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News » St. Louis Rams Notes, Quotes 2009-04-10

St. Louis Rams Notes, Quotes 2009-04-10

St. Louis Rams Notes, Quotes 2009-04-10
--When Rams general manager Billy Devaney was with the Falcons in 2007, they drafted WR Laurent Robinson in the third round. As a rookie, the 6-2, 194-pound Robinson started six games and caught 37 passes for 437 yards and a touchdown.

However, hamstring problems affected him last season, and he played just six games and had 52 yards on five receptions. He was placed on injured reserve Dec. 16.

Robinson has rejoined Devaney as the Rams and Falcons swapped fifth- and sixth-round picks. The Rams moved down 22 spots in the fifth round and 20 in the sixth round to acquire Robinson.

"He showed a lot of potential his rookie year," Devaney said. "Good ball skills, smooth route runner. He's got some size, too."

--There was a strange disconnect between coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney when the team's recent minicamp ended.

Asked if the five practices assisted the evaluation process when it comes to draft plans, Spagnuolo said, "Yeah, no question. And that was one of the reasons why Billy and I decided to have a camp before the draft. I think that will be huge. It will be huge for him; I think it'll be huge for me. It's important."

However, Devaney had a different take. Asked how much the minicamp helped the draft plan, he said, "Not much. We're not going to alter our draft board based on what we see out here, guys kind of running around in shorts and t-shirts. That wasn't the intent. We didn't think going in that with these couple of practices we'd find out about guys and say, 'OK, you know what? Forget about drafting this position, we need to move on to this position based off the practices.' It was more just to get our feet wet with the players and coaches and really has no effect on the draft."

--Last summer, coach Scott Linehan moved the team's training camp from St. Louis to Wisconsin in hopes of turning things around from a 3-13 record in 2007. Running back Steven Jackson was absent because of a contract impasse, and the Rams sputtered out of the gate. Linehan was fired after the fourth game of the season, and the Rams finished 2-14.

As it turns out, Spagnuolo was hoping to have the first part of camp away from the team's training facility, just not as far away as Wisconsin. While with the Eagles, the team trained in nearby West Chester, and with the Giants, camp was held in Albany.

After investigating options at Lindenwood University, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Southern Illinois-Carbondale, the decision was made this week to hold camp at their Russell Training Facility.

However, efforts will be ongoing to see if a move makes sense in 2010. Logistics made it difficult to go somewhere this year.

"We looked at and considered a lot of different options," Spagnuolo said. "And ultimately, we decided that for this year and this summer, this was the best place for us and our fans."

Added Kevin Demoff, the team's executive vice president of football operations, "In the end, we just felt that this was the most practical option for 2009, from a football standpoint and also from a fan standpoint.

"Nobody had ever really taken the time to research local options, at least not in the past few years. It's possible in 2010 we could go elsewhere. But in the end, all of our research this year led us to want to stay here."

Part of the problem involved camp starting later than normal this year and bumping into the time when students arrive on the various campuses.

As Demoff further explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "By the time we started seeking out schools, it was a little late in the process for them to be able to commit. This will give everybody lead time of a year to really give us a proposal that makes sense. And for us to consider what makes sense.

"But, we'd also like to see how it plays out here ... and really get a sense for how fans react to practice here, and the advantages that come with that."

When the Rams camped at home from 2005-2008, night practices were closed. In addition, the facility isn't equipped to handle large crowds. It's possible a scrimmage will be held at either Lindenwood or Washington University.

Concluded Demoff, "Our goal is to make as many practices as possible open to the public, if not all practices."

--Added to the list of draft eligible players expected to visit the Rams next week are OTs Eugene Monroe (Virginia), Michael Oher (Mississippi) and William Beatty (Connecticut).

Others known to be visiting are OT Jason Smith (Baylor), WRs Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri) and Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate (both North Carolina); QBs Thomas Brandstater (Fresno State) and Mark Sanchez (Southern Cal); LBs Aaron Curry (Wake Forest) and Rey Maualuga (Southern Cal); DT Ziggy Hood (Missouri); CB Mike Mickens (Cincinnati); DE Tyson Jackson (Louisiana State); DEs Connor Barwin (Cincinnati) and Lawrence Sidbury (Richmond).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They're very detail oriented. Very team oriented. I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm going to put my best foot forward and show 'em I've bought in." -- DT Clifton Ryan on Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams' new coaching staff.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 10, 2009

Adam Carriker Name: Adam Carriker
Position: NT
Age: 24
Experience: 2 years
College: Nebraska
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