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St. Louis Rams practice report: Rough day at the office

The Rams didn't have quite as spirited of a practice as we're used to reading about, but at least there was good news on the injury front.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

I was on vacation last week, so I missed the St. Louis Rams preseason opener. I did go back and catch it on Monday afternoon, and was not overly impressed. Penalties stood out to me. It was a preseason game with mostly backups and guys even further down the depth chart, so that's to be expected. However, when you consider the team's struggles with penalties last year, it was enough to have me reaching for the Pepto. They had more penalty problems at practice on Monday.

"It was not one of our best. We're going to talk about it later, we were a little sloppy," Jeff Fisher said. "That happens sometimes after a day off. But you can't put two of those in a row together, so we're not going to do that."

This is one of those teachable moments, hopefully.

On the other hand, the rosy practice reports never seem to be fully in touch with reality themselves, so maybe this is good news.

Injury news

Rodger Saffold and Jake Long could return to practice this week, according to Fisher. Scott Wells too.

Isaiah Pead and Trumaine Johnson were both spotted wearing helmets and practicing on Monday.

If the trio of Long, Saffold and Wells can manage to get back in time for this week's preseason game, it'd be Sam Bradford's first chance to work with the full o-line since last season.

Here are the rest of Fisher's remarks from the field.

(On newly acquired TE Brad Smelley)
"We worked Brad out last fall, had a good work out. He was with the Texans after we worked him out, and with Mason (Brodine) going down we gave him a call. He came and worked out with us yesterday and he did a nice job. He'll fill in, he's a smart young man, talented, can play a couple different positions, so it'll give him an opportunity to help us at the position. "

(On if the team running drills during practice had meaning)
"Yeah, as a matter of fact, we had 14 penalties. Actually, the two are related. What happens is typically the first preseason games whoever's the guilty party will have to run, his positional teammates will also join him. So you saw the offensive line running quite a bit down at the other end."

(On if the same thing happened last preseason)
"We did. That's something we do every year."

(On if WR Kenny Britt has developed as a leader)
"Yeah, Kenny's always had that type of personality he loves the game. He's not afraid to voice his opinion and he's pulling the young guys along with him. He practices one speed and that's full."

(On the importance of LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar's role on the defense)
"It works out good for us, particularly because he understands the responsibility of the position. You know with James (Laurinaitis) being out he's just moved right over to the Mike and can get everybody lined up. He's a valuable asset because he understands it. He's got a really good feel for our defense, does a great job communicating what he's trying to communicate. The flexibility of the middle linebacker and outside linebacker, the nickel and dime he understands the backfield and can pretty much stay on the field because of that."

(On the Ferguson Mo. shooting)
"It's very very tragic because of the loss of life, very very tragic. We don't have any details or anything, but I just feel very very bad for the family and the loss. We hope that they can get things sorted out and get things settled down."