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Practice Report 9/15: Brockers Happy to Stick With Rams

Posted Sep 15, 2016

DT Michael Brockers said he's glad to stay in his comfort zone by singing a three-year extension with the Rams.

Sometimes, it’s good to stay in your comfort zone.

That’s the sentiment defensive tackle Michael Brockers expressed after practice on Thursday afternoon — the same day the club announced Brockers had agreed to a three-year extension to keep him around through the 2019 season.

“I’m really excited about that,” head coach Jeff Fisher said. “I appreciate Stan [Kroenke, Rams owner] and his willingness to allow us to go ahead and do that.

“We’ve been talking for quite some time about it,” Fisher continued. “It’s important to keep our playmakers and people that we’ve drafted. We got a good deal for both sides. And Michael is happy about it, and so are we.”

“It feels good. It feels comfortable. It feels good to be wanted,” Brockers said. “I’m just glad it’s done. It’s done, it’s finished, and I can get that little thing out of my mind and actually focus on football.”

Not that Brockers wasn’t focused on football before, as the defensive tackles said he let his representation do the heavy lifting.

“My agent called me maybe a couple weeks back saying we’re getting close,” Brockers said. “I told him, ‘Don’t call me until it’s done.’ And that’s what we did. I’m just thankful and blessed.”

Because of that, Brockers said the situation did not become much of a distraction.

“But you know it’s there,” Brockers said. “That’s one thing that can be erased and get from distracting you and stuff like that. So it’s in the books now. Like I said before — it’s done, and it’s time to focus on football.”

One of the reasons Brockers wanted to stick around was the teammates with whom he’s become close. The Rams’ main core of defensive linemen — including Brockers, Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, William Hayes, and Eugene Sims — have been playing together for years and the familiarity makes a difference.

“We’ve been through a lot with each other, so I didn’t want to leave them,” Brockers said. “You kind of get out of your comfort zone when you become a free agent and get that unknown. So it feels good to be here where I started.”

Linebacker Alec Ogletree said it’s good to see Brockers get rewarded for the effort he’s put into becoming a key cog in the Rams’ defense.

“I’m happy for him,” Ogletree said. “He’s worked tremendously hard to earn that contract. And I’m glad he’s going to be a Ram for a while here. Hopefully, we sign a couple more guys to keep everybody around.”

Brockers’ position on the defensive line is not the most conducive to racking up stats. But that doesn’t make him any less of a contributor to the unit, as he’s started 16 games for each of the last three seasons.

“He’s a big man inside and you have to have that nowadays for two reasons — one, for your ability to stop the inside run and two, to put pressure on the quarterback and collapse the pocket,” Fisher said. “He creates opportunities for everybody else and every so often he makes a big play himself. He’s been consistent week-in, week-out. He’s changed his body since his arrival, overcame some early career injuries, and has just been one of those guys you can count on.”

As a linebacker, Ogletree has good reason to want to see Brockers stick around. The way the defensive tackle can take up double teams helps free Ogletree to make plays.

When you factor in all the talent on the defensive line, it makes the situation for Ogletree even better.

“I mean, you couldn’t ask for anything better,” Ogletree said. “You’ve got, to me, the top defensive line in the league. So for me, it makes it a lot easier on me when I know they’re worried about the front four. I’m on the second level, so I have time to go make a play or something like that because they’re so worried about the D-line. It’s a linebacker’s dream.”

So Brockers will be around to keep a sense of continuity going with the players up front. And he’s happy to be doing it in Southern California.

“I love it. You can’t beat this weather. But I definitely see what you pay for out here,” he said with a laugh.

EXTRA POINTS

— Speaking of Brockers, he was upgraded on today’s injury report. The defensive tackle sat out Wednesday’s practice with a thigh injury, but was a limited participant on Thursday.

Elsewhere on the injury report, cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (foot) was once again limited. Wide receiver Pharoh Cooper (shoulder), wide receiver Nelson Spruce (knee), and cornerback E.J. Gaines (thigh) all did not participate.

Running back Todd Gurley was back as a full participant in Thursday’s practice, after Fisher gave him the day off for rest on Wednesday.

— Fisher is playing whether or not quarterback Jared Goff will be the backup quarterback on Sunday close to the vest.

“I haven’t decided yet, no. We’ll probably let you know tomorrow or Saturday or Sunday,” he said with a smile.

— Finally, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffered an ankle injury during his team’s victory over the Dolphins last week, but was able to finish the game. He’s been on the injury report for Seattle this week, but listed as a full participant both Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’re preparing for a 100-percent healthy Russell. You have to do that or you sell yourself short,” Fisher said. “I thought their offensive staff, when he was injured, did a tremendous job adjusting the play-calling to allow him to find a way to win that game without using his legs. I thought they did a great job. We have to approach this, from a player standpoint and assume that he’s going to be 100 percent.”