So, as you probably saw on Twitter, I spent the day in St. Louis chillin’ at Rams rookie minicamp. First time there, actually, and it was a good time. I’ll have plenty more to say about this tomorrow and later in the week (look for an article on Tuesday) … Oh, and I said this about coach Jeff Fisher’s massive class of rookies on “Total Access.”
But anyway, it’s an intriguing rookie class, thanks to the vision of Fisher and GM Les Snead. There’s first-round DT Michael Brockers, second-round medium-risk, high-reward picks likes Janoris Jenkins and a receiver I’d never heard of before the draft. That would be No. 33 overall Brian Quick, who the team is insanely excited about.
It must be said up front. I know nothing about these guys and neither does anyone else, even the coaches. It’s too soon, and they haven’t been in pads. Still … we have thoughts. Just, after each one of them, remember this — it’s too early to know anything.
What to make of it all? Some reflections:
— Quick is tall. Not breaking news. But it’s true. The Appalachian State product is listed at 6-foot-3, but he looks bigger. And at 220, he’s quite the beast. I knew the Rams loved him, even though most of us were shocked by the pick. I just wasn’t sure why. That’s becoming clearer. First of all, QB Sam Bradford is tall, and Quick is tall. That is a high-wire connection in the making. Anyway, Quick moves like a small guy, and he really can catch it. I didn’t see him drop one all day. He gets in an out of his breaks well, he’s nimble and he looks like a good athlete. Very solid.
“Same thing we saw from Brian in the workout,” Fisher said.
— Jenkins is smooth. That’s what we were all told, and for those of us who saw him at Florida, he was that way then. But he really stands out when you put him with a bunch of CBs who aren’t going to make the team. They look clunky compared to him. He opens his hips well, he looks natural backpedaling, and he caught everything. Maybe he didn’t make a Pro Bowl (if that still exists) based on today, but he looked good. Whatever, we know his questions aren’t on the field. Still, he said all the right things.
Someone asked him about his strengths as a player, and Jenkins said, “Basically just take coaching as a player. Helping everybody around me get better.” He was asked if he’s looking forward to joining the veterans. “Right now, I’m focused on right now, right now,” Jenkins said. “I can’t think about next week. I gotta learn the playbook, get to play with the rookies, so that we all can be on the same page.”
— As for Brockers, you can’t tell much from watching that fatties (I mean that in the nice way) go through the motions. There was no pads and no hitting. So, we’ll reserve judgment on him. But he looks huge. Brockers also is clearly loving this. He was the only guy who spoke like he was in awe.
“Oh man, I’m still living the surrealness of being here and playing for a professional team and being in a Rams practice jersey,” Brockers said. “I got caught up in the moment a little bit, but it’ll be better when we move on. … Like, how did I get here? Just looking at my past and everything I went through, I made it. I’m happy about that.”
— Running back Isaiah Pead, a fast dude, was happy to be at rookie camp. But it was clear he can’t wait until the veterans join them. If there’s one thing you want out of a rookie, it’s a willingness to learn. No doubt, he wants to be under the wing of Steven Jackson.
“I wish the vets were out here now with us so I could start learn from them,” Pead said. “But we’ll stay in contact with coach and once they get here, I’ll be in (Jackson’s) hip pocket. He’s a leader and a captain and I want to take it all in.”
— Fisher is taking it all slow. The practice was at slightly more than walk-through pace, and there was tons of instruction. Mostly, Fisher just watched, taking an occasion to point something out here and there. He’s still in teaching mode. And the rookies are absolutely in learning mode.
“That’s part of this process for them to realize they’re here to help us win,” Fisher said. “We address that those type of things — focusing, asking questions, teaching them how to be pros. We responded well.”