Holt: WR Quick needs to use his size
Rams wide receiver Brian Quick is brought down by Colts defensive back DJ Johnson. (AP Photo)
At 6-3, 220 pounds, rookie wide receiver Brian Quick presents a big target. After watching and working with Quick this week in practice, former Rams receiving great Torry Holt says Quick needs to use that size to his advantage.
"Quick is a raw, big strong kid," Holt said. "He has to play to his size. That’s the biggest thing I saw over these last couple of days — is that he’s not really playing to his size.
"Once he understands what type of strength that he has, and it’s OK to use that strength, I think we’ll start to see more production out of him as we go through the preseason and get ready for the regular season. So that’s going to be the key for him."
The presence of Holt and former Rams (and Arizona Cardinals) defensive back Aeneas Williams — who have 15 Pro Bowls between them — was welcomed by two of the current Rams team leaders, running back Steven Jackson and quarterback Sam Bradford.
"It’s awesome," Jackson said. "Just to see those faces, it restores the history of what we’ve done in the past with this franchise. It brings the energy. Guys are actually asking these old-timers: ‘What was it like? What did they do?’ We all want to get back to that point to where the team was rolling in the early 2000s."
(Yes, Jackson referred to them as "old-timers.")
"It means a lot," Bradford said. "Obviously, those two guys were great players for this franchise, great players in this league. And any time you have guys like that who are willing to come back on their own and help out younger guys, I think it’s awesome. Just having T. Holt in the wideout room, talking to those younger guys, I don’t think there could be anyone better doing it. I’m really excited that he’s back helping those guys."
The Rams released punter Tom Malone on Friday, leaving undrafted rookie Johnny Hekker as the only punter on the 90-man roster. Signed to the roster spot created by Malone’s release was defensive tackle John Gill. With free-agent pickup Trevor Laws still sidelined by a knee injury — he’s had some patellar tendon issues dating back to his time with Philadelphia — the Rams were light at defensive tackle.
Gill, 6-3, 302, played his college football at Northwestern. Gill, 25, has had stints with Detroit, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia. But he has only played in two regular-season games, registering nine tackles for the Colts in 2009.
NO FAN OF SYNTHETIC LACES
NFL teams have been provided with footballs made with synthetic laces — as opposed to the traditional leather laces — to use this week in practice. If they desire, teams can use them in their preseason games this week as well.
"It’s just an experimental thing that the league’s doing in the preseason and we’ll see where it goes," coach Jeff Fisher said. "They do a lot of experiments in the preseason at the league office."
If it’s up to Bradford, don’t look for them when the Rams have the ball Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"They’ve been at practice," Bradford said. "I’m not sure if they’re going to be used in the game or not. I really hope that we don’t use ‘em."
Bradford has used the synthetic lace balls in practice and gives a negative review.
"I do not like them," he said. "To me, (the synthetic laces) are a little bigger. They sit a little higher off the ball. It just feels different in the hand."