for the weekend but one of the tryout players did not make it.

- The rookies have a long road in front of them but Fisher was pleased with their work this weekend. Now, they will have more work to do today before getting a taste of St. Louis tomorrow at the Cardinals-Rockies baseball game.

- That’s all for this weekend. I’ll have feature stories on some of the undrafted rookies looking to make an impact – players like Ray Ray Armstrong, Robert Steeples, Cunningham, Emory Blake and Phillip Steward – this week.

- Thanks for reading. And an early Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 3 Comments »

Rams Get Rookie Minicamp Underway

Posted by nickwagoner on May 10, 2013 – 11:34 PM

- Although it hasn’t been but a few months or so, it seems like it’s been much longer but the Rams – at least the junior version of them – were back on the field Friday afternoon for the first on field practice session of this weekend’s rookie minicamp.

- Scheduled to appear were 56 rookies, 7 draft picks, 22 undrafted free agents and 27 tryout players.

- Of course, there were a couple of notable adjustments to that list on Friday afternoon.

- Running back Zac Stacy, the team’s fifth-round pick out of Vanderbilt will not arrive until late afternoon tomorrow. He’s got one of the best excuses of all, though: he’s graduating from one of the nation’s finest academic institutes. No worries, though, he’ll be here soon enough.

- As expected OL Barrett Jones, the fourth-round pick out of Alabama, is not participating this week as he still recovers from a foot injury. Coach Jeff Fisher said he’ll continue to participate in meetings and absorbing the playbook as he works on his physical rehab. The same goes for undrafted free agent RB Benjamin Cunningham from Middle Tennessee State. He’s still coming back from a left knee injury.

- Everyone else was present and accounted for.

- Fisher made it clear after practice that this weekend is a bit different because you have two groups: the players that are signed and set to be here for camp and the tryout players. So the goal is to get everyone some work in the classroom and with the playbook and then see how they translate that work to the field. It’s a key part in the evaluation. But with roster spots still available, Fisher said it’s likely the Rams will sign their share of tryout players to the 90-man roster.

- In an effort to help differentiate the players, there was some trickery with jersey numbers. For instance, there’s a tryout DT wearing No. 8 and a tryout WR wearing No. 21. Basically, the idea was to allow for the tryout players to be more easily identified for their evaluations.

- On the field, most of the work done Friday was individual before a session of 7 on 7 at the end.

- After some rainfall this afternoon, the Rams dealt with a slippery field but there were some nice moments for a few players.

- Fisher noted that first-round pick LB Alec Ogletree picked off a pass in his very first snap in one on one drills against tight ends. Ogletree looked like the athlete everyone expected and it appears he’s going to get his first look at this level at SLB.

- Rookie WRs Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey also came as advertised, flashing the slippery route running skills and speed you’d expect. This is their first practice so it’s hard to try to glean too much from anything that occurs.

- Bailey was asked why he opted to wear No. 12, if it was something of a plan he had to be sequential with Austin. He said since he couldn’t wear his college number (3), he wanted to find something else he liked. He said he spoke to Jets QB and his WVU QB Geno Smith and when Smith informed him that he wouldn’t be able to wear his college number (12) in New York, Bailey told him he’d hold it down for him in St. Louis.

- I’ll have more on S Cody Davis of Texas Tech this weekend but had a good conversation with the talented free safety. Asked why he wasn’t drafted, Davis said maybe he’s too “bland” but wasn’t really sure why his college production and workout numbers (he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at the Houston regional combine) wasn’t enough. He said he had a number of offers to play for various teams but opted for the place he felt like he could potentially win a spot.

- Davis also discussed his blog, which can be found at www.thestudentofthegame.blogspot.com . He said he’s not passionate about writing but wanted to give fans a perspective from the player. For what it’s worth, he apologizes for his infrequent posting and promises to do better. Also, for the record, while Davis says he’s “bland,” I’d argue that a 4.37 40 isn’t bland and neither is a guy with a blog featuring pictures of he and his wife with the likes of Snoop Dogg (Lion?) and Frank Caliendo. Check it out if you get a chance.

- Another interesting member of the rookie class is local product CB Robert Steeples. Steeples is from St. Louis and spent a chunk of his college career at Mizzou. He grew up a huge Rams fan and noted that he always wanted to be a cornerback so his favorite Ram when he was a kid wasn’t the usual Faulk or Warner or Bruce. Instead, he was a big fan of CB Todd Lyght. Will have more on him tomorrow also but he noted that before the draft he and his agent made it a point to make a list of the 15 teams where he’d fit the best and have a chance to make the roster. The No. 1 choice? St. Louis.

- Ray Ray Armstrong is working exclusively at weakside linebacker here and said he believes the transition will be relatively easy. He played some LB in high school and said playing there isn’t much different from working as an in the box type of safety. He said what happened in the past is no longer a worry of his and he’s focusing on doing what’s necessary to make the roster.

- For the record, the two players serving as the quarterbacks this weekend are both tryout players: Mitchell Gale of Abilene Christian and Timothy Jenkins of Fort Lewis.

- Rams WR Nick Johnson attended practice for awhile but he’s not participating. Instead, he’s here to support his fellow Henderson State Reddies brethren. The Rams actually have four players from Henderson State here on a tryout basis. That quartet is hoping to join Johnson on the active roster. Johnson came in as an undrafted rookie last year and then spent the year on the practice squad.

- Off to write for tonight. Plenty more on the way. Thanks for reading.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

Rams Sign 22 Rookie Free Agents

Posted by nickwagoner on May 9, 2013 – 7:47 PM

- With the rookie minicamp set to begin tomorrow, the Rams finalized their list of undrafted free agents on Thursday afternoon.

- Below is the official release from the team with all 22 players listed.

 
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Rams have signed 22 undrafted rookie free agents to contract. The group includes:
 
WR C.J. Akins, Angelo State

LB Ray Ray Armstrong, Miami

K/P Brett Baer, Louisiana-Lafayette

LB Darren Bates, Auburn

WR Emory Blake, Auburn

OL Braden Brown, BYU

RB Benjamin Cunningham, Middle Tennessee State

S Cody Davis, Texas Tech

DT Garrett Goebel, Ohio State

LS Jorgen Hus, Regina (Canada)

DT Al Lapuaho, Utah State

TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn

DE Gerald Rivers, Ole Miss

OL Kevin Saia, Louisiana Tech

S Cannon Smith, Memphis

CB Robert Steeples, Memphis

FB Eric Stevens, Cal

LB Phillip Steward, Houston

LB Jonathan Stewart, Texas A&M

CB Drew Thomas, UTEP

DE R.J. Washington, Oklahoma

CB Darren Woodard, UTEP
 

Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »