By Cedric Williams
Just about every member of the St. Louis Rams player roster and coaching staff looked like he had enjoyed his bye week when they all returned to work on Tuesday at the Rams Park training facility in Earth City.
The Rams had last congregated as a group last Thursday, but were given the weekend plus Monday off to let their minds, bodies, and souls recover from the first 10 weeks of what can be a grueling NFL season.
“We encourage both (mental and physical rest),” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said following the team’s first practice in nearly a week. “(We just wanted guys) to get away and just let it go. A lot of guys went back to their alma mater, and watched a ball game here or there.”
But the sun rising on Tuesday morning meant it was time for the Rams to get back to work.
And it was a full day’s work for a group coming off its best win of the season two Sundays ago in Indianapolis. The Rams now find themsevles with a 4-6 record and just six weeks left in the regular season to hopefully jump back into the NFC playoff hunt.
The Rams had a full team workout in the early morning, then position and unit meetings in the late morning, before finishing up with an afternoon practice out on the grass fields behind the Rams Park building.
“I just kind of reminded them this morning that I’m sure everybody had a good time, but those that are out of the NFL, that’s what they do every weekend,” Fisher said. “So, it’s good just to have one weekend off during the season.”
In other words, Fisher was telling his team that he hoped they enjoyed their time off, but the time to work had come back around and that he expected everyone to be ready to do their share, especially since the Rams have the toughest remaining schedule of any team in the NFC.
In fact, only the San Diego Chargers, who play the 9-1 Denver Broncos, the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs (twice), and the 7-4 Cincinnati Bengals, along with games against the resurgent New York Giants and Oakland Raiders, have a tougher slate over the final month and a half of the season.
Those teams’ combined record is 42-19, while the Rams remaining opponents – Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay – have a combined 38-23 mark this season.
And five of those teams, everyone but Tampa, are currently ahead of the Rams in the NFC standings.
The Rams players may have spent those four days off enjoying their rest, but Fisher and his staff spent their time prepping for what they hope turns into a blue & gold playoff run.
“My focus is on this coming Sunday against this next opponent – period,” Fisher said. “So, our focus is on doing everything we possibly can do to try to win the ball game. That’s our focus right now. The guys are determined to do everything we can to win the next game and we’ll just take them one at a time.”
The Rams host the Bears Sunday at noon, before heading out for road games at San Francisco and Arizona in the two weeks after that.
ST. LOUIS RAMS REMAINING SCHEDULE
November 24 — vs. Chicago
December 1 — at San Francisco
December 8 — at Arizona
December 15 — vs. New Orleans
December 22 — vs. Tampa Bay
December 29 — at Seattle
For more Rams news and updates, visit Rams Central.
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a freelance reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the Rams and small-school college sports for Examiner.com and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can be found on Examiner.com.