NFL

Rams have league's youngest roster

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ST. LOUIS (AP)

For the second year in a row, the St. Louis Rams will begin the season with the youngest roster in the NFL.

And that is just fine with coach Jeff Fisher, who believes young players have a greater capacity to improve.

''One would assume that we'll just continue to get better,'' he said.

The Rams' 53-man roster has an average age of 24.98, lowest among the 32 teams. St. Louis has 29 players on its roster with two years or less of experience, including 12 rookies.

Offensive tackle Jake Long, 28, one of the veterans with six years of experience, says the younger players bring enthusiasm to the team.

''Youth, that's a good thing,'' Long said. ''We've got young guys, but they play like veterans. They're hungry, they're energetic.''

The Rams have just five players age 30 or above.

St. Louis opened the 2012 season with a league-low average age of 25.52 on the way to a 7-8-1 record.

This time around, Fisher is expecting even bigger things from his youthful group.

Quarterback Sam Bradford, in his fourth season, will be throwing to five receivers - none older than 25.

Rookie wideouts Tavon Austin, the Rams' No. 1 draft choice and eighth overall selection, will play a key role along with third-round pick Stedman Bailey.

Receiver Chris Givens, beginning his third season, is another option. Running back Daryl Richardson, also beginning his third season, will replace Steven Jackson at running back.

''I see us being so young as good, an advantage in some ways,'' Richardson said. ''We've got room to grow, room to get better. We're working hard because we really want it.''

Rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree, the 30th overall choice, has performed well in preseason. He returned a fumble for a touchdown and had six tackles in a 27-26 loss at Denver on Aug. 24.

The former University of Georgia standout says the Rams' rookies are looking forward to proving themselves.

''We're ready to roll,'' he said. ''We've got talent on this team whether we're young or not.''

The Rams play host to Arizona in the season opener on Sept. 8.

Fisher put his team through a short 70-minute workout on Sunday. The practice was moved indoors after a brief late afternoon shower.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Rams, Jake Long

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