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Friday, June 6, 2014
Observations from Rams' third OTA

By Nick Wagoner

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams held their third organized team activity and second session open to the media Friday.

After a heated practice Thursday, things normalized a bit Friday but there were still some worthwhile notes to come from the practice. One quick thing before we get into that, I just want to note that much of what happens in these OTAs should be taken with a grain of salt (especially for the linemen). The players are not in pads and contact must be extremely limited. It's best not to get too excited or too down on anything that happens.

Sam Bradford
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford throws during an organized team activity at the team's practice facility on Friday.
Away we go...

Bradford works: As planned, quarterback Sam Bradford did participate in Friday's practice after sitting out Thursday as he works his way back from knee surgery. Bradford worked in a couple of seven-on-seven drills, one in normal offense and one in the red zone. A little more surprising was the fact Bradford took reps with the first offense during full team drills as they worked on the two-minute offense.

For what it's worth, Bradford looked sharp in his reps. His drops were mostly clean and the ball had his usual velocity when he did uncork a pass. Bradford does indeed appear to be right on schedule for a full-time return at training camp.

More line dancing: With left tackle Jake Long not expected to return from his own knee surgery until midway through training camp at the earliest, Rams coach Jeff Fisher has made it clear the team won't be messing with the stability of the other positions on the line. That means rookie Greg Robinson and Rodger Saffold will remain stable at their spots at left and right guard, respectively.

As for Long's spot, the Rams will continue to look at some of their younger developmental prospects. On Thursday, Sean Hooey got an opportunity to work with the projected starting line. On Friday, it was Mike Person's turn to step in. It's increasingly clear how confident the Rams are that Long will be back for the opener.

Elsewhere on the line, center Scott Wells returned to practice as expected. In other words, the Rams are working with four of their five projected starters right now.

Sitting it out: The Rams still have their share of players not participating in OTAs. In addition to Long, the Rams were without defensive ends William Hayes and Sammy Brown, running back Chase Reynolds and safeties Maurice Alexander, Christian Bryant and Matt Daniels.

Bouncing back: Wide receiver Brian Quick had some rough moments in Thursday's practice but was much sharper during Friday's workout. On one play in seven-on-seven drills, Quick ran a sharp route down the seam, faked inside, getting cornerback Brandon McGee to bite, turned to the outside and made a diving catch on an under thrown ball. But Quick had cleared enough space to get up and finish the play for a touchdown.

McGee, who also had some rough moments Thursday, also showed some resilience, coming up with an interception a few plays later after reading the play and getting a good break on the ball.

Both players need to come with more consistency in the next few months to solidify their spots.

Upcoming schedule: The Rams will be back on the practice field for another open OTA session on Tuesday and Thursday next week.