Thursday, July 31, 2008

Training camp headlines 7/31

One practice today at 3:50.
Just about all the Rams news I'm getting comes from stltoday's Rams page, Bill Coats' blog on stltoday, and Nick Wagoner's blog on Coverage of training camp continues to be good and thorough.

* Jackson holdout day 7. Jackson will be up to $105,000 in potential fines if he doesn't report today. According to Information Week, that's what the average business technology manager makes in a year. That's also the price of a top-of-the-line 2009 Corvette.

* Linehan rips into team. Practices have been getting progressively sloppier the last couple of days, but got better again yesterday after a midfield tirade. Considering his shaky job status, Linehan had better show assertiveness managing his team. I think he's running camp the right way; there's no indication it's anything like a country club up there. My big issue is that Linehan better work Jackson like a dog once he ever shows up.

* Standout players: Leonard Little, Derek Stanley, Dan Kreider.
Little appears to be his old self again after a toe injury basically grounded him last season. If he could come back and have an eight-plus sack season, it would be huge for the Ram pass rush and the whole defense.
Stanley seems to make a highlight-reel play or two every day. It's boiling down to him and Dane Looker for the sixth WR slot, assuming they keep only six.
Kreider is also doing well in practice. If he makes the team, I believe he will improve the team by at least one win. The offense's incompetence in 3rd- and 4th-down short-yardage situations proved very costly last season, which was highly frustrating, because it could have been corrected by having a fullback on the roster who has any idea what he's doing. Kreider, I feel, can be that guy.

* Injuries.
Mark Setterstrom's out a couple of days due to a strained leg muscle. John Greco, another rookie having a very good camp by all accounts, has moved up to 1st-string RG in Setterstrom's absence. There are a lot of minor injuries all over the roster, including - surprise! Drew Bennett, who has a sore knee, and - surprise! Tye Hill, who has a bruised thigh. Blame for the rash of injuries seems to be going to Field Turf, which I always thought was supposed to be so great for reducing injuries. This is the first time the Rams have done all of their training camp practicing on the fake stuff, and it seems to be creating faster wear-and-tear on the players.

Huh. Rams Park has grass and is 600 miles CLOSER. Thanks for moving camp again, Coach.

* Ticket bundling plan won't work.
I was enthusiastic about the Rams' single-game ticket sale strategy yesterday, which attempts to make Cowboys and Bears fans buy tickets to a second game in order to get a ticket to see their favorites. It shouldn't have taken a day for me to figure out it wouldn't work, but it did. (Also, single-game tickets don't go on sale until tomorrow.)
The Rams' plan has no effect on PSL owners selling their seats. As we saw last year, Steeler and Packer fans filled the all-PSL lower bowl and flooded the whole upper tier of the Dome, also PSL country. The Rams' ticket office can only affect the four little corners of the Dome used for general admission.
The Rams' mindset is in the right place, but in reality, there's no reason to expect Cowboy Nation won't be well-represented in the Dome October 19, and there's little chance of preventing the Bears from having a home game in the Dome on November 23.

No comments: