The Rams signed Jake Long for the impact he could make (or prevent) in the fall.
So they weren’t going to push him this summer.
The Rams admitted keeping their prize left tackle signing on a pitch count during training camp, which he appreciated.
“I’m feeling great,” Long said, via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I feel healthy. It’s the healthiest I’ve felt going into a season in probably three years.”
That’s good news for the Rams, specifically quarterback Sam Bradford, who hasn’t had this kind of protection in the past. Long’s been a top-shelf player, but injuries have slowed him, and keeping him healthy was a priority. That kept him from going fully two days in a row during camp.
“I’m not having him have every single rep along the way,” offensive line coach Paul Boudreau said. “He knows how to run ‘power.’ Why does he need to run ‘power’ again?
“So I get him in there in situations where it’s a blitz period and there’s communication that has to be done — verbal and non-verbal. Making calls.”
They did the same thing with center Scott Wells and right guard Harvey Dahl, forcing them to develop a chemistry on their own. But Long is enough of an upgrade that it’s worth letting that develop in ways other than beating him up in practice.