Head Coach Jim McElwain and Jack Miller
Aug 21, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – After Tuesday’s scrimmage, Head Coach Jim McElwain called the pace slow. On Wednesday the second-year coach was much happier with practice.
McElwain might be happier because his defensive line is returning to full strength after catching the injury bug last week.
“LaRyan (King) is going again (after) that meatloaf pull he had,” McElwain joked. “Terry Jackson went all day yesterday and (Calvin) Tonga’s back. We should get Austin Berk back at the end of camp.”
Charles Lovett, who played one series in Tuesday’s scrimmage before hurting his knee, did not practice on Wednesday but McElwain called it precautionary.
“With Charles, the word is contusion. He’s not out here but he’s in the treatment room. He’s got a bruise,” McElwain said.
The Rams spent most of practice outside at the fields just east of the normal practice field. McElwain tossed another surprise at them as they went to the indoor practice facility for some field goal work.
There, the Rams were greeted by the Colorado State marching band, a tradition that McElwain started last season. McElwain invites the band to teach the newcomers the fight song.
Fall Camp Notebook:
Jack Miller: On Monday night the Rams welcomed another member to the Rams family in Jack Miller. Miller is a young boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of three.
“Jack Miller is a nine-year-old young man out of Louisville, Colo., and he’s a Rams fan who was diagnosed at the age of three with brain tumors,” McElwain said. “He’s been going through chemo and radiation treatment for the last six years and through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, they match teams with kids that are fans of them. He’s a team member, he’s part of the family. He’s got a #1TTD (wrist) band, he’s got a game jersey and he’s going to be with us whenever he can between his treatments. Part of this whole deal in life is understanding what it takes and what it is to give up yourself to somebody less fortunate. What you realize is that you all get consumed with your own problems. You know what, to see the glitter in Jack’s eyes and the smile on his face when the team gave him his jersey, sang him the fight song; and he actually gave a little talk as a pregame speech to the guys. I think that’s something all of us should step back and take a look at.”
Stepping up: McElwain always preaches, when a player goes down with an injury, he wants to see another player step up. During Tuesday’s scrimmage after Lovett went out Robert Ruiz, a wide receiver from El Cajon, Calif., stepped up and impressed McElwain.
“I don’t care who’s hurt someone has to step up,” McElwain said. “I’d say from yesterday’s scrimmage, Charles Lovett obviously went out in that first series and Robert Ruiz came in and made himself relevant. There’s a guy who took advantage of his opportunity and that’s good to see.”
(on growing under coach McElwain)
“He’s been a big influence on my life. He’s taught me a lot, he’s taught me not to feel sorry for myself when I want to. He’s taught me to finish when my body tells me I can’t. He’s not a coach that you’re afraid to go talk to, his door is always open; he’s taught me never to be scared of him so that’s helped me a lot.”
(on McElwain’s weirdest habit)
“Probably when he says ‘moving forward’ he loves to say moving forward. He loves saying ‘you got me’ and he loves using his hands. He loves saying ‘I get it,’ he gets everything. Just habits like that, not bad habits, just funny habits. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re the first guy in the roster or the last he’s going to coach you the same. He’s going to get on you when you’re bad and let you know when you did something good.”
(on working with the new receivers)
“It helps me more than you guys probably think it does, because in film study, on the practice field, off the practice field a guy will ask me what I have on this play and me telling them helps me on the next play also. They probably don’t know it but them asking questions helps me just as much as it helps them. I know it, but teaching somebody else kind of helps you understand it a little bit more. I know how it was when I got here, the playbook looked foreign to me, and I know how it is so I don’t down talk them because every day they’re going to make a mistake.”
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