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Rams News & Notes: A New Role for Bailey

Posted Jun 8, 2016

After Stedman Bailey cleared waivers to be placed on the NFI list, head coach Jeff Fisher said he'd like to keep Bailey around to help out the coaching staff.

The Rams are one practice away from finishing their second week of OTAs. Here are some news and notes from the fifth of Los Angeles’ nine organized team activity practices.

KEEPING BAILEY AROUND

When the Rams signed four free agents on Tuesday, they had to make four corresponding roster moves. One of them was to waive wide receiver Stedman Bailey with a non-football injury designation.

As is well known, Bailey suffered two gunshot wounds to the head in November of last year. He has made a remarkable recovery, and trained hard to get back in shape for the Rams’ offseason program. He has been with the team since it started in April, but, unfortunately, the reality is Bailey has not — and will not — be cleared to play.

“As I’ve said numerous time, he’s lucky to be alive,” Fisher said Wednesday.

And so the Rams made their roster move, waiving Bailey, as required by the NFL, in order to place him on the NFI list. He cleared waivers Wednesday, making the move official.

“So impressed that he’s gotten back into shape,” Fisher said, adding Bailey is “willing to play, but at this point, there’s no medical research that will permit him to play. He’s seen several specialists. So, with that being said, we’re going to take care of Stedman.”

Indeed, the Rams want to keep Bailey around and have him continue to be part of the team. He has already been spotted around practices serving as an assistant coach, and that’s something Fisher would like to see increase going forward.

“I’m going to be selfish and try to bring him over on the coaching side and have him help,” Fisher said. “He’s worked with some of our punt cover guys. Sted was an outstanding special teams player for us — outside gunner. And so there’s a lot of work behind the scenes that needs to be done. So we’ll put him behind a desk, and bring him out on the field, and see how he likes it.”

GOFF MAKING MORE PROGRESS

Rookie quarterback Jared Goff has been making steady progress according to head coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Rob Boras. While the rookie hasn’t been perfect, it’s worth noting learning the offense — like anything else — is a process, and Goff is only on his fifth practice.

To that end, Fisher mentioned Goff was put in a few scenarios on Wednesday for the first time.

“As I started with earlier, Jared saw a couple things he hadn’t seen before, and the ball ends up in the defensive player’s hands,” Fisher said. “And the best thing about the play was, he walks in the huddle and he goes, ‘Hey, that one’s on me. That one’s on me. Let’s go to the next play and let’s go on.’ He doesn’t dwell on those things.”

“There’s ups and downs. That’s part of the process, really, with everybody,” Boras said. “We’ve been real pleased with Jared. The one thing, I know it’s been said, is he works really hard at it. And he’s a very prideful man. He’s going to only keep getting better the more comfortable that he gets. But it’s a process.

“There’s going to be ups and downs. There’s going to be good and bad,” Boras continued. “It’s just, don’t make the same mistake twice. We say that to him, but it’s also to all of those guys. ‘Hey, we understand you’re going to make mistakes, just don’t repeat them.’”

We’ll have more on Goff in a full story later this week.

BORAS PLEASED WITH MANNION, KEENUM

Speaking of quarterbacks, Boras had praise for both Case Keenum and Sean Mannion — particularly the Oregon State product.

“He’s made huge strides,” Boras said of Mannion. “Physically, he’s changed his body. We’re seeing some of the foot quickness and sudden-twitch stuff that we’ve talked about. And then just, Sean’s a very smart young man. And just watching him work. So have been really pleased. And when he’s had opportunities, he’s really grasped them right now. It’s made that room really competitive.”

As for Keenum — who has been taking the first-team reps — Boras described Keenum’s leadership standing out.

“Case is trying to raise everybody’s level, and it’s got to start with himself. And he’s done a nice job with that — trying to hold himself accountable,” Boras said. “And once you can hold yourself accountable, it’s easier to hold the other people accountable.

“Those three guys have really made that room competitive,” the offensive coordinator added. “And they help each other. Even though they’re all competing for one spot, they’re working together trying to help each other.”

EXTRA POINTS

Todd Gurley received a day off on Wednesday. Nothing to worry about, simply a matter of rest, according to Fisher.

“We’ve got some guys that we backed down a little bit today — Todd Gurley got the day off. He’ll be back on the field on Friday,” Fisher said. “We’re monitoring their bodies, and just want to make sure everybody recovers who’s been working really hard.”

— Finally, much has been made about the potential for Tavon Austin’s production to significantly increase with the revamped offensive schemes. Boras laid out some of the different ways the Rams can look at giving him touches.

“He’s a special playmaker. The thing we know about Tavon — he’s special,” Boras said. “There’s a lot of different ways to be able to get him the ball. Obviously, as a receiver, everybody wants to look at the touches he gets. But we can also line him up in the backfield like we’ve done in the past. We can give him the ball in the perimeter with some of our screens or on reverses. And then he’s a punt returner, which I know doesn’t count as offensive stats. But any way you can get an explosive guy like that the ball, we’ve got to be creative.”