Rams practice continues at a furious pace as time is quickly running out. The Coaching staff has been innovating new training methods due to the time lost during the lockout. They hope the new methods will bring the rookies and recently hired veterans up to game speed in no time flat.
Highlights from today's practice show the Rams are taking this first game of the season very serious.
A large truck load of tree stumps acquired from recently tornado damaged Joplin, were stacked into a simulated line of defenders. Each trunk was an estimated 4 foot in diameter and at least 8 feet tall. On the snap, the O-line was required to knock the trunks over and/or push them into clear running lanes for our running backs.
Harvey Dahl-G, received a gold star for the day when he knocked a particularly huge stump down and then proceeded to bite a huge chunk out of the hard wood. With his face guard shattered from the tremendous head-butt he had administered with extreme prejudice, Harvey got up spitting out splinters and yelling, "IS THAT ALL YOU GOT!"
The linemen were faced with similar challenges. Padded blocking dummies that were modified with hydraulic piston rams, would slam into the defense lined up in front of huge rose bushes loaded with thorns. Just a few feet behind that was the cement wall, giving very little room for error.
Justin Bannan-DT was quoted yelling, "This is BULLSHIT!" when pushed off the line 2 out of his first 4 tries, before seriously damaging one of the expensive machines.
In an attempt to speed up the pass rush, the DE's practiced jumping what the Coaches referred to as "The Wall of Fire." A leftover pyrotechnic generator purchased from a "Kiss" memorabilia auction, was set to generate a huge line of fire .2 seconds after the snap.
"You gotta be quick!" said DE Chris Long after scorching 3 sets of blue and gold pants, "I think my first step has improved quite a bit."
Cornerbacks / Wide Receivers & Tight Ends:
Players were faced with specially prepared JUGS machines that had been beefed up to fire footballs at twice the normal speed. To make it more interesting, two passes were fired to each receiver at the same time, the object being to either catch, or defend both balls at the same time. Rookie Lance Kendricks amazed the crowd with a double, one-handed catch for a practice TD.
The grand finale from today's practice had to be the dreaded FRD's or Fumble Recovery Drills.
An 8 foot square kiddies pool filled with slippery St. Louis mud sat inconspicuously at the end of the field until the end of practice. Each player was surprised to find out they had to spend 60 seconds in the ring trying to capture a greased piglet.
To make things more of a challenge, the piglets wore a remote controlled shock collar. Each time a player grabbed the squealing slippery swine, the coach pressed the button. The swine would let out an ear shattering squeal, followed by a steam of liquid fear, which more often than not replaced the mud on the player with something much less pleasant.
Leaving the field one player was heard saying, "I ain't eating no more bacon dude!"
The pigs won today's battle as not one was captured. Coach Spags told the player's, "You're going to have to do better than that in the turnover department!"
As you can see the Rams are serious about beating the Eagles this weekend. Whether the new training gimmicks work or not, remains to be seen.
On a side note: One fan was forcibly removed from viewing practice. The worked up fan kept disrupting practice by shouting, "FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK - I SALUTE YOU!"