The St. Louis Rams’ rookies began a two-day refresher course ahead of veteran arrivals – and at least one of them made a bit of a fashion statement.
Third-round pick Stedman Bailey, half of the West Virginia wide receiver package with first-rounder Tavon Austin, ran patterns Monday clad in striped, multicolored socks with a bit of a Jamaican flavor. Bailey joked to teammates that it was an homage to Bob Marley, but said he just pulled them out of his equipment bag.
”You know, socks are a pretty big fashion deal with a lot of guys nowadays and I have a bunch of different colorful socks,” Bailey said. ”These are just the ones that were in my bag today and I said, `Hey, I haven’t seen these in a while, let me put them on.”’
Of course, they’re just for practice.
”I would definitely never wear them in a game,” Bailey said. ”I heard anything goes and I’m just out here trying to get better, so forget about the socks.”
Coach Jeff Fisher had no complaints after putting about three dozen players through conditioning drills and testing them on play retention. Fisher said the rest of the team had already undergone physicals ahead of the official camp opening Thursday.
”We didn’t have any issues at all, so clearly they left and worked hard and they’re excited to be back,” Fisher said. ”It got a little quiet in the team meeting this morning, the realization that summer was over and here we go.
”The most important thing is they come in, in shape.”
Players had a little more than a month off after the last organized team activity in mid-June. Before leaving, players were warned to avoid pitfalls that could hurt their careers.
”In this day and age, it’s not hard to send a reminder text about the weekend coming up or the Fourth of July or `Stay off the four-wheelers or the WaveRunners,’ those kind of things,” Fisher said. ”We’ve stayed pretty much in contact with them.
Outside linebacker Alec Ogletree, the team’s other first-rounder and already listed as a starter, was content at home preparing for camp.
”It went by pretty fast,” Ogletree said. ”It’s what I’ve been wanting to do and I’m happy to be here, I’m glad to be back.”
The Rams worked out without center Barrett Jones, a fourth-round pick from national champion Alabama still recovering from foot surgery. Fisher expects Jones to be ready in a week or two.
”It’s definitely hard for me not to be out there, but the NFL, it’s a long-term business,” Jones said. ”They don’t need me this week, they need me over the long haul.”
The group included just one quarterback. Timothy Jenkins, an undrafted free agent from Fort Lewis, was happy to get as many snaps as possible before Sam Bradford arrived.
”It’s great to get out here and get reps,” Jenkins said. ”In walkthroughs I’m normally playing safety, so it’s great to get out there and actually see the looks.”