Rams Notes: Steeples taking advantage of opportunity with St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Why you mad?

So went the question St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook asked rookie defensive back Robert Steeples when a scrum broke out between Steeples and receiver Chris Givens at Thursday’s organized team activity.

Steeples didn’t answer, but he didn’t need to. He was mad because Givens — despite blanket coverage from the former Memphis cornerback — reeled in a touchdown pass during a two-minute drill. The no-contact passing session got a little physical in the seconds that followed. Some pushing ensued.

Cook’s laughable line snuffed any sign of tension between the two players, but the observation was astute. Steeples, an undrafted free agent originally from the St. Louis area, is playing with a chip on his shoulder. And it appears to be working.

“He’s done a good job,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “His background there was he played a lot of nickel and then transferred (from Mizzou) because he wanted to start. We worked him out very early and liked what we saw. He’s got ability and again, as it is the case with a lot of those guys, his opportunities are going to be heavily dependent on his special teams production in the preseason.”


Good news, Bama fans. Your boy is nearly ready to go.

Fisher said former Crimson Tide offensive lineman Barrett Jones, the Rams’ 113th pick in this year’s draft, should be cleared to fully participate once training camp rolls around.

Jones, a two-time All-American, has been limited in the Ram’s rookie mini camp and organized team activities due to the torn left foot ligaments sustained late in his final college season. He had surgery before the draft.
“Barrett’s picked up quite a bit,” Fisher said. “The activity level, the conditioning, the weight and the strength. He has a good understanding, and was participating in the walk-throughs from that standpoint. He will be pretty much good to go when he comes back. We may have to watch him for a week or so, but he should be cleared.”


Ink is drying on the contracts of the seven newest St. Louis Rams.

The Rams announced Thursday that first-round draft picks Tavon Austin (receiver) and Alec Ogletree (linebacker) have agreed to terms on five-year deals.

In addition, T. J. McDonald (safety), Stedman Bailey (receiver), Barrett Jones (offensive lineman), Brandon McGee (cornerback) and Zac Stacy (running back) signed four-year deals.


Thursday’s organized team activity was the final open-to-media workout the Rams will have until training camp. Following Friday’s closed session, the veterans will start their summer off. The team’s rookies will be in town for an additional week to participate in conditioning and off-field activities, before getting their time off as well.

Fisher reflected on the spring coming to a close.

“First and foremost, you want to bring the rookies up to speed, and we’ve done that,” the coach said. “Each one of them has done a real good job learning the system and getting caught up physically. That’s encouraging. The challenge for them now is to maintain that.”

Fisher said he has some downtime planned once the rookies leave town.

But don’t expect updates on his vacation.

“I’ll probably take some time away,” he said. “You won’t find me. And I’m not going to Tweet about it.”

Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or email him at frederickson.ben@gmail.com