– 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 »