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Rams to host Saints, Packers in first two exhibition games/PD

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. RamBill

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    Rams to host Saints, Packers in first two exhibition games

    • By Jim Thomas


    Two of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, are coming to town in August, but for cameo appearances at best.

    The Rams open the 2014 preseason with back-to-back home games at the Edward Jones Dome against Brees and New Orleans, followed by Rodgers and Green Bay.

    Exact dates as well as starting times will be set later, but the Saints game will be played somewhere in the Aug. 7-11 range, with the Packers at the dome somewhere in the Aug. 14-18 range.

    Brees and Rodgers don’t figure to play much in those games, but at least the Rams defense under new coordinator Gregg Williams will get some exposure to two of the league’s top offenses. Preseason or not, this will be Williams’ first game against his former team — the Saints — since the Bountygate scandal in New Orleans led to his one-year suspension from the game.

    The Rams close exhibition play for 2014 with games at Cleveland (Aug. 21-25) and at Miami (Aug. 28-29).

    It will mark the third time in the last five years the Rams play a preseason contest in Cleveland, and both previous games were significant.

    In 2010, any pretense that veteran A.J. Feeley would open the regular season as the starting quarterback ended when he suffered a right thumb injury guiding the Rams to an opening-drive touchdown. No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford started the following week in New England, in what was preseason game No. 3, played very well, and that was that in terms of the QB situation.

    Last August during the Rams’ preseason opener in Cleveland, Rodger Saffold’s switch to right tackle received an early setback with a dislocated shoulder on the team’s second offensive play of the evening. (You know, the same shoulder Oakland found lacking last month in free agency.) Saffold missed only one game, however, and was in the starting lineup on opening day of the regular season.

    The preseason finale in Miami marks the Rams’ first exhibition game vs. the Dolphins since 2006, coach Scott Linehan’s inaugural season with the Rams. It was also the preseason finale that year and was also played at Sun Life Stadium.

    The regular-season schedule will be released later this month.


    Quarterback Tom Savage of the University of Pittsburgh and offensive lineman Joel Bitonio of Nevada paid draft visits to Rams Park on Wednesday. In his only season of eligibility at Pitt, the strong-armed Savage completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,958 yards with 21 TDs and nine interceptions.
    Bitonio, 6-4, 302, started 36 games at Nevada and was an All-Mountain West first-team selection in 2013. He was a left tackle in college, but some project him as a guard in the NFL. Either way, he’s expected to go anywhere from late in the first round through the second round in next month’s draft. The Rams obviously have needs at both positions.

    Other visits scheduled for later this week or next week at Rams Park include Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard; Clemson WR Sammy Watkins; Buffalo LB Khalil Mack; and North Dakota State offensive lineman Billy Turner. Watkins also has a private workout scheduled with the Rams later this month.

    WR Mike Evans of Texas A&M, a potential top 10 pick, visited Rams Park last week. The Rams had a visit scheduled with Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, but that visit was canceled.


    University of Missouri tight end Eric Waters followed up an impressive pro day last month in Columbia with an impressive showing at the NFL regional combine two weeks ago in Indianapolis. That has earned him an invitation to the super regional combine April 12-13 in Detroit.
    The regional combines are for players who did not get an invitation to the NFL scouting combine in February. Waters is drawing some interest from the Tennessee Titans.