This wasn't just another day of practice for the St. Louis Rams. Today marked the official inclusion of the team's free agent additions, both unrestricted free agents added recently and their own restricted free agents who signed tender offers. Of course, as one last quirk of the NFL lockout and ensuing labor deal, new players left the field for a brief moment, confused as to whether the CBA had actually been ratified. I love a good tribute to absurdity.
Labor issue resolved practice got underway, and according to our posse of fan reporters on the scene, today's practice was another doozy.
We'll have a more complete wrap tomorrow, featuring gratuitous overreactions to player performances after just a week of practice. Right now, calling on the info from our fans on the scene: three up and three down. Why three? Because the man only lets me have six bullets.
- Danny Amendola - Scrappier than the scrappiest salvaged infielder Tony La Russa could hope to find, Danny was back in full force at practice today. Looking quick and catching balls, Amendola impressed all observers, including one of his biggest fans. He also connected with Sam Bradford for a touchdown.
- Austin Pettis - His hands and toughness drew rave reviews today, beating Bartell for an aggressive grab at one point. Exactly what we wanted to hear. Pettis was drafted to give Sam a reliable, sturdy pass catcher that won't be lost against big, physical corners.
- James Laurinaitis - The man is a beast, pure and simple, when he's on the field. I fully expect this to be the year where people start talking about him as the best linebacker in the NFC West. He broke up some passes, but still had to run because of a dropped INT.
- Todd Carter - A new kicker added, released by the Panthers last year joined the Rams for some field goal kicking drills. With Josh Brown, Carter is getting a look as a potential injury replacement.
- Donnie Avery and Mardy Gilyard - Both receivers sat out of the hurry-up offense drills, which doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot in camp. However, McDaniels' hurry-up offense might sacrifice downfield speed for good routes and versatile players that can be moved around to different spots, like the tight ends and running backs. Both got looks as returners.
- Robert Quinn - He did some running and went through some drills, but he's still not practicing. Fortunately, it's a relatively minor injury that the Rams can be extra cautious with since it's only August.
Thanks to everyone who contributed from camp today, including @lannyosu, @teacher1962, @danep12, @lancasbg, @ImDHawk and @steve_strinni. Our Twitter list for camp is here. Be sure to let us know if you're headed out to any practices this weekend and the scrimmage on Sunday so we can add you to the list.