Some notes from the Wednesday practice before the St. Louis Rams travel to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers:
-One of the toughest parts of the last few weeks of the season is preparing for games when there’s little left for which to play.
The Rams are dealing with that this week after falling to the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday, effectively ending their chances for the postseason. But head coach Jeff Fisher said until they’re mathematically eliminated – at 6-7-1, there’s still an outside chance the team can sneak in the backdoor – the players and coaches are still preparing for an important game this weekend in Tampa Bay.
“We were actually talking about working hard and improving every day and trying to finish things up strong,” Fisher said. “There is a slim chance. You’d rather have slim chance over no chance at all. Remember Dumb and Dumber when he says, ‘One in 100?’ and she says, ‘No, not even one in a million.’ So, we’ve got a least one in a million chance. So, we’re in there. Yes, there is a chance.”
Quarterback Sam Bradford said although the team’s playoff chances are remote, there’s plenty left to accomplish in the team’s last two games.
“Obviously, our chances – if there are any – are very slim at this point, but we could still end up with a winning record. We could still end up undefeated in the division. There’s still things out there that we can accomplish, although our end goal is, obviously, probably going to be unattainable. I expect everyone in this locker room to continue to work hard and continue to prepare to win games.”
-Another thing to be gained these last two games is rapport between Bradford and some of his young wide receivers. Rookies Chris Givens and Brian Quick have had their moments this season, and Bradford said the final two games will just give them more time to get comfortable in the offense.
“Since we are so young, I look at the wide receivers that I get to work with, just Quick and Givens and how far they’ve come and how much progress they make each week,” Bradford said. “Just watching the improvement and route running, understanding our system and what it is that they’re to do in our system. There’s no doubt that even though it’s Week 16, playing our 15th game, there’s still a lot of improvement that we can make and there’s still a lot of room for us to come together.”
-A bug seems to be going around The Rams Continuity X Training Center. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, running back Steven Jackson and defensive end Robert Quinn all missed practice Wednesday with an illness.
Linebacker James Laurinaitis (back), cornerback Cortland Finnegan (thigh) and center Scott Wells (knee) also missed Wednesday’s practice.