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Around the NFC West: Rams gearing up

The travel aspects of the St. Louis Rams' Week 2 game against the New York Giants shouldn't be significant.

This trip covers a relatively modest 869 air miles crossing only one time zone. The game kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET, which will feel like 7:30 to the Rams -- better, it seems, than it would feel for the Giants.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' first game on "Monday Night Football" since a 2006 home defeat to Chicago reflects a feeling the team is relevant again. Thomas: "Now, they just have to prove they belong there in their first Monday night contest since that Bears game in '06."

Also from Thomas: Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo returns to New Jersey to play his former team. He'll do so as an NFL head coach largely because Spagnuolo's Giants' defense overcame the previously unbeaten Patriots in the Super Bowl. Spagnuolo: "Other than marrying my wife, I'd be hard-pressed to find another day that was more memorable than that. What you remember most at that moment at the end of the game is the fact that you're sharing it with family. That part of it is the most special of anything."

More from Thomas: Tom Brady inspires Sam Bradford through Josh McDaniels, who recently put together for Bradford video clips showing Brady picking apart the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. Bradford: "Josh actually made a cut-up of that game, certain plays that he wanted me to see. I actually watched a cut-up tape of that game and saw some of the things that they did that we're doing in our offense. It's pretty impressive to watch it. They make it look so effortless." Noted: The longer Bradford works with McDaniels, the more similarities we should see between Bradford and Brady in terms of mechanics, mannerisms and the like. That doesn't mane Bradford will play as well as Brady, of course, but they will have been coached similarly. Brady was already among the most fundamentally sound quarterbacks in memory coming out of college, according to a coach I know who evaluated Brady back then. His mechanics are even better now.

More yet from Thomas: Seven things to watch in the Rams' game Monday night.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch expects tight end Mike Hoomanawanui to return from injury for the Rams against the Giants.