Yesterday, St. Louis held their annual Rams Fan Fest, celebrating the wonderful Rams Nation community with a myriad of giveaways, events, and topped with a “live action” scrimmage hosted inside the Edward Jones Dome. With roughly 15,700 fans packed into the stands, the team showed off some of their hard work from OTAs and the opening week of training camp. While there was plenty to take in, here are our five major takeaway from the scrimmage:
1) Sam Bradford is throwing the ball as well as he ever has. That might seem like a generic, “offseason hype” statement, but when coaches, teammates, and, most importantly, the player himself is saying it, that is typically a good sign. However, Bradford isn’t just showing his confidence through words, he is doing it on the field. The fifth-year signal caller was throwing darts all over the field yesterday, including some gorgeous throws to Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, and Kenny Britt.
Sam Bradford ends the day 20/26 (77%) with only 4 check downs. His best day in my eyes. (7 and 11′s) #RamsFanFest
— » Mathieu Debuchy « (@WoozyVirtuoso) August 2, 2014
2) Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers continue to impress. Brockers was forced to leave practice early (again) after re-tweaking his ankle after showing off in one-on-one drills. However, Donald shined throughout the entire practice, drawing “ahhs” from the crowd and coaching staff alike. More impressive than his play, though, might be his humbleness…
“I know I have a lot more to prove, so I can’t let it [outside praise] get to me,” Donald said. “I’m starting from scratch again. I’m a rookie again. I haven’t made a tackle, haven’t made a sack, so I’ve got to earn that. I’m just staying focused on what I’ve got to do and continuing to work on my craft.” -Aaron Donald
3) Speaking of dominant defensive linemen, our very own Casey Phillips, the new sideline reporter for the St. Louis Rams, caught up with Robert Quinn after the scrimmage. Plenty of people have asked the reining Professional Football Writers of America’s Defensive Player of the Year about his “goals” for this upcoming season in the sack department. The answer she sneakily backs him into might scare some people…
4) Aside from the defensive line, it seems like the rest of the “back-seven” hasn’t gotten much love during training camp. An exception to that on Saturday was Alec Ogletree, who has, by most accounts, improved dramatically in a handful of “weaker areas” from last season. ESPN NFL Nation writer, Nick Wagoner, noted that Ogletree was particularly impressive during one-one-one blocking drills; or, in his case, blocker-shedding drills. With his speed and athleticism, Gregg Williams should have plenty in store for the young outside linebacker. Ogletree seems well-aware of that, and spoke about his new relationship with Williams after the scrimmage in an one-on-one interview with Casey Phillips.
5) One of the less “fun” takeaways from the scrimmage might be the shear amount of “starters” that were not dressed for practice. After a hellish day on Friday, there were a number of precautionary holdouts. Included on that list: James Laurinaitis, Rodger Saffold, Janoris Jenkins, Lamarcus Joyner, Barrett Jones, Williams Hayes, and Brian Quick. While most sidelined players were merely resting on the sidelines in street clothes, Laurinaitis was sporting a walking boot. All indications from reports and the coach staff are that he suffered a mild ankle sprain. Let’s hope so.
Tags: St. Louis Rams