Postcard from camp: Rams
The Rams practice at their year-round facility outside St. Louis. On Monday they held one workout in shells (helmet, shoulder pads and shorts). The talk of the day was the weather. After more than a week with a heat index approaching triple digits, the temperature dropped beneath 90 and the humidity took a timeout, making it San Diego-like, relatively speaking.
1. With only six wins over the past three seasons, the Rams know they're in rebuilding mode. But there is an air of confidence that they're headed in the right direction. Top pick
2. The offensive line had a rough outing in the exhibition opener against the Vikings, allowing Bradford to be sacked four times. But there is no sense of panic within the organization. The reason is that the projected starting five has yet to work together. Left guard
"As an offensive line we really look forward to getting into a rhythm where you know the guy that you're playing next to on the left and on the right, and you get to a point where you know what they're thinking without communicating," says Brown.
Spagnuolo says he hopes to settle on a lineup this week. Ultimately the Rams figure to start (from left to right) Saffold, Bell, Brown, Fraley or
"I think the whole team begins with the offensive line, not just the offense," says Spagnuolo. "If you look at all the good football teams, if you have an offensive line that is mean, tough and talented and can run the ball and protect the quarterback, that team is usually pretty good. Because when they go against the defense in practice, it makes the defense better. With all the injuries we've had, it's been a struggle for us to get that smoothed out."
3. If Bradford is to succeed, it will be without a true No. 1 receiver. Projected starters
To facilitate the rebuilding effort, Spagnuolo and general manager
"These guys have an idea of what it's supposed to look like," says Spagnuolo. "I've always felt that players on any team tend to put more weight in what another player says than the constant pounding of the coach. They'll listen to coaches, but when it's backed up by veterans who are saying the same things, that helps."
The key signing could be Feeley, who understands and accepts that Bradford is the face of the franchise and possibly the quarterback of the present instead of the future. Feeley is committed to helping Bradford grow and won't be a distraction if Bradford wins the starting job from the outset.
One of the things Spagnuolo is selling to the players is opportunities. It appears this class will get a lot of work. Bradford appears on schedule to be the opening day starter, Saffold, at this point, has locked up a starting job, Gilyard will get a lot of looks, and tight end
There is a smoothness to Bradford that grabs your attention. Some guys simply look the part, and he's one of them. He zips balls downfield with relative ease and often places his passes where only his receivers can make a play on them. On Monday, he was lethal on a seam route, floating the ball behind a linebacker and in front of a safety. He did it twice during one team drill.
1. Middle linebacker
2. After going 6-of-13 for 57 yards with four sacks and no touchdowns in the exhibition opener, Bradford did not rush to watch replays of the game. He said: "I like to take a little time off. If I tried to watch it right after the game, I might still have some emotion and probably not be thinking as clearly as I would be going back the next day with a clean slate."
3. Watching running back