Most of the St. Louis Rams offensive linemen joined their teammates for a round of informal practices held last month at Lindenwood University. One notable name that was not there was starting LT Rodger Saffold. That's not to say last year's rookie sensation, other rookie sensation, was at home watching the Maury show. Saffold has been in Florida, working out at the IMG Academy along side players like Cam Newton and Josh Freeman.
The IMG Academies site recently featured an interview with Saffold that has some pretty interesting insight from the Rams LT.
On his relationship with Sam Bradford, his roommate:
We've been roommates from day one. I want us to have that Jeff Saturday/Peyton Manning kind of thing. It's already gotten to the point where I know how much room he needs to operate and I can sense it even when backpedaling. Not only am I keeping him away from hits and sacks, but I need to keep people out of his way.
On the evolution of the offensive tackle in the NFL:
I'm the new breed of left tackle. We're almost like bigger tight ends. With defensive ends getting lighter and faster, we have to do the same, but still keep our power.
And of course, what exactly is he accomplishing with those fancy workouts in Florida?
The hill workouts are brutal. They just break you down, then you go into the weight room to build back up. There aren't many offensive linemen here, so I've got to keep up with DB's, wide receivers, QB's. I think to myself, there's no way they should outrun you. It's turned me into a machine. If you don't think that's going to help me this season, you don't know football.
Saffold was easily the best rookie OT to play last year; he's probably been the best over the last two draft classes. However, a healthy Russell Okung in Seattle will give him a run for the title of best young left tackle in the division, and maybe the league...if only Okung can stay healthy. Saffold's much better compensated peer has a tremendous amount of talent. I'll take Saffold.
Another year of experience for both Saffold and Jason Smith should only help the Rams offensive line play better this season. If the offseason workouts are as productive as advertised, Sam Bradford might want to think about bringing a mini-fridge into the pocket with him this year.