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Monday, July 30, 2012
Laurinaitis, Bradford and Rams thoughts

By Mike Sando

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis likes what he sees standing directly in front of him on the St. Louis Rams' practice field.

New defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford are big, tall men. The team lists Brockers at 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds, which seems about right. The 6-6 Langford is listed at 295 pounds, but he looks every bit as large as Brockers.

Both are taller and considerably younger than the men they're replacing, Fred Robbins and Justin Bannan.

The Rams need them to help improve a run defense that buckled repeatedly last season. The team added Brockers in the first round of the draft. Langford signed from the Miami Dolphins in free agency.

If all goes to plan, the Rams' interior defensive linemen will attract enough attention to free Laurinaitis and the other linebackers to do their jobs without as much interference from opposing offensive linemen.

"When teams have to worry and say, 'Hey, we can't block these guys one-on-one, that’s a big deal," Laurinaitis said. "There are only so many guys who can block. Whether it’s me free or the Will or the Sam or whoever, whenever there is unblocked players in the box, that’s better for our defense."

Additional notes from practice Monday, witnessed by 593 fans on a relatively cool day with some sprinkles from above at team headquarters:
On a side note, it was good getting together with @lannyosu, @SGmosportsmag, @STLphenom @ljramsfan at practice. If you'll be out there in the next couple days, let me know at @espn_nfcwest.