Yoga helped Kendricks beat training camp heat

The often blistering heat that goes along with NFL training

camps is no big deal for St. Louis Rams tight end Lance

Kendricks.

During the offseason, the 251-pound Kendricks got acclimatized

attending hot yoga classes twice a week, doing his poses with the

thermometer ratcheted up to 90 degrees for 90 minutes. He’s proud

to say he never ducked out.

”About halfway through you’re dead tired,” Kendricks said

Monday. ”You’ve got to stay focused, keep the posture.”

Kendricks, a second-round pick last year, decided to give hot

yoga a shot after reading articles piqued his interest. He also

learned of pro athletes reporting gains in flexibility, making them

less injury-prone.

”It’s kind of addicting,” Kendricks said. ”You tell yourself

you don’t want to leave the room. But you’re really tired, so it’s

kind of like you make yourself stay.”

Just like his rookie year, Kendricks is having a nice preseason.

He muscled his way into the end zone on a 23-yard catch up the

middle for the Rams’ first touchdown in Saturday’s victory over the

Chiefs.

Coach Jeff Fisher likes getting the tight ends involved, and has

a lot of choices with seven still in the hunt. He likes what he’s

seen from Kendricks.

”He’s getting coached right now and he’s doing the right

thing,” Fisher said. ”I don’t have any reason to think there’ll

be a fall off or drop off in production.

”Obviously he likes making plays, and he can make plays.”

Big things were expected after Kendricks led the team with 11

receptions and three touchdowns last preseason. He started 10 games

and had 28 catches with no touchdowns in the regular season with

some key drops early in the year, and is determined to be more than

an August producer.

”I didn’t know what to expect. We were 4-0 and I had a lot of

big catches,” Kendricks said. ”But you’ve kind of got to expect

the unexpected in the NFL.

”I just went out there and played as hard as I could. I think I

learned a lot from it.”

Several players are pushing Kendricks, including returnee Mike

Hoomanawanui, free agent pickup Matthew Mulligan and Mike McNeill,

who was active a handful of games with the Colts last year before

joining the Rams (No. 28 in the AP Pro32) late in the season.

”We’ve got a lot of competition and that’s kind of driven

everyone to play well,” McNeill said. ”There’s a couple guys with

long-term extensions but everyone else is battling.

”Even the guys with contracts, everyone’s out to prove

themselves.”

Center Scott Wells (right knee surgery), safety Darian Stewart

(hamstring) and wide receiver Brandon Gibson (hamstring) returned

as expected to practice. Fisher said it had been a close call with

all three whether to give them playing time against the Chiefs.

Wide receiver Brian Quick and safety Quintin Mikell did not

practice while nursing minor aches.

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