Rams extend California trip for workouts with Cowboys
ST. LOUIS (AP) Spending extra time in California practicing against the Cowboys might seem as if it’s an ominous sign to St. Louis Rams fans fearful their team will leave for the West Coast after this season.
Players realize there’s nothing they can do about it.
”I just want somebody to tell me something,” guard Rodger Saffold said. ”I don’t know what’s going on.”
”I’ve shared a special time with St. Louis and the fans,” said defensive end Chris Long, the longest-tenured Rams player after being picked second overall in 2008. ”I can’t control whether it’s coming to a close or not.
”I know one thing I can control is to give my best every day for that city that’s been so supportive of us through the ups and the downs.”
After playing their preseason opener at Oakland on Friday, the Rams will spend three days in Oxnard, Calif. They’ll have two joint practices with Dallas on Monday and Tuesday and finish with a day alone on Wednesday before returning to St. Louis.
Coach Jeff Fisher anticipated an atmosphere that would be beneficial for both teams.
”We’re not going out there to have joint practices that end up being practices on your own because you can’t get along,” Fisher said. ”I mean, it’ll be competitive but … I’ll guarantee a respect factor between both teams.”
Owners of the Rams, Chargers and Raiders presented plans to fellow owners earlier this week in Chicago about relocating to the Los Angeles market.
The Chargers and Raiders are proposing a stadium in Carson and Rams owner Stan Kroenke has planned a facility in Inglewood on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack.
Earlier in training camp, Fisher said it was a coincidence that the team was spending extra time on the West Coast. Earlier this week, he called the training camp stop at Oxnard, about 30 miles west of the Los Angeles city limits on the coast, as a ”unique opportunity.”
”That will be a great experience for us,” the coach added.
Training camp at Rams Park has been well-attended with crowds usually above 1,000. An estimated 4,000 showed up for an evening workout at nearby Lindenwood University last week.
Tyler Kacich penned supportive words on his white T-shirt at a recent practice, ”Keep the Rams in STL” on the front, ”Don’t Do It Stan” on the back. On a sleeve, he paid tribute to Dave Peacock, head of the task force planning a new riverfront stadium, writing ”Peacock for President.”
”I finally feel like we’re on the rise,” said the 20-year-old Kacich, whose family has had season tickets since the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995. ”It’s just a helpless feeling that it all might end.
”This is my way of making a little statement of support.”
There have been a handful of instances of signs being confiscated, but team officials say it’s mostly a matter of size that doesn’t restrict others’ views, and being respectful. Players have been generous with their time signing autographs after practices.
Quarterback Nick Foles, acquired for former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford, has been a hit thus far. The Rams signed Foles to a two-year extension through 2017.
”Whatever they decide to do, I hope our fans stay true to their favorite team and just always support us,” Saffold said. ”Because it’s out of our control.”
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