The first minicamp of the year ends today for the Rams. The three day session gave the Rams coaches a chance to evaluate some new talent. Only rookies and a select few first year players were invited.
Only 41 players attended, but there was still enough excitement to keep first year coach Scott Linehan enthused…
Second year safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, a third round pick in 2005, is trying to hold down his spot as the starting free-safety. Atogwe suffered through a roller coaster rookie season that featured more falls than rises. After blowing two big special-teams plays in the season opener, Atogwe was placed on the inactive list for the next four weeks. He saw action on special-teams upon his return, but never played a down of safety until week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. There were two other safeties in the mix with Atogwe, but neither was brought back to the team. Michael Hawthorne was released after five games last year. Mike Furrey started the last 11 games in 2005, but wasn’t re-signed after the season. That left Atogwe at the head of the class. All he can do now is try to hold on.
Media Relations Director Rick Smith provided the team and Linehan with a surprise Saturday. Well, most of the team anyway. Majority of the team had already left when Smith accompanied owner Georgia Frontieri to welcome Denzel Washington to the facility. Washington’s son John David is an undrafted free agent running back trying to make the team. The younger Washington set many school records while at Morehouse College.
The tight end position is still up for grabs. Recent rookie draft picks Joe Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd seem to have the edge, but Ed Nelson, Jerome Collins, Aaron Walker, Rod Trafford, and Jonathan Williams will also battle for the spot. The Rams do run many multiple tight end sets, so both draft picks figure to get in on the mix. No decisions have been made from the weekend sessions and nothing will probably be decided until training camp ends in August.