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Practice Recap: Next Guy Up

Posted Aug 25, 2014

Myles Simmons recaps the Rams first practice with Shaun Hill in place as the team's starting quarterback.

With temperatures in the high 90s, the Rams got back to work on Monday with an indoor practice to begin the week. Here’s what you should know from the early evening session.

NEXT GUY UP

As a veteran quarterback, Shaun Hill has seen his share of cities, and learned his share of offenses. Moving into the No. 1 position for the Rams, Hill says he’s ready to take on the challenge of being the team’s starting quarterback.

“Obviously, I feel terrible for Sam,” Hill said after Monday’s practice. “Getting to know him here, I was really looking forward to seeing him play this year. He was going to light it up. But the nature of the business is ‘next guy up,’ and that’s me. And yeah, a lot of excitement -- getting cranked up, ready to go for this one.”

Head coach Jeff Fisher once again expressed full confidence in Hill’s ability, joking that the quarterback “actually completed some passes today” and “actually knows where to go with the football, believe it or not.”

“He’s fine,” Fisher said. “He’s a competitor and knows what he’s doing. He’s going to make every opportunity count.”

That process didn’t just begin when Hill moved up to be the team’s starter. One of the advantages of having Hill ready to go as a No. 2 is that he’s been around the team, giving him a significant amount of time to learn and get comfortable with the offense.

“It’s like learning a new language, calling the plays and getting the picture of what that play is,” Hill said of getting familiar with a new playbook. “From there, once you learn that new language, then you learn the nuances of it. It’s been a good process.”

And Hill’s experience and football knowledge have made it so that the transition will be as seamless as possible. Fisher said that the Rams do not have to make any changes to the playbook in order to accommodate Hill.

“Shaun’s definitely a smart quarterback. He knows the system,” wide receiver Tavon Austin said. “He’s been in the league for so many years, so we’re definitely going to follow his lead.”

Fisher said that the players did have a difficult day on Sunday, learning and reacting to the extent of Bradford’s injury.

“They all care for Sam,” Fisher said. “But they understand we have work to do. We have things we’ve got to get done this week on a short week, and so they were working really good today.”

“Spirit’s always up,” Austin said. “Things happen. We all feel bad that Sam went down, but we can’t really bring each other down right now. The league definitely isn’t going to take it easy on us, so we can’t take it easy on ourselves.”

And as for Hill, the quarterback knows he can bring plenty to an offense.

“I’ve got some experience and been in this league for a long time,” he said. “I think when we get into the game planning part of it, I think that’s where the experience and that edge will take over.”

LEFTOVERS

…Fisher said the Rams were indoors on Monday because it made sense based on the situation.

“We got back late [from Cleveland] and so yesterday was our recover day -- and we wanted to give them a chance to recover,” Fisher said. “We’ll go back out tomorrow, and of course we’re expecting some warm weather down in Miami.”

…If you mention the name “Gregg Williams” around Lamarcus Joyner, you’ll see the rookie’s face light up.

“That’s one of my favorite coaches that I’ve ever been coached by -- whether it’s little league, high school, or the college level,” Joyner said. “He’s a great guy. I feel like his coaching style is the way I play. He’s an aggressive and passionate coach and he makes you want to be the best.”

We’ll have more from Joyner and some other young defensive backs later in the week.

…Quarterback Austin Davis made a pretty good impression on Saturday night against the Browns, and Fisher said he’ll get some good playing time against the Dolphins. Davis’ playmaking ability has made it so that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer does not have to adjust much when he’s under center.

“He played well in the game against a lot of their starters, so he made plays,” Fisher said. “He’s got a good feel for what we’re doing. As I mentioned, Schotty’s very much at ease calling plays for him because he understands the offense.”

…Finally, the Rams will have practice tomorrow before heading to Florida on Wednesday.

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