Rams camp recap: Monday, August 4th


The St. Louis Rams continued their 2015 training camp today, day 4, by strapping on the pads for the first time. There were some positives and negatives to take away from practice today, but overall, the team looked good in some areas of concern.

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We’ll start with the center position, where Tim Barnes started with the first team reps today. It would appear head coach Jeff Fisher is back to the top of the rotation that includes Demetrius Rhaney and Barrett Jones. Barnes looked good on the day, including making some nice plays downfield in the screen game.

Nick Foles looked sharp and took all the first team reps. In a bit of a surprise, Case Keenum was the starting quarterback with the second string players for most of the day. Toward the end of the day, Austin Davis stepped in with the second team, including during redzone drills. Rookie Sean Mannion took a few reps during warmups and looked sharp with a handful of accurate passes and a strong arm. It would appear Mannion is settling in nicely, but isn’t going to compete for the back up spot with Davis and Keenum.

The wide receiver group had an up and down day. Tavon Austin, wearing #1 for camp, was involved in the offense quite a bit. It would appear that offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. is going to be true to his word and find more ways to get Austin involved in the offense. Stedman Bailey took quite a few reps with the first team offense as well. Usually lined up in the slot, Bailey opened things up with a diving catch along the sideline on an errant pass form Foles that really got the crowd involved. Brian Quick caught a few balls, but also dropped a few. Chris Givens took his reps with the second team and Keenum.

Aug 1, 2015; Earth City, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brian Quick (83) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (18) celebrate at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line, anchored by Barnes in the middle, consisted of Greg Robinson at LT, Rodger Saffold at LG, Jamon Brown at RG and Rob Havenstein at RT. As a group the line did well protecting Foles from the dangerous front four of this Rams defense. Fourth round selection Andrew Donnal took reps with the second team.

The running back position was almost exclusively Tre Mason. Mason took all the reps with the first team unit, as expected. However, Todd Gurley was in pads and completing individual drills away from practice. Gurley was participating in 10-15 yard sprints with hard stops. He didn’t complete an cuts or jumps, but was putting some pressure on the knee with his stops. The team will continue to take things slow with Gurley, as expected. Mason looked very good though.

The secondary was highlighted with Janoris Jenkins and his usual antics. Jenkins looked good all day and Foles didn’t have too many opportunities to throw his way. Unfortunately, there are reports that the Rams second corner, E.J. Gaines, will be out a little longer than expected. Gaines had his knee stepped on in practice earlier in camp and spent the day today undergoing further testing.

That injury opened the door for Trumaine Johnson to fill in with the first team today. Johnson was very shaky in his new spot and let Austin and tight end Jared Cook get free multiple times including a deep ball to Cook in the corner of the end zone that resulted in a touchdown.

Cook had a solid day in the passing game. Cook was very involved in the first team offense and he and Foles seem to have built up quite a rhythm early on. Lance Kendricks was also on the receiving end of a few nice passes from Foles. However, there was a steep drop off after that. Cory Harkey, Brad Smelley and Alex Bayer all dropped touchdown passes on consecutive reps. None saw much action after that. Punt return duties were handled solely by Austin, and kick returns were fielded by Ben Cunningham and Isaiah Pead.

Aug 1, 2015; Earth City, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins (21) at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis also made one roster move today at the completion of camp. The team released WR Devon Wylie and signed CB Trovon Reed. Don’t read too much into the Reed signing. Even with Gaines out, Johnson, Marcus Roberson and LaMarcus Joyner all hold steady on the depth chart.

The Rams will return to action on Thursday at 5:30pm CST/6:30pm EST. Check back here for another day of live coverage and follow Ramblin’ Fan on Twitter for live updates!