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Fisher finally has a chance to meet Rams

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by -X-, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. -X-

    -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Jim Thomas
    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/football ... z1qwJfjTu8


    [wrapimg=left]http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/stltoday.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/1d/81dcd6cc-739d-11e1-8313-0019bb30f31a/4f6a49b4c3963.preview-300.jpg[/wrapimg]Even with the year-to-year roster turnover that is commonplace in the NFL, for 16 seasons with the Tennessee-Houston franchise, Jeff Fisher saw plenty of familiar faces when he walked into that first team meeting of the spring.

    This morning, however, Fisher will walk into a roomful of strangers when the Rams begin their offseason conditioning program.

    "It's going to be different," Fisher said. "I will be meeting most of them for the first time. I've probably met a dozen of them or so — those that are rehabbing, some of the guys that are coming through working out."

    Fisher isn't going to lay out the future of the franchise when he meets today with the players. He'll just lay out the offseason program, hand out the schedule for the spring and then try to match a name with a face — for himself, his coaching staff and the players as well.

    Under the old collective bargaining agreement, the offseason conditioning program used to start in March, but it has been pushed back a month under the new accord. Fisher and the Rams are allowed to begin today because he is a new head coach — at least a new head coach to the Rams. Teams with returning head coaches don't start their offseason programs until mid-April under the new system.

    For the next two weeks, the Rams' offseason program consists of two hours of workouts and two hours of meetings a day.

    "It's four hours a day for four days (a week) for the first two weeks," Fisher said.

    Then comes a veteran minicamp the third week of April. The timing of that minicamp is a little strange because it comes less than two weeks before the NFL draft, normally a time when scouts, coaches and front-office executives are knee-deep in draft meetings.

    But the new rules are what they are, and Fisher and other new NFL head coaches must make the best of them.

    "New head coaches can have an eight-week program over nine weeks," Fisher said. "So our players will have one week off (during that period). We'll start April 2nd and run through mid-June, and then there's down time until training camp starts.

    "New head coaches are allowed to have one voluntary veteran minicamp, and then one mandatory veteran minicamp, and then 10 OTAs." (OTAs is short for organized team activities, or simply stated, practices.)

    Fisher doesn't mind the shortened offseason calendar, but he would have liked a chance for his staff to work with the quarterbacks, and maybe some younger players, before now.

    "It's difficult, not only for quarterbacks but for young players to develop because you're waiting so long," Fisher said. "Not that you have to go to the extreme, but it would be great to be able to have the quarterback in the building, especially from a new head coach's standpoint and from an installation standpoint with a new offense."

    According to Fisher, quarterback Sam Bradford isn't even allowed to have his playbook until this morning. Fisher would like to see the offseason rules changed so that doesn't have to be the case.

    "If a quarterback wants to come in the building in February and March and sit down and look at the previous year or watch (tape) cut-ups with the coordinator or get in the (play)book, I just feel like he should be allowed to do that," Fisher said. "Not forced to go do that. But it doesn't make sense to me that you can't have your quarterback in the building and doing things until April when this is a quarterback driven league and we have difficulties as it is developing young quarterbacks. So I hope that they'd consider that."

    Quarterbacks are allowed to throw to receivers during these first two weeks of the offseason program, but not under the supervision of coaches. And that's the only actual football fieldwork allowed for the entire team.

    But starting today, both the offensive and defensive schemes will be installed during the team meetings. For Bradford, it's his third offensive system in three years in the NFL.

    "So I think we have to be patient," Fisher said. [hil]"This is going to be his offensive system hopefully for a long period of time."[/hil]
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