– 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.
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