Nathan Grimm

Some notes from the Rams first practice before their Week 1 game against the Detroit Lions:

– The wide receiver group is a crowded one, with Danny Amendola, Steve Smith, Brandon Gibson, Brian Quick and Chris Givens all vying for playing time while Austin Pettis serves the remainder of his four-game suspension.

Quarterback Sam Bradford has a familiarity with Amendola and Gibson, but the other three are still getting acclimated with their new QB. Quick made a flashy one-handed catch on a deep ball from Bradford. As a whole the group performed well.

“I think we’re probably deeper at that position than we have been in the past two years,” Bradford said. “We’ve had some guys here who have been here and have played well for us, and then we’ve added some guys.

“I think Steve (Smith) is going to be a tremendous help to us this year. He’s had a great camp. And the two young guys, they both bring something different to our offense. Quick’s a bigger, more physical receiver, whereas Given has got a little more speed. I think all those guys are going to really help us. I’m really confident in those guys we’ve got out there now.”

– On defense, there have been questions about the secondary with second-year safety Darian Stewart battling injury. Stewart, Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell all practiced on Wednesday.

– Young cornerbacks are a storyline of the new season. Veteran Cortland Finnegan said he’s been impressed with the development of rookie corners Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson.

“It’s been a beautiful thing,” Finnegan said of the young secondary. “They’re great kids. We’ve got a big task ahead of us this Sunday with the Detroit Lions. We’ve got our hands full.”

– After starting for most of the preseason, the release of offensive guard Quinn Ojinnaka came as somewhat of a surprise. The development and upside of rookie fifth-round pick Rokevious Watkins presumably made Ojinnaka expendable. While Watkins wasn’t giving anything away, he said he’ll be up to whatever he’s asked to do come Sunday.

“I’m just going with the flow, taking the information from Coach (Boudreau) and just trying to learn as much as I can before Sunday,” Watkins said of starting. “If my number’s called, I’ll be ready.”

– The only interception on the day went to outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who picked off an Austin Davis pass.

– Defensive tackles Michael Brockers (ankle), Matt Conrath (knee) and Darell Scott (knee) did not practice. Brockers, the Rams first-round pick in 2012, was expected to start in the season opener before suffering a high-ankle sprain in the last preseason game. There is still no definite timetable for his return.


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