Welcome to Thursday's St. Louis Rams "News and Notes at Noon" the one stop spot for all major Rams headlines and other updates of interest for Rams Nation.
Danario Alexander Will Continue to Fight
According to a terrific piece from Andrew Astleford for foxsportsmidwest.com, the Rams vastly talented but all too fragile wide receiver Danario Alexander remains positive despite a severely faulted left knee and says that he will continue to fight even with the struggles he endures:
I feel like the adversity I have been through has made me the person I am. It made me mentally tough, dealing with certain things that a lot of guys don't deal with. For me to be able to come back every time and basically come back stronger, it's truly a blessing. I carry it on the field with me.
I learned that you can't get down. You're always going to go through adversity no matter what you're doing, as far as life away from the field or on the field.
Perseverance is the key. You can never stop, and you can never quit. If you quit, you'll never know if you'll be successful.
The uncertainty is scary. You do this your whole life, and you want to continue to reach your dream and play in the NFL, and there's a slight chance that might not happen. That makes me go even harder. You've got to be able to stay tough mentally and keep your head up, because there is always a bright side.
I want to play this game until the day they tell me I can't play anymore. That goes with anything in life. Whatever I set my mind to, I'm going to do it. There's no way anybody is going to stop me.
For more from Alexander on himself and head coach Jeff Fisher, insight and background from Astleford and quotes from teammates on the aforementioned DX, please check out the above-linked article.
CBS Sports Ron Clements With a Plethora of Updates from OTA's
Ron Clements of CBS Sports shared a multitude of Rams updates yesterday, as you can read here.
Players and coaches included in Clements St. Louis Rams Rapid Reports were wide receivers Greg Salas, Brian Quick and Danny Amendola, receivers coach Ray Sherman, defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo, running back Isaiah Pead, center Scott Wells and head coach Jeff Fisher.
A couple of tidbits I'd like to share include the fact that Fisher has chosen to give the Rams the day off from today's scheduled OTA and that Amendola says a "shocking amount" of the team's offense has been installed.
Clements has much, much more Rams related information available to read via the link above.
NFL Network's Top 100: Steven Jackson Checks in at No. 37
St. Louis' own Steven Jackson ranked No. 37 on the NFL Network's second annual list of the NFL's top 100 players.
For the video piece profiling Jackson and his No. 37 slot via nfl.com, please click here.
Earlier in the series, Chris Long (No. 84) and Cortland Finnegan (No. 93) earned spots on the aforementioned list.
St. Louis Continues to Sign Draft Picks
Wagoner also explains the reasons why St. Louis has waited longer than some other teams in moving to sign some of its players.
As for who has been officially signed, Wagoner reports the following:
As of Thursday morning, the Rams have RB Isaiah Pead (2nd round), WR Chris Givens (4th), G Rokevious Watkins (5th), K Greg Zuerlein (6th), LB Aaron Brown (7th) and RB Daryl Richardson (7th) signed to their rookie deals. Pead, the highest drafted of that group, is also the most recent to sign as he inked his deal on Wednesday afternoon.
With those guys taken care of, that leaves four draftees still unsigned: first round pick Michael Brockers, second rounders Brian Quick and Janoris Jenkins and third-round selection Trumaine Johnson.
Wagoner expects the remaining unsigned draft picks to be locked up by the end of next week.
NFC West Stays Young Due to Free Agency Efforts
According to this from Mike Sando of ESPN, the NFC West as a whole let the aged ones depart and enticed the young ones to come during the NFL's 2012 unrestricted free agency period.
Sando reports that NFC West teams re-signed or acquired 38 unrestricted free agents while letting 47 such players go.
Sando asserts that St. Louis, more than other team in the division, used the UFA period to get younger. According to Sando, the 12 UFAs that the Rams added were, on average, 2.49 years younger than the 20 UFAs they did not retain.
Finally, Sando points out that St. Louis currently (as of June 4) has the youngest roster in the NFL.
For much more on the Rams and the division in relation to this topic, please check the above-linked Sando submission.
Rams Quarterback Austin Davis Drafted by the Boston Red Sox
As reported in this piece from Ryan Van Bibber of Turf Show Times, the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball have selected Rams quarterback Austin Davis in round 31 of the annual MLB amateur draft.
According to Van Bibber, Davis has a legitimate shot at landing the No. 3 QB role in St. Louis this year, although he points to a scouting report that would suggest that Davis' upside at quarterback may be somewhat limited.
Rookie Rams Get Their Bearings
Former NFL executive Tony Softli shared a very interesting piece at 101sports.com regarding the Rams rookies and the rookie experiences he witnessed during his 15 years in the league, as you can read here.
Softli asserts that two of the most important things a rookie can do at this stage in the proceedings is to get a good grasp on the team's playbook and terminology and to get acclimated to the Rams’ way of operating.
One on One with Kellen Clemens
Patty Hsieh talked with Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens recently. Hsieh shared part of that discussion in this article for 101sports.com.
Topics discussed included Clemens familiarity with new Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer (as both spent mutual time with the Jets in the Big Apple), the concept of Clemens being a mentor for Sam Bradford and the continued absences of newly signed center Scott Wells, formerly of the Green Bay Packers.
On Wells, Hsieh asked Clemens if he were concerned about the repeated absences and Clemens said the following in reply:
No. And he’s around. There is some carry over to what Scott is accustomed to and what we’re doing here. He’s another guy who’s very intelligent and very cerebral at his position. He’s in meetings and he’s fully aware.
We’d love to have him out here, but he’s just not able to get out here. It will be fine. We’ll be fine. We’ll have plenty of training camp for them to get their mesh on the same page and it shouldn’t be a problem.
This is the only clarity whatsoever that has been revealed regarding yet another absence from OTA's by Wells.
In reading Clemens quote, it appears that he is unable to get out there right now, for some yet unknown reason.
Isaiah Pead Rushing to Catch Up
Finally, according to this article by Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com, Rams rookie running back Isaiah Pead is working hard to get up to speed after missing a great deal of time due to the University of Cincinnati being on the quarter system.
Pead was finally able to return to Rams Park after nearly a month away and has since been signed (via NFL.com)
Jeff Fisher weighed in on Pead's return, as reported by Wagoner in the above-linked article:
It looks like he’s been in the (play) book but we’ll have to watch him. He appears to be in good shape but there’s no substitute for working here so we’ll watch him over the next couple of days and then get him really into our minicamp next week. We know he’s been working. But you want to be smart about it. You don’t want to put him in position to pull something.
Pead planned to use the off day that Fisher gave the team today to his advantage by putting in more work to get caught up:
When I leave here I am going to go get extra work with Coach (Sirmans) and then coach (Fisher) called practice off tomorrow so I am going to be here all day tomorrow just catching up so by the time we get back to practice the next day I should be all caught up.
Pead provides the potential to become the best backup runner that Steven Jackson has ever had and will also provide exemplary injury insurance in case of an unfortunate injury to SJ39.
Shane Gray covers the St. Louis Rams daily as a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You are encouraged to check out the rest of his work here. Gray also owns and operates stlramscentral.com.
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