Practice Recap: Plenty of Pops

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Get the latest on today's practice, including Alec Ogletree's upside, Aaron Donald's mastery and much more.

The first game week of the season is upon us, and the Rams looked like they were ready to hit another team on Monday. Yes, it’s only preseason, but St. Louis will take on New Orleans Friday night for the team’s first live action of 2014.


Practice wasn’t just about what you could see at Rams Park this afternoon -- it was what you could hear.

The Rams got after each other on offense and defense, providing a soundtrack of pops and thuds for the assembled crowd of over 1,000 fans.

“We needed to get out of them what we got out of them today,” head coach Jeff Fisher said. “We worked on the run game early in practice, which was good. They’re protecting each other. They’re using their pads.”

There was plenty of chatter on the field as well -- and not just from the usual suspect, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Plenty of players were whooping it up, mustering some enthusiasm on a pretty warm day.

“When it’s hot, it’s hot,” Fisher said. “But they got used to it. They had a little breeze, so they’re fine.”

Tempers did boil over at one point in practice, though. Wide receiver Austin Pettis and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner got into a minor scrap after Pettis caught a pass and Joyner tried to rip the ball away when the play was over. Pettis flung the ball at Joyner, and members of the team came over to join in the excitement. But there was really nothing more to it than that.

“That's brotherhood out there,” Joyner told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re not playing for paychecks out there. We’re playing for championships.”

“I think those guys are just trying to transition themselves into game-like situations,” rookie Greg Robinson said to our Casey Phillips. “That’s why we turned it up a little bit, put on the pads, going full speed a little bit and making contact, getting the feel of it. I think that’s just to prepare ourselves for Friday.”

Even with the nature of Monday’s practice, Fisher said Tuesday could bring even more sound effects.

“We’re probably going to do a little bit more probably from the physical standpoint than we did today,” Fisher said.

It’ll be plenty more fun to hear those pads continue to pop.


With his 117 tackles, 10 pass deflections, six forced fumbles, and 1.5 sacks, linebacker Alec Ogletree undoubtedly had one of the best rookie seasons of 2013. And according to Fisher, he’s been taking steps to get better.

“We expect more production out of him,” Fisher said. “He’s been working on it. We’re pleased with where he is right now.”

Fisher said Williams has done a nice job with moving Ogletree around defensive alignments in order to maximize his skillset.

“We’ll create some matchups and might be doing a little bit more pressure than he’s done before,” Fisher said. “But from a cover standpoint, he can do it.”

As someone who Fisher said has “made the big plays and he’s got the big-play potential,” Ogletree told our Casey Phillips on at #RamsFanFest on Saturday that his goals start with mastering his craft in meetings.

“Just being fundamental with all my stuff,” Ogletree said. “Make sure I own the playbook, and make sure I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned in the classroom onto the field.”

As long as he’s progressing, the Rams will have another stout player for their front seven.


If you missed it a few days ago, I’m new around these parts as your Rams Insider. So given my title, I figured it might not be a bad idea to try something new by taking a Twitter question and using it here. Tweet it to me at any time @MylesASimmons (, and it might make it here. And even if it doesn’t, I’ll do my best to Tweet you an answer.

The inaugural question comes from @CasualMook, who asks:

Donald looks like he fits right in with the first team. As all of you know, there is a whole lot of talent on the Rams defensive line, and it definitely looks like Donald has the tools to be another strong piece. Of course, you never really know until the games start and he’s played some snaps against a live opponent. But it sure looks so far like Donald could be the real deal.

Thanks for the question, @CasualMook.


…Fisher complimented the backup quarterbacks on Monday, saying Shaun Hill, Austin Davis, and rookie Garrett Gilbert all have a pretty good feel for what’s been going on in camp.

“[Hill] traditionally has played very well in preseason games over the last few years, so we expect him to do so,” Fisher said. “They’ll all get a chance to play."

…Hill, a 13-year veteran who has seen his share of quarterbacks, had some pretty nice words about the starter at his position.

“I’ve been very impressed with Sam,” Hill said. “What an unbelievable talent -- great guy, too. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time together so far."


The Rams will have their last open practice of the week on Tuesday at Rams Park. The session starts at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free.