Welcome to Friday's St. Louis Rams "News and Notes at Noon", the go-to source for all major Rams headlines and related information with brief analysis and commentary for Rams Nation. Special thanks to my colleague, Steven Gerwel, for filling in on yesterday's noon column.
Four Keys To Look For in Training Camp
One of the four things Venturi will be watching for involves the development of second year defensive end Robert Quinn. Quinn, of course, was chosen by St. Louis in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
As expected, Venturi has no concern over Chris Long. He also believes that defensive tackles Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers will shore up the interior run defense (as do I).
Venturi strongly asserts that Quinn showed little desire during his rookie year to mix it up inside and must improve at the point of attack. In Venturi's eyes, he was a complete liability against the run.
Venturi asserts that Quinn's development (or lack thereof) could make or break the defensive line. If he does develop, Venturi insists he will demand extra attention and force the offensive line to slide his way, creating mismatches for Long on the opposite end against many opponents.
Rams Rookies and Staff Build Homes in Tornado Ravaged Joplin, MO
In yet another trip to tornado ravaged Joplin, Missouri, the Rams rookies and front office staff headed out yesterday at about 5 AM to help build three new homes in an area that will be called a "Rams neighborhood", according to this report from fox2now.com.
According to a separate report from Richard Polen for The Joplin Globe, Tracy Anderson was ecstatic that the Rams were putting up the walls for her and her daughter's new home:
She gets to have a home for her last year in high school. She’ll get to go to prom. See that wall they’re doing right there? That’s my bedroom wall.
For footage from yesterday's work and a brief interview with rookie Michael Brockers, please check this from ozarksfirst.com.
For an in depth report on the Joplin trip, I highly recommend this piece from Ryan Van Bibber at sbnation.com.
Wide Receiver Greg Salas Expects to Bounce Back Strongly After Injury
Patty Hsieh of 101sports.com recently caught up with second year wide receiver Greg Salas and shares part of her conversation with him here.
In just six games, the 6'1', 210 pound rookie produced 27 catches and showed a knack for picking up some nice gains after the catch. Salas should be a steady contributor for St. Louis, particularly from the slot, along with Danny Amendola and, perhaps, Steve Smith.
Salas' season was cut short due to injury but he feels he is back:
I feel like I’m pretty much back completely. Just a couple more strengthening things I can always improve on but other than that I feel good and pretty confident. It’s a fresh start for everybody and we’re looking a lot better this year so we’re really excited.
Having the experience last year, playing in some games and making some catches and doing some okay things that I have a lot more confidence and I feel like I’m playing a lot faster than I was last year at this point. I’m just excited.
Salas looks to be solid in terms of earning a roster spot but nothing is set in stone at this point. Outside of Amendola and rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens, there are really no locks at wideout just yet.
Great Piece on Free Agent Acquisition William Hayes
Ben Stockwell shared a terrific piece on St. Louis defensive end William Hayes for Pro Fooball Focus, as you can read here.
If Robert Quinn struggles, especially on running downs, do not be surprised to see Hayes see more playing time than some might anticipate.
For much more on Hayes and some very interesting and detailed statistical analysis along with some terrific commentary, please check the above-linked report.
Hayes played for Jeff Fisher with the Tennessee Titans from 2008-2010, amassing 31 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles in 2009.
Rams United Fan Map Unleashed by Stlouisrams.com
Finally, the St. Louis Rams, through stlouisrams.com, have unleashed a very cool fan map at their facebook page. On the page, you can add your name, location and photo as others from all over the United States and the world have already done.
I would suggest checking it out via the above link.
Have a great day as always, STL Rams Nation.
Shane Gray covers the St. Louis Rams daily as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. You are encouraged to check out the rest of his work here. Gray also owns and operates STLRamsCentral.com.
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