In their ongoing quest to bolster the roster at every opportunity, the Rams made another addition to the linebacking crew on Thursday when they officially signed six-year veteran
The free agent outside linebacker comes to the Rams from Washington, where he has spent his entire career previously. McIntosh was originally a second-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft, No. 35 overall.
With the Redskins, McIntosh went through a few changes in defensive scheme and at 6’2, 242 pounds had the versatility and size to play inside and out. He even has some knowledge of the current Rams system from his time when Gregg Williams coached the Redskins.
In his six seasons, the 29-year old McIntosh has posted 471 tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions and 18 passes defended in 92 games played.
McIntosh visited Minnesota and Miami this offseason before arriving in St. Louis for a workout on Wednesday. He did enough there to impress the coaching staff and signed Thursday afternoon.
“We brought him in, we worked him out yesterday morning, he did a great job in kind of an individual (drill),” coach Jeff Fisher said. “He’s moving around good. He’s an experienced veteran, has some experience in this scheme and the terminology so he can pick it up fast. He’s just one of those guys we are going to put in the mix; he’ll compete and see what happens.”
McIntosh is most likely to work at strong side linebacker in training camp where he’ll be in a competition with veteran
SETTING UP FOR CAMP: Since Fisher last coached in the league, plenty of things have changed, including the amount and extent to which teams in the league can practice.
Fisher has rolled with those changes and is happy to be back doing what he loves but he said he hasn’t spent much time thinking about being back in coaching so much as he’s been focused on getting his team ready for training camp.
“Last year seems so far away now,” Fisher said. “It’s hard to imagine. I’ve been scheduling training camp. It’s hard to imagine how close around the corner camp is and it’s really exciting. These guys are excited. One thing we wanted to make sure that they knew was when they’re finished with the minicamp, they’ll know exactly what to expect with training camp. The training camp format is going to be very similar to what we went through today. The difference is after four days, we’ll be able to put some pads on.”
Fisher said he’s fine with the new restrictions on padded practices and amount of practices during camp, noting that he had dialed back on the hard hitting work he had previously done in his final year at Tennessee.
The Rams are expected to start training camp on July 25 for the rookies with the rest of the squad expected to join a few days later. Fisher’s camp is expected to feature mostly later afternoon practices.
IPLAYBOOK: Many teams around the league did away with big, bulky playbooks last season in favor of the technology provided by the Apple iPad. The Rams began the transition late in the season but have made the full on switch to the iPad this year.
Now, players can easily access all of the information they need on their schemes as well as video right on the iPad without having to sift through a mountain of information. Most of the offense and defense has been put in and the iPad evolution has been helpful.
“I believe we got a good bulk of it, majority of it,” Jackson said. “I don’t think we have the entire offense in, but it’s been good. We’re converting ourselves to the iPad. The days of having a big notebook are over, so that’s good.”
Jackson said there is only one drawback to the new technology.
“Yeah, I just have to hide it from my kids,” Jackson said, laughing. “They want to play with it. They want to download apps, I don’t know if Coach would like that.”
TIME AWAY: Thursday’s practice was the final workout of the offseason program for the Rams. Now, the veterans will depart for the better part of the next six weeks.
Before they left, Fisher made it clear what is expected of them for their time away. His message went out to the whole team, not just the rookies.
“I bring it up,” Fisher said. “I brought it up before Memorial Day weekend. We talk about it all the time. The rookies here about once a day and I just needed to remind the vets. The decisions and places you could potentially put yourself into are obvious, you have to understand those. But sometimes the other ones that you take for granted can become problematic as well.”
Fisher mentioned things like riding a wave runner or a four-wheeler as everyday type activities that could turn out bad if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
“You can’t afford to put yourself in a position (to make a mistake),” Fisher said. “It may not be you on the four wheeler or the wave runner. It may be you and someone else on a boat. Those are the things that they need to (hear). They work for the National Football League. The most important thing from today until the time they report and after that is to come back in the best shape they possibly can and not put themselves in compromising positions whether that’s social media or after midnight or behind the wheel. We talk about it all the time.”
FUTURE INJURY REPORT: One thing Fisher made clear early in OTAs and minicamps was that he doesn’t believe in giving full injury reports before it’s required by the league.
But Fisher did give a little insight into what the Rams will be working with when they do return for training camp in late July.
By Fisher’s estimation, the Rams have only one player that might even be a potential issue going into camp. Otherwise, he’s expecting a clean bill of health across the board.
“I don’t anticipate anything when we come to camp,” Fisher said. “Really the only one that may time up perfectly would be (Mike) Hooman(awanui). Everyone else will be good to go.”
ATTENDANCE FIGURES: With the exception of the final minicamp, there’s very little about the offseason program that is mandatory for the entire team.
You wouldn’t know it from the turnout the Rams had during the offseason.
According to Fisher, 48 of 55 veterans on the roster showed up to at least 90 percent of the workouts. Of those 48, 40 had perfect attendance. Needless to say, it was a positive for a team moving in a new direction.
“We had never seen anything like that so that sets the bar for us now moving forward,” Fisher said. “It went fast, I think we accomplished everything we needed to accomplish and now it’s up to them. We have another week with the rookies. It’s up to them to be disciplined and committed to the cause and the program and come back in the best shape and then we’ll have more fun.”