Rams set Los Angeles informational meeting for players

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the biggest reasons the Los Angeles Rams released veterans James Laurinaitis, Chris Long and Jared Cook last week was because they didn't want to ask that trio to attend a players-only Los Angeles informational meeting on March 4 if they weren't going to be on the roster in 2016.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday that the Rams sought permission from the league's management council and the players association to have a meeting for players to travel to their new home city and go through a meeting to discuss the many ins and outs that go with the move. That meeting is set for a week from Friday.

"We’re going to try to give them as much information as we can, from the standpoint of where this is going to take place and where that is going to take place," Fisher said. "If we’re going to put a temporary facility someplace up north, you don’t want to put yourself in Newport Beach where you have a two-and-a-half-hour commute every day.

"So you can appreciate the things that we’re going through. The organization, [COO] Kevin [Demoff], is doing a great job with each one of those steps. Hopefully we will have enough information for the players, to let them know."

When Fisher says let them know, he means let the team know where it'll be spending the next season and, likely, beyond. He confirmed Wednesday that the Rams will be spending their offseason program in Oxnard. That means April through June, the Rams will be going through organized team activities and more about 65 miles north of Los Angeles. After that, though, the Rams are still working out the details.

As we've reported here in recent weeks, the Rams are taking a long look at having training camp in Orange County, namely the University of California-Irvine. From there, they would again move north and though Fisher didn't offer specifics on where that would take his team, he did point back north of the city.

"Hopefully by that time we’ll be able to tell them exactly where we’ll have training camp, where we’re going to set up a temporary facility and by temporary we mean potentially two and a half years and make recommendations from a housing standpoint," Fisher said. "Let them know about traffic patterns and travel and things like that. Because 22- to 23-year-old athletes need to get to work on time. They need to be there on time. If you commute from Newport through LA to the west San Fernando Valley for example [it takes a long time], those kinds of things and then just give them report dates and what we’re going to do for them and go from there. Answer their questions because once the season ended, they went different directions. It’s easier to answer one question once than it is 60 times."

Because the NFL's collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow for teams to meet in the offseason, the Rams had to get permission from league types to get the meeting cleared.

"They all got together and said we need to have this meeting," Fisher said. "So we’re going to have the meeting. They were flexible with us. They understand the need for it and like I said, they’ll both be present at the meeting.

"The meeting itself is players only. The players are welcome to bring their families. It’s a weekend for them in LA. We have spent time with the management council. They’ll be represented, the players association will be represented. We just want to give them information."

Assuming, of course, that by then there is actual information to share.