The St. Louis Rams held their second annual Fan Fest at the Edward Jones Dome. Fans were allowed to go onto the field and participate in different activities and take photos. After, a padded practice was held along with a brief scrimmage, before the day ended with players signing autographs for fans.
I was in attendance today along with our own Daniel Doelling, who was taking some great photos that will be posted later.
My general thoughts on the day:
It's been said that speed kills, and the Rams have speed. The Rams have players with plus speed all over the field on both offense and defense. The offense will be able to stretch the field with multiple players to open up the shorter routes, while the defense will be able to defend the entire field, sideline to sideline.
I have now seen Tavon Austin practice twice, and I think he just may be the fastest and most elusive player the Rams have ever had. He is incredibly talented and blessed with all the fast twitch muscle fibers anyone could ever want. If Tavon Austin gets in open space, I have no idea how a defense will be able to stop him.
Tavon's feet are so quick. It's not fair to the rest of humanity. #RamsFanFest— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) August 3, 2013
The Tavon Austin show will be coming to your TV August 8th with the Rams first pre-season game against the Cleveland Browns.
Austin Pettis keeps slowly improving each year. He a solid player, with great hands. I don't think he will ever be good enough to be a 50 snap a game player, but he is a very useful player for the Rams. I'm excited to see what he brings coming into his third season, which is when most players are fully adjusted to the NFL.
Brian Quick looks a lot better, but he still doesn't look quite there yet to me. He made some great plays, but he also had a couple of drops, and forced the team to call timeout in hurry up when he didn't know where to line up. He is still a work in progress.
Jared Cook is a physical specimen. He is so big, yet he glides on the field with ease. He combines thatt with some good hops. Just throw it up and he will get the ball. The Titans were never able to put his talents to work in Tennessee, but the Rams saw something to give him a big contract. I saw exactly what they say in him today.
Jared Cook fever has started, already cases found in the Midwest and Northwest, visit your local doctor if symptoms of happiness arise #Rams— Nick Martin (@Nmartin55) August 3, 2013
Sam Bradford made a perfect throw on a seam route to Cook in practice. A laser throw and a great catch. It's nearly impossible to defend it. The Rams finally have a guy that can attack the seam of the defense. Let's hope the Rams put him to use quite often.
Speaking of Bradford, he looked very solid today. It's practice, but he did everything well today. He showed his accuracy today on a few throws, and even had a picture perfect play action fake at one point. With the abundance of talent around Sam Bradford, he should put up some impressive numbers if the offensive line can keep him upright.
The running back battle is wide open. All of the backs looked good today. Isaiah Pead, Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson all were as advertised. Pead looked the best in pass protection drills.
The rest of the runners also did their part. Terrance Ganaway looked powerful, which is easy for a 238 pound player. Chase Reynolds ran hard as always, but it was Benny Cunningham who caught my eye the most. I like the way he runs. I will have to see him in action in pre-season, but he may be on his way to making this team if they keep 4 running backs on the roster.
I was also able to take part in a Q&A with Kevin Demoff that was held for the St. Louis Social Media Club. I asked him what the team was planning to do to honor Deacon Jones.
The team has said before that they cannot wear blue and white throwback jerseys per the NFL's rules, but Demoff did say they are in the process of deciding what they will do, but to expect a decal or patch for Deacon this year.
Daniel Doelling asked him about the community outreach efforts of the Rams, and how they have stepped it up. He mentioned that with the Rams early success in St. Louis, community outreach wasn't necessary. But then the team hit a downswing, and something had to be done. One of the most important things Demoff had to do when he was hired was get the Rams more involved in the community, and with the help of Brian Killingsworth, the Rams VP of Marketing, they were able to do that.
Another fan asked him about the "Make or Break" year for Sam Bradford. The Ram's COO replied that it isn't a make or break year for Sam. It's his first chance to shine. He finally has the protection and the weapons around him to let his talent show.
Let's hope he is right.
One final note. I ran into Les Snead's assistant today wearing my Keep Calm and Snead On shirt.
We finally made it to the big show. Remember to #KeepCalmAndSneadOn and buy your shirts here.