EARTH CITY, Mo. -- As December approaches and the St. Louis Rams push through their bye week, coach Jeff Fisher says the time has come to take off the kid gloves when it come to his rookie class.
Obviously, some of the Rams' rookies are further along through 10 games than others, but that doesn't mean there's any more time for them to be treated as such.
"It depends on the individual player," Fisher said. "Some are getting to play a lot more than others, but we don't treat them like rookies anymore. Everybody's trying to improve and that's good for this week, too. We take advantage of that and young guys continue to get work."
Indeed, the Rams practiced Wednesday afternoon and will have another short workout Thursday afternoon before parting ways for four days as required by the collective bargaining agreement.
The two practices this week are a little different than normal game preparation. Fisher wanted to use the two additional opportunities to let his young players get much needed reps. That means rest for veterans and work for youngsters.
We haven't yet reached the point of the season where rookies would be hitting the so-called "rookie wall," but that time is not far off. The extra work now could pay off later when that time arrives. Given how much the Rams rely on young players, any extra reps they can get now should help pay off down the home stretch.
A roundup of Wednesday's Rams stories on ESPN.com. ... After the Ram-blings, Tavon Austin received his first weekly award, earning Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his 98-yard punt return touchdown against Indianapolis. … Then we took a quick look at the Rams in the bye week with this week's buzz. ... Next, it was a look at offensive lineman Rodger Saffold's new position and what it could mean for him in the big picture.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas discusses the altered approach of Rams general manager Les Snead in year 2.
Thomas also participated in his weekly chat Tuesday.
At the same location, there's an interesting look at the Rams' curve of improvement using a wide-range of numbers.