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Practice Recap: Prepping for the Preseason

Posted Aug 5, 2014

Get the latest on Sam Bradford's status for Friday's preseason game, Jake Long's preseason availability, Kenny Britt's role and more.

Tuesday’s open practice was another physical affair as the Rams continue to get ready for their first preseason action of 2014.

DEVELOPING CHEMISTRY

Sometimes it’s tough to tell whether or not receivers and quarterbacks have developed a strong rapport in practice. Though no preseason games have been played, it is starting to look like Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt could become two of quarterback Sam Bradford’s top targets.

Both wide receivers are listed at the top of this week’s depth chart, but head coach Jeff Fisher said after Tuesday’s practice that there really isn’t much to that.

“Well, you’ve got to put somebody’s name down there,” Fisher said. “They’re all going to play. I see both Kenny and Tavon just rotating probably through the first quarter getting them plenty of reps.”

Tuesday’s session made it easy to see why those two will get early snaps. Bradford and Austin connected for one of the best plays in camp when the quarterback floated the wideout a pass to the front corner of the end zone over cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. Later in the session, Bradford hit both Austin and Britt on deep routes, with the receivers making great efforts to secure the passes.

New to the Rams this season, Britt said developing chemistry with Bradford has been going great.

“If we miss each other on a signal, we miss each other on a route or we think we can clean some things up, it’s right after the play that we talk to each other and we’ve got it down pat,” Britt said. “It’s not like we’re making the same mental mistakes, or we’re making the same mistakes over and over again.”

The 6-foot-3 Britt also said that he’s never played with a wide receiver quite like the 5-foot-8 Austin.

“I’ve never seen a guy that can stop and go as fast as he can,” Britt said. “He plays like he’s my size out there, and that’s something that’s real exciting to watch.”

Much attention has been paid to the high amount of talent on the Rams’ defense. But Britt said there’s reason to buy into the offense’s potential as well.

“The sky’s not even the limit, to tell you the truth, with so much talent that we have at the wide receiver position,” Britt said. “We have some running backs who can run the ball, and we also have some tight ends who can spread it out. And Sam’s the guy to get it out there and throw the ball to us.”

PRESEASON REST

Fisher announced the status of a couple key players for Friday’s game after Tuesday’s practice.

“Jake [Long] will not play,” Fisher said. “Could play, but we’re not going to play him. I think we’ll probably hold Scott [Wells] as well.”

That’s two of the Rams’ starting offensive linemen, but keep in mind these are two veterans and this is only the first preseason game. Long and Wells both suffered injuries late last season, but are in shape and ready to go now.

“It’s always good to get some reps in live action before the regular season, but that all depends on how it goes and what the coach’s decision is,” Long said. “I was anxious to get back to practice, and it feels good. I’m progressing every day and doing more reps, so it’s good to go out there and do football drills and to get that confidence back.”

Because of his thorough rehab work, Long said he’s prepared for anything.

“I’ve been lifting weights and going non-stop since January,” Long said. “I’ve been working real hard to get here. I’m feeling really good.”

TWITTER QUESTION OF THE DAY

This seemed to work well yesterday, so why not give it another go?

Today’s question comes from @FakeLoneRangers who asks:

@MylesASimmons How is the secondary, specifically, how are the Safeties doing? Staying deep, up at the line, what's going on there?

— thatoneguy (@FakeLoneRangers) August 5, 2014

This probably isn’t exactly the answer you want, but the way I look at camp is that it’s almost always hard to tell how good a group is until they face an opposing team. While I’d reserve most judgment until after Friday night, I will say that the secondary has given plenty of different looks. It’s a Gregg Williams defense, so, as he’s said, there are going to be multiple schemes that best fit personnel. Which means, I guess the best way to answer the second part of your question would be yes, and yes. 

Thanks for the question, @FakeLoneRangers. And remember, you can submit a question to me at any time @MylesASimmons.

LEFTOVERS

…I put this on Twitter, but the quote of the day came from Britt when describing the type of trash talking he does on the practice field toward the Rams’ defensive backs.

“I think in the wide receiver corps, I told them that it’s see food or be food. Either you see food, or you’ll be food,” Britt said. “That’s the saying we’ve been doing around in the locker room. And that’s the mindset when we take the field. It’s either you see the food, or you’re going to be the food. And right now, all the wide receivers are going out there and they’re playing at a high level each and every day.”

See food, or you’ll be food. A saying we can all adopt for our everyday lives

…If you’re excited to see rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald play this week, here’s one more reason to feel that way.

“Aaron has definitely been showing some more consistent flashes,” defensive end Robert Quinn said after practice. “He’s so quick off the ball, making plays in the backfield. So hopefully that will continue as the season goes on.”

We’ll have more from Quinn on his goals for the season and new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams later in the week.

Jake Long said that the way the Rams’ backs can attack both the outside and inside in the run game has him eager to block for them.

“They’re doing a great job,” Long said. “Our guys, our backs, they’re guys that can run around the edge, that’ll put their head down and go right up the A-gap and knock guys over. I’m really excited for our run game.”

UP NEXT

The Rams will have a special teams practice Wednesday morning. The session is closed to the public.