Practice Recap: Sluggish Start

Posted Aug 11, 2014

The Rams focused on fixing their mistakes from Friday's loss against the Saints, including reducing penalties.

The Rams got back to the routine of training-camp practices with Monday’s 3:30 session at Rams Park.  It wasn’t the cleanest, but the Rams nevertheless got in good work in preparation for Saturday’s contest against Green Bay.


As head coach Jeff Fisher said on Saturday, St. Louis had far too many penalties in their first preseason action versus the Saints. The Rams had 14 violations for 118 yards, and three resulted in first downs.

Unfortunately for the team, that kind of sluggish play continued on Monday at practice. While there were plenty of good moments, there were some poor sequences as well. At one point, the first-team offense had a false start, followed by a dropped pass, and followed that with an interception.

“Yeah, it was not one of our best,” Fisher said of the practice. “We’re going to talk about it later. We were a little sloppy. That happens sometimes after a day off. But you can’t put two of those in a row together, so we’re not going to do that.”

“We know that we don’t want to come out here with a sluggish practice like we had today,” wide receiver Kenny Britt said. “Starting in the weight room, guys were just moving slow. You’ve got to talk to them, and talk to yourself into going out there into practicing.”

That said, quarterback Sam Bradford showed why he and the wide receivers have a chance to do something special in the league this year. One standout throw in a team drill went downfield to Brian Quick. The two seem to be developing a pretty strong rapport during camp. One of Quick’s fellow wideouts, the newcomer Britt, has noticed just how much Quick is developing.

“He brings a little bit of basketball into the game of football,” Britt said. “It’s awesome because some guys don’t know what he’s doing at certain times at the top of his routes. That’s something I would like to do with my game.”

Still, those 14 penalties were a number Fisher wasn’t going to forget. As he’s done in the past, the head coach had the team run sprints across the field at the end of practice. They were enforced based on what position or unit committed the penalty during Friday’s game.

“What happens is typically the first preseason games whoever’s the guilty party will have to run, his positional teammates will also join him,” Fisher said. “So you saw the offensive line running quite a bit down at the other end.”

The offensive line was tagged for five of the game’s 14 penalties.

It’s still early in the preseason, so these are problems that can easily be fixed in time for Sept. 7 against the Vikings. But the Rams will need to show some progress in doing the little things better this week against Green Bay. And there’s no reason to believe they won’t do just that.

Today’s question comes from @ffbarbee who asks:

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fantasy guy. That said, I feel like I could answer this question with a straight up “Yes,” and while it might be sufficient, it wouldn’t necessarily be fair. No one can predict injuries, but barring something unforeseen, Tavon should be an excellent option for anyone’s fantasy team. He’s a very talented player -- the 6-foot-3 Britt has said the 5-foot-8 Austin plays as tall as him -- and from what I’ve seen in practice, he’s been lining up all over the field. That means he’s going to have the ball in his hands a lot.
Bottom line: He’s a playmaker. And if there’s one thing I know about fantasy, you want those guys on your team.
Thanks for the question, @ffbarbee. Remember, if you’ve got a question, feel free to ask it anytime on Twitter @MylesASimmons.
…Speaking of Kenny Britt, he made a big pronouncement after practice about how good the Rams’ wide receiving corps can be.
“I’m saying right now, one of the best in the league,” Britt said. “If we get this offense down pat, and we’re on the same page as Sam, I say we can be in the best in the league because of the things that we’re doing and the way we mix up our receivers.”
…After losing tight end Mason Brodine for the season due to a fractured ankle, the Rams welcomed tight end Brad Smelley to the team on Monday.
“He came and worked out with us yesterday and he did a nice job,” Fisher said. “He’s a smart young man, talented, can play a couple different positions. So it’ll give him an opportunity to help us at the position.”
Smelley was drafted by the Browns in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He’s also spent time with the Texans.
…Finally, Fisher delivered some good news on the offensive line during his press conference: Jake Long, Scott Wells, and Rodger Saffold all could see time on the field this week.
“They all have a chance,” Fisher said. “Right now, we haven’t decided yet. But they all have a chance.”