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Rams rookies practice to prepare for arrival of veterans

Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 9:50 p.m. CDT

EARTH CITY — The few hitches the St. Louis Rams faced during the first two days of their rookie camp didn't seem to bother first-year coach Jeff Fisher.

"We're off to a good start," he said after about a 90-minute practice Thursday.

Trumaine Johnson provided the final piece of the rookie class when he arrived a bit later than scheduled. A cornerback out of Montana, he slept through his alarm and missed his flight Wednesday morning after being the last rookie to come to terms with the team.

He arrived in St. Louis around 6 p.m. after the team's first practice of the three-day camp. He was on the field Thursday afternoon with the other rookies and a handful of older players for the prelude to the full preseason camp that opens Sunday.

"I woke up and thought 'Oh, my gosh,'" said Johnson, a third-round selection who was at his home in Stockton, Calif.

Johnson and fellow rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins, out of North Alabama, agreed to their contracts Tuesday evening.

"That was the business side," Jenkins said. "I wasn't worried about all that. Whatever they were doing on that end, I was working out, training for football."

Jenkins said he spent much of the summer with his children and mother while preparing for the start of his professional career. He said the influences that helped him get kicked off the University of Florida team following two arrests for possession of marijuana and another charge of resisting arrest after being part of a fight and being tasered are in the past.

His only focus, for now, is football.

"Mostly I use it as a motivation and just play football because people are going to say what they want to say," he said. "Me, I know what kind of kid I am, who I am and I'm just ready to play football.

"My whole life, that's all I knew — football. I'm through with letting anyone take it away and guys trying to talk me into throwing it away."

Fisher said there was only so much his team could get accomplished because there wasn't a full complement of positions represented, including only three wide receivers in camp. Along with the 100-plus-degree temperatures Wednesday — it was only in the mid-90s during Thursday's practice — the lack of players dictated how much he was going to push his players.

Still, he was pleased and the team will be rewarded with a short practice Friday morning before easing into the weekend.

"We're going to back them down and get their legs back," he said "They should hopefully be caught up when the vets come in Saturday to get started on Sunday."


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