– The Rams returned to practice Wednesday afternoon after getting the requisite off day on Tuesday. It was the team’s second day in pads (though it wasn’t fully padded) and coach Jeff Fisher said it was clear that they were a little bogged down in their return to the practice field.
“They look forward to the first one and then the second one they kind of took a step back a little bit,” Fisher said. “They pushed through it, it wasn’t our best practice. You are going to have one of those every once in awhile. You’ve got to push through it and correct it.”
– On the injury front, the Rams had a few new additions to those in street clothes sitting out the workout in addition to safety Matt Daniels, DT Jermelle Cudjo and TE Lance Kendricks. WRs Nick Johnson and Andrew Helmick, two young wideouts who have made positive impressions early in camp, sat out the practice as did LB Jabara Williams and DE Sammy Brown.
– The Rams tweaked the roster a bit in the past few days, saying goodbye to OL Kevin Saia and OL Braden Brown, both of whom were waived/injured. The Rams added OL Graham Pocic (an Illinois graduate) and WR Justin Veltung, who spent some time with Seattle.
– Veltung, wearing No. 19, actually made a strong first impression Wednesday, showing some route running ability and coming up with a couple of nice catches in team and 7 on 7 drills.
– Veltung is listed at 5’11, 182 pounds and is a rookie out of Idaho.
– While we’re on receivers, let’s hit on some others who also had nice afternoons on Wednesday. Rookie Stedman Bailey showed up all day, making a nice grab for a touchdown in 7 on 7 drills in the red zone and he followed later with a connection in the corner of the end zone from about 35 yards out in team drills. His route running is crisp and he seems to be a fit in any role that’s asked of him.
– Fellow WR Brian Quick also had a nice afternoon, burning CB Janoris Jenkins with a smooth double move in 1 on 1 drills. Quick has recently showed a propensity to be more physical and it’s winning him points in the eyes of his teammates.
– QB Sam Bradford made it a point to mention that seeing Quick “use his strength and size is a good sign.” That’s a role Quick can certainly play given his frame and it would be an ideal complement to what the other receivers bring to the table.
– To this point in camp, Bradford said he is pleased with the progress of the offense but he’s well aware there is more work to be done. He said the Rams are working on things that might have been in the playbook last year but they didn’t have the personnel to run or vary the formations enough to make effective. Now, it seems, most anything is in play when it comes to lining up out of the huddle.
– The defense had its share of moments on Wednesday as well as rookie safety Cody Davis again came up with an interception in team drillls. That’s two in as many practices for the undrafted rookie who is looking to win a roster spot.
– Rookie LB Ray Ray Armstrong also came up with an interception of QB Kellen Clemens in the red zone. He’s been getting work with the second team defense and while he’s showed up on special teams quite a bit, it was a good step for him to come up with a standout play defensively.
– S T.J. McDonald kicked off the team drill festivities with an interception of his own, stepping in front of a Bradford pass and snatching it away. McDonald has been something of a pleasant surprise in coverage so far and he clearly enjoys the physical aspects of the game.
– Later on, McDonald might have enjoyed the physical aspect too much when he hit RB Daryl Richardson aggressively and maybe a bit after the play was dead. Taking exception to that, C Scott Wells and LG Chris Williams went after McDonald a bit for what was this camp’s first full fledged skirmish. CB Cortland Finnegan came to the rookie’s aide and got tangled up with the much bigger Williams. DT Matt Conrath was also involved thought it was hard to determine how exactly it all played out. Words were exchanged along with some shoves but no real damage was done before the sides were separated.
– Former Rams TE Ernie Conwell, who now works as a players advocate for the NFLPA, was in attendance for Wednesday’s practice. FOX broadcaster Joe Buck was also in the house.
– The Rams will be back at it tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. for another practice open to the public at Rams Park.
– Thanks for reading.
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