The St. Louis Rams, and every other NFL team whose coaching staff stayed the same this year, are starting "phase one" of offseason workouts on Monday. Offensive tackle Rodger Saffold is in the building with the rest of the team, according to the team's official web site.
Saffold's presence is notable given the twists and turns of the offseason. He was reportedly unhappy about the Rams signing left tackle Jake Long in free agency last month, even to the point where his agent let it be known that he would not be opposed to a possible trade. Then, head coach Jeff Fisher was unable to reach Saffold to talk over the move from the left to right side in his last season before free agency.
An appearance at Rams Park this week is a good sign that Saffold intends to be a good teammate and work in whatever role the Rams have carved out for him this season. Besides, he doesn't have much leverage to demand a trade.
Speaking of this week's offseason workouts, it really is just that: a workout. No, seriously, teams and players are pretty much limited to exercising under the supervision of the team's trainers this week. Coaches can't so much as go on the field with them under the rules of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.
The specifics from the CBA:
(i) Phase One. Phase One shall consist of the first two weeks of the Club's offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, Phase One activities shall be limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. During Phase One, only full time or part-time strength and conditioning coaches, who have no other coaching responsibilities with the Club, shall be allowed on the field; no other coaches shall be allowed on the field or to otherwise participate in or observe activities. No footballs shall be permitted to be used (only "dead ball" activities), except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. Players cannot wear helmets during Phase One.
So, yeah, they're pretty limited in what they can do. It's no wonder that Jeff Fisher constantly takes backhanded shots at the limitations on players and team interaction in the offseason. It has to be frustrating from a coach's standpoint, especially for an up and coming team like the Rams.
Oh well, Fisher and his staff have plenty of work to do this week anyway. The 2013 NFL Draft is one week from Thursday.