OTA Day Six Recap

Posted Jun 13, 2014

Alec Ogletree hopes to improve upon a successful rookie season and avoid a 'sophomore slump'.

Don’t tell Alec Ogletree about the notion of a sophomore slump. The second-year linebacker won’t have any of it, and the very mention of backing off his rookie season pace is simply dismissed out of hand.

“I really don’t think about it that much,” Ogletree said. “(Linebackers) Coach (Frank) Bush already said, ‘We don’t need you having any sophomore slump.’ I’m not even thinking of it that way, but I definitely want to have a better year than I had last year.”

Ogletree has certainly set the bar high for himself. Following a rookie season that saw him break teammate James Laurinaitis’ team rookie record by piling up 155 tackles, Ogletree sees no reason why he won’t be able to keep the momentum going.

“I definitely raised the expectations for myself, just as far as trying to be better than I was last year,” Ogletree said. “Going into this year, I feel a lot more comfortable with the scheme that we’re using, and just going out there and flying around and making plays. I’m looking forward to playing fast and making plays.”

Ogletree has reaped the benefits of an offseason for the first time since his second year of college, as last year’s pre-draft preparations tended to wear on the then-21-year-old linebacker. His production saw a spike in the season’s second half, tallying at least 10 tackles per game over the final six weeks, likely a direct indicator of his improved familiarity with the Rams’ defensive personnel and system.

In light of last year’s adjustment from the college game to the NFL, this year’s set of adjustments appear comparatively simple, and largely beneficial. Working in Ogletree’s favor has been the adjustment to a more aggressive defensive scheme, led by coordinator Gregg Williams. The change in scheme better place Ogletree in position to harness the pass-rushing nature that saw him accumulate six sacks over his final two college seasons, as well as creating additional mismatches for DE Robert Quinn, who lined up on the same side as Ogletree for much of last season. Ogletree looks forward to the change in philosophy.

“I think he’ll bring a more aggressive style, and that will not only benefit me, but the whole team,” Ogletree said. “When we can put pressure on the quarterback from all different angles, that’s where we want to be.”

News and Notes

-All 11 of the Rams’ draftees signed their rookie contracts on Thursday afternoon. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. Head Coach Jeff Fisher indicated the signings would likely be handled in short order while speaking to the media following Tuesday’s practice.

“With the new rookie cap and everything it’s really not difficult to get the deals done,” Fisher said. “So we just felt like this time would be better served, putting them in the situations from an educational standpoint, financial planning and those kinds of things. We’ve done a lot of that. We’ve got another meeting or two left to go and then I would think we’d get these things done here pretty quickly.”

-QB Sam Bradford returned to action on Thursday, participating for a large portion of individual and 7-on-7 passing drills.