You're really got to focus and try to read between the lines to glean much information about the first day of camp, at least if you're looking for much more than the usual platitudes that accompany such an affair. But there's a few positives to be found, for sure.
First and foremost, nobody got injured. That's not exactly storming the beaches at Normandy news, but after whatever version of the bubonic plague swept through the knees and ankles and shoulders of the Rams last season, it's a plus. While we're on the subject of injuries, the Rams players expected to sit out went through all but the most strenuous activities in camp yesterday, including Leonard Little, Adam Carriker and Pace, who went through individual work and walkthroughs. It sounds like Carriker's status won't be a problem for the regular season. Head coach Scott Linehan told the PD that Carriker could play in a game "if he had to." Carriker's unflappable dedication will make this d-line a success.
And that's the other positive sign we can carry away from the earliest of camp reports. There's an obvious enthusiasm and a real desire to move away from the three win campaign last season. That lacks any science, but the reassurance can't be ignored.
According to the Belleville News Democrat , Chris Long impressed Rams coaches his first day in camp. Other items of note in that piece:
- With Pace limited, Alex Barron worked at LT with the starting unit. Barron made some strides last season in that role; small strides that were mostly obscured by the rest of the makeshift line. He still had 13 penalties for 81 yards last season, so he's got a ways to go. However, I am interested to see if he finally starts to put that talent to work this season; he'd better because...
- Rams third round pick, John Greco, worked at RT with the second team offense. In the week after the draft, the Rams staff immediately stated that they expected Greco to compete with Barron for the RT job. Odds are that Barron keeps the RT job, but watch this story closely as the summer moves along.
- Adam Goldberg took reps at RT with the starting unit. It's good to see Goldberg back in action. He provides excellent depth, and is exactly the kind of guy you like to have in reserve - God only knows we could have used him for more than 4 games last season. His yeoman work filling in at G and LT in 2006 can't be forgotten. I also have a particular fondness for his alma matter. Go Pokes!
I'll be anxious to hear reports of the other draft picks, particularly wide receivers Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton. I still like Avery and defend the pick, but I keep getting this feeling that Burton might be the receiver who really becomes a marquee player for the Rams down the road. He's physical, speedy and smart, and with some time to refine his skills for the Pro game, Burton might be a first down machine and the new face of a new greatest show. I'm not alone on this either. the estimable John Morgan from SBN's Seahawks blog FieldGulls said this about Burton in a look at the Rams draft yesterday:
Burton has a pretty good shot of winning the starting #2 spot from Drew Bennett, and the two taken as a package, Burton and Avery that is, are nice combination of refinement and potential.
Here, here. Be sure to give Morgan's review of the Rams draft a good read. Prior to the draft he favored the Seahawks taking G Roy Schuening.