Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 7/23/13
ST. LOUIS -- Coach Jeff Fisher gave St. Louis Rams rookies something to shoot for before they hit the field for the first time: Four-year veterans can commute to training camp. "It's cool, it's something coach Fish does for those guys," safety T.J. McDonald said after Tuesday's workout. "I've got my rookie duties and I understand that. "I've got to stay in the hotel and I'm trying to keep my head, be about my work. When I get to that point, though, I'll be expecting to be at home." Given that the Rams boast the league's youngest team with 19 rookies on the active roster at the close of last season, it's a select group of players getting that privilege. "That's a good deal unless you were a wife hoping to get rid of your husband," Fisher joked. "It just works out, it's business-like." Several cornerstones on defense make the cut, including defensive linemen Chris Long, Kendall Langford and William Hayes, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, cornerback Cortland Finnegan and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar. On offense, nine-year veteran center Scott Wells, guard Harvey Dahl and backup quarterback Kellen Clemens are eligible to commute. So is newly re-acquired linebacker Will Witherspoon, at 32 the oldest player on the team. The Rams signed Witherspoon, a starter in St. Louis most of his four seasons from 2006-09, to a one-year deal. "I guess it's the perks of being in the league so long," long snapper candidate Jorgen Hus said. "It's an accomplishment to be playing that many years. That's saying a lot." McDonald noted, "You don't have to pay rent this month, either." Quarterback Sam Bradford leads the group of those falling just short of coach Jeff Fisher's cutoff. Bradford, offensive tackle Rodger Saffold and tight end Lance Kendricks are entering their fourth season, and wide receiver Austin Pettis is entering his third. The Rams aren't much older after adding a pair of first-round draft picks in wide receiver Tavon Austin and linebacker Alec Ogletree, and with youngsters tabbed to replace running back Steven Jackson. Training camp is at the team complex by choice this year with the first full-squad workout coming Thursday. Before Fisher's first season, the Rams looked into remote locations and ultimately elected to stay home. "We were one of the first teams to do it because we had no other option," Fisher said. "And falling into this situation, it worked for us. I think it works." Austin was the eighth pick of the draft. But he'll be sharing a hotel room with wide receiver Stedman Bailey, his teammate at West Virginia. "It's not bad at all," Bailey said. "I've been around Tavon so long he's like my brother, and we get a chance to just sit back and talk about how things are going and if we need to study our playbook. "We can quiz each other before we go to sleep." Allowing veterans some freedom acknowledges the fact they've been around much of the offseason and are ready for the build-up to the opener at home Sept. 8 against the Cardinals. It also sends a message to the kids. "Like I was just telling them, right now in the National Football League you can't spend time getting your team in shape," Fisher said. "You have to maintain that through camp." Having the field to themselves for a few days helped about three dozen players get acclimated after getting a month or so off. "I stayed in the playbook the whole time but there's nothing like live action," McDonald said. "A couple days, that's all it took." A handful of players are rehabbing from injuries and will miss the start of camp, including tight end Lance Kendricks (knee) and rookie offensive lineman Barrett Jones (foot). The Rams also juggled the roster, releasing rookie safety Cannon Smith and signed safety Rashard Hall and wide receiver Demetrius Fields.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’

GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

John Elway: 2015 Broncos could be best defense ever

Lakers and Cavs discussed Kobe-LeBron trade in 2007

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Hiring Scott Brooks could help Knicks land Durant

Report: Tyreke Evans to undergo surgery, miss rest of season

Sabathia on post-rehab health: The best I've felt in three years

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Bill Polian: Peyton Manning could 'immediately' be successful GM

Villanova Wildcats: The quietest No. 1 team ever

Craig Sager: From the brink of death to the NBA All-Star Game

Michael Oher slid backwards during play in Super Bowl 50

Magic interested in Blake Griffin trade?

Brandon Marshall on Newton’s presser: ‘You can’t do that’

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker